How to Connect a Top Post Cable to a Side Post Battery

by Perry Kong

Installing a side mount battery into a vehicle designed for top post batteries can be done with a simple and economical conversion. Pairs of threaded side post terminal adapters are sold at your local auto parts store or the automotive section of some hardware and department stores.

Ensure that the ignition and anything electrical is turned off.

Wear safety goggles/shield and gloves . Follow any manufacturer labels and precautions on batteries and in your owner's manual.

Disconnect the black negative (-) ground cable. Always disconnect the negative first.

Disconnect the red positive (+) power cable. Make sure the cables are tucked out of the way during the next step.

Install the terminal adapters and tighten them in position. They will look like the top posts with threads on the ends. One will be marked negative (-), the other positive (+). Make sure they are matched to the proper side terminals.

Reconnect the red positive (+) power cable. Always reconnect red (+) first.

Reconnect the black negative (-) ground. Always reconnect black (-) last.

Double check for tightness, proper polarity and any tools lying around before starting the vehicle.


  • Make sure the cables are long enough to be installed on the replacement battery before attempting a conversion.
  • While the cables are removed, this is a good time to inspect and clean the contacts with a wire brush.


  • Remove jewelery from your hands or hanging from your neck.
  • Do not make contact between negative and positive cables with wrenches or any other metal objects.

Items you will need

About the Author

Perry Kong has been a reporter and photojournalist since 2006. He is published through Sun Media and "Northern News" in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, specializing in food and automotive photography. Kong holds a diploma in graphic design from Northern College, where he also teaches photography and Photoshop.

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