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Installing Optima battery in the 1st Gen Tacoma

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 2Runner, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Dec 2, 2020 at 9:26 PM
    #1
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Scott
    So Cal
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    2002 Regular Cab 2.4L MT 2WD
    The old green battery that came with my truck died on me and the truck would barely crank over in my driveway. I went to the 'zone and picked up an Optima Yellow top since their zone gold stuff or whatnot doesn't really do it for me.

    Since it didnt really fit without a bit of modification, I thought I would share some pointers I learned to make it work in hopes to help others thinking they got the best battery only to get home and find it does not fit our trucks right!
    [​IMG]

    Found out the new Optima did not fit with out a bit of manipulation as mentioned. Luckily it came with some parts I was able to use to make it work, the base was needed in order to raise the battery enough to get it level with the Tacoma mounting bar, thanks Optima.
    [​IMG]

    A keen eye and/or fellow Optima owner may have noticed the other modification above needed in order to be able to clamp the smaller Optima battery into the factory mount. I used the other existing part (flat squarish piece) and trimmed out the center section to fit it under the clamps to fill the gap.

    The arrows point to the additional "spacers" I needed to make to hold this thing down tight. Came out super sturdy, but a bit of a hassle and head scratching so I hope this helps someone else down the road!
    [​IMG]

    Cranks over like a dream now but the install wasn't as quick as I would have envisioned, of course this is the norm living in Tacoma World isnt it?!
     
  2. Jan 25, 2021 at 12:55 PM
    #2
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Scott
    So Cal
    Vehicle:
    2002 Regular Cab 2.4L MT 2WD
    Update:

    The above method worked out fine, until I hit the autocross last weekend! After a couple hard runs wouldnt you know it, the truck would not start up. Popped the hood and saw the battery had slid out of place and a connector came loose.

    I had to use an emergency covid mask as a spacer just to finish the event and drive back home!
    [​IMG]

    So today I did a couple more mods to hopefully cinch it up in an autocross proof fashion. First I glued some rubber from a tool drawer liner under the spacer to help prevent sliding.
    20210125_111351.jpg

    Then I tucked in more of the rubber inside and outside my previously built yellow spacer to fill the gaps better and allow me to crank it in tighter.
    20210125_113144.jpg

    Then tucked more rubber all folded up underneath the other side and cranked it all down to get it to where I could not budge it even trying forcefully.
    20210125_113612.jpg

    Let's hope this works out, I think I may be hitting the next event coming up in a few weeks!

    :fingerscrossed:
     
  3. Jan 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM
    #3
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    You need to get one ofIMG_20180905_004615_261.jpg the fancy aluminum bars. Mine doesn't move and I've put it trough it paces.
     
    Madjik_Man likes this.
  4. Jan 25, 2021 at 5:35 PM
    #4
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This would be nice if it works! Mine "was good" until I hit the autocross in it... link?

    All those black scratches aren't left behind from it sliding around are they?!! ;)
     
    chrslefty likes this.
  5. Jan 25, 2021 at 7:02 PM
    #5
    Sicyota04

    Sicyota04 Slowly but surely.

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  6. Jan 25, 2021 at 7:38 PM
    #6
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    Sicyota04 likes this.
  7. Jan 25, 2021 at 10:27 PM
    #7
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a nice option to keep in mind, thanks guys!

    Though I think if I built a custom bracket just for the Optima I would want lose the plastic spacer to keep the weight a bit lower with less shitty plastic stuff holding it together.
     
  8. Jan 26, 2021 at 2:39 AM
    #8
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    2Runner [OP] and Das it mang like this.
  9. Jan 26, 2021 at 3:31 AM
    #9
    Das it mang

    Das it mang Well-Known Member

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    3k into a 5 lug and it aint even LT
    chrslefty likes this.
  10. Jan 26, 2021 at 6:53 AM
    #10
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    I think there from the old tie down. Ill look at the new battery.
     
    2Runner [OP] likes this.
  11. Jan 26, 2021 at 9:00 AM
    #11
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly where my brain was going after looking at this a bit. :thumbsup:

    First I thought I would lose the plastic spacer and then modify the oem arm, or fabricating a custom arm. Then I started thinking for my efforts it would probably make more sense to relocate the battery just like you are suggesting here.

    Hence why I decided to just make it work for now while researching the relocation for another day!
     
    chrslefty likes this.
  12. Jan 27, 2021 at 5:44 PM
    #12
    2Runner

    2Runner [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I dont know much about lithium automotive batteries honestly, but this sounds like an awesome solution for me if it really is 7-10 pounds. I was thinking to relocate my agm, but if I could simply drop 26-30 pounds (My Optima yeller top is 36 pounds) and have the battery TOTALLY secure in the oem mount this sounds pretty darn awesome to me!!

    Please shoot me the link to your ebay item, I see a bunch on there now but I would like to check yours out since you turned me on to the lipo idea!!
     

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