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Author Topic: Battery Replacement/ Installation DIY  (Read 46734 times)
sakimano
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« on: October 03, 2011, 11:14:04 AM »

If you have a bad battery, and need to replace it, it's a very easy job.  This DIY is almost unncessary, but it's nice to have just to make it easier and ensure that you have all the tools you'll need in advance/what to watch out for.  I have also included a few tips on PITA moments in the job that you should look out for.

Tools Required:
  • ratchet set including 10mm socket and a 7/32" hex bit
  • 8" socket extension

that's it!


First off, here's the engine bay.  The arrow points to the battery...yes, it's in an awful location for removal/installation.  It's as far rearward as Audi could put it, but it's unfortunately almost right in the middle of the engine bay, thus is hard to reach. 

*Cliff Claven says 'Interesting fact...Audi has the battery shifted to the passenger side, and the entire engine is also shifted about 3/4 of an inch towards the passenger side.  Why?  To offset the driver's weight and bring more balance to the car.'







First step is to remove the battery cover (it just slides towards the passenger side). Put it down somewhere out of the way (I'll show you why later).


Then remove the rubber liner that holds/seals the full cover that is the full width of the engine bay.  Just give it a yank...it's disconcerting the first time, but it's held in by nothing.  Just yank it.    Now remove the 4 foot wide plastic cover itself.  It too is held in by nothing really, but it slides underneath a lip.  Standing at the front of the grill, just pull the whole thing towards you, then out it comes.




Now, get your 4 rings engine cover off, and move it out of the way.  It will only be getting leaned on etc. if its there, so best to move this fragile little piece.  It just pops off by pulling it up.


Next, I'd recommend disconnecting the battery.  This too is pretty easy...just need a 10mm socket to loosen the two main cable connectors.  Some electrical engineer will hopefully chime in here on which to do first, if anything (+ve or -ve).  I did +ve first.  I didn't die, and the car still works, so maybe that's it (or it doesn't matter).   





Now, you have to get down to the clamp that holds the battery in place.  It's like a little foot down on the bottom that holds down the battery by the lip you can see in the pic. Trying to reach it is another story.  It's a hex bolt (I believe that's what it's called) and the one I used was 7/32".  I had to use an 8" extension from a 3/8" drive ratchet set to get down there, with an adapter for the 7/32" hex.  The adapter was kinda thick, and as you can see it's a tight fit.  Take your time, and have a pen extension magnet on hand in case you lose a piece.   


Here's what the little clamp looks like




Here are the 10mm socket and 7/32" hex



Now you need to disconnect the little accordion drain tube that goes in the driver's side of the battery.  Just pop it out and have it out of the way when you install the new one.  Don't forget to reconnect it, or the car will explode.  That may or may not be true, but still...don't forget about it.  I almost did when reconnecting...and again when doing this DIY write up.




When this is done, the battery can come out.  That's when you need either:

a) serious manstrength to pull it straight out
b) an engine hoist
c) Chuck Norris


In all seriousness, it's not impossible, but lifting the big brick straight up hanging 3 feet away from your core is tough. 


Have a look at the battery on a scale to see why.



Now you have a big hole in your car that needs a new battery.  Either replace it with another 59lb OEM battery, or get a nice lightweight replacement.  Examples include the Optima RedTop at about 35lbs...the Braille 21lber...the DEKA 21lber or the Big Crank 21lber.  All have worked well for other members.  There is a fairly large price discrepency in the last 3, despite the fact they're all made by the same company, then rebranded, so do your research and don't get ripped off!  No matter which one you use, you'll need to fab up a bracket, or buy an A4/S4 bracket...and I'm not sure one exists. OR you could call PES/b6guy42 and ask for their cardboard shim DIY Cheesy

Reinstallation is basically the same process in reverse order.  You may need to put the battery on the manifold cover then manouvre yourself in position to lower it into the cavity.  It weighs a bunch so I'm not sure if this is great advice.  That's why I removed the top engine cover part earlier...and i then put two thick towells on top of the manifold cover to absorb the weight and ensure nothing got roughed up in the process.  This made it much easier to transfer from there to the battery cavity. The hood is nicely in the way during all of this as well, so just be patient...plan it out, then do it.

Make sure the little clamp that holds the battery in place is in position before replacing the battery, but tucked out of the way enough for the battery to get in.  Otherwise the battery will crush it.  I pulled it to the extreme left side of the cavity.  There's some kind of sway bar that makes this extra annoying...just tuck it up behind that.     Took me 3 lowerings to get it right because of this little manouevering.  Like everything with this engine bay, there is NO ROOM for this.  Has to be just right or you'll be frustrated.

Once the battery is in, clamp it down, connect the drain, connect the positive and negative terminals and tighten it up. Then button everything else up (covers) in reverse order.


Helpful hints


1.  get a friend to help (or work out for 4 months in advance to be in shape).  It's a lot easier to have someone to pass the battery to when you pull it, and vice versa when you re-insert it.
2.  be prepared to:
a) reprogram your radio station presets (mine didn't, but apparently they sometimes reset)
b) reprogram your memory seats (mine didn't erase)
c) have your radio code handy to unlock it (mine didn't lock out)
d) reprogram your express up/down windows -  you just do them one at a time...run the window all the way up, release the button, then hold it up for 2 seconds.  Do this for each one (mine did need to be reset)
e) reprogram your keyfob - however instead of actively reprogramming, you can just drive the car around a few times and they will re-program themselves. (mine needed to be reprog'd...just drove around and it worked itself out)
f) reprogram the date (oh noes!)
3.  get the engine covers off and out of the way.  They're going to get leaned on and maybe snap.  I have a bad habit of leaving the engine/battery covers on top of the engine and then shutting the frigging hood on them.  I now need a new battery cover as I did this the other day.  That's why I have the Macguyver battery cover holder in full effect




After all is done, it should look like this again (but without duct tape holding your F&$@#NG battery cover on Cheesy)

 
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 12:34:26 AM »

Very well done. I love the added commentary. Very useful for the first time battery change.
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sakimano
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 01:55:34 PM »

Is the RS4 battery the same ridiculously large one?  I know it's in the trunk, but I haven't look on my new car.  It would be easier to get out at least.
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 06:10:16 PM »

I have no spare tire in the trunck but I do have my batt as well. I have soem pictures
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sakimano
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 12:16:55 PM »

I have no spare tire in the trunck but I do have my batt as well. I have soem pictures

I looked in the RS4 trunk last night.   Same battery (around 60 lbs) as the one in the S4.
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 12:11:56 PM »

Question for everyone.  My battery is on it's way out and I have been searching all over and can't find a 35 series red top anywhere.  From going through some other forums it seems like a fair number of people have had issues ordering online.

Should I go for what is in stock which is the 34R, that has higher CCA and a very slight bump in reserve capacity and weighs 37.9 lbs?

Or where I'm starting to lean, order it online save some extra cash through their promo code, and save 6.2lbs by going for the 35?

It's free shipping on the order, and I can return it through one of their store locations but I would have to wait a couple days with a small possibilty of an issue with the battery.

Should I let it ride and go for the deal and weight savings?
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 12:33:30 PM »

RE: In reference to Saki's comment about L/W battery options - same specs but different pricing. Here is what you need to know. This is excerpts from various forums related to the topic. I called Deka and verified the summary below is accurate.


"Deka is simply the name East Penn sells under, i.e., engineer's at East Penn design and manufacture Deka batteries. All of this is easily verifiable."

"(Don't believe the marketing nonsense concerning testing. Deka's specs are probably more accurate than those who rebadge them. Deka also makes BigCrank batteries as well as Magna Power among others. They are all the same.)"

"I just got off the phone with Lou at East Penn Manufacturing.

Here's the deal per our conversation.

East Penn manufactures the Deka battery. We know that. Braille then takes that same East Penn Deka battery and does "some fancy stuff" to it (specific to the model apparently like putting it in a carbon case, fancy copper terminal) and does some fancy marketing. None of the "fancy stuff" changes the performance or specs of the battery at all. The inerts of both the Braille and the Deka remain identical"

So hopefully the above info helps make the purchasing decision a clear one, don't pay for a Braille branded battery when you can get the same spec battery for a hell of a lot less.  Buy a DEKA brand or a Big Crank brand etc. SAME battery.
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 07:53:54 AM »

My new Optima red top finally arrived so I swapped it out last night.  No more limp mode for me!
I swapped in the much lighter 35 series, and with just one set of 10mm shims added to the tray it bolts up as good as the factory and absolutely no movement or blocks needed.

Here's a little hint for anyone who is having issues with the battery hold down.  You can use a 6mm hex head and remove 4 of the 5 hex bolts that are bolted to the factory strut brace.

 Two to the left of the battery, one right behind the intake manifold, and the last is right next to the master cylinder.  There are 5 bolts in total, but the fifth is blocked by the master cyliner itself, but with the other bolts removed you can just rotate the brace out of the way.  After that you can use the 6mm hex head on the battery hold down.

I tried bora's spacer trick, but I could only fit one per side but it was more than enough.  I have to say it's nice to have the car running normal again.
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sakimano
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 01:39:19 PM »

My new Optima red top finally arrived so I swapped it out last night.  No more limp mode for me!
I swapped in the much lighter 35 series, and with just one set of 10mm shims added to the tray it bolts up as good as the factory and absolutely no movement or blocks needed.

Here's a little hint for anyone who is having issues with the battery hold down.  You can use a 6mm hex head and remove 4 of the 5 hex bolts that are bolted to the factory strut brace.

 Two to the left of the battery, one right behind the intake manifold, and the last is right next to the master cylinder.  There are 5 bolts in total, but the fifth is blocked by the master cyliner itself, but with the other bolts removed you can just rotate the brace out of the way.  After that you can use the 6mm hex head on the battery hold down.

I tried bora's spacer trick, but I could only fit one per side but it was more than enough.  I have to say it's nice to have the car running normal again.

Good stuff.

Did you happen to weigh it?  Must be 20 lbs lighter.
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sakimano = 12.51 @ 110.53 = fastest privately owned and operated Avus Silver RS4 in Canada with a driver over 6'5" tall and a golf handicap of 2 or less

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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 09:35:08 AM »

It came out to be 33.2 lbs on my scale, plus being about half the weight made it pretty easy to drop in.
Using the pair of washers on the bottom bracket pretty much made it a perfect fit.  I was a little worried about the cranking power, but it starts a hell of a lot better than the old battery ever did.  I'll make sure I update again after the weather really starts going downhill.
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Meistah
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »

Just replaced my battery with a redtop today due to it sh*tting the bed. I dunno guys, that oem battery wasn't NEARLY as hard to get out as described. I was getting all psyched up to heave and haul and when I got to it, it came out pretty easily. (I'm 5'10 170lbs, and not much of that is muscle lol).

Regardless lol, great DIY, getting the battery out took like 10 mins maybe, getting the new one in took forever because I couldnt get it to fit well with the extra washers trick. I ended up making a ghetto little shim... which also didn't work too well as it could still slide, so I ended up securing it in a way so horrible and ghetto I won't even say it Grin





*cough cough* jb weld *cough cough*
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B6JoeS4
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I'd just sell as mint and get a GT3


« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 07:26:10 AM »

Saki is 6'8" 120lbs.  You can see why he struggled.
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 07:31:06 AM »

Saki is 6'8" 120lbs.  You can see why he struggled.

Lol, he must literally be a twig @ 6'8" 120lbs, sure you didn't mean 220 Wink

5'10" - 170 makes its pretty easy to get in there. I'm 6'0" 170lbs so I'll probably have no problems either.
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 07:41:45 AM »

**When disconnecting the battery take the (-) negative off first. Apparently its better for the ECU to power down that way.

**When reconnecting the battery put the (+) positive on first.

The ease of which the battery is removed is in positive correlation with how much you are willing to lean the the fender of your car....lol
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sakimano
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012, 08:34:14 AM »

^^^ or the manifold

A couple of things..

1.  is the B6 3.0 battery the same 61 lb battery that's in the B6/7 S4? 
2.  is it in the same location?
3.  do your cars not have hoods on them getting in the way of getting you up close to the battery?
4.  I'm 6'5" 240.     
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sakimano = 12.51 @ 110.53 = fastest privately owned and operated Avus Silver RS4 in Canada with a driver over 6'5" tall and a golf handicap of 2 or less

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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 09:01:58 AM »

Apat, didn't know that! I did the opposite lol... I managed to blow the fuse in my headunit at some point, oooops. it's such a PITA to take out.


Saki:

1. Yes, maybe not the same battery exactly but it's the same weight.
2. From the pictures, yes same location
3. Yes, but maybe that's where our height difference comes into play. I'm probably shorter enough than you that it doesn't matter too much, the hood didn't get in the way for me at all.
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 10:15:10 AM »

^Yea, it's a hard lesson learned, but one you'll never forget. It's much safer to always disconnect the negative first, and also reconnect it last. Remember this same technique when jumping a car as well.

That's why if you do it this way, hardly any sparks fly but if ya do it the other way, that positive terminal with spark pretty good if ya don't catch it just right.


The battery is bad, but I didn't think it was awful after how much I psyched myself up as well. From what I hear, the Count just uses his pinky finger to remove and install these batteries.
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I'd just sell as mint and get a GT3


« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 11:16:47 AM »

The 3.0 A4 does share the same battery with the S4.  Same location too.

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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2012, 01:53:56 PM »

If anyone is looking for a lighter option than OEM and still wants 850cca check out the Interstate Batteries MTP-93. It weighs in at 43lbs. 85 mo pro rate 30mo free replacement. Retails around $150. Same size as OEM.

I've seen the S4 battery in some A4s but some V6 A4s were equipped with a similar looking battery that is 12 3/8" long and has 650cca instead of 850cca(13 1/2"). They can use either battery.


**Disclaimer**
I manage an Interstate Batteries. I am biased on what batteries are good and bad but I am right...lol
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I'd just sell as mint and get a GT3


« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 11:03:09 PM »

That's weird.  My A4 battery had the original factory battery and it was 850cca.  I remember because I was looking into replacing it before I decided to sell it.   

Audi just can't make up their mind.
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 11:07:48 PM »

I went with an optima red top. Same width as oem (so the oem bracket will still grab it to secure it) but a good bit lighter and still good cca etc. I have a pretty serious stereo though, I wanted to error on the side of caution, and JHM still hasn't built any brackets to make some of the ultra light batteries a bolt in option. I'm happy though as now I don't DD my car as much so having the extra reserve with the battery is nice.
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 06:50:44 AM »

I had to put a new battery in last week. Still was on the OEM factory battery and after 6 years it didn't like -35C anymore.  Went with a Optima redtop.  Handled the cold great,  huge weight drop,  easy install. 
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sakimano
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2012, 07:32:30 AM »

was there a mount problem or did you ghetto shim it with cardboard like PES did with their customer's car after they re-installed his new motor (after hydrolocking it, lying to the guy's warranty company, getting the replacement engine and charging him a $1500 premium for getting him a lower mileage motor that the warranty company waived lol)
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I'd just sell as mint and get a GT3


« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2012, 07:53:13 AM »

Details details lol....

I might pawn off my 2 year old oem style battery on Craigslist and pick up a red top.  Maybe I'll make a home depot special aluminum bracket for it
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2012, 08:01:46 AM »

the factory clamp grabbed it good.  just bolted it in and went for a violent drive, checked it,  and it was fine.   wouldnt mind a strap over the back as heavy breaking is the only way I could see a issue.
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