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How To: Battery Relocation *w/pics*

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:34 pm
by OB
I've been looking for a decent write-up on this for the last few months, but unfortunatly not too many people have done this, and the few who have didn't share their procedures. After a few hours of brainstorming ideas for the project, I decided i'd go ahead and give it a shot. This isnt something that should be taken lightly, seeing as how important the battery is to the cars operation. Some electrical knowledge and experience is highly recommended.

On another note, I would only recommend this modification to those interested in fine tuning their car's handling and balance, without regard to comfort and luxury. The vehicle's driveability isn't sacrificed; if anything it is improved. However, some interior/trunk space is lost. In my case, I decided to use the spare tire well, since it is the lowest point in the rear of the vehicle. How you mount it is up to you, but for maximum effect, the lower the weight is to the ground, and the closer the weight is to being over the rear wheels, the better the result.

Materials

20-25' - 4ga Power Battery Cable (Red)
4-6' - 4ga Ground Battery Cable (Black)
(1) - 4ga heavy duty butt connector
(2) - Battery terminals w/ 4ga wire inputs
(2) - 4ga heavy duty ring terminals
(10+) - Zip ties
1' - 4ga heat shrink tubing
1" Bolts, nuts, lock washers, washers.
Battery tie down + threaded rods (or J-bolts)
Battery tray
Crimping and cutting tools
Basic hand tools
Drill and assortment of bits
Razor blade

Optional Materials

Battery box
Battery kill switch

NOTE: Text that states 'Optional' refers to steps that are not required to do the project; they are specific to my procedure. A 'Recommended' note is a step that makes things easier during the process, but is fully optional.

STEP 1: PREP

Remove dash-top by removing two side screws and two top screws in vent. Set aside in a safe place.

Remove fuse panel door. (optional)

Remove drivers side kick panel (optional)

Remove door sills and fasteners from drivers side carpet, front and rear.

Remove rear carpet and sound material (if applicable).

Remove T-47 TORX bolt from drivers seatbelt on lower B-pillar. Pry pillar away from door and peel carpet back enough to access the wiring underneath.

Remove hood (recommended) via four (4) bolts and set aside in a safe place.

Remove windshield wipers and cowl (optional) using 13mm socket and torx bit. Set aside.

Disconnect and remove wiper assembly/motor via three (3) bolts and set aside.

Remove front strut tower brace, if applicable.

STEP 2: POWER WIRE ROUTING

Instead of attempting to route the power wire through the firewall, I chose to go through the cowl instead. This is much easier to access and allows the cable to be hidden easily.

I removed a push-pin from the wiper motor harness-to-cowl and drilled out the preexisting hole to accomodate my power wire with a good amount of breathing room. >>

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Remove the rubber gromet directly in front of the VIN plate. Cut a ''t' slit in it and press the power wire through it. >>

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I routed the cable near the VIN plate under the dash-top, around the drivers side dash tweeter, then into the fuse panel area and finally under the carpet behind the kick panel, near the clutch pedal. The wire cannot be seen in the front of the interior. >>

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Route the wire into the vehicle from the rear, under the carpet and up through the dash (see above). Once it is out of the dash and into the cowl, reinstall the wiper assembly and use a zip tie to secure the cable away from the moving arms. >>

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Once the cable is in the engine bay, pull the slack out of it and into the trunk area. Use zip ties wherever the wire may need support and tighten it down. Proceed to reinstall the interior (may be done later if you want).

STEP 3: ELECTRICAL

Remove battery and battery tray.

Cut ground side terminal out.

Connect existing ground cables using butt connector and crimp. Heat shrink over connection.

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NOTE: Starter ground is now integral with stock battery ground cable (starter now has a dedicated ground). Ground location (on fender near underhood fuse box) can be retained, but it is ideal to remove paint under ground screw for optimal connection and performance.


Crimp ring connector to new power cable, and use the existing bolt location on the stock 'T' power terminal to secure using a bolt and nut. Heat shrink new connection Starter and power dist (fuse box) are now powered. >>

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Use zip ties to secure all new wiring. Insulating power 'T' is optional but not necessary if properly secured. Be sure to keep the power and ground wires and non insulated surfaces firmly apart.

Underhood wiring is complete. >>

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STEP 4: BATTERY MOUNTING AND CONNECTIONS

Move to the trunk and mount battery tray as flush as possible. Drill holes into trunk sheetmetal and use bolts, nuts, lock washers, and washers to secure battery tray to trunk floor.

Insert battery into tray and use tie down and hardware to secure to tray.

Cut power cable to desired length and crimp battery terminal. Heat shrink connection.

Find a good, unpainted ground for battery. I used the top right strut tower bolt and removed the paint under it. Cut ground cable to length and crimp ring terminal to end of ground wire and heat shrink. Secure to strut tower using existing nut.

Crimp battery terminal to battery side of ground cable and heat shrink connection.

Secure both cables using zip ties. I used my rear strut tower brace for several mounting points to ensure maximum stability.

Connect battery terminals to battery and recheck all connections. Vehicle is now ready to start and test.

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I suggest using a voltmeter to check charging voltage across battery terminals and compare to specs. Check underhood voltage as well, and compare to battery voltage to verify minimal voltage drop.

That's it, go enjoy your new mod!

[/i]

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:46 am
by Hudson_Neon
nice write up, but are you just gonna leave that live + terminal just floating around your engine bay?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:28 pm
by OB
Its far from floating. I have it fully secured with zip ties. I can pull on it all I want and it only has about 1/4" of breathing room. Ill probably do something to insulate it better in the next few weeks, but its just fine the way it is if I decide not to. ;)

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:38 pm
by Hudson_Neon
that's kinda what i ment by floating. that anything metal could touch it and bad stuff can happen then

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:43 pm
by Wenuden
did you take out the interior just for this install, or is that how you ride down the road?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:06 pm
by OB
Ive had the rear stripped bare bones for almost a year now. Daily driven ;)

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:05 am
by MyNeonSaysHi
Nice write up OB!!!

Image

Looks kind of funny, seeing a battery sitting smack where the spare is. :lol:

Oh yeah, I have a Clive backpack too! I think they went out of business. They had a pretty cool team.

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:46 pm
by OB
Thanks brohan! Yeah I got that pack like 7 years ago, around the time I started high school I think. Boy am I getting old!

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:44 am
by GunmetalNeon
Mine is on the left, because the area where my spare was is occupied...

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Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:48 am
by BlackRoseRacing
I highly recomend these tips when relocating to the trunk:
1 - GET RID OF THE ACID TYPE BATTERY!!!!!!!
Replace it with a gell cell of some type like an optima. The acid filled batteries while charging produce toxic and acidic fumes wich are harmfull to inhale, highly explosive, and highly corrosive to metal in the surrounding area!

2 - Take a multimeter and check for resistance on the negative battery terminal to chassis ground. You want as little resistance as possible! My ground strap from my optima in my trunk has at the most 0.001ohms of resistance.
But I highly recomend note number 1 before anything!

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:48 am
by occasional demons
GunmetalNeon wrote:Mine is on the left, because the area where my spare was is occupied...

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:shock: Hope you never get rear ended!
AGM batteries FTW! No need for a hydrogen bomb in the trunk!

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:18 am
by OB
BlackRoseRacing wrote:I highly recomend these tips when relocating to the trunk:
1 - GET RID OF THE ACID TYPE BATTERY!!!!!!!
Replace it with a gell cell of some type like an optima. The acid filled batteries while charging produce toxic and acidic fumes wich are harmfull to inhale, highly explosive, and highly corrosive to metal in the surrounding area!

2 - Take a multimeter and check for resistance on the negative battery terminal to chassis ground. You want as little resistance as possible! My ground strap from my optima in my trunk has at the most 0.001ohms of resistance.
But I highly recomend note number 1 before anything!
I plan on upgrading to a odyssey or a braille battery soon, but its not in the financial cards right this minute. Anyone who cant deal with a little battery gas is a weenie. :)

I checked charging voltage both at the battery and at the underhood power terminal, and found less than .01V difference. I havent tested for resistance yet, I planned on doing some more testes but havent had the time. At this point if it starts and runs well im happy. Ill be sure to post my findings.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:48 am
by BlackRoseRacing
I planned on doing some more testes but havent had the time
:roll: :lol:

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 pm
by OB
:rofl:

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:06 am
by keeders08
I'm new to 2gn.org but i figured i'd add my 2 cents to Gunmetelneon's battle placement. makes no sense on the left being that the weight ends up all being on the left side when the driver seats himself in the car. Right side rear seems to be the best area, but then again how much a diff. could a few lbs. do, right?

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:14 am
by OB
Well, technically the weight of the engine offsets that of the driver. The transaxle probably weighs just enough to make the left-right balance very close with a driver in the vehicle. The best theory to use when relocating weight in the vehicle is that of gravity. The lower the weight, the less transfer and roll effect on the wheels. This increases grip by a ton when done properly. My location for the battery is the lowest position and in my opinion the best place for added weight, considering the nose-heavy orientation of the car. With the previous weight reduction, the rear lost a lot of its influence during cornering, causing the front tires to deal with more load under braking and cornering. Moving 25-30 lbs out of the front and into the rear both unloads the front a bit, while adding some weight to the rear suspension to help comensate for the weight loss. In reality, there is 50 lbs being added to the rear under load, since the 25 from the front isnt a part of the equation anymore; the rear is taking both the 25 lbs from the lost weight in the front, and gaining an additional 25 when the battery is relocated to the trunk. Removing weight from one side 'adds' weight to the other, in a way, by changing the distribution, even without replacing the weight elsewhere.

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:22 am
by keeders08
OB wrote:Well, technically the weight of the engine offsets that of the driver. The transaxle probably weighs just enough to make the left-right balance very close with a driver in the vehicle. The best theory to use when relocating weight in the vehicle is that of gravity. The lower the weight, the less transfer and roll effect on the wheels. This increases grip by a ton when done properly. My location for the battery is the lowest position and in my opinion the best place for added weight, considering the nose-heavy orientation of the car. With the previous weight reduction, the rear lost a lot of its influence during cornering, causing the front tires to deal with more load under braking and cornering. Moving 25-30 lbs out of the front and into the rear both unloads the front a bit, while adding some weight to the rear suspension to help comensate for the weight loss. In reality, there is 50 lbs being added to the rear under load, since the 25 from the front isnt a part of the equation anymore; the rear is taking both the 25 lbs from the lost weight in the front, and gaining an additional 25 when the battery is relocated to the trunk. Removing weight from one side 'adds' weight to the other, in a way, by changing the distribution, even without replacing the weight elsewhere.
Well, I agree with you for the most part. I read in a little book my friend ran across, Neon Performance, that relocating the battery to the right rear is best. Although they did add that theres a few things you can do to balance the weight. Maybe one of us should just put one on a 4 point scale? lol I'm sure the weight distribution has been conquered by someone though.

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:56 pm
by jrumann59
isn't 4 gauge a little small for that long of a distance from the charging source and starter. I have always heard 2 gauge or smaller for battery relocation to the trunk since you will be running serious amps through it to start.

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:24 pm
by occasional demons
Eh, Neons aren't that long and it's not like cranking a big block. Besides have you noticed how puny the factory wire is to the starter? 12' of 4 ga. is still an improvement. My 4ga. jumper cables (20 feet) will crank over a semi tractor with the enginge off (the proper way to boost a vehicle) and that's with one Optima. The semi had three monster batteries that were totally dead, so IMHO 4 ga is good. :thumbup:

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:10 am
by BlackRoseRacing
http://www.rbeelectronics.com/wtable.htm

According to the above link, he is correct to a point....
12volt 200amp 1200watts @ 20feet in length should be at least 4gauge wire

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:22 am
by occasional demons
Thanks for the link! Yeah, that guy almost crapped himself when it started on the first try, it cranked a little slow but started nonetheless. Never hurts to try!

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:03 am
by GunmetalNeon
Yeah I don't think it is really that big of a deal that it is on the left side compared to the right, my car is made to go straight not turn, and the car sits pretty even to me anyways. And it was an easier spot to run the wire to. It's all good. Plus there isn't a big area to fit a battery on the right side without it sticking out all retarded.

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:27 pm
by Swordfish2Cowboy
keeders08 wrote:
OB wrote:Well, technically the weight of the engine offsets that of the driver. The transaxle probably weighs just enough to make the left-right balance very close with a driver in the vehicle. The best theory to use when relocating weight in the vehicle is that of gravity. The lower the weight, the less transfer and roll effect on the wheels. This increases grip by a ton when done properly. My location for the battery is the lowest position and in my opinion the best place for added weight, considering the nose-heavy orientation of the car. With the previous weight reduction, the rear lost a lot of its influence during cornering, causing the front tires to deal with more load under braking and cornering. Moving 25-30 lbs out of the front and into the rear both unloads the front a bit, while adding some weight to the rear suspension to help comensate for the weight loss. In reality, there is 50 lbs being added to the rear under load, since the 25 from the front isnt a part of the equation anymore; the rear is taking both the 25 lbs from the lost weight in the front, and gaining an additional 25 when the battery is relocated to the trunk. Removing weight from one side 'adds' weight to the other, in a way, by changing the distribution, even without replacing the weight elsewhere.
Well, I agree with you for the most part. I read in a little book my friend ran across, Neon Performance, that relocating the battery to the right rear is best. Although they did add that theres a few things you can do to balance the weight. Maybe one of us should just put one on a 4 point scale? lol I'm sure the weight distribution has been conquered by someone though.
Actually they put it behind the passenger seat.

Anywho, I really need to relocate my battery and free up some space in my engine bay so it looks like I can fit more stuff in there.

Speaking of weight distribution, will coilovers work with an Eibach Prokit, or are those two completely incompatible and I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:55 pm
by NickKo
Great write-up. :thumbup:



Speaking of 'acid-type' batteries, you can use them in this type of application ..... BUT.... they SHOULD be 'vented' to the outside of the car.

Never mind the 'explosive' hazard, I wouldn't want the CORROSIVE battery gases to build up inside the car.
Not good for electrical connectors, sheetmetal, mounting bolts, or any hardware.

I've seen some battery cases + venting kits online, that are reasonably priced.

The question is, where to route the 'vent' to allow gases to escape.
So, that might require some more 're-engineering' and modification..... such as where to locate a vent, or drill a hole for the vent tubing, etc. :-|

-Nick

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:00 am
by gilly02le
The trunk has 4"x6" vents on either side that are pretty much constantly open to outside, so fumes are a non-issue.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 8:29 am
by cbjones26
this might be a dumb question ! but why would anyone put there battery in the trunk isn't that taking weight away from the front where u want it?correct me if I am wrong but putting weight in the back end of a front wheel drive takes away traction in the front doesn't it?

Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 11:35 pm
by OB
cbjones26 wrote:this might be a dumb question ! but why would anyone put there battery in the trunk isn't that taking weight away from the front where u want it?correct me if I am wrong but putting weight in the back end of a front wheel drive takes away traction in the front doesn't it?
What would I need traction for, I dont have any power! Balance is the reason for weight distribution. Straight line traction is the last thing i'm concerned with. And even in a car in need of traction, the weight of the battery isnt nearly enough to make a difference. It would take several-hundred lbs to combat squat in a FF car like the Neon.

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:46 am
by Adionik
I am going to do this to the SRT, deffinetely picking up some gauge wire at the flea market this weekend. Will probably upgrade the grounds while i'm at it...

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:42 am
by contagious18
its a clean setup, i seen dereks car in person and when u look under da hood and u dont see da battery it just looks so clean

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:27 pm
by bone-yard-racing
Thoughts on battery placement:
What do you want the car to do? If you want to have fun(oversteer) put it in the RR corner of the trunk with an optima or other stock size battery. If you want the boring fun-less laping session to be over quicker(ballanced car) the battery should be as light as possiable mounted towards the front of the trunk on the left, the trans is only 50lbs or so not eneough to offset even the skinniest midgets or Mary-Kate Olsen. Running a very light(sub 15lbs) battery as I do in Harold is a good alternative if you have bad luck crimping the large cable connections.