How to Remove a Side Post Battery Terminal

by Jody L. Campbell
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Side post battery terminals are commonly used in GM vehicles. However, this is not to say that a top post battery and terminals cannot be converted on almost any vehicle. To remove the side post battery terminal is just as easy (if not easier) than removing the top post battery terminal clamp. Side post battery terminals employ a bolt-type terminal that secures the respective battery cable to the battery.

Step 1

Open the hood to the vehicle.

Step 2

Put on the safety goggles.

Step 3

Place a suitable sized box-end wrench or a ratchet and socket on the hex-head of the (black-wired) negative side post battery terminal (removing the negative terminal post first will minimize the occurrence of sparks flying from the battery terminal, which could result in igniting flammable hydrogen gases emitting from the battery vents). Many GMs use an 8mm or 5/16-inch wrench (although aftermarket or converted side posts terminals may take a much larger wrench or socket). Also some side post batteries, but not all, restrict using a ratchet and socket due to limited room between the terminal post and other engine components.

Step 4

Turn the wrench (or ratchet and socket) counterclockwise. Keep in mind that if the battery terminals are facing the engine compartment, the terminal bolt will require being loosened to the right (clockwise) in order to remove.

Step 5

Isolate the battery terminal bolt from the battery so it does not come back into contact with the battery post while removing the positive (red-wired) battery terminal side post bolt in the same fashion. Some GM vehicles come equipped with a plastic cover for the positive battery terminal post to help prevent corrosion. If equipped, unsnap the cover by hand first.

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