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Why is the battery behind the seats?


DIY-Si
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Kind of as per the title really. Given that all virtually all the electrics are under the scuttle, the starter, headlights and fan (I guess three of the largest loads?) and alternator are at the front end, why do we fit the battery at the back?

 

I ask as part of my recent ponderings about where to fit the battery earth. There are a few extra, or at least potentially more accessible, places at the front to fit the battery earth, should said battery be somewhere under the nose. As there's a fair bit of spare space under the nose, and relatively little under the back due to my suspension set up, it seems like something worth looking at.

 

Your thoughts?

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That seems a reasonable option, Si. 

 

I found a picture of an original Lotus Eleven and the (mahoosive) battery was in the nearside rear corner of the car so I guess that the original idea would be a weight balance.  I recall the original cars weighed around 380kg so a big battery would be quite an influence on the weight distribution of the car.  With modern smaller, lightweight batteries, a move to the front would be a lesser upset and,as you have swapped a cast iron engine block for an alloy one, I would say that you have more of a choice to do this.

 

It may, of course, have been decided that putting the heavy lead / acid battery right at the back in 1956 would have a positive effect on traction?

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I hadn't considered the weight of the original battery, so I can certainly see how hanging that our over the tail would be seen as helpful.

 

But, as Simon has said, they were placed on the nearside away from the driver. I imagine that most journeys in XI's are solo, so the offside seems a strange place to put it when the nearside would be better most of the time.

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In my old Marlin Roadster the braking was noticeable better (no rear wheels locking up) with a passenger to act as ballast. I doubt a battery would help much on the offside cf the mass of an adult.

 

I don't know about your Climax fitted car, but with an A-Series there is bags of room in front of the crank pulley for a battery.

 

Apart from having to make up a new tray, what could the cons of this position be - getting squashed in a frontal impact?

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I agree that a 7-10kg battery isn't much compared to the weight of an adult, especially someone like me at 95kgs+. But Simon's point of the older generations of batteries being massive chunks of lead is maybe a better reason, when the weight would've mattered more.

 

Should I go with moving the battery to the front, I'm currently eyeing up the space under and behind the steering rack, on the chassis diagonal. An Odyssey PC680 will fit laid flat with plenty of space to spare. Should a front end shunt get that far back, the chassis is already toast so a sealed battery would be no extra risk.

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