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Discussion Starter #1
So after talking about it for over a year I've finally bit the bullet and replaced my battery. My initial idea was to go with an Optima battery, however due to questions regarding their quality I abandoned that idea. I shopped around and eventually ended up at Mills Fleet Farm (The Man's Mall!) in their automotive dept. Fast forward much hemming and hawing, paging through battery size charts, and talking with one of their automotive guys. I didn't want just a straight replacement as I eventually want to hook up a heavy duty inverter to be able to run power tools out at the farm in WI.

So to make a long story short (too late!), I ended up with a Road Runner AGM ACE fiberglass mat gel battery. Completely sealed, maintenance free, 3 year free replacement and *7* year pro-rated replacement. Here she is in all her back-lit glory:





Holy crap look at the specs on that bad boy!





After getting it home I figured I should give it a top-off just for the principle, so I hooked up the trickle charger for a few days. This also gave me time to let the weather warm up from -5 to a balmy 20 degrees!





Fast forward hauling tools, 1000 watts of lights, and other associated crap outside and I get a work site kinda like this (yes it's outside covered in snow):





Open up the hood and you'll see something like this (though probably cleaner):





On the top of the back J-bolt, there's a plastic nut that holds the positive cable in place. Unscrew this nut with a 10mm socket wrench to free the cable (and J-bolt):



Closeup:




Using a 10mm box/open wrench, remove the nuts from the J-bolts and remove the battery holder. Be sure to drop the J-bolts down into the radiator area a few times and swear loudly for effect. Bonus points for having to go in to get an extendable magnetic parts retriever and for dropping them in the snow:





(CONTINUED...)



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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Once the battery hold-down is removed, unbolt the cables from the battery terminals and pull off the top of the heat shield that covers the battery:





There's your tiny old battery sitting down in there. Time to pull him out now!



Geez he's tiny!





This leaves the bottom of the heat shield/tray sitting in the bottom:





At this point, if your replacement battery is stock size, simply reverse your steps and you're done. However, I live by the motto, "Anything worth doing at all is worth doing to ridiculous excess". So removing the bottom of the heat shield (it's just sitting in there at this point) leaves us with this:



LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES: Before putting the new battery in, grab a heavy pliers/vise grips/channel locks/linesman pliers and bend the tabs that the J-bolts hook into outward a ways. YOU WILL BE SORRY IF YOU DON'T!




Cue the new champ's entrance:





In order to get this bad boy in, I have to unhook the positive cable from its keeper aside the fusebox:





Just slip a screwdriver in and it should slide right off (with a lot of grunting and swearing and struggling):





(CONTINUED...)



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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I had an aftermarket universal battery tray but as luck would have it, the new battery fit between the J-bolt hooks:



Holy tight fit, batman!





And here we're presented with our first problem. Since they don't make this in a reverse-terminal configuration, I decided to install it backwards and just make do with cable pigtails. However notice the clearance to the positive terminal (or rather lack thereof). The cable keeper running up inside the lip of the top crossbar has a clip that's almost touching the positive terminal. Unhook this clip, the cable will be fine with out it. (The small dusty red clip in this pic)





I'm pretty sure I can make this fit, but I'll need to get down inside to tighten the terminal bolts. So more parts come off:





The discarded parts pile is growing! A few more hours of this and I'll have no car and a big pile of parts!





Since the old battery hold-down won't fit the new battery (by a long shot), I picked up a new one for about $4:





Making sure everything fits and lines up:





(CONTINUED...)



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Discussion Starter #4
Now connect the battery cable to the positive terminal. Since I removed the keeper on the fusebox, the cable readily reaches over to the new positive terminal location. You may have to bend to creative positions, hire tiny elves, and perform satanic rituals to get your hand in the correct position. I would also highly recommend not doing this outside, at night, in the cold, and in the snow. Bonus points again for dropping the socket wrench repeatedly:



Closeup angle on the position necessary for socket wrench:





Since I want the positive terminal covered, but now can't shut the cover, I simply broke it at the hinge and stuffed it back up through from the front. Sits on quite securely when done (double bonus points for dropping this one!):





The negative cable/terminal is another problem entirely. It's quite short and won't nearly reach the terminal, even with undoing cable keepers. So I grabbed a cable pigtail for about $5:





Remove the bolt from the negative clamp completely, pry the ends apart, and slip in the flat part on the new cable, lining up the holes. Replace the bolt and tighten down, locking the parts together (sorry fuzzy pic, was getting really cold):





Now there's TONS of reach on the cable, so connect the other end of the pigtail to the negative terminal:





And here she is all hooked up:





(CONTINUED...)



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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Now attach the J-bolts and the battery hold-down. Since the new battery is significantly larger than the old one, buy a new set of long J-bolts.

This step is deceptively difficult. Remember earlier when I said to bend the J-bolt holder hooks outward? Well if you didn't do that you'll end up like me, sitting there in your cold, dark, snowy driveway desperately attempting to find a way to pry them outward with basically zero clearance.

THIS SUCKS.

I have no pictures of this process, as I was too busy screaming and swearing at myself to remember the camera. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I dropped the J-bolts, screwdriver, needlenose pilers, open-end wrenches, and various other implements of destruction and prying that were used. However, after a long time of suffering and frustration, I finally hit upon a method that worked and got them pried out far enough to get the new J-bolt hooks in.

When you're done, it looks something like this:



Pretty tight fit down there!





Now that you've got it all connected up and installed and broken the #1 rule of IT work (never screw everything down til you know it works!), go turn the key and see if it works. If you've been careful and connected everything right, you'll be rewarded with your engine turning over and your beloved toaster starting up.

Of course now that it's all working, I'm required to do the requisite middle-of-the-night-standing-in-the-snow-screaming-and-laughing-maniacally-while-looking-crazedly-at-the-heavens "IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!"




So that's all there is to it. Only took me 3 hours when I thought it was going to take 45 minutes max, but hey at least I should never have to do it again with this vehicle (cue ominous orchestra hit...) :rolleyes:

Hope the pics and writeup help someone!



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NICE WRITE-UP!! :p:p:p:p

The pix will definitely help when "it's time" for mine. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together for us ;-):smile:

Hope the hands thawed out OK.... :cool:
 

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yep thanks

yeah i will save this thread, and do this myself once i notice my battery going bad, but until then, i don't want to spend the money and time.

also twi...how come you have not modified your intake? or at least taken out the resignator? you would have a lot more room in there if it was gone. also if you wanted to take it out now, you would definitely have to take the new battery out to get the resignator out.
i had to taker the stock battery out just to take out the resignator. but after that bought a couple 3" black pvc 45 degree bends from menards and now i have my intake where it was originally, but without the resignator.
i'll post some pics eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
also twi...how come you have not modified your intake? or at least taken out the resignator? you would have a lot more room in there if it was gone. also if you wanted to take it out now, you would definitely have to take the new battery out to get the resignator out.
Ummmmm........

....I'm lazy?

It's on my list of things to do, but just never got around to it. But I need to take the batt out again anyway to put a bit more of a seat under it. Upon closer inspection it's not resting incredibly well on the stock battery pan so I just want to shove a piece of outdoor plywood under it to get it a bit more support. If I remember at the time, I'll take the resonator off :D



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Nice job,but damn that positive terminal looks dangerously close to the radiator core support.:confused:It probably would look/be much safer,if you simply would of turned the battery around the other way.:)
 

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Should have called me man I LOVE dropping tools when it's fricking freezing outside. No, not really but, I can't make a post whithout saying something completely irrelevant.

Nice job Twi. I have one question. What size is it (the battery). I couldn't decode the part #.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
That just looks a bit close in that picture, especially if you need to give/receive a jump start.:)
Ahh, I'm glad you asked :D I'm planning in a bit to pick up another set of those battery pigtails, slightly longer, connect them up to the terminals also, remove the resonator box, and mount them with caps roughly where the resonator was (or in that area of the engine compartment). That way if I need to give/receive a jump, I can just clamp on there :D



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I applaud your mod! Nice work and braving the elements. Why are projects this time of year are so much more satisfying when complete? Twi, if you were here in Utah, I'd be happy to let you come work in my garage! (soon to have a woodstove) I really feel bad that you had to do that outside, in sub freezing temps! Maybe next winter mod..... during the day?:D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I applaud your mod! Nice work and braving the elements. Why are projects this time of year are so much more satisfying when complete? Twi, if you were here in Utah, I'd be happy to let you come work in my garage! (soon to have a woodstove) I really feel bad that you had to do that outside, in sub freezing temps! Maybe next winter mod..... during the day?:D
It was a whole 20 degrees, that's considered warm in these here parts :lol:

And as for during the day, I wish but I work til past dark and on the weekends I'm so busy running around doing stuff and fixing up stuff on the house that it isn't really a practical option. Oh to have a garage...:sad:



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Nice job,but damn that positive terminal looks dangerously close to the radiator core support.:confused:It probably would look/be much safer,if you simply would of turned the battery around the other way.:)
Thats not good, even a minor fender bender could result in the post contacting the support. Just think fire
 

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