Giving the truck an Optima

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After some recent drama with a bad battery and no time to deal with the warrantee I ended up with a spare Optima Red Top. After a bit of thought I decided to toss it in the truck.

Read more below.

Since the Optima battery does not fit well in the battery tray designed for a truck battery in 1971 so I’m using a Ruff Stuff Specialities Optima battery box.  Ruff Stuff makes great products built with the home fabricator in mind so expect to do some welding or drilling.  The first step is to remove all the OEM hardware.

Click to enlarge.

After pulling the tray you’ll find a nice flat section to mount your battery to.  I used a wire wheel on a drill to knock off the majority of the rust, hit the area with Rustoleum paint, then placed the battery box in place and marked where I planned to weld it in place so I could knock the paint off (yes, I painted then removed some of that paint, I wanted to make sure to get some paint in the area between the box and body before welding).

Click to enlarge.

Then I simply welded it in place.  As you can see my welding quality is quite poor, I’m rather new to it and my Harbor Freight MIG was not feeding the wire very consistently.  It should stay put though so that’s all I really care about.

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All complete with a new ground cable and the battery box top on.  Now I just need to figure out what to do with the truck’s old battery.

Click to enlarge.


Category: Projects, The Truck

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