Mounting 3rd battery to frame rail

Sheep Shagger

Adventurer
I wanted to add a 3rd battery to the frame rail on the drivers side, just like the stock mounting on the passenger side (Diesel E350). I know there are other alternatives out their, but I like using stock parts when I can, and none that I have seen as as good as stock anyway.
I managed to find a battery box on ebay for $25, so when it arrived I made up a template for the hole pattern and when I placed it up the the frame, to my surprise Ford have already drilled the holes in the frame rail to mount another two batteries on the drivers side. Great, as I don't like drilling frame rails.
Only problem is the hand brake cable is in the way, rather than cut off the mounting points on the frame, and relocate the cable either up / down or closer to the frame, I decided to just space out the box.
Machined up some spacers, and threaded the last 5mm of the spacer so it holds the bolt to the frame rail to make installing the box easier.


Then it's just a matter of bolting it all up to the holes Ford so nicely supplied.


Here is it, but no cables installed yet. I also bolted up a jump post like the other side.



Very simple and it took me about 1/2 day to do, but most of that was flaffing about machining up the spacers and getting the size / tolerance just right.

Bolts 7/16 x 2.5 Grade 8 (Nuts & washers)
Spacers were 1 1/4
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Sorry for reviving a slightly-old thread, but I wanted to ask about the battery box itself. It looks like an OEM piece, not a generic battery box. Does it have any provision for making it easy to load/unload the battery or access the terminals, or is it just a big box? (i.e. how do you load the battery into the box?)

I'm considering a similar mounting location on my van, but it will have to be a custom thing. The one thing that stumps me right now is that I'll have to lift this 60lbs of lead up into place and anchor it, and possibly drop it back down for wiring or battery maintenance... ick. I was trying to envision a box arrangement that facilitated dropping or tilting the battery down to access the terminals, etc.

Thanks.
 

ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
So that's what all those holes are for!!!! Nice job, looks great.

Where did you get that terminal?
 

Sheep Shagger

Adventurer
Sorry for reviving a slightly-old thread, but I wanted to ask about the battery box itself. It looks like an OEM piece, not a generic battery box. Does it have any provision for making it easy to load/unload the battery or access the terminals, or is it just a big box? (i.e. how do you load the battery into the box?)

I'm considering a similar mounting location on my van, but it will have to be a custom thing. The one thing that stumps me right now is that I'll have to lift this 60lbs of lead up into place and anchor it, and possibly drop it back down for wiring or battery maintenance... ick. I was trying to envision a box arrangement that facilitated dropping or tilting the battery down to access the terminals, etc.

Thanks.
It's a stock Ford E350 diesel battery box, just mounted on the opposite frame rail than normal. You can pull the lid off while it's attached and get to the terminals, but for changing the battery you need to drop the whole box. I use a trolley jack, but in a pinch I suppose you could use a bottle jack on the side of the road. If you did drop the box off a jack, the safety cables are perfect length to catch the box before you rip the battery terminals off.

The stock mounting of bolting into the frame makes aligning up the box a real ***** on the other side, but since the bolts are the opposite way round in this setup, it's really easy to align and mount.
 
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Sheep Shagger

Adventurer
So that's what all those holes are for!!!! Nice job, looks great.

Where did you get that terminal?
Thanks, the stock frame rail is a bit like Swiss cheese. :)
Terminal is a Blue Sea PowerPost, BLU2003. Works well, just need to find a better fuse setup now.
 

Adventurerider

Adventurer
I have this same set up on the passengerside (E350 PD) and have been thinking out doing this same thing with my house batteries, very nicely done. Would you happen to have the Link on EBay where you sourced the battery box?
Again, very clean, nice job!!!
 

Sheep Shagger

Adventurer
I have this same set up on the passengerside (E350 PD) and have been thinking out doing this same thing with my house batteries, very nicely done. Would you happen to have the Link on EBay where you sourced the battery box?
Again, very clean, nice job!!!

They come up on eBay from time to time, usually come in a spurt of 10 or so. (not sure if some RV outfit just junks a lot at one time) Dealer price is $200 or so for all the parts.

This was the seller
http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/seanb69fsu/

An old listing
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120478450381&viewitem=
 

RocKrawler

Supporting Sponsor
There are a few for $25 on there right now, but all are for the 2010 Van, I wonder if the box is the same & will fit the older models?
 

dcullen

Observer
Reviving an old thread instead of starting a new one.

Does anyone know what the stock battery cable guage is on a 2006 6.0 PSD E350?
I am adding house batteries to the driverside frame rail with a Blue Sea ML-ACR auto Charge controller in the same fashion as Sheep Shagger has above.
I was originally going to get deep cycle versions of the stock battery size (group 65) for the house batteries, but it is proving hard to find. Will there be any issue using a different group size from the starting batteries with that charge controller (I'd like there to be no issue if I need to use the house batteries for starting, should the normal starting batteries go dead)? Any recommendations on what house batteries to purchase?

Thank you,
-Dan
 

simple

Adventurer
Just wanted to add a note. I used that same battery box on my frame rail for a house battery on my old van. Installation looked clean. A snafu that I ran into was that the box doesn't fit any normal size cheap deep cycle lead acid battery. The only deep cycle in the group size that fit the box was an expensive odyssey AGM battery. Cash made it work but I wish I had figured it out ahead of time and would have fabbed up a steel box that was slightly larger.
 

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