For this article we used the Odyssy PC925MJT battey with matching Odyssey battery Hold-Down Kit, which came with everything but the base bolts.
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.
If installing on an original pan, the factory battery bracket must be removed.
Finding the location for the new battery, we centered ours side-to-side and kept it within 8 inches of the rear lip to provide clearance for the heater cables and kick panels.
Once the perfect location is determined, drill the first mounting hole.
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.
We used these 5/16x1-inch button head bolts with stainless fender washers below and stainless washers and nuts above. Tighten the first bolt to hold the base in place before drilling the other three.
The base is in palce, but don’t tighten the bolts just yet.
The Odyssey side brackets are then set onto the battery. Our model has their “metal jacket” so the supplied pads were not used.
Next the top plate is set in place, and the four nuts (with nylon washers) tightened.
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!
The side plates are then tightened to the base and ....
.... the four base bolts snugged down.
You can see how the four stainess fender washers fit around the original battery tray.
The finished installation looks great, and will really stand out after this pan is powdercoated black.
One example of a performance battery mounted in a Bug. This is an Optima Red Top (34) utilizing the stock mounts — the positive terminal in this tall battery must be covered to prevent contacting the seat springs and causing a short.
Another example of a performance batteries mounted in a Bug. This custom installation uses a billet mount from Jegs — note the use of a battery cut-off switch on the kick panel (easy reach of the driver) to kill all power to the car.
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