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Non-Mickey-Mouse car battery tie down method?

All the vehicles I’ve owned have used a mickey mouse battery tie down method. Not robust. True of my current vehicles, Ford truck and Corolla. On both there’s a sort of L shaped vertical oriented spindly rod that hooks underneath the battery tray in an iffy and imprecise manner, and from the top of that rod, a horizontal bracket over the top of the battery to the grill area. No good, no good at all. Too fiddly to deal with. If I want to tighten the vertical rod, the twisting motion causes it to lose its hold down under. And too easy for the whole works to come loose when hitting a pothole. What’s more, the bracket and rod both have sharp edges that poke at the battery case. Is there a better arrangement? I’m thinking a ratcheting fabric hold down strap would be much better. What do you think?

I’ve seen the one where battery has tabs/wedges sticking out slightly on the base and one side would go into a crevice, another side will be tied down with a holder, retained by one screw/ Much better design in my opinion

Fabric rots, stretches and there might not be room to wrap it around. What do I think? Answer: silly and impractical idea.

I don’t see this as a problem w/the battery design @andriy.fomenko . It’s the hold down method that’s the problem. Metal brackets? With battery acid? Why would anyone think that’s a good idea? On my Corolla at least they use a plastic tray for underneath the battery. But it’s such a flimsy plastic tray when the brackets come loose, the battery can easily move over the edge of the tray. In fact that’s exactly what got me to thinking about this subject. I recently did my 6 month battery maintenance on the Corolla and discovered the brackets has come loose and the battery was hanging 4 inches over the edge of the tray.

I don’t think you will get anything better than original design without too much work.
Rods may come loose if their “hooks” are unbent, so it may be a good idea to make them “hookier” ?
Also, it looks like $10-15 will get a new tie-down on ebay for Corolla if old one is too corroded.
As for acid, I always attach felt pads under terminals, saturated with that special grease you buy for $1 in parts store for battery terminals: keeps acid from spreading to terminals and around

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A little Googling shows someone has apparently already thought of this and done a diy’er version. Looks pretty robust for a hack. That battery ain’t moving.

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I actually can’t tell you what I have now but in the past I had the type that mounts at the base. Never had a problem with it. The hooks were also not much of a problem. The hook at the bottom though should point to the outside not the inside and you just hold it up while you wind the nut down by hand. Then tighten it up. I used to use baking soda every year or so on the battery pan but still had to replace one-available at the dealer.

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That is beautiful and labeled “White trash repairs”. I was afraid you might use your old shoe laces.

There are boat and RV battery cases that use a strap but the strap is on the outside of a separate battery case, not exposed to leaking acid.

There are millions of cars driving around with common battery hold down hardware without trouble, perhaps it is time for new J-hooks and a hold down bracket.

Note the HID conversion ballast in the picture, that must be a sweet ride.


That’s a good idea George.

It has a dual function.

Not only is the ratchet strap holding the battery down, but if you ever need a tow, all you need to do is unravel all that extra strap, tie it onto a bumper of another vehicle, and tow the vehicle by the battery and tray!


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Most of the chrysler products I have owned for the last 30 years have used the one bolt with a tapered steel wedge. Very simple and secure. In the past when I had the hook and rod and it broke or rusted through , I just used a short rubber truckers bungee cord with the metal s hooks on each end.

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[quote=“GeorgeSanJose, post:1, topic:100614, full:true”] On both there’s a sort of L shaped vertical oriented spindly rod that hooks underneath the battery tray in an iffy and imprecise manner…[/quote]I think you missed the proper attachment point, which should be rather robust. Once there is tension on the j-hook, it won’t come out of the hole, and can hold the battery quite securely. Make sure you haven’t hooked into the plastic tray.

Sulfuric acid is an excellent dessicating agent, too. I’d expect that the second battery acid hit fabric, life expectancy could be measured in days. At least iron takes months to a year to corrode away!

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I used to smear the terminals with Vaseline. Seemed to do the job ok.

I’d try heavy duty long cable ties.

here are some 36" ones from amazon.


Both my mustangs had a nylon strap arrangement running over the battery and terminated at one end with a bolted connection. When the bolt was tightened the strap was snugged down.

Other cars have a wedge blocks that loaded the lower tap on the side of the battery with a matching tab on the backside grabbing the battery. Those work really well

The J-hooks are actually pretty good if combined with a battery tray that fits the battery snugly so it won’t slide around.

On a motor home my mother used to own, the original house battery was secured with a strap, but I had to cut it to get the old battery out. In its place, I bought some climbing rope and tied the battery down. I replaced that rope each time I replaced the battery.

George, since this is a ‘thing’ with you, why not do some preventative maintenance on the j-hooks? Either replace them and spray them with a protectant, or wire brush them off and spray them. I’ve never had them come off while tightening as long as the nut could turn freely.

my thoughts exactly

I use bungee cords when I loose the factory mickey mouse battery clamps or when I replace the battery with one that does not fit into the factory mickey mouse battery clamp.

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I wouldn’t. Could let the battery fly on a big bump or crash, and could deteriorate (rapidly) with acid.