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Well, I have just fitted my homemade Autolite battery cover today. I have fancied one of these covers for some time now, but with the shipping and tax, it comes out at around $100 for what is effectively a lump of plastic. So I had the brainwave to make my own. How hard can it be? And the best bit is it cost me basically nothing to make it apart from a few afternoons of work.

I have recently got a new battery for my Mustang and I made sure I got one with a flat top surface which would be ideal for a cover. I had some scrap sheet plastic in my garage and I cut a piece to size and made 2 holes for the terminals to poke through. I also cut some plastic strips which I glued on to the cover to add sides so it slipes over the top of the battery. And then did some shaping with a file and applied some filler to try and get the desired look.

I then put my thinking cap on with what to make the filler caps from. I thought I would be able to buy them, but I either could not find any, or the sellers wanted too much money for them. I checked through loads of surplus stuff I have ( you never know when you will need it ) and found some potentiometer knobs. They really looked the part and were about the right size. They were too tall, so I cut the tops down and then used some body filler to fill the holes in. I had some red paint leftover from painting my brake calipers ( worth about 20BHP ) and that was perfect for painting the caps. And then I glued them in place.

For the lettering, I found a picture of a reproduction cover and cut out the section with the lettering on it and printed it scaled to the size I needed. I taped this to the plastic cover and then gently scored through the paper into the plastic around each letter. I then peeled off the paper and used a modelling brush and more of the above red paint and painted in each letter. I made a few mistakes and the paint went over the scored lines, and I just scraped it off when it was dry.

And to top it all off, I spray painted the battery black.

So here it is in all its glory. Just to add that I don't take things too seriously and I am not trying to fool anyone and I am just having a bit of fun with this.

The boring new battery.
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My lovely new cover ( well I like it anyway ).
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Before it went in the car.
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And fitted to my car. Excuse the dirty engine bay as I have not driven it much over the winter and it needs a good clean.
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Jeremy.
 

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NICE WORK DUDE!......
when compared to my expensive fake cover....
 

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That is great! I have always wanted to fit a smaller battery inside an old Autolite battery I picked up a swap meet years ago. I think a lithium ion battery maybe the way to go.
 

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I think about all the things I could make with one of these:

 

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Very nice job on the cover!
I've seen the covers... those lumps of plastic, and the big issue with them is the way they get "bowed" over the caps underneath.
I'm a little nervous about your posts being on the fender well side... just sayin'...
 

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Fender side is where mine is. Ive got the rubber shields on both of my cars.
 

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That is great! I have always wanted to fit a smaller battery inside an old Autolite battery I picked up a swap meet years ago. I think a lithium ion battery maybe the way to go.
I have an empty 24F battery box that would be ideal for an Optima battery to go in and it would never corrode the battery tray. I suppose I could make the top look like an Autolite Sta-Ful, like @JRFox 's cool idea.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
NICE WORK DUDE!......
when compared to my expensive fake cover....
But your cover looks a lot better with a lot more detail and could even be mistaken for the real thing. Without the shipping and tax, I would have probably just purchased one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think about all the things I could make with one of these:

This is something I have always wanted to try. I am also into 1/5th scale petrol ( gas ) radio controlled cars and replacement bodies are so expensive for what they are. I would love to make my own bodies ( a Mustang obviously ).
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for all the comments. Only time will tell if it holds up in the engine compartment with all the heat from the engine. Anyway, for now, it looks nicer than the boring modern battery. I might try and do something better with the lettering as it seems quite fragile. I chipped a little bit of paint when I was fitting the battery and I had to touch it up again. Maybe I can cut some letters out of some thin red plastic and glue them on.

If anyone was wondering about the battery clamp, it is from a late model Mazda ( the shame ). I did not have the correct clamp and I did not really want to import one. The Mazda clamp was almost a perfect fit, but it was too loose on the battery. So I cut it into two pieces and removed some metal and welded it back together so make it fit perfectly. Also, the two holes for the threaded studs to go through were slightly in the wrong place and I had to weld up the old holes and redrill them. The clamp was used and cost next to nothing on ebay.

I like the idea of putting a modern battery inside a real old battery.

I was trying to think the other day when car batteries stopped having individual filler caps on them. I got my first car in 1988 and I don't think new batteries had them then, but I can't really remember to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also something else. As you can see in my final picture, I have made an additional small bracket that goes from the clamp onto the bodywork. There was already a hole there for a screw to go into which looks factory standard. I have looked at pictures of 69 Mustang engine compartments online and could not see one using this hole. So I am not sure if it is meant for this or not. But I can certainly say that it really stiffens up the mounting of the battery. Without it, the battery can still wobble a bit, and now it is much better.
 

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Now for your next magic trick, how about a 22F cover? Most Mustangs of the period came with a 22F battery, but no one reproduces a 22F cover or 22F battery.

For those of us who don't have those knobs lying around, repro battery caps are available.
 

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I have an empty 24F battery box that would be ideal for an Optima battery to go in and it would never corrode the battery tray. I suppose I could make the top look like an Autolite Sta-Ful, like @JRFox 's cool idea.
Was your empty box a "display"?
 

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Was your empty box a "display"?
Thread hijack -

During college I worked at Autozone. My favorite prank when I was there: When stocking batteries I would slip in one of the hollow display batteries and, pretending it was as heavy as the rest, chuck it at a new guy. The physical comedy was pure gold.

Anyway, to the OP - really nice work.
 
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