Testing SDHQ Offroads Heavy Duty Battery Terminals

So who would have thought that battery terminals are a critical off-road performance part!  It did not occur to us and we almost got stranded in the middle of nowhere because of it!

When testing our ICON suspension system we were trying to see how resistant the suspension was to bottoming out which had us hucking the truck off the bank off a riverbed at 50 plus MPH into the rough rocky riverbed itself.

We didn’t realize it at first but those rocks were BIG under the water! The Icon suspension took it in stride but our battery terminals didn’t!

The heavy battery can move around a lot in severe off-roading with the OEM mounts and even this small amount of movement can fatigue the thin stamped steel factory battery terminals.  Ours suddenly snapped and our engine started to run rough.  We initially thought we broke something in the motor so we shut the engine off only to find that our electrical system was totally dead!  Surprise.  Our positive terminal had completely snapped off.  Fortunately, we had some zip ties stashed in the glove box and we were able to patch things up enough to get home.

Our negative terminal had bent around and was also ready to break.   When we got home we ordered some new OEM terminals to fix things but we wanted something better to make sure this would never happen again.

11 comments

  1. I wonder how these compare to what the car audio guys have been doing for the past 3+ decades? Battery terminals, cast or milled from blocks of metal for car audio uses are a dime a dozen.
    Gold plated, silver, whatever; with a plethora of connection options from set screws, terminals, additional posts, etc.

  2. While not as pretty as billet you can also get Military Ordnance “milspsec” terminals from Napa for – $12 that are stout and have another through bolt for mounting more power leads. Handy for a trail fix since Napa’s are in a lot of rural areas (at least here in the southeast). You can also get boots for them, I like the idea of covered terminals on an off road rig that might see sheet metal bashed down or a broken battery mount making it bounce around.

  3. This part from Napa? Part #: PHI 8618

    Looks nice and stout for only $10! I feel like this is what cars had in the 80’s and older! Crazy the amount of cost savings that can be had in manufacturing over the years…

    1. Yea that’s one of them, they have 2 versions for the + and – markings. I think you can also get lead alloy or zinc alloy versions. I really hate those thin strap ones they use on cars these days,

      This was my setup on my old xterra. Winch, on board air, aux fuse block wiring added.

      https://i.ibb.co/qWW2hRG/IMG-00000224.jpg

  4. Planned obsalecence was invented in the 1950’s, it’s all buyer beware, now. The moral of the story is to always upgrade your OEM equipment, especially if you are going to use it ‘offroad.’

  5. Your battery? Moving around? At all? Why is this article not about a billet holddown/battery tray instead if that’s the root issue that caused these to break?

  6. (Ignore my previous comment, i was so shocked by the terminals being the only thing mentioned in the first 2 pages i forgot to read the last one)

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