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Unread 05-15-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
mikeumkc
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Battery questions for winch. Optima or Sears Platinum. which group?

I finally installed my winch. I can't be more excited with how it turned out and can't wait to use it.

I figure I should probably upgrade the battery. Was thinking of the Optima yellow top or the sears platinum agm batteries. Any opinions on which?

Also, what size or group (34?) do I need to get to go in my CJ?

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Unread 05-16-2011, 06:30 AM   #2
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I have used the Die Hard Gold for the past 30 years with my 8272.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 06:33 AM   #3
little_Jeep
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Do search..... Optima's use to be a good battery..... not anymore. The New Optima's have very bad reputation. Ask a 100 people which battery is better, you will get 100 answers,,,,, search, there are threads that have hashed this subject to death.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 07:31 AM   #4
twoleos617
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Group 34 is right.
I never could find a diehard that would fit the stock tray.
Went to AZ with measuments of CJ battery tray. I found one that fits perfectly and is not listed as a CJ battery.
Its a dual post which i utilize for grounds on the neg side post and eventualy be used for a winch on the pos side post.
It has 800 CCA and 1000 Reserve.
Has an 8 yr free replacement warranty then prorated after the 8 yrs.
So far its been great! its def working better then my 2001 battery...it was on its last leg!

Item # 34DT-DLG

Got mine on sale for $95

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/Duralast-Gold-Battery/_/N-8gcxb?counter=0&filterByKeyWord=34dt&fromString=se arch&isSearchByPartNumber=true&itemIdentifier=3169 3_0_0_
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Unread 05-16-2011, 08:17 AM   #5
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W
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoleos617 View Post
Group 34 is right.
I never could find a diehard that would fit the stock tray.
Went to AZ with measuments of CJ battery tray. I found one that fits perfectly and is not listed as a CJ battery.
Its a dual post which i utilize for grounds on the neg side post and eventualy be used for a winch on the pos side post.
It has 800 CCA and 1000 Reserve.
Has an 8 yr free replacement warranty then prorated after the 8 yrs.
So far its been great! its def working better then my 2001 battery...it was on its last leg!

Item # 34DT-DLG

Got mine on sale for $95

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/Duralast-Gold-Battery/_/N-8gcxb?counter=0&filterByKeyWord=34dt&fromString=se arch&isSearchByPartNumber=true&itemIdentifier=3169 3_0_0_
I though I read a thread on JF about not using the side post for starting, or a winch. Something to do with a smaller internal connection on the inside.
I didn't respond to the thread, because I didn't know. It is nice to have the 4 posts on the battery.

Bill
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Unread 05-16-2011, 08:27 AM   #6
twoleos617
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hmm? thats a new one on me. wonder if that make-specific or standard config for all batteries?
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Unread 05-16-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucdog View Post
W

I though I read a thread on JF about not using the side post for starting, or a winch. Something to do with a smaller internal connection on the inside.
I didn't respond to the thread, because I didn't know. It is nice to have the 4 posts on the battery.

Bill
At one point in time, Optima had in their tech pages on their Web site not to use the side post for winch connections as the internals of the side post were not designed for anything other than starting the engine.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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*IF...

You intend to USE the winch, or any other high electrical drain device, then you should probably go with DUAL BATTERIES instead of a single battery.

Since a winch is often used when the engine can't or shouldn't run, you are on battery power alone,
And there still hasn't be a common alternator made that can keep up with the demad of a winch,

SO...
You are at the mercy of the STORAGE you have.
Dual batteries are MUCH BETTER STORAGE than a single battery.

They also add REDUNDANCY to your vehicle.
With dual batteries, you have TWO chances to get back home in case something goes wrong with the charging system,
OR you have to run the winch much longer than expected.

If you go with a single battery,
And you DO NOT INTEND TO BE UP-SIDE-DOWN A LOT...
Then go with a FLOODED, LEAD/ACID BATTERY.

Standard, Flooded (Liquid Electrolyte) store more energy,
They release that energy much faster,
And they live longer than AGM or Gel Cell batteries.
They are also MUCH less expensive!

They will discharge deeper and still recover better than AGM or Gel Cell batteries.

Just a better way to go all around!

-----------------------------
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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
*IF...
............

If you go with a single battery,
And you DO NOT INTEND TO BE UP-SIDE-DOWN A LOT...
Then go with a FLOODED, LEAD/ACID BATTERY.

Standard, Flooded (Liquid Electrolyte) store more energy,
They release that energy much faster,
And they live longer than AGM or Gel Cell batteries.
They are also MUCH less expensive!

They will discharge deeper and still recover better than AGM or Gel Cell batteries.

Just a better way to go all around!

-----------------------------

I probably wont be using my winch ALL the time as I don't really go gonzo with offroading. Trails are my thing. I'd like to stick with a single battery.

So what is a "flooded" battery. Can you give an example of what you would recommend in that category?
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Unread 05-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Flooded Electrolyte, Liquid.

AGM (Activated Glass Mat) uses a gel in a fiberglass mat to hold the electrolyte on the plates.
AGM batteries are easy to identify, they look like a 'Six Pack' from the bottom.
These cells are long, very THIN plates wrapped like a 'Jelly Roll' with the fiberglass mat/gel electrolyte and stuffed into 'Tubes'.

The advantages are no gas venting, light weight and they can be mounted at about any angle since there is no liquid electrolyte sloshing around.

The disadvantages are very thin plates that like to crack and break rendering the cells weak or completely no operative,
The gel electrolyte can't vent gas bubbles created when you charge or discharge the battery heavily, creating 'Dead Spots' on the plates,
And the electrical contact bridges between cells are very light duty, so they crack and burn up if you discharge the battery heavily.

The thin plates use thin connectors between cells which don't transmit the electrical energy all that well,
And if you draw on the battery heavily for very long, those connections overheat and break down.

Since the connections between cells are smaller, they don't take vibration or impact very well, easily cracking.

--------------------------

Gel cells are traditional shape of batteries (Square or rectangle shaped cells), but the electrolyte is gelled so it doesn't vent gasses, and since there is no liquid, the batteries can be mounted in any position.

Since there is a LOT of electrolyte in the cells, they store a much longer lasting supply of energy.
They usually have heavier connections between cells and thicker plates that make for a battery that handles vibration/impact much better than an AGM battery.

The draw back is with the gel electrolyte it's self,
Since it's a gel, the battery makes power slower, so you can draw a lot of amperage as quickly as you can with a flooded lead/acid battery,
And the same problem remains with trapping air bubbles/scale from the plates produced during high charge/discharge rates.
Those gas bubbles get trapped next to the plates, creating small 'Dead Spots' where the electrolyte can no longer reach the plate.

Sometimes you can heat a gel cell to liquefy the gel again, releasing the gas bubbles, but this is risky and usually only works about half of the time...
The other half of the time you ruin the battery completely.

-------------------------------

Flooded (Liquid) electrolyte batteries give up the gas bubbles very easily, keeping the electrolyte in contact with the plates.
If you don't plan to be up-side-down very often, and you can mount the battery in an upright position,
Then a flooded lead/acid battery is much CHEAPER, lives longer, is harder to kill with vibration or heavy charge/discharge than Gel Cells or AGM batteries.

If you are buying new,
Then look to a farm store or heavy equipment type battery.
"Rough Service" batteries usually have some features that most passenger car batteries don't...

They have 'Mud Trays' in the bottoms of the cells,
An open area UNDER the plates for contaminants and scale off the plates to collect without shorting out the plates from the bottom.

They usually have plate capture both top and bottom to keep the plates from breaking loose in high vibration or impact situations.
(Like in farm tractors or heavy equipment when there is no suspension and constant vibration)

The electrical bridges between cells are usually much larger/heavier duty, and they are usually supported so they don't break as easily if the battery takes lots of vibration or impact.

Most 'Rough Service' or 'Industrial' application batteries have heavier cases to protect the plates/contents of the battery.

Don't pay attention to the 'CCA' or 'CA' of the battery, usually around 650 or 750 is plenty.
In the case of winches, inverters, ect. you are looking for a battery that puts out longer AMP HOURS of service.
The longer the Amp Hour rating, the longer your winch will work before the battery is damaged.

Since I trail ride, and those trails pound the crap out of my vehicle,
I normally look for a 'Rough Service' battery that will live, opposed to an 'AGM' that is lighter, more expensive, and hasn't lived as long for me in any circumstance.

Remember, WEIGHT is the deciding factor in HEAVY DUTY BATTERIES.
The heavier any given size of battery is, the more electrolyte, plate material and bridge material there is!

Since I'm not up-side-down or on my side very often, I go with flooded, rough service batteries and they have lived several years for me,
I can NOT say that about AGM batteries, I have yet to have an AGM live through more than two summers...
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Unread 05-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #11
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As to your 'Group' question...

'Group Size' refers to the BCI (Battery Council International) case size of the batteries.

Most common TOP POST sizes are Group 24, Group 27, and Group 31.

Forget using side post batteries, the connection terminals are just too weak for heavy Jeep use.
I don't know how many terminal slugs I've seen broken off inside the battery.
Weak connection bridges between cells and connection terminals.
Contact area of connectors is always an issue, since side terminals are designed to have an air gap between connectors and terminals, that area corrodes and you can't see it...

--------------------------------------

BCI (Battery Council International) is the governing body that determines battery size/shape.

LINK:
http://www.batterycouncil.org/

There will be many choices in every 'BCI Group Size',
From amperage rating, to amp hour, ect.

There will be side post, top post, threaded terminals, ect.
For instance,
A 'Group 31' battery is the type used in most big trucks and smaller heavy industrial equipment. Pretty standard battery, available everywhere and is an 'Industrial' type battery by design.

It's slightly larger than a 'Group 27' size battery, comes with both standard posts or threaded terminals on top.

When you want threaded terminals in a BCI Group 31, you order a BCI Group 31T.
When you want a Deep Cycle in BCI Group 31, you order Group 31DCM (Deep Cycle/Marine) which usually has posts and threaded terminals.

A Group 27 is the larger of the "Common" Consumer (opposed to 'Commercial', 'Industrial' or 'Rough Service' battery)
This is the size of larger Deep Cycle batteries you see at Wal-Mart or where ever.
Very common size, Ford and Chevy trucks and larger cars used them for years, and most lighter duty equipment uses them to this day, like 'Bobcats' and smaller farm tractors.

Since the terminals are on top, but off to one edge of the group 27, there is a Group 27, and a group 27F which has revered terminals.
Since Ford used a reversed terminal arrangment, that's where the 27F terminal arrangment came in.

Same with a Group 24 battery.
Smaller of the 'Common' Deep cycle sizes, and a very common battery,
Group 24 has the terminals in the 'Straight' position,
Group 24F has them reversed.
No difference in the batteries, just terminals in different locations.

----------------------------------

Remember, the BCI Group Size is only the size of the case, terminal configuration and mounting configuration, it has NOTHING to do with the CA, CCA or Amp Hour rating!

When you are shopping for batteries, Try and stay away from 'Maintenance Free' batteries...
Since you WILL be charging/discharging your battery pretty steeply with a winch, or if the alternator fails, or when you leave the Jeep sit for long periods of time, ect.
Then it's a MUCH better idea to go with a battery you can add to the electrolyte level...

Adding DISTILLED water (NOT TAP WATER OR 'DRINKING' WATER!) to the cells to maintain the electrolyte level since heavy charging/discharging will make them vaporize some of their electrolyte content!

Water Softener Salt, Chlorine in city water, Dissolved solids (like salts or potassium) in 'Drinking' water will SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR BATTERY!
These things attack the electrolyte and plates in the battery, and you should NOT use them!

Distilled water only! No solids, no chemicals, NO PROBLEMS!
Distilled water is about $3 a gallon, and a gallon will last the life of the battery unless you turn it over and drain it!

I use a PAIR of group 24 batteries in the little CJ,
And a single Group 31 in the FSJ with no problems for several years,
And I leave crap turned on REGULARLY, requiring frequent charging.
Other than a little extra corrosion and adding water, no issues.

Remember, the HEAVIER the given group size battery is,
The more electrolyte, plate material and heavier case/bridges it has!
Simply WEIGH the battery you are looking at, compare it to others and buy the HEAVY one!
Everyplace has a UPS shipping scale, and if they won't let you use it, they have something to hide!
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Unread 05-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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One thing you didn't cover was battery cables.
When you connect your winch, it will draw as much amperage as the starter motor,
But it will do that drain much LONGER than your average starter motor!

Use LARGER CABLES.
The amperage is going out longer cables, so you need LARGER cables than the starter has to transmit that energy without heating up and restricting the current to the winch.

Most winches come with UNDERSIZED cables!
I would recommend at LEAST a 4 AWG cable! (AWG = American Wire Gauge)
I use 2 AWG on my 8,000 pound winch, and they STILL get warm in a hard pull!

The winch came with a very poor quality 6 AWG set of cables, and the instructions recommended grounding to the frame.... BAD IDEA!

When I wire up large loads, I use WELDING CABLE.
Fine strands makes them carry more amperage, they are easier to bend so it makes mounting much easier,
And the insulation is designed to handle Ultra Violet (UV) chemicals, heat and abrasion better than the standard 'Automotive' insulation on most winch wiring leads.

Connect Positive and Negative DIRECTLY TO THE BATTERY!
DO NOT FRAME GROUND!
Steel is a horrible conductor of amperage, rusts easily and will let you down in the long run!
Since you are already running one wire, it's only a little more trouble to run a good ground to the winch, so why not do it!

Keep splices, terminals, ect. to a minimum on your battery runs!
Every splice is restriction to the current flow, and it's a point where corrosion can enter the system.

Use HEAVY DUTY termials, Crimp, then SOLDER the connections with SILVER BEARING ELECTRICAL SOLDER.
Seal them up with heat shrink tubing to keep the corrosion out.

Crimping is a MECHANICAL CONNECTION, and it WILL let moisture/corrosion enter the connection!
Silver bearing ELECTRICAL solider (Radio Shack) will seal up that opening giving you a PROPER ELECTRICAL CONNECTION!

Sealing with heat shrink tubing will finish the job, and don't forget to add grease to the terminals to prevent corrosion when you make the connections!
----------------------------
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Unread 05-16-2011, 11:11 AM   #13
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This is so much info to digest that I need to subscribe. Thanks for taking the time to give the detailed answers. Now I just need to read it all and try to understand it.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 11:59 AM   #14
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wow. just wow Jeephammer. Thanks for the info. you would be proud of my wiring though. I used thicker cables than what came with it and did run pos and neg to battery posts.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeumkc View Post
wow. just wow Jeephammer. Thanks for the info. you would be proud of my wiring though. I used thicker cables than what came with it and did run pos and neg to battery posts.
VERY good start!
Doesn't matter what battery you have if the current can't get to the winch!

Most people mistake a 'Crimp' or Mechanical connection for an Electrical Connection...
Crimp terminals, with a few very specific exceptions, are NOT an electrical connection.

Nothing like having the wires 'Tinned' or 'Silvered' with a good silver bearing solder to make sure they conduct the current, and don't just corrode where you can't see the corrosion.

Nothing like having high heat insulation with abrasion resistance like comes on welding cable.
It isn't shiny like Automotive wiring, but it works so much better for the application it's not funny!
Besides, I don't know anyone with winch wiring that doesn't rub SOMEWHERE on the way to the winch!
And the engine bay can make for some pretty high heat situations...

With my dual batteries,
The way they are wired, I'm NEVER left stranded!
One battery can fall out of the Jeep and I wouldn't know it until I raised the hood!

I've used DUAL winch solenoids (dual Starter Solenoids also) so if one winch solenoid fails, the second battery/winch solenoid takes the full load and I'm still working.

With dual batteries for the winch,
I can get in even if the alternator fails, since there is so much reserve in the batteries. No carrying an extra alternator!

With dual batteries and heavy leads to the front of the vehicle, I can do moderate welding right off the batteries,
And anyone that has ever seen a DC weld knows they dig deep for good penetration, and come out looking pretty good in the process!

There are so many advantages to having redundancy (Dual batteries/dual solenoids) that I can't imagine NOT having them anymore!
With a simple plug in, I can run the winch, jumper cables which double as my welding leads, plug in my inverter for 110 volt power for tools, unplug one battery for camp use, like fans in the tent when it's hot outside or for running radios or recharging phones/GPS units, ect.

Again, when I'm using plug in terminals, I OVER SIZE them so the contact area is sufficient to carry the amperage I'm drawing.
Same kind they use on high amperage connections for battery powered fork lifts and mining equipment.
Makes things a SNAP to connect, disconnect so you can secure your stuff when you aren't using it!
(Winch thieves, inverter thieves can suck my toes!)

Since you use the same connections for everything, it's all interchangeable... Meaning I only have to carry ONE set of jumper cables, which double as welding leads...
No second alternator for welding.
Just plug in the inverter for the saws-all or electric chain saw or drill without changing those darn little batteries that I ALWAYS forget to charge!

If you have a single battery,
Don't throw out those 8-10-12-14 volt battery powered drills, saws, ect. when the battery stops working!
It's easy enough to attach a light cord to them and power them off your battery in the vehicle!
They make GREAT camp/trail/field tools even after the battery goes dead (and it costs you more for a new battery than you paid for the tools!)

I keep an eye out for battery powered tools in good shape at yard sales...
You buy them for a few bucks (usually under $10), add a cord with battery clamps, and you are off to the races with a field drill or saw with no issues!

Anyway, just some ramblings from an idiot that has done everything in the field all his life!
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