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What battery should I use? by Cliff Pennock
Started on: 03-31-2014 06:44 PM
Replies: 61 (2596 views)
Last post by: theogre on 03-04-2015 10:50 AM
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Report this Post04-08-2014 12:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
I know the Optima is the better battery, but the price difference is huge. I only drive the Fiero for about 2,000 miles per year so I'm wondering if a cheap battery with a quick disconnect plug wouldn't be a wiser investment.

That's all?
Then get Varta and remove it in winter. Varta auto battery, like Optima, is Johnson Controls brand. (Varta AG was sold.)

Varta Start-Stop Plus are AGM, see http://www.varta-automotive...top-plus/570-901-076
Same size but maybe switch terminals. search varta by European Type No. (ETN): 574 013 068 and 570 901 076

Note that even in summer, you need to drive 1/2-1 hour on highway to fully charge any battery. In town, often alternator makes less power. See my Cave, Watt Story

Engine oil needs heat to drive off moisture and coolant can/will separate w/o stirring by WP.
Bad enough Old/weak coolant can attack radiator, WP seal, hoses, etc. Even worse when you parked for months and coolant starts to separate leaving water at top.
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Report this Post04-08-2014 01:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by craigsfiero2007:

the cold temperatures will still take their toll on the battery's longevity.


I'm not too worried about the cold. Temperature inside the public parking never drops below (I would guess) 64F (it's below grounds).

My problem is that I never know beforehand when I'm going to drive the car again so I guess the only way to protect the battery is to always disconnect it.
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hookdonspeed
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Report this Post04-08-2014 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hookdonspeedClick Here to visit hookdonspeed's HomePageClick Here to Email hookdonspeedSend a Private Message to hookdonspeedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:


How do you think I get to the train station?


woolly mammoth? idk how you all do things over there
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Report this Post04-08-2014 04:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thre is a product that you can install that will automatically disconnect the battery if it gets below 11.7 volts, this could work for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Prior...words=priority+start


" If battery voltage drains below 11.7 volts when engine is off, it automatically disconnects the load. The battery voltage immediately recovers. TO START: just step on brake pedal, starting power is automatically reconnected. Designed to handle 1000 ?starting amps?. "

edit* changed the link to a better one

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 04-09-2014).]

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Report this Post04-08-2014 08:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's pretty cool! I found the same thing on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pri...em3381576436&vxp=mtr

I could by the cheaper Varta battery and use that to protect it.

Now if I could only find an adapter that would change the top post terminal to a side post terminal. Like this (but without the switch):



I remember I always had problems trying to connect the cables to the terminals on top because the cables were a little bit too short.
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Report this Post04-08-2014 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for smartaxelClick Here to visit smartaxel's HomePageClick Here to Email smartaxelSend a Private Message to smartaxelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I heard a few things about the optimas- That the warranty was weak given the high cost, and that some of them were prone to early deaths. I'd just read it on a few forums so I didn't want to spend that much on a possibly questionable battery. I did, however, want the acid mat, so I wouldn't have to worry about leakage and rust, so I went with an AGM that was about $150 in my 3000GT

If you had AGM available, I'd buy that. If it's not avail, and since you have posts converted, I'd probably get the quick disconnects and the Varta. I mean, since you're going to store it most of the time, I'd just use the disconnect every time, and call it a day. Personally, I wouldn't do a "cheap" Chinese battery at all.

Even with the AGM in the 3Kgt, That car sucks down power and is rarely driven. After about a month, the battery is completely dead, so I am forced to keep it on a charger all the time. The AGM is a bit of a pain to get to take a charge if it gets too low- which is a downside though. But, given battery tray rust issues, it may be worth the hassle.

 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
I know the Optima is the better battery, but the price difference is huge. I only drive the Fiero for about 2,000 miles per year so I'm wondering if a cheap battery with a quick disconnect plug wouldn't be a wiser investment.


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Report this Post04-08-2014 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for smartaxelClick Here to visit smartaxel's HomePageClick Here to Email smartaxelSend a Private Message to smartaxelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:


I remember I always had problems trying to connect the cables to the terminals on top because the cables were a little bit too short.


This would work: http://www.remybattery.com/...on-Cables-P4947.aspx

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Report this Post04-09-2014 01:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
1. I'm not too worried about the cold. Temperature inside the public parking never drops below (I would guess) 64F (it's below grounds).

2. My problem is that I never know beforehand when I'm going to drive the car again so I guess the only way to protect the battery is to always disconnect it.

1. You tell us that on page 2?

2. Likely yes. And then you need to drive enough to fully charge the battery.

AGM can take deeper discharge... but yes, too low then carefully read how to charge. "Dead" AGM can be a pain to charge and have own set of rules. Example See www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/support/faqs/

I don't think Green knob is a switch... just no tools disconnect. Likely can find that at most parts stores local to you.

"Smart switches" are good if you leave on HL etc. Not sure if it works well at mA range for ECM memory etc. Problem is Battery behave a little different when HL are on vs ECM/radio memory power. The slow drain for ECM memory, battery doesn't recover like when HL on then shuts off. It might protect it but not start the engine. edit to add that smart switch will draw a few mA too, ever when disconnect other loads.

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 04-09-2014).]

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Report this Post04-09-2014 04:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

1. You tell us that on page 2?


I'm pretty sure I mentioned the car is in a garage a few times on page 1.

 
quote
"Smart switches" are good if you leave on HL etc. Not sure if it works well at mA range for ECM memory etc.


It disconnects the battery when voltage drops below 11.6V. Whether that's after a few hours because you forgot to turn off your headlights, or after a few days because of the ECM. The end result is the same - it protects the battery from deep discharge. I'm not sure how much mA the smart switch draws but I know that modern microcontrollers can run for years on a couple of AA batteries.
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Report this Post04-09-2014 08:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too have heard Optimas arent great for cars that are not often driven. I suppose if you trickle charge them when not driven there wouldnt be an issue. (like any other battery)
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Report this Post04-09-2014 08:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

2.5

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Member since May 2007
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the car is in a garage a few times on page 1.
.


In his defense most of our public storage that is car sized here in the US is not temperature controlled
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Report this Post04-09-2014 10:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:
In his defense most of our public storage that is car sized here in the US is not temperature controlled

Yes. Most public garages and storage here are above ground and open to weather's temp etc.
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Report this Post04-09-2014 07:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for smartaxelClick Here to visit smartaxel's HomePageClick Here to Email smartaxelSend a Private Message to smartaxelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Depending on how "stock" you leave your car. You could always put something like this in, so you don't have to worry about physically disconnecting the battery: http://www.harborfreight.co...ff-switch-66789.html
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Report this Post10-19-2014 12:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Probably too late to be of any benefit, but...

I've bought myself a bunch of "large" LiFePO4 cells for a project. I bought an extra 4 for use as an automotive battery replacement. I was charging them when I recalled this thread. They weren't that much more expensive than you'd pay for an optima battery, and have many benefits over lead acid. Less self-discharge, a constant voltage in spite of the state of charge (except when over 100% or under 0%) and being able to be left partially charged for any length of time without damaging them...sounds like a prime candidate for a car frequently in storage.
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Report this Post03-03-2015 08:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Reviving an old thread.

Recap: I ended up getting the Optima RT U 3.7 together with the PriorityStart! Battery Protector. The PriorityStart unit automatically disconnects the battery when voltage drops below I think 10.5V or so. For me that would be a perfect solution.

We have this crazy new law here in the Netherlands. Before this new law, if your car was older than 25 years, it was considered an old-timer and you didn't have to pay road taxes anymore. This year they changed that. If your car is older than 25 years, you still need to pay the full amount of road tax, unless you don't drive it during December, January and February. Then you only need to pay 25%. Road taxes are pretty high here and since I hardly drive my car anyway i had chosen for that option.

So I didn't drive it in December and in January. In February I wanted to check up on the car. Much to my surprise I saw the LED of my alarm system was still blinking. So either the battery voltage hadn't dropped below 10.5V yet, or the PriorityStart was malfunctioning. When I got in the car and turned the ignition to ON, the needle from the battery gauge hardly moved at all and the lights were very, very dim. I tried to start it but needless to say nothing happened. I opened the trunk and saw that the green LED on the PrirorityStart was lit up meaning it hadn't disconnected the battery. But judging by the battery gauge and the fact the lights were dim and it wasn't able to even turn the fuel pump, I figured voltage had dropped well below 10V. Probably somewhere around 7V-8V. Perhaps even less.

I wanted to remove the battery and check it that weekend, but unfortunately that was the weekend I broke my hand.

Last week they finally removed the cast from my hand and arm, so today I was finally able to get the battery out to test it. This time, the PriorityStart's RED LED was lit. So for some reason it had now disconnected the battery. But waaaayyy too late. I took the battery home and measured voltage. It was 5V!

So fortunately the PriorityStart did protect my battery against a deep discharge. But not from discharging.

The voltage dropping to 5V has not ruined my battery, has it?

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Report this Post03-03-2015 08:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I lost an Optima over the winter a few years ago. Inside storage, started every two weeks - but still died.
I replaced under a poorly pro-rated warranty. This year the battery is stored in the basement.
When this Optima goes, I will not buy another.
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Report this Post03-03-2015 07:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have pretty good luck with Optima. I am on my second one, it was in the 88. When the 88 was picked up by Wellers two years ago a cheap battery was in the 88 and the Optima went into the 87 GT.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 03-03-2015).]

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Report this Post03-03-2015 09:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hnthompsClick Here to Email hnthompsSend a Private Message to hnthompsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have relocated the battery to behind the spare tire on all four of my vehicles and do use Optima batteries inn all of them. They are not driven all that often so I have installed a smart trickle charger in all of them so now all I need to do for extended storage is hook up an extension cord to the permanently installed smart charger. I have been getting good battery life with this set up when stored in my basement garage. The only thing I now need to do is remember to unplug the extension cord before I drive out of the garage!!

Nelson
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Report this Post03-03-2015 10:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
Last week they finally removed the cast from my hand and arm, so today I was finally able to get the battery out to test it. This time, the PriorityStart's RED LED was lit. So for some reason it had now disconnected the battery. But waaaayyy too late. I took the battery home and measured voltage. It was 5V!

So fortunately the PriorityStart did protect my battery against a deep discharge. But not from discharging.

The voltage dropping to 5V has not ruined my battery, has it?

PriorityStart did NOT protect your battery. You had trouble when FP won't start.

Red Top is design for starting the car. It can die or have short life after when you deep discharge, below 10.5v. 5v is bad news.
You might save it by Slowly charging, 6-10 amps, use directions here.
OPTIMA FAQ read all charging section.
"Smart" charger won't turn on below ~10.5v so "How do I charge a deeply discharged battery?" part...
but Old "Dumb" changers have problem too when battery is under 10.5v.
Suggest doing this outside in case either batteries leaks acid.
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Report this Post03-04-2015 04:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had put it on the charger yesterday afternoon and the charger showed it was charging at 9 Amps. By the end of the day, it was only charging at around 2 Amps which (usually) means it's almost done charging. I left the charger on since it will shut off automatically once the battery is fully charged.

This morning my wife heard a loud ticking and hissing noise coming from the battery and she said the battery was very hot so she unplugged the charger (she gets up a few hours before I do). When I woke up, I measured the voltage on the battery and it was only 11.4V. So even though the charger had been connected all night, it wasn't fully charged (or perhaps it lost charge overnight, I have no idea). I plugged in the charger and it's now charging at 8 Amps again. So I have no idea what has happened overnight. I'm charging it again right now and the battery does get warm. Not hot, warm. I'll keep an eye on it while it's charging.
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Report this Post03-04-2015 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for amflyerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
We had issues with the Red Top Optima battery as well. After the 3800SC conversion in my sons 85GT we heard a load hissing from the battery area when we stopped for fuel. We only had driven about 35 miles with no warning from our charging system guages at all. The battery was actually smoking and was so hot we had to remove it using gloves. The car had a new alt and was tested later that day to see if that was the problem and it tested fine. Worked out we took the battery back to where we bought it from they tried to charge it as the charge was below 10 volts and the case melted using their optima charger. The auto parts store was glad to exchange it for a regular battery. From that time on we have had no issues with the battery or charging system. The battery was only 2 months old at the time and we figured it was not worth damaging the car because of the battery. We wish you luck with yours but be careful while driving your car just in case something similar might happen. You may want to carry gloves and a pair of wire cutters???

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Report this Post03-04-2015 10:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
I had put it on the charger yesterday afternoon and the charger showed it was charging at 9 Amps. By the end of the day, it was only charging at around 2 Amps which (usually) means it's almost done charging. I left the charger on since it will shut off automatically once the battery is fully charged.

This morning my wife heard a loud ticking and hissing noise coming from the battery and she said the battery was very hot so she unplugged the charger (she gets up a few hours before I do). When I woke up, I measured the voltage on the battery and it was only 11.4V. So even though the charger had been connected all night, it wasn't fully charged (or perhaps it lost charge overnight, I have no idea). I plugged in the charger and it's now charging at 8 Amps again. So I have no idea what has happened overnight. I'm charging it again right now and the battery does get warm. Not hot, warm. I'll keep an eye on it while it's charging.

"This morning my wife heard a loud ticking and hissing noise coming from the battery and she said the battery was very hot so she unplugged the charger." Good she did... The battery was boiling.

Stop charging. Battery is toast... "it was only 11.4V" because likely has a dead cell. You can't save a battery w/ a dead cell and charging in that condition is dangerous. Good thing is AGM uses a lot less acid or very likely you be cleaning up acid waste.

Try taking to part store for testing. Not just simple load test since is not charged. New "smart" testers can check for dead cells w/o full charge.

 
quote
Originally posted by amflyer:
After the 3800SC conversion in my sons 85GT we heard a load hissing from the battery area when we stopped for fuel. We only had driven about 35 miles with no warning from our charging system guages at all. The battery was actually smoking and was so hot we had to remove it using gloves. The car had a new alt and was tested later that day to see if that was the problem and it tested fine. Worked out we took the battery back to where we bought it from they tried to charge it as the charge was below 10 volts and the case melted using their optima charger.

If you hear mHissing/Bubbling noise from Any battery then shutdown the engine/charger!
AGM and Wet Cell batteries can have dead cells.
Car Alt can generate 60-100+ amps and a dead cell battery can eat all of that.
Much better to wait and watch, with fire extinguisher if needed, til cools down and stop making noise. Many people have been injured messing w/ a hot battery when the alt and/or battery dies. Worse... AGM and Maintenance Free batteries can burst the case when they can't release pressure fast enough. Messing around with a ticking "bomb" is not a good plan. Even a small amount of acid spray can do major damage to people.

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 03-04-2015).]

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