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I need battery info guys?

grumpyvette

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
I need some battery info, guys
all three of my corvettes get driven sporatically,they tend to sit in the garage occasionally ,while I drive the others , sometimes for up to three weeks at a time, now its can be because Im doing engine or drivetrain mods, engine swaps, ETC. which I do frequently or just don,t feel like driving that particular corvette, but the end result is that the batterys in the vettes tend to go dead,faster than if they were in use daily even if I use a charger on them, fairly frequently.I usually have batteries die after about 15-20 months, even those garaunteed for 72 months, and its a P.I.T.A. dealing with warranty B.S.
example WALL MARTS best battery tends to go about 15-18 months even thou its warranteed for longer , and the reciepts tend to get lost or fade so you can,t read them.
QUESTION, has anyone found a type or brand of battery that goes long term better than the standard car batteries, IM thinking a marine deep cycle battery may be the trick here???

"Why not hook up a battery maintainer?"

I have several chargers, and use them constantly,on trickle charge,the batterys just don,t hold up as long as I think they should, unless I drive the car frequently, personally I think the vibration durring use helps keep the battery plates cleaner


opinions.info welcome guys
 

sriat

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
82
Location
Kansas
Corvette
1984 Bright Red Coupe
Opinion. I have a couple of vehicles that are not driven often. 2 Vetts one Explorer (Dont ask) and a boat. Anyway all of them set long periods of time without being started. (Boat sets 9 months) I use strictly gelcell batteries. Deep cycle gel cell in boat regular on others. I have been told that when standard batteries go dead it damages them. More times they go dead, the more damage. However on Gel Cell batteries this does not damage them.

Good example is my boat. I run two of these batteries (One for stereo one for starting) with charging to each independantly. I have a 1000 watt system on the one battery and will park the boat to party and will run this battery dead (DEAD DEAD DEAD) Both of these batteries are 3 years old and are going strong.

It also seems that these gel cell batteries charge significantly faster. And of course they do not require water and such.

Just my opinion.
 
T

tonylong

Guest
I store my Vette in the winter and the Jeep in the summer. I use a battery tender (not just a trickle charger) when stored. I've never had a problem starting after storage or with battery life. I use Interstate batteries, the plain jane type. Battery tender is available from Mid America - about $50. I also disconnected the useless under hood lights on the Vette - this helped too, I suspect the mercury switch was being bad.
 

warp8

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
95
Location
Florida
Opinion. I have a couple of vehicles that are not driven often. 2 Vetts one Explorer (Dont ask) and a boat. Anyway all of them set long periods of time without being started. (Boat sets 9 months) I use strictly gelcell batteries. Deep cycle gel cell in boat regular on others. I have been told that when standard batteries go dead it damages them. More times they go dead, the more damage. However on Gel Cell batteries this does not damage them.

Good example is my boat. I run two of these batteries (One for stereo one for starting) with charging to each independantly. I have a 1000 watt system on the one battery and will park the boat to party and will run this battery dead (DEAD DEAD DEAD) Both of these batteries are 3 years old and are going strong.

It also seems that these gel cell batteries charge significantly faster. And of course they do not require water and such.

Just my opinion.

What you are describing is called a deep cycle battery. Gel cells are good for that!
 

Roadster Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
261
Location
Rolling Hills NE of Toronto
Corvette
1996 Roadster CE/LT4/F45
My Vette is stored all winter and driven infrequently during the other seasons. I use a Sears battery minder (1.5 amp) constantly between uses or when it is in storage and a properly sized/rated Delco battery. Battery life is normal and never a dead battery. I also have disconnected the underhood lights. I turn off all accessories (climate control/radio/aftermarket alarm) before shutdown.

I once had a problem with the aftermarket alarm backup battery causing a parasite drain off the Delco, but I disconnected the backup alarm battery and that solved that.

Regarding deep cycle batteries; I used them in my boat and they were good, but I still used a battery minder on them every so often.

I have read that you should buy a good battery minder (tender) versus a cheap one because if they malfunction, then it's not a pretty sight.........think that tid bit came from the Tech Nerd in Corvette Mag.
RG
 

c4cruiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
971
Location
Lacey, WA USA
Corvette
87 Gold Z52 Coupe 02 EB Z51 Supercharged Coupe
I'm not sure that a marine deep-cycle type of battery is suited for use in a vehicle. Deep-cycle batteries are (from what I have read and been told) designed to have extended periods of discharge followd by a full recharge with a charger capable of providing sufficent current to bring these battries up to full charge. I think the charger has to provide a good 20-40 amps and trickle off as the battery charge becomes full.

A good lead-acid battery at a high charge level should easily be able to hold enough charge even with the current drains found in C4's to be able to sit for a few months and still have enough power to start the car.

A fully-charged automotive batteries simply sitting on a shelf will lose about 1% of its charge per month. If you go to a store and buy a new battery, how long do you think that battery has been there or sitting around on a shelf since it was built? Batteries can sit for months and then they go from the shelf to the car and the car starts right up with no jump start or charge needed.

C4's and C5's have some amount of current draw while sitting, Computers, relays and other components that need to have power to keep systems powered up take their toll on a battery when a car sits. Cold temperatures are also hard on a battery. This is where a battery tender can help to keep a battery charge near full, but the battery has to have a full charge to begin with. Many tenders are not designed to charge a battery but to hold the level of charge.

The correct size (group size and amperage rating) of battery is very important. Don't get a battery that is smaller in capacity that what the car came with. You could go larger in the amperage ratings as long as the battery fits in the holder. Also, make sure the terminals are clean and there is no corrosion under the side-terminal rubber covers. The bolts have to be tight.

When I bought my 1992 Vert back in 1995, it had the original AC-Delco battery in it. I would stop driving it in the winter months and occasionally start it and drive it for a half-hour or so on a winter day and then it went back in the garage. I did buy a battery tender after a few years and hooked it up when I was not driving it. In 2003, I took part in the National Corvette Caravan to Bowling Green and at that time, I decide to remove the original battery and replaced it with a new AC-Delco battery. So that OEM battery lasted 11 years and it's still working hard in a friends truck!!
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
1,533
Location
Colorado Springs, CO USA
Corvette
84 Z51 auto R.I.P. 89 black roadster SOLD
Grumpy,

I am going to take a little different route here regarding your battery woes...particularly since you mention the walmart brand (Everstart I think they are called?)...

I had similar problems with that very brand in the Corvette (84)...though had used that brand in a minivan for years and years without a problem. In the Corvette the thing would not last more than a couple of months, and that was with only driving it now and then. Started doing a little research into lead-acid automotive batteries and basically came to the conclusion that depending on the construction of the battery it may very well be a vibration issue that kept killing the Everstart batteries. In my case especially with an 84 Z51, this thing is harsh! A little more research came up with Interstate as a brand constructed such as to be able to better withstand the beating that the battery takes in a Corvette. So, a couple of years now after installing an Interstate I have not had a battery problem since (and I have killed and recharged the thing a few times).

Not to say that you will not need a "tender" for those weeks of inactivity...but it is very possible that you are looking at a vibration issue also.

Bill
 

sriat

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
82
Location
Kansas
Corvette
1984 Bright Red Coupe
Battery Maintenance
The OPTIMA® battery is truly maintenance free. When charged properly you will not have to worry about leaking, corrosion, or gassing. Periodically inspect your battery terminal connections to ensure they are clean, snug, and protected from the elements.

Open circuit voltage (OCV) and storage: OCV: 34 / 34R / 34/78 / 6V / 34M / 75/35 >12.8 volts
(for a fully charged battery)

D34 / D34/78 / D6V / D34M >13.0 volts
(for a fully charged battery)

Battery storage
Because of the high purity lead grid in the OPTIMA battery, it has a self discharge rate much lower than conventional flat plate batteries. This means the OPTIMA can sit for longer periods retaining enough charge to start your vehicle. Depending on storage temperature, the OPTIMA can usually sit for 8 to 12 months and start most vehicles.
When possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location. Check the battery voltage every 6 months and charge if it falls below 12.6 volts.

Remember, newer vehicles with on-board electronics such as computers, clocks, etc., require battery power to retain system memory while the vehicle is parked. If the vehicle is to be stored for long periods you should use a maintenance charger to compensate for this drain. This charger should be voltage regulated between 13.2 - 13.8 volts, 1 amp maximum. On older vehicles, without electronics, disconnect the battery cables when the vehicle is not being used for extended periods.
 

G Winter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
2,177
Location
NW Iowa
Corvette
1990 red convert 6 sp
Over the yrs I have tried many diff brands of batterys. Not including the optima so I can't comment on that. I have finally settled on using only Delco batterys. For me they last the longest, and have the least issues of any battery I have tried. One of the big points is that it is very unusual to have the terminals leak like other brands. The biggest key to long battery life is a good charging system. I find it wise to replace the voltage regulator with a new battery if the regulator is more than 3 yrs old. I think overcharging kills more batterys than anything else. I agree that you should not allow a batter to completely drain, seems to be hard on them. Any battery should be able to handle 4 to 6 weeks even with the drain that you have in the newer cars. When I park my vette in the winter I put the charger on a trickle for a day maybe two about every month. I have good luck doing this.
Interstate batterys may have changed over the yrs but 25 yrs ago I sold them for about 3 yrs and was not impressed with the failure rate in the first 18 months.I have stayed away from them ever since.
The deep cycle boat batterys are a slower discharge battery. In a car they will not give that initial fast spin of the starter but with a stick tranny I think you could crank one all the way to a repair shop. :L They will crank longer than your starter will take it. On that same line of thought the drain you see in the newer cars wouldn't have as much of an effect on them.
I personally knew a 460 Ford pickup with a deep cycle in it that never failed to start even at -20 F and it was not kept well tuned. Some opinion some fact. :)

The battery in my vette is 3 yrs old and going strong.

Glenn
:w
 

Leftoverture

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
4
Location
Lester Prairie, MN
Corvette
1993 LT1 Coupe
I have several chargers, and use them constantly,on trickle charge,the batterys just don,t hold up as long as I think they should, unless I drive the car frequently, personally I think the vibration durring use helps keep the battery plates cleaner opinions.info welcome guys

I think this is your problem. . .possibly overcharging the batteries. If you charge them too much you build up heat and pressure inside that can damage them. The conditions you describe (sitting for up to 3 weeks) should not require any charging or battery tender at all. Your batteries (any auto batteries) should be able to handle that in a car in good condition with no problem. If your battery can't sit that long and still start the car, you have a parasitic drain somewhere or a bad connection. I use a Walmart battery in my C4 and it sits up to three weeks with no problems whatsoever. It will sit (albeit disconnected) in my freezing cold garage all winter and start first thing in the Spring.

Most battery chargers do not automatically fully shut off, they simply go down to very low amperage as the battery nears full charge. . .but they still charge. . .and that can damage your battery. I know a bit about these things. . .I use to work for a battery charger company!
 

88 4 Fun

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
Corvette
1988 Arrest Me Red Coupe
Over the yrs I have tried many diff brands of batterys. Not including the optima so I can't comment on that. I have finally settled on using only Delco batterys. For me they last the longest, and have the least issues of any battery I have tried. One of the big points is that it is very unusual to have the terminals leak like other brands. :w

I snipped some of your message. I had two AC Delcos leak at the side terminals. One in a 1995 SHO and one in my 88 Vette. They both made one heck of a mess. On the SHO I had to remove the battery pan and other parts around that area and clean and repaint. I had to repaint the frame too where the acid decided to end up. I had to repaint the battery side cover on the Vette too due to acid damage. I was lucky and no acid dripped onto any of my wires.

I replaced both Delcos with Optima Red and have not had any problems since. I'll never buy another lead acid battery again and if I do it won't be an AC Delco I'll stick with Interstate.
 
S

sebring silver

Guest
Hi,
I have replaced 3 batteries on my 1996 CE coupe and have only owned it 2 years, the first two were OEM Delco, I hooked up a battery tender last winter which did not appear to work as the latest battery still died, on attempting to get a replacement under warranty I was informed that I should load the battery during the winter months i.e. start the engine once a week or leave headlights on for 30 mins, then reconnect the battery tender to recharge, I was also informed that the only way lead acid batteries will last is to load them up frequently, leaving a trickle charger on for long periods does not help, so far seems ok, my 1996 CE Coupe has only covered 8k miles therefore it spends long periods off the road sleeping in the garage

Sebring Silver UK
 

Leftoverture

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
4
Location
Lester Prairie, MN
Corvette
1993 LT1 Coupe
Hi,
I have replaced 3 batteries on my 1996 CE coupe and have only owned it 2 years, the first two were OEM Delco, I hooked up a battery tender last winter which did not appear to work as the latest battery still died, on attempting to get a replacement under warranty I was informed that I should load the battery during the winter months i.e. start the engine once a week or leave headlights on for 30 mins, then reconnect the battery tender to recharge, I was also informed that the only way lead acid batteries will last is to load them up frequently, leaving a trickle charger on for long periods does not help, so far seems ok, my 1996 CE Coupe has only covered 8k miles therefore it spends long periods off the road sleeping in the garage

Sebring Silver UK

Never heard anything like that before. I used to work in the battery charger business, so I think I know a thing or two. If your battery is fully charged when you put the car away for the winter, and you disconnect it, then it should still be good in the Spring with no battery tender or charger connected. Frequently, as I stated above, people put trickle chargers on and they actually over cook the batteries. Just make sure it is fully charged when you put it away, disconnect, and it should be fine. Been doing this for many years, never a battery failure (and it gets cold here in Minnesota).

You may have another problem, like a faulty voltage regulator, that is destroying your batteries. Have the entire charging system checked and repair as needed.
 
H

HD2HVETTE

Guest
My understanding is that the Interstate Optima uses gel technology, with spiral cells-much more resistant to shock/vibration. They also are spill proof. Walmart batteries are made either by Johnson Controls or Exide Technologies. We sell a lot of batteries in different price ranges, including our own house brand, but from my years of experience the Interstate battery is the best.
 

aboatguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
424
Location
Slidell Louisiana
Corvette
AI head/cam/intake, Vig converter, D44, EM LTs etc
I snipped some of your message. I had two AC Delcos leak at the side terminals. One in a 1995 SHO and one in my 88 Vette. They both made one heck of a mess. On the SHO I had to remove the battery pan and other parts around that area and clean and repaint. I had to repaint the frame too where the acid decided to end up. I had to repaint the battery side cover on the Vette too due to acid damage. I was lucky and no acid dripped onto any of my wires.

I replaced both Delcos with Optima Red and have not had any problems since. I'll never buy another lead acid battery again and if I do it won't be an AC Delco I'll stick with Interstate.

About 2 weeks ago the battery in my 02 impala leaked from the positive terminal. I guess leak is an understatement I went out to the parking lot to start the impala the car started and then died, and the dash was making clicking noises. I killed the ignition and heard noises from under the hood, checked the tightness of the connections and had the side post in my hand.


My parents Suburban is rusting on the frame under the battery mount from where their battery died when the truck was less than 2 years old. According to my dad there it would not start one morning and then he noticed liquid under the truck.

I'm still a chevy guy and I still run a delco in the vette!

At work we use OPTIMAS in the boats, they seems to survive a beating.
Mike
 

Florida Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Messages
166
Location
Florida
Corvette
'96 Torch Red LT4
I drive my Vette infrequently and it still has the original Delco battery in it. I have never had to hook up a charger to it.
 

88 4 Fun

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
Corvette
1988 Arrest Me Red Coupe
About 2 weeks ago the battery in my 02 impala leaked from the positive terminal. I guess leak is an understatement I went out to the parking lot to start the impala the car started and then died, and the dash was making clicking noises. I killed the ignition and heard noises from under the hood, checked the tightness of the connections and had the side post in my hand.


My parents Suburban is rusting on the frame under the battery mount from where their battery died when the truck was less than 2 years old. According to my dad there it would not start one morning and then he noticed liquid under the truck.

I'm still a chevy guy and I still run a delco in the vette!

At work we use OPTIMAS in the boats, they seems to survive a beating.
Mike

All I can say is GOOD LUCK with the Delco in your Vette. I hope it doesn't leak at the side posts like mine did. If it does I hope it doesn't leak all over your wires and relays. If it does good luck getting all of the acid off/out of them.

I'll never buy another liquid acid battery again for my 88 Vette.:(

:w
 

LT4man

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
2,214
Location
Chicago
Corvette
96 Collectors Edition LT4
Interstate or

Optima

You cannot go wrong with either one. The Interstate will drop right in. With the Optima you might have to modify the Cruise Control bracket.

Both batteries will start your Vette. I only use a Battery Tender during the winter months. The Vette might sit for several days at a time. Always starts.

SAVE THE :w


 

Ruby Fan

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
189
Location
NY
Corvette
1985 Black Beauty Coupe, 93 Ruby, 96 CE vert
I have similar situations of inactivity. I have a '93, that I purchased in '99 and I think the battery is now on its last leg. During the winter, I disconnect and recharge up in the spring before first use. I don't or won't believe that it has the original battery in there, although it is a Delco, and it still is possible. This past year I was having battery problems, but there was a lot of non use. I also have a '94 Trans Am, bought new in '93, that is in same situation. This past year, battery needed extra charging, but this battery is ORIGINAL. My theory is to disconnect for the winter, take it out of the car(I didn't), and recharge in the spring. Once a month charging would also help(I don't do that either):Steer
 

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