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Old 04-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
industrial
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DIY: 5lb Shorai Battery Install

There are several options out there for lightweight batteries. I didn't really like any of them. Most seemed overpriced, underpowered and/or overweight for what they offered. During the course of my research, I came across the Shorai lithium-iron battery... It's very light, cheaper than lithium-ion and packs quite a bit of power. Like a freaking unicorn of lightweight batteries. I have no idea why everyone isn't running these.

So I pulled the trigger...
Ordered a Shorai LFX36A3-BS12 Powersports Battery (A better battery with the correct orientation would be the LFX36L3-BS12) ~$270

Also ordered...
Braille Battery 1821 Universal Mount Kit / Rubber Tie Down Braille Battery 1821 Universal Mount Kit / Rubber Tie Down
(I have replaced the actual rubber tie with the metal SPT tiedown, works great!)
       Brass SAE Automotive Battery Terminal Set for Hawker Odyssey Batteries Brass SAE Automotive Battery Terminal Set for Hawker Odyssey Batteries
($12)

I found out I needed these to finish the install...
       KnuKonceptz 1/0 Gauge Crimp Style Ring Terminal KnuKonceptz 1/0 Gauge Crimp Style Ring Terminal
($8)
KnuKonceptz KCA Kable 0 Gauge Power Wire Black KnuKonceptz KCA Kable 0 Gauge Power Wire Black
($4)
1/4" Nylon washers from Lowes, see picture ($1)

The specs on the battery are amazing...




And the battery weighs exactly 5.2 pounds. More capacity than stock and 24 less pounds!

Installation was a bit tricky but once I eyeballed it enough I figured it out.



There was no way to make it fit with the stock mounting hardware and using just the stock battery hookups. I decided to make about a foot long extension for the negative terminal. I crimped the huge connectors with a set of lockjaw pliers then made a double crimp compression using a chisel and hammer. Those connectors aren't going anywhere!

I also needed to buy some 1/4in nylon washers (I sandwiched them between stainless fender washers) for the stock battery ties because the new battery is so short I ran out of threads. Using that hardware with the braille rubber tie, everything went in perfect.

I installed some thick rubber weatherstripping along the base of the battery to offer a little extra security. I can rock the car with the battery though so I don't think it's going anywhere. I zip tied the OEM negative hardware where you see it along one of the preexisting wiring harnesses.

Retained all the stock hardware for the winter months when the big battery might have to go in.



I'll update this thread when/if the battery gives me a hard time. I've started the car just fine all day today. Fires right up like stock. There are some s2k guys that have been running this battery for 2 years with no troubles. If anyone has any questions, let me know!

This battery is also used on the awesome TRD griffon car too.



Last edited by industrial; 10-01-2015 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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Thanks for the writeup. I have my lfx21 coming in. I managed to find 6" j-hooks =)

Let us know how the battery holds up. Might have to invest in the Shorai charger...
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:34 AM   #3
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Had a few 30 degree mornings. The car seemed to have an easier time starting than with the stock battery. Been dding like its a normal battery, nothing strange to report.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
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I feel more comfortable doing this mod knowing that the professionals involved in the TRD Griffon project went with this battery. On the other hand seems like no reported issues from "Industrial" which is also good to know.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Very nice find, thanks for sharing
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Very nice find indeed.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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It turns out that Shorai makes another version of this battery, the LFX36L3-BS12, that is exactly the same, except it has the opposite polarity of the one in this DIY.

If you used that version, you would not have needed to make adaptor/extension cables, and it would have been a drop-in fit.

http://shoraipower.com/lfx36l3-bs12-p130


Last edited by neurokinetik; 08-13-2013 at 06:35 PM. Reason: 6" J-hook kit is useless
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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So the drop-in fit wasn't exactly true. I ended up fabbing my own battery tie-down out of aluminum T-channel because the Braille one was not going to work with the battery mounted in the stock orientation. I knocked this together in about an hour, and it is way overkill for the job. But, much like Industrial's solution, if you grab the tiedown or the battery and try to shake it, the whole car moves.

I'm going to make a couple of revisions to this to simplify it, make it lighter, and also Plasti-dip it for additional safety.

End result though, I was able to use the factory j-hooks, and battery terminals.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Revised the battery tie-down. This version is pretty close to the same weight as stock, if not lighter. Materials needed to make one like it are around $10.

http://stores.ebay.com/8020incgaragesale

I am using the equivalent of the 2020 metric T-slot profile, and you can get an 18" long piece for less than $5 off ebay. Just add the appropriate size button head cap screws and you've got all you need. Use a chop saw (or even a hacksaw - just make sure your cuts are square) to cut the pieces to size (one 8.5 inches, one 3, and one 1), and tap the ends of the two short support pieces to match the cap screws. Mark your locations and drill four holes in the long section: two for the J-hooks, and two access holes to tighten the button head cap screws.

I've got the J-hooks on the wrong ends in the picture, but you get the idea. I'm probably going to plasti-dip this thing, but haven't bothered yet.


EDIT: Did a half-assed Plastidip job on the tiedown. Looks ok for what it is, and the dip provides insulation as well as even better grip on the battery.
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Last edited by neurokinetik; 09-07-2013 at 12:17 PM. Reason: New pics
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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How has this battery performed so far?
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:55 PM   #11
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Industrial would be better able to answer, but I've had no issues so far. Car is daily driven. I do not plan to run this battery year-round, even though I probably could.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:25 AM   #12
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looking for a lightweight battery as well. is your car a DD? also, let us know how it performs in the winter!
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting this. Somewhere I saw someone claim they were running a 3.5lb Shorai battery, so I've been planning on getting one ever since, but haven't started researching them yet. Thanks for reducing my workload.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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Cranking the car is the biggest load you'll require from a battery, right? I'm pretty sure it is. So wouldn't a lightweight flywheel + lightweight pulleys reduce the requirements for the battery?

Whenever the time comes, I'll be trying to go with as small a battery as I possibly can.
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