It's been a while...
I made some side boards for the bed out of aluminum channel and Trex Comosite Lumber. Now at least I can use it as a pickup truck... important because I sold my old 2000 F350 a couple weeks ago (for twice what the dealer offered me in trade-in value).
This weekend I am working on the auxiliary, frame mount battery bracket. It's about 80% complete but I need to wait for the rain to stop before I can finish it.
I guess I need to take and post some pictures.
With the exception of a couple of massive D-rings for attaching the hold-down strap, the battery bracket is all stainless steel. I never welded stainless steel using proper stainless steel welding wire and proper shielding gas before. I had to short term rent a tank of Argon/CO2 as well, as all I actually own are a couple of 20# and one 50# CO2 cylinders.
I usually use straight CO2 gas in my MIG welder. CO2 shielding gas is wicked cheap. A tank full lasts "forever", and the welds are actually stronger than when welding with more expensive shielding gas. It also means I always have a backup tank for my kegerator or visa versa in case one runs dry.
However, CO2 welds are not all that pretty. If you weld stainless with it, the welds will start to rust fairly quickly. With this expensive gas and stainless wire the welds come out really nice. Sadly, there is about 100 times more CO2 in a straight CO2 tank fill versus a CO2/Argon tank fill, and the price is actually a little bit more expensive for the Argon mixture in any given cylinder size.
I picked up a marine battery box and a Marine deep cycle battery yesterday. Not a good time of the year to go shopping for either. No one buys Marine batteries around here in October. I found a battery at the second Tractor Supply I went to and the battery box was found at Walmart.
My original plan was to mount a sealed plastic electrical box on the side of the battery tray to install the battery isolator and the time delay auto shutoff relays. It bothered me to put them there though. I figured they would be exposed to flying rocks and road salt and eventually I would have issues with them.
While staring into the engine comportment at the factory battery location, I noticed that there was a huge empty space in front of the factory battery. I almost think that space is where they squeeze a second battery for the diesel engines. I would not want to squeeze my auxiliary battery in there as it would get in the way of a number of routine engine maintenance processes. However, I think I can bolt a bit aluminum angle in there (4" maybe?) and mount the isolators and a lot of other things right in that location.
If the rain stops, I will post some more pictures later this evening.