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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
digizure
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Optima Battery

I did a search on Optima Battery and it seemed like they're not reliable anymore. Then again, the newest post I could find was back in 2008, 2009. Does anybody have good experience with these batteries in 2010? New design? I found a red top for $110.00.

I don't have a winch but I do foresee a winch a few years from now. I also have two off-road lights and I plan to get an electric fan soon. That's pretty much it.

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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
greenjeep88
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There was just a tread about this last week and it didn't have food thing to say about the new red top
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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:23 PM   #3
greenjeep88
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Good not food
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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:24 PM   #4
digizure
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Ha, I figured that. Why don't you have good things to say and when was this battery purchased (if it was)?
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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
greenjeep88
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I don't have any exp with these batteries but I just read a tread in jeepforum.com/forum/f20 I think I saw it this last weekend alot of guys had input. I with try to find it later because right now I'm on a iPod touch
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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
mistertierney
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I dropped an optima yellow top in a month ago and it has been amazing. I can't kill it. I had my sound system going for 6+ hours with the sub pounding and it fired right up. This thing is only a month old though. If it keeps it's performance over the long term then i will be truly impressed.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 07:57 PM   #7
greenjeep88
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Now with a deep cycle battery do you need to change your charging system?
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Unread 05-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #8
AZoriginal
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You're concerned about the Optima batteries? I can share with you that my fleet manager for our company, responsible for 110 vehicles, will only use the Optima Red Top. We deal with the extreme heat in Phoenix Arizona and have not seen any loss in reliability in the last couple years. They perform great.

I just installed one in my Wrangler. I recently installed a winch and I may swap out the Red for a Yellow if I start using the winch a lot. I don't know what the fuss is about. The best prices I'm seeing right now are at Costco. Sam's Club probably also has good prices.

The Yellow is more expensive, so you need a compelling reason to buy a deep cycle. And no, your charging system will handle the deep cycle just fine and the $110 price is probably a knock off. The real thing will be in the $150 range.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #9
1993sahara
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i have 2 red tops one in my yj and the other in my 71 chevelle. neither have given me headaches that i didnt cause myself.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:28 PM   #10
K4KAS
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I am currently deplyed and the NCOIC of the Refueling Maint Shop. I have a huge number (sorry cant tell you) of vehicles and field type equipment. I use redtops on almost all of them. I have alot of them in series as some of the equipment uses a 24volt setup. On that equipment, it was manufactured with a 24 volt aircraft battery. When those go bad, we will put 2 redtops in its place. I have a redtop in my YJ, a redtop in my FJ. I personally dont have any problems with them. I have heard of the problems a while back. But only on forums and such. Something about them selling out and the current management had changed something.
I will probably swap out my YJ's red top for a yellow top when I get back.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:39 PM   #11
dobslob
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The problem most see is because they are told to use the yellow top for heavy use. This is not true. The yellow top is designed for "demo" vehicles based on power supplies that will maintain 13.8 volts or more, much higher than a red top. The yellow top is a great battery, but only when used for what it is designed for. On most any daily driven rig, the red top is a much better choice, and on a trail rig it is the only one. The yellow top will work fine for a while on the road, but since it will rarely see enough voltage to get a proper charge it will not last long. This is why most people have not had much luck with them.

Sadly, the days of the 7 year warranty on an Optima are gone, but they are still a very rugged battery.

I have a pair of 10+ year old red tops in my Jeep, still running strong even in the AZ heat.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 12:24 AM   #12
K4KAS
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Copied the below straight from, Optima's site:
RedTop: Use this for normal engine starting where an alternator immediately monitors the state of charge and provides energy to the battery whenever it is needed. This would describe most stock vehicles.
  • Automotive and RV under-hood starting
  • Heavy equipment where starting is the primary function
  • Diesel powered vehicles with no aftermarket electronics
YellowTop: Use this when electrical loads are higher than average, or when the discharge cycle is more than typical engine starting, such as vehicles without alternators. This also includes vehicles with significant electrical loads that may exceed the average alternator output (for example aftermarket audio system, GPS, chargers, winch, snowplow, inverters, drag cars). This can also include vehicles that have a lot of electronics from the factory, such as a minivan with power sliding doors and a DVD player, especially if the DVD player is used when the engine isn’t running.
  • Racing vehicles without a charging system (alternator or generator)
  • Dedicated drag racing vehicles
  • Diesel powered vehicles with aftermarket electronics
  • Car audio/video applications exceeding 250 watts over the OE system
  • Vehicles or heavy equipment with inverters, hydraulics, winches or other accessories
  • Electric vehicles
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Unread 05-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #13
08JKSAHARAUN
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Older manufactured Optimas (any color) were good. New ones, since they moved production to Mexico, are plagued with problems and failures. Initial performance when you buy it will be good but long term life sounds like it may not be what it once was.

Odyssey batteries are the way to go. They are pricey but with a 4 yr warranty, you will get your investment back out of them over the long haul. Extreme heat and vibration are OK. I've used them for years in my other vehicles and boat with no issues. Check out their website for more info ODYSSEY Batteries - Official Manufacturer's Site They also offer more power in the same footprint over Optima.
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Unread 05-21-2010, 10:39 PM   #14
dobslob
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You don't have to trust me, I'm just telling you about the design as someone who has installed thousands of Optimas and designed the electrical systems for them, what I know. Take a look at the technical specs for the batteries, not the advertising departments thoughts. The yellow top batteries need a higher charging voltage than a red top.
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Unread 05-22-2010, 09:33 AM   #15
K4KAS
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According to the spec on their site they are very close to each other. Any stock alternator in good order should be able to provide the 13.65 volts the yellow top requires. What specs do you speak of?

Recommended Charging Information:
Series 34
Red top
Alternator: 13.3 to 15.0 volts
Battery Charger (Constant Voltage): 13.8 to 15.0 volts; 10 amps maximum; 6-12 hours approximate
Float Charge: 13.2 to 13.8 volts; 1 amp maximum; (indefinite time at lower voltages)
Rapid Recharge: Maximum voltage 15.6 volts. No current limit as long as battery

Yellow Top
Alternator: 13.65 to 15.0 volts
Battery Charger (Constant Voltage): 13.8 to 15.0 volts; 10 amps maximum; 6-12 hours approximate
Float Charge: 13.2 to 13.8 volts; 1 amp maximum; (indefinite time at lower voltages)
Rapid Recharge: Maximum voltage 15.6 volts. No current limit as long as battery
(Constant voltage charger) temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until
current drops below 1 amp.
Cyclic or Series String Applications: 14.7 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 1 hour.
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