The battery holder is an essential component of your car but one that many do not think about until it fails. Corrosion from a leaking battery is the worst enemy of these parts, and eventually, they will need to be replaced. This review will explore the best universal battery hold down kits for your vehicle.
Quick Product Comparison
|J Hook Battery Hold down bolts||
|Battery hold down Crossbar bolts||
|Battery Tie Down Mount Bracket||
|Universal Battery Tray Kit with "J" Hooks (Polished Stainless Steel)||
1. YYST Battery Box Tie Down Strap Kit
This set of battery lashing straps is strong and will keep your battery secure. They are 54-inches long and have stainless steel mounts. They are secured to the battery holder by 8 stainless steel screws. The cam buckles are also stainless steel used in 316, resistant to rust, and known for its durability. The straps are made from heavy-duty nylon, which is UV resistant.
We recommend this set of straps because they are made from heavy nylon, which is not likely to rip or tear easily. The straps, mounts, buckles, and screws are heavy duty. The stainless steel used for these straps will eventually rust, but they can be expected to last for many years.
This strap set is suitable for marine, RV, and other recreational uses. The nylon is made to be resistant to UV light, which will also improve the product’s longevity. It is recommended that you inspect your battery straps regularly because even the best ones will eventually wear out. This set is an affordable option to keep your battery safe and secure.
- 316 stainless steel buckles, mounts, and screws
- Heavy-duty strap
- UV resistant material
- Large enough for average batteries
- Can be used for boats and marine uses
- Strong teeth hold the straps in place
- Requires proper tools and skills for installation
- Improper installation can cause malfunction
- Battery leaks may reduce the strength of the straps
2. Road Power 966-8 J-Hook Battery Hold Down Bolts
This set of J-hook battery hold downs is a popular choice for many types of batteries. The set includes two hold-down bolts, wing nuts, and rubber washers. They are made from plated, tempered steel, which will resist rust. One thing to note is that this hold down set is intended to be used with a battery tray and hold-down frame. It adds an extra layer of stability and security to the standard battery frame hold down system. The set can also add support to a frame that is no longer trustworthy until you can get the tray replaced.
This hold-down set is an excellent choice for adding support to the existing battery frame system. The components are durable and could be expected to last for quite a few years. The manufacturer does not recommend that they be used as the sole means of support for your battery. These supports work with most batteries found in GM vehicles and might work with many other brands, too.
Easy to install
Excellent for additional support
Might not fit taller battery groups
Might not fit all battery tray mounting holes
Not recommended to be used alone
3. Uriah Products UV002500 Adjustable, Universal Crossbar, Battery Hold Down
The Uriah products adjustable, universal crossbar battery hold down is an excellent replacement for an original crossbar hold down that is no longer usable, or when you want an upgrade. This one uses L-bolts and can adjust to anywhere between 5.5 to 8.5 inches. The top hold down bolt has an adjustable length of up to 8-inches. It will fit most battery groups, even many odd sizes. It is durable and has a heavy feel. This crossbar will work with many replacement battery trays on a variety of makes and models of vehicles.
We recommend this crossbar holder because it can adjust to many different sizes of batteries. If you recently replaced your battery tray, this holder assembly will be adjusted to fit. It holds the battery securely, and it has a durable feel.
You might want to know that the actual bolt length is 9-7/8, which might be problematic for some vehicles and could cause you not to be able to close the hood. You can easily trim them down to the proper height with a hacksaw.
Easy to install
Adjusts to many battery tray sizes
Holds battery securely
Fits most common, but not all battery types
Posts are taller than a typical car battery
4. DNA Motoring Silver Battery Tie-Down Mount
The DNA Motoring battery tie-down stands out for many reasons. First, it is made from CNC machined aircraft-grade billet aluminum. It will not rust as quickly as steel. Typically, aluminum is a softer metal and will bend more easily, but this is not the case with aircraft-grade aluminum. It is as strong and stable as steel. It is anodized and painted, making it resistant to rust and able to last for a long time.
Out of all of the options for battery tie-downs that we found, this one would be our top choice because of its heavy-duty construction and materials. This tie-down bracket offers a secure hold, and it is not likely to wear out soon.
The only drawback is that it can only accommodate batteries that are less than 6.75-inches across. The bolt center to bolt center length is 7.5-inches, and the overall length of the uprights is 8.66-inches. This will tie down will fit most battery groups, but not all of them.
Heavy-grade aircraft billet aluminum
Anodized and painted
Wide for a secure hold
Will not fit extra-wide batteries
Might not fit between fluid caps of some batteries
5. Universal Battery Tray Kit with J-hooks
If you need to replace your entire battery tray, this is a good choice. Whether you want to replace your old battery with one from a different battery group or your battery tray is worn out, this is a quality universal tray. It is made from stainless steel and includes everything that you need to put it in place and install the battery. It is recommended for marine use.
This universal battery tray is recommended because it is made from durable stainless steel and will last a long time. It will fit most battery group sizes for cars and small trucks, including 24-27 and many others. It might be noted that only the battery tray itself is stainless steel. The J-hooks, T-nuts, washers, and nuts are all chromed steel. The washers are made from medium density foam. This product is suitable for most consumer vehicle applications.
Includes everything for mounting the battery
Can fit wide range of BCI group sizes
Durable base plate
Easy to install
Chrome plated j-hooks
The bottom edges of the tray are sharp
The battery sits on a tray and is held down by brackets and straps. This is a part of the car that you do not want to fail. If it does, your battery could fall out of the car, creating havoc along the way. This is a component that many people do not think about, but it should be on the list as a regular maintenance item. You might have a few questions about these parts and how to care for them.
What is a battery tray and hold down?
The battery tray is exactly what it sounds like. It is a tray that the battery sits on. The battery is held in place with a set of metal tie-downs, and bolts go through holes in the battery tray or a set of straps. The purpose is to keep the battery in place, but it also reduces engine and road vibration on the battery, reducing the battery’s performance.
Why do battery trays and tie-downs need to be replaced?
Several factors are enemies of the components that hold the battery in place. Batteries are made from a combination of lead plates and acid. While this is good for storing electricity, it is not good for metal plates. Leaky batteries cause corrosion to develop on the battery tray and hold-downs. Road salt splashing onto the bottom of the plate is another factor that speeds corrosion.
The process of charging and discharging the battery also contribute to corrosion. As the battery charges and discharges, hydrogen gas is released into the atmosphere. The hydrogen surrounding the battery creates an environment that promotes the rapid growth of corrosion. These factors lead to corrosion and deterioration of the battery tray and components that hold it down.
When should you replace the battery tray, tie-downs, and straps?
Over time, all battery trays will corrode and fail. If they fail, battery acid can leak on other components, such as the chassis or radiator supports. If corrosion works through the hold-downs and straps, the battery can fall out and cause significant damage. These are some good reasons to inspect them regularly. Once a year and every time you change the battery, take a look at these components.
It is normal to see some corrosion on the battery plate and ties, but it is a good idea to replace them as soon as possible if it is more than on the surface. Signs of corrosion can appear as flaking paint, a white powdery buildup, and flaking metal. Rust is the most obvious sign.
The question is when it is time to replace the battery tray and hold-downs. The rule of thumb is that you should replace them as soon as possible when you see flaking metal and rust. Flaking metal means that the component is losing metal, and a failure is imminent as it continues to lose structural integrity.
Aside from a visual inspection, you should also try to wiggle the components to check their stability. If they move or rust falls off, your next step should be getting a new part and replacing them. A battery tray and new hold downs are an inexpensive part, especially compared to the potential damage that could occur if a failure should occur.
Which is best, metal or plastic?
Today, you have many options for material and tie-downs for battery holders. You can find them in metal, plastic, metal/nylon, and many other options. The most common material for the battery holder itself is stainless steel. You will also find some that are chrome-plated aluminum or steel. These materials are good because they help resist rust for a longer time. Some manufacturers also anodize or paint their battery trays to help with rust prevention. Powder-coated metal ones last longer than painted metal surfaces.
Thermoplastic trays are used in marine environments because the saltwater poses an additional risk for corrosion. These might also be a good choice in areas where road salts splash onto the underneath of the battery tray. One thing to be aware of with some plastic ones is that they can become brittle in cold weather. They can break down faster in UV light. Some battery tray manufacturers use plastics that are made to withstand these conditions.
Both metal and plastic have advantages and disadvantages. Metal is stiffer and can bear the weight of heavier batteries. It is much less likely to deform over time. Plastic will eventually break down, and several environmental factors and factors inside the car can speed the deterioration. Exposure to a leaky battery can weaken both plastic and metal, but plastic might be the quickest to react. It all depends on the type of plastic used and its characteristics. Some plastics are as strong as metals and more resistant to rust.
The biggest choice in deciding whether to choose a metal or plastic battery tray depends on how heavy the battery is and that type of environment to which it will be exposed. In some cases, plastics are the best choice because they will not rust. If the vehicle is one where the battery will be subject to bounces and shocks, then a metal one might be the best choice. Investment in the right type of battery tray for your circumstances means that you can be confident in its ability to keep your battery secure and hold up under the circumstances.
How do you replace the battery tray and hold downs?
Replacing the battery tray and holds downs is a relatively easy process. We say “relatively” because the old tray and bolts can be difficult to remove depending on the amount of corrosion on them. Here are the basic steps to replacing the old battery tray and hold-downs and installing the new one.
Removing the Old Tray
Removing the old tray sounds easy. You loosen the old bolts and lift the tray out, but rust and bolts seldom make for an easy job. Here are a few tips for getting the old, rusted bolts out and removing the old tray.
- Use a spray lube or penetrating lubricant and allow it to sit for a few hours.
- Be gentle when using force to remove them, as they can break.
- Apply cold to the bolt, in addition to the penetrating lubricant.
- Use an impact wrench, if you have one.
- Use a wrench and cheater bar for leverage.
When these methods do not work, then you will have to cut the bolt. If you need to cut the bolt, then you could still be stuck with part of the bolt inside of the hole. You can use a drill with a special metal bit to remove the stuck portion of the old bolt.
Once you have successfully removed all of the old bolts and tray, clean out all of the holes with sandpaper, a file, or lubricant to get them ready for the new tray. When doing this, make sure not to file away too much metal. If you do, then the new tray will not fit securely and could be loose.
Installing the New Tray
Installing the new tray is the easy part compared to removing the old one. Before installing the new tray, inspect all of the parts it will attach to, and replace them before continuing. Now, you are ready to install the new battery tray.
- Locate a minimum of two bolt locations to begin securing the tray. It is best to find the ones that are across the short measurement, if possible.
- It is best to find as many bolt holes as possible, using a minimum of four. You might have to drill new holes on rare occasions, but this should be avoided, if possible. Make sure that all of the bolts are tight.
- Try to move the tray in all directions to make sure that it does not move at all. It should be firmly in place. If any movement is detected, then go over all of the bolts to make sure that they are tight.
- Now. You are ready to install the hold-down kit or straps according to the instructions.
- Sometimes, the J-hooks that come with the kit are too long and prevent you from closing the hood. You can use a hacksaw or bandsaw to trim them to the proper length before continuing.
- Now, place the battery in the tray. Make sure that it has a snug fit.
- Use the hold-down bar or straps to secure the battery firmly to the tray.
- Hook up the battery cables to the battery posts, and you are ready to go.
Will a universal group battery tray fit all vehicles?
A universal tray will work on most vehicles, but some require specialty trays, such as a low-profile tray. Some vehicles have tight battery placements and require a battery tray of different dimensions. You can find out if a universal battery tray will fit by contacting a local auto parts store. They can usually look it up in the database and recommend the correct tray.
When you choose a universal one, the battery tray, strap, bolts, tie-down strap, and other components are made to fit the most common mounting positions. Metal, plastic, and mixed material universal trays all have similar cutouts for bolts and mounting hardware.
As you can see from this Buyer’s Guide, many different tie-down systems and options are available. The type that is right for you depends on whether it is for car, motorcycle, marine, boat, or commercial vehicle use.
The options on this list are all a good choice. You must make certain that the one you choose is right for your vehicle and the type of driving you do. Metal trays are our favorites over plastic ones, except for marine applications. This is because metal is more durable and able to withstand bumps and shocks better than plastic.
Even metal rusts, it usually takes a long time, especially since manufacturers take precautions to make the metal rust-resistant. Only you can decide which choice is right for you and your vehicle.
Eric Strong works in the automotive repair industry more than 12 years. His work included repairing electrical systems in various vehicle systems. A hybrid electric car battery replacement experience expanded his understanding of automotive battery technology. Read More…
Leave a Reply