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Jeep Battery Mounting - Randy's Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on March 1, 2009
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On a recent trail run in the north I almost coulda died or even worse. I was riding in a Jeep that all of a sudden the engine stopped, the voltage gauge dropped to zero, and it wouldn't crank. Me being me, I figure to go and look at the battery. I certainly didn't expect to see anything like this. I reached in, lickety-split, and pulled that sucker out of there, making sure to not touch the Jeep, and to not have my hands where battery acid might come pouring out.

Hey all, it's me Randy. What happened here could happen to you too. The girl driving this Jeep got lucky. There was no fire, there was no sparks (that I saw), and because of my speedy cat-like reflexes, nothing went boom. The positive terminal of this battery ended up touching the metal battery tray directly while the negative terminal was resting on the fender, creating a short through the Jeep. There was maybe 15 seconds between the Jeep dying and my pulling the battery off its lid. And, it still had enough juice to start the Jeep. If it was left there longer, things could have been much worse.

What happened is that a bunch of things, which in a perfect world would be OK, went bad while riding around a marsh down a bumpy road in a Jeep. The old battery tray finally gave up the ghost, and the cheesy excuse for a stock battery "hold down" didn't.

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about strands of wire this month, or how to solder, I want to give you some pointers on safe battery-ing and how not to end up with your battery doing a half back flip under your hood.

Now, because of a couple things almost no one ever pays attention to, this Jeep needs a new battery and a lot of new wire (the positive and negative terminals, the ground to the engine, and likely most, if not all of the major grounds). And that's not to mention a new battery tray and a real battery hold down. Don't let this happen to you- go check your Jeep right now and fix it so this or something worse doesn't happen to you. Make sure your battery is snug as a bug in its tray and that the tray is in good shape.

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