Re-Relocating the battery - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re-Relocating the battery

Some previous owner of one of my S1 spiders decided he wanted tunes and installed a 1000 watt amp and some 6x9 speakers in the back. Fortunately, he didn't cut any sheet metal although he did drill a few holes and relocate the battery to the trunk where the jack normally goes (and next to the amp and 2000s vintage CD changer). If this were a later car, I might consider leaving all this, but not in a '67. ...12 gauge speaker wire everywhere.... Also, I am not thrilled about how close the battery posts are to the sheet metal in the trunk and it is incredibly difficult to access the posts....

Unfortunately, the sheet metal for the battery tray is completely gone. I have 2 S1 spiders primarily so I can use the more original car as the puzzle box, but I have to wonder if relocating the battery back into the engine compartment is going to be worth it. This car is already a Frankenstein with a 2 liter engine and hanging pedals.

What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 10:52 PM
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I’m restoring a S1 Duetto right now.
There is no way I am putting the battery back over the front frame rails
It will go somewhere else.

'66 1600 Duetto | '73 1600 GTJunior | '03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon | '11 Giulietta QV (wow, revelation) | I really don't need this many Alfa's...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 01:22 AM
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Lemme tell ya how I feel about the evolution of batteries.... the old lead/ acid battery has worked for years but it's heavy, corrosive, and downright awkward. Whaddya do? Install an LiFe battery. Expensive, yes, but they have 10 year warranties, only weigh a few pounds(yes, a few pounds), are the size of your fist and they can be mounted anywhere, even upside down if you like. After this archaic battery gives up in the Alfa I will surely upgrade and relocate. The ones in my motorcycles came from Antigravity Batteries, I imagine they make ones to turn over these cars, heck, my V-twin is a 1.7L and has had a LiFe in it for 5 years now.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:25 AM
If it's already been modified with a 2L and standing pedals (which frankly I think are improvements ) I wouldn't see the point in moving the battery back. Makes for a cleaner engine bay and much easier oil changes. But if you do, make the tray removable (install rivnuts on the frame rail) and you'll still have the advantage of easy access to the oil filter.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:32 AM
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i think its worth it. i did that with my gtv and you can feel the difference in handling on the track and autocross. 35lbs removed from high up in the front in a nose heavy car to the rear makes a difference.

i had and optima gel battery in the rear mounted sideways. i used to pick them up for my cars at a recycler place i knew of that would have used ones from a fleet of police cars that would replace them every 2 years though they were perfectly fine.

i decided to buy a new one one day and it leaked though they claim you can mount them in any configuration. I later found out the optima was bought out by Johnson Controls while dealing with their warranty claims department. It was a real pitas since the engineers says they dont leak though clearly they did. Eventually they gave in and i found the construction of the battery was changed from the originals. new owners must have cheapen them out. now i mount my battery upright just in case.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:36 AM
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Gels are considerably different, larger, and heavier than a LiFe. Lithium Iron batteries have nothing to leak. But ANYTHING is better than the old lead acid batteries.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davbert View Post
Unfortunately, the sheet metal for the battery tray is completely gone. I have 2 S1 spiders primarily so I can use the more original car as the puzzle box, but I have to wonder if relocating the battery back into the engine compartment is going to be worth it.
I'm pretty sure Classic Alfa sells repro battery trays and supports. So if you want to restore your battery to the front, it shouldn't be that difficult.

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i had and optima gel battery in the rear mounted sideways. .... I later found out the optima was bought out by Johnson Controls while dealing with their warranty claims department. It was a real pitas since the engineers says they dont leak though clearly they did.
Optimas are old tech. Go with an Odyssey. Much smaller/lighter than Optima, so if you keep it in the back the posts won't be too close to the sheetmetal and if you put it up front it won't hurt your weight distribution. I have one in the rear of my Sprint GT and it works great.


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Last edited by Alfajay; 04-11-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:24 AM
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Odyssey is ancient tech too in comparison to the LiFe technology. Was quickly looking for a LiFe battery for a car but did not see one.... I'm sure they are out there.

Last edited by SkiBum; 04-11-2019 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Update
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:49 AM
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FWIW I have a battery in the same place on my Berlina. The terminals are on top but towards the back of the car. I put a heavy rubber cover over the positive terminal, and it is clamped down tight.

I just had to replace it recently and it only took 20 minutes.

I also pick up used batteries from Pick n Pull, I just find one that's only a year or two old. Hard to beat for $25.

I would leave it there, just clean up the old stereo.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:03 AM
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FWIW I have a battery in the same place on my Berlina. The terminals are on top but towards the back of the car. I put a heavy rubber cover over the positive terminal, and it is clamped down tight.

I just had to replace it recently and it only took 20 minutes.

I also pick up used batteries from Pick n Pull, I just find one that's only a year or two old. Hard to beat for $25.

I would leave it there, just clean up the old stereo.

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Sure... but given some of us are putting significant figures and years into a restoration, the whole idea of a using a secondhand battery for $25./ (even if it is the higher USD) is kinda against the whole philosophy employed thus far (restore, replace, reproduce, improve)

In reality, the issue (which became obvious after 50yrs) is the existing battery location in the front is directly over the frame rails, which are a two piece construction with no internal access, capped off with; a spot welded battery tray, radiator supports and front radiator cross member... all rust traps for old wet corrosive battery tech.

Then thereís the oil change (filter/canister) issues and access to the alternator when the built in reg fails and balance/weight... but Iím a fairly fat bastard these days so it be a stretch for me to say the battery is upsetting the corner balance (itís the pies)

Just move it


More info on this LiFe battery tech for automotive use would be appreciated

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:47 AM
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After a bit more research, the "new" technology is LiFePO. They added a phosphorus component to further stabilize the lithium factor. I found a few manufacturers that make car replacements but they make them to fit in the old battery tray... OK I guess if that is what you want but I would ditch the old set up and "hide" the battery. I would wager the one in my cruiser would turn over an Alfa 2.0L just fine and it is 4"x5"x6" and just over 3lbs. I think it has been about 6 years since I installed it and have not seen or had to bother with it since. There are many worthy options for batteries out there, you just need to make the right decision for you.....
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBum View Post
Lemme tell ya how I feel about the evolution of batteries.... the old lead/ acid battery has worked for years but it's heavy, corrosive, and downright awkward. Whaddya do? Install an LiFe battery. Expensive, yes, but they have 10 year warranties, only weigh a few pounds(yes, a few pounds), are the size of your fist and they can be mounted anywhere, even upside down if you like. After this archaic battery gives up in the Alfa I will surely upgrade and relocate. The ones in my motorcycles came from Antigravity Batteries, I imagine they make ones to turn over these cars, heck, my V-twin is a 1.7L and has had a LiFe in it for 5 years now.
I have an LiFepo4 battery in my spider. One issue issue I've found is that if the battery runs down too low it is toast- internal circuitry will keep it from charging (for safety reasons). Don't forget to hook it up to a battery tender whenever the car isn't in use. I forgot once and killed my battery. I do undertand that antigravity brand batteries now have a protection feature against this, and in fact are designed to go into hibernation and leave enough reserve to start the car even if the battery would otherwise be going dead.

It's also worth noting that I found the cold weather performance dropoff much more severe. My car will not start on the Li battery below about 30F (not really an issue given my usage, but worth noting), although I sized the battery fairly small.
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Last edited by nealric; 04-11-2019 at 10:57 AM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
I'm pretty sure Classic Alfa sells repro battery trays and supports. So if you want to restore your battery to the front, it shouldn't be that difficult.



Optimas are old tech. Go with an Odyssey. Much smaller/lighter than Optima, so if you keep it in the back the posts won't be too close to the sheetmetal and if you put it up front it won't hurt your weight distribution. I have one in the rear of my Sprint GT and it works great.

yes optimas are old tech, but i had it in there 27 yrs ago when it was hi tech. :-)

i also have a Odyssey too in my racecar which i put in 18 yrs ago when it was hi tech...

now they have batteries smaller than both that weight 4 lbs with 550 CCA. but i wont go chasing one until one of my other battery dies especially when they are 200$. im not one to keep up with Jone's when it comes to batteries.

they still sell optimas at places like costco so i thought i just share my experiences with them.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 04:28 PM
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I have had a small Odyssey battery in my Spider for over 7 years and it is still going strong despite being totally discharged a few times.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. The battery in the image above is a quick replacement for an Optima that only lasted about 3 years. Once one dies once, it's dead pretty much forever. That one is a type 34, I think. Smallest Lead acid battery I could find. I'll look into the Odyssey batteries.

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