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View Full Version : Battery suggestions... What's your choice?



Ken
12-08-02, 03:50 AM
I ran a search first of course, and scanned through about two-hundred threads looking for advice on which battery to purchase. I found a lot of threads where people had problems with their batteries or the charging system, but could not find any regarding making a purchasing decision on one. So, I started this thread in hopes of generating some response to help me make a decision on my next battery purchase. ;)

Forget about costs for a moment and tell me what battery you consider best for all-around use. You all pretty much know my set-up. (If you aren't you can visit my web site or a couple of my threads here. :)) You have an idea of my engine's needs.

I've drained this Diehard of mine so many times that I think I've tired it out, and it's Die-ing on me now. :L

I have seen the Optima (http://www.optimabatteries.com/) Red Top name being bandied about, and Summit (http://store.summitracing.com) has them for $125.95 to $129.69. Summit also has Pro Volt batteries for $119.95, Odyssey sealed rechargeable drycell batteries ($126.95 - 275.95), and a New Castle Turbo Start 16 V battery, with a 4 V cushion that eliminates hard starting and ignition problems due to low voltage, for $164.50 and $178.50.

What else is there? Hmmm... Let's see now... Interstate (http://www.interstatebatteries.com/estore/default.asp)? Exide (http://www.exideworld.com/)? Superior (http://www.superiorbattery.com/)? Douglas (http://www.douglasbattery.com/frame.html)? First National (http://www.battery.co.za/)? East Penn (http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/)? :crazy

JohnZ
12-08-02, 04:06 PM
Neat motor project - first time I'd seen it! I've always had good luck with DieHard Gold and Delco replacements (always Group 24-size, highest CCA I could get); I don't have any major drains like custom stereos/big amps in any of my cars, though, so I'm sure that's why I routinely get 6-7 years out of a new battery. Mine are only driven between April and October, and sit in the garage hibernating the other five months, with a Battery Tender applied once a month for a day or so - they never deep-cycle discharge.

Do you have enough alternator to keep them at full charge? I hear C4's have more than their share of alternator problems.

Ken
12-08-02, 06:36 PM
Thanks John.

As for overloading the alternator with accessories, I'll have none; I've pulled my stereo, amplifier, CD changer and aftermarket alarm system. I'm also going to pull the a/c.

I just want something that'll start it each and every time and require minimal maintenace. I may also be thinking of relocating it to the rear, but that is still up the air at this point. ;)

_ken :w

qwall
12-08-02, 06:44 PM
never had any problems with diehard , usually got about 5-6 yrs out of it , althou now im using delco brand and so far so good

roy67ss
12-09-02, 04:08 AM
I have the Optima in my trucks and will be using one in my car when it is time to replace. I think they are one of the best out there now.

Ken
12-09-02, 04:29 AM
Coming from someone in the Great White North, that's saying a lot! :upthumbs

Actually, I want to be talked into the Optima for some reason. My main concern though is that whatever I choose, it must have plenty of power so that I don't starve my ignition system, a Performance Distributors (http://www.performancedistributors.com/gmdui.htm) D.U.I. (Davis Unified Ignition).

_ken :w

Ken
12-09-02, 04:10 PM
One other thing -- I don't think it would be a problem would it, to have the battery with top posts instead of side posts? I think there is enough clearance, which makes me wonder why they went with a side post battery in the first place. It would certainly be easier to charge or jump if the posts were on top of the battery. :confused

_ken :w

JonM
12-09-02, 04:54 PM
Actually, I want to be talked into the Optima for some reason.

They do have an infomative web site if that helps...


http://www.optimabatteries.com

What I use is a trickle charge slapped to the side of the battery...works fantastic

http://www.batterychargers.com/images/FullProd/SE-1-12S.jpg

JonM
12-09-02, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Ken
One other thing -- I don't think it would be a problem would it, to have the battery with top posts instead of side posts? I think there is enough clearance, which makes me wonder why they went with a side post battery in the first place. It would certainly be easier to charge or jump if the posts were on top of the battery. :confused

_ken :w

You get BOTH with the Optima

Ken
12-09-02, 04:57 PM
Jon, you are aware that the manufacturers names in my first post were links to their respective sites aren't you? ;)

_ken :w

JonM
12-09-02, 05:08 PM
My screen is in braille. :cool

Edmond
12-10-02, 11:10 AM
I go with the AC Delco battery. It "only" has 650 CCA's, someone told me I could use more than that. Any truth to that?

The only extra thing I have is a 10 disc changer that rarely gets used, no subwoofer, etc... I don't have anything else that would take an enormous amount of energy so I went with Delco.

Bullitt
12-23-02, 04:26 AM
Ken, you must've missed a thread in the C3 Forum, where I have recommended AC-Delco. As a young punk (a hooligan, sometimes), I worked at a Sears Automotive garage. Since my know-how was limited at the time, I mostly got stuck with battery replacement duty. Die-hards could last awhile, but the major differences between the regular, Silver and Gold series seemed to just be the warranty period. I don't know if Sears tries to claim a manufacturing quality difference anymore, but we replaced anyone of them at the same rate, usually within 2-4 years after purchase on daily drivers. It really depends on the individual amperage needs.

AC-Delcos on the other hand were off of vehicles that tended to have the original battery, that were sometimes up to seven years old. The one of my former Trans-Am lasted six years before calling it quits. A test that I read a few years back also confirmed AC-Delcos longer lifespan compared to other mass produced batteries. There's a certain AC-Delco model, like the Optima, that can also be had with both side and top-mounts.

The one outstanding criteria that I use to buy a battery is quite simple. If the battery gives up the ghost on a Sunday night, can I get a replacement quickly without having to rely on my charger? Since there's a 24 hour auto store in my hometown that sells AC-Delco with warranties, my choice becomes all the easier.

--Bullitt

Ken
12-23-02, 06:14 AM
The deed is done; I bought an Optima Red Top. ;)

_ken :w

Bullitt
12-23-02, 06:56 AM
Well, if anyone can put the Optima through the torture chamber, it might as well be you, Ken.

BTW, how's the silver beast coming along? Do you have Will chasing down the problems?

--Bullitt

Ken
12-23-02, 07:36 AM
I'm hoping to be ready and running for our season opener of the West Coast Corvette Challenge (http://www.corvettechallenge.com) (WCCC) by the 18th of January. I've got my roll bar installed and I've got the slicks now, but I've still got to work on the tuning. I think I'm going with the Electromotive Engine Controls (http://www.electromotive-inc.com/) TEC3 system for my ignition and engine controls; I've been talking to Richard Clewett of Clewett Engineering (http://www.clewett.com/) about it, and we're going to talk some more this week.

Plus, I still have to find that elusive oil leak I have. We're going to pull the engine and trans again to install the Lakewood bellhousing and the hydraulic release bearing, and pulling the engine will allow easier manipulation for the re-routing I must do to the fuel lines.

So as you can see, I've got some work cut out for me. I don't plan on being very competitive right away, maybe it won't really get to that point until next year. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

_ken :w

CorvetteArchives
01-15-03, 11:41 PM
That Shumacker charger Jon mentioned is really great since it doesnt overcharge the battery...we love ours too!

As for ACDelco....I have been told to avoid them like the plague! As with almost anything related to GM.....they USED TO make a great battery then decided to rest on their laurels and reputation to now make one of the worst batteries according to a garage owner friend of ours. He replaces more ACDELCO than any other battery....he says lucky to get 3 years from one...the side posts leakand according to him, they substituted a cardboard piece for metal internally (cell seperation/insulation or something) to save $.
He sells Interstate and likes Exide(they make SearsDiehard) for most cars....very reliable.
:w

BTW, that optima is really good looking, but the top posts bother me too much to buy one!

CKA_Racing
01-17-03, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by Ken
The deed is done; I bought an Optima Red Top. ;)

_ken :w

Cool, let us know if you have to do some cutting to get it to fit properly.

CKA_Racing
01-17-03, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Corvette1984
That Shumacker charger Jon mentioned is really great since it doesnt overcharge the battery...we love ours too!

As for ACDelco....I have been told to avoid them like the plague! As with almost anything related to GM.....they USED TO make a great battery then decided to rest on their laurels and reputation to now make one of the worst batteries according to a garage owner friend of ours. He replaces more ACDELCO than any other battery....he says lucky to get 3 years from one...the side posts leakand according to him, they substituted a cardboard piece for metal internally (cell seperation/insulation or something) to save $.
He sells Interstate and likes Exide(they make SearsDiehard) for most cars....very reliable.
:w

BTW, that optima is really good looking, but the top posts bother me too much to buy one!

I have had leaking Ac Delco twice in the last four years. I went to K-Mart one time to see if they sold AC-Delco batt's. They in fact had an entire shelf full of them. Amazing, almost all of then had some kind leak from the side post or top.
I've had good luck with Interstate batt's. Use them in my boat and cars before. They never leaked. I'd rather have a batt that last its advertised life cycle and not leak.

I have had good luck with the Diehard batteries. I have a gold in my vette now that replaced a 2 yr old dealer install AC Delco. It was leaking at the POS post. I have heard that the POS post leak is caused by over tightening. I have never heard or experienced this with other side post batts. I rather not have to deal whether it may or may not leak one day due to over tightening.

JohnZ
01-17-03, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Corvette1984
He sells Interstate and likes Exide(they make SearsDiehard) for most cars....very reliable.

Sears Die-Hards were made by Delco for many, many years; Delco got out of the low-margin contract battery business in 1994, and Exide made the Die-Hard from 1995-1999. When Bob Lutz took over at Exide and found out they were losing money on every Die-Hard they sold to Sears, he cancelled the contract, and Johnson Controls has been making them for Sears since 1999. :Steer

lt4 gs
01-18-03, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Ken
I ran a search first of course, and scanned through about two-hundred threads looking for advice on which battery to purchase. I found a lot of threads where people had problems with their batteries or the charging system, but could not find any regarding making a purchasing decision on one. So, I started this thread in hopes of generating some response to help me make a decision on my next battery purchase. ;)

Forget about costs for a moment and tell me what battery you consider best for all-around use. You all pretty much know my set-up. (If you aren't you can visit my web site or a couple of my threads here. :)) You have an idea of my engine's needs.

I've drained this Diehard of mine so many times that I think I've tired it out, and it's Die-ing on me now. :L

I have seen the Optima (http://www.optimabatteries.com/) Red Top name being bandied about, and Summit (http://store.summitracing.com) has them for $125.95 to $129.69. Summit also has Pro Volt batteries for $119.95, Odyssey sealed rechargeable drycell batteries ($126.95 - 275.95), and a New Castle Turbo Start 16 V battery, with a 4 V cushion that eliminates hard starting and ignition problems due to low voltage, for $164.50 and $178.50.

What else is there? Hmmm... Let's see now... Interstate (http://www.interstatebatteries.com/estore/default.asp)? Exide (http://www.exideworld.com/)? Superior (http://www.superiorbattery.com/)? Douglas (http://www.douglasbattery.com/frame.html)? First National (http://www.battery.co.za/)? East Penn (http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/)? :crazy
Optima Red Top....by far..be careful they don't recommend a yellow top in error........it's a hi-lo or trolling motor deep cycle