Technology Marches On

Submitted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 20:11
ThreadID: 138410 Views:1441 Replies:6 FollowUps:19
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Well, after 5 years out of the Starter Battery market, technology has marched past me.

Optima Redtop 34R reads well but is it what it is cracked up to be?

...... any advice good, bad or indifferent would be appreciated.

Cheers
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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 20:37

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 20:37
Michael M34
I have no doubt Optima are a decent battery, how good, no idea. My comment is something which most people don't consider. After a few years the starter becomes dry in it's bearings and working parts. Nearly ALL people never remove and have their starter relubricated. To do so vastly lessens the amperage drag at start time.and removes the need for a more expensive battery which people use to overcome perceived starting issues.
Having the starter removed, if handy can do byself,, and lube it with nulon oil on bushes and nulon Grease on gears and driveline. The less demand on start current is amazing and the starter crank speed is far higher. Sometimes faster than when new. With a diesel which relies on speed of compression to retain "heat of compression" to ignite injected fuel, the engine starts quicker and therefore less drag on battery time of cranking. This all equals longer battery life with whatever is used. It is what I do.
AnswerID: 625826

Follow Up By: Michael M34 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:21

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:21
Your right RMD, this is a maintenance issue I haven't heard of but makes sense.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 11:24

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 11:24
.
Also worth considering is that most starters get dunked at every creek crossing. They are not thoroughly waterproof.

It is not only starters that need maintenance lubing, alternators are spinning at 6,000rpm the whole time your'e driving, and in a hot engine bay. Who ever thinks to pull them out for a service job?
And if the alternator fails, you may be in a very difficult situation.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 12:14

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 12:14
"And if the alternator fails, you may be in a very difficult situation."

I had this happen to me. The 120 Prado CR diesel dew 15 amps just to keep the engine runnin. Add lights, aircon (for demisting, not comfort in this circumstance), wipers, etc and the load goes right up.

Fortunately I was towing my Karavan with its 360Ah of lithium batteries. I adjusted a few switches and fed power forward from the van to the car. The van was supported by its rooftop solar when the sun shone. The plan for night driving or depleted battery, if it came to that, was to strap the generator onto the van's fire wood rack, run a cable to the 240V charger and proceed from there. We didn't drive at night, but it would have been novel :-)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:18

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:18
.
Novel indeed Frank.
My innovation was back in the 60's when driving overnight from Melbourne to Adelaide in a Morris Minor. The generator failed. It was clear moonlight and very little traffic so I turned off the headlights and only switched them on for approaching traffic. The battery carried the ignition coil load for the remaining 5 or 6 hours of the trip. Fortunately, the cops didn't work at night in those days.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Phil G - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:02

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:02
I don't think much has changed in starter batteries - it is still hot under the bonnet so wet cell batteries prevail over AGM. Lithium is no good for cranking and AGMs still don't like heat although some (Like Optima and SSB) are marketed for underbonnet use. Stick with wet cell for cranking.
AnswerID: 625828

Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:22

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:22
Michael,
I have had Optima batteries last up to seven years under the bonnet as starting
Battery.
Recently replaced Toyota original battery after two years with a blue top Optima.
All well so far, ask me again in five to seven years
Ross Nielsen
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AnswerID: 625830

Follow Up By: Michael M34 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:38

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:38
The modern designed AGM's provided today seems to be dispelling the the view that AGMs fail or have a much shorter life due to under bonnet location. Provided, they are installed east - west with full airflow cooling. Also my much used AGM second battery has been trouble free. Admittedly I don't travel out west in the middle of summer.

Good to here from members that have used Optima batteries with good long term results.

Thank you.

Cheers

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Reply By: Malcom M - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 06:15

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 06:15
I've run two Yellow Tops in both my Prado 90 and LC100 for years.
Brilliant batteries. Good for cranking, aux power and winching.
They can be discharged quite a bit more than standard AGMs so are a lot more useful plus heaps of grunt.

They are expensive but I feel they are worth every cent.
AnswerID: 625840

Follow Up By: Michael M34 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:47

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 08:47
Hi Malcom,

My OME Panosonic has been good for cranking the V6 petrol but is getting tired from winching thus the interest in an AGM that can crank. Wet Cell batteries have issues with heavy winching, 30 seconds on 30 seconds off or not.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 11:32

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 11:32
Michael, the Yellow Tops are optimised for duty stuff like winching.
I certainly don't muck about with 30 secs on/off. I run the winch with the engine running as well. I'd only do stop start stuff if I felt the winch was suffering.
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FollowupID: 899455

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:09

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:09
I also don' t go for this 30 on off stuff if you know it's going to be a heavy or a long winch use a snatch block or 2 where possible they will reduce both mechanical, electrical load. Idle up engine turn of items that are not needed to reduce power drain stereo, A/C, spotlights, fridge if necessary. If you go out looking do lots of winching look at getting a bigger alternator, set up dual starter batteries.

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FollowupID: 899469

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10:49

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10:49
Optima Red Top , in fact 34R , is the factory fitted battery in the wifes 2005 Jeep Cherokee Renegade 2.8lt turbo diesel automatic , now 14 years ,190,000km still going strong .....nothing much else to say ......
AnswerID: 625845

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:36

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:36
Michael M34,

I guess a lot depends on the vehicle you are installing the battery in. The larger the engine, I would imagine the larger the battery you will need, i.e. a 4.5 Ltr Diesel or 5.6 Ltr Petrol will need a larger battery than a 2.8 Ltr Diesel.

Macca.
Macca.

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AnswerID: 625848

Follow Up By: Michael M34 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:51

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:51
I've had 4.0L / 4.5L Diesels mostly so I understand cranking needs. The current one is a 4.0L V6 petrol. Winching when I'm silly enough to get caught and too lazy to take off the Maxtrax but thankfully not often with Lockers etc.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:55

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 13:55
Macca , everything depends on the CCA of the battery [Cold Cranking Amps] which a Optima Red Top R34 has a figure of 800 , even a D34 Yellow top has 750 CCA .....have a look at your average battery in a 200 series diesel or petrol V8 , a standard N70 ?? CCA is the same .....
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:02

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:02
Michael M34 , When the factory 'Panasonic' battery gave up the ghost in the FJ Cruiser 4.0lt V6 at 3 years I replaced it with an Optima Red Top ..3years on no drama , Have a D34 Yellow top in same vehicle as Aux ,that Batt now 6 years old ...no dramas .
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FollowupID: 899459

Follow Up By: Michael M34 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:30

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:30
Hi Alloy,
That's encouraging to hear re Optima's.
My Panasonic in the FJ is still going strong after 5 years but with a seriously remote trip soon I'm buying some battery insurance.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:39

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 14:39
Michael M34 , No cable mods needed with the R34 Red Top to fit straight into the FJ , But the riser plate to lift the battery 1/2 inch [comes with battery] has to be used otherwise the battery tie down runs out of thread before being tight ...
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FollowupID: 899461

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 16:26

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 16:26
A 2.8 diesel has a cylinder of 700cc to crank at each compression. A 5.6lL v8 the same size. A 4.5L diesel is less cylinder to compress at around 560cc. Therefore apart from the additional cylinder drag the battery requirements may not be so different after all.
Anyone kick starting a 500cc twin cyl bike finds it far easier than a 500cc single.
Battery load, starter gearing, ring gear/pinion ratio all has a bearing on it. Just because the engine sounds big doesn't mean far more battery ability is needed. Just food for thought.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:42

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:42
No it dosn't quite work like that Michael as diesels usually run more compression than petrol for eg; GQPatrols I know their old school but this is from my Gregory's repair manuals the stndard compression ratio is as below you may be surprised at how large a battery a diesel needs.

Petrol 4.2 ltr = 170 psi

Petrol 3.0 ltr = 172 psi

Diesel 4.2 ltr = 426 psi

Diesel 2.8 ltr = 440 psi


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FollowupID: 899470

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:50

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:50
Well then Batts , even your own figures show that by rights a diesel 2.8 would need more 'grunt' [for want of a better term] than a diesel 4.2 .....as I stated earlier .its NOT the size of the battery its everything about CCA....how much actual 'GRUNT' the battery can provide for starting .....
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FollowupID: 899471

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:09

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:09
Batts
A conventional diesel is different to a CRD engine. Most old ones are indirect injection, high compression ratio and higher peak compression. Around 22:1 comp ratio. Nearly all if not all CRD engines are around 16:1 comp ration and so far less initial cylinder pressure to overcome. Most high comp modern petrol engines are high compression by design and not much lower than a CRD diesel. Each engine design has a starter which is made to perform for that engine, petrol or diesel, and that is done with battery ability in mind. Nothing we see today is anything like an old Perkins direct drive starter which would draw double the amps of today’s starters. On a multi cylinder engine, a cylinder once compressed returns some of that energy by applying the pressure to the pistons downward movement which in turn assists to rotate the crank. This is not available on a 4 cylinder engine of same cylinder volume, so battery load can be as high with a 4 as it is with a multi cylinder of smaller piston dia.

PS, a turbo diesel increases/varies it’s compression ratio by using a turbo to force air into the cylinder and so doesn’t require initial high compression. It’s compression ratio is dynamic.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:49

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 13:49
.
Way, way back (1950's) on the Woomera Range we had a number of diesel alternators. Many of them were hand-cranked 3 cylinder Listers(?) with an extended crank handle to allow two persons to contribute. But often, I was alone in swinging the handle. They had decompressors of course and the technique was to crank with increasing speed until you figured the moment was right to slap the decompressor lever down. If it did not fire you then had to repeat the exercise and it was twice as hard the second time. You soon learned not to cut corners on the first crank. Also, sometimes if you hit the lever down too soon, the crank would bounce back off the compression and threaten to cause you an injury!
I did learn a little about diesel compression and flywheels at those times.
Fortunately, technology does "march on". lol

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 17:49

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 17:49
Thanks RMD I realise things change over the yrs that's why I mentioned what I put up is old school in my reply all good.
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