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  #1  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 02:53 PM
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Best battery for Defender?

Hi all - wondering what the current thinking is re batteries. I did the Optima thing a couple years ago and it is already dead, so I won't go there again.

Should I just get a regular car battery with a high CCA rating? I rarely use my Defender so the battery ends up goingflat a lot, and I have to recharge it with a battery tender.
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  #2  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 03:03 PM
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I know some have had bad experiences with optimas but if you let it drain all the time you will kill any battery. The key is to never let them go too low.

I run an optima red top for starting and a big blue for the house battery and I could not be happier. Well maybe if I had two big blues.

Odyssey seems to make a good product if you need deep cycle. If you dont need a deep cycle get a die hard with a warranty.
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  #3  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 03:07 PM
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John B.
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Either get a battery disconnect to prevent the drain or a small automatic charger and leave it plugged in.

I prefer the exide oribital deep cycle/starting batteries. Similar design to an Optima, but better reputation and cheaper.

But if you don't off road much, then who cares. Buy anything with a good warranty.
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  #4  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:00 PM
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I had a red optima, and a yellow, and was having problems soon after. Now I have 2 yellow optimas, and they are happy clams. keep them the same with a battery manager, and don't forget to isolate your wiring too. I have one that runs the main (switched power) harness for starting, and anything that you intend to run without the engine running, isolate to the aux battery, so it doesn't drain your starting battery.
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  #5  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:05 PM
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My yellow top died while I was in Russia and Robison Service put a "Workaholic" by Interstate in the 90. Its obviously been fine in the few months we've had it, but evidently that it what they like putting in the Rovers.

Follow-up Post:

I just did a google search and found that Interstate actually makes the Optimas. Nevertheless, the "Workaholic" is their commercial-grade conventional battery.
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  #6  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:19 PM
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I replaced my Optima Yellow Top in my D90 with a Kirkland from Costco... it was 1/2 the price of a Optima, the specs met or exceeded the yellow top, and the warranty is unbeatable.
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  #7  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmuller
I replaced my Optima Yellow Top in my D90 with a Kirkland from Costco... it was 1/2 the price of a Optima, the specs met or exceeded the yellow top, and the warranty is unbeatable.
Duly noted!
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  #8  
Old July 23rd, 2008, 11:17 AM
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http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/1143.pdf

Another option.
Reportedly better than the optima's and much cheaper. We have a "battery store" here in town. I picked their brains for awhile and came to this battery. I didn't want to do the dual battery setup b/c of the obvious hassle and cost. The battery guy claims this one will run my accessories and handle the starting all in one without any problem. He carries optima but never sells them b/c they are inferior to the Deka.

I also had a deep cycle Interstate which was better than my yellow top optima. Also when a Optima dies it is much more difficult to recharge, but obviously doable. These Dekas are easy to recharge by design. Just another thing to think about.
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  #9  
Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
My yellow top died while I was in Russia and Robison Service put a "Workaholic" by Interstate in the 90. Its obviously been fine in the few months we've had it, but evidently that it what they like putting in the Rovers.

Follow-up Post:

I just did a google search and found that Interstate actually makes the Optimas. Nevertheless, the "Workaholic" is their commercial-grade conventional battery.
I'm pretty sure that Interstate just re-brands and resells the Optima battery, and they do not 'make' it. That being said, I'm one of (what seems to be) many that have had bad experiences with the Optimas. I tried to like them, wanted to like them , went through three of them (all red tops) before giving up on them though. And honestly, their specs are not that impressive IMHO (Red Tops 800 CCA, 100 Min reserve, Yellow Tops 750 CCA, 120 Min reserve), with Odyssey and many other comparable size/group batteries providing better.

I had planned to go with two Odyssey PC1500's (1050 CCA, 135 min reserve), but time and budget constraints when I was putting the 90 back on the road came into play, and I ended up putting in an Intestate group 31 work-a-holic (a variation of the 31-MHD with Auto posts). Its not a gel cell (just a normal wet cell) battery, which is a misgiving for me (worry about leaks and outgassing in the compartment under my butt), but the specs are good for a single battery (950 CCA, 195 min reserve) and it was cheap (I think I paid $88 for it).

For a single battery, my choice would be an Odyssey PC2150 (1090 CCA, 200 Min. reserve), but they are pricey, and difficult to find locally (at least for me). For duals my choice (as mentioned above) would be PC1500's. In the end, CCA's are mostly meaningless to me, but reserve capacity (usually measured at 25A draw) is the larger concern. In that respect, my $88 Interstate only falls 5 minutes short of the almost $300 PC2150... Lifeline makes some very good, high reserve capacity batteries as well, if you want a single, but nothing suitable for

Somewhat of a side note, but the Defender's battery arrangement leaves for allot fewer opportunities then say a Discovery. On the original Discoveries, when going to dual batteries, they are generally mounted with one in the factory spot, and one on the opposite side in place of the jack and wheel chock (a bracket has to be fabricated to move the power steering fluid reservoir and the intake trumpet removed from the airbox). Check out Lifeline Batteries (http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/marine.asp ) model GPL-4C. Lifelines are well respected (in commercial applications) AGM deep cycle batteries. The GPL-4C is approximately the same length and width as an Optima, but slightly less than 2.5Ē taller (Iím almost certain they will just clear the hood blanket), and is a 6 volt battery. By placing two in series (instead of parallel) you get a 12 volt battery with, are you ready for this, 492 minutes of reserve time (standard 25 amp draw test). Thatís more capacity than four Optima Yellow tops in parallel. Plenty of juice for winching, and would probably run an ARB/Engle fridge for a week! How is that for reserve capacity?
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  #10  
Old July 24th, 2008, 12:29 AM
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I LOVE my Odyssey PC2150. I plan to get another one when this dies in...oh...probably 7 more years! Mil spec, life is about 10 years they say...
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  #11  
Old July 24th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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I have dual odyssey's as well. Excellent battery that seems to perform well.
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  #12  
Old August 8th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarchand
I have dual odyssey's as well. Excellent battery that seems to perform well.
Any issues mounting 2 Group 34 Odyssey's under the seat?
Thanks
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  #13  
Old August 8th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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No, I have two in the driver seatbox along with the winch solenoid and the cut-off switch.
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  #14  
Old August 8th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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I got an Orbital from NApa. It was expensive but has a 5 year warranty. I think Optima was 2 years.
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  #15  
Old August 9th, 2008, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrover
Any issues mounting 2 Group 34 Odyssey's under the seat?
Thanks
Finally got my PC1500's installed along with a Wrangler isolator. It's definitely a tight fit especially if you have other things going on in there. I also had to make sure I had room for a fuse block for my main ground line, a fused power distribution block, and a winch disconnect switch. Everything fits, but little room to spare.
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  #16  
Old August 9th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanS
Finally got my PC1500's installed along with a Wrangler isolator. It's definitely a tight fit especially if you have other things going on in there. I also had to make sure I had room for a fuse block for my main ground line, a fused power distribution block, and a winch disconnect switch. Everything fits, but little room to spare.
Excellent job!

Which tray did you use...is that Wrangler??

Which fuse block and fused power block did you use?

Which winch disconnect switch did you use?

Are you winching from your starting battery or auxillary battery?
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  #17  
Old August 9th, 2008, 10:46 PM
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The Wrangler tray is really expensive so I made one. But with the amount of time I put in it, the Wrangler tray started looking like a bargain.

I get a lot of electrical stuff from West Marine. So the fuse block and fused distribution blocks came from them. I have one fused distribution block in the battery box for constant power. I have another fused distribution block up in the dash area for ignition switched power.

The winch disconnect is the Cole Hersee 75907 which was recommended in another thread here.

I'll be winching from the auxiliary battery.

I think I oriented the batteries differently than I've seen in a lot of other installations. You can probably see that the positive terminals are both on the same (inboard) side. I just felt better having it this way because the posts that end up on the outboard side are really close to the seatbox. Wouldn't be so bad if I had insulated terminals, but until I upgrade them, this just feels safer.
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  #18  
Old August 9th, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Menasco has the wrangler setup in his SW, i think he was the "test mule" for that. I am gonna get it if I run another Optima
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  #19  
Old August 11th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanS
Finally got my PC1500's installed along with a Wrangler isolator. It's definitely a tight fit especially if you have other things going on in there. I also had to make sure I had room for a fuse block for my main ground line, a fused power distribution block, and a winch disconnect switch. Everything fits, but little room to spare.
The PC1500's seem to be about the same dimensions as a group 34 Optima, do you think they would have fit oriented like this?
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  #20  
Old August 11th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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They may fit that way, but I didn't use that orientation for a few reasons. The seatbox floor starts to angle up as you get closer to the outside of the truck. I wanted the tray to sit flat so it doesn't go up on that angled portion. I have mounting tabs on the tray which match the floor angle, and secure the tray to the floor on that side. I also wanted to have 3 hold-down bolts so that pushed the batteries apart a bit which increases the length in that direction. The Odyssey's are also a little deceptive in that they have a flange at the bottom so their footprint is slightly larger than the top of the battery. I don't know if their published dimensions reflect that or not.
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