Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1990 -> Modifications -> Battery Relocation
There are several reasons as to why people may want to relocate the battery in these models. One is the distribution of mass inside the engine bay. The battery (which rests almost over the driver's side front tire) puts more weight on the driver's side then the passenger's side- about 40 pounds more. This un-even weight is bad for handling. Also, due to the amount of parts stuck into the engine bay, there is little room for modifications, add-ons, etc. If any additional space is needed in the engine bay, the easiest way for getting it is obtained by relocating the battery.
There is one drawback for this however. These cars, being front-wheel drive, get better power, traction, etc. when the weight is up front. Putting or moving weight to the rear decreases traction, and power. To counter this single drawback, one can simply remove one of the two spare tires from the trunk- which are about as heavy as the battery and battery hardware (wires/cables, battery box, etc.).
It is easiest and most cost efficient to buy a battery relocation kit from an auto parts store. Summit Racing carries a nice and cheap package for around $42 which includes instructions, plastic battery box, cables, and hook up wire. One of the kits sold by Summit Racing is shown below, installed in a 1992 3.3L Dynasty.
To relocate the battery, you basically stick something in the trunk- be it a battery tray, or battery box which holds the position of the battery in place, and also keeps and acid which may leak from touching anything else in the trunk. The battery box is the most recommended method here. This holding device (battery box or tray) is then held down to the trunk's floor boards. This can be done by welding, or bolting. Most race tracks require battery relocation kits to be welded down.
Then, the battery must have the electrical hookups. Most kits include a few feet of negative cable. This cable is attached to the metal in the trunk. This negative cable makes the metal body of the car the ground. This cable would therefore require having a good connection to the car's metal. Welding is the best method. As an alternative, it is possible to bolt the end of the cable to the body of the car. Next, the positive cable must go from the trunk to the engine bay.
There are two ways of doing this. One way is to run the positive cable through the cab (interior) of the car, and then run the cable into the engine compartment through the same rubber filler used in the firewall for the wires going to and from the dash. The other way is to cut a hole in the trunk's floorboards, and run the cable under the car and up into the engine bay. Running the cable out of the car is the most risky, as it exposes the electrical cable to the elements, and also runs near the hot exhaust system.
It may be beneficial to use a cut off switch for the battery's positive voltage in the engine bay. This way, one could simple throw a switch as opposed to opening the trunk and taking the cable off of the battery's positive post. These switches come in many forms and prices, and can be found for $15-30 almost anywhere.
This page was last updated on October 2, 2003. Send us your feedback and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club