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

by Perry Kong
wrenches image by Igor Shootov from

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.

Step 1

Ensure that the ignition and anything electrical is turned off.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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

Step 7

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

  • Safety glasses or face shield
  • Gloves
  • Socket set or wrenches
  • Side terminal adapters

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