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Old 07-02-2022, 04:08 AM   #1
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Mounting to the battery box

Hi all, so I have a Ford sensors that I am trying to mount to the battery box. I tried the 3M double sided tape it came with, but after a hot day, that just came off. Itís dangling now and Iím not quite sure what to do. I have metal screws, but Iím nervous to drive them into the battery box, there is too little room there and I wouldnít want to damage the batteries. I guess I could remove the batteries, drill holes, and bolt it, but honestly the prospect of figuring out how to do that safely (without electrocuting myself and getting everything back in correctly) is a bit daunting.

Have any other folks mounted to the battery box? What all have you tried? I wanted to avoid drilling holes in the frame if at all possible. Not that Iím afraid to, I just figure the fewer holes there the better.
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Old 07-02-2022, 04:56 AM   #2
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I drilled holes in my battery box without removing the batteries. I was careful, I worked slowly, and I drilled a pilot hole with a very small drill bit first. No issues.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:20 AM   #3
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Try 3M VHB Tape, we use it to mount solar panels to the roof. Never had a panel blow off.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
I drilled holes in my battery box without removing the batteries. I was careful, I worked slowly, and I drilled a pilot hole with a very small drill bit first. No issues.
I can see carefully drilling the hole. But thereís no way I could get my hand on the inside for a nut or bolt to attach to. Did you have some trick for getting a bolt or nut in there?

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Try 3M VHB Tape, we use it to mount solar panels to the roof. Never had a panel blow off.

Iím pretty sure 3M VBH is what was on there already, but because the powder coat on the battery box is not smooth, it didnít seem to stickÖ even with cleaning the surface first. Maybe I just need to try againÖ
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:11 AM   #5
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I can see carefully drilling the hole. But there’s no way I could get my hand on the inside for a nut or bolt to attach to.
When I did the battery disconnect, I removed the batteries. It's not that hard, and you gain an understanding of how things are wired. While they were out I added a rubber mat with drain holes to provide some cushion for the batteries.

It's also a good time to spray some Rust0leum to slow rust in the box.
I moved my Zamp bracket to the street side, drilled three matching holes in the battery box, then used truss headed screws from the inside (they're flatter with larger heads) so the matching nuts were on the outside. No danger of a screw bumping the batteries.
It never hurts to take a photo of the wiring if you're not changing anything.
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
When I did the battery disconnect, I removed the batteries. It's not that hard, and you gain an understanding of how things are wired. While they were out I added a rubber mat with drain holes to provide some cushion for the batteries.

I knew someone was going to challenge me to just buck up and remove the batteries, lol! Is there a good source you recommend to get instructions on how to remove them without electrocuting myself? Lol.

Also, good idea on the mat. Where did you get that or what search terms should I use to find the right thing for that?
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:57 AM   #7
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Iím pretty sure 3M VBH is what was on there already, but because the powder coat on the battery box is not smooth, it didnít seem to stickÖ even with cleaning the surface first. Maybe I just need to try againÖ
3M VHB sticks best to ultra-smooth surfaces so I don't think that was your problem. Make sure you prep with 90+% IPA and don't use any other cleaners. There are many types of VHB and I would suggest ordering some 4950 from Amazon which is what AM Solar uses on their panel feet.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B9ZP3JL...roduct_details
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
When I did the battery disconnect, I removed the batteries. It's not that hard, and you gain an understanding of how things are wired. While they were out I added a rubber mat with drain holes to provide some cushion for the batteries.

It's also a good time to spray some Rust0leum to slow rust in the box.
I moved my Zamp bracket to the street side, drilled three matching holes in the battery box, then used truss headed screws from the inside (they're flatter with larger heads) so the matching nuts were on the outside. No danger of a screw bumping the batteries.
It never hurts to take a photo of the wiring if you're not changing anything.
This is a great option.

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
3M VHB sticks best to ultra-smooth surfaces so I don't think that was your problem. Make sure you prep with 90+% IPA and don't use any other cleaners. There are many types of VHB and I would suggest ordering some 4950 from Amazon which is what AM Solar uses on their panel feet.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B9ZP3JL...roduct_details
Agreed. Also doubt that 3m VHB came with the unit. I used VHB for my TPMS repeater on the outside as well. It has been through snow and in 100+ degree heat and it has never loosened.

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I knew someone was going to challenge me to just buck up and remove the batteries, lol! Is there a good source you recommend to get instructions on how to remove them without electrocuting myself? Lol.
Instructions: disconnect the main black leads (and everything else on the negative terminals) and isolate those connections from everything else and you should be good. Not sure how your solar is wired (if you have it and are working outside), but you should disconnect there as well as the wiring could be funky and you could have power on that end.

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Also, good idea on the mat. Where did you get that or what search terms should I use to find the right thing for that?
Most Walmarts, HFs, Tractor $upply (ha!) (stay away from horse mats - too thick and too expensive), HDs or Lowe's will have a variety of different mat types WITH HOLES in stock that you can cut to fit. Same thing on Amazon, search for "rubber mat" and go from there.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
3M VHB sticks best to ultra-smooth surfaces so I don't think that was your problem. Make sure you prep with 90+% IPA and don't use any other cleaners. There are many types of VHB and I would suggest ordering some 4950 from Amazon which is what AM Solar uses on their panel feet.

Just to be clear, the surface I'm mounting it to is the opposite of ultra-smooth. It is a rough coating on the outside, very bumpy.


But this is good to know. Perhaps I'll try to adhere it again.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:52 AM   #10
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Just to be clear, the surface I'm mounting it to is the opposite of ultra-smooth. It is a rough coating on the outside, very bumpy.


But this is good to know. Perhaps I'll try to adhere it again.
Ahhh - that makes sense now. I think 3M is very clear that VHB should only be applied to smooth surfaces. Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by hikingcamera View Post
I knew someone was going to challenge me to just buck up and remove the batteries, lol! Is there a good source you recommend to get instructions on how to remove them without electrocuting myself? Lol.

Also, good idea on the mat. Where did you get that or what search terms should I use to find the right thing for that?
You won't electrocute yourself with 12V. Take a picture of the batteries and connections, you can also label the wires and proceed by disconnecting the wires on the +/red pole first, then the wires on the -/black pole second and pull out the batteries. Good recommendation to clean, remove all rust on the bottom of the box, drill drain holes (you can pour a bit of water to see where it pools and drill in the center of the pool), if clean and dry you can paint the bottom, I use Por 15, the best anti rust paint I know of (but follow instructions), once dry, I covered the painted bottom with a thin layer of ball bearing grease, then I placed a 1/4" thick plastic mesh that I found under unused wooden patio tiles, and then replaced the batteries. I pretty well did the same thing under the propane tanks and it's been a few years now and there is still no sign of any rust.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:23 PM   #12
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Make it easy on yourself. You know which is positive and which is negative. Take a picture so you have a reference. Go to Home Depot and buy some red and black electrical tape. Start with the negatives. As you remove the negatives - wrap them in black tape. As you remove the positives - wrap them in red tape. This way you will likely not have accidental grounding and sparks... very disconcerting. When that battery finally dies, buy a lithium. A Group 31 weighs about 30lbs and has twice the usable energy as lead acid/AGM. They also last 5x longer and maintain a constant 12.8v almost up to the point they run out. Costs of lithium has dropped t the point where they cost about the same as a quality AGM.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:29 PM   #13
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It will probably just be easier to take out the batteries. TAKE PICTURES OF THE WIRING FIRST!!! Yes, disconnect the black or negative wires first then disconnect everything else. Always a good idea to clean the battery terminals well and check the water levels in the batteries (if you have "old school" batteries), this is easier when they are out of the battery box. Makes it easier to give the battery box a good cleaning as well.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:40 PM   #14
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My approach might meet your needs. I bought a frame tool box at Harbor Freight, installed a hefty U-bolt out the bottom on each side, set it on the battery box and secured it in place with a bike lock type cable and padlock. It’s not hard to remove as long as I don’t lose the key, and it would give you a platform for drilling, gluing, taping or whatever. Plus, it provides storage for seldom used outdoor stuff that would otherwise clutter my compartment.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:59 PM   #15
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I mounted my Ford TPMS module to the battery box. My lithium batteries are now located in the coach but at the time I had the stock batteries and didn't remove them to install the module. The Ford module is powered from the 7 pin connector to the truck but the battery box was just a convenient place to mount it. If you have the Ford system, I assume your setup is similar.

As already mentioned, use a small bit to drill pilot holes then drill out to the size of your bolts. My installation kit came with stainless steel bolts (or I bought some, can't recall for sure), but it sounds like the OP got 3M tape instead. If you mount the module near the top of the box, you avoid interference and can get your fingers in there to thread the nuts without having to remove the batteries.

Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jimdelane View Post
When that battery finally dies, buy a lithium. A Group 31 weighs about 30lbs and has twice the usable energy as lead acid/AGM. They also last 5x longer and maintain a constant 12.8v almost up to the point they run out. Costs of lithium has dropped t the point where they cost about the same as a quality AGM.

I already have Battleborn Lithium batteries. When they die, I'll probably move the batteries inside and get a larger bank, maybe 400Ah.



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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
I mounted my Ford TPMS module to the battery box. My lithium batteries are now located in the coach but at the time I had the stock batteries and didn't remove them to install the module. The Ford module is powered from the 7 pin connector to the truck but the battery box was just a convenient place to mount it. If you have the Ford system, I assume your setup is similar.

As already mentioned, use a small bit to drill pilot holes then drill out to the size of your bolts. My installation kit came with stainless steel bolts (or I bought some, can't recall for sure), but it sounds like the OP got 3M tape instead. If you mount the module near the top of the box, you avoid interference and can get your fingers in there to thread the nuts without having to remove the batteries.

It's actually separate from the 7-pin cable. It has it's own 12-pin cable that connects to the sensor. I don't have the Ford TPMS or backup camera. I would love the Ford TPMS, but I can't get a straight answer on what part number to buy, and no one will help me install it.


The mount holes are about 2 inches down, even if I mount it at the very top, I can barely get my fingers between the battery and where the bolt hole would come out... Maybe with a pair of pliers I could hold the nut... if I could find a short enough bolt. Though as others have mentioned, I'd feel much more comfortable with the flat of the bolt facing in and the nut being on the outside to avoid any potential damage to the battery.


Might just have to suck it up and take the batteries out. There has been some good advice here about doing that, so hopefully it won't be too much of a pain.
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Old 07-02-2022, 02:14 PM   #17
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It's actually separate from the 7-pin cable. It has it's own 12-pin cable that connects to the sensor. I don't have the Ford TPMS or backup camera. I would love the Ford TPMS, but I can't get a straight answer on what part number to buy, and no one will help me install it.

The mount holes are about 2 inches down, even if I mount it at the very top, I can barely get my fingers between the battery and where the bolt hole would come out... Maybe with a pair of pliers I could hold the nut... if I could find a short enough bolt. Though as others have mentioned, I'd feel much more comfortable with the flat of the bolt facing in and the nut being on the outside to avoid any potential damage to the battery.

Might just have to suck it up and take the batteries out. There has been some good advice here about doing that, so hopefully it won't be too much of a pain.
Sorry, I misunderstood and thought you had the Ford system. Wish you had posted when you were looking for a TPMS, I think I could have pointed you in the right direction. The Ford installation was actually a straightforward DIY.

I can see your issue with the batteries and space. I didn't catch that you had Battleborns. They fit much tighter in the box than my stock lead acid batteries did. Looks like the batteries will have to come out to install your module. Again, good luck.
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Old 07-02-2022, 02:16 PM   #18
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If you want to mount your accessory to the battery box using something besides the 3M VHB tape, opting for threaded fasteners, try Nylon screws, nuts and lockwashers. They're non-conductive and most True Value / Ace Hardware stores carry them in their hardware section.
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Old 07-02-2022, 02:34 PM   #19
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Mounted mine under the battery box 4 years ago with 3M VHB, still holding. I used VHB 5952, there are several types, you may have used one that was not thick enough although I think just about any VHB would hold the repeater because its pretty light.

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Old 07-02-2022, 02:48 PM   #20
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Mounted mine under the battery box 4 years ago with 3M VHB, still holding. I used VHB 5952, there are several types, you may have used one that was not thick enough although I think just about any VHB would hold the repeater because its pretty light.

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