When I first pulled Sherman out of the junkyard I moved a circa 2003 Wal-Mart Everstart battery over I'd have in a 1964 LeSabre. That battery dlasted until the end of 2005, so I went down to AutoZone and paid a whopping $49.99 for a 2 year replacement/7 year pro-rate battery. That one died in August of 2010, so I purchased another identical AutoZone battery for $49.99 and got $16.07 back for pro-rate from the last one, so it was $36.63 out the door. It served me until April of 2016, so I got 5 and 6 years respectively from the Duralasts. Because of a disagreement about another battery, I haven't stepped foot inside of an AutoZone in 5 years, but these batteries did fine.
Above, that first Duralast I bought back in 2005. I'd been eyeballing battery toppers for a while to add a more period look under the hood, but the non-recessed caps on my battery made me never pull the trigger.
With the AutoZone battery being unable to start the car without a jump, I knew it was new battery time. I research the available battery toppers out there, and settled on the one sold by Legendary Battery Toppers in Marion IA. My decisions were based on the variety of cap color I could get, and it seemed the other cover out there was lesser quality based on comments across the internet. Above is right out of the package after I pushed the caps in. I bought it from batterytoppers.com, and paid $59.95 plus $7.00 Shipping, for a total of $66.95 Carl ships 3 day priority, and he does take credit cards or PayPal but doesn't list that on his website.
With the topper in hand, I found the battery I wanted to use at O'Reilly Auto Parts. I selected a Super Start 24EXT, which is their top of the line lead acid battery with a 3 year warranty. It came with a removable handle, shown at the bottom of the picture. When I went into the store I noticed they had two group 24 batteries that look identical with the part number being slightly different. When I summoned help, I was told that these batteries can have the terminals reversed, thus two part numbers. Out the door price with tax and after taking my core, $126.96.
First test fit. The terminals are at the sides of each hole, not centered, but the topper fits over the battery great.
Labels came off really easy.
This was my first attempt at fitment and the battery terminals were proud of the posts, especially on the negative. Shown is my Battery Tender harness I later removed.
I found this was because around each battery terminal is an additional "plastic ring" that stands proud from the flat top of the battery.
I took my Dremel tool to it, but found I didn't have a good precision way to get the holes to exactly line up with the rings that stand proud. Since my terminals would still cover the holes, I went a different direction, however check out this page (link) for a gentleman that was able to machine his cover to allow the rings to protrude and have the cover sit flat.
My different direction was using my Dremel tool to trim some relief on the underside of the terminals to allow the cover to sit down further. In addition, because the cover would "teeter" the amount of those rings, I added three pieces of Velco to the bottom front as a shim. The Velcro is not made to secure the cover to the battery, it is just back to back pieces to get the height needed.
With all the test fitting I ended up having the nut that secures one side of wire clamp in the battery terminal strip out the lead. Back to O'Reilly for two brand new terminals. $6.74 for both of them after tax.
I found the battery terminals were holding themselves proud of the cover because the bolts were long. I marked and cut the bolts so they would no longer contact the cover.
The wide shot of the finished product.
From the top you can't tell it is a topper. The battery hold down needed a little persuasion as it was previously bent at the top. It also got a new coat of paint. The terminals sit well, and I used dielectric grease sparingly on them.