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What Battery do I need?

Discussion in 'General Jeep Discussion' started by OFFGRID, May 9, 2017.

  1. May 9, 2017 at 9:26 AM
    #1
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Please feel free to chime in with your opinions and experiences. What Battery do I need? Growing up this is something that has plagued me. What seems to be advertised the most is Cold Cranking Amps (CCA). So early on I thought that the more CCA you have the better the battery, right? Well, not really. Does a Honda Civic need 900 CCA when it only needs 300 CCA, and a brand new 300 CCA battery will struggle to start a Chevy 454. In both cases you would be wasting money.

    Another measurement less advertised in the car industry, and to me a more important measurement of the quality of a battery is Amperage hour (Ah). This is the measurement of how long a battery will last without recharging at a given voltage. You will see Ah discussed a lot with cordless tools.

    Ever since I started driving I have been into car stereos. I can't tell you how much money I wasted on high CCA and less than optimal Ah batteries. I bring this up because in the Jeep world THIS IS CRUCIAL. 2000 WATTS of car audio amps creates a ton of draw on a battery when cranked up. Even with a separate battery for the audio my headlights will flicker at peak volume. I started investing in specialized high Ah batteries otherwise known as (Deep cell batteries). The first I recall and is still around is the Odyssey Battery, and later and more popular is the Optima battery. These batteries have great stores of energy that your power accessories can draw from before reaching critical lows before recharging. Number one case in point. You have stalled out in a deep water crossing and you need to winch out with the motor not running. You are going to need a deep cell high Ah battery.

    I have heard rumors lately that Optima batteries are not the quality they used to be. I still run them, but I know others who have switched to Odyssey. Based on what I run how do you choose which Optima battery? Red, Blue, or Yellow top. Process of elimination? Blue tops are marine use, so it is out. That leaves Red or Yellow. Red top batteries have bigger bursts of power up front yet won't last as long between charges. I think of this as a high CCA battery. The Yellow will sacrifice a little CCAs all the while maintaining a deep draw on power, which is ideal for power accessories like high watt stereos, CBs, KC lites, winches, onboard air supplies, etc, etc. Sounds like we should be running the Yellow top. Now which one?

    [​IMG]
    YELLOWTOP® D34
    SKU: 8012-021
    $276.99
    Model:D34
    Weight: 42.9 lb
    C20 Capacity: 55 Ah
    Post Type: SAE Post
    CCA: 750 Amp
    Width: 6.88 in
    Length: 10.06 in
    Height:7.88 in


    I run the D34, but this also comes in a compination Side post/top post, the D34/78. If you can make it fit the best Optima battery is:

    [​IMG]
    YELLOWTOP® D31A
    SKU: 8051-160
    $342.99
    Model: D31A
    Weight: 59.8 lb
    C20 Capacity: 75 Ah
    Post Type: SAE Post
    CCA: 900 Amp
    Width: 6.56 in
    Length: 12.81 in
    Height: 9.38 in

    One more thing Odyssey Extreme performance batteries have a 95 Ah and a huge 100 Ah, but can you make them fit?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  2. May 9, 2017 at 7:15 PM
    #2
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Very informative. Thanks Peter.
     
  3. May 9, 2017 at 7:46 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    Ive ran Optima exclusively for over 15 years. About 5 years ago, they changed the way their batteries were produced, and cut corners on the quality of lead, and the amount used in key locations. This created a battery that can fail with no warning. Ive had about 6 friends left in a dead vehicle due to Optima batteries. in 5 cases, the internal lead strips that attached to the posts broke, and 1 that shorted inside and dam near melted down. That was it for me. I purchased an X2 Power battery from Batteries +. Its made by Northstar, but has a 5 year warranty. Its made in USA, uses pure lead (Not recycled), and has a crap ton of power. After running this, I cant see running anything else, unless these go the way Optima has.

    upload_2017-5-9_19-46-0.jpg
     
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  4. May 9, 2017 at 7:47 PM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    Picture is from an independent test showing the Northstar pretty much beat the other batteries. Check out the winch pull distance!!
     
    OFFGRID [OP] and JKBob 25 like this.
  5. May 9, 2017 at 8:05 PM
    #5
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    I currently have 2 accessories running off my (stock) battery. Both LEDs. One came with a relay, and I spliced in a relay on the other. No issues so far. BUT.....i will look into a new battery as soon as I have the funds.

    Damn. Guys. Your costing me a lot on money. Lol.
     
    OFFGRID [OP] likes this.
  6. May 9, 2017 at 8:15 PM
    #6
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Pretty cool Chris. I'm glad you confirmed what I had heard. Just a note about the Odyssey battery in that test. It is not anywhere near their best and Odyssey only rates it at 68 Ah, nowhere near the 157 Ah your study shows. I do know there is more than 1 way to measure Ahs but that is a big difference. Maybe it is peak vs nominal? I don't need a battery anytime soon, but based on what I've been hearing I probably won't be buying another optima. I will definitely look into whaT Northstar has to offer.
     
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  7. May 9, 2017 at 8:17 PM
    #7
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm impressed by that diehard gold. And only a buck and a quarter.
     
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  8. May 9, 2017 at 8:21 PM
    #8
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Funny. Well....maybe not. Everything I learned over the years was Optima was the best. Now....i wouldn't take one for free. Sucks how so many good manufacturers went the way of cheaper. And failed.
    Once again. Thank you guys. You learned me some thing again. Thank you.
     
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  9. May 9, 2017 at 8:30 PM
    #9
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    They compared OEM Size 34 batteries, to keep things even. Yeah, there are models that have more power, but it would have been an Apples to Oranges comparo. AS for the manufacture rattings, all manufactures rate differently. The Northstar has the second lowest Amp Hours, and mid line reserve, yet crushed in the winch test, and Boombox test. Now.....After falling prey to a dead battery myself, Ive gotten a little more informed on batteries. Battery for Battery, the Northstar seems to beat the rest. Another thing to consider.....since we are talking about the topic of electrical power......is Jumper Cables. Most cables are a Copper plated Aluminum, and the clamps are garbage. You can have the best battery, but when time may call for you to lend aid, check to make sure your cables can deliver the power needed. After braking my brain on all the different cables on the market, and the crazy high price for a "good" set, I made my own. I used 2 Gauge welding Cable (20 Foot), and 2 pairs of copper clamps purchased from NAPA. The clamps have straps welded to both sides, so both parts of the clamp are energized, and I soldiered the clamps on the ends of the cables:

    upload_2017-5-9_20-29-50.jpg



    Finished product:

    upload_2017-5-9_20-30-8.jpg
     
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  10. May 9, 2017 at 8:35 PM
    #10
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    These cables weigh probably 25#'s, and would have killed Bruce Willis if the bad guys used them in Die Hard.....
     
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  11. May 9, 2017 at 8:37 PM
    #11
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Your right about the jumper cables. They don't make em like the used to. My set were like $80 at a truck stop a few years ago. They are designed to jump a tractor trailer.
     
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  12. May 9, 2017 at 8:40 PM
    #12
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Love the post. Thanks Chris.
    Buy the way. You got ugly feet. Lol. You couldn't take a pic without your foot in the shot..Lol. I'm going to need therapy after this post. Lol. Once again. You guys are costing me more money.
     
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  13. May 9, 2017 at 8:41 PM
    #13
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    That's how I got the idea for mine. I noticed when we had a piece of equipment go down (Scrapers, Front Loaders, Blades, etc.), the mechanic used his welder to jump them. I asked what size cable, and he told me they were 2 Gauge. SO......I bought, and made my own. They start a dead vehicle like nothing, and I have easily started vehicles that didn't have their battery connected. Ive thought about making more, but with the price of copper, my "Break Even" price (Materials, and shipping), would be hard for folks to swallow.
     
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  14. May 9, 2017 at 8:42 PM
    #14
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    I was hoping to distract with the shiney copper on the cables :)
     
  15. May 10, 2017 at 10:08 AM
    #15
    2oldjeeps

    2oldjeeps Well-Known Member

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    jfwiw, they argued on the hummer forum about batteries so i took pictures of a lawn tractor batt in my hummer!. started just fine. not recomended for winter..
     
  16. May 10, 2017 at 3:17 PM
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    dougbbbb

    dougbbbb Well-Known Member

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    Installing the Genesis offroad dual battery system. I went with the Odyssey Extreme 34pc1500 t batteries. I'll let you know how they perform. Plus I'll post pics once the tray and batteries are in.

    Doug

    IMG_6455.jpgIMG_6456.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  17. May 10, 2017 at 3:42 PM
    #17
    dougbbbb

    dougbbbb Well-Known Member

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    163-qcc7-3T.jpg 163-qcjc15-2T.jpg






    P.S. They also make quick disconnect cables for the system made of 2 gauge
     
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  18. May 10, 2017 at 6:54 PM
    #18
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    If you have those clamps, zap the spot the cable attaches to with a welder. Some of those parrot clamps have poor cable connections, and can shock, or get really hot causing a hand burn.....didn't happen to me, but a friend.......*cough*....just sayin.....
     
  19. May 10, 2017 at 7:11 PM
    #19
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looks to me like these have copper teeth that are connected straight to the cable. That is about as good as you'll get these days, and how my expensive ones are set up.
     
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  20. May 11, 2017 at 1:30 PM
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    JEEP # 5

    JEEP # 5 Well-Known Member

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    I GOT AN OLD CABLES TRICK TO MENTION HERE. If your cables suck try rolling metal to metal and use the both cables on the plus side to plus side. ha ha ha ha!
     
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