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Technical Optima Battery

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dmdeaton, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. dmdeaton
    Joined: Nov 25, 2017
    Posts: 468


    What model are you running?
    Their web site shows a redtop 35 if not running any accessories. I need to snag one for my 12V 30 model A 4 door build. I am using the Boling Bros battery box (small one) which is under the frame in the stock location. I guess if this fits according to the dimensions in the box, I may order one.
  2. Davyj
    Joined: Jul 11, 2011
    Posts: 442


    I went with Yellow top, as it has a deeper cycle. with the car sitting between usage it is supposed to hold charge better
    dan31 and dana barlow like this.
  3. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    from No. Cal

    Look at Odyssey batteries.
    Small, light & powerful
  4. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,086

    from Ok

    I have had a red top in my 40 for several years with no problems. I do also like the Odyssey.
    Bandit Billy likes this.

  5. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 519


    I’ve had 2 Odessy’s that each lasted 10 years, just disconnected over the winter. Never had that good a luck with the Optima. All up in the PNW, no high ambient temperatures.
  6. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,615

    anthony myrick

    we use the yellow tops in our electric race car at school
    drove em over 30 miles
    we cycle them hard and they take it
  7. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,143

    from nor cal

    I use an electric wheel chair battery in the coupe. Excellent batteries and they have to be more safety conscious having elec. wheel chairs in peoples houses or care centers. I acquired it from a friend of mine whose son was in a wheelchair.
  8. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    I have had nothing but good luck with the Optima's, I've heard all the negative comments about them being made in Mexico, yada, yada, yada.

    In my avatar truck, the first one lasted 11 years laying on it's side, the replacement has been in there 5 years and still going strong. Put one in my 40 coupe too!

    Years ago (35 plus) I had a OT 1970 LT-1 Corvette and the battery was behind the drivers seat below the floor, it went south and filled the cockpit with acid fumes, that's when I bought my first Gel battery that was actually made for an airplane. If I remember correctly it was an AGM type and was about $250 then.
  9. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,227

    from Ioway

    In stationary use, the longest lasting batteries are, believe it or not, the old school lead-acid batteries with filler caps. They need to be maintained though, with correct float charge, periodic measurement of the electrolyte specific gravity, cables kept clean etc etc. Up to 20 years. They are messy though, need their own room and the rest of it. Automotive requirements are different, they are subject to heat, and vibration. Somebody on here said "Your battery dies in July, it just doesn't fall over until January", that's about right. Bring the battery in out of the heat if it isn't going to be used. They quickly self-discharge and the plates build up permanent sulfation. A little battery maintenance pays for itself quickly, they are getting spendy.
  10. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    red top for daily /weekly use
    yellow for monthly or longer used, deeper cycle rates and discharge.
    pick up one of their chargers also or winter storage,they will but a load/cycle on the battery every 30 days
  11. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,864

    Staff Member

    this is true, not to mention the fact that nothing is worse to me than a traditional engine compartment with one of those awful modern batteries
    Bandit Billy and Blues4U like this.
  12. I have used a Braille lightweight battery(s) in a race car the past. They're dry, 10 pounds or so and priced about the same as a full-size battery. My experience with them is they lasted about a year and a half, even with a battery tender on 'em. The maker stepped up and replaced the first failed one. I paid for the second replacement (third battery) myself because I got 3 years out of the first two and I figured asking for a third would be pushing the issue.

    "Before" on the left. "After" on the right. I saved about 20 pounds and also made room for some other equipment.

    Attached Files:

  13. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,165

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    X3 for Odyssey. Nothing more ugly than a battery stuck in an engine compartment, so go no maintenance and put it under the floor where it belongs.
  14. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    I bought 3 Optima red tops when they first started selling them. Red tops were recommended for use as starting batteries and yellow tops for deep cycle like golf carts that didn't have a large instantaneous current draw. None of them made it a year and the store that sold them quit selling them because they had too many failures. I haven't tried any since those. The original battery in my GM car lasted 12 years. Many original equipment batteries last a long time and replacements seem to have much shorter lives. We tried Interstate for a few years with no luck. The factory batteries in our heavy trucks and heavy equipment often lasted 5 or 6 years.
    Thom Mead and Deuces like this.
  15. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 1,052


    I've had good luck with the red and yellow top Optimas's and I've had terrible luck with Odyssey batteries. Your results may vary.
  16. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,428


    I just replaced the red top Optima in my Comet a couple of months ago. It lasted two weeks short of ten years. I went with a regular battery this time since the cost of a new Optima has doubled since I bought the last one. The guy at the battery shop also told me Optimas quality has gone down hill quite a bit in the last few years.
  17. bobkatrods
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 666

    from aledo tx

    Maybe just my luck but the last two I bought both failed after a couple of years the last one I bought was a bosch, it is in a truck that I don't drive a lot but so far has outlasted the Redtops and cheaper..
  18. Raunchy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2007
    Posts: 378


    I have had good luck with Optima red tops one is ten years old and still working the other is about five and still going strong.
  19. I have 2 red tops last over 10 years each. BUT...I did (do) keep them on a battery tender in the off season.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    I replaced the red top in the convertible 3 years ago with a another red top. That one was in the car 13 or 14 years. Granted it was on a tender in the garage but still a super life span
  21. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,211

    from Michigan

    Yep! The one in my '96 F150 that I bought new lasted 12 years.....
  22. I run the red top 34/78 in conjunction with a yellow top D34/78 ( large stereo draw ) with a dual battery isolator. It helps that I get them for $20.00 a piece from a Johnson Controls retiree. Mine have all lasted as long as I've owned the car, some over 10 years. I also always use a battery tender when I'm not using the car.
  23. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 371


    I run two 6V red tops in series, easier to hide that way. You definitely need the Optima charger or a dead appearing battery just won't charge.
  24. dmdeaton
    Joined: Nov 25, 2017
    Posts: 468


    So you are saying you cannot use a Battery Tender on these during the winter?
  25. As long as you don't let the battery discharge badly a regular charger or tender works fine. If the battery gets real low you can still use a regular charger but have to hook the optima in parallel with a regular battery. YouTube shows how to do that if necessary.
    dan31 likes this.
  26. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,681

    V8 Bob

    My 12 year old Optima red top 12V is still going strong, and a 6V lasted over 12 years. I don't use ant tenders, and my Sears/Schumacher/Schauer chargers are 40-50 years old and work fine. I do make sure the voltages stay near full charge, and only use a 2 amp charge when necessary.
  27. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 371


    I have tried the regular battery in line to charge, didn't always work. I think these batteries are similar to using led brake lights where you have to put a load in the line. The Optima charger also acts as a battery tender and is the most reliable way to keep these batteries charged. I have not had any problems with Optima and I like the size of the 6V that it can be tucked away and that it can be laid down without any damage.
  28. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,227

    from Ioway

    The paralleling with another battery trick as far as I know, is done to get around the fact that some of the fancy pants modern chargers will not initiate charging at all with a completely dead battery or one that the terminal voltage has simply fallen too low. By doing this it fools the charger, and then the other battery can be removed.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    I just use a battery tender on mine seems to work well
    milwscruffy likes this.
  30. I have had two red top Optima's in my RPU in 23 years. The first one went just short of 15 years. Second one is working just fine. Always spins my blower motor over fast, even after sitting for months when I had back surgery.
    milwscruffy likes this.

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