The Great Battery Caper Continues....

Well, why do I need ANOTHER battery post adapter?? Ah, because the first one was fine for people who do normal projects, and don't tighten connectors until their neck veins stand out! Oh. Yeah, that's me. I forget my own advise sometimes, like, "NO squeak" when tightening battery connections. Well most folks don't have six to ten cables or fused lines connected at the battery either! But on the "wannabeabigbike", AKA my EN500, there really isn't a lot of room to mount an auxiliary fuse block or additional connection point like there are on some roomier bikes. I mean, the EN500 is a great bike, but if you drop a dime down under the seat, it may takes YEARS to fall through to the road! I mean there is NO, NADA extra space anywhere.

(Bye the way, for those like me that really want to add more than the poor little 17 Amps alternator can put out, the Electrosport Industries (http://www.electrosport.com/shopping_stators/prod_esg110.html) company has a replacement stator that puts out around 19-20 Amps. I talked to their tech and he said it was dependant upon the individual bike as Kawi doesn't have a great supplier for the electrical parts, but that a 2-25% increase, MINIMUM, was what they expected. It could be even more if your particular rotor has better magnetic properties than another, and he said some definitely do. )

So here we are, with my original battery tip on using the screw against the case not being enough any longer. I had an "ooops" (ie; a traffic accident) and though there wasn't much damage beyond a mirror, 2 ribs, and a clutch lever, the battery connection sort of stretched that poor LITTLE lead connector from all the weight of the cable stressing it in a different direction than the one we went on impact!

This is the result. This mod actually builds up a replacement for the brass fitting that comes with the battery. Before, I just reversed it, and extended the longer screw up against the case. This one we will build new from scratch, and it will handle more than the battery case will (and probably the frame!). I started with a blank piece of naval brass (hard stuff) that I got at a local welding shop for $5. You could order it from some place like McMaster-Carr for about $18, but a scrap piece they probably can't use at a local shop will undoubtedly be cheaper. The one I chose (because it was all they had) was 3/8th of an inch thick (which WAS what I wanted) by 2" wide. That gave me plenty to lay out two connectors on, and cut in half to make the two required for the mod. I used a band saw (with a wood blade, just go slow) but a hacksaw works great for those with a lot of elbow grease left. I seem to have used up a lot of mine, and resort to power tools a lot more than I used to. I refuse to consider 62 to be old (regardless of what my kids say!), but it IS starting to define some small limitations. Wacking a hacksaw back and forth for several minutes doesn't head the list, but it's on there. Let's get started.

Here is a shot of the bar stock we started with.

Lots of material for other projects downstream!! We first saw off a hunk about an inch wide. That just about fits behind the battery's post and fills the sunken area around, and gives a good 1/8" or so outside the posts width to give good support, and absorb any stress or torque we put on getting that "two squeak" connection tight.

Here are about the only tools we will need other than a hacksaw or band saw for us old, lazy farts. A drill, a #6 drill bit (try to get real close if you don't have one. Slightly smaller is harder to tap, but better than being loose after you are done), a 6mm x 1.0 tap, and tap handle. The brass fitting that normally comes with a new battery is shown for comparison, along with a 6mm x 14mm battery bolt.

Let's take a tip from Darryl Petrak, and make a template first.(see Darryl, I CAN learn!) It makes it easier to cut the new post support right the first time. Here we simply put a paper behind the post, and transfer the outline and hole location to it.

The template now looks like this.

We add the little V shaped cut to it (ever notice that?) by putting the original brass piece over it, with the hold lined up, and draw away.

Now, we will cut away the bottom part of the template, so we can transfer the area below the V to the metal. The V actually sets into the battery post back in a shape cut out for it, but our piece has legs that go lower on either side, all the way down to the case top for additional support and strength. That is why we have that shape a template, rather than just cutting a V notch in the bottom.

Now, with a magic marker (or non-magic, as you prefer) darken in that area on the inch wide piece we cut out. Do it to both sides, and we have both connectors on one piece that we can cut in half after cutting out the darkened area, and drilling and threading the hole. This makes it easier to works with than two smaller pieces would be if we cut it now.

There! Now we can start cutting. You can see that if you cut the straight lines on the outside of the darkened area first, then just two angled cuts along the V removes all the metal, with no finishing or filing work required. Yes, you can make it prettier, but it WILL be buried in the lead V, so why bother!!

Here we have finished the cuts and drilling, tapping of both holes.

We just cut the piece exactly in half, and we have both new connector pieces.

Now lets tap them into place behind the posts and see how they look. In these pictures you can see we fill that little area in the case where the post is rather well. The new pieces are just short of the edges. On the ground side, it wouldn't matter, but on the Positive side, we want to make sure the plastic protective cover will go over it when the battery is in the bike. A later picture shows that well. Here are several shots that show the fit, and how snug it fits, with the last one showing that plastic protective cover that prevents the terminal and connectors from shorting out to the frame when the battery is mounted.

Notice, we have a LOT of top area now. I thought of tapping two holes and allowing easier mounting of multiple connectors, but two properly sized connectors to fit over the 6mm bolts don't allow enough room without going over the side of the brass piece. I would rather have a good mounting physically as well as electrically, than squeeze them in that way. One thing to notice though, is that I drilled the one hole offset, so that it doesn't go through the hole where the post is fastened to it like the original brass piece does. This will give it far a stronger than it needs. Better that, than not enough!

Here it is with the hole drilled and tapped. You can see that a 14mm long screw can be WAY up there with (too many) connectors stacked up, or tightened down all the way to the brass. That gives a nice leeway for whatever we do later with add-ons. I like to individually fuse everything, and HATE crimp splices that tap into original wires. If I want to add something, it gets it's OWN wires and fuse, not a crimp connector, unless absolutely necessary. (the headlight modulator WAS, because of having to run too many wires thou the bundle without looking like crap!)

Now, doesn't that give us plenty to work with? AND well protected by the safety plastic cover when installed. Now we can use any size screws we want. I usually use stainless with cut washers, because they bite into the lead or brass well and don't damage them, but does stop any vibrations from loosening the connections, which especially on this model, are infamous!! No more using just the three sizes of battery bolts that strip out almost by looking at them! Now the stainless can be used without worrying about too much torque taking off that lead ear!!

 

There you go, another easy fix for a problem I simply can't understand existing. Most motorcycle batteries have strong box type connection terminals. Ours, or that particular size and smaller, have these dinky little lead ears that you can almost twist off with your fingers! The next size bigger battery has super strong posts, but these and smaller are SO weak! Off with the manufacturers heads!! Well, making these to fix the problem may not be as much fun, but way less mess.

Here is one additional thing I added for protection. It is a sheet of rubber insulating material from Ace Hardware (or auto store) that costs just a few dollars. I used the thickest one to form a blanket over the entire battery area, and it is tucked down between the battey and the plastic protector that goes between the positive terminal and the frame. You can't have TOO much protection from anything!! Easy to remove by just pulling out from under the elastic battery hold down strap, too.