Optima , Odyssey, Deka, Battery information

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Optima , Odyssey, Deka, Battery information

Postby HenryJ » Sun Mar 02, 2003 3:21 pm

It is starting to feel like spring is in the air here, so the battery is coming out of my truck and back into the HenryJ.

I ordered a new style Optima "red top" for the S-10

Part# ULT-9022-091 High power output, 870 cranking amps, 90 minute reserve, top and side post, vibration-resistant battery ...

This new style has a few more CCA and a little less reserve capacity than the old "red top".

I do however, like the new post arrangement. It should allow for a little more clearance for the post mounted winch breakers/cable. And with the side posts moved closer to the corners, allow a little more slack for the positive cable, that is a little snug after the bodylift.
Last edited by HenryJ on Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby seapahn » Sun Mar 02, 2003 6:16 pm

Hmmmmm ... you're giving me some ideas here ;)



The Yellow Top in my old blazer seems dead. I haven't driven it much in the past 9 months and the battery won't hold a charge anymore. It's ok ... it at least 5-6 years old ... but now I have to think how much I want to spend on a battery for the old blazer :D
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Postby HenryJ » Wed Mar 05, 2003 8:18 pm

Well what you see is not what you get, sometimes :?

The "red top" arrived today. And they sent the wrong one! I got the old syle 800 CCA 110 reserve. It was packed in a 6V red top box!

I'm going to email Summit ,with my displeasure, but it is still a good battery. I'll probably end up keeping it.
Last edited by HenryJ on Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Warnoffroad » Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:10 pm

You ordered form Summit? HAHA I have heard so many bad things about them.
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Postby HenryJ » Thu Mar 06, 2003 7:28 pm

warnoffroad wrote:You ordered form Summit? HAHA I have heard so many bad things about them.




Really? I have had pretty good luck with them over the years.

The prices are usually pretty good and I receive the parts from their Reno warehouse in two days.

There was an incident when they were unable to deliver a supercharger for a customers car that I was building, but... I got over it in a year or so.



I've probably bought over $20K worth of parts through them, and very few problems.



We'll see I may be done with them for another year ...or so ;)

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Postby Warnoffroad » Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:11 pm

I have friends that have problems with there shipping and returns.
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:45 pm

warnoffroad wrote:I have friends that have problems with there shipping and returns.


Aww, jeez! That's NOT what a guy wants to hear when he is boxing the battery up to ship it back :shock:



This battery is a good one. It is the same as the one I am running now. :idea: Maybe I should cut my losses and keep it? It does retail for $5 more than the high output , that I ordered.



What do you think? Keep it , or ship it back and hope they stand by their word to reimburse the shipping charges?

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Postby Warnoffroad » Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:52 am

Humm... if the $ is diff. I dont know, because to me that seems to be were the problems strat. But I would call them and just tell them you rolled your truck or something and your new car doesnt need it. Them im sure they would take it back. I got my red top from Discount Auto for I believe $110.
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Postby 2bunik » Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:33 pm

:) hey henryJ I can get most red tops for about 98 bucks on base here in mountain home. I just got mine for my stang. But if you need another battery in the future let me know and I will hook you up.. that way you can save a couple of bucks. then on the weekend I can drive it up there. since Im in boise all the time... just a thought..
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Postby HenryJ » Thu Nov 20, 2003 9:45 pm

2bunik wrote::) hey henryJ I can get most red tops for about 98 bucks on base here in mountain home. I just got mine for my stang. But if you need another battery in the future let me know and I will hook you up.. that way you can save a couple of bucks. then on the weekend I can drive it up there. since Im in boise all the time... just a thought..

Thanks, I will definately keep that in mind :thumb: I'll probably need one for the Vega come spring, and maybe one for the Suburban too ;)

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Postby a2b » Fri Nov 21, 2003 9:50 am

ya i get the mechanics discount at napa, and they gave me a "red top" napa brand batter for 85 bucks...

BTW..how does the napa dry cell compare to the optima dry cell?
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 21, 2003 11:14 am

a2b wrote:BTW..how does the napa dry cell compare to the optima dry cell?

I don't know , I still have bad feelings about their "Legend" series batteries so I don't buy NAPA batteries. I guess you'll let us know how they perform?

BTW Optima and their "look-a-likes" are NOT dry cell batteries , or gel.
It is a common misconception.
They are still lead acid batteries, and use a spiral cell design. They have a fiber mat between the plates for insulation and the capillary action keeps them imersed , which enhances performance and life. The batteries are also sealed so the can be mounted in any position and won't leak acid, like other designs.
The spiral cell design is also very good at resisting vibration and shock.

The only TRUE dry cells that I know of are the Black Panther, Odyssey, and some Military spec. batteries.

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Postby Warnoffroad » Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:58 pm

I got rid of my red top and got a yellow top yesterday. Before my volt meter said 14.5ish, now it says 16. :P

Oh, and HJ, I know this is a little late. But it was mufflers that summit was bad about, 2 friends one with a blue 4.3 reg cab s-10, and the other with a blue reg cab ranger (both seen in my albums). They both got FM 40s and said they were banged up, and summit didnt want them back
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:04 pm

Warnoffroad wrote:I got rid of my red top and got a yellow top yesterday. Before my volt meter said 14.5ish, now it says 16. :P
Watch your alternator, or upgrade if needed. The stock alternators are not designed to charge low and long like the deep cycles require , and tend to get overheated by the prolonged charge cycle.
Red tops are designed for a quick hard charge, allowing the alternator time to cool.
Just something to keep in mind ;)

(Deep cycles are a good idea if you need the reserve capacity to run accessories for long periods without the engine running)

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Postby Warnoffroad » Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:18 pm

HenryJ wrote:
Warnoffroad wrote:I got rid of my red top and got a yellow top yesterday. Before my volt meter said 14.5ish, now it says 16. :P
Watch your alternator, or upgrade if needed. The stock alternators are not designed to charge low and long like the deep cycles require , and tend to get overheated by the prolonged charge cycle.
Red tops are designed for a quick hard charge, allowing the alternator time to cool.
Just something to keep in mind ;)

(Deep cycles are a good idea if you need the reserve capacity to run accessories for long periods without the engine running)


I thought about that alternator problem, didnt think about it overheating. Does anyone know of a good high output alternator to get? Ive heard some good and some bad but does anyone know of any good ones?
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Postby a2b » Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:34 pm

so are you saying that my napa dry cell is not a true dry cell? my concern would be is that i have to have a dry cell to run my rockcrawling class. i dont want to fail tech
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:37 pm

a2b wrote:so are you saying that my napa dry cell is not a true dry cell? my concern would be is that i have to have a dry cell to run my rockcrawling class. i dont want to fail tech

I think if you check closely it is NOT a dry cell. It is a spiral cell sealed battery. (I have seen them here)

I could be wrong, but I am not aware of a dry cell marketed by NAPA.

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Postby a2b » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:28 am

HenryJ wrote:
a2b wrote:so are you saying that my napa dry cell is not a true dry cell? my concern would be is that i have to have a dry cell to run my rockcrawling class. i dont want to fail tech

I think if you check closely it is NOT a dry cell. It is a spiral cell sealed battery. (I have seen them here)

I could be wrong, but I am not aware of a dry cell marketed by NAPA.


that will piss me off. i specifically asked for a dry cell :x
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:08 am

If you want a dry cell battery, here are some- Odyssey batteries

Rumor has it that they are $20-$30 more than the Optimas.

They do have an advantage in that they are noticeably smaller. This would be a plus when adapting a dual battery system.

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Postby F9K9 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:23 am

Gawd, I hope he wasn't holding his breath for that reply :roflmao:

2 years is a long wait :D
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Postby jeff024 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:34 pm

:lol:
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:45 pm

f9k9 wrote:... I hope he wasn't holding his breath for that reply ...
You can't say that I don't try to answer the posts ;) ....eventually.

Actually I came across the information and thought it would be best to just continue the thread that was already here :D

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Postby F9K9 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:41 am

Since we're here.......do you think the optima batteries are like regular ones in that once they are drained they never really are the same afterwards?

If that's the case, I've ruined a red top by accidently leaving my lap top on with a small USB light on 2X :(
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:17 am

It is my understanding that any battery has a limited numbers of drain/fill cycles and you have used up one of those.

The "Red Top" is designed to offer high hard cranking power , be charged hard and recover quickly. This limits stress on a charging system.

The "Yellow Top Deep Cycle" is designed to offer smaller amounts of power over a long time period, be drained deeply and recover after a longer , lower charging rate.

An alternator is not designed to charge a weak battery. The longer it has to charge, the more heat it builds. It is designed to maintain the system only. If you have drained your battery down , it is best to charge it back up using a 120V battery charger.

Ok, now you are going to say.."that is all nice , but what about MY question?" :lol: Well I think your battery is changed forever due to your incompetence ;)
But , I don't think that you will notice a difference in performance, and the reduction in lifespan may not be noticeable either. Treat it right and charge it back up , if you can, before putting it back into daily use. If you take care of your battery it will last a very long time.

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Postby F9K9 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:47 am

HenryJ wrote:............................Ok, now you are going to say.."that is all nice , but what about MY question?" :lol: Well I think your battery is changed forever due to your incompetence ;)
........................................


Hey, I resemble that remark :nono:

It's just a good thing you live 2,113.14 miles and 29 hrs and 13 minutes away :poke:
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:38 pm

I have some more red top experience and information.

The Optima batteries are dated with a "burn code" this is the four digit number melted in to one end of the case. The first digit is the year and the last three are the number of days into the year. Example: 8365 = the 365th day of 1998 another 6090 the 90th day of 2006

My wife's car has been running my old red top since the crews factory AC Delco battery died. Yesterday her car was dead. The dome light had been left on for at least a day. This does not usually drain an Optima to the point it has no voltage to start. I was in a hurry , so I dropped the red top from the HenryJ in and drove it to work. Upon leaving I noticed it started a little slow. When I checked the alternator I found it was not charging.
It turns out the alternator had a bad regulator. Bearings an brushes were good since I had it rebuilt within the last four years.

Now back to the red top. The battery that died is eight years old. I do have one that is older and still going. I tested it and it had only four volts. With a load it would go to nearly zero. With no warranty left I said, what do I have to lose? I try charging it.
The "automatic" charger I am using says it will not charge a battery with less than four volts. Sure enough it trips the internal breaker several times before maintaining a steady charge. After an hour the voltage is up to six volts , finally. I still think this may be useless, but leave it to charge overnight.
In the morning I arrive to find a green light and a fully charged battery. Testing it with a load it performs just as it should.

It looks like the bad regulator was the problem , and not the battery. Who knows how long that battery had been keeping things going? The dome light left on was the last straw and it just could not keep going. After a nice long charge it did come back though.

I did buy another new red top, as I was one short even with the revived battery. I now own four red tops and a blue top for the boat.

I mentioned this tale to my alternator builder and he related a story from a gentleman who runs a wrecker. He had seen a red top cut in half. The bottom of the battery destroyed. It still started the car.

I am now more than ever a firm believer that the Optima batteries are a good investment. I am almost ashamed that I was so quick to blame the battery when problems arose. Next time I will have a little more faith.

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Postby HenryJ » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:50 pm

Optima Tips wrote:Connecting Batteries Together in Parallel
If your battery application requires more starting power or reserve capacity you can install multiple batteries together in parallel by connecting the like terminals together (positive to positive / negative to negative). Each time you add a battery in parallel you increase the CCA and Reserve Capacity, the voltage remains at 12 volts. For example, two OPTIMA® 34/78's in parallel will provide 1600 CCA and 208 minutes reserve. Three in parallel provides 2400 CCA and 312 minutes of reserve. If you have any questions about multiple battery installations, contact an appropriate automotive service center.


Suggestions for connecting batteries in parallel

* Use batteries of identical make, model, and age.
* Make sure cable gauge is sufficient to handle the higher current flow.
* Prevent cables from shorting (do not allow them to rub against the vehicle body).
* Use only high quality connectors, clean all contacts prior to installation.
* Periodically check all connections for snugness.
* If you are unsure of this procedure, contact your automotive service center.

Battery installation tips

* Ensure that the battery is properly secured in the vehicle or equipment to prevent movement or vibration wear. Do not over tighten the hold down bracket, this can damage the plastic case.
* Connect high amperage accessories such as a winch to the top terminals only. Do NOT use the side terminals.
* Replace any cables and connectors that have corrosion, rust, or other damage.
* Do not install batteries in a non-ventilated or sealed compartment.
* Do not lift or handle the batteries by the terminals.
* Do not over tighten terminal bolts, the following values are recommended:SAE automotive terminal:50-70 inch-lb.Side terminal (3/8" nut):70 inch-lb.Threaded stud terminal:120-180 inch-lb.

I didn't know that the side posts were unsuitable for high load accessories. There is a light weight connection from the top to the side posts and the connection can be overheated when used for something like a winch. Glad I have mine mounted to the top posts.

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Postby HenryJ » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:59 pm

Some very good explanations of the construction, and application of the different batteries:
Optima FAQ wrote:1. What does the SPIRALCELL® design do?
The unique design of the SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY. provides many features not available in ordinary batteries. The following is a summary

SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES:
More plate surface, closer plate spacing, ability to use high purity lead. RESULTING IN: Low internal resistance. This low resistance gives you more power in a smaller box, ability to recharge much faster, higher, cleaner voltage characteristics during discharge


Immobilized plates (locked in place). RESULTING IN: Improved vibration resistance, no shedding of active paste material, no gradual loss of power and capacity as the battery ages. This gives you a battery that lasts longer and performs better throughout its life.

2. Does OPTIMA® ever gas?
When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator) the OPTIMA will usually not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at higher voltage levels or in extreme high temperature conditions. In automotive applications this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator stay below 15 volts.

3. Does the OPTIMA Deep Cycle have a "memory"?
Lead-Acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Many people think they have a memory because they experience a reduction in capacity or run-time as the battery ages. The active paste material in a lead-acid battery is a consumable item, similar to tread on a tire. Every time you cycle the battery some of the paste is used up. As the battery ages, less of the active paste is available to charge and discharge, resulting in a reduced operating time. This situation can be more apparent in the case where a high power or SLI battery is used in a deep cycle application. The plates of an SLI batter y are designed for high current, short duration discharges. Plates in deep cycle batteries are better suited to repetitive deep discharge applications.

4. Why the low rate of self-discharge?
Mostly this is due to the purity of the lead in the OPTIMA plates. Some of the alloys in conventional batteries are more prone to electron transfer resulting in self discharge than the what is used in the OPTIMA.

5. Why is OPTIMA not perishable like other batteries?
Why is OPTIMA not perishable like other batteries?
(See Question 4.)

6. Can you trickle charge an OPTIMA? Solar card charger?
Yes, you can use any charger on an OPTIMA as long as the voltage is regulated properly. If your charger will remain on indefinitely the voltage should be at 13.8 volts maximum with a one amp maximum current.

7. Will my high-output alternator damage the OPTIMA?
No, as long as the voltage is properly regulated. Because the OPTIMA has a very low internal resistance it will accept high current more efficiently than conventional batteries.

8. Will it discharge the battery if leave it sitting on concrete?
No, today's batteries utilized polypropylene plastic for the case material. They will not be effected. When possible, always store a battery in a cool dry location.

9. Can I hook an OPTIMA up in parallel with my other battery?
No, when hooking batteries together in parallel they should be of identical make, model, and of similar age.

10. Can I use an isolator with an OPTIMA?
Yes, most any type of battery separator or solenoid can be used with an OPTIMA. The important thing to remember is that the charging voltage must be within the limits suggested by OPTIMA Batteries. If you are using an OPTIMA and a conventional battery, your system must charge each battery independently. Remember, some isolators cause a voltage drop, make sure your charging voltage AT THE BATTERY is sufficient. Continued undercharging of a battery will lead to premature failure and a drop in capacity.

11. Why does the OPTIMA last longer?
The main reasons the OPTIMA battery has a longer life are:

No shedding of active paste material. The SPIRALCELL design immobilizes the plates preventing the active past from working loose, which can cause plate to plate shorting


High purity lead-tin grid. Grid material in OPTIMA batteries is more resistant to grid degradation. A type of internal corrosion that affects the plates inside a battery as it ages


Sealed design prevents loss of water which can lead to plate dry out and failure.

12. What is the difference between your deep cycle and starter battery?
The OPTIMA deep cycle battery utilizes a different chemistry for the active paste material on the plates, and a slightly stronger acid. This chemistry changes allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in power.

13. What does deep cycle mean?
Deep cycle means using the battery in an application that will typically discharge 60% to 70% or more of the batter y capacity. An automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) battery. It's plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery only 1% to 3%. When an SLI battery is used in a deep cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis.

14. When should I consider a deep cycle?
Any time you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other device. Additionally, deep cycle batteries should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition.

15. What is a Gel Cell Battery?
A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one way valves in place of open vents, this helps the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing.

16. How does a Gel Cell compare to your deep cycle?
Most gel batteries have a much higher internal resistance, meaning they will not be able to deliver and receive current as efficiently. This is especially apparent at higher amperage levels. For example, most gel batteries will not work successfully in engine starting applications.

17. When should I use a Deep Cycle OPTIMA as a Starting battery?
"Deep Cycle" batteries are designed for applications that require deep, repetitive amperage drain, like trolling motors, golf carts, and electric wheelchairs, or RV house power sources. However, there are other applications, called "Heavy Cycling" or "High Cycling", when a Deep Cycle OPTIMA can successfully replace a starting battery to provide longer life and better performance.
In heavy cycling or high cycling applications, a vehicle will pull unusually high amperage levels from the starting battery due to extra accessories or limited alternator capacity. Public safety professionals, such as police, fire, and ambulance fleet managers often find that traditional starting batteries cannot provide adequate life and performance due to heavy cycling. This is an excellent opportunity to provide your customer with longer life and better performance by using an OPTIMA Deep Cycle battery in this type of application.

In any vehicle or equipment that will use the battery only for Starting, Lighting, & Ignition requirements and has a properly working alternator, the OPTIMA Red Top Starting Battery will perform extremely well, often providing up to two to three times longer life than conventional batteries. If the vehicle has few or no after-market accessories and uses a stock or upgraded alternator, the OPTIMA Red Top Starting Battery is the appropriate choice.

Remember, it is possible for the customer to have a completely discharged Yellow Top OPTIMA that will not start their engine; the advantages of the Yellow Top are that it can accept a rapid recharge and it will recover from discharge many more times.

To provide the customer the best OPTIMA solution, it is, necessary to consider both the application and the charging system before recommending the correct OPTIMA. For example, if your customer has a Ford Expedition with an after-market alarm system, which OPTIMA would you recommend? If the customer drives the car every day, the Red Top would be the correct choice, since the amperage drain will be nominal and the battery would be recharged on a daily basis. However, if the customer stores the vehicle for a long period of time with the alarm system engaged, you should recommend the OPTIMA Yellow Top, since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a Red Top and reduce its life.

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Postby mattfu » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:21 pm

great info hj , lots to concider, i am currently building a solar system for my camping trailer, solar panel supply is 15watts @1amp per hour, im guessing by your info that a "yellow top" deep cycle is my best bet for storing the energy and using it for high drain devices (stereo/lights) , i plan on using at least 2 batteries in parellel since my charging rate is so low, any further thoughts or suggestions guys?
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Postby F9K9 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:37 pm

Very good info but, I am still unable to comprehend where the yellow top (in Optima's words "starter/deep cycle") battery is a poor choice compared to the red top in normal vehicle applications. By stating that the red top is the "appropriate choice" for normal applications, I interprete Optima to be telling their dealers that it is the most cost effective battery to sell their customers.

I had a red top that would not start my truck. The demise of the red top was my fault due to my asumption that my laptop was powering down (on several occassions) and leaving my truck without making sure it did. Advance Auto Part's tools would read it as to requiring a charge. They would pull it and charge it on their charger/computer inside the the store until the computer deemed it charged. The moment it was back in my truck it, needed a charge again. It took me 3 trips to convince them to check it after it was back in the truck. Many years ago, this was called a "surface charge". Just a temporary good reading until time had passed. They replaced the red top with a second (under a yr old) with a new one. The second one installed failed to start my rig. It was charged and failed to start my truck. At that point, the manager was personally handling the situation and was getting upset. He had no other red tops on hand and gave me a yellow top $60 upgrade for free. He told me that he has never had a similar situation happen with Optimas and I believe him. Many people disagree with using a yellow top in normal applications and state that the red top is better. They're right when considering cost effectiveness. The newer yellow tops are considered "starter/deep cycle" batteries and half again the price of the red tops. I will go with a red top when I buy a new one for a vehicle but, the yellow top has been super reliable for me. If, I see them priced the same.......I'll grab the yellow top. JMO
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Postby WVHogRider » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:44 pm

The truck had ESP....It wanted the YELLOW!!!!! :lol:
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:04 pm

WVHogRider wrote:The truck had ESP....It wanted the YELLOW!!!!! :lol:
:lol: Can you say...Christine? :shock:
f9k9 wrote:...I am still unable to comprehend where the yellow top (in Optima's words "starter/deep cycle") battery is a poor choice compared to the red top in normal vehicle applications. By stating that the red top is the "appropriate choice" for normal applications, I interprete Optima to be telling their dealers that it is the most cost effective battery to sell their customers...
Maybe I can help you understand.

Redtop=SLI battery : "An automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) battery. It's plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery only 1% to 3%. When an SLI battery is used in a deep cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis. "

Yellow top= Deep cycle battery : "The OPTIMA deep cycle battery utilizes a different chemistry for the active paste material on the plates, and a slightly stronger acid. This chemistry changes allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in power. "

Red top= more cranking power, lots of power for short time. Less resistance , quicker recharge.

Yellow top= less power delivered over longer time. More resistance to both discharge and recharge.

Think of it as a five gallon can. One , the Red top, has a 1" pouring spout. The other , a Yellow top is the same size can with a .25" vent hole for filling.

Pour either into your gas tank and it will start. One will be a faster drain and fill. The other will retain the fuel longer.

That may or may not be a very good analogy. Hopefully you get the idea.

A regular battery is designed to be charged and accept a charge rapidly. This gives the alternator time to cool.
The deep cycle batteries take a longer time to recharge and have greater resistance. This works the alternator for a longer time and can lead to heating.

It is all in how you use the vehicle. In a cold climate the extra cranking amps available may be an advantage. If you frequently draw the battery down with accessories and no charging system, the deep cycle may be better.

Everything has its compromise. Use what works for your situation and accept the consequences.

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Postby Walt » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:33 pm

Very good analogy Brule. It's a trade off. I've used the yellow tops before, and installed many in customer's vehicles when I worked at Audio Central. I warned each customer, but most of them wanted it because it was the famed Yellow Top. I recently purchased a Red Top 34/75 (If that's not the model number, it's close), and it's working well for me. My headlights don't dim anymore when I let down the windows. :lol:
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:15 pm

If you all were not paying attention over the last month...Optima batteries took a rather harsh price increase. Everywhere I have checked they are now $50 more than a month before :shock:

I bought one for $129 not more than a month ago from our local D&B farm supply. The "usual" parts store told me theirs took a price hike and were at $154 :shock: WHAT! I had been getting them for $125 not long ago! I told them that was ridiculous and bought one at the farm store.

The other day I was in the farm store and glanced at the two Optimas left on the shelf...$169.99 :mad:
So I check the price at the old "usual" parts store... My cost on the Optima....$189. I explain "Not a yellow top or marine, I just want a price on a red top." , He replies, "that is the red top. Add another $100 for the blue or yellow probably."
This is pretty crazy.

I just checked Summit. The red top is $179. Add the "handling charge" and you are right there at the $189.

Hmmm, the Odessey batteries are now starting to look attractive :mg:

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Postby 04crewvt » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:26 pm

Well after 4 days of below 0 (with wind chill in excess of 25 below) my factory battery started giving me a warning that it was done for. Before it could leave me stranded I went to the parts store this morning and picked up an Optima Red Top for $149. I will pop it in tomorrow.
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Postby F9K9 » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:37 pm

Keep us posted. I would like to believe in them but, had a redtop fail within a yr and then had it's replacement fail off the shelf. The manager got POed and gave me a new yellow top to save face. I figue it is just my bad luck that caused the problem with the red tops :wink:
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Postby 04crewvt » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:38 pm

Maybe it just wanted the colors to match.Image
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Postby LonestarZ » Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:53 pm

It just floors me how much the Optima Reds cost.. I bought my yellow for less than the current reds, though this was 4 or more years ago..
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Postby F9K9 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:34 am

04crewvt wrote:Maybe it just wanted the colors to match.Image


Oh, how I missed that wit of yours :bonk:
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Postby 04crewvt » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:55 am

That would be half-wit right? Image
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Postby 04crewvt » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:26 am

Battery is in. My factory battery never showed more than 14 on the gauge when running this new battery shows closer to 16 when running. I had been noticing the motor running a bit rough and it felt like is was lugging I wonder if this may have been the cause?
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Postby gocntry » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:35 am

Now It's My Turn for The New Battery, Still On The Factory One And It's Starting To Act Up With The Cold Temps, So I Guess I Need To Really Replace It.

I Know Most Of You Run The Red Top Optima And A Couple Run The Yellow Top. Optima Calls The Yellow Top A "Dual Purpose" Battery When You Have An Extra Electrical Load On Your Vehicle, Lights-Winches Ect. So My Question Is Which Would Be Better Not Worried About The Cost Just Wondering If The Dual Purpose Yellow Would Make More Sense For Future Mods To The Truck Being It Will Last Quite A Long Time.

Comparison Between Red Top & Yellow Top Dual Purpose
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Postby Walt » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:03 am

From what I've heard, the yellow top can put more of a strain on the charging system. My red top hasn't run down yet, and I've left the lights on plenty of times, and my KC's don't dim when the truck idles anymore. :lol:
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Postby 2kwik4u » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:49 am

I've got a red top in the Xtreme. I run a big stereo, electric fan, and underdrive pullies (without the alternator pulley), and it has had ZERO problems with it. When the one in "the bus" dies, I'll be going red-top on it as well. Easily worth the cash up front, for the performance, and peace of mind on the back end!
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:29 am

If you deep cycle a battery go for the Yellow. That means drawing a battery way down with long periods of drain.
If starting and high drain for short periods is what you subject your system to, go with the Red.

They are designed differently.

Our charging system is designed to quickly recharge a battery after starting, and maintain the system. A long duration charge as is required for a deep cycle battery can drastically shorten the life of the charging system. Upgrading the charging system will help, but may not solve the problem long term. If you never deep cycle the battery that is not an issue.

In your research look carefully at the Odyssey batteries. The price hike taken by the Optima batteries has the dry cell Odyssey batteries looking VERY attractive. Steel cased, lighter weight, smaller size and greater cranking as well as reserve capacities. There are many benefits. I would consider them as well.
You may be able to mount two of them in the space that one battery occupies. Each would be the capacity of one Optima. Dual batteries for the weight and space of one sounds good to me. This is something I am considering in the future.
Last edited by HenryJ on Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby 2kwik4u » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:40 am

I hadn't looked at the Odysey's in quite some time, however I know the Sy/Ty guys like them for the small space the take up under the hood. I've seen several mounted INSIDE the lower front 1/2 of the fender before with charge leads ran to a more accessible location.
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Postby gocntry » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:29 am

So It Looks Like I Should Compare This ODYSSEY BATTERY To This OPTIMA BATTERY Or This ANOTHER OPTIMA BATTERY

Lucky For Me The Wifey Works At Autozone And Can Get A Discount On Our Auto Parts I Know They Carry The Optima I'll Check And See If She Can Order The Odyssey Batteries.
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:11 am

This is a little confusing. I have not done enough research to have the answers yet.

The Odyssey battery you linked above is not a dry cell design ODY-PC1500DT . It is an absorbed glass mat battery the same as the Optima batteries, with the exception of the spiral cell.

I would be looking at the dry cell batteries. The PC 1200 is of a size that would be close to mounting two batteries in place of our one.

It is a tough choice. I know the performance of the spiral cell Optima is excellent. I don't know about the dry cell. I like the idea and design, but just haven't tried it yet. It doesn't look like they have a single battery that fills the area available, other than the glass mat PC 1500.

I would need more information to make a decision.

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Postby gocntry » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:51 am

The New Battery Is Installed, I Went With The Optima Red Top Model 75/35. Shelf Price Was $149.00, I Got It For $119.00 Best Price I Could Get, Although My Local Costco Was Selling Them For $129.00. So Now My Truck Is Happy Again. :lol:
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Postby ejxjohnson » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:11 pm

what color optima is better for my tuck with a sound system? my lights dim everytime the bass hits and the thing is my system is just 2 10' infinities (the shallow ones in a coustom box with an alpine 400 or 450 watt rms ( i think) amp. i know my batteriy is reaching the end of its years cuz in this cold weather it sometimes has a hard time starting
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Postby 2kwik4u » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:03 am

Get a Red Top, and upgrade the wire from the back of the alternator to the battery.
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Postby Walt » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:46 pm

Also upgrade the ground from the battery to the frame. Just to give you an example, I have beefed up my wiring a bit, and am running a red top, and my lights still fluctuate with the radio, or my AC, or my blinkers for that matter. I didn't notice alot of difference from the stock battery.
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Postby 04crewvt » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:32 am

The other thing to check is to make sure all your connections to the sub are properly grounded and of the proper gauge wiring for the length of the wire run. If that is all good and there is still a problem with the sub drawing too much power an in line capacitor would be your next step, they hold an electrical charge and can deliver it when needed without having to have a high instantaneous draw on the battery.
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Postby ejxjohnson » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:26 am

all the wires are good and the guage is better then what i need for the power im drawing. i dont like capacitors becuase after the cap is fully discarged (after about 20 mins in most cases) it puts extra strain on your battery becuase the cap is trying to charge drawing power from your battery while yoru battery is still trying to put pwoer to your amp and all your lights and evrything.....i could get a big cap but its just not worth it. it will be more better spending the extra money on a good battery and a new alt then buying a large cap
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:30 pm

Another battery option: EastPenn/Deka - DEKA Intimidator 9A78DT

Price looks much better than the alternatives. Reports are good.

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Postby HenryJ » Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:29 pm

Bought a Deka Intimidator today. Big and heavy. ( Deka Intimidator dual post .PDF )

It barely fits. The negative cable is barely long enough as the posts are on the corners.
Heavy is good in a battery. Taking up all the room in the battery tray is good. I did have to remove the air duct I had run for cooling the alternator. There is just no room for it with this battery.
120 RC is 10 more than the Redtop and this is a combination starting / deep cycle battery. It all looks good. I paid $114 at the local farm store.

Warranty: 36 months warranty and 12 months free replacement.



I have a Redtop Optima that , I believe is failing. It will only maintain 11.8-12.2 volts. It has a swell in the case above one cell. This battery should have 12.8-13.2 volts. That leads me to believe it may have a bad cell. burn code is 8356, that would make it the last day of 1998. I guess that is a pretty good life. It must have been swapped from the HenryJ at some point. I like the Optima batteries, but I think they have priced themselves out of the market. When I can buy equal batteries at almost half the cost, why would I buy another Optima?

Right now I think Deka is the right choice. Their prices stayed low while others raised. They have their own lead and plastic recyclers. That keeps their costs down. I have found them rated at the top of a few reviews. Good time for me to try one out.
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Postby MARBLEYARD » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:15 am

My optima just died for the second time in ONE year. I was listening to my radio both times and after about thirty minutes, dead. No amps running just my sirius receiver and deck. Jumping worked the first time, the second time I wasn't so lucky. I had to take it to Auto Zone to be recharged (where I bought it). It works now but while my truck was sitting in my front yard overnight(had to drift it there to try to jump it) someone drove by and shot my rear door with a BB gun and chipped the paint with a dent. Thank god I work at a body shop!
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Postby killian96ss » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:52 am

The Optimas are great because of their spiral cell design which resists vibration a lot better than regular stacked plate batteries which is good thing for off road vehicles when your in the middle of nowhere.

What type of plate design does the Deka battery have?

From what I can tell the Deka batteries look just like a normal battery except they are sealed. :?

I think Optima has made a big mistake pricing their batteries so high. :!:

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Postby HenryJ » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:29 pm

MARBLEYARD wrote:My optima just died for the second time in ONE year. I was listening to my radio both times and after about thirty minutes, dead. No amps running just my sirius receiver and deck. Jumping worked the first time, the second time I wasn't so lucky. I had to take it to Auto Zone to be recharged (where I bought it).
Check the voltage. 12 volts in an Optima is a bad cell. It should have no less than 12.8 volts with a good charge.
killian96ss wrote:... the Deka batteries look just like a normal battery except they are sealed.

The Deka and Odyssey batteries are plate design AGM tight pack. So, no they are not "just normal batteries" they are AGM.
Spiral design is good for vibration.
If you run plates you must make sure they are mounted with the plates longitudinal to the truck. A battery mounted with the plates crossed will slam them under braking and acceleration and shorten the battery life.
I do think the plate battery may have a larger surface area for some increased performance. It does weigh more too.
I really would have liked to test an Odyssey, but I just can not justify the price. Same problem I had with the Optima this go around.

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Postby killian96ss » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:00 pm

HenryJ wrote:The Deka and Odyssey batteries are plate design AGM tight pack. So, no they are not "just normal batteries" they are AGM.

So these are both "dry cell" batteries?

I know they work good for industrial and racing applications, but how well do "dry cell" batteries hold up to vibrations off road? :?

I guess you will be able to answer that last question after some real world testing since you now have one in the CC. :wink:

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Postby HenryJ » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:38 pm

Actually neither are dry cell in the 34/78 dual terminal batteries offered. They are both Absorbed Glass Mat "starved electrolyte" just like the spiral cell batteries, only those two are plate design.
Dry cell works really well for hardcore use. The military uses them. Not only are they lighter, but no liquid to mush around. No acid to splash or spill when damaged, no sulfation, the list goes on.
Dry cell deep cycles are 10 fold what a liquid based battery life would be.
They are very expensive though.

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Postby killian96ss » Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:50 pm

HenryJ wrote:Actually neither are dry cell in the 34/78 dual terminal batteries offered. They are both Absorbed Glass Mat "starved electrolyte" just like the spiral cell batteries, only those two are plate design.

I'm a little confused now because according to Odyssey's web site all of their batteries are "drycell sealed technology" AGM batteries. :?

Are "AGM" batteries made in wet and dry versions?

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Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:15 pm

killian96ss wrote:I'm a little confused now because according to Odyssey's web site all of their batteries are "drycell sealed technology" AGM batteries.
I was at first too. All their batteries with the exception of the one that fits ours are shown as "Rugged Drycell sealed design"
The one that fits our application is not a dry cell battery, but a "Absorbent glass mat (AGM) technology".
I though they were all dry cell until I studied it a little closer.
killian96ss wrote:Are "AGM" batteries made in wet and dry versions?
AGM is a liquid or gel across a fiberglass mat. It is a starved electrolyte battery. The liquid is kept in contact with the plates through the capillary action of the fiber media.
A dry cell while not completely devoid of moisture , uses a paste against the plate.
I have not owned an Odyssey battery and of course they do not divulge their construction secrets. I do see their Posters list them all as AGM. That does seem a little confusing.

From what I saw all the brass contact batteries were listed as dry cell and the one dual post as AGM.
Last edited by HenryJ on Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby F9K9 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:22 pm

Okay so, I am currently running a yellow top Optima in mine (for the time being). My battery charger has several settings. I can not recall what the first setting is called but, the last two are deep cycle and agm. When I recharge it, should my battery charger be set on "AGM"?
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:34 pm

I would probably go with AGM. AGM has a valve to recirculate and absorb the gasses generated. They can not handle being charged over 14.6 volts. The system can be overwhelmed. A normal flooded cell design will boil and off gas huge amounts. While this is not good, it will not risk damaging the battery permanently as easily.

For chargers that do not have a AGM setting the deep cycle would be the choice. Low and slow.

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:15 am

Voltmeter Reading State of Charge
    12.84 Volts or higher 100%
    12.50 Volts 75%
    12.18 Volts 50%
    11.88 Volts 25%
Warning: Gel and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries
require a voltage-limited charger. Charging a Gel or AGM
battery on a typical shop charger – even one time – may
greatly shorten its life. It is imperative not to exceed 15.0V as this will cause the pressure valves to open and out-gas hydrogen, oxygen and water from inside the battery. This will shorten the life of the battery and cause premature failure.

Recommended charging information:
    Alternator: 13.65-15.0 volts
    Battery Charger: 13.8-15.0 volts; 10 amps maximum; 6-12 hours
    Float charge: 13.2-13.8 volts; 1 amp maximum (indefinite time at lower voltages)
    Rapid Recharge (Constant voltage charger): Maximum voltage15.6 volts. No current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7° C). When current falls below 1 amp, finish with 2 amp constant current for one hour.
All Limits Must Be Strictly Adhered To

Recharge time (assuming 100% discharge - 10.5 volts):
    100 amps - 35 minutes
    50 amps - 75 minutes
    25 amps - 140 minutes
Recharge time will vary according to temperature and charger characteristics. When using constant voltage chargers, amperage will taper down as the battery becomes recharged. When amperage drops below 1 amp, the battery will be close to a full charge. (all charge recommendations assume an average temperature of 77°F , 25°C)


* APPROX. BATTERY CHARGING TIME *
STANDARD OF TO FULL CHARGE AT 80°F/27°C

Maximum Rate at
    12 V ---------- 50 Amps 30 Amps 20 Amps 10 Amps
    12.6 100% – F U L L C H A R G E –
    12.4 75% ---- 20 min. 135 min. 148 min. 190 min.
    12.2 50% ---- 45 min. 175 min. 195 min. 180 min.
    12.0 25% ---- 65 min. 115 min. 145 min. 280 min.
    11.8 0% ------ 85 min. 150 min. 195 min. 370 min

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Postby F9K9 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:41 am

Brule, this is really good info. Maybe a stickie? I search a bunch of times for info like this and find it most of the time. For the times that I don't type in all the correct "triggers" for a correct search, this would come in handy.

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Postby Blackmobile » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:47 am

My OEM died this wk. I replaced it with a Bosch from Pep Boys. 700CCA 875 CA 90 Mins "RC". 3 yr. full replacemet - 96 mth. pro-rated warranty. Bottom line - cost me $78.98 (mgr. printed a $20 coupon),they did the installl
Looks like our orig. was 690 CCA and best I can remeber 700 "something" CA....
Oh well. all I had to do was turn over my charge card, wait about an hr. and then reset my clock. No skinned knuckles, good enough for me...
We'll see.
Now I need to change the Dex and fuel filter - I know!!!!
2003 CC - 44,000 nmis. This is the first OEM part to go. All I've done is change oil every 4 -5K (myself) and take it to the dealer everyother time for the lube and tire rotate ...Looks like tires may make it through winter.
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Postby F9K9 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:00 pm

You need to several other things and you need to do them quickly. Search under Stock Crew Cab and if, you do not have any luck then start a new thread there.
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Postby HenryJ » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:52 pm

East Penn / Deka impressed me with their customer service.
I promptly received an email with the warranty information I requested. "Hello, below is the answer to your question.
36 months warranty and 12 months free replacement
Thank You and have a great day "

I also made a phone call to the 800 number. There was a message on my machine from last Friday. Today I received another call. The rep said, " Mr.Lehman?" , I said "Yes". "I understand you have a problem with your battery?". I said "No, I was just inquiring as the the warranty. I was told it was 12 months free replacement and prorated after that for a total of three years warranty." He said "That is correct".
I went on to ask about the recycling. That is true. They have their own lead and plastics recycling. 70% of the lead used is recycled and 30% new. 100% of the battery is recycled. The gases are made into fertilizer. This is one reason they have been able to keep their costs low.
I like the "Green" aspects of this battery.

When the local salesman gets back from an elk hunting trip , he will contact me so I can get further information.
I may even get set up as a dealer if things look good.
The Intimidator yellow top was built to directly compete with Optimas Yellow top. The ratings on the Intimidator are said to be under rated. I was assured that they will out perform the ratings.
This may all be salesman BS, but I will see if they can back up those boasts.

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Postby bgs » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:01 pm

Henry, How's that Deka holding up for you ? I have an
Optima in my truck which went in back in 99. It still
works well. It has only died two times and that was
my fault. However it will soon be time to get another
battery and since the Optima yellows are now close
to 200.00 bucks, I'd like something a lil lower in
price, but not have to worry about it.

It would be for my 92 Slonoma ST. It takes the 78/34
size. Will the Deka dual terminal be a problem in regards
to space ? They are about the same size as the
Optima yellow tops aren't they ?

Thanks..bg
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:20 pm

It is way too early to tell. The rep says the Deka Intimidator 34/78 dual terminal was built to compete directly with the Optima Yellow top. He said the ratings are under estimated and it will test higher than advertised.
It will be a while before I am able to give a good judgment of the value of this battery.
Keep in mind that I have been a diehard Optima advocate for a dozen years or more.
The Deka is built to the size an mounting considerations of the group 34/78 battery. The Optima meets these specs too , but doesn't fill all the space due to the cylindrical cell design. The Deka takes up all the available space. It will fit just fine. You may need to rearrange the battery cables to have the needed length if you have a body lift. Mine fit , but I worried about cable failure should I tear a motor mount.

Right now I would buy the Deka. The price is nearly half that of the Optima. I don't see any difference in performance so far.

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Postby F9K9 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:37 pm

HenryJ wrote:................ Mine fit , but I worried about cable failure should I tear a motor mount.......
I am probably wrong on this issue but, wouldn't the driver's side engine mount "fail" first leaving the passenger side affected very little?
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:43 pm

Yes, but when the drivers side settles lower than it should it could pull on the cable that had very little room for movement.
You are right it was pretty far fetched and maybe I should not worry about this kind of stuff, but I feel a little more comfortable with some slack in the cables.

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Postby F9K9 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:49 pm

Slack is always good to have! I just thought that I had my reasoning backwards. Thanks!
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