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Thread: Best battery?

  1. #1
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    Default Best battery?

    Finally got around to hooking up a winch and I'm wondering what's the deal with batteries and winching is. I get having to properly manage the winch is important to not killing a battery but seems like some batteries are superior to others. Can someone drop some battery knowledge on me?

    I read about diehards, about optimas, about odyssey. Sometimes I read these three are awesome, sometimes in reviews it seems like it is hit or miss and sometimes they are ****.

    I don't want to install dual batteries b/c I want to keep weight down.

    08jk w/ smittybuilt x-20 10.

    ty!

    Can't wait to get out w/ NHEx once we get back from our PA family trip.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadjokes View Post
    Finally got around to hooking up a winch and I'm wondering what's the deal with batteries and winching is. I get having to properly manage the winch is important to not killing a battery but seems like some batteries are superior to others. Can someone drop some battery knowledge on me?

    I read about diehards, about optimas, about odyssey. Sometimes I read these three are awesome, sometimes in reviews it seems like it is hit or miss and sometimes they are ****.

    I don't want to install dual batteries b/c I want to keep weight down.

    08jk w/ smittybuilt x-20 10.

    ty!

    Can't wait to get out w/ NHEx once we get back from our PA family trip.
    I'm going out on a limb here; there's no "best" battery, however I'll throw in my 2 cents from (limited) experience.

    I'm running a single Optima Red Top with a Warn 9.5ti winch. A couple weeks ago I had to pull myself far enough out of some pretty serious rocks to allow a friend's winch to assist, without the benefit of a running engine. The battery performed fine, and was able to start the engine after repairs the next day.

    Long story, short version; I put a hole in the radiator, limited coolant, didn't want to do any more damage than had already been done.

    According to Optima wisdom the Yellow Top is better for deep draw (running a winch longer without destroying the battery) where the Red Top is better at cold cranking amps. The battery is over a year old and has run the winch on a number of occasions. I'm happy with it so far.
    Last edited by BlueberryHill; 07-05-2019 at 02:01 PM.
    Mary Anne: 1988 YJ, 258, Weber 32/36 DGEV, AX15/231, 4.11 HP-D30 & non c-clip D35 w/Truetrac, 33" KO2's, BDS 2" lift, a bunch of skid plates, Warn 9.5ti

    Boomer: 1997 Ram 2500 4X4, Cummins 12V, 47RE, work in progress...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueberryHill View Post
    I'm running a single Optima Red Top with a Warn 9.5ti winch. A couple weeks ago I had to pull myself far enough out of some pretty serious rocks to allow a friend's winch to assist, without the benefit of a running engine. The battery performed fine, and was able to start the engine after repairs the next day.
    .

    I appreciate you sharing out. Anyone else?

  4. #4
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    Most of the batteries are made by two companies that work together Johnson Control and Amara Raja from India. Their stamped Optima, Diehard, Napa, plus many more. I typically compare by weight and take the heaviest one, if their close in weight Iíll take the less expensive one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueberryHill View Post
    I'm going out on a limb here; there's no "best" battery, however I'll throw in my 2 cents from (limited) experience.

    I'm running a single Optima Red Top with a Warn 9.5ti winch. A couple weeks ago I had to pull myself far enough out of some pretty serious rocks to allow a friend's winch to assist, without the benefit of a running engine. The battery performed fine, and was able to start the engine after repairs the next day.

    Long story, short version; I put a hole in the radiator, limited coolant, didn't want to do any more damage than had already been done.

    According to Optima wisdom the Yellow Top is better for deep draw (running a winch longer without destroying the battery) where the Red Top is better at cold cranking amps. The battery is over a year old and has run the winch on a number of occasions. I'm happy with it so far.
    ^X2. I've been running an Optima Redtop for almost 4 years, and it is about the only thing that has worked throughout the entire time that I've owned my TJ. The alternator went out on a Friday night just before Concord headed north, and I made it to Pittsburg before the jeep actually died. I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.
    1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ "Barbara Ann": 4.0, 5spd, 4.10s, soft top, mostly stock. 31X10.5R15. Back to being a DD. What could go wrong?

    2013 Lincoln MKS Ecoboost "Lola": All stock, DD. Spun main bearing. R.I.P.

  6. #6
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    Optima sold their soul. They're no longer the Made In America champs they once were. Now its mexico iirc. And quality went downhill. If you need to get it warrantied you only have one shot within 3 yrs, then you're on your own.
    I have an Oddesy and its done well, but it did have a crib death. Getting it warrantied was a hassle.
    For the Xterra i picked up an Autozone AGM. This is my recommendation. Its cheaper than Optima, same length warranty. As I understand AGM is more tolerant of deep discharge and more energy dense.
    Get the largest group batt that will fit the space. A Jeep forum should be able to give that info. Example: in Nissans, the oem is Grp35. I easily fit a Grp24f, and you can squeeze a 120 iirc. The 24f nets me +120 cca and nearly 200 ca
    A larger battery relieves SOME strain off the altenator.
    If youre doing big pulls, you still need a larger altenator. But for short or easy pulls, a larger agm is a decent bandaid.

    I should also add whein I'm winching I watch my voltage guages. I also do short pulls, giving the winch motor and battery time to cool down and charge up.
    AGMs require a higher amperage charging also. so if you have an older 'smart' charger that maxes out at 15amps... Mine has done OK (15 amp max) but I've not let the batt get too low.

    Optimas used to be the BigBadAss of batteries (when they were made in america) it was common to get a 7-10 yrs. nowadays 3-4 yrs seems common.

    ALSO also... is your current battery old? is it a maintenance or maintenance free batt? If your batt is new-ish and particularly if it is maint free (sealed) I'd run it for a while as-is. It's not Necessary to replace your batt just because you have a winch.
    Now if its not sealed, and you get your jeep leaned over a fair bit, or solo trek, then its more worth consideration. Why sealed? so the acid doesn't leak out all over your engine if you flop it. (yes, this is an extreme mode/rare occurrence... Hi Jesse!!!!)
    Last edited by mtyler11; 07-05-2019 at 03:10 PM.
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & HeftyFab bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Posimoto View Post
    Most of the batteries are made by two companies that work together Johnson Control and Amara Raja from India. Their stamped Optima, Diehard, Napa, plus many more. I typically compare by weight and take the heaviest one, if their close in weight Iíll take the less expensive one.
    Its now my understanding that JC and Amara Raja have split as of April 19. JC then sold off their battery division to Brookfield Asset management. JC supplied all the tech to Amara Raja so who knows how the 20 plus batteries they made will fair down the road. I still go by weight/price doesnít matter the brand to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Posimoto View Post
    ... I still go by weight/price doesnít matter the brand to me.
    and this is partly why I go with what I can easily get warrantied (ie. autozone)
    their batt is just as heavy as the Optima and Oddesy, and its easier for me to get it replaced, and for a cheaper price... by at least $50... and then there's the $20reward after 5 purchases...
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & HeftyFab bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtyler11 View Post
    Optima sold their soul. They're no longer the Made In America champs they once were. Now its mexico iirc. And quality went downhill. If you need to get it warrantied you only have one shot within 3 yrs, then you're on your own.
    I have an Oddesy and its done well, but it did have a crib death. Getting it warrantied was a hassle.
    For the Xterra i picked up an Autozone AGM. This is my recommendation. Its cheaper than Optima, same length warranty. As I understand AGM is more tolerant of deep discharge and more energy dense.
    Get the largest group batt that will fit the space. A Jeep forum should be able to give that info. Example: in Nissans, the oem is Grp35. I easily fit a Grp24f, and you can squeeze a 120 iirc. The 24f nets me +120 cca and nearly 200 ca
    A larger battery relieves SOME strain off the altenator.
    If youre doing big pulls, you still need a larger altenator. But for short or easy pulls, a larger agm is a decent bandaid.

    I should also add whein I'm winching I watch my voltage guages. I also do short pulls, giving the winch motor and battery time to cool down and charge up.
    AGMs require a higher amperage charging also. so if you have an older 'smart' charger that maxes out at 15amps... Mine has done OK (15 amp max) but I've not let the batt get too low.

    Optimas used to be the BigBadAss of batteries (when they were made in america) it was common to get a 7-10 yrs. nowadays 3-4 yrs seems common.
    Not sure this is accurate; Johnson Controls built that factory in Mexico over 10 years ago, and has been the sole manufacturing facility for at least 5. This from CR:

    "Most aftermarket car batteries sold in the U.S. are made by three companies that build them for retailers: Johnson Controls, which supplies more than half of the market; Exide; and East Penn. They are sold under various names and built to the specifications of retailers, so performance can vary."

    Most batteries for commercial use, both AGM and flooded, are made outside of the US because of environmental issues with lead. We run into this where I work as we source AGM batteries. They are much more tolerant of deep draw, however, parasitic draw of less than an Amp will run it down to the point where conventional chargers are set to indicate a damaged battery, less than 10.5 volts. Here's a pretty good explanation:

    https://www.carbatterychargerscentra...ality-as-ever/
    Last edited by BlueberryHill; 07-05-2019 at 03:39 PM.
    Mary Anne: 1988 YJ, 258, Weber 32/36 DGEV, AX15/231, 4.11 HP-D30 & non c-clip D35 w/Truetrac, 33" KO2's, BDS 2" lift, a bunch of skid plates, Warn 9.5ti

    Boomer: 1997 Ram 2500 4X4, Cummins 12V, 47RE, work in progress...

    The Ancient and Honorable Society of the Leaf Spring
    Tread Lightly!
    KC1EIJ WQZJ411

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtyler11 View Post
    Why sealed? so the acid doesn't leak out all over your engine if you flop it. (yes, this is an extreme mode/rare occurrence... Hi Jesse!!!!)
    Bro my AC Delco battery was FINE after I rolled. I even winched myself up the ledge without the engine running after I got it rubber side down again!

    I've had good luck with a conventional Delco flooded battery. And my winch has seen a fair amount of use. Stock alternator, I like to run at a fast idle when winching. I have had the alternator overheat and shut off for a few seconds when winching, so its lifespan has probably been shortened, but I can say that about most things on my Jeep.

    Short version, you definitely don't need to go to dual batteries for occasional winching of a lighter vehicle like a Jeep.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    Last edited by FreakinJeep; 07-05-2019 at 07:27 PM.
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8 swap, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
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  11. #11
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    Thank you to everyone who has shared some insight.

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