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Due to my job and the climate in which I live it is not uncommon for my Ferrari to sit for a month or more between drives. Of course everytime I want to start the Ferrari the first thing I have to do is charge up the battery. I have the same problem with my Jeep. Both have analog clocks that drain the battery in about a month. This deep-cycling is bad for a starting battery. When you charge it lead flakes off and collects on the bottom and if enough flakes off it can bridge the plates and short out a cell.

So I finally decided to take care of it yesterday. It all started out when I needed to run to the store to get an o-ring for my pressure washer and wanted to take the Ferrari. The 10 pictures below document how easy this job is.

1- This is the unit. A fully automatic 1.5 amp battery charger. Turns on when the battery is discharged, turns off when the battery is charged.
2- Drill two 1/4" holes, 4" apart in the spare tire compartment. There's enough room to install it on either side, I chose the left side as I wanted the plug to come out on the left.
3&4- Install the unit. I had to get longer screws than what came with the unit. It took two #8-32x1/2" stainless steel machine screws and nuts.
5- Cut the wires.
6- Extend the wires to reach the battery using 14-gauge wire and butt connectors. A couple of cable ties to neaten things up.
7- To extend the AC side, I bought a power tool replacement cord that I could cut to length.
8- Thread the cord through the grill and run it underneath the headlight bucket to keep it away from the radiator. A couple more cable ties to keep everything in place. A couple of butt connectors to hook it to the unit.
9- Wrap it with electric tape, give everything a double check and plug it in.
10- Finished project. Now when I am going to leave the car for a week or more I can just plug an extension cord into the grill. The car will be ready to go when I am.

Total cost - about $35. Total time - about 1 hour unless you are like me and have to run out twice for screws and wire, then it is 3 hours. :)
 

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Neat job Pete, but wouldn't it just be easier to buy a maintainer that plugs into the cigar lighter and leave the drivers window open 1/4 inch to feed the cable through to the mains? I had one for the 328, it cost about £50 in the UK.
 

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I don't think so Archie, 1- it would be something else in the garage that I can't find when I need it. 2- The cigar lighter itself would be something I'm always finding underneath the passenger seat. 3- I don't plug this thing in everyday, if the car is under cover in the garage and I get called off to work and I want to plug in the charger I would have to peel back over half the cover, get in the car, insert the ignition key so I can roll down the window, plug in the charger, then remove the key, get out, close the door and put the cover back on. With this I can just lift up a corner of the cover and plug it in.
 

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I agree with the "nice work" part

R the cig lighter input, what ever works for you. I got lucky. My car sits next to a window in my garage. Cabela's has a solar charger with a level monitor (can't overcharge). It hangs in the window and plugs into the cigarette lighter. Cost ~40 bucks.
 
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