I went back in to better rinse off the baking soda/water and make the positive clamp spotless, and I found a hairline crack at the positive terminal. The plastic around the terminal is sunk in a bit and the + terminal had popped up a little and is crooked. That's the last Duralast battery I'll have the misfortune of owning.
I ended up getting the BXT-65-850 from the dealership in town. Hoefully, it won't crack and leak like the DG's have -- the previous Motorcraft I had didn't.
O'reilly has it, but their price is $27 above MSRP and they refused to price match ANY online quote, including fordparts.com, which shows the list price (it no longer shows a discount in FF). In this case, they would only price match a written quote from the dealer. Their loss.
Fortunately, my dealer had dozens in stock, and I got one with a DOM of 04/16 for list + tax -- they gladly accepted my damaged Duralast Gold.
Does anyone have an OEM '96 battery heat shield they could take a pic of? I found some upon searching for F6SZ-10A682, but I'm not sure which one is correct, since they're different numbers, for different vehicles, later years, and the diagrams show the battery trays to be different than mine.
fordparts.com says it's a "wrap type", so I'm assuming that means the mylar version that wraps around the sides instead of the black ones that slip over the top.
Do I even need to bother? Could I use some kind of generic wrap (if my OEM isn't a special molded type)? Would it prevent future cracks/leaks and other problems? My car never had a shield since dealer purchase in '96 and I never had a battery leak until I started using the Duralasts. I did, however, have a Motorcraft strand me -- died on a parking lot while I was in the store shopping; cost a lot for a tow just a couple of miles down the road in Houston.