battery in the trunk? purpose? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Mark
 
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battery in the trunk? purpose?

I guess it's a weight issue? But, I'm hoping to wire my 68 project myself. Does putting the battery in the trunk screw-up the plans as far as following a schematic goes?

Also, it seems it would be best to paint a car before wiring. But, the car is just sitting now and I want to get some work done. how much more difficult is it have to paint around the installed wiring? thanks


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 09:47 AM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Battery in the trunk, over the passenger side wheel, serves two purposes. It reduces the weight in the front end by the weight of the battery (30 lbs??), and it puts more weight on the wheel most likely to want to lift during hard acceleration.

Now, it adds to cost a bit, because you have to run a lot longer positive cable to the starter lug, and you generally upsize the diameter of the cable (to 2 or 0 Gage) to account for reistance losses in the longer wire. You also likely have to drill a hole in the trunk somewhere to run the cable, although I have seen them run through the passenger side opening where the body drained when dipped on the assembly line (the ovalish plug/plate on the trunk floor). The cable can also be run inside the car, through the gutter on the passenger side floor. There are a bunch of ways to route the wire, and I have never done it for a street car, so I am sure someone could give better advice on the cleanest, safest routing.

You also need a sealed box vented to the outside to mount it in. Modern batteries don't offgas as much as the older ones, but you still don't want the battery just laying in the trunk.

Me, I think it is a lot of work for a street car, and prefer to keep the battery up front.

As far as the wiring before paint goes, it kind of depends on how you are doing the project. If the interior is not being painted body color, and could be done at home, then paint it at home, then wire. Same way with the underhood; if you're just painting inner fenders black at home, do it and then wire.

Alternatively, if everything is going to be body color and/or painted at the shop, I'd wait to wire. I can't remember what your plans are for the car, I just remember you considering a bunch of different things (do you remember the plan for this week? )

Eric
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 01:20 PM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Eric summed it up nicely. On a street car it's mostly an appearance issue and frees up some underhood space. If you decide to do it, you'll want to figure in the cost of substantially sized wire for the power and ground feed to the starter. Don't be tempted to use the body frame for a ground as most people do. It's a formula for starting issues and can lead to a fire when cranking the engine. Remote voltage sensing for the alternator is also a good idea to a compensate the voltage drop in the long wires. Personally it's more trouble and expense than it's worth for a street rod IMHO, but many poeple do it.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 01:31 PM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemark View Post
Does putting the battery in the trunk screw-up the plans as far as following a schematic goes?
Not really...stock the main power comes battery around the core support to the horn relay then to everything else. My battery is in the trunk so I run a wire up to the horn relay to support the stock wiring...but...you know...battery in the trunk just isn't that great as far as efficiency. There's a long charging wire, a long main power wire so it's just not as efficient as stock. Mine works pretty well but battery in the front would make things work better.

I need every bit of weight transfer to consistently hook at the track so the battery is in the trunk...but I would rather have it up front for electrical efficiency.

FWIW, here is how I wired mine:

http://www.stratagaz.com/Powerdistribution.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by dnult View Post
Don't be tempted to use the body frame for a ground as most people do.
Excellent point!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 02:25 PM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

If you do relocate the battery to the trunk I assume you are not stuck on it looking stock so I would use the charging and under hood layout suggested on MADelectrical.com. This system has the long battery cable live only when starting the car using a remote solenoid. The battery will have a long charging wire but this can be a good thing if properly sized. The power for the main dash wire and any other accessories comes from a power junction usually on the firewall that also has the voltage sensing wire from the alternator attached to it.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 02:47 PM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Another subject that gets beat pretty hard every once in a while...

Yes, for weight transfer and to clear out some underhood real estate. Those running prochargers, particularly with an intercooler, need the space for other things.

Use big wire. Straight to the starter. Pick up the rest of the electrical system from there. I personally don't worry to much about voltage drops and charging system. As long as your wire is big it will all work. The alternator will hold 14 volts at the horn relay, which is where you want it. The battery will get what it gets. Again, use big wire.

If you need to have an NHRA legal shutoff, the wiring is more complicated. With the simple hookup, the alternator will keep the system alive, and the shutoff switch won't kill the engine.

I do not (and have not, withn several experiances) have a problem using the body for a ground. It's WAY bigger than any cable you could buy. Remember on a firstgen, the sub is rubber mounted. Unless you personally welded it on, run your ground to the BODY. Again, big wire, both engine to bosy and battery to body.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Kammerer View Post
Battery in the trunk, over the passenger side wheel, serves two purposes. It reduces the weight in the front end by the weight of the battery (30 lbs??), and it puts more weight on the wheel most likely to want to lift during hard acceleration.

Now, it adds to cost a bit, because you have to run a lot longer positive cable to the starter lug, and you generally upsize the diameter of the cable (to 2 or 0 Gage) to account for reistance losses in the longer wire. You also likely have to drill a hole in the trunk somewhere to run the cable, although I have seen them run through the passenger side opening where the body drained when dipped on the assembly line (the ovalish plug/plate on the trunk floor). The cable can also be run inside the car, through the gutter on the passenger side floor. There are a bunch of ways to route the wire, and I have never done it for a street car, so I am sure someone could give better advice on the cleanest, safest routing.

You also need a sealed box vented to the outside to mount it in. Modern batteries don't offgas as much as the older ones, but you still don't want the battery just laying in the trunk.

Me, I think it is a lot of work for a street car, and prefer to keep the battery up front.

As far as the wiring before paint goes, it kind of depends on how you are doing the project. If the interior is not being painted body color, and could be done at home, then paint it at home, then wire. Same way with the underhood; if you're just painting inner fenders black at home, do it and then wire.

Alternatively, if everything is going to be body color and/or painted at the shop, I'd wait to wire. I can't remember what your plans are for the car, I just remember you considering a bunch of different things (do you remember the plan for this week? )
lol, I think I actually have a plan! I talked to the guy doing my body and paint. told him my plan to do some stuff at my home. He said he would let me use his compressor and other manly stuff. He's in the process of moving shops and making room.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 09, 05:38 PM
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Re: battery in the trunk? purpose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemark View Post
He said he would let me use his compressor and other manly stuff.
Sweet!

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