Advice/Opinions on Starting Batteries.

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 08:35
ThreadID: 55554 Views:2530 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Hello all, It has come time for me to update the starting battery in my 3.0ltr diesel Navara and was hoping to get your views.

I have been researching a couple of brands; Exide, Century, Yuasa, Optima and Bosch. I have found a lot of information on the first 4 with usually with good reports (except the Optima which has had some outstanding recomendations and some pretty damming comments as well). The Bosch seems to be a bit of an anomaly, can't find a lot of personal experiences or views on this battery. The Bosch, Century and Yuasa all seem to have similar specs 700CCA etc... any views or opinions appreciated (especially on the Bosch)...
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 08:41

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 08:41
The exide Orbital is probably the technically best battery out there Laz , it is a similar (cylindrical) type to the Optima but better priced (sub $300) and different supplier

I and friends have used same sucessfully for some years now.

It only comes in the one N70 size and is rated to at least 750cca over a wide range of conditions
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 09:15

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 09:15
Hi Robin,
Have another look at yours :-))) They only come in the smaller N50 size.

I know you've had a good run, but I wonder what they are really like with heat and vibration. Its just that I've seen a couple abandoned in the desert. Seemed strange for an expensive battery.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 07:58

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 07:58
Hi Phil

Yes they are rated to 50AH only but they fit exactly into N70 size as a replacement battery, and supply more AH before damage.

I would like to know why they have been abandoned as per your photo as its not a good look, these batteries are still rated as no1 on solid technical grounds but they they are not good value for money like the extremes.

They have massive amounts of lead in them and while they take the same physical size of N70 they are heavier - I bet the person who abandoned it didn't know the current value of lead.




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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 15:06

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 15:06
Gday Robin,

N70 is 305mm long. The Orbital is 260mm which is N50 size.

I don't think they like heat or vibration. On the trip where that photo was taken, we destroyed 2 batteries out of the 7 we had in 3 vehicles. Temperatures at times were 45 degrees in the shade and the corrugations were bad. The two batteries we destroyed were both Calcium batteries.

cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 18:32

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 18:32
Hi Phil

Your right N70 is 305mm , its a bit of a confusing situation.

What I should have said is that the orbital (260mm) at 50AH is exactly the same phyiscal size as my Patrol battery which is 70AH.

I.E. getting across the point that Orbital has less AH because of its spiral wound construction for the same physical size.

It is this construction though that makes them take the heat and vibration , as heavier lead layers / per AH both conduct heat better and withstand the vibes.

The flip side to this though is that the battery has lower internal resistance and can hence take a higher charge current - this in turn can cause overheating if used incorrectly with say a much larger alternater is used or it is not set correctly.



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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 08:54

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 08:54
The Bosch looks like it came straight out of the Century Factory.

Gets lots of anecdotal opinions on batteries, but both the Exide Extreme or the Yuasa Overlander are popular, come with 24month warranty and are made for offroad use. Can get 25% off the Exide extreme at Kmart this week (brings the price down to normal RRP :-))))
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Follow Up By: x4by4 - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:44

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:44
3 years ago I bought an Exide from K-Mart. I charged it overnight before using it.
It lasted 1 day. Took it to the K-Mart service centre and they replaced it after testing it.

The replacement one lasted 1 month then just died on me with no indication that it was going to fail. I suspect that it had one bad cell. Had to buy a new batt from RAC

Eventually returned it to the K-Mart service centre in Sydney and they wanted to give me another battery. I already have a new battery but would take a “dry charged one” ie without the acid in it as I would not need it for 2 years. They could not do this so it was upstairs to the K-Mart store and my money back without any problems.

I wonder how long some of these batteries sit on the shelf self discharging and sulphuring up when they are flat.
Exide had a good name but 2 bad out of 2, I am not game for a third.
Cheers, Pete
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 15:31

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 15:31
I wouldn't be surprised if these were the K-Mart variety of Exide batteries, the ones built to a price not built to a standard .........
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 16:44

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 16:44
Bonz,
Its not like they are cheap - I think they ask about $215 at Kmart, whereas you can get them for $175 any day down at Sprints.

Pete's run was pretty bad though.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 07:42

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 07:42
Phil, I don't mean cheap as in the retail price I mean as in the manufacturing and wholesale price, but I know what u mean that is a very bad run
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Reply By: desert - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:02

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:02
I've had an excellent run out of Optima, both red top starters and yellow top half and halfs. They are very reliable and seem to stand up to rough, outback conditions, however, thy are now too damn expensive and in my opinion have priced themselves out of the market. I'll look to the other cylindrical battery types when next I have to change. BTY, I was getting 5 years out of the Optima.
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:44

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:44
I am happy with my yuasa, coming on to 3 years now and faultless. It would keep going and if I was staying in town I would happily keep it. Good value at $240 3 years ago. But as I'm going bush for several months I will get a new battery just to make sure.

Been looking everywhere in my town for another yuasa but can't find one, damn. I love good Ozzie made products.

Barnesy
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:57

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 11:57
Where did you buy that for that price?
bout that long ago I baulked at paying $170 in kal for a yuasa
and opted for the century at $120 at another place
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:55

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:55
Sorry, now I think about it that was the quote for one of their deep cycle batts. I can't remember what I paid for the crank. Anyway I'm very happy with it and would gladly pay any extra to get another one.
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Reply By: DIO - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:13

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:13
When buying a new battery...ask yourself....is your new battery a recent build? How to check the build date.

Freshness

Because of “sulfation” one should never buy a battery that is more than six-months old. The manufacturing date is usually stamped on top of both Negative & Positive posts. The date can be written in plain text or using an alphanumerical code. The first character is a letter that specifies the month (A for January, B for February) with I being skipped. The second character is a single digit that indicates the year of manufacturing (for example, 5 for 2005).
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 14:31

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 14:31
G'day Laz,

I use the Bosch Gold in the cruiser, were in my 60 and now in the 80, BN70ZZ4WD - 700 CCA - 170 RC - 24 month, and if the top casing is anything to go by..... Made in Australia. Could be the physical size that will stop you from using them? I have no idea of the tray size in the Navara.
FYI
305 mm Wide
175 Deep
225 High, measured to the top of the posts.

I did kill off two on a trip, the regulator decided to have a time out, batteries were game over by the time we had that changed.
Took them back to store number one because they were under two years old..... twenty minutes of testing, discussion etc on getting a replacement, replacements would only carry remaining!! none in store, so batteries and I leave.
Went to store number two, told them the reason for me being there, no problems! Two new batteries in stock.... bagged, tagged and out of store within ten minutes. Bought another to fit into the CT, so have three to rotate. Also run a 110 Waeco in the vehicle, off the Aux battery.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Wayne.




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Reply By: Member - Laz - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 22:37

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 22:37
Thanks everyone for the advice. Went to the local battery shop today and discovered the Bosch is supplied by Century, so Bosch, Century or Yuasa does no seem to matter what you choose you get the same battery (and from what I have found a pretty decent one at that). Thanks for the comments.
AnswerID: 292862

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