Which Brand of AGM should I Buy?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 19:53
ThreadID: 30784 Views:5212 Replies:16 FollowUps:24
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Hello all,

Just about to buy a new auxilary battery for my 2005 Hilux TD. The battery from the previous Hilux won't fit in the new battery tray under bonnet.

From reading the archives I have decided that I am definitely going to purchase an AGM, just not sure which one to get.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. I am leaning towards the Fullriver brand but just want to get a good battery.

I plan to mount the old deep cycle wet cell under the tray body of the Lux and will be connecting the two batteries separate from the main starter battery via my Piranah DB180S+. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks. Scott
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:13

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:13
I think you should buy a Waeco.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 154980

Follow Up By: scottp - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:22

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:22
If I was prepared to risk warm beer then I would buy a Waeco but I'm not going to risk it - I'll stick with my Engel. lol.
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Reply By: scottp - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:20

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:20
Let me re-phrase:-
Any advice with regard to which brand of battery or which is the best brand for performance will be appreciated.
AnswerID: 154982

Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:25

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:25
Thank you for the clarification.

Upon further consideration - I think you should buy an Engle.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 154983

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:28

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 20:28
Or, maybe, a Honda?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:06

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:06
Does the "Yamda" come with a lifetime Aglet guarantee?
Or is that only the "Engco" ?

Geoff.
Geoff,
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Follow Up By: scottp - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:49

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:49
What?

No GMC!!!!!!!!!!
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:12

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:12
I bought a Remco AGM from Battery World - one branch was cheaper than Whitworths, another was dearer.

Mike
AnswerID: 154992

Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:39

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:39
Also have the Remco, very happy with it...
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Reply By: Moggs - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:40

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:40
I bought a Remco and am happy with it - has served me well for about 18 months so far - cannot fault it.

Some swear by Fullriver and the more expensive brands - Remco is a cheaper brand - might get 400 cycles with a Remco rather than 550 with Fullriver - for me the cost advantage of the Remco won out.

AnswerID: 154999

Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:19

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:19
Why do you want an AGM? Their main advantage is that they dont discharge gas but if it's going uder the bonnet then that's not important or have I missed something. Does the Hilux use an AGM as standard? Just asking as if you don't need an AGM then you could be saving youself $200.

Adrian
AnswerID: 155015

Follow Up By: scottp - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:34

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:34
Adrian,

The Agm batteries charge a lot faster than the wet cell batteries and the are able to be discharged fully with out any major damage occuring to the battery.

with a six to eight year life expectancy for $275, they seem like good value to me.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:43

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:43
Before I got a solar panel I sat in the one spot for 5 days in warm to hot weather running an 80L fridge. I managed to comfortably get by idling the motor for 15 minutes, 4 to 5 times a day. By my less than scientific testing, from a modern alternator, an AGM will absorb about an amp per minute. This is where they come into their own.

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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:01

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:01
They do charge faster but this depends on the ability of the alternator and the charging profile. Jimbo, I recall reading somewhere that the Terracan has a calcium/calcium standard battery - these accept faster charge and a higher voltage which would suit an AGM. If the Hilux runs a normal battery then an AGM wont work quite as well as in your setup. I have a Disco so the AGM in the back is also the best solution as the standard battery is a Ca/Ca so good match.

This is based on theory and if an AGM works better regardless of the theory then great but I thought it was worth asking in case it saved you a couple of hundred.

Adrian
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Reply By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:26

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:26
Scott,

I've got a Lifeline (these are the dearest) in the back of the car; it's been there for 20 months and is superb. It's main job is to run an 80L fridge and has been excellent. According to the bloke at Federal batteries it is expected to last more cycles than the REMCO, other than that performance is similar.

I recently got a new camper and put a REMCO in there as it is only to power lights and based on discussions with Blue and Moggs I didn't reckon it was worth the extra expense for another Lifeline. You can pick up a 100 amp REMCO for about $260 if you bargain.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: scottp - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:35

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:35
thanks jim

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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:46

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:46
If going for price vs performance vs weight go the Fullriver AGM HGL ,, Notice the HGL ???? Its a true hybrid battery ,not a "deep cycle " and not a starting but a combination of both ,,in the 80 amp range a HGL weighs approx 5kg less than straight AGM , run 5x of same so am "saving" 25kg or roughly the weight of 1 batt.
AnswerID: 155032

Reply By: Member - Jezza (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:05

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:05
Hi Scott,

I've got a Fullriver 95amp/hour under the bonnet of my GQ, and am very happy with it. For good advice and outstanding service contact Val at Fridge and Solar

Cheers,
Jezza
AnswerID: 155041

Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:27

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:27
I also read through the archives but came away thinking Gel was the better choice.

Had an AGM previously - I went with a Gel this time. Can still mount it inside the vehicle.

Gel is apparently more suited to frequent cycling and more tolerant of not being charged back up immediately.

AGMs are good for holding a charge and sitting around. - e.g if it doesn't get a lot of use.

Basically couldn't see any reason why not to get a Gel.
my 2c
AnswerID: 155045

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:32

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:32
I have two Fullriver 120AHs on the CT. Great so far, but still pretty new. One is about 12 months old, the other 7 months. Ask again in a couple of years and I'll give a better response.
AnswerID: 155046

Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:23

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:23
Scott, for what it's worth, I'm going to buy a new battery system this or next week for the winter sojourn.

My second choice is a Fullriver AGM 210 a/h and first choice is a Shenzhen AGM 200 a/h because it has really good technical specifications and has a design life rated at 10 years.
Both look very similar with the lugs on one end and each weigh at least 65 KG.
I can get either for a similar decent price so price is not relevant to the equation.

Fullriver and Shenzhen both make the more 'normal' sized AGM DC batteries.

**Beware** - not all AGM batteries are actually Deep Cycle batteries.

Read the charging specs of your existing DC battery and compare with the new AGM if you are going to either charge or wire them in parallel?
AnswerID: 155060

Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:46

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:46
Hi Mainey,

Shenzhen: Is that a "Vision" battery?
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:03

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:03
Yes, Shenzen is the manufacturer and "Vision" is the type.
However, my battery supplier has just phoned me and advised me my two almost 5 year old Delkors are achieving in excess of 180 and 220 minutes each on their test machine and that's as good as it gets...
he said it would be a waste of money at this point to buy a new 200 a/h battery this year, so that's an extra $280 worth of fuel.
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Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:23

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:23
$280 worth of fuel?

Awsome!

Hope you have a great trip! Let us know how much fun you have when you get back!

I rekon for that much in fuel I could find some where that the missus couldn't use a the credit card!!

lol !!!
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Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:09

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:09
AGM's don't like the heat, so leave your wet cell under the bonnet and put the AGM under the tray.
AnswerID: 155089

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:09

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:09
Funny that Ive got 2 AGMs under the bonnet of a turbo diesel ,1 as starter and other as aux ,pity that the "heat" is detrimental and I have never had a problem that can and does happen with your beloved wet cells ,, good enough for NASA to use AGMs in the extreme heat and cold of space but not good enough for GaryInOz under bonnet, LOL.
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Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:06

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:06
gotta agree with alloy c/t,

Never heard or met any one with an AGM under the bonnet complain about AGM's failing under the bonnet due to heat.

Never heard of AGM's failing!

That could be a new thread! lol

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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 09:47

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 09:47
According to the manufacturers spec sheets (such as Optimas, and Oddysey's) they do have marked deterioation in perfomance when hot. Less actual water (acid) in them means they are more susceptible to heating from other environmental sources than a wet cell. So given the same situation under the same hot bonnet, they will reach the detrimental temperatures earlier than a wet cell, although they would have well and truly outperformed the wet cell up until then. Be aware I was referring to performance (A/H's), not failure rate.

(Have had experience wiring up a "green" house using AGM's, so know their properties well)
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:32

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:32
Ginoz ,,spec sheets are one thing ,real life and use another , also Optima /Oddyseys are not "normal " AGMs in that they are spiral wound "plates" and amps per kg are very poor in comparrison to Fullriver/LIfeline/Remco ect ect ,,by the time under bonnet temps would affect the performance of an AGM ,your wet cell batt would be totaly dry from the same heat.
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 11:18

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 11:18
True, they’re more into the theme of REALY effective cranker batteries and verrrry expensive cranker batteries as well, when compared to some of the 'heavy duty' AGM's available that go well & truly over 200 A/h's for far less than the spiral battery price.
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Reply By: 4145derek - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:21

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:21
I stock Vision AGM's and have had no problems. Check there web site for more info.

VISION

Regards Derek from ABR ABR
AnswerID: 155092

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:09

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:09
Re comment that 'not all AGM batteries are deep cycle'.

I feel it is more correct to say that 'not all AGM batteries are sold as deep-cycle'.
In practice all AGM batteries have deep-cycle characteristics in that they are less damaged by repeated deep discharges than are starter batteries.

The opposite statement 'that not all AGMs are starter batteries' is probably closer to reality. In practice any AGM battery above (say) 70 Ah has more than enough grunt to start an engine. Some vendors do produce small AGMs specifically for starter use - and I'm sure these would also work fine as deep-cycle batteries - but may not be store enough energy to be useful for more than a short time.

Re gel cell batteries. I think a realistic view is that for automobile and RV purposes AGM batteries are logical successors of gel cells batteries - but not necessarily for applications such as storing energy from large scale solar arrays.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 155123

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:41

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:41
Collyn, my point was some AGM batteries are actually not even true Deep Cycle batteries at all.
Fullriver states on their web site some of their batteries are 'general purpose' cranking batteries and some are definately Deep Cycle batteries.
Similarly, the Red Top Optima battery is stated to be a cranking battery, and the Yellow Top battery is rated as a true Deep Cycle battery.


In the context of the relevant post above, Fullriver manufacturer Deep Cycle and also General duty AGM batteries.

Some of the various types of batteries they manufacturer are listed below

DC Series: AGM Batteries for Deep Cycle Service
HGL Series: General AGM Batteries
HGHL Series: AGM Batteries for High Rate Service
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Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:53

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:53
Mainey, is the DC Series is what you Are looking to purchase?

What are your thoughts/experience Collyn?
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Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:56

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:56
Collyn'

Do you have a particular battery that you reccomend or use?
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Follow Up By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:14

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:14
Mainey
It's an interesting one! I know what you say it so, but other makers of seemingly identical batteries do not make the distinction.

I still suspect it is to dissuade people buying the very small capacity (in terms of Ah) AGMs as deep-cycle batteries as they are too small for most such uses. But would be interested in learning why only a few of the makers do this.

Scottp - my own preference is LifeLine or Fullriver.

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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:23

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:23
Scott, the 'Vision' was the 6FM200 and yes the Fullriver was the DC series.
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 16:30

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 16:30
Collyn,

was reading some great stuff on your site ref AGM batts etc.(great site btw)

Interesting to note you say never parallel a lead acid with an AGM.

My dual battery system when charging aux batt must be charging main too, although main will be drawing almost no current hence it switching in the aux. (the 3 wire connection type, earth main batt, aux batt)
So that said they must be in parallel whilst charging surely?

So does that mean that if you are going to go with AGM for your aux, you need an AGM on your main too??

Rgds

Ron
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:22

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:22
have picked up the two Delkors DC's after being fully checked out by the distributor of Fullriver batteries in WA. The results are pretty amazing, neither was charged prior to being tested, sent straight from powering the aux items in the van.

The results were as follows; each battery was 'loaded' with a 20 amp discharge and timed to get down to a set voltage, one stopped at 182 and the other at 205 Minutes, which I was assured is as good as it gets with any 80 a/h DC battery.
I was advised to keep the two batteries for the winter and get them checked again next year, and the guy knows I'm prepared to buy a new battery system and larger solar system!

(Was advised a new 170wt 12v solar panel is being released next month, for any-one interested in a high performance solar system the wait could be worth while)
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Reply By: Flash - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:34

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:34
AGM's used to be ridiculously expensive.....that is changing. (They were developed for the military as they were so damage tolerant)

I have two FullRiver AGM's in my van and love them- outstanding so far in every respect, about one year old.
Suffice to say the next "starting" battery in my Patrol (hopefully a year or so away yet) will almost certainly be AGM and most likely FullRiver.
Cheers
AnswerID: 155134

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