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Optima battery questions

Since I'm getting a new suspension pan welded in next week, I would like to remove the cause of the problem so that it can never happen again (lead acid battery leak). I've read about people's experiences with the Optima sealed batteries, so I think I'll buy one. A few questions:

1. What Optima battery should I buy for my 1981 911SC? I've heard red-top, but does anyone have a specific model number? By the way, I'm not interested in saving weight - I want a battery that will last and will not be affected by cold temps.

2. Where's the best place to buy an Optima battery?

3. I've read that the negative battery lead has to be extended. How does one go about doing this?

4. I'm planning on mounting the battery to a piece of aluminum and mounting the aluminum to the hold-down brackets per someone on this board (I don't remember who). Any other suggestions?

5. Anything other helpful comments?

Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2003, 06:57 AM
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I have the red top, the orange is a deep cycle I beleive. Bought mine at Advance auto parts. they had it in stock. The ground lead was a little short, I got a longer one at advance as well. The only thing I would add would be the disconnect which you can get through our sponsor and I then added a battery tender (trickle charger ) connection. Works great...
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:12 AM
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The aluminum plate adapter is the way to go. Optima are distributed by someone on the East coast for $130 shipped to your door (he advertised in Panorama (PCA publication). Could also pick up an Exide similar battery in Strauss Stores on East coast. As far as extending the ground strap you can buy a nice one gold plated even from any Pep Boys and unbolt the old one. I've had no problems with the installation of the red top in a 1987 Carrera and 1993 RSA. The aluminum plate should be about 1/8" thick for countersinking the hold down bolts (Home-Depot flat head SS bolts.
Good luck
Old 02-13-2003, 07:19 AM
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Our own Chuck Moreland (Elephant parts) sells several types of no maintenance batteries. Some are very light...

Worth looking at if you are in need of a battery!

Joe

http://www.elephantracing.com/
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:23 AM
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With due respect to another former Rennlist member, this link to his write up may help with the install process and mounting plate size:

<http://www.softorchestra.com/porsche/optima/optima_and_mount_plate.jpg>

--Wil Ferch
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:24 AM
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Here's a more complete account of this post..special thanks to Alan DuBoff:
---Wil Ferch


Subject: Optima Mounting

Fri, 24 Mar 2000 06:36:37 -0800

Author: Alan DuBoff

Subject: Upgrading to Optima w/template for mounting plate

Body: I have seen a few pieces of information on the Optima battery,
and I think these batteries are really good. They don't leak,
and they won't gather corrosion around the battery terminals
either.

This is something that anyone on the list can do, even if you
are not the type of person that likes to change their own oil,
you can still perform this easy upgrade to an Optima battery.

I have created a template to produce a plate for a '74-'89 911
to mount the Optima battery. This is for a standard 800U or 800S,
I don't know about the other models. Sorry, I don't know how to
get one in another style car, the classics need to mount the
Optima on it's side so it will fit I've read, and I don't know
about the 964s or 993s. I bought a plate from AJ-USA as I didn't
want to reinvent the wheel, but when I saw what I got for $31,
it seemed a little high...

For starters, you can try and print the bitmap (it's in
Windows Bitmap format since most folks use it...I use Unix/Linux,
and can probably create some other format files, but I can't get
them to print out the proper dimensions. These bitmaps will print
in either Adobe Photoshop, or the Image program that ships with
Windows NT 4.0 (I have no idea about Windows 98 or Windows 2000,
I use Unix/Linux most all the time).

If you print the optima_sizes.bmp out and the sizes don't match,
you will not be able to use the template. The other template which
is named optima.jpg is just cleaner with no dimensions and less
clutter..

You can make a plate out of anything, one person on the list told
me they created one with plastic, and I think plexiglass (my
reccomendation, as it's pretty easy to cut and drill) would work
fine, or even plywood, pressboard, or you can use aluminum like
the AJ-USA plate I purchased. While aluminum works well, it's not
easy for most DIY folks to fabricate in their garage typically.

You should use stainless steel flathead bolts with nyloc nuts.
You can get them at your local hardware store (I like to buy from
West Marine, since boating folks use a lot of stainless and they
have a good selection).

NOTE: if you do use aluminum with stainless bolts, it wouldn't hurt
to add a dab of alumilastic or similar that can be gotten at most
any marine chandlery, I got myself into the habit of using it as the
two metals can cause electrolisys of such...here is a pic of it:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/alumilastic.jpg

1/4" bolts that are 1 1/2" long should be fine. Countersink the bottom
side of the plate, so the heads will sit flat.

The plate should be 12 inches long (305cm). and 6 5/8 inches
wide (168 cm).

I am using .bmp as it is fairly common and should print out from a
variety of graphics programs, but check the sizes. You will need to
save these files, use shift-lmb in Netscape.

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/optima_sizes.bmp
http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/optima.bmp

Line the template up on one edge.

Here is a picture of the AJ-USA plate:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/ajusa_mount_plate.jpg

Here is a picture of the Optima battery next to the mounting plate:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/optima_and_mount_plate.jpg

The Optima battery mounted to the plate:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/optima_mounted.jpg

The old battery. Note that mine was not attached to the mounting
bracket anyway, but it looks like it was holding it in place anyway:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/old_battery.jpg

A new ground strap was needed that was just a couple inches longer.
My local auto parts store (Winchester Auto in the SF Bay area) had
a 9 inch ground strap for $4. Here it is next to the old one:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/new_9inch_ground_strap.jpg

Here is the new Optima battery installed:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/new_battery.jpg

And of course, back in stealth mode, hiding in the trunk:

http://www.SoftOrchestra.com/porsche/optima/back_in_stealth_mode.jpg

--

Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:29 AM
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I bought one at a local 4x4 shop. They are very popular with the Jeep crowd because they work upside down, which is the position some Jeeps occasionally find themselves in.
Old 02-13-2003, 07:35 AM
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The orange top is a red with reversed poles. Same rating.

I just went poking around, try batteryweb.com, they show a lot of optima models.
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:38 AM
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Cool

1-don't buy deep cycle, unless special circumstance
3-use a new ground at least as large in amp carrying as stock
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:42 AM
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I like the deep cycle marine style. Best for cars that sit all week or more. I also have an inline trickle charger that can be plugged into the wall while on long trips.
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:45 AM
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I can tell that RoninLB shares the same electrical concerns as I do.

As I recall, you need at least a 9" long negative battery cable. I too was concerned to match the OEM diameter ( ampacity...as it were). Here's a copy of some of my notes:

US Gauge actual mm2 Euro equiv ( nominal mm2)
> 2 gauge 33.6 "35"
> 1 gauge 42.4 -none-
> 1/0 ga. 53.5 "50"
>
> I've measured the short factory ground wire from the battery to be
> ~7.3 mm diameter ( = 42mm2)...so the factory unit is close to US "1" gauge.

--Wil Ferch
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:03 AM
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worth taking a look at.

sonnenschein

they probably will have a dry fit ( not a gel, but no spilled acid ) that will fit without modification. do optimas whip out the cranking amps needed with the 10' battery cables? most marine stuff is big reserve / low crankin' amps.
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Last edited by tryan; 02-13-2003 at 09:31 AM..
Old 02-13-2003, 09:26 AM
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Optima also makes a smaller battery, designed for Corvettes...it's model number is 75/35-925.
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:27 AM
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Will that smaller (Corvette) battery fit in the smuggler's box? I've seen a write-up that uses a golf cart battery or some such.
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:37 AM
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Cool

OK... I decided on an Optima a few years ago.. so I didn't have any motivation to keep looking around at what's out there.. but the subject came up and Jack Olsen had the battery that, IMO, was the one to buy. it was also smaller than the Optima.. I looked into Jack's battery at the time. it was the same mfg. as the batterys that you see in Car Stereo Review/whatever mags. I'd start with Jack, then Elephant Man/Chuck, then it's over

Tryan.. the CCA that your car calls for is best.. more CCA than needed means thinner plates... and deep cycle means that you will deep cycle the battery.. I have the marine disconnect that uses a wing nut, on batttery connector, to disconnect.. so it would be no good for me.. there good for car audio competition and small electric boat outboards.. I guess if your 911 stock good battery goes dead in 2 weeks because of high parked system current draw they may be good.. it'll take a year to tell/maybe less, that your deep cycle still has good initial voltage after a full fast charge
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Old 02-13-2003, 11:57 AM
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It's called the "stinger", look it up on soundomain.com. I have one and it's great!
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:37 PM
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Me too. I replaced two wet cells with one Stinger on the 73E.
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:09 PM
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FYI, The stinger is a rebadged Odyssey dry cell - same as I sell. They put a new name on it and raised the price 50% to sell to stereo enthusiasts.
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:24 PM
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that sounds like 'merica to me!
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72 911t grey/black mine
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02 g500 black/black womanproof
01 f250 psd dirty the mule
60 correct craft starflite cool
69 correct craft torino hauls butt
72 correct craft ski nautique fun
66 vw 1500s will finish someday
Old 02-13-2003, 01:32 PM
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I bought my red top at a battery supply place called electrolife industrial battery and only paid $100.00. I also have a 6volt in my 356.Call around and ask for the price. I found this place in the Yellow pages.
Old 02-28-2006, 09:27 AM
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