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How do I fix My Battery Tray?

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  • Body / Glass: How do I fix My Battery Tray?

    I've been looking for a new battery Battery Tray for my 51 Champion, it's the only rusty part on the car. I'm sure there must be someone repopping them, but I haven't found it yet. I have to take it out to repair the fender before it rots thru (four spot welds to drill out). Is there a reproduction out there or do I have to put a new bottom tray on this one? Or, does anyone have an easy fix?

  • #2
    You are fortunate if this is the only rust on your '51. I'm working on a '50 Champion and removed the battery tray. It had 18 spot welds to drill out. I don't know of any sources for your replacement tray, but also have an interest in a new tray. By answering your question, this will move your thread back to the top of the list.
    \'50 Business Champion
    \'50 Starlight Champion
    \'60 Lark Convertible,
    \'63 GT R1,
    \'67 Triumph TR4A


    • #3
      Thanks Perry, I was lucky, only 5 spot welds. Looks like the rust started at the tray spot welds and rotted the tray around the welds. After pecking around, the fender has two rust holes, I have some grinding and welding to do if I can borrow my welder from my son, he borrowed it about 10 years ago.
      I'll carry the unit to a Junk yard and see if I can find something close to repair mine. An old thread said there's an F-150 ford pickup tray that's close to size and can be welded in close to original. If that don't work I'll try a tractor dealership. I'll let you know soon, I hope.

      Jerry Seal


      • #4
        There are likely some bashed fenders with a good battery holder that would be available. Post some ads and make some calls and one will turn up. Pages like Studebaker Addicts on Facebook also have lots of active people.
        However, this may take some time. I have never failed to find the Studebaker part I needed if I waited and watched. The only other choice would be to repair the one you have or build a replacement. Good hunting.
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup


        • #5
          Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
          ... repair the one you have or build a replacement. Good hunting.
          Noting your forum name...this might interfere with your golf time, but if you enjoy tinkering, and a good challenge, why not fabricate your own replacement? It has fairly simple geometry for parts and the bottom will not be visible when holding a battery. So, the biggest "artistic skill" would be to make the side braces. It is likely that those simple boxes along with the battery "hold down," were not made at Studebaker, but supplied by a "low bid," contract. Here's an opportunity to make it better or as good and have the satisfaction that it was your own work. Even if you want to hold out for a replacement, you could fab up a temporary one 'till you find what you are looking for.

          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975


          • #6
            It rusted out from battery leakage and corrosion caused by acid. The six volt, group one battery may not be a common size, but I agree that it is time for a nice tour of the bone yards. If you have the top of the battery tray, that will give you the size.

            You may not find one that is identical, as most of the later ones that I have seen just use J-hooks and the top to hold the battery in place.

            eBay auction number



            Last edited by RadioRoy; 05-20-2020, 10:36 AM.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


            • #7
              Went to the Junk Yard today carrying my rusted battery tray. They didn't have anything that fit the bill, but as I was leaving a guy said my tray looked like his 55 chevy tray. Searched 55 Chevy on e-Bay and ordered the one pictured. Measurements are close and I should be able to weld my hold-down brackets on and make it look near "factory". I'll post pictures when finished. Thanks everyone for your input!! Jerry


              • #8
                The battery tray on Dads 50 Champion was in similar shape. Fabricating replacement pieces for it was a lot easier the the replacement pieces that had to be made and welded into the inner fender where the battery tray mounts. While we were making the new parts of the battery tray we also decided to make it bolt in instead of being welded in. Having it bolt in allows removal when doing future work in the engine compartment making for a lot more room to work. The bolts are under the battery so no one can tell that it is bolted in instead of welded.
                "Trying to shed my CASO ways"



                • #9
                  Originally posted by wdills View Post
                  ... make it bolt in instead of being welded in. Having it bolt in allows removal when doing future work in the engine compartment making for a lot more room to work.
                  Studebaker made that move with the 1953 models; up until the battery tray was just a flat spot on the inner fender.

                  "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                  Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  '33 Rockne 10,
                  '51 Commander Starlight,
                  '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                  '56 Sky Hawk


                  • #10
                    Thanks Guys!!! definitely gonna make it bolt in. Still waiting for my engine paint, I could've walked to Indiana and picked it up by now, 12 days for 121 miles. Jerry


                    • #11
                      Best advertisement I know for an Optima battery.