So we were out doing some offroad suspension tuning on Project Tundra’s Icon Vehicle Dynamics suspension for an upcoming article when we discovered something that is overlooked but an important prep when offroading any vehicle hard. OEM battery hold downs are probably ok for normal driving but when the suspension is modified to where you can double your speed offroad, they are woefully inadequate as we found out the hard way.
We were adjusting the ride zone compression damping in the truck and we needed to hit some severe bumps at high speeds to really try to bottom out the suspension to tune the highly adjustable Icon System. We found a stream crossing where we could really huck it into and out of a rocky creek bed at over 40 mph. This creek bed had a drop off and an a steep bank.
We had installed a deep cycle Optima battery into our truck and this battery was much heavier than the stock battery. The forces of dropping into the rough and rocky creek bed and launching out of it, broke the wimpy stamped steel battery hold down in two which allowed the battery to fly around in the engine compartment snapping the cables off the terminals. The truck started to run weird and died with the electrical system totally dead, forcing us to MacGyver things back together so we could make it home. This ruined our testing and could have been worse if the battery smashed the fuse box or shorted out on something, that would have made for a bad day.
We found this neat billet battery hold down made by James Schoppe, a Toyota truck enthusiast that basically sells them by word of mouth. These hold downs are well known in the on-line Toyota truck community. He basically sells 4 models, narrow, wide, adjustable narrow, adjustable wide. The billet hold downs are available in many different colors and James even offers one with TRD engraved into it. We got the wide adjustable model in black wrinkle finish with the TRD engraving to match our supercharger. The adjustable model has solid aluminum tabs on the bottom held in with allen screws that allow the tabs to be moved in and out. We got this model because we wanted the battery to be held as securely as possible. The battery hold down comes with new J-hooks with rubber lined washers and nylock nuts for a really secure mounting.
Our billet battery hold down looks great in our engine compartment and matches our TRD supercharger. The battery is so much more solidly mounted in place. We were tugging on it as hard as we could to test to see how secure the hold in was and it didn’t budge. The adjustable tabs grip the battery and really hold it in place. We don’t think we will ever have this problem again and it is something that every Tundra that is driven hard off road needs. Don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere like we almost did!