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Technical AGM battery problems

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by hotrodrhp, May 14, 2020.

  1. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    This is not a slam at any given manufacturer or product but neeed some input.
    Wondering if anyone has had problems using an AGM battery. Used a Braille battery in my 30 AV8 build due to confined space and low weight. Now after having it for a year and a half and a year of actual use it took a crap and wouldn't crank my flattie. Not exactly a high comression big HP egine! Battery is rated at 425 CCA worked fine till now and was put in cool dry storage this winter with a AGM rated charger. Ran the car for over an hour two days ago and should have been fully charged as the volt guage read plus 12v constantly. Connections tight at terminals,not exposed to heat,elctrical sytem always closed down after use and no electrical drain. Manufacturer rep. told me to expect about a two year life span? Offered a pro rated return credit which I think is fair but not sure spending over $200 every two years is a wise move. Typically I have a tendency to over think and over engineer things so thinking I cut my loses and go back to a wet cell battery.
    BTW I've had zero trouble in my 34 using a Redtop Optima for over 8 years storing it the same way.
     
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  2. ydopen
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 209

    ydopen
    Member

    It takes around 14 volts to charge AGM or regular batteries. You might need to check your generator or alternator.

    I have an Odyssey AGM battery in my roadster. Had for 5 years and used for 3, never a problem.
    Mine is a pc680. Its small and costs around $140.

    John
     
  3. I also run the pc680 in my avitar. It's 12 years old and still healthy. Check your charging system. Don't just rely on the gauge when trouble comes around.
     
  4. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Running a generator puts out up to 14volt as revs increase down to slightly above 12volt at idle.
     

  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,969

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My sons Odessy is 9 yrs old and been in 2 dirt track cars. Never fails to start a 14-1 engine and rarely gets an external charge from a standard charger.
     
  6. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Checked out Odyssey website. Thought the pc680 looked under sized compared to the Braille but thats why I'm here. I'll double check my charging system again. Braille back on charger. Put a standard wet cell back in the car temporarily but I'm stubborn and I hate do overs
     
    nunattax likes this.
  7. I had an AGM/Braille set up in my O/T (modern fuel injected, etc.) a while back. It lasted 1 1/2 years. The replacement lasted 1 1/2 years. The next replacement lasted 1 1/2 years.
    The charging system was fine; the battery was always topped off if the vehicle was driven regularly. If not driven "regularly", the systems in the vehicle would slowly drain the small reserve in about 2 weeks. I had to religiously hook up a state-of-the-art battery tender if the vehicle was not going to be driven the next day. That helped to keep the charge up to snuff but it didn't help the battery life, it seems.
     
  8. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Thinking it may be a Braille battery problem. Checking the charging system again. Gen./reg. system puts out 13+ volts at fast idle runs out to 14.2 or so at higher rpm. Idle reads at 12.5 volts....so do I live with 1-1/2 year battery life? Crap I only sparingly drive this car . Aggravating as hell!
     
  9. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    I don't have "systems" draining the battery, thats the frustrating part. Have an mechanical battery disconnect wired in pace. Thanks for the input
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,885

    squirrel
    Member

    I haven't gone to the expensive little batteries...I kind of like being able to find a replacement at walmart for $50 if needed, so I use a cheap group 26. It's not as heavy as a full size battery, and has enough CCA to deal with big blocks, and lasts a few years with regular abuse (longer if not abused).

    If there's a really good reason to run a lightweight battery, like you're racing in a class that has you fighting for hundredths of a second, then I can see using one. But otherwise...batteries are too important to have to deal with this kind of crap.
     
  11. I put AGM battery technology on the latest nuclear submarine class (USS VIRGINIA), but with a sophisticated monitoring system. We get more than 10-15 years out of them. They are pretty much the same as an automobile battery, several hundred banked together though.
     
  12. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,509

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree with squirrel--my neighbor has had fits with these types of batteries-don't seem to last for him-has gone thru one about every year it seems. I'll pass
     
  13. Oh, I do comprehend your circumstances. I was just giving enough details to indicate that neither you or I should have experienced such a short battery life. I don't know what you or I could have done differently.
    I don't question those who posted to say that they had better luck. I believe 'em. I'm also believing that 14v plus is what it takes to recharge, etc.
    So I share your frustration. I think I checked off all the boxes back then but no bueno. To my mind, that leaves only the battery as the weak link.
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  14. Gosh, it sounds like your issue isn't with the Charging system or storage issues. May well be brand specific. The only brand AGM I've ever had is Odyssey with no reason to go to another. Have put them in several Customer vehicles with no problems. Heck my John Deere has one in it that 16 years old and still heats the Glow Plugs just fine. Maybe it's time for a different brand.
     
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  15. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

     
  16. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    Need to charge with a correct charger for a couple of days. If you were near me I would lend you one , if you don’t have a modern one. If you have a spare battery and older charger, you can jump the agm with lead acid, while charging the lead battery with older charger. But it takes time either way. The agm can usually be brought back at least once from dead. I have a couple of dozen agm’s in my cars, and keep them on battery maintainers
     
  17. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,463

    jaracer
    Member

    Did your battery rep give you a cause for the failure? In heavy trucks it isn't uncommon to overcharge and AGM battery. Big trucks typically have a 4 battery pack and one bad battery can caused the alternator to overcharge the other three. The way the manufacturer would tell if they had been overcharged was to weigh them. If overcharged they do out gas and lose water content thereby becoming lighter. AGM's are picky about charging, they can't tolerate an overcharge and don't like to be undercharged.
     
  18. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 384

    hotrodrhp
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Not sure how you would regulate charging rate while in the car. Seems to me a 14volt +/- max. and a 12+volt min. charge rate should be in the normal range for any battery. Manuf. never gave me possible cause of failure other than saying two year failure wasn't unusual. When not in use during winter I pull batteries from my unheated garage and charge them on a AGM rated charger. Never had a problem with my Optima doing this. At this point I'm not confident in replacing the battery with same manuf.
     
  19. got 19 years on my first Optima, changed it for a new one a coupla years ago no problems with the first one just thought it was time........however I do keep it charged with a 4buck hf charger..............
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  20. scoop
    Joined: Jul 4, 2001
    Posts: 1,347

    scoop
    Member

    Are the terminals included on the Oddysey?
     
  21. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 546

    Wrench97

    I used them in forklifts they were ok until about 5 years ago then it seems reliability fell off a cliff, I went from getting 6 years or so to being lucky to get 1...................
     
  22. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,467

    Roothawg
    Member

    I had really good luck with the Optimas up until recently. Can't say the same about the Odyssey.
     
  23. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    I like the AGM batteries when you're locating it in the trunk or elsewhere that the acid fumes can cause a problem, and if space is a problem the size of the Braille is a plus.
    However if I don't plan to drive my Braille equipped 31"A" Hiboy for a while, I learned the hard way to keep a Battery Tender Plus on it. The first battery barely lasted the warranty, if that long, Much better on the 2nd one using charger. I think I'm going to sacrifice a little trunk room and go full size when this one goes out, but stay with AGM due to acid fumes in the trunk. Several companies are selling them now.
    For my '40 Ford coupe, which I bought already built, as I couldn't have built one like it for the price I paid, and in my advancing age wasn't sure I could complete a ground up build even if I could find a suitable car to build. It came with an Optima under the hood, and it's almost inaccessible where it is, and it does have a small drain fulltime from a remote controlled stereo. So I keep another Battery Tender Plus on it.
    Tim (olscrounger on HAMB) has passed along some valuable info on process and parts sources to put that battery under the right front fender behind the tire, and I hope to do that job soon as I can get some space in my shop. I plan to go to a conventional lead acid battery when I make the change.
     
  24. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 297

    trey32

    All batteries made in the last five plus years are crap.
    I can't get any of them to last two years...
     
  25. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,471

    okiedokie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Ok

    Have had Optima in my 40 for 8 years, no problems. Have an Odyssey in my 55 and it has held up well for three years now.
     

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