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Discussion Starter #1
As a recent owner of a S3 Veloce I have a few jobs to do this winter. One of them is to rectify the wobbly and dangerous looking battery tray in the trunk. It was so rickety that it has slammed into the rear quarter panel and given it a slight ripple.

I am seeking pics and information (and advice if you have it) on how put the battery tray back to original factory specs and what it actually looked like. I suspect that I will nee to weld in a new tray in the trunk. Thanks.
 

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Hello Jedispey,
I'm not sure how much these will help you, but I took a few photos of my 1988 battery shelf whilst I was prepping it for repaint. At least you will get an idea of the stock design features.
Photo 1: Condition of battery area before start of cleanup
Photo 2: Right battery hold down clevis/plate and ground wire bolt down location
Photo 3: Left hold down clevis/plate
Photo 4: Right area and ground wire bolt hole after some wire brush cleanup
Photo 5: Left hold down plate fell off during cleanup, so I drilled 2 small holes at end of drip channel to use to attach new clevis/plate fabricated out of aluminum angle
Note: There is a small section of C-Channel welded on it's side near the rear of the shelf that can be seen in a few of the pictures. That's used to hold the back edge of the black plastic tray that the battery sits in.
I will see if I can find some better photos that show the area after application of POR-15 and new topcoat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Edward,

Thank you for posting your pics it helps a lot. So I guess the shelf is welded in and not bolted. I will check the condition of my tray and get or make a new one to weld in. I also found a nice stainless tray and tie down steel tie down. It's a little pricey but way cheaper than having you battery smash into the fender like mine has with the PO.

Battery hold down ring. Stainless steel. - B0156X

Anyone have this particular tray and tie down in their cars?

Thanks,
 

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after pics

Hi Jedispey,
Here are some photos of the battery shelf after I applied POR-15 and new topcoat. You can see the how the rear of the black plastic battery tray is designed to slide in and be held down by the C-Channel piece welded in the back, and there are also a couple of pictures that show the new tie-down bracket I fabricated from aluminum angle for the left side.
Note that the stock battery shelf is placed slightly higher than the trunk floor, and even though it is higher, there is very little clearance to slide a properly sized tire under the battery shelf and into the well. I only mention this because if you are going to weld in a new plate for your battery to sit on, make sure you locate it about an inch above the top of the trunk floor or you won't be able to get the full-sized factory spare into the well.
Good luck,
 

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Nice job on that battery area!

Jedispey, not long after I bought my '91, I purchased a plastic boat battery box, cut down the top until it was maybe 6" high all around. I didn't use or need the top to the battery box, BTW. I riveted a plastic angle piece to the bottom of the box such that it would fit up under the channel clip that you see in the photos. That way the box cannot move laterally. I set my battery into the box, bolted down the crossbar and two rods, and never had to worry about damage to the car sheet metal from spilled acid out of a cracked battery.

It's very secure, having survived years of road use and many an autocross chicane! It's never moved unless I removed it.

If you decide to use the OEM battery tray, it will work fine, but I recall there's a drain tube that fits onto the bottom of the tray and runs down through a hole in the floor, and out to the ground. Important detail!
 

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Wow!! That's a lot of damage and looks like a major job to restore!!!! I'm pulling my battery to make sure it hasent eaten into the trunk. Then get some measurements and go shopping for a plastic tray for the battery to sit in...off to the container store!!! Thanks for pointing out that potential problem!!!
Paul
89 Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Alfaloco. I like you idea of the cut down boat battery box. I might do the same but perhaps pop-rivet an aluminum angle piece instead of a plastic one. Did you make a drain tube for your boat battery box? I am also thinking of welding up a tie down frame like the one I provided in the ReOriginals link above. It would be way cheaper than buying that one. Now I have a clear plan for my winter project. Cheers.
 

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Just as long as there's something to fit up under that channel so the box and battery can't move, you're fine. No I did not put in a drain tube because I wanted any acid leakage to be contained 100%. On one occasion some years back, a battery did crack, and sure enough, there was a little pond of acid left inside the box. Not a speck of damage to the car, though.
 

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don't put holes in plastic battery tray!

The drain hole in the stock shelf is designed to handle rain, car wash water or condensation moisture that makes it's way into the trunk area, not battery acid. The integrity of the plastic battery "tray", whether it be the stock one or a cut down boat battery box replacement, is imperative, so you should not add drain holes in the bottom, or place rivet holes too close to the bottom, both of which would let any contained battery acid leak out of the acid-resistant plastic battery tray onto the paint and metal in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just wanted to give an update on my battery tray project for my S3 Spider. I did not have an original tray with the car and the previous owner had the battery secured (I am being sarcastic!) with a small piece of 2x4 and several bungee cords. This resulted in a small ripple dent in the rear quarter panel!! I actually found a small plastic battery tray (TH-Marine NMH-24) in my garage that I used as the basis for my project. This tray also has several attachment points that are molded on the outside of the tray.

I made a replacement bracket out of 16ga steel to replace the broken one in the trunk that caused the whole battery issue. I painted and pop-riveted it to the battery shelf with 3 x 3/8 pop-rivets.

In order to have the tray flush with the back bracket (in the trunk) I cut off the three attachment points on the backside of the plastic tray. I made a template of the tray with an extra tab section that could be used bent to shape and slide into the back bracket. I traced this onto 16ga cold-rolled steel plate and I then bent the tab so it would slide in and fit snugly into the back bracket. I painted and pop-riveted it the bottom of the plastic tray to give it rigidity. I covered the bottom with thin 1/8in closed cell foam to help the tray assembly from wanting to slide around (steel to steel contact).
I also fabricated a battery tie down out of angle iron and 1/4in steel rod which I modeled from one I saw on an internet search. I made it so it fit my particular battery which I could also easily modify if needed if I get a different battery.

Now everything is snug and secure and ready for the driving season. Thanks everyone for your advice.
 

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Fantastic, i love Mini projects like this:smile2:
 

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Fantastic, i love Mini projects like this:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thank you for the positive comments.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that I shortened the angle iron sides on the battery tie down bracket by 1 inch to prevent them from accidentally touching the battery terminals if it shifted. That would not be a good thing. I may cover the whole bracket with plastic dip to rubberize it to give it more grip on the battery surface. But it's not really a necessity.
 
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