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Post Info TOPIC: Conversion to side terminal battery


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Conversion to side terminal battery


One of the things that has bothered me to no end in my LeMans was the top post battery set up it had. My Father having purchased a brand new 73 back in 72 I recalled that the battery was side terminal not top post. I researched this and found that 1971 was the first year for side terminal batteries as GM rolled them out over a couple of model years to all makes and models starting with Chevrolet and some Pontiac in 1971. When I bought the car 16 years ago it had a brand new Motomaster Battery that the seller got in order to make the car saleable. The darn battery lasted about 7 years and somehow it had this incredible warranty so I got a replacement but knowing I needed 800 CCA for the 454 I did have to pay a differential fee. I still hated the top post set up. Besides not being original they are ugly and prone to corrosion and loosen easily I find. Finally this week I decided to bite the bullet and kick the top post to the curb.

IMG_20200612_2019064 Motmaster dead cell.jpg

Most of the parts for this conversion or restoration to original are available at your GM dealer, Boots Caps and Battery. I specified the battery as AC Delco for a 1973 Chevelle SS454 and got a beautiful Professional series Battery. True to my word a few weeks ago I go with original equipment AC Delco.

I opted to remove the top post terminals and go with the existing wiring. I had to source the copper (my preference) terminal eyelet ends from Parts Source after calling and visiting 5 other auto supply stores, quite an ordeal for a $2.78 part but essential to the conversion. I didn't take a photo but I dremeled a slot down tube part so I could crimp it on the cable then soldered the cable to the eyelet for a permanent connection. I used 4" of shrink wrap over the cable and soldered part of eyelet and this makes a moisture proof connection and a real professional looking job.

IMG_20200612_1453409 Copper eyelets.jpg

Next was to install the boot covers and cap on the cable, GM does not offer a Black cap for the negative terminal (I may get another red and try and paint it)

Battery drops in, button it down, next is bolting it up to terminals, turn the key and she fires to life. I couldn't be happier with this little Friday night after dinner project. OEM Parts make it all worthwhile and it looks terrific  just like it did leaving the factory. 

IMG_20200612_2033534 Battery side term LeMans.jpg

 

Here's a parts list from the dealer for those interested.

IMG_20200612_2310227 Parts list.jpg






-- Edited by 73SC on Saturday 13th of June 2020 12:12:33 AM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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nice job ray funny timing im about to change my 93 gmc truck from side to post just so camper and boat batterys will all go round

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Poncho Master!

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Wow Ray you have to pay full list at the GM dealer ! I always use AC Delco batteries and know they are expensive but $266 plus tax and not even 10% discount. I see now our dealer Timmins Garage treats us really good. Nice job on the conversion as the front post looks so much cleaner.

Al

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Poncho Master!

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The original series of side post batteries were very prone to cable corrosion. The early batteries tended to seep acid through the case at the terminal location. It didnt seem to matter which battery manufacturer as most had the problem. With the difficulty in trying to clean the cable ends due to the insulated boots which actually held the acid in causing more corrosion it was easier to cut the ends off and install a conventional top post battery.

Paul

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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My original 70 454 Parisienne had a side post battery, as well as the 70 454 Laurentian. The small block cars still used top post.

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Poncho Master!

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In 1970 if you ordered the heavy duty battery option you got side terminals. I think big blocks and A/C cars got the heavy duty battery by default. I once owned a six cylinder 1970 Chevelle and it had a side post battery.

Paul

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seventy2plus2 wrote:

My original 70 454 Parisienne had a side post battery, as well as the 70 454 Laurentian. The small block cars still used top post.


 Yup, same here. Originals. Funny thing, when I got my Estate, I saw the side post and said to myself, WTF? I was about ready to cut the ends off till I pulled back the reins and did some research!

 

Ray, the list on that battery is $274. My cost is just over $100 less than that! Suggestion, find an AC Delco store and shop there. Same parts but most time WAY cheaper prices. And if most of your parts came in AC Delco packages, more often than not, the AC Delco store will get them. That's where I buy all/most of my parts. The dealers are pulling more cash out of your pockets than need be!



-- Edited by 67Poncho on Saturday 13th of June 2020 11:26:19 AM

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Vincent Jr.



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Taylor55 wrote:

Wow Ray you have to pay full list at the GM dealer ! 
Al


 Normally they give me 15% but in this case I sent someone else to get the parts for me.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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67Poncho wrote:
! Suggestion, find an AC Delco store and shop there. Same parts but most time WAY cheaper prices. And if most of your parts came in AC Delco packages, more often than not, the AC Delco store will get them. That's where I buy all/most of my parts. The dealers are pulling more cash out of your pockets than need be!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Spark Auto is the AC Delco dealer in East Toronto, they didn't have the Battery on hand and I was sick of having the LeMans blocking my Corvette for two weeks needing a boost to start every time I wanted to move it. I wasted far more money in my time boosting the lousy Motomaster. 

I appreciate everyone looking out for my financial well being though wink but time is also money and I wasted enough of that already. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






A Poncho Legend!

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67Poncho wrote:
 

Ray, the list on that battery is $274.


 Actually current GM list price is $254.13. The dealer Ray showed the invoice for is only doing 5% over GM list, many do 10% over, some even 15% over. 



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Thanks Carl for that last input it is really appreciated.

 

Look at this Lousy Mess fellas:

IMG_20200612_2019064 Motmaster dead cell.jpg

 

Now Look at this beautiful set up:

IMG_20200612_2033534 Battery side term LeMans.jpg

 

 



-- Edited by 73SC on Sunday 14th of June 2020 01:16:23 AM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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It's always nice when money isn't an object. Looks great but I have to stay with my Kirklands for less than half the price. I just need my car to start.

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Jerel


A Poncho Legend!

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Exactly, but point being many dealers take actual list and add a percentage to it for every part. The Ford dealer near us adds 15% to every part they sell. Last I heard most of the Winnipeg dealers add 10%. Then they give you a "discount" and look like nice guys....

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



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This thread about a technical electrical system restoration on a 1973 Oshawa Built LeMans somehow ended up about money. Weird eh? 

 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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73SC wrote:

This thread about a technical electrical system restoration on a 1973 Oshawa Built LeMans somehow ended up about money. Weird eh? 

 


 You are right Ray... Lets stay on topic and not derail... I deleted what wasn't totally relevant an will refrain in the future.






-- Edited by 67Poncho on Monday 15th of June 2020 01:18:30 AM

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Vincent Jr.



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It may well be a derail but I think for the most part everyone is looking out for everyone else's good and trying to find the best value as is a theme of many of our threads. I for one appreciate what other people are paying for various products. I find many times in our technical discussion if that's how it's labeled we have the cost of the project included at some point. I always appreciate your input on that Vincent because you are one of the few of the members who are really in this business. Just my thoughts.

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Jerel
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