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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2007 Base Sky restoration continues.....this car was not supposed to be a restoration project. :(

I pulled off both front fenders for an inspection and clean-up. This is what I found when removing the battery. There is NO rust anywhere else on the body or other painted framework so I assume this is the result of an previous unchecked battery boil-over that went on for some time. Making matters worse was the damage to the underside of the fender and wheel well under the battery, creating the perfect hole for street water to spray up at the battery tray.

The current battery is 1.5 years old and is in great condition with no boil-overs and holding a charge well, but I have yet to check the alternator output voltage.

I ordered a new battery tray shown in black at a cost of $52.00. I debate on how to attach it, screw-on or OEM weld-on. I lean towards "screw-on" even though the attachment flanges are not ideal for it. I welcome your comments.
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I think you are going to have to cut away all of the bad, and evaluate it then. A compromise would be to weld a bracket to the new battery tray, then bolt that to the car.
Keep the obvious in mind: Batteries aren't light, and you don't want it to come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Good point! Thanks for that.

This is my thought as of late.

Where the original battery bracket steel and weld is still solid and reliable, I will consider trimming it to create mounting tabs. I will make new brackets where needed and bolt it all together. Once assembled, I will then take it all apart and prime & paint everything. After final assembly, then follow up with another coating of primer and paint over bolts and all for extra protection. I figure all that extra paint will also help prevent the hardware from coming loose over time.

It would be great if the vehicle frame is thick enough for reliable tapping of new threads for bolt-attachment. I don't want to go crazy drilling holes (or drilling huge holes) in the vehicle frame. I will have to use common sense for the right balance between frame integrity and reliable battery bracket attachment.

If I was a good welder, I would have considered that attachment method.
 

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You are definitely on the right track.
Here is an option if you need it. Not the least expensive the first time because of the tool, but very effective:

Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG

I get them here: McMaster-Carr
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very interesting John. Thanks for sharing that threading option. I will keep that in-mind during my evaluation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, I started removing the old battery tray and concluded the remaining welded material for mounting to was not trust worthy so I cut it off and ground it all smooth. At this point in time, I seek someone to weld the new tray on. I got in contact with one mobile welding service so far and they have a minimum charge of $250....ouch! If they all are like that, I will consider bolting on sturdy "L" brackets to attach the new tray.

Here is where I am tonight. It would also be nice to have the lifting point reinforce-welded.

One thing to note is the metal piece seen to the right, welded to the frame. It once went all the way to the left-side black caulk. It was rusted so badly that I removed it by hand in places. I had wondered if it was a frame reinforcement, so I looked at the driver side, but nothing is there. So then I wondered if it was an acid boil-over shield. If it was, it surely was minimal in coverage and the frame behind it had rust too, though not nearly as severe.
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Here I am holding the new tray in-place to see the general fit. It's a good fit.
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With all 4 fender liners out right now for general cleaning and inspection, I can see the rest of the frame and body is rust free, in very nice condition. It was a southern car. All the rust was limited to the battery area, introduced and accelerated by a battery acid boil-over years ago. I think it was aggravated further because the fender had a hole in the bottom allowing for tire splash up in the area.
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A bit off topic, but since I mentioned the hole in the fender, here is my patch. 4 stainless screws and an entire 2-part epoxy kit holds it on securely. The black material is a piece of the original right front fender liner that was badly damaged. I replaced that too.
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I cut slits into the material so it would follow the natural curve of the fender when screwed on. Once shaped properly mounted with screws, I glued the tabs using a 2-part epoxy. It seems to work well.
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I did not notice the large hole when buying the car so I figure this will work until I can locate an affordable good Ming Blue replacement. The stainless screws will get painted Ming Blue as not to draw attention. What looks like missing paint is actually a reflection from light fixtures.
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Discussion Starter #7
The cost for a mobile welding service is a fortune, $250 minimum charge. So I called a local shop that is exactly 2.5 miles away. They told me $50 if I can get the car there. So this is what I came up with using 4 reusable shopping bags. They hooped around the hood stop and are quite strong. My battery is not that heavy given it's size. I have to confirm the front tire won't hit it when turning which I think will be fine since the battery is in the proper position relative to the car.
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Looking at the picture, I just realized how fitting the statement is on the bags.

My interior is gutted so on the passenger side, I am equipped with everything needed to setup the car like this for them at their shop.
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I agree, the saying on the bag is priceless. Hopefully the local shop can fix it up and looking forward to the final result.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Today I drove the Sky to the welding shop with jack, jack stand and tools. Once there I got the car setup and ready for the welder. It took him 20 minutes of prep and welding. His boss charged me $1 per minute, so the bill was $20. I tipped the welder an extra $10.
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After I got the tire back on and the car off the jack, I then proceeded to mount the battery on the new tray, but wait, what's going on here? I could not mount it on the tray quite right, so I added extra security with a bunge cord and drove the drive home. Back at home, I realized what happened. It turned out that the mounting/welding tabs of the new tray caused the position of the tray to tip a tad down towards the rear of the car. That caused the top of the battery to contact that 45 degree square stock frame member preventing it from seating properly on the tray. A little adjustment of the tray via a pipe and crow bar, and it's all good. It's not OEM perfect, but surely is a good job done.

The lesson learned is that I should have cut a block of wood to use as a spacer between the battery tray and that silver painted rear wall to assure the proper distance during the initial tack welding. So be sure to keep that in-mind.

I brushed on a coat of Rustoleum primer over the tray and affected frame. Soon to follow are 2 coats of gray Rustoleum paint. Drying time makes this a 3 day painting project.
 
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