Relocate and Weld

I was able to get a couple more things done on the Subie today. I moved the battery to the trunk (though it’s not installed yet) and moved the Jetta ball from where the A/C compressor is supposed to be to where the battery was at.

To start with I disconnected the battery and moved it to the trunk … wow, that’s surprising :o) As I disconnected the negative lead, I did hear one of the relays click off, which to me tells me the battery is holding a charge (nothing really discharging it). I put it in the trunk, but I’m unsure which side of the vehicle I’m actually going to mount it on … more on that later.

With the battery moved, I took the bolt out of the mount for the Jetta ball. Why do I call it a Jetta ball? Really no clue, other than you can find it in a Jetta and sounds better than a Purge Reservoir or something else. Anyway, it’s in the shape of a ball, so there you go. Once removed I started looking at where it could go and how it was going to fit along with the charcoal canister at the typical battery location. Having put all the work I did into the mount in the first place, I didn’t want to waste the effort.

After looking at where it would be at, I decided I’d put a strip of angle iron down along where the battery mount is at. In order to do this I’d need to lengthen the original mounting tab which I’d drilled the hole through to tighten on a bolt. While it would have probably been cleaner to just cut what was on there away and weld a new piece of metal onto, butt welding a small piece of the same size metal onto the other piece saved me some metal in the end. I don’t have very much of the flat stock left (down to about 18″ now) and I didn’t want to make another trip to the store to purchase more, so I’m trying to be frugal with what I have. Since I have plenty of flux core welding wire (picked up a new roll a couple of weeks ago at Harbor Freight), welding seemed like the best route to go. Definitely not the prettiest route, but I went with it anyway. I measured what I needed to in order to get the right height on the Jetta ball once it was in place. I calculated I’d need about 2 1/2″, so I measured twice, cut once, and welded. I then figured out the length of angle iron I need and cut that out. Measured exactly where I’d want the Jetta ball to end up, marked the angle iron, cleaned both pieces of metal up and welded things together. I think the end product turned out pretty good.

Here’s where the ball will reside when it’s welded into place in the battery space.

To mount the charcoal canister I plan on taking two pieces of flat stock and welding then in a “V” shape onto the angle iron, to allow the canister to sit between the Jetta ball and the engine. The V shape will be just the right size to friction fit the canister down into it. It should work out pretty well in the end. I’ll create a new blog note when the time comes to cover it. I’ve already purchased the hoses and the T-pipe adapter so I can run the coolant lines when I get this completely installed.

I started laying out the cables for the battery. I wanted to show you the cabling and how good they are. I bought a relocation kit from a business on eBay. The company name on eBay is powderperform. As of this blog entry they have a 100% positive feedback with nearly 2400 entries. I mention this because of how pleased I am with what I received. What I was sent was EXACTLY what was on the eBay page I purchased from. I couldn’t ask for a better product.

The product itself was advertised as a Battery Relocation Kit, 16′ long, 2AWG Welding Cable. I have to say, it is exactly that. Here is a comparison of the cable sizes between the stock negative cable which goes from the battery to the engine and the welding cable which will be replacing it.

As you can see, the physical size of the cable is nearly identical. The huge difference comes from how the cable itself is fabricated. When you look directly at the end of the cable, you can tell what I’m talking about.

The core is 100% copper made of fine strands. I couldn’t tell you what the count of the strands are, but can tell you there’s plenty of them. This is great for two reasons. My understanding of how electricity flows in wiring is on the outside of it (this may be wrong, but I’m going with it). With as many strands as this has, this stuff will flow electrons like nobody’s business! The other thing is, all of the strands make this wiring very pliable. Playing with the stock wiring, it is very stiff. This stuff is going to go where ever I want it and won’t put up a fuss doing so. The other ends of the cables are just as good as the wiring itself.

The ends of the cables are professional grade. They look really good. The other thing you can see in the top first image is the ends which come with it, plus shrink wrap to finish them off. The idea here is to get the length cut exactly as you want them, trim back the sheathing, fill the terminator up with solder, melt it down, and stuff the end of the cable into the hot solder to get it to stay put and be well connected. You want to ensure you don’t foget to slide the heatshrink on the cable before you put the end on it, or you’re most likely just going to have to do without. I’ll blog about it when it’s all together so you can see the finished product.

Not everything done today I wanted to get done, but progress is progress. I still need to figure out where/how I’m going to run the positive cable from the back end of the Subie, as well as which side I’m going to put the battery on for sure. The cable seems like it might be about a foot too short to put on the passenger side, so it may end up on the driver’s side. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but that’s the way the ball bounces when you need to get stuff done.

While you are contemplating your next great build, all I have to say to you is … Be well.