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Battery location

anchors

Active member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
34
Location
Mass.
Corvette
'71, coupe
I have often wondered why the battery on C3's ( maybe not all) was placed behind the drivers side seat versus the passengers side. Given the choice, the right side would seem to be the obvious one. Any thoughts?
 

Lakeside49

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
61
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Red Coupe
It allows the primary operator (driver) arm's-length access to stored items without having to exit the vehicle.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

anchors

Active member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
34
Location
Mass.
Corvette
'71, coupe
Thanks for the thought but I have to question the value of having a car jack at arms length.
 

Vettehead Mikey

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Messages
3,486
Location
Not that far from Ottawa
Corvette
1973 Coupe
The car weighs about 3500 pounds. A typical battery weighs about 40 lbs or just over 1/100th of the total vehicle weight. Placing it one side or the other of the centre of the car would make little practical difference.
 

Lakeside49

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
61
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Red Coupe
Thanks for the thought but I have to question the value of having a car jack at arms length.

Respectfully, I can assure you my response is probably correct. The jack is below the primary storage bin that I thought you were referencing. The primary storage bin would not be reachable behind the driver's seat without exiting (egressing) that car. But, your question is very valid.

I am employed in the auto industry (Ford Motor Co.). 32 years. We conduct focus group studies with countless people on every model. We pay particular attention to how people of the full spectrum of age, weight, and height, - women very much included - and, each have their own set of values. The current trends are to ensure significant leg room because people around the world are getting taller; taking weight into account because - well, you know; taking gender into account partly because large purse storage is a show stopper for many of our prospective female customers; and, pertaining to the age spectrum, you'll notice that the control buttons and displays are getting larger and better lit. We have "old people suits' that our engineers wear that does a great job of duplicating the limited range of motion, and hand/arm and leg strength of aging baby boomers. For younger customers, well, much of our focus is on them because they know how to maximize the features/performance of a vehicle - not dissimilar to a C3 owner in the day. You can tell that the C3 engineers of the day paid attention to every possible inch of the car just because the way it is laid-out is to very tight. People are extremely smart, forget the media cliche's that they are not, and the engineers - most of ours are top grads in their respective engineering schools around the country - and especially the up and coming engineers have a challenge keeping up with the function/feature/utility and looks IQ of us North Americans, Europeans (they invented the Car, Mr. Ford invented the production line), the Chinese (yes, their car accumen has become impressive), the Middle Easterners (the majority are terrific, American product loving people, believe me), the South Americans, and recently the Sub-Saharan Africans are people all becoming amazingly sophisticated in their product design desires. In other words, even in the 60's the design engineers would take all the customer feedback data and put common sense to it - they really would. Maybe even moreseo then than they do today - which is hard to imagine - because the auto industry didn't have to compete with the Tech Industries for the best & brightest. I look back through our Ford archives and those dudes were extremely smart in that era. I have a lot of respect for their legacy if it doesn't relate to advanced technology, and a storage bin would fall into that space. Case in point - when Obama commissioned NASA to evaluate (not approve) our best approach to re-visit the moon a few years ago, the brightest minds in NASA - after evaluating all options - recommended that the best path would be to emulate the Apollo project's core tenants. Even the recommended lunar capsule and landing module were very similar. Mostly just larger and more efficient with today's computing power. To their credit, they admitted that even though they reviewed all of the latest technology that the Apollo approach presented the fewest risks, human and economics.

I only referenced this because our C3's were designed in the same era. Bottom line, don't over-think it too much. The GM Corvette interior design team - the pick of the litter for a GM flagship car like the C3 - would have spent a lot of time & research trying to to figure out the C3-owner's most common, most comfortable and efficient target-customer "use-case" (that's what we call it) and then design it accordingly. I guarantee you that a lot of debate and arguments took place about the location, size, appearance and cost/quality took place while standing around design "mules" (that's what they call them - a modular mocked up interior of the vehicle) with the affected engineers holding the clinic customer feedback data, about every detail. Like you and I the engineers would go home wanting to feel good about doing an exceptional job that they could defend to their management, and even moreso, go to friend's houses, customer clinics, Dealer meetings, and family gatherings without someone asking them "why the heck didn't you do it this way..." You wouldn't believe how much that stuff gives them a pit in their stomach, even if they try to pretend that it doesn't. Their wives and kids are often standing there next to them when peer freely give advice. You can understand how your question was probably debated back & forth by a lot of smart people whose paycheck/promotions were voted by the customer, so it is a good one. Hope this bit of behind the scenes was of some interest.
 

loup68

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
10
Location
Myrtle Beach,SC
Corvette
1968 arctic white coupe
I think that I read, years ago, that the battery behind the driver also helped off-set the starter weight on the right
side of the motor. Lou.
 

LLC5

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
2,299
Location
Wa.
Corvette
98 black 6spd convert.
Respectfully, I can assure you my response is probably correct. The jack is below the primary storage bin that I thought you were referencing. The primary storage bin would not be reachable behind the driver's seat without exiting (egressing) that car. But, your question is very valid.

I am employed in the auto industry (Ford Motor Co.). 32 years. We conduct focus group studies with countless people on every model. We pay particular attention to how people of the full spectrum of age, weight, and height, - women very much included - and, each have their own set of values. The current trends are to ensure significant leg room because people around the world are getting taller; taking weight into account because - well, you know; taking gender into account partly because large purse storage is a show stopper for many of our prospective female customers; and, pertaining to the age spectrum, you'll notice that the control buttons and displays are getting larger and better lit. We have "old people suits' that our engineers wear that does a great job of duplicating the limited range of motion, and hand/arm and leg strength of aging baby boomers. For younger customers, well, much of our focus is on them because they know how to maximize the features/performance of a vehicle - not dissimilar to a C3 owner in the day. You can tell that the C3 engineers of the day paid attention to every possible inch of the car just because the way it is laid-out is to very tight. People are extremely smart, forget the media cliche's that they are not, and the engineers - most of ours are top grads in their respective engineering schools around the country - and especially the up and coming engineers have a challenge keeping up with the function/feature/utility and looks IQ of us North Americans, Europeans (they invented the Car, Mr. Ford invented the production line), the Chinese (yes, their car accumen has become impressive), the Middle Easterners (the majority are terrific, American product loving people, believe me), the South Americans, and recently the Sub-Saharan Africans are people all becoming amazingly sophisticated in their product design desires. In other words, even in the 60's the design engineers would take all the customer feedback data and put common sense to it - they really would. Maybe even moreseo then than they do today - which is hard to imagine - because the auto industry didn't have to compete with the Tech Industries for the best & brightest. I look back through our Ford archives and those dudes were extremely smart in that era. I have a lot of respect for their legacy if it doesn't relate to advanced technology, and a storage bin would fall into that space. Case in point - when Obama commissioned NASA to evaluate (not approve) our best approach to re-visit the moon a few years ago, the brightest minds in NASA - after evaluating all options - recommended that the best path would be to emulate the Apollo project's core tenants. Even the recommended lunar capsule and landing module were very similar. Mostly just larger and more efficient with today's computing power. To their credit, they admitted that even though they reviewed all of the latest technology that the Apollo approach presented the fewest risks, human and economics.

I only referenced this because our C3's were designed in the same era. Bottom line, don't over-think it too much. The GM Corvette interior design team - the pick of the litter for a GM flagship car like the C3 - would have spent a lot of time & research trying to to figure out the C3-owner's most common, most comfortable and efficient target-customer "use-case" (that's what we call it) and then design it accordingly. I guarantee you that a lot of debate and arguments took place about the location, size, appearance and cost/quality took place while standing around design "mules" (that's what they call them - a modular mocked up interior of the vehicle) with the affected engineers holding the clinic customer feedback data, about every detail. Like you and I the engineers would go home wanting to feel good about doing an exceptional job that they could defend to their management, and even moreso, go to friend's houses, customer clinics, Dealer meetings, and family gatherings without someone asking them "why the heck didn't you do it this way..." You wouldn't believe how much that stuff gives them a pit in their stomach, even if they try to pretend that it doesn't. Their wives and kids are often standing there next to them when peer freely give advice. You can understand how your question was probably debated back & forth by a lot of smart people whose paycheck/promotions were voted by the customer, so it is a good one. Hope this bit of behind the scenes was of some interest.



Great post.

The only thing I might add is the power of the bean counters. If production costs get too expensive then sometimes engineering and focus groups can get put on the back burner.
 

SVO

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
332
Location
Texas Gulf Coast
Corvette
69 L68 Vert, 72 LS-5 Cpe, 72 LT-1 Air 'Vert
Tardy to the party, but where else could a battery be placed? If you take a full option big block car, there is no room under the hood in the engine compartment for a battery. On 65-67 full option big block cars, you had to jack up the car, remove the drivers side front tire, remove a panel in the wheel well to access the battery. I suspect that GM decided to place the battery behind the driver to standardize location and simplify production.
 

Lakeside49

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
61
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Red Coupe
Well, Anchors - I happened to think of you today in regard to my response when you asked the question about the battery/storage location of the C3. I received the attached topic-related email today. It reinforces what I stated in my post. The attachment illustrates how an OEM goes to market to be the best that they can be. They gather as much information as possible from 350,000 global employees of the full spectrum of backgrounds/ages/active lifestyles and their families to develop a starting point of view on a design element - in this case storage design options - and, then they unleash market studies that obtain requirements/preferences from the REAL prospective customers. They will go back to the drawing board several times if necessary to get it right. What you see here is just the first stage of trying to come out with advance global, best in class product designs, down to every detail. I suspect the C3 team did similar. Sorry to come back on this, but some folks commented favorably on the discussion and I thought I would close the loop since the email was timely and relevant to my earlier response to your good question. Thought you and other C3 brethern here might enjoy seeing behind the scenes in relation to your topic. Hope this helps, my friend.


Dave
 

Attachments

  • Product Design Request for Input.pdf
    821.3 KB · Views: 20

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