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Battery Relocation
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audiobiography Offline
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Post: #1
Battery Relocation
So I just started work on installing a new wiring harness, and figured I would take the time to move the battery as well. I've got everything figured out for the most part, but have 2 questions. How should I wire up the starter? Would running a sufficient gauge cable from the trunk (parallel to the main battery cable) to the starter be ok? And as far as a ground strap on the block goes, would the stock strap that comes from the firewall the valve cover be sufficient? Any thing else I should be made aware of? Thanks!

1983 244ti - black on black, from front to back.
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11-07-2011 03:12 PM
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Mylesofsmyles Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Battery Relocation
I used a battery cable from a e30 BMW..runs perfectly from the right butt cheek to the bulkhead. Did it on the passenger side, in the same path the harness takes on the driver side.

At the firewall, cabin side, I got a y-splitter from JL audio....takes the 0-gauge battery cable and splits to two 4-gauge....one for main harness power and the other to the starter. Believe it or not the stock starter cable was just the perfect length to connect to the starter, run on the firewall behind the motor, through the firewall at the lower rubber plug, under the AC stuff and right to that y-splitter.....looks factory!

I learned that battery cables are really expensive, and the availability of 4-gauge wire is scarce at shops in town, so I recycled the stock cable instead of making something for $$$

I'm going to run another ground strap to the block from the frame rail or body somewhere, just to be safe.
11-07-2011 03:58 PM
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Mylesofsmyles Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
This is the distribution block I used...

http://www.creativecaraudio.net/products...leshopping
11-07-2011 04:26 PM
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scottyd Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Battery Relocation
How come you're moving your battery?

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11-07-2011 06:29 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Battery Relocation
For cable use 1/0 CCA or 4ga OFC at minimum coming from the trunk.
You will want to upgrade the engine to chassis ground with the same cable and I would do the alternator too while in the process.

4ga OFC welding cable can be had for under $2/ft. Get solid copper lugs and solder them on the ends. Use heat shrink to properly insulate.

In about a week I will have my cable here, when it arrives I can give you a quote on our lightweight battery relocation kits.

Or you could leave the battery under the hood and install a 14lb D680 like I did. Factory battery is 38-54lbs, the weight savings is huge.

I know the meaning of life.
(This post was last modified: 11-07-2011 06:31 PM by badvlvo.)
11-07-2011 06:30 PM
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audiobiography Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Battery Relocation
(11-07-2011 06:29 PM)scottyd Wrote:  How come you're moving your battery?

Better weight distribution, and I want to free up more space in the bay. I plan on putting a remote oil filter around the same location the battery was. Plus I plan on installing an amp and sub at some point, and would like to have it arranged like that.

1983 244ti - black on black, from front to back.
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11-07-2011 08:11 PM
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Cameron Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
(11-07-2011 06:30 PM)badvlvo Wrote:  In about a week I will have my cable here, when it arrives I can give you a quote on our lightweight battery relocation kits.

I'm putting the battery in the trunk of my 242 and need to build a quality long battery cable to go from the back right wheel well up to the starter terminal like sounds like the O.P. is wanting to do.

Are you building your cable Eric? Or did you give specs and are having it made? The cheapy relocation kits from Summit/Jegs/etc. look like crap quality and are still a pretty penny for what seems to be poor quality parts to me.

Do you or MechMan offer the service to build me a quality cable? I already have a 0 gauge negative cable to go from neg terminal of battery to chassis and another to go from block to chassis ground. Also already have a burly cable connecting the power distribution block to the starter terminal to power the fuse block. Just need a quality cable with battery terminal on the trunk end and starter terminal on the starter end. Is that something you guys do?
(This post was last modified: 11-07-2011 08:28 PM by Cameron.)
11-07-2011 08:23 PM
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142autox Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Battery Relocation
I put my battery on the floor behind the passenger seat in a marine battery box. I figured for weight distribution it made the most sense, lowest point, no extra weight hanging out back, and sorta offsets my weight. No one will ever ride back there anyway, there's no back seat so it would be quite uncomfortable.

That doesn't really answer your question though. I used an amp install kit, I believe 4 gauge, and routed that up to the battery tray. From there I used a splitter like the one Mylesofsmyles used. The starter cable is already routed to there as are every other power source you'll need. As for grounds, yes run as many as you can, motor to ground I used a starter bolt, ground everything that was connected to the battery - post, and the battery locally. This will help eliminate a lot of future headaches.
11-07-2011 08:33 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Battery Relocation
(11-07-2011 08:23 PM)Cameron Wrote:  
(11-07-2011 06:30 PM)badvlvo Wrote:  In about a week I will have my cable here, when it arrives I can give you a quote on our lightweight battery relocation kits.

I'm putting the battery in the trunk of my 242 and need to build a quality long battery cable to go from the back right wheel well up to the starter terminal like sounds like the O.P. is wanting to do.

Are you building your cable Eric? Or did you give specs and are having it made? The cheapy relocation kits from Summit/Jegs/etc. look like crap quality and are still a pretty penny for what seems to be poor quality parts to me.

Do you or MechMan offer the service to build me a quality cable? I already have a 0 gauge negative cable to go from neg terminal of battery to chassis and another to go from block to chassis ground. Also already have a burly cable connecting the power distribution block to the starter terminal to power the fuse block. Just need a quality cable with battery terminal on the trunk end and starter terminal on the starter end. Is that something you guys do?

We had the cable built to our specs. From the samples we have so far it's pretty nice stuff, lightweight, flexible, with a good jacket. It's a high strand count CCA cable so it's light and sized where it will proper capacity for your rear mount battery. This is something we specifically had built for this type of application as we supply for a few different race teams.

We will be selling battery relocation cable kits as soon as we have the cable on our dock. It should be next door at our supplier right now, waiting for Matt to return from SEMA/vacation to get it over here and start selling.

Should know for sure in a day or 2 and I will show some pics and specs once I have a piece on my desk.

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11-08-2011 11:01 AM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Battery Relocation
For grounds there's no need to go overkill, but you do want to do it right.

Ground the battery to chassis with 2ga or 1/0.
Ground the block to chassis with 4ga or larger.
Ground the alternator to chassis with 4ga or larger.
Anything else is overkill and not necessary.
Use properly sized lugs, lugs that fit snugly around the bolt or stud.
Make sure the ground contacts bare metal. I like to use a roloc disc to clean, attach the ground, then give the Krylon touch over it to prevent corossion.

If you want to save weight use 2ga or 1/0 CCA cable with at least 5k strand count.

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11-08-2011 11:05 AM
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Cameron Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Battery Relocation
(11-08-2011 11:01 AM)badvlvo Wrote:  We will be selling battery relocation cable kits as soon as we have the cable on our dock. It should be next door at our supplier right now, waiting for Matt to return from SEMA/vacation to get it over here and start selling.

Sweet -- look forward to seeing what you guys will be offering Smile
11-08-2011 12:13 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Battery Relocation
I will post it up in the Vendor section as soon as we have it in stock.

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11-08-2011 01:22 PM
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olov Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Battery Relocation
right or wrong, this is how i did it in my wagon. i used a spare motor mount as a distribution spot(want to use something else, eventually i'm sure the on/off of the nut will rip the mount, but not like i remove it that often). ran the battery + to that, then thick wires from there to the starter, and there to the alt. i ALWAYS suggest overdoing your grounds, it's too easy not to.

side note, i currently have starting issues on a 4yr+ old optima yellow top and junkyard (70 amp?) bosch alt. but i think it's a combo of those two things. fixing to change things around, denso alt(might rebuild it, if it doesn't work just go with a gm alt), and 1-2 sealed motorcycle batteries behind the drivers seat in the floorboard
(This post was last modified: 11-08-2011 01:51 PM by olov.)
11-08-2011 01:50 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Battery Relocation
Battery relocation cable kits will be available TODAY! The cable is FINALLY here.

Pricing to be posted today in the Mechman vendors section.

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11-15-2011 11:49 AM
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Cameron Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
(11-15-2011 11:49 AM)badvlvo Wrote:  Battery relocation cable kits will be available TODAY! The cable is FINALLY here.

Pricing to be posted today in the Mechman vendors section.

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11-15-2011 01:16 PM
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Mylesofsmyles Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Battery Relocation
Eric...

I went the spend no money route....so I'm only a Marine Battery Box away from complete, however, I'd still like to see pictures of what you've put together...if you have any yet.
11-15-2011 01:58 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Battery Relocation
(11-15-2011 01:58 PM)Mylesofsmyles Wrote:  Eric...

I went the spend no money route....so I'm only a Marine Battery Box away from complete, however, I'd still like to see pictures of what you've put together...if you have any yet.

The whole kit pictures will be up as soon as we have all of the product in stock. The lightweight 2ga cable will be up today when I get to work.

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11-17-2011 05:23 AM
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Turborg Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Battery Relocation
When I put my Optima battery in the trunk, I used a welders lead that a friend gave me, which I believe was 0 gauge. I went from the passenger butt cheek directly to the starter thru the car under the carpet and out the firewall. I have it positioned along the drivers side door sill in preparation for installing a switch there. It made a noticable difference in how the car felt.
(This post was last modified: 11-18-2011 02:09 AM by Turborg.)
11-18-2011 02:06 AM
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audiobiography Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
So, got my battery mounted in a box in the left passenger cheek, a nice thick custom made battery cable running under the carpet. Now, I have 1 question.

Before I pulled the battery and cables from the bay, there was a smaller gauge lead from the positive terminal to what I'm assuming is the stock power distribution box? Now, do I have to run a 15ft cable from the positive terminal in the trunk now?

My electrical knowledge is currently a bit limited, but I was theorizing that I should be able to splice a bit of cable onto the smaller gauge cable and run it straight to the nut on the starter.Or do I have to run a 15ft cable from the postive terminal in the trunk now?

1983 244ti - black on black, from front to back.
[Image: FejI1.png]
11-20-2011 06:15 PM
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Cameron Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
Yeah that works fine. Whether you ran it all the way from the pos terminal on the battery to the distibutuion block or just run the wire straight to the starter nut it is the same thing. Itis all connecting to constant power, just in a slightly different spot.
11-20-2011 06:36 PM
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audiobiography Offline
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RE: Battery Relocation
(11-20-2011 06:36 PM)Cameron Wrote:  Yeah that works fine. Whether you ran it all the way from the pos terminal on the battery to the distibutuion block or just run the wire straight to the starter nut it is the same thing. Itis all connecting to constant power, just in a slightly different spot.

alright, doing this now. Thanks!

1983 244ti - black on black, from front to back.
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11-20-2011 06:51 PM
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Mylesofsmyles Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Battery Relocation
Yeah, that'd be the cheap and easy way....

Otherwise, do what I did and get a splitter.....so you can split that 0 gauge wire into two smaller ones....one to starter and the other to the power distribution block
11-20-2011 08:58 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Battery Relocation
I have my lightweight 2ga cable ready to ship right now for anyone who wants to relocate their battery.

I have mine up front because it's only 15lbs, but will be moving it back very soon using this lightweight racing cable.

I know the meaning of life.
11-23-2011 10:41 AM
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dhallilama Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Battery Relocation
could go ghetto like me and use 2ga THHN stranded Big Grin

actually, don't. it's a pain in the ass as it's not terribly flexible like high strand count is... and it doesn't hold up as well long term with lots of vibration...
i just used it because i've got a couple hundred feet of the stuff here left over from a 3 phase job. the jacketing on the stuff i have is gas/solvent/chemical/heat resistant, fine with abrasion, etc.

how i did mine in my 142:

sealed lead/acid with a vent tube in the right rear butt cheek.
batt + 2ga wire runs inside the car, along the left sill, through a large grommet in the firewall directly to the starter solenoid.
batt - goes to a 7/16" stud that is welded to the sub rail next to the battery.

4ga from the starter solenoid to a small distribution block (stock one, feeds the fuse block, headlight relays, etc).
4ga from the alternator batt +
1/0 ground strap from starter bolt to front sub rail.
4ga ground from alternator to that same starter bolt.
4ga ground from the head to that same starter bolt. (i've had issues in the past with the head not grounding well to the block, leading to ignition headaches... there's an article in circle track mag dealing with it... just a habit for me now).

i'm also slowly moving all my "to body" grounds... too many issues with shit not actually grounding... but that's a different subject.
11-24-2011 03:57 AM
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Test Point Offline
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Post: #25
Battery Relocation
I have been doing a small block Ford engine/transmission swap into a '82 245 and documenting the process as it progresses. Here is the battery relocation section.

Chapter 13: Battery Relocation

Many mount the battery in the same position it was in the stock Volvo. The standard Group 65 Explorer battery that I bought has hold-down protrusions on different sides from the Volvo battery tray so it would probably be better to buy the Volvo sized battery if you are going to leave it in the original position. Mine was originally located on the left side in front of the wheel and with the addition of the Explorer Battery Junction Box there just was no room left for it in the engine compartment.

The other issue with the battery is the weight of the Ford vs. Volvo engine and the resulting weight distribution. The SBF engine with iron heads is reported to add about 100 pounds to the front end of the car compared to the Volvo gas 4 cylinders. The iron Diesel that I was replacing is probably not much lighter than the SBF but I chose to relocate the battery to the right rear wheel well anyway to free up the space in the engine compartment. I had a couple of old 2/0 welding wire jumper cables hanging on the wall that I took to the local NAPA dealer. They spliced the two 10 foot cables into one 20 foot long one with a low temperature soldered sleeve. Three layers of shrink wrap, hopefully, insulated the sleeve connector. The relocation took 18 feet of that cable so the extra couple feet to start with might be wise.

I used some 5/4” OSB to develop a pattern for the battery tray mounting support. It took a few cuts to get it to properly fit then I made the permanent support out of a piece of TREX plastic decking. I secured the TREX from the wheel well side with large Philips screws and a shot of spray undercoating. The tray needs to sit low and level enough to allow plenty of clearance above the battery and to permit the insertion of the battery. The Group 65 battery will fit into the well but must be inserted end first and then turned. Being sealed, turning it was no problem but the next time I buy a battery I will probably look for a slightly smaller case.

The battery is secured via ‘J’ hooks from the tray to the top of the battery and a cross-battery hold down. Be sure to leave a half inch of space between the inside of the tray and the well side to permit the installation of the ‘J’ hook. The battery ends up a little to the rear of the well with the fuse holder mounted in front of it. Just by eyeball measurement the battery ends up about as far behind the rear axel as it was in front of the front axel in its original position. That would leverage the 40 pound transfer into something like an 80 pound weight shift between axles.

[Image: 181Batterysupport.jpg]

Wood pattern for battery tray support

[Image: 182BatteryRearmountedtray.jpg]

Battery Tray and TREX support

Several swappers have chosen to add a manual disconnect at the relocated battery but I thought a 250A fuse was a much more practical device to have with a remote battery. The covered fuse holder is mounted in the well with the battery. The power cable is run from the battery’s new location along the right side under the carpet and connected to an engine compartment fuse block. That fuse block is jumpered with a piece of 3/4" rigid copper pipe hammered flat and drilled and shaped to fit the fuse block. The thought being that it might be reasonable to have a power point under the hood plus a way to jump start the car under the hood in case of battery failure. This scheme is not an original thought as most OEM systems using a rear mounted battery have such an arrangement. The starter is connected to the fuse block and the rest of the car is then fed from the existing Explorer wiring harness. There has been some discussion of issues with voltage spikes affecting added electronics associated with the starter when the battery is relocated to the rear. Since I intend to remain original I will think about that tomorrow.

Because the 2/0 welding cable is very stiff it needed a half dozen insulated cable hold-downs between the battery and the engine compartment to form it neatly under the carpet.

Better to do it right the first time I added a 4 gauge stranded ground cable from the battery ground point to the firewall. That made the routing of the cables under the carpet a little more difficult but everything fit. Rather than drill another hole in the firewall I replaced one of the bolts securing the climate control panel with a longer bolt that secured the ground cable on the inside and permitted another cable connection and nut to be added within the engine compartment and connected to the engine block. There is also a very conveniently located large bolt securing the bumper to the unibody located in the well for a frame ground connection.

[Image: 184BatteryBfuseinstoragewell.jpg]

Relocated Battery 250A Fuse. The fuse block is NAPA part number 782-1143 and the fuse (250A) is NAPA part number 782-1142

[Image: 185BatteryRearmountedground.jpg]

Rear Ground Connection

[Image: BatteryUnderhoodConnectionPoint.jpg]

Under Hood Power Connection to the Starter

[Image: 187BatteryRearmountedcomplete.jpg]

Completed battery relocation

[Image: 188BatteryRelocationFinished2.jpg]

Completed battery relocation
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2012 11:03 PM by Test Point.)
02-16-2012 08:57 PM
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