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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Braille No-Weight Battery / EAS Macht Schnell Aluminum Enclosure **FULL REVIEW/DIY**



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      02-14-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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Braille No-Weight Battery / EAS Macht Schnell Aluminum Enclosure **FULL REVIEW/DIY**

If you are like Ricky Bobby (well me too) and you just want to go fast, then you know this is about power to weight ratio. More power at the same weight and you will be moving faster. The truth is most of us have focused on making our car faster by adding power. The other truth is we must also realize that making our car lighter will make it faster from a standstill or from a roll. Weight reduction is a very important / very efficient way to make your car fast and it makes your car faster in all rpms which is nice.

I have saved about 20 lbs in my exhaust, 20 lbs in my downpipes, about 20 lbs in my wheels and tires, and maybe 15 lbs on my coilovers. Those are nice weight savings, but there is one heavy item on the car that can be easily changed to free up some weight and that is the battery. I felt the battery was a good way for me to make a serious push into reduction and this started my search.

There are a couple companies that make lightweight batteries, but I kept coming back to Braille. Their reputation in the racing community is unmatched, they have a superb lineup of lightweight batteries, and they are proven already on all the fastest N54s in the world. Braille makes a "No-Weight" line-up, "Carbon Fiber" line-up", and "Lithium" line-up. Since the battery sits in our trunk and heat is not an issue, I chose to go with the No-Weight Braille battery. Braille has a 15 lb, 17 lb, and 21 lb battery for our application and vary in the amount of power they provide.

The 15 lb Braille No-Weight:

1067 Pulse Cranking Amps
20 Amp/Hr Reserve

The 17 lb Braille No-Weight:

1191 Pulse Cranking Amps
23 Amp/Hr Reserve

The 21 lb Braille No-Weight:

1380 Pulse Cranking Amps
31 Amp/Hr Reserve


Great, more decisions! LOL. The 15 lb is really going to be tight on the power we need for our cars. The 17 is a great option for those without too many accessory items. The 21 lb is what I chose because I do have random current draws on some of accessory items I have on my car.

Now that I had the battery chosen, I had to figure out how to mount it because it has a smaller footprint than the stock battery. EAS has a superb option... the Macht Schnell - Aluminum Lightweight Battery Enclosure for Braille Batteries. Since EAS sells the Braille battery and the Macht Schnell - Aluminum Lightweight Battery Enclosure, I decided that I would purchase everything from them. I honestly have never had any experience with EAS thus far, so I also felt it was a good chance to see how they stack up as a vendor.

EAS Experience

I called Tom at EAS to order the Braille 21 lb battery and the Macht Schnell Aluminum Lightweight Battery Enclosure. I was fortunate enough to chat with Tom a little and I really got the impression that improving our cars without sacrifice what EAS is about. They don't just offer products to our community, but it is of paramount importance to EAS that their products will make our cars better. I doubt you will ever see a part on their website that is not intended to improve the performance and luxury of our car. Tom always responded to my emails within 24 hours and gave me the technical support I needed. I had one issue where the wiring packet contained an 8 gauge wire with two ring connectors, but the E92 needs the 8 gauge wire to have one ring and one male quick connect blade connector. EAS overnighted the part to me so I could finish the install before the weekend. That was not only generous, but superior customer support.

Immediately following my purchase, I received an email confirming my order and the items shipped that night. I was pleased to see a shipping confirmation email the next morning so I could plan the installation as soon as it arrived.

EAS packaged the items nicely to protect them in the shipment process.



The Braille battery and Macht Schnell Lightweight Battery Enclosure were seperated within the package. You can also see the top terminals taped to the cardboard box.



The Braille 21 lb. battery a nice compact item.



It has traditional top posts with a right hand side positive terminal.



The Macht Schnell Lightweight Battery Enclosure is individually packaged and sealed to protect each item.



The EAS "MS" enclosure has the following specs:

- Machined from 6061-T6 aerospace aluminum
- Overall footprint are exact dimensions of stock BMW battery
- Black anodized finish for additional strength and corrosion/wear resistance
- Macht Schnell logo engraved in holder
- Weighs only 2.5lbs
- Includes corrosion-resistant hardware

You can see the nicely done MS logo.



The MS enclosure is extremely well built and quite rugged.



Overall, my experience with EAS was positive in all aspects.

Installation

The first thing I did was assemble the Macht Schnell Enclosure. This is very easy as there is absolutely only one way it can go together. It took about 5 minutes and you will need an allen wrench to secure the bolts. I left the top bolts off during these pictures because I had not mounted the battery yet.







From here, I moved onto removing the battery. On the E9x, it is located inside passenger side of the trunk. You simply turn the black knob shown in the picture below to expose the battery.







To get the stock battery out of the car, you first need to remove the brace above the battery.



Then remove the negative terminal. Simple stuff. To expose the positive terminal, just pop opne the plastic hatch on the power distribution block as shown in the picture below.



That will disconnect the power terminal from the battery, but the power distribution block (big red item) is latched to the battery. Simply slip a large flat head screw driver into the tab on both sides of the battery to remove the power distribution block completely from the battery.



Lastly, the battery is secured with a single bolt on the rear of the battery (facing the rear of the car). Remove this bolt and pull the battery out.





When I pulled the battery out, I realized how heavy it is and how large it is!



On to installing the Braille Battery and MS enclosure. Here is what it looks like with the Braille battery mounted in the MS enclose. Note, the terminal location with respect to the MS enclosure.



Now install the battery in the stock location in the passenger side fender well. Use the stock bolt to secure the battery.



To wire things up, I strongly suggest getting rid of the power distribution block. It is large bulky and does look good at all. I have color coated a picture so we can talk specifically about what will be done.



You will remove the power distribution block at the green arrow. That leaves 3 wires that will need to be connection to the bolt at the green arrow. The wire at the blue arrow will bolt directly over at the green arrow with no modifications. The wires at the yellow arrows first need to be unsnapped and removed from the power distribution bloc. Then use the male blade quick connects included in the kit and insert the male blades into the plastic connectors (again the wires removed from the yellow arrowed locations). I found them to be a bit loose, so I wrapped the in elastic electrical tape to secure them into the plastic subconnections. Finally attach these to the green arrow location and you are ready to connect the terminals.



Reinstall the bracket above the battery.



Finally, I wasn't totally comfortable with the wire that was exposed on the positive terminal, so I used 4 gauge shrink wrap to protect the wire.



As you can see it looks as good as stock or even better if you ask me. If you mount the wires as I have shown, everything is hidden behind the battery to keep things very clean!

Time to push the button and see if it starts? The car started perfectly.

Weight Difference

I did want to quantify the weight difference so I weighed both the stock battery and the Braille 21 lb battery / MS enclosure. The stock battery weights about 52 lbs.



The Braille 21 lb battery / MS enclosure weighs about 24 lbs.

'

What this means is I saved about 28 lbs by going with Braille 21 lb battery / MS enclosure. That is likely the single largest weight loss I have had on my car to date.

Conclusion

Making a car faster is a combination of many things including power, tires, suspension, and weight. Making your car lighter is a critical part of making your car faster. I decided to make a real push for weight loss on my car by adding the Braille 21 lb battery and Macht Schnell Lightweight Battery Enclosure. The Braille Battery is simply superb quality. The MS enclosure it sharp, rugged, well built, and worthy of a BMW. The weight savings from the combination amounted to 28 lbs which is a great step forward.

My experience with EAS was really superb. Tom is a great representative of EAS. He was fast in his response to my questions and very helpful along the way. EAS has made a strong impression on me of their commitment to making BMW's even better than we got them from the factory. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to purchase from them again in the future.


EDIT: Just a note, the blade that EAS supplied to connect the water pump wire to the battery is not sufficient. Mine actually came loose and caused me to have some water pump issues. For those that do this upgrade, please make sure your water pump wire is secure with more than electrical tape and a blade fuse.

Last edited by Former_Boosted_IS; 05-24-2012 at 05:37 PM.
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      02-14-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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Pretty.
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      02-14-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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nice... did you notice any diffrence?
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      02-14-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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nice... great write up as always!!!
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      02-14-2010, 02:59 PM   #5
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nice write up, possible mod i may do please do tell us if you have issues with start-up, or car off//battery on, as time progresses. do you ever sit in your car with it off with electronics on? good thing you chose the 31amp/hr one, i would do the same.
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      02-14-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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How much the amp/hr reserve of stock's battery?
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      02-14-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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nice, but would have gone for a smaller one if making this change. I had the B2015 (15lbs) in my Z4M and had zero issues with it, even in winter time with freezing temperatures and longer standtimes. It always fired up instandly, never jumpstarted it or loaded the battery externally. (although many people said I would run into trouble ) As long as you're not driving short distances all the time, especially with seatheaters, airco, windowheaters etc full on you are more then fine.
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      02-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #8
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a little info

after a little research, i found the "power distribution block" you took out of the car is actually what BMW calls BST.. or battery safety switch.

it disconnects power to the car if its in a strong impact. i guess so if something is hit under the hood that has battery power, its no longer "hot" -- and possibly shorting to ground ...

there is a few articles on the web where guys have already done this type of battery swap...

i dont think it will cause any problems, but just thought you may want to know it a safety device, not just an additional part on the car....
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      02-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Great write-up!

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      02-14-2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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Why would you move this to the DIY section? This is review of a product that moves the car go faster. Mods, can you please move this back to the go fast where it belongs?
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      02-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #11
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I have been waffling between this Braille option and using the battery from the mini. Excellent DIY -- looking forward to your long term review, and input from folks that understand the complex battery-charging algorithms that the E9xs have.
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      02-15-2010, 09:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Former_Boosted_IS View Post
Why would you move this to the DIY section? This is review of a product that moves the car go faster. Mods, can you please move this back to the go fast where it belongs?
It looks like it's back now.
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      02-15-2010, 11:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Former_Boosted_IS View Post
Why would you move this to the DIY section? This is review of a product that moves the car go faster. Mods, can you please move this back to the go fast where it belongs?
The DIY section is not limited to items that make your car go slower.

Weight reduction and Braille batteries have already been discussed at length many times in the past.

This thread provides an excellent photo documented DIY. It will get lost quickly here in the turbo engine section. And it is relevant to all E9xs, not just 335s.

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      02-16-2010, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc View Post
The DIY section is not limited to items that make your car go slower.

Weight reduction and Braille batteries have already been discussed at length many times in the past.

This thread provides an excellent photo documented DIY. It will get lost quickly here in the turbo engine section. And it is relevant to all E9xs, not just 335s.

I can post a copy in the DIY section as well if you want?
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      02-16-2010, 09:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpphreakx06 View Post
Pretty.
lpphreakx06,

Thanks! It looks so small in there compared to the stock monster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald-335i View Post
nice... did you notice any diffrence?
I know this is not the answer you want, but I am messing around with so many thing on my car right now that it is hard to pinpoint the exact items adding to the power. It is indeed a fact that a lighter car with the same power will move accelerate fast though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig@SupremePower View Post
nice... great write up as always!!!
Craig, thanks for the kind words. I am surprised you haven't done this yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddjob2021 View Post
nice write up, possible mod i may do please do tell us if you have issues with start-up, or car off//battery on, as time progresses. do you ever sit in your car with it off with electronics on? good thing you chose the 31amp/hr one, i would do the same.
oddjob, thanks for the compliments. I will continue to update the thread with any issues I have. I do not really normally sit around with the electronics on with the car off because I have a lot and it concerns me a bit. I felt the 21 lb was the better choice for a 6 lb difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel b View Post
nice, but would have gone for a smaller one if making this change. I had the B2015 (15lbs) in my Z4M and had zero issues with it, even in winter time with freezing temperatures and longer standtimes. It always fired up instandly, never jumpstarted it or loaded the battery externally. (although many people said I would run into trouble ) As long as you're not driving short distances all the time, especially with seatheaters, airco, windowheaters etc full on you are more then fine.
Some have reported issues with the 15lb dying. I am not sure if it is the N54 charging strategy, but I needed to take that into consideration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OctoberfestE92 View Post
after a little research, i found the "power distribution block" you took out of the car is actually what BMW calls BST.. or battery safety switch.

it disconnects power to the car if its in a strong impact. i guess so if something is hit under the hood that has battery power, its no longer "hot" -- and possibly shorting to ground ...

there is a few articles on the web where guys have already done this type of battery swap...

i dont think it will cause any problems, but just thought you may want to know it a safety device, not just an additional part on the car....
I am not sure how this would disconnect the battery in an impact. I actually took it apart after to look at it. I am not sure how it could protect in the case of an impact, but that would be interesting to see. A lot of us have methanol in the trunk, so I doubt this would be any more of a safety concern than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer335i07 View Post
Great write-up!

Thanks! I think weight reduction must be a part of the equation.
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      02-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #16
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this is so awesome! Where are you located? You inspired me to do this but I'd like some supervision for this job..
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      02-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #17
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another great write-up my friend! i had no idea the stock battery weighed 52lbs.
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      02-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #18
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doesn't removing this extra weight from the back of the car upset the weight distribution that factory intended of 50/50 front to rear?
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      02-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #19
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nice review....are you building a race car!!!!.....
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      02-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #20
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I love the OP review threads.
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      02-16-2010, 03:28 PM   #21
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I could probably benefit from losing 28lbs around the waist.
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      02-16-2010, 06:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335fourdoor View Post
doesn't removing this extra weight from the back of the car upset the weight distribution that factory intended of 50/50 front to rear?
Well, given a 3800lb car (when I corner weighed my E90 with fluids, 1/2 tank gas, me-240lbs), the 28lbs equates to 0.7% of the total weight. And given the far rearward placement of the car, yes, it would change the 50/50 weight balance by that amount. Say 1900 Front/ 1900 Rear is now 1900 Front 1872 rear, your balance is now 50.4/49.6 split.

Pretty minor difference. as is the total improvement in power/weight. If we took the huge esimation that the acceleration improvement is roughly the same 0.7%, it would reduce a (example) 5 sec 0-60 time by 3 one-hundredths of a second.

But, every little bit helps, and add up all of the weight savings he's done, 103lbs in total, and you've shaved (very roughly!) 0.1 sec off, plus the improvements of the coilovers, dp's, exhaust, wheels/tires themselves.

Small personal story, ran the 19" Dymag carbon fiber/magnesium wheels for awhile, including at the track, then put the stock wheels back on for a short while, again at the track, while swapping tires, and WOW, what a difference!
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