When Joel Ellis first popped the hood of his recently purchased 2007 FJ Cruiser in mid 2006, one of the first things he noticed was the stamped steel battery clamp that was holding down the OEM Panasonic battery. It was plenty sturdy, but the design and material left a lot to be desired. Having already worked in manufacturing for many years at the time, he recalled the balance between production price-point and quality, and realized that in order to make these vehicles accessible to people such as himself, Toyota had to use many parts that had been mass produced to fill a requirement where aesthetics were overlooked.
The battery clamp was a simple and obvious component to upgrade, and once he had his design completed, he set out to make the first FJ Cruiser billet battery clamp. Aluminum came as a natural choice, as it was plenty strong, yet light enough for an application such as a battery clamp, and allowed for a cosmetic aluminum anodize finish to be applied. In addition to the corrosion prevention properties of the anodizing, this finish would also act as an insulator, preventing a dead-short if the anodized battery clamp were to come into contact with the battery terminals during installation.
What started as a one-off, took off. After posting pictures of his new clamp on www.fjcruiserforums.com, Joel soon realized that there were an entire forum of people who shared his enthusiasm for the FJ Cruiser, and who wanted to make this little upgrade to their FJ as well. The labor intensive process of manually machining his own clamp was not viable to keep up with the production demand of battery clamps on the forum, so he set out to purchase his very own CNC mill, and Ellis Precision was born.
Joel is a journeyman machinist, with Diplomas in Trades Training and Mechanical Engineering Design. He has over a decade experience on the floors of renowned machine shops with customers in the high-tech sectors, including medical and aerospace manufacturing. More recently, he has been involved in the manufacturing and engineering technologies of aerospace, and was awarded an Honours Bachelor in Aviation Technology in January 2019.