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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:10 AM
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dwm dwm is offline
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new battery box

Finally got around to working on the battery box mold with a friend today (the composites guy). Didn't get very far, but with the number of projects on the list lately, any progress here makes me happy.

Here's a picture of my friend's feet with the simple box that will be filled with mold material. That's a new stock battery box being held up by his thumb. I'm told we'll pour mold material around it as a starting point. Then we build up the fore and aft ends of the inside of the mold to make a box that will snugly hold the Optima and the distribution blocks (cut/drilled/tapped by Randy from 110 copper, I just powdercoat the non-contact areas). Current plan is carbon fiber on the outside (matte finish), Kevlar on the inside. Box will be about .5" deeper for the Optima, so the stock battery cover can still be used. The pair of distribution blocks have three posts each; one pair is for the stock battery cables, one will connect to the battery (hopefully with one-piece copper connectors), one is spares for battery tender, accessories, whatever.

I'm doing this because I want the Optima yellow in my car, and I want to learn something about making composite pieces. Mold will probably last a long time though, that's cabinet-grade oak plywood that will be holding it. I'm also told the mold will be repairable indefinitely unless I drop it on the floor from a few feet. We might be willing to make a very small number of boxes over time, we'll see how it goes. Might be cost-prohibitive for many, the stock box is cheaper than just the materials we're using to make mine. There will be at least a few made (gratis), since I owe some people favors.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2004, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwm
I'm doing this because I want the Optima yellow in my car, and I want to learn something about making composite pieces.
Which Optima yellow are you using? I have an orange top which is 10x6.8x7.8. It appears there are two different sizes for yellow tops, one the same size as my orange and one slightly smaller.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2004, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M-Bark
Which Optima yellow are you using? I have an orange top which is 10x6.8x7.8. It appears there are two different sizes for yellow tops, one the same size as my orange and one slightly smaller.
Edited my typo on the size...

The two yellow tops I'm familiar with are the same size, but one has the additional side posts. D34 and D34/78, respectively. They're both 10x6.8x7.8 according to the spec sheets. I'm using the D34/78 because it's more readily available around here.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2004, 11:10 AM
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You have a PM
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:18 PM
///MDex ///MDex is offline
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Is the Roadster BB that much different than that of the Coupe?

My experience
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:20 PM
nathanLa nathanLa is offline
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alternative battery...

I know you want experience working with composites but have you thought about an Odyssey battery? I'm running the PC925MJT (from what I remember) without any problems. I had looked at the Optima but the +.5" killed it for me.

The battery packs the same punch but is significantly smaller.

Just thought you should know if it was off your radar.

Battery
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:26 PM
///MDex ///MDex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanLa
I know you want experience working with composites but have you thought about an Odyssey battery?
Battery
Here also - LINK
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MDex
Is the Roadster BB that much different than that of the Coupe?

My experience
Same part number.
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanLa
I know you want experience working with composites but have you thought about an Odyssey battery? I'm running the PC925MJT (from what I remember) without any problems. I had looked at the Optima but the +.5" killed it for me.

The battery packs the same punch but is significantly smaller.

Just thought you should know if it was off your radar.

Battery
I already have the Optima yellow. I'd be making a box regardless since I want the additional posts for accessories.
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:32 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MDex
Is the Roadster BB that much different than that of the Coupe?

My experience
All M's use the same box. 51 71 2 268 653 $74.50 retail.
How much deeper does the box have to be to accommdate the Optima for the cover to sit flush.
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2004, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar
All M's use the same box. 51 71 2 268 653 $74.50 retail.
How much deeper does the box have to be to accommdate the Optima for the cover to sit flush.
Roughly .5" on mine (a tad less; I'll have exact measurements today). I'm not sure for some others; my cover has the elevation changes on the inside along with the 2-channel flap for the positive cable and terminal (annoying safety terminal ). The one on Randy's '99 doesn't have the flap nor the elevation changes on the inside (from pictures he sent to me); it may mor may not have more depth at the Otima battery posts to make for a different required depth for the Optima. The part numbers look to be the same, so I assume that you always get the one like mine when you order a new cover now.
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2004, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanLa
have you thought about an Odyssey battery? I'm running the PC925MJT (from what I remember) without any problems.
The battery packs the same punch but is significantly smaller.
Any pics of the install?
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2004, 07:43 PM
nathanLa nathanLa is offline
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Here you go Ron...



To limit the for/aft movement I split the factory foam block in two and then some packing foam, between the battery cover and the battery, to keep it from bouncing. I had to move to an aftermarket ground cable for some much needed slack.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:15 PM
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Both halves of the new mold poured, rough. Plaster was still curing on one half when this picture was taken.

Next step is to fill the air pockets we had on the one half of the mold from the plaster setting up a lot faster than expected and the spots where we had posts holding the plug in place. Once cleaned up, it'll get coated and we'll move on to making the inserts for the 'stepped' look we're shooting at for the Optima batteries.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2004, 08:17 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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This year's Homecoming theme...

... should be What's in YOUR Trunk?

Looks like some of the attention will be taken away from the engine compartments this year
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2004, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
... should be What's in YOUR Trunk?

Looks like some of the attention will be taken away from the engine compartments this year
How about what's under the trunk?
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2004, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
... should be What's in YOUR Trunk?

Looks like some of the attention will be taken away from the engine compartments this year
I can tell you the mold won't be in my trunk (or under it); it took exactly four 25 lb. bags of plaster to make those 2 halves. There are four large handles on the mold for this reason.
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