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Batteries, batteries batteries

RayMich

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I have heard good things about Optima batteries, but I've never had one, so I can't comment from personal experience.

My only personal experience has been with OEM batteries, generally Delco, since 95% of my vehicle have been GM, and Sears DieHard. Delco batteries are kind of a crap shoot. I've has some last less than 12 months and others go as long as 5 years.

Whenever I've replaced a car or truck battery, I've always replaced it with a Sears DieHard and have NEVER had any problems with a Sears DieHard, other than one time when I was in college and I accidentally dropped one when I was installing it (slipped out of the carrying strap). I went back to Sears and the salesman asked me what happened, I told him exactly what happened and he gave me a new one on the spot. Pretty hard to beat Sears' warranty on batteries and Craftsman hand tools. :)
 

dtibbals

Official Gun Nut
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Perhaps we could learn alot from you, What makes one battery better than the next, and what should we look for?
Well this is a huge question with an even bigger answer. Another poster said when he was at Exide they would just put what ever label on a battery and in some cases that is true it is not really that simple.

First lets start with the basics. East Penn makes batteries for a lot of private labels as well as their own. There are set standards that we have for producing batteries and the way we do them. Some "labels" will buy a specific grade of battery in a group size and put their label on it and call it good. Other "labels" will have a battery produced to their specification no matter if it is better or worse then the "standard". You have to remember there are also different levels of performance in a given group size i.e. 5 year, 6 year, 7 year etc. These batteries are the same physical size yet have different Ah capacities. You gain Ah by simply adding more lead to the battery. There are some design changes that are made to the plates, different metals that can and are added to the plates and also the electrolyte itself. I am not an engineer but rather a regional sales person but depending on what you are trying to achieve they tweak the chemistry and plate design etc to achieve the desired outcome.

It can be hard to know which battery of a specific brand is better then another because most battery manufactures over rate their batteries for marketing reasons. We are one of the ones who do not over rate and typically underrate our batteries (this sucks when your trying to sell them lol). One thing you can do is try to see who the original manufacture is. You should see in small print on the label EPM or East Penn Manufacturing. If it has our name on it it is going to be a good battery. If you can I would buy a Deka branded battery which is our own private label and you can be assured that they are built the right way and not cheapened up for a discount chain.

The Optima batteries (I used to sell them) are typically junk. Our warranty rate on Optima batteries was 7 times higher then a typical flooded battery. For the extra cost of the battery it is not a good value and leaves a lot of users unhappy.

Bottom line is I would not spend more then you have to but going cheap can and probably will leave you unhappy.

Hope that helps a little, it really is a hard question to answer since there are a lot of variables and would take a ton of time to type.

Dave
 
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RayMich

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...Bottom line is I would not spend more then you have to but going cheap can and probably will leave you unhappy especially in a a 24 volt system like a diesel.

Hope that helps a little, it really is a hard question to answer since there are a lot of variables and would take a ton of time to type.

Dave
Thanks for the information about batteries.

However, I don't mean any disrespect, but our diesel trucks do NOT have 24 volt systems. They are 12 volt system. The two 12 volt batteries are wired in parallel in order to maximize the amperage available during starting, especially in cold weather.
 

NVW

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Are you sure? I will have to go out and look sometime at the wiring but I thought they where in a series. I know my last diesel was. Hmmm now you have me wondering.

Dave
I can't speak for the Dmax but the 6.5 is 12 volts. I haven't seen 24 volt systems, at least in farm equip. since the 60's.
Leo​
 

davo727

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The old military 6.2 diesels have the starter circuit in series for 24 volts. I have a 1985 military K30. The 6.5 civilian GMs are 12 volt parallel.
 

RayMich

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I can only speak for GM vehicles. As far back as I have been able to find out, at least over the last 50 to 60+ years, GM has not made any production 24-volt systems for civilian consumption. Our batteries are wired in parallel.

Many military vehicles DO have 24 volt systems, though.
 

Chicago TDP

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Is Optima the only ones that make the gel-cell batteries?
No, there are other gells out there. I have 2 Exide Orbital Gell cell batteries. I one battery is 7 years old and the other is 4 years old, both have checked out perfect all year AND this morning I started my 18:1 with one turn of the key on one glow plug cycle!!!

The batteries are 1000 CA 770 CCA and they work all the time, every time. I would recommend these batteries to anyone and everyone.

Also, you get a 3 year warranty I believe. I did have one that went down below the CCA in the three year time period and I was handed a new battery on the spot.
 

mattthebrat

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When buying batteries I always go by the Nascar rule.... if they are a big enough company to sponsor a Nascar team, i will buy from them. And to my recollection the only two companies who have sponsored a car are: Exide and Interstate. I have had great luck with Exide, the set in my truck are from Oct 2001, they still work but are going to need to be replaced in the spring. Both of my folks had interstates in their vehicles, dad's was five when he replaced it and moms was 7 when she replaced with the interstate that is in there today.
 

tiredsixfive

torturing myself with a 6.5
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I have ran the Optima.My experience with them has been not so good.I will stick with Dekka,as many of the military trucks I buy have them.Some of them sit for over 1 yr while going thru the process of leaving service and still crank right up(both the 12 and 24 volt systems) It may be coincedence,but Interstate brand seems to be duds.The 6 UTLs used in the 6x6s have the plates spaced further apart so that vibration does not cause plate distortion and internal loss of a cell.The higher the CCA,more plates have to be shoved into the same area.Smaller means less chance of an internal short.I believe two moderately sized(cca) will last longer than two large ones.
 

dtibbals

Official Gun Nut
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I have ran the Optima.My experience with them has been not so good.I will stick with Dekka,as many of the military trucks I buy have them.Some of them sit for over 1 yr while going thru the process of leaving service and still crank right up(both the 12 and 24 volt systems) It may be coincedence,but Interstate brand seems to be duds.The 6 UTLs used in the 6x6s have the plates spaced further apart so that vibration does not cause plate distortion and internal loss of a cell.The higher the CCA,more plates have to be shoved into the same area.Smaller means less chance of an internal short.I believe two moderately sized(cca) will last longer than two large ones.
Yes you are right. The Deka (who I work for) builds the 6 UTL for the US Military and it is one hell of a battery! We also are the exclusive OE manufacture for the Caterpillar brand of batteries, Harley Davidson, and many of the Semi manufactures as well as exclusive BMW, MB and many others. The lower to mid cranking batteries in a given group size will hold up better long term as compared to a battery that is the high CCA in the same group size. One thing we do with the 6 UTL, Cat batteries and Harley batteries we actually use a "glue" that holds the plates to the bottom of the case to prevent them from moving or vibrating. In all of these applications vibration is a killer of batteries!

Glad to hear your happy with our product, it really is the best in the business and its American made!

Dave
 

tiredsixfive

torturing myself with a 6.5
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I also notice that some batts (military) are rated at how fast they can deliver their current and sustain a certain voltage while doing it.I notice with the 6UTLs that they dont give a grunt and then roll,they are instantly fast and sustain it untill startup.When in series (24 volt in the 6x6s) they roll like crazy even on a 10 degree morning.That 472 cubes to spin over.And they start easy.Now to figure out how,considering no glow plugs in the LDT motors.:wtf:
 
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