Battery lugs

By Norman Nock, British Car Specialists

Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, February 1995


Corrosion around the battery lugs can severely impact the performance of your Healey’s electrical system. The information below was taken from the Lucas Service Manual.


Battery Lug (Old Clamp)


Battery lug corrosion is a more serious matter than is generally realized. Heavy corrosion on the battery lugs and posts results inconsiderable voltage drop when a heavy current is passing, for example, when the starter is operated, voltage drop will usually be noticeable by sluggish operation of the starter motor.


The rate of corrosion is dependent on two factors: the thickness of the lead covering the cast brass of the lug and the amount of acid allowed to accumulate on the battery top.

This latter is your responsibility: we, on our part, as manufacturers, produce a special alloy which is far in advance of the normal lead-coated brass lug, and reduces corrosion to an absolute minimum. This alloy lug is now used mainly for commercial vehicles, with a new diecast lead lug superseding the old clamp type on normal cars.


Battery Lug (Die Cast)


Here we give an illustration of the die-cast battery lug fitted almost exclusively on present-day British cars. This lug further reduces corrosion.


The following points should be observed when refitting these lugs.


Clean off any oxidation from the battery post and smear the post and lug with commercial vase line. Grease must not be used for this purpose.


When fitting the lug, make sure that the two surfaces marry together properly. Insert the “Parker-Kalon” locking screw after pressing home the lug on to the tapered battery post.


If these precautions are observed, no bad connections can develop and removal of the lug is always easy.


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