It all started with a vision... a vision of dual optima batteries under the hood, lovingly retained by a shiny 304 stainless battery box.  Two optimas in the stock location of the single P38 battery, enough power for my winch, my engel, everything!

I had just installed a Warn 9.5ti, gotta have the juice to power it.   I had seen good success from dual Optimas (Red tops from Costco, $140) in the Defender, and wondered how they might fit in the stock location.  Doing my web searches, I read other writeups where folks had run a remote battery into the spare tire compartment, but that seemed pretty clumsy.  I wanted it under the hood!

Brace

Pan

Fab work was done by the stainless fabricators Fab-X/Metals

Stock Battery Box

So if you've never seen it, this is what it looks like. It's held in place with just 4 bolts to the body, and of course the bolt pattern is very weird - making it hard to measure for a replacement!

Battery Location

This is what the mounting location looks like with the stock battery box removed.

Dual Battery Box base

Fabbed base, viewed from the side.

Dual Battery Box base

Top view - note the 4 mounting brackets. Holes in the base allow for ratchet access.

Batter Box - top

This top is custom fabbed to conform to the contours of optima batteries. It gives a nice snug fit!

Box Bottom

Batteries installed...

Complete Box

Batteries installed, top on

Tubing Protection

This tube connects the radiator to the expansion tank. It would be chafing against the new box at this point, so I beefed it up with a little heavier duty covering.

Box Bottom

Installed in engine compartment

Installed battery Box

Installed Battery Box

Installed Battery Box

notice that only one battery is connected - at this point I have not bought the battery cables to connect everything up (I wanted the install done so I could get the measurements right).

This is a good project.  Actual fab-time is around an hour, but this took the better part of 2 days because of me screwing around, getting measurements wrong, changing drawings, etc.  Now that I have it figured out if I need another one it will be a lot easier!