I wanted to mount the battery in the rear to keep the engine bay clean, but I didn't want it in a huge battery box sitting in the corner of the hatch. Because of my desire to have a subwoofer in the spare tire well, there really isn't enough room to squeeze a battery in there too. While pondering solutions to my dilemma, I discovered a void between the driver side spare tire well and the frame rail. I've been on a cutting and welding kick lately, so naturally, I did some more cutting and welding...
Cut the spare tire well to the general width of a car battery:
I needed to fabricate a box that would let me cheat the battery closer to the framerail. Here is what I came up with:
Here is why I needed to push the battery as far over as I could:
Below is the construction of the false floor. Framed it all out of 1/2" square steel stock. I decided to elevate the level of the floor frame 2" above the hatch floor. This will give me plenty of room for the subwoofer as well as clearance for a battery as tall as an Optima Red, if I decide to get one down the road.
Here's some of the outer frame for the back half of the hatch:
I had to leave the top end open so I can fit it around the roll bar. The front brace had to be welded in the car.
Tacked the front brace in and welded in all the 2" spacers:
After addng the front pieces. This will cover all the electronics under the rear seat area.
I will also be welding together another frame that will fit inside the outer frame around the rear seat area. It will hinge on a pair of gas struts so I can access the electronics below.
This whole false floor will serve at the mounting point for the carpeted MDF floor that I'll be making when the time comes.
Also got my woofer today. Now I just need to figure out the best way to mount it. It is a downfiring design, so it will mount as shown in the pictures below. I'm thinking about welding in 2 more braces that run front to back and then screwing the ends of the box directly to those braces. I may also use a strap around the middle as an extra way of securing it. I think I'd like to avoid mounting it directly to the spare tire well floor.
Welded together and installed the hinged lid for the false floor area in the back. Came out pretty well.
I wound up using a pair of 20lb struts. It comes up pretty fast, but it will slow down once it has the weight of the MDF and carpet on it. I do need to reposition the lid side of the strut mount. The geometry is a bit off. The lid somewhat floats when it is in the closed position. A small spacer should fix that geometry issue for me.