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Hot Rods How long did your optima red top last?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 48ford, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. JWL115C
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 125


    Installed an Optima red top in my roadster in 2012. I keep a battery tender on it and disconnect the ground strap when parked in the garage. Works like a charm all these years.
  2. I've had 2 fail in under a year. Got this last one under warranty and so far it's lasted 2 years.
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,551

    jimmy six

    Not relevant to Optima. But we've had Odesseys in 2 race cars for over 7 years. Both have alternators...
  4. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 752

    Joe H

    Optima's are a dry cell type battery that can be mounted where you want with out fear of acid spills. They also have a deep cycle range other battery's don't.
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  5. I can't tell you. I've had a Optima yellow time in my '55 Chevy for 8 years. I also use a Battery Tender.
  6. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,545


    I have a yellow top optima that I bought on 1/5/ 06 for my winch and lights in my hauler. The lights get left on sometimes and it goes dead and I don't notice for weeks. It is still going strong, I used the winch yesterday on something I did not think it would pull and it did it well.:)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 567


    I have a AC Delco battery and it is back by a 6 year warranty. Of course after 4 or 5 years when the car won't turn over they will give you the .50 cents that the battery is worth.
  8. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,429

    from Ioway

    One of the forums, I don't recall where, somebody's kid spent his summer between school working at a battery manufacturer. He said the voltage of each battery was measured as they came off the line.

    The higher OCV batts got the longest warranty. Generally speaking, the only difference between a 2 year battery and say a 7 year battery in any given battery group size is the sticker they put on it. They cost more, but they are making a bet you won't need to warranty. I've never warrantied a battery. When they die I go buy a new one. Maybe if it died after 6 months or something that would be different.

    They don't have any control over what it is installed in, and have no way of knowing if the charging system is defective or not, so it's kind of a gamble. No wonder good ones cost a couple hundred bucks now, half the price probably is recouping baked-in warranty returns.
  9. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 955

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    I had bad luck with 2 of them in the drag car, between rounds we used to hit them with 40 amps to ensure car would start in long staging lanes when bracket racing. Brought the 2nd one in for warranty, I was told me to only charge it with 2 amps and could melt the discs together using 40 amps? This is what he said, charge with 2 amps as it will only charge at a 2 amp rate no matter how many amps you hit it ? The Red top has a memory, It will act fully charged after you hit it with a lot of amps temporarily but will go back to 2 am charge rate time elapsed later.
    I put the replacement in a old tractor (with a generator) and using his recommendation charging, it is about 13 years old now.
    Put a large conventional battery in the drag car with a one wire 100 amp alternator and no longer charge between rounds.
  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,429

    from Ioway

    A battery will draw just as many amps as you can provide it, that's why ya gotta be real careful or it will warp the plates. A high amp charge rate will give it a quick boost, more of a surface charge but a slow or low amp rate is better to get it to 100% for a deep thorough recharge.

    The "2 amp" setting starts at 2 amps and tapers down as the battery accepts a charge. A "40 amp" setting starts at 40 amps... The voltage starts low and increases, while the current decreases.
  11. I had a Red Top Optima in my off topic Jeep for 16 years and finally took it out thinking it might strand me when I was out in the boonies. I have a Red Top in my hot rod that uses a generator and it has worked fine so far for 10 years.
  12. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 459


    Thanks Joe!!
  13. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,456

    V8 Bob

    AGM Optimas really are wet cell batteries, not dry or gel. The wet acid is absorbed in fiberglass mat, or AGM. :)
    They can be mounted on their side, but not upside down. Do a little research to learn more.
    I've had very good service out of my 6 and 12 volt red tops, both exceeding 12 years. Hopefully the new red tops will do just as well.
    57 Fargo and sidevalve8ba like this.
  14. I had a red top from June 2007 until January 2018. It was used in my daily from 2009 till the end. I don't think it actually died, there was heavy corrosion on the terminals but once a vehicle needs jumpstarting I replace the battery. A side note of interest... I have a 65 series motorcraft in my 02 expedition from 2011. The truck is not on a tender and only gets used 2-3 times a month. Before this I had never seen one go past 5 years
  15. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 5,864

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I bought one of the digital Optima chargers to nurse my batteries along in cars I don't drive very often. I'm sure it's help extend the life of the batteries.
  16. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,456

    V8 Bob

    The next charger I buy will be AGM compliant, but my much older Sears and Schumacher 6/12 volt 2/6 amp chargers have worked fine with the Optimas. I keep the charge rate at 2 amps when voltages measure slightly below the 6.5/12.5 normal.
  17. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,599


    I bought one when the price was around 100 bucks, it's dated 1999,use a H/F battery tender and it's still strong.
    Truck64 likes this.
  18. I have one in my '57. I bought it about 4 years ago when I was just starting the wiring. I love it. No problems whatsoever, including the first year when it never really got charged because I couldn't run the car too long without filling the garage up with fumes......and it never got a charger or tender. I had to set mine into the fenderwell about 3 1/2 inches or so to clear the valve cover.
    I opted for the 4 post battery. Helps keep things tidy. Especially if you're running pwr everything, computer, etc. The pos side post only feeds the starter, the pos top post feeds everything else. The power distribution boxes help keepwiring connections tidy and clean = less battery problems.
    lol, I just went out and straightened out my positive side cable
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  19. I put a used one from a friend in my 55 ford in 2004. I have no idea how long he had it. It gave up on me at the start of this winter. It even sat for a 10 year storage period while life happened. Charged it and she fired right up bad gas and all. Man that smelled bad. No special charges here. I've heard the new ones suck. I guess they cant make any money making them that good. The original GM battery is still in my 2002 truck with 140,000 miles. My wife's 2015 Hyundai battery already crapped out. I know Hyundai.... it was inherited when her dad passed. Otherwise it would not be in the stable. It does get 30 plus mpg.
  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,429

    from Ioway

    It might be interesting to cut it open (when it dies) and compare the innards to recent manufacture Optima. Some folks say they aren't as good as they used to be.

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