Upgrade Your Stock Toyota Battery with CBI Offroad’s (Group 31 Size) Battery Tray For 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma
The Tacoma’s stock battery, while capable, is nothing to write home about.
If you’re running auxiliary lights, a fridge or something as demanding as a winch, you’re going to want your battery to be able to handle the increased power draws. A popular option in the overland community is upgrading to the group 31 size battery.
This heavy-duty battery offers more amp hours to run those lights, fridge and other accessories without the truck even running. Fitting this beast of a battery, however, can be quite a daunting task. The OEM battery tray is not equipped to house a battery the size and weight of group 31 battery.
Enter CBI Offroad. This high-quality fabrication company makes anything from light mounts to dual swing-out bumpers. You can check out their armor options for the 3rd Gen Tacoma here.
CBI makes a sturdy mount for the group 31 battery without the need to relocate your oil filler neck. This option fits both the 2nd and 3rd Gen Tacoma.
Materials For Install
You don’t need that much for this install. Just a few good parts and you are off power up your accessories in no time. YOu have plenty of options for group 31 batteries as well. Pictured here is just one of many options available.
- CBI Offroad 3rd Gen Tacoma Battery Tray: Check Price
- 10″ J-Hooks/Battery Hold-Down Bolts: Check Price
- X2 Group 31 Battery: Check Price
- Northstar Group 31: Check Price
- Odyssey Group 31: Check Price
The CBI Battery Tray
10″ J-Hooks/Battery Hold-Down Bolts
Group 31 Battery of Choice
Step 1. Remove Stock Battery + Plastic Tray
Pop the hood and begin by disconnecting your negative terminal, as well as the chassis ground. Then, remove your positive terminal. Failure to disassemble in the proper order could lead to sparks flying, setting off fuses or getting a nasty shock. Be careful!
Loosen the battery tie-down nut and remove the j-hooks and bracket holding the battery.
Finally, remove the battery and plastic tray underneath.
Step 2. Extend Positive Terminal Cable
The positive terminal in its current location will not reach the new location of the positive post on most of the available group 31 batteries. You will need to extend the positive cable by following the directions below.
Extend Positive Terminal Cable:
Locate and open the plastic piece holding the positive and negative terminals together.
Start by undoing all the connections holding the OEM wiring in place.
Continue to remove the zip tie bundling them together to expose all of the wires.
Locate the positive terminal cable and remove it from the bundle. Using a Dremel or round file, make a notch in the plastic beyond the forward clasp to make room for the positive terminal wire.
This will allow you to utilize some of the excess slack in the stock wiring so your cable can reach your new positive battery terminal.
Secure the plastic enclosure with the positive terminal now fitted through the new notch. Your positive cable should now be long enough to reach the positive terminal.
Step 3. Install Tray, Battery & Tie-Down
On the battery tray, you will find two tabs on the bottom that correspond to the two holes on the truck where the previous plastic battery tray was. Make sure they are aligned before installing the battery. This part is easy and it’s very obvious when the battery tray is properly seated.
Next, place your new battery in the CBI battery tray. A group 31 battery can weigh anywhere from 60-80lbs, so be careful when placing the battery in the tray. Make sure the battery is oriented with the positive terminal closest to the engine.
Verify your positive and negative terminals reach the battery posts.
Install both J-hooks and the battery tie-down but do not bolt yet. For a 10” J-hook the front j-hook will clear the hood, but the rear J-hook is too tall and must be trimmed. As this does not need to be perfect, I simply eyeballed the height of the front J-hook and trimmed the rear J-hook to match. Take a Dremel, grinder, or hacksaw and trim the rear J-hook.
The wing nuts included in my J-hook kit did not play nice with the tie-down, so I opted using these nylon lock nuts instead. They are much beefier and the nylon portion helps to keep the tray more secure. You do not want your battery shifting around when tearing it up on the trail.
I used the rubber washers included with the J-hooks and tightened the nylon lock nuts slowly and evenly until the battery was snug and did not move. Be careful not to overtighten the nuts on the J-hooks as they could damage the battery.
Step 4. Reconnect Battery & Test
Once the battery is in place, connect your battery’s positive and negative terminals as well as any auxiliary connections you had before the install.
Start your vehicle to verify the battery’s operation as well as your auxiliary connections. There you have it! This concludes the install.
Go forth and enjoy your new heavy-duty battery!