The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by desotot, Jun 25, 2016.
Is there any advantage to using an optima battery as opposed to a regular wet cell lead battery?
Used to be the best you could get. Now? I walk past them and laugh.
The make your car look really modern....
Big time. Are they hamb approved?... no... the average life of a lead acid traditional battery is about 4-5 years. The last one I replaced lasted 11 years. The first two of those years were in my asphalt circle track car. Sold the car and put that Optima in my daily driver truck. Un believable. I'll never buy anything else unless the quality starts going south. Plus they did hold a charge much longer in storage.
The fleet I handled parts for had an Optima failure rate that was as high or higher than lead/acid batteries.
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Been running Optimas for over 20 years. They last the longest, do not have to be maintained, don't leak, can be mounted any which way, have much more cranking power and basically out do lead acid batteries hands down. They also are freakin' expensive and you really need to make sure where you buy you can warranty them there, if by any chance you do have a failure.Yes, they are not HAMB approved, but neither is that new ramp truck AAA will send out to give you a jump or tow.
I have an optima in my convertible. Two years ago I needed to replace it, checked the paper work, and it was 12 years old. You can't get that life from a lead acid battery. I have it on battery tender which I am sure helps battery life too. They are expensive, but I wouldn't use anything else.
My dad owns a at least 15 yrs old Optima. Works like a charm, and replaced to lead acid batteries.
Would buy one again, and looks a bunch more vintage the Bosch battery I'm running now.
And if it gets a quick coat of bumper black it looks way better. But I'm not up to date with how they are now.
Las t one I bought was just to replace an eight year old one. Battery was fine just eight years old. Got it off amazon. Much cheaper than local. It was delivered and setting by my front door. Saved about a hundred bucks. Free shipping no tax. I've had three in my coupe after twenty years. I do use the battery tender. You can't see it so no one knows.
Where I work, we sell batteries, lead acid and absorbtive glass mat (AGM, like Optimas) There are so many advantages to AGM, like they charge up faster, discharge slower, last years longer, and do not gas like lead acids do. Much safer too, no risk of explosion.
I see the return rate on lead acid vs agm, and we very rarely get back any agms at all. Lead acids can fail as quickly as one year, if not kept on a tender.
Optima batteries (and all other AGM batteries) ARE lead acid batteries. They're not wet cell batteries, though.
Had one for 12 years. Probably would have lasted longer if I had disconnected it. Really high cranking amps and it fit my 54 Lincoln battery well. I have heard that the quality is not as good as it once was. I have not been able to find another AGM type battery for 6 volt cars other than Optima.
My take on batteries is buy the cheapest one you can find. You'll come out way ahead in the long run. Besides we've all heard batteries are made by 2-3 companies anyway. Costco has the best prices and warranty's. It would be a cold day in Hell that I'd buy an Optima.
I agree that they are butt ugly, but what I was interested in was that they don't gas off because my battery is in the trunk of my avatar, it's been over 40 years since I blew the caps off a battery and I didn't want it to happen in the trunk off this car. Maybe I'll stay with a regular battery.
That's the key for me right there. They don't off gas. I have seen Optimas fail, I had one that only lasted three years. But when my battery was mounted under the back seat (OT 63 Bug, sorry) it was the only damn battery I was going to put back there.
You can get little plastic fittings and hoses to vent a regular lead acid battery out side of your vehicle, Mazda Miatas do this as well as some GM with the battery mounted under the back seat. But you I didn't want to do that.
Is there any such thing ass a period correct looking AGM battery?
I've got a 6V one in my '39 Tudor. Got it on Amazon for not much more than a new wet-cell 6v battery at my local place. To get away from the modern looks I shoved it into an empty Group 1 battery case that I got on ePay and no one would be the wiser. Doesn't leak, holds a charge, and cranks my flathead with plenty of grunt.
This is similar to the one I got on ePay:
...it is just a standard 6v batter case that has never been filled with battery bits. The small optima slides in diagonally and the poles stick out the holes in the top cover which snaps on. Put the felts under your cable connectors and no-one is any the wiser. I replaced the modern caps with some old Exide ones to dress it up a bit more.
There are places that make these things fancier, with Delco or Ford, Willard, or other period embossed cases and fancy tops, but they are pretty expensive.
That looks good.
If it's a vehicle I really care about (all of mine) I'd go with the AGM. One in my roadster went 10 years, the Optima in my OT truck is going on 14; and no fuzzy stuff growing on the terminals or rusty sheetmetal in the battery area.
I think they suck on fourth yellow top in two year just glad that the parts store keep exchanging them. Don't plan to by another one, Have had a CAT battery in my non HAMB truck going on seven years and way cheaper
Every lead acid battery off gasses when it charges. Even AGMs. Fact of life.
friend had an optima blow up in his trunk. Don't fool yourself. Ventilation is necessary.
AGM, sure. Optima, maybe not.
I had a pair in my Jeep for 13-years, that were going strong when I recently sold it.
Between that install and now, I don't recommend them anymore. When the production went to Mexico, the quality control must have stayed in the US.
I am sure that OptimaJim will disagree with me, but I have a body-of-evidence of about 35 angry customers to back this up. They all know how to care for an AGM battery. It ain't them, and I will not stand by and listen to my customers get blamed for a well-documented product issue.
I've got a AGM in my Harley and its lasted longer than anything else. My son and I have Odessys in both our race cars mainly for the size and power. They work perfectly and are notbutt ugly like the other brand O.
AGM also gives you more mounting options since they can be mounted on their sides. I own a Braille AGM, 500 cracking amps in a 19 pound box that is half the size of a standard battery. Must be vented as squirrel already noted.
I wouldn't have anything but an Optima in my 6 volt vehicles; they have more power than any conventional battery I have had. 12 volts? I swap batteries around a bunch and it doesn't much matter.
That being said, I think we should give "OptimaJim" a break. He's relatively new there, and has a tough hand to play. I don't see how he can be held responsible for what happened before he even worked there. Sure, they had some quality control problems after the move, but they seem to be addressing them. I for one would rather have his presence on the forum than not. The problem with new Optima's not fitting in older Fords is beyond his control as well. As I understand it, the main customer for the 6 volt Optimas is the US military. Compared them, our demands are just a drop in the bucket. We are just damn lucky something is being made that we can use.
Jim, I welcome your presence and hope you are here to answer our questions and supply information for a long time. I wish all of the vendors in this industry would assign someone to watch the forums; it's good for everybody. There are obviously a whole bunch that don't seem to care.
The one in my 32 Coupe is now 9 years old. The one in my Falcon was in a customer's car about 10 years ago. He drained it to DEAD, I told him I could revive it for him, he said No just get me a new one. So I did and he gave me Mr. Dead. I revived it and it has been in Falcon ever since - has survived getting drained pretty low a couple more times and numerous starts and trashes on the autocross course.
Just put your favorite beer label on each of the 6 body curves and they become very HAMB friendly!
Red top 11 years old ...... Still going. Can't see it anyway, under the trunk floor. Flux
Had my last Optima last month two Optimas both failed after 3yrs, One 38 months the other 40 months, I replaced them with Pep Boys BOSCH AGM $150 with 4 year full replacement warranty, $75 cheaper than Optima and 1 year more warranty...
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