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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Battery recommendations? (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=20185)

JohnG 03-04-2016 03:06 PM

Battery recommendations?
hi guys!

I need a battery for my '58.

I am looking for alot of cranking power and long life. I keep it on a Battery Tender in the winter.

Appearance not important - does not need to be a repro of what came from the factory.

Tried the local Ford dealership for the heck of it and came up totally empty handed.

Any recommendations?


partsetal 03-04-2016 04:43 PM

The optional battery is the Group 27F. I've seen them at my Ford Dealer as a 'Motorcraft Commercial'. Priced around 119. it is a good battery. The 27F does not have a lot of applications any more so try a supply house that moves a lot of batteries.

jopizz 03-04-2016 05:26 PM

If you don't care about originality Interstate still makes a 29NF which was the standard size as well as a 27F which was optional. Interstate makes very good batteries in my opinion.


JohnG 03-04-2016 05:48 PM

I measured the recess in the bottom of my (steel) battery tray. I get that it will accept a 12x7 battery.

I did find some places with 27F batteries including Interstate
and Sears. But the dimensions show 8" wide in one case and 12.6" long in another (Sears).

So apparently not just any 27F battery will fit ??

Am I missing some kind of insert that long ago got lost?

I am a little concerned about the height over toward the radiator where the hood is the lowest. I can see about 8 1/2" of clearance but the 9" mentioned by the Sears 27F leaves me a little skeptical (I could end up feeling really dumb if I manage to buy a battery that "almost" fits ) Or Sears includes the posts in the height. Who knows?

So back to the first response. A Motorcraft 27F should correctly fit the TBird?

jopizz 03-04-2016 05:52 PM

I've used many different brands of 27F batteries in squarebirds and have never had a problem with them hitting anything. The size is supposed to be the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.


jopizz 03-04-2016 06:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Do you have a hold down bracket? There were two different size brackets depending on whether you had a Group 29 or Group 27 battery. Here's a picture of my Group 29 battery and hold down bracket.


DKheld 03-04-2016 06:35 PM

Looks like my Motorcraft battery is about 6 years old now.

Still going strong!!

Group 29. Part # CLA C29NF $91.96


(although I have the original battery strap I don't have it installed at the moment - just a rubber strap - :o )


(edit - heh - just realized looking at the pics - the battery has outlasted the engine, radiator and valve covers)

JohnG 03-04-2016 08:26 PM

Much helpful information! Thanks a ton!

John, I don't have any tie downs, sorry to say. I was going to buy some hardware once I got the battery purchased.

Tbird1044 03-04-2016 10:25 PM

I went to Costco and got the biggest battery I could find that would fit. I went after CCA and capacity. Costco also had a good warranty and they are good about standing behind it. If interested I can check to see what size it is. I am having to make my own battery hold down as the 27F or 29F won't fit. I think the overall battery dimensions are 7 1/2 X 11.

JohnG 03-04-2016 11:37 PM

Nyles, if you can get measurements without much trouble, that would be of interest.

I can put a 12x7, max, battery in mine. I almost wonder if all the battery holders in these cars really are identical.

I agree with you on getting CCA and long life . . . the rest is details.


arizonajack 03-05-2016 03:53 PM

I measured the battery tray on my 59. It's 12 1/8" x 7".

I measured my Group 27 battery. It's 12" x 6 3/4" or 6 7/8", not quite 7".

Those dimensions will fit the tray.

A battery that's 9" tall (includes the posts) will fit in the T-Bird.

The original hold down (58, 59, 60) looks like this:


Note the offset of the holes.

The J-bolts are these:


JohnG 03-05-2016 05:19 PM

Jack, thanks for the parts info and measurements! That is what my battery area allows as well.

Can you tell me what brand of battery you bought?

Some of my confusion came from looking at , for example,
a Sears Diehard 27F online which looks great until I find the 12.6" length , which is a deal killer.

arizonajack 03-05-2016 10:09 PM


Have you measured the bottom of the Sears battery at the store?

I pulled up a picture of the battery and it looks beveled at the bottom. I can't tell if it's beveled enough to fit.

I've used AutoZone batteries for many years.

AutoZone has a 27F on its website with the right dimensions:


It should fit but I'm sure they'll take it back if it doesn't. Make sure you ask about that, though.

JohnG 03-05-2016 10:50 PM

Sears did not actually have the battery so I could not measure it, but you are right, one needs to physically check it out and measure it.

Autozone is everywhere and easy to work with so I will try them in person.

You may laugh at this: I clicked on the Autozone link you provided. Since I had previously been at their website, my TBird is stored in some cookie or something. As soon as your battery link came up, so did DOES NOT FIT.

Now you know why I am paying close attention to the details! :)

arizonajack 03-06-2016 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 98986)
You may laugh at this: I clicked on the Autozone link you provided. Since I had previously been at their website, my TBird is stored in some cookie or something. As soon as your battery link came up, so did DOES NOT FIT.

I did laugh at it. I have my 59 stored on the website and got the same result.

simplyconnected 03-07-2016 12:59 AM

WalMart has a #27 for $102. It has 810 CCA and a five year replacement (not prorated) warranty. They are made in USA (I think by A.O.Smith in Wisconsin). That's where I get mine. Bring in an old core to avoid the fee.

Here's the spec's:
Battery Type: Lead Acid
Model No.: MAXX-27
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 50.3
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 12.0 x 6.8 x 8.9
Walmart No.: 551472479

arizonajack 03-08-2016 10:50 AM

That's a good price but wouldn't the posts be reversed on a 27?

I believe that the positive post of a 27F would be closest to the starter relay.

With a 27 I think you'd have to use a longer positive cable if the positive post is at the front of the car.

simplyconnected 03-08-2016 11:16 AM

It depends on which way you turn it...

DKheld 03-08-2016 01:31 PM

JMHO but you don't want the + post at the front of the car.... it would be too close to the hood.
"Most likely" (if using the metal bracket) it would not cause an interference issue but having the + post so close to the hood (which is grounded) will lead to corrosion on the hood. Ever notice how your battery hold down bracket (which is very close to the post) gets corroded?

Depending on how the battery is constructed .... when you install the battery.... it should only make the + post closer or further away from the inner fender but still toward the starter solenoid.


arizonajack 03-08-2016 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 99063)
It depends on which way you turn it...


But if you turn a 27 so the + post is near the solenoid the - post may require a longer cable to reach the engine ground bolt.

simplyconnected 03-08-2016 06:11 PM

The reviews say this battery is made by Johnson Controls.

The sticker on the battery says, 3-yr replacement and 2-year pro-rated. All the reviews are good and they say it lasts more than six years.

DKheld 03-08-2016 09:06 PM

Sheesh - my Motorcraft battery - although it has lasted fine - only has 420ish CCA.:o

simplyconnected 03-09-2016 01:34 AM

You're in North Carolina, where people are freezing in sixty degree temperatures.

Trust me, it gets cold up here and it stays cold for at least a month or two longer than North Carolina.

Have you ever seen a battery freeze and crack? I have. Ford put 'cozies' around Mustang batteries going to northern states, at the factory.

JamesBorisPerez 03-09-2016 12:08 PM

Battery Recommendations
I researched this quite a bit when I wanted to replace my battery and found a direct fit from Napa parts, it commercial grade, cost about $112, fits perfectly and has worked great for the past year. I'm running an electric radiator fan and about a 300 watts worth of amps.

Yadkin 03-09-2016 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 99099)
You're in North Carolina, where people are freezing in sixty degree temperatures.

Trust me, it gets cold up here and it stays cold for at least a month or two longer than North Carolina.

Have you ever seen a battery freeze and crack? I have. Ford put 'cozies' around Mustang batteries going to northern states, at the factory.

So that's what those are for.

"Where winter stays 9 months per year,
there is no spring or fall.
And it's so cold the mercury
cannot be seen at all..."

Prairie Home Companion

DKheld 03-09-2016 08:44 PM

Depends on what part of the old Tar heel state.

Believe it or not my new truck came with a battery blanket! and unfortunately the factory battery in my wife's '08 Escape cracked last winter - no 2 years ago. What a mess. Too cold to wash it out very well so just put a load of baking soda in the tray until I could clean it out properly the following spring.

According to weather data base....

Royal Oak Mi.
Avg temp - 52.7
Avg winter temp - 38.7
Avg spring temp - 45.3
(record low -22)

NC where I am at 2200 ft above sea level
Avg temp - 55.3
Avg winter temp - 43.5
Avg spring temp - 51.2
(record low -16)

But I know what you're sayin' :rolleyes:

Unless we experience the old pockey-clipse and the Tbird is the only running car - I won't have it out much in the winter weather anyway (but I have been know to drive it when it's cold and snowing just for fun)

You're just jealous :D

Yadkin 03-10-2016 08:19 AM


Originally Posted by DKheld (Post 99132)
NC where I am at 2200 ft above sea level

You must be in a very tall building in Charlotte then...

simplyconnected 03-10-2016 03:49 PM

Mount Mitchell is over 6,000 feet, Eric might be in one of those foot hills.

Asheville and Boone are more my style of climate. Raleigh is too hot in summer because my melting point is 90F.

We wear out snow blowers in Michigan. Some times we run out of places to put snow. When the city snow plow comes down the street, everyone's driveway has a huge berm of snow on their driveway apron. What makes it bad is, by the time they get to the side streets two days have past, then it's huge chunks of ice instead of snow. I remember one year it was -20F for over a MONTH. It was too cold to snow. That kind of cold is bone-dry, enough to freeze your lungs if working outside but life still goes on. Our summer and falls are gorgeous but short.

Your snow is gone by noon. - Dave

Yadkin 03-10-2016 09:31 PM

I feel your pain, Dave, having been a resident of Onondaga County, NY for 11 years. Ten below for 6 weeks, not as cold as Michigan. But we sure got our share of snow. Seven of the winters I spent there were record snowfalls. '93 we approached 200.

I lived in a little Town called Pompey for 7 of those years. It was a lot higher in elevation than Syracuse and drifting snow was a real challenge. After cutting a "trench" through a 2' snowfall to get close to the surface of my gravel driveway, drifting would continue for one or two days, filling it back in within 45 minutes.

I think I already told the story of how I wore out the engine in one snowblower, a 10HP track drive behemoth.

Wudro 03-10-2016 10:22 PM

West Coast Fellas, West Coast.

simplyconnected 03-11-2016 02:03 AM

Click on the small pictures...
A lot needs to be said for the West Coast but they have their quirks too.
Michigan has a tornado season, California gets earthquakes and a host of restrictions on everything. We get mosquitoes, they get gophers, terrible smog, horrible fire storms and they're always running out of water.

They have the ocean but we don't know what salt water is. Instead, we have 1/5 of the world's fresh water, so there is never a restriction on usage.

California also has much higher average temps with no snow.
I actually love snow and if Christmas is not white, I feel robbed in a sense. Yes we get snow but not all the time.
Robin had two 'snow days' (because school was closed) and it was refreshing to have her home.

Folks come from all over the States and Canada to cruise in the world's largest cruise, the Woodward Dream Cruise (held the third Saturday in August).
It's free and over 1-1/2 Million people attend.
Michigan rewards classic car owners with a ten-year registration that costs $30.
Yep, three buck per year and they supply the plate or we can use period-correct plates of our choice for five bucks more.
We have no toll roads and 6% sales tax. At the moment I am not at all happy with our governor and his handling of the Flint water debacle but some of that blame must be shared with the Environmental Protection Agency (the watchdog fed's) who have done nothing.

Michigan is green and lush with beautiful fall colors. It is the place to raise children.
We have tulip festival, cherry and peach festivals, and we do apple cider mills (scores of them). Halloween and Thanksgiving are really wonderful times with hay rides, haunted houses and giant pumpkins that grow to 100 pounds weight.

Yep, the WDC goes well into the night.

Yadkin 03-11-2016 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by Wudro (Post 99175)
West Coast Fellas, West Coast.

To visit, yes. But here in the east we have something extremely valuable and amenable to all forms of life: rain.

JohnG 03-27-2016 07:46 PM

I finally narrowed the hunt down to two batteries that I could count on the width for: Interstate MTP-27 and Exide 27X. Both are high quality in terms cranking power and warranty. I wanted the terminals on the fender side with the + near the starter solenoid. Both retail in the $120 range.

Now I can get the tie down hardware and the job will be done. Spring has come early to New England and the car is getting some use.

Thanks for everyone's info and help!


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