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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For 'most' of our cars the factory battery is size 94. This is a very expensive battery, running from $120-$180 depending on where you get it.

But it has also been discussed that a size 49 battery will fit in most E46 cars (not convertables to my knowledge), and is half the price of the OEM size battery. I got to test this first hand today as my OEM battery failed after 6 years and 2 months (never did any maintenance on it).

Picked up an Autozone Duralast 49-DL for $60, with a 7 year warrenty. The size 49 is more powerful than the OEM 94, but is a different size. It is about 1" longer and 1/2" not as tall. In most cars the battery tray is already designed to accept the longer battery.

The First picture is the old OEM size 94 battery. You may notice the extra space to the right of the battery.

The Second picture is the battery tray (battery removed) and on the right side you can see a while plastic spacer/stop. Remove this and you now can use the full size of the battery tray.

The only other issue is the hold down which is a clamp on top of the battery. In the third picture you can see where I used a 3/4" piece of plywood attached to the underside of the clamp. 1/2" would work as well. There already were 3 holes in the clamp I used to iinstalled 3 small screws to keep the wood from slipping (probably not ciritical). Make sure they are shorter than the thickness of the wood. If you car holds the battery from the bottom flange, this step is likely not necessary.

In the final picture is the 49 battery installed ready to go. The OEM battery has the vent tube attached near the + terminal, on the Duralast it is in the center of the battery (top of picture just under clamp). Connects right up using the kit that's included.

Hope this has been helpful.
 

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In Driving Heaven
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Thanks for the good explanation on switching to the new battery size. I take it the new battery is operating fine? (Well, I can't think of any reasons it wouldn't, but.... :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes working perfectly (m)

Yes working perfectly. Of course it's only been installed for 10 hours. I also have the Duralast 49D battery in my 540iT and it's been fine for nearly a year now. Power demands on that car are much higher. You all should know in most instances the store is going to tell you the 49D is the wrong battery.
 

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Great post! Very generous of you to post up something so useful for all of us! :thumbup:

I have never removed my battery, but can I just sit the battery on top of the plywood? I'm assuming this just takes up the slack between the top and the holding bracket. So this way the battery can just sit higher off the floor, and there is no need to drill the wood.

Thanks!
 

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For 'most' of our cars the factory battery is size 94. This is a very expensive battery, running from $120-$180 depending on where you get it.

But it has also been discussed that a size 49 battery will fit in most E46 cars (not convertables to my knowledge), and is half the price of the OEM size battery. I got to test this first hand today as my OEM battery failed after 6 years and 2 months (never did any maintenance on it).

Picked up an Autozone Duralast 49-DL for $60, with a 7 year warrenty. The size 49 is more powerful than the OEM 94, but is a different size. It is about 1" longer and 1/2" not as tall. In most cars the battery tray is already designed to accept the longer battery.

The First picture is the old OEM size 94 battery. You may notice the extra space to the right of the battery.

The Second picture is the battery tray (battery removed) and on the right side you can see a while plastic spacer/stop. Remove this and you now can use the full size of the battery tray.

The only other issue is the hold down which is a clamp on top of the battery. In the third picture you can see where I used a 3/4" piece of plywood attached to the underside of the clamp. 1/2" would work as well. There already were 3 holes in the clamp I used to iinstalled 3 small screws to keep the wood from slipping (probably not ciritical). Make sure they are shorter than the thickness of the wood. If you car holds the battery from the bottom flange, this step is likely not necessary.

In the final picture is the 49 battery installed ready to go. The OEM battery has the vent tube attached near the + terminal, on the Duralast it is in the center of the battery (top of picture just under clamp). Connects right up using the kit that's included.

Hope this has been helpful.
You could have just got a longer screw/bolt for the center of the hold down instead of using wood.
 

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Running around in circles
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Thanks for posting this :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do not put wood under the battery

Do not put wood under the battery (only on top). You are raising it out of the battery tray that holds it in place.

A longer screw might work but it looked special in the way it was machined to sit into the plate that holds down the battery. Plus I had the wood, would have had to make a trip to the store for a metric screw.

PS. The Duralast Batteries in both BMW's are still doing just fine...
 

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In vino veritas
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Good info. The Duralast 49DL seems to be a popular and cost effective choice for the E46 cars. I also understand that it's lighter than the OEM battery. This is the route I'll be taking when my stock battery finally kicks it (it's actually my second; the first was replaced under warranty four years ago).

KeithS - Thank you for your post. You saved me about $300 as the dealership wanted $388. I will share your post with other BMW owners I know.

Thanks again,
Andy
$388! :yikes:

Typical stealership. :rolleyes: $1500 for brakes. $1200 for an OEM clutch. $150 for oil change. The list goes on...
 

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The 49DL Works Like a Charm

I had unfortunately run into the dead battery issue and walked into autozone looking for a replacement. I originally came on here to find some alternative suggestions and found that the 49DL works. I was a bit skeptical b/c of the mentioned size difference, but the price difference (over the 94) caught my attention and I went with it.
I went home, took out the stock and replaced it with the 49DL. I made sure to play with the battery exhaust tube and attach that. The battery as a whole was a snug fit, but it was fine. Two months later, the car is running great, and the $60 was well worth it. I'm handy, but certainly no mechanic, and I feel it was an easy switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My understanding is that the convertable does not have the extra large battery tray and the 49D will not fit. You will need to match the size exactly (not sure if its a 94 or not)Either way autozone likely has a replacement, that will be less $$$ than the dealer but more than $60.
 

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Thanks for the step by step instructions and pictures

I just installed mine by following the OP's instructions, it went smoothly. The 49DL looks pretty long on the store shelve, compared with what I see in my trunk. But actually the 49DL measures 13.5 inch long , while the OEM battery is 12.5 inch. OP's pictures confirms that my 2001 325i is identical to his and it should work fine. But I had to use 1/2 inch thick board since 3/4 inch seems to be too thick.

However, I just paid $89.99 + $12 for core, the total comes to $110.91 with tax in the San Francisco area.:mad:

So if you guys are still paying $60 for the same battery in your area, don't ever consider moving over here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, Just checked, price went up a little

Here in NJ, price is now $69.99 plus $12 for the core. You get the core $$ back so that should not count in the price of the battery. I always bring the old battery with me when I pick up the new one. It saves the extra trip plus I get the core $$ back on the spot.

Have no idea why lead and plastic should cost more in CA than NJ. Think the batteries are made in Mexico so they should be cheaper (less transportation costs)
 

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Jaydeals,

No worries! I paid the same price as you and I live in Orange County, CA. The salesman told me they found a lot of BMW OEM Batteries being returned, so the raised the price. The killer part was they charged me CA Sales Tax on the core charge and I didn't get the tax back when I returned my old battery.

WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA !!
 

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I don't get it. We purchased a $30K automobile with sensitive computers and electronics and you guys take a chance with a non-OEM/non-matching battery from Autozone held down with a scrap piece of wood; to save $70.
 

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Ubergeek
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I don't get it. We purchased a $30K automobile with sensitive computers and electronics and you guys take a chance with a non-OEM/non-matching battery from Autozone held down with a scrap piece of wood; to save $70.
Alternative question - If a product works as good as OEM (as proven by 100s of people here and on e46fanatics), why would you spend more? To prove to yourself that you can afford it?

I didn't need the wood, by the way. My OEM clamp works just fine and holds it down tight.

Do you buy BMW branded car wash from the dealer?
 

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gashlycrumb
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Alternative question - If a product works as good as OEM (as proven by 100s of people here and on e46fanatics), why would you spend more? To prove to yourself that you can afford it?

I didn't need the wood, by the way. My OEM clamp works just fine and holds it down tight.

Do you buy BMW branded car wash from the dealer?
+1 49DL fit for me as-is, no retrofits needed.
 
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