Today’s project was to eliminate the possibility of a fire starting due to an electrical short or ground while it is sitting in my garage. I read the best way is to install a cut off switch that cuts the ground at the battery.
I had been working on this for a week. I had a few challenges. First, the existing old battery was 10.5” long and did not allow for much space on the wall between the back of the passenger and the battery to install a switch. Additionally, the switch I received had a huge backing.
I realized there were different size switches and ordered another. They look the same online unless you give them a careful visual inspection, where you start to see the difference in length. Next, I felt it was time to change the battery, so I got a NAPA Legend Pro size 75 which was shorter by an inch in height and 0.75” in length. This allowed for plenty of space. The new battery had even more Cold Cranking Amps than the last.
I then got introduced to this marvelous tool, a Step Drill. I had never seen one before, but I now have many uses planned for this all around the house. I got a set of five on sale at Canadian Tire for $ 39.00 from over $ 100.00.
This enabled me to drill the hole easily and quickly through the metal back wall to the precise size in seconds. I love how it drills then steps down to the next size and continues. What an ingenious invention. I had to find out who invented so I looked it up on Wikipedia and its actual name is a unibit:
“The unibit was invented by Harry C. Oakes and patented in 1973. It was sold only by the Unibit Corporation in the 1980s until the patent expired and was later sold by other companies. Unibit is a trademark of Irwin Industrial Tools.”
So, I drilled out the hole and installed the switch. Easy right? Of course not. I did not know why they had two nuts on the back of the post. I tightened the negative cable and snap! The switch cracked. Now I know, two wrenches, one to hold the nut steady while the other tightens so there is no stress on the plastic switch. This was a very inexpensive lesson. I went to Bensons and luckily, they had a switch that was stronger, better, and small. It took me 30 Minutes and it was installed.
While installing the switch, I decided to also drill another small hole for the battery tender wire and connect it directly to the battery. I put a rubber grommet in the hole and then filled it with silicone.
Now, I suspect I will not need to open that compartment for years to come.
UPDATE: I suspect I will have another reason to open the battery compartment and use my step drill again. It was brought to my attention by Nathaniel from the MG Experience that they sell a flush mount for the battery tender.
David Masse said:
Very nice, very safe, very useful. I like that this is where the motorcycle experience informs the car experience: battery tender plug… genius!