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Old 09-24-2019, 12:01 PM   #1
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New battery, different size

My battery crapped out on me the other day when trying to start it in morning, I hadn't drove it for 2 weeks. Figured the battery was probably old and due to replace so pulled it, realized it was the original battery! 13 years old. Inherited this car from my grandmother shy of two years ago.

Anyway - it was the stock Motorcraft BXT-40R. Just got a WalMart battery, they don't have 40R, so I got the 96R (same cranking specs as the original 40R though) which is a few inches narrower, leaving space in the battery tray allowing the battery to slide/shift around even when locked down. Do you guys with 96R batteries leave it like that or fill in the gap somehow? I stuffed some bubble wrap in the gap for now...


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Old 09-24-2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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I have a some red shop towels that I have rolled up and shoved in there that I use. That way it wont melt, can be used to clean the oil dip stick, and other tools.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIMland View Post
My battery crapped out on me the other day when trying to start it in morning, I hadn't drove it for 2 weeks. Figured the battery was probably old and due to replace so pulled it, realized it was the original battery! 13 years old. Inherited this car from my grandmother shy of two years ago.

Anyway - it was the stock Motorcraft BXT-40R. Just got a WalMart battery, they don't have 40R, so I got the 96R (same cranking specs as the original 40R though) which is a few inches narrower, leaving space in the battery tray allowing the battery to slide/shift around even when locked down. Do you guys with 96R batteries leave it like that or fill in the gap somehow? I stuffed some bubble wrap in the gap for now...
Almost all 00-07 Focus were available with either the 40R or 96R battery depending on equipment and all had a battery tray that could hold either. The 96R is about 1-9/16" narrower than the 40R. My 02 wagon has a 96R with space on both sides. My 05 ZX4 has a 40R. Motorcraft only sells the 96R now. Unless it is broken the hold down should keep the battery from moving.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:15 PM   #4
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It seems like the threaded rod that the 10mm nut screws onto and locks down the top plastic swivel isn't threaded long enough and bottoms out which leaves a small gap between the plastic and flared nut, so this is probably why my battery can slide. It was the same way with the stock 40R, had to have come from factory that way
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIMland View Post
It seems like the threaded rod that the 10mm nut screws onto and locks down the top plastic swivel isn't threaded long enough and bottoms out which leaves a small gap between the plastic and flared nut, so this is probably why my battery can slide. It was the same way with the stock 40R, had to have come from factory that way
Both my 02 and my 05 have the type of battery hold down that uses a 'block' with a single bolt that holds down a 'lip' on the front bottom of the battery. You can see the type in this video (in fact the battery in the video is a 96R in a 40R capable tray):

Perhaps different types of factory trays/hold downs were used. ?

Can you post a pic of your battery hold down?

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Last edited by Paul1958; 09-24-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:50 PM   #6
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Interesting that's exactly how the battery comportment was on my 2003 Taurus, but my 2006 Focus is different, here's a pic online of what mine looks like, and the wrench is on the 10mm nut I spoke of, where the threads bottom out not allowing that top block/strap to get tight down on battery. Might have to borrow a friends die to cut the threads further down.



That thick plastic strap has hooks in the back and swivels up, allowing it to detach, then the large plastic shroud over battery lift right up exposing the battery and tray, and battery isn't secured in that tray, so it can slid back and forth.

Last edited by GRIMland; 09-24-2019 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:48 PM   #7
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Put a spacer between the top plate and top of battery to take up space, instant tight. Or convert to common j-hooks and cut the top down to fit as it will hit hood when used.

50 different ways to fix that.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIMland View Post
my 2006 Focus is different, here's a pic online of what mine looks like

I did some more research - looks like they changed the battery tray from the 'hold down block' type to the type you have sometime in mid 2005. My 2005 is an early one with the old design.

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Last edited by Paul1958; 09-24-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:17 PM   #9
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Honestly I think the type you have is probably simpler and better
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:03 PM   #10
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It's simpler but I've seen accidents knock those blocks loose before.
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