Custom Battery Install
Performance and show quality looks in one convenient package!
One area that is often overlooked when building a custom car is the battery. Not that there is anything wrong with a stock style battery – they typically work fine and the stock mounting location is plenty convenient. It’s just that today’s performance batteries have much more to offer, such as dry cell construction which eliminates the acid hassles and corrosion found in the standard lead-acid batteries you buy at the local auto parts store. They also provide more power for their size, allowing custom installations, sometimes in any position. Many of these high-end batteries also have custom mounts readily available for them, meaning a beautiful custom-looking install can be quick and easy.
For this article we chose one of Odyssey’s Extreme Series batteries, the PC925MJT, from West Coast Batteries in Corona, California. The Odyssey battery uses Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology to offer, in one box, the characteristics of two batteries. It can deep cycle as well as provide enormous cranking power. They are constructed with flat plates made of 99.99% pure virgin lead — not lead alloy. Pure lead plates can be made thinner, so more can be placed inside the battery. More plates mean more surface area, and that means more power — twice as much as conventional batteries, according to the manufacturer. In fact, our battery, which measures only 6-5/8 inches wide, 7 inches deep and 5-7/8 inches tall (fits nicely under the rear seat), is rated at 330 cold cranking amps (cca - which is measured at 0° after 30 seconds of cranking) — but produces a whopping 925 cranking amps for the first 5 seconds, 870 for 10 seconds, and 765 amps for 20 seconds! For most air-cooled VWs and VW-powered buggies this is plenty of starting power, although some running large high-compression engines may want to step up to the larger PC1200 model with even more amps.
Along with the Odyssey battery we also received a matching Odyssey Battery Hold Down kit made from beautiful brushed aluminum plate, this bracket kit comes with everything needed to securely install the battery, with the exception of mount base plate mounting bolts. For this we found four 5-/16x1-inch button head bolts, along with stainless steel washers and nuts. The finished installation is not only solid as a rock — it looks fantastic!
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FRESNO FRIENDSIf custom VWs are your thing, then you'll want to check out the March issue of Hot VWs featuring Bruce Bewarder's wild VolksRod from Fresno, California. A long-term project, it was finally finished with a lot of help from his friends, and besides massive amounts of bodywork, features A-arm front suspension, tan leatherette interior, and a sizzling 2110cc engine.