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Posts: 3,875
Registered: August 2007
Location: DFW TX

 

Deka ETX14 Lightweight Battery for the Track

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 57468 Sat September 18, 2010

 

Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
67% of reviewers $94.00 9.0

 

Description:
This article describes my installation of a Deka ETX14 lightweight AGM battery for use at the track. I would not recommend this battery for routine, day to day use, but it can be easily changed back and forth for track days, autocross, etc.

WARNING: The Cayman (and I presume Boxster also) have engine compartment cooling fans which can come on at any time the engine compartment temperature is above the set limit - even if the engine is off.

If you have been running the car hard, and there is a high ambient temperature, the engine fan could come on and drain the battery (don't ask me how I know). Have a battery charger or jumper cables available if you are running in hot weather!




Background: The OEM battery is a nearly 50 lb. behemoth sitting in front of your dash. You can save around 35 lb by replacing it with the Deka ETX14 AGM Sports Battery. This battery weighs only 11.5 lbs, and is basically the same as the Braille B14115 battery which is marketed to auto enthusiasts for racing and track use; the only difference is the case, and the price (the Deka retails for about 1/2 the price of the equivalent Braille model). In addition to the battery you will need the following items:

SAE Terminal Adapters (can be found online or in auto parts stores)
Battery Mount Kit (I ordered the 6" universal kit from Braille, but you can also find similar parts at Autozone or other stores)
10 mm wrench
13 mm socket wrench w/ extension
drill w/ 1/4" bit
pliers
hacksaw or Dremel

To begin with you need to remove your OEM battery; using the 10 mm wrench disconnect the battery cables, starting with the Negative (ground) terminal first. The picture below shows the right side with the Positive (Red) terminal, the battery vent tube, and retaining bracket.




After disconnecting the positive terminal cable, disconnect the vent tube from the battery (it's just a little plastic elbow fitting that pulls out) and use a 13mm socket to remove the bolt holding the retaining bracket. You can now lift the battery out - NOTE: there are 2 handles on the battery which fold up to facilitate lifting it. Also, I would recommend standing with at least one foot in the front trunk, so that you can get better leverage without injuring your back.

Next you need to position your Deka battery in the compartment; you could mount it vertically in the usual fashion, but since it is a sealed, glass mat battery, it can also be laid on its side, which is what I chose to do. You will have to attach your SAE posts to the sides as opposed to the top of the battery.




You will find that there is just barely enough length in the battery cables to reach the battery terminals, so there isn't a lot of flexibility in where you can place it anyway. Temporarily attach the cables to the battery (attach Positive first) to hold it in position while you mark the position for the J-hooks. I used a long drill bit thru the holes on the polymer hold-down to score the battery pan where the holes would go (see picture below).




Next, you need to remove the battery pan - DO NOT attempt to drill through it while it is in place - the fuel tank and pump are directly under the pan (see below). There are 4 13mm nuts which hold it in place, and it easily lifts out.




I drilled a 1/4" hole for each J-hook and removed any burrs with a Dremel. Now you have 2 options regarding the J-hooks - you can fit them thru the plate from below and there will be enough clearance because of the opening to the fuel tank. However, that means you have to remove the battery pan every time you want to change batteries. I elected to bend my J-hooks into L-hooks, so that I can insert them thru the holes from above, without having to remove the pan in the future. I also cut off the excess part of the hooks above the battery mount that I didn't need. The before and after pictures are shown below.

Before:




and after:




Now, simply replace the battery pan, insert your L-hooks (be careful not to let them fall all the way thru) and install and connect the battery. Secure the mount with the wingnuts and you're good to go!






Where to find parts:

Deka EXT14 Battery
SAE Terminals
Braille 6" Mount kit
Link to Forum Topic about this item: (if applicable): http://www.planet-9.com/cayman-compe...tml#post220394
Keywords: Deka ETX14 Lightweight Battery Track Braille

 

Author
Slatfatf

Geek

Registered: September 2007
Posts: 1693
Review Date: Sun August 31, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
My actual weight savings, including terminal adapters and all mounting harware, was 36 lb. Nice article KS-CS!
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Slatfatf

Geek

Registered: September 2007
Posts: 1693
Review Date: Sat September 13, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Do not attempt to do a Softronics software flash with a lightweight battery in your car! It just not have enough capacity.
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Slatfatf

Geek

Registered: September 2007
Posts: 1693
Review Date: Thu November 13, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
As an experiment, I tried leaving the lightweight battery installed in the car to see what would happen, instead of the recommended approach of swapping it in and out for track or AX days. The result was that the battery died a slow death over a period of about 10 weeks. During this time I drove the car normally - plenty of short trips, some long trips, some times where the car wasn't driven for a week, etc. I did charge the battery a few times - maybe once every 2-3 weeks. As the battery began to die some side effects cropped up. The clock would reset on every start, and sometimes the fuel gauge would read incorrectly.


The weight savings is fantastic, so I'll pick up another battery and swap it in and out for track and AX days. It only takes a few minutes.
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KS-CS

Site Upgrade Donor

Registered: August 2007
Location: DFW TX
Posts: 3875
Review Date: Thu November 13, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
The other thing I've noticed is, that as the battery starts to weaken, the windows don't reset to fully closed when you close the door (in fact, the gap gets larger, unless you manually raise the windows) - not a big deal unless you are leaving the car out in the rain.

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trunkmonkey
PCA Member

Registered: September 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 127
Review Date: Sat July 24, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?: Yes
I used a ETX30 battery instead, it was only 5lb more than the 14 but has twice the capacity and cranking amps. I wanted to be able to leave it in the car for daily driving. I've had it in for 6 months and its still running strong. I do use a solar battery maintainer when letting the car sit or when at the track so the car can cool its self and not drain the battery. http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50012...2/thejunkiecom
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Professor MSP

Porsche Activist

Registered: April 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 275
Review Date: Sat September 18, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $94.00 | Rating: 9 
Pros: Lightweight, reasonably simple installation
Cons: None yet
Have you installed this Product or Mod?: Yes
I would like to add a few comments regarding my installation.


First off, a big "Thank You" to KS-CS for the excellent article. It sure went a long way towards easing any worries that I might have had with the installation.


I purchased a Deka ETX30L battery. Its very close in size to the Deka ETX14 battery installed by KS-CS. On the other hand, the positive and negative posts of the ETX30L are on the opposite sides of the battery compared to those of the ETX14 pictured in the first photo in the article. This meant that I could not install the battery in the same position as did KS-CS. I tried flipping the battery around (still laying on its side) so that the posts faced the front of the car with the positive post on the passenger side, but the positive battery cable was no where near long enough for this to work.


Given the above, I mounted the battery in essentially the same position as the OEM battery. Even then, the battery cables were too short to reach the battery posts. I solved this problem by removing the battery try and routing the positive battery cable behind the battery tray and in front of the fire wall. This gave me the needed length to install the battery in the said position.


I did not drill into the battery tray in the manner KS-CS did when installing the battery. I instead followed the approach of a fellow on Porsche Pete's Boxster Board—search for "Braille Battery"—and drilled holes in the retaining bracket and in the side of the tray on the driver's side for the J-hooks.

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Modification \n (1603)\ the making of a limited change in something; also : the result of such a change
Modifications not listed in garage: Linear Logic ScanGauge II ($169.95), 30% Llumar tint ($139), Porsche black lug bolt covers ($30), Impact absorber plate delete, Nexus-6 clutch delay defeat, Cayman spoiler ($100), Cayman 74mm throttle body and plenum ($234), Porsche Silver Hood and Steering Wheel Crests ($145 + $25)
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