Covering a maintenance free battery with stainless sheet

Joined
Jul 11, 2022
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Australia
Quick question, I'm trying to find a good place to mount a couple of busbars for the main battery. My engine bay is starting to get quite full, so I was thinking of placing a sheet of stainless over the top of the battery, which will be held down by the battery hooks.

Even though they claim maintenance free batteries are sealed units, I still have this niggling feeling that there will be some venting on the top face?

Anyone have any strong opinions?
 

sdnative

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Oct 28, 2007
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AGM and gel type batteries are considered sealed (SLA) or valve-regulated (VRLA) lead acid batteries. While they don't vent under normal operation, they do generally have a vent and can vent under a battery fault condition or over charging. You want to make sure that you do not cover the vent. It may be on top or on the side.

I did something similar with my FLA battery using strips of aluminum bar held down by the battery hold down. It is a solid mount and very close to the main battery terminals to minimize unfused wiring. Problem is I get corrosion buildup around the bar over time and occasionally have to take it apart and clean with baking soda. I assume this is due to the acidic gas escaping from under the vent caps and reacting with the metal. A sealed battery may not have this issue.

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Joined
Jul 11, 2022
Messages
96
Location
Australia
AGM and gel type batteries are considered sealed (SLA) or valve-regulated (VRLA) lead acid batteries. While they don't vent under normal operation, they do generally have a vent and can vent under a battery fault condition or over charging. You want to make sure that you do not cover the vent. It may be on top or on the side.

I did something similar with my FLA battery using strips of aluminum bar held down by the battery hold down. It is a solid mount and very close to the main battery terminals to minimize unfused wiring. Problem is I get corrosion buildup around the bar over time and occasionally have to take it apart and clean with baking soda. I assume this is due to the acidic gas escaping from under the vent caps and reacting with the metal. A sealed battery may not have this issue.
That looks very similar to what I want to do, so I'm hoping that it's going to work.
Plan F is to relocate the compressor, but that's going to take more effort than I would like to invest.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
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AL, USA
I would be careful about adding items on or around the battery that might be conductive or increase the chance of random "shorts to ground" etc. I don't think putting a sheet of stainless over the battery itself would be a good idea. do something in the area behind the battery where possible. I have similar issue, I'm going to setup some blue sea marine fuse panels to clean up some wiring but space is a problem.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2022
Messages
96
Location
Australia
I would be careful about adding items on or around the battery that might be conductive or increase the chance of random "shorts to ground" etc. I don't think putting a sheet of stainless over the battery itself would be a good idea. do something in the area behind the battery where possible. I have similar issue, I'm going to setup some blue sea marine fuse panels to clean up some wiring but space is a problem.
Agree that stainless sheet doesn't immediately make sense, but I have piles of it laying about. Much like SDnative, I will probably only use a strip just big enough to mount the busbars to, that will help eliminate any accidental shorts.
Now that I'm thinking, I might even put some self adhesive rubber matting over the sheet.
 

jellis

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Apr 29, 2011
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296
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Boulder, Utah
So in this arrangement with the battery hold down pinning two bus bars, aren't you relying fully on the powder coating alone to prevent a short across the battery hold down itself? What am I missing here?

EDIT: Nevermind it looks like the breakers are isolated from the busbar itself by design.
 

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