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For general information, most batteries in the UK (not USA) are built to satisfy a specification relating to Size, Capacity, Terminal layout code, Terminal type and Case type. The spec number is often shown on the battery as a three digit number, with sometimes a manufacturer letter code preceding it. The standard battery for a Mini is coded 038, which is for a battery with a capacity of 38Ah and a terminal layout of Code 1. In my opinion, the layout of the battery terminals on these batteries is not ideal, as the clamping plate fits very close to the terminals when fitted with the negative terminal towards the rear of the boot, where the chassis lead is normally located..

I always purchase batteries coded 048, which is similar to the 038, but has the terminal polarities reversed, so the battery can be fitted with the terminals on the outboard side of the battery box, and therefore well away from the clamping plate.

This configuration, known as `Layout 0', should, in my opinion, have been specified originally, and was from 1995..

The Mini battery box, which as far as I am aware is the same on all models, measures 260mm long; 170mm wide and has a depth to the top edge of 207mm. However, the clamp, with standard J bolts fitted will only reach to 180mm, thus limiting the height of a battery that can be clamped without fitting longer J bolts. Therefore, any battery that will fit these dimensions will fit in a Mini.

Batteries designed to be clamped at the base have further codes from B1 to B11, but this criteria does not affect us in the Mini, but 038 and 048 are B1.

Hope this is of interest.

Pete K.(

Added March 9, 2009

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