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post #1 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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battery suggestions

today I picked up a smitty xrc 9500lb synthetic winch with the fairlead for a hell of a deal (260 still in the box). now I'm faced with the realization I'm going to have to finally get a better battery. the last winch I owned was about 6 years ago on my TJ and had an optima powering it. over the years I've seen many optimas fail miserably and I'm not sure if the quality has gone downhill. so I'm here asking for advice, what do you use, what's recommended for use in a daily driven JKU?


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post #2 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 08:17 PM
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i use a winch many times a year, every year on this jeep since 2011-10. battery is just one from O'Reilly and not a AMG type. just the best wet cell one they had. first factory battery died after about two years. that was late 13/10. this one has done well since and still going. even after killing two times from leaving the Cb on on time about two weeks, the other leaving a key in it. The jeep is 95% off road vehicle. here in havasu its hot like 115+ all summer and can even get over 120. though it has not since global warming became vogue. The day we moved here it was 125 in the shade. that was back in 2000. last many years seems like 118 is about tops anymore. though having said that this year it may get 130+. like wash your car and it rains. wash your jeep it breaks down. though most here will say AMG and Optima more than went down hill , it fell off a cliff. made in mexico with guava juice.

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for that, i'll have to stop by a couple shops and see what they have and what's recommended. thankfully I live within a few miles of some off road shops so I can talk with them. also is it still advised to fuse the power lead when installing a winch or has that idea kind of dissipated over time?

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post #4 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 09:05 PM
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would take one heck of a fuse? i have a disconnect on mine on the hot lead at the battery. just never liked the idea in a wreck that cable goes to ground. or if say it stays on maybe like if a solenoid gets stuck etc.

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post #5 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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yea that's why I was asking, the fuse required would be massive and $$$$. how does the disconnect work? do you just flip a level by the battery and your winch gets power?

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post #6 of 19 Old 03-20-2017, 09:52 PM
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Optima moved their manufacturing jobs to Mexico, and their quality control to hell. So, if you put a 7 year old optima against a brand new one today, I would bet the old one will last longer.

Can you tell I'm pissed at Optima? Profits will remain high until all the old reliable ones are gone and people clue in, then Optima had better get dirt cheap, like so cheap harbor freight is selling them. There is an endless supply of guys who had an optima battery for nearly ten years before they had to replace it, then they do it every year. I'm disappointed, but somehow the offroad shops are still stocking them, although my favorite shop says they've heard the same complaints I have.

I just bought a good old Duracell AGM, made in USA, at batteries plus and I'm thrilled with it so far. Of course it's too early to tell, but it's made in USA and all the reviews I found were great and it has a full replacement warranty for 4 years, then it starts the sliding scale.

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 04TJ-jeeper View Post
yea that's why I was asking, the fuse required would be massive and $$$$. how does the disconnect work? do you just flip a level by the battery and your winch gets power?
You can use something like this.


They do sell remote solenoids you can trigger with a toggle switch from inside the Jeep. Make sure you get one rated to handle the amps your winch can draw.

Personally I wouldn't worry about a battery yet.

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post #8 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 08:46 AM
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AGM battery if you are looking to replace yours. The Advance Auto Platinum AGM is made by Enersys, who also makes the Odyssey batteries. They are not made in Mexico and are great batteries. The stock battery is like 660 CCA and Jeep recently put out a TSB saying to replace them with a 750 CCA battery if replacing them.

AGM batteries are nice because they don't spill.

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post #9 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by azzkicker View Post
Optima moved their manufacturing jobs to Mexico, and their quality control to hell. So, if you put a 7 year old optima against a brand new one today, I would bet the old one will last longer.

Can you tell I'm pissed at Optima? Profits will remain high until all the old reliable ones are gone and people clue in, then Optima had better get dirt cheap, like so cheap harbor freight is selling them. There is an endless supply of guys who had an optima battery for nearly ten years before they had to replace it, then they do it every year. I'm disappointed, but somehow the offroad shops are still stocking them, although my favorite shop says they've heard the same complaints I have.
Your understanding of history of design, marketing and manufacturing (and optimum application use) of the Optima coiled mat is lacking...

Almost every failure of Optimas I have seen were not in "as designed" optimum use - expectations of consumer were (and remain) well above design limitations of the coiled mat. If all you need is a battery then a flat AGM or wet is best choice. If you need a battery that can survive 2000 iterations of 3gs (like F1 or indy car on Indy speedway), a tumble down the back straight, or door hammering, or jumping, etc - and still cold crank the car all season long the coiled mat is designed for that - Optima was designed in 1972 (as the Gates Cyclone) for high impact applications\g force applications (like racing where you bang each other and walls) - KNOWINGLY sacrificing CCA and Ah ratings in favor of the rigidity (heavy duty in strength - not power) of the coil mat (spiracell TM) - answering a high perf market need - circle racers who preferred wet for cost (but had to deal with acid leak in wrecks) and AGMs for safety (but the cost was three times a wet and they STILL had plate shorting issues when hitting walls etc)... After losing the lawsuit (for not allowing women to work in the plant unless they signed a child bearing waiver due to dangers of lead exposure) Gates sold the patent to Gyling (manufactured in Scandinavia) who sold it to Johnson Controls (who ALREADY had a manufacturing plant in Mexico for flat plate AGMs so did not want to spend millions to make needed upgrades to the Colorado plant so moved production). It wasn't the cost of labor that offshored battery manufacturing - it was the cost of environmental due to lead! There is only two real need applications for an optima. Full caged racing - or making your car LOOK like full on race performance. They simply CAN NOT deliver the same performance electrically as a flat mat - less area (see the voids between the coils? you don't have that non contact area in flat plate). Sure if you could get a bigger group size Optima and compare it to a smaller group size flat they compare - but in same size box? NO because CCA and Ah is lower and that can lead it to being overworked especially adding winch, lights etc! And then being AGM they SHOULD be discharged and recharged off veh once a year since steady state alternator charging is not best for AGM (and seems to be more problematic on coil cell than flat). Any other claims are marketing - same as selling "racing" cams or "double pump" carbs to pimple faced testosterone filled teen aged car nuts!

That said I did put blue Optimas in my dual set (814CCA is fine for starting or winching in a dual set) - at 80 bucks each getting two years would have been cost effective. They lasted three years and would have maybe another had I rotated - but #2 hit 80% capacity so I replaced with Odyssey 34-pc1500s - 850CCA vs 765 on the Yellow Optima (and the blues are in service as coach batteries in the RV). Which one is going to reach "overworked" status first? You have to go to a 27 Group yellow Optima to get the same power - and then 830CCA! And the Red Optima 34 group is 815CCA (but doesn't like deep discharges from winching so not a good choice in single battery applications).

For off roading and high angle of operation AGM is best. But unless as above you need a "roll caged" battery - stay away from Optima and go flat mat - more plate interaction area so less work, load and wear on the battery.

When installing a winch best practice is going to be dual battery.

Aside from that - get the highest cranking amps available in deep cycle in your 34 case size... or the cheapest battery you can find and replace every two-three years. (just remember the lower the CCA and the lower the reserve amps - the more strain and heat the winch motor will see especially single battery - same principal as air compressor running hot on low v - that's why a guy who buys smittybilt winch and the lessor capable batteries either as mis placed definition of heavy in duty - or cost consciousness, sees one, the other or both as cheap and junk when they fail earlier than expected - wrong expectation more than wrong quality.).

A 600amp (250 break) solenoid works great as a disconnect.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 07:53 PM
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jmwbishop, that was an amazing amount of well-appreciated information. If you don't mind sharing a little more, I have another question:

Do you just run a big solenoid to tie the duals together, or are you using a battery management system?

I'm about to do one or the other. I'm not afraid to spend money on a management system (my builder seams fond of the ibs system), and it would have a cool status display which might be helpful.

Years ago, everybody I saw with dual batteries just had a charge isolator, so that's what I used and never had a problem with it. I'm a little unsure how the more complicated computer system deals with dual batteries.

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post #11 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 07:31 AM
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I haven't delved into the management systems either. I use the Cole hersee smart isolator(s). I've looked and considered processor based system - but the simplicity of isolators seems more reliable (or less computer scary?). The RV style setup (running through an inverter/converter) is about as complex a system as I would want to deal with on trail and overkill for duals (I run three batteries so mounting a 6x9x4 box close to the rear battery was easy). And the i\c still needs isolation between banks.
One of the drawbacks I envision with a manager is when working the winch hard. The v difference between batteries could really cause it to freak out... My guess anyway. I know proper use is winch rest winch rest 40-60% cycles. But honestly? It rarely goes that way, more like winch til the wire smokes lol.
I have seen a few monitoring systems that simply attach leads to each battery and you get the display benefit with isolator simplicity... And I believe I saw one that works directly with the Cole hersee...
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azzkicker View Post
jmwbishop, that was an amazing amount of well-appreciated information. If you don't mind sharing a little more, I have another question:

Do you just run a big solenoid to tie the duals together, or are you using a battery management system?

I'm about to do one or the other. I'm not afraid to spend money on a management system (my builder seams fond of the ibs system), and it would have a cool status display which might be helpful.

Years ago, everybody I saw with dual batteries just had a charge isolator, so that's what I used and never had a problem with it. I'm a little unsure how the more complicated computer system deals with dual batteries.
You don't need duals for a winch. The only reason to get duals (especially adding a deep cycle) is if you are living out of your Jeep. Are you running a fridge, TV, big inverter? A winch needs high amps to pull at it's max. They system you are looking at even illustrates that on their main page.

(I wouldn't wire a winch like they suggest)


Dual high cranking amp batteries would be beneficial for winching. But as noted by thousands of people, who use their winch, completely unnecessary. Need to weld something for a trail repair? Duals, a welding rod, and some jumper cables come in handy. They are useful, but not by most people's standards.

Spend your money how you want, just know what you are spending it on.

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post #13 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AftonJeeper View Post
You don't need duals for a winch. The only reason to get duals (especially adding a deep cycle) is if you are living out of your Jeep. Are you running a fridge, TV, big inverter? A winch needs high amps to pull at it's max. They system you are looking at even illustrates that on their main page.

(I wouldn't wire a winch like they suggest)


Dual high cranking amp batteries would be beneficial for winching. But as noted by thousands of people, who use their winch, completely unnecessary. Need to weld something for a trail repair? Duals, a welding rod, and some jumper cables come in handy. They are useful, but not by most people's standards.

Spend your money how you want, just know what you are spending it on.
I agree you don't NEED duals for a winch. But lack of need is the very def of redundancy. Redundancy is a self sufficient covering of needs in crisis, before crisis occurs. A spare tire is the most common example. Tires, fuel, battery, extraction and personal survival gear are the most important items to address - especially if prone to being in the boonies.
I'm missing the issue with the winch in diagram?
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 08:41 AM
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I agree you don't NEED duals for a winch. But lack of need is the very def of redundancy. Redundancy is a self sufficient covering of needs in crisis, before crisis occurs. A spare tire is the most common example. Tires, fuel, battery, extraction and personal survival gear are the most important items to address - especially if prone to being in the boonies.
I'm missing the issue with the winch in diagram?
Agree, redundancy is great. I don't like relying on others but they always seem to want to help, even if they aren't...

I prefer to ground to battery for something that can draw high amps.

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post #15 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 11:18 AM
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I prefer to ground to battery for something that can draw high amps.
group wheelin is not just social! Its survival sometimes! (we got semi stranded in the toolies outside of Moab once - within half hour one of my buddies started inventorying his food and water - we were close enough to the highway a good hike would get us there before sunset. Lol).
I really did not consider a dedicated ground from the winch all the way to the batt - but makes sense - would certainly help lower the temp in the windings!

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