Making space in the engine bay without crowding the trunk

One of the biggest eyesores in the engine bay is the battery. Not only is it unsightly in my Spyder, it also blocks access to the fuel filter and can create issues mounting larger throttle body elbows when increasing the size of your intercooler pipes. It’s a pain to remove the battery to change fuel filters or throttle body gaskets.

Hard top owners can get around this by mounting their battery in the trunk, but soft top Eclipses have about a quarter of the trunk space. My emergency kit and tools already take up a big chunk of space (They don’t say DSM’s make mechanics out of regular car owners for nothing!) and I might want to actually bring a spare change of clothes when I come home to work on her. So Trunk mounting is out.

The alternative is a smaller battery. Years ago, I had a manager who actually ran a lawn mower battery in his Neon to save weight. I wanted something a little more suited to the task. JMF and Jay Racing both actually makes really nice kits using the Odyssey PC680-P Battery, which is a racing battery about half the size and weight of the factory battery. The PC680-P is meant as a racing battery, but it’s commonly used as an everyday replacement in the DSM community.

I planned on doing this upgrade later after bigger, more cost effective mods were out of the way. Then a used kit popped up on a classified ad and I felt the need to jump on it while I did my FMIC install (article and video to come!).  The mount it came with is one the guy made by cutting and re-welding his factory mount, but he did a great job. Later down the line, I might pick up one of the shinier options, but I’m happy for now.

I’ve been running it for about a 700 miles now without any issues. Bear in mind, I have a parking spot in a climate controlled garage that protects my car from the brutal Chicago temperatures. I can’t promise the same reliably for a car parked outdoors in extremely cold temperatures.

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