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      02-19-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
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Arrow Light weight Braille battery swap DIY

Harold at HP Autowerks supplied me with this great, small, light weight battery, so I and decided to give it a shot today ...

DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR VEHICLE.


You can get your Braille Battery here:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233196


You need these tools:

10 mm socket
13 mm socket
Torque wrench + extensions
Magnet pen
Small flat head screwdriver
Rubber gloves




1. Your battery will be in the trunk on the RT side



2. Uninstall the black bracket on top of the battery first ( 2x10mm bolts)

one here


and one here


3. Disconnect the Negative (-) terminal first (10mm socket )




make sure to put the Negative (-) terminal away from the battery so it will not be touching anything.

4. Then you can disconnect the top box with the fuses (optional, but it makes it much easier to remove the battery) - 13mm socket



Press on the two metal tabs on the sides and pull it out ... You need to play with it a little ...



5. Now you can disconnect the MAIN Positive (+) terminal - 10mm socket



Now move the Positive (+) to the side and secure it there by using a zip tie



6. There is a little rubber tube on the LT side of the battery that have something to do with the acid going into/out of the battery. Use rubber gloves to disconnect it. Just pull it to the side and it should pop out right away. Don't worry, nothing is going to leak out from that tube. It is just a precaution to use a rubber gloves.



7. Now you need to look at the RT side on the battery and you will find metal bracket kind of deep inside. Use 10mm socket to remove it. Use a magnet pen to pull it out





8. Now you is the hardest part. Use two little handles on the battery and put it out. It is pretty heavy, so you might want to ask somebody to help you with that.





9. Now you can clean that empty area and put the New Braille battery.



10. Adjust it so it won't move and use that metal bracket to tight it down. You will have to move that metal bracket to the LT.



11. Install the MAIN Positive (+) first, then Negative (-), then the box with the fuses on top of the battery and screw it back to where it was before
Install the factory black bracket back if you want. It is optional but I decided to put it back.



Start you car and make sure everything works !

You are done !

Stock - 58lb
Braille -21lb
Weight savings - 37lb

A few pics Stock vs Braille









I hope it helps

Last edited by doba_s; 02-20-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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      02-20-2009, 02:10 AM   #2
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Tks for the write up This will come handy in the future.
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      02-20-2009, 02:35 AM   #3
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You dropped about almost 2/3 of the weight but also 2/3 of the electrical capacity (from 90A/h to 31A/h). Careful when loading up on electrical accessories.
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      02-20-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
You dropped about almost 2/3 of the weight but also 2/3 of the electrical capacity (from 90A/h to 31A/h). Careful when loading up on electrical accessories.
Yeap...
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      02-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the writeup. Please keep us posted as to how the new battery holds up.
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      03-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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      04-03-2009, 02:09 AM   #7
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Finally went for this mod. Good DIY it helped me. A couple of additional comments:
  1. The fuse holder is a bit tough to remove. Just keep pressing on the steel tabs and then you can slide and rock the assembly off one side at a time.
  2. The base of the HP aluminum frame is not the right thickness to fit perfectly. Even when fully tightened the assembly could rattle a bit. I fixed this by using a thin ~1/16" strip of aluminum double sided taped to the floor of the batter compartment about 1/2" away from the tang that secures the front end of the assembly. You will see this tang after removing the battery. I initially tried to simply bend the tangs a bit but then decided a simple spacer was better.
  3. The battery is a bit too tall. The rubber coated bracket that runs over the top of the battery barely fits but it will without breaking anything. In fact it helps secure the fuse assembly since that no longer can mount to the side of the new battery.

P.S. doba_s: In your last picture, install complete, it appears that your negative terminal binder is on only about 1/2 way!

Last edited by swamp2; 04-03-2009 at 02:36 AM. Reason: Added P.S.
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      04-03-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Finally went for this mod. Good DIY it helped me. A couple of additional comments:
  1. The fuse holder is a bit tough to remove. Just keep pressing on the steel tabs and then you can slide and rock the assembly off one side at a time.
  2. The base of the HP aluminum frame is not the right thickness to fit perfectly. Even when fully tightened the assembly could rattle a bit. I fixed this by using a thin ~1/16" strip of aluminum double sided taped to the floor of the batter compartment about 1/2" away from the tang that secures the front end of the assembly. You will see this tang after removing the battery. I initially tried to simply bend the tangs a bit but then decided a simple spacer was better.
  3. The battery is a bit too tall. The rubber coated bracket that runs over the top of the battery barely fits but it will without breaking anything. In fact it helps secure the fuse assembly since that no longer can mount to the side of the new battery.

P.S. doba_s: In your last picture, install complete, it appears that your negative terminal binder is on only about 1/2 way!
Interesting. I am about to go out the door to pick up the Braille battery that I ordered last week, so I am going for it as well. Thanks for the additional comments.

Which holder did you get? The Braille or the HPAutowerks one?
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      04-03-2009, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Interesting. I am about to get out the door to pick up the Braille battery that I ordered last week, so I am going for it as well. Thanks for the additional comments.

Which holder did you get? The Braille or the HPAutowerks one?
HPA holder works ok ... I have no problems with it ...

Harold sent me the battery with two positive terminals and that is why my negative in the picture is 1/2 down ... (+) and (-) are different in size. Later on he sent me the correct one and everything fits perfect !
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      04-03-2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Which holder did you get? The Braille or the HPAutowerks one?
Cool. You'll like it. Nice mod IMO. I got the HP holder, simple, stout and anodized/machined aluminum. It could be lighter out of a fiber reinfornced plastic or delrin or something like that but it is a very nice part.
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      04-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #11
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OK guys. I'll go with the HPA holder as well then.
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      04-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
OK guys. I'll go with the HPA holder as well then.
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      04-03-2009, 10:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Cool. You'll like it. Nice mod IMO. I got the HP holder, simple, stout and anodized/machined aluminum. It could be lighter out of a fiber reinfornced plastic or delrin or something like that but it is a very nice part.
it would cost probably twice as much ...
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      04-03-2009, 10:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doba_s View Post
it would cost probably twice as much ...
In general plastic <$ than metal (and lighter too).
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      04-03-2009, 11:26 PM   #15
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Isn't the reason Bmw made the battery heavy for the handling to get to a 50/50 weight?
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      04-04-2009, 02:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Isn't the reason Bmw made the battery heavy for the handling to get to a 50/50 weight?
No. They made it heavy so you can park, stop, listen to the radio with the lights on for 30 minutes when it is -10 F and then crank her right up. These batteries won't do that. However, the reason it is in the rear left of the car is for F/R weight balance. If BMW could find a battery that did the former with the wieght of the Braille it would be much cheaper and would be OEM.
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      04-06-2009, 02:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
In general plastic <$ than metal (and lighter too).
except the tooling and mold to make a plastic tray will cost a lot of money.
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      04-06-2009, 01:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
except the tooling and mold to make a plastic tray will cost a lot of money.
Yes, absolutely for a molded part. Machined plastic could be an option as well. That being said I certainly like your design. Stout simple and attractive.
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      04-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #19
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Please think carefully about changing out to smaller capacity battery on E9x M3
because...


S65 engine DISCONNECTS alternator while full throttle...
Which means the engine only runs on battery power on full throttle.

I am sure alternator will kick in when it is under the required power to run the motor...but then what's the point of having lighter batt?

I honestly do NOT know how long will this Braille battery will stand, but I would be very careful switching into smaller capacity than stock just because of above reason.
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      04-17-2009, 11:13 PM   #20
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let alone how sensitive these cars are to battery voltage...
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      04-17-2009, 11:20 PM   #21
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ah!!! ^^^^Everyone Quiet now..GTM might be right. Thanks GTM..lol.
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      04-18-2009, 01:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM View Post
Please think carefully about changing out to smaller capacity battery on E9x M3
because...


S65 engine DISCONNECTS alternator while full throttle...
Which means the engine only runs on battery power on full throttle.

I am sure alternator will kick in when it is under the required power to run the motor...but then what's the point of having lighter batt?

I honestly do NOT know how long will this Braille battery will stand, but I would be very careful switching into smaller capacity than stock just because of above reason.
Unfortunately, we did not get the Brake Energy Regeneration thing (bad name by BMW - but it is the system you describe above...). The EU and other regions did get this feature. As well, I bet the system has a feature that overrides the disconnect if the battery level is too low.
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