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View Full Version : Finally Using a Red Top


Shark Bait
01-09-2007, 01:07 AM
Okay you battery experts out there. I bought a couple of Optima Red Top blems a few years ago now when Uncle Ben did a "buy". One went into the pig which is now gone, and the other one has been sitting on the shelf in the factory wrapper. My 80 has sounded a little weak lately when it is starting, and I'm wondering if I might need a new battery. I figured the old Red Top was probably dead as a door nail, but I put a volt meter on it and it read 10 volts!!

So I'm wondering, if I put this one in my 80 how good is it going to be for me? Wonder how long it might last? Any opinions? :p:

corsair23
01-09-2007, 01:53 AM
I've had 3 red tops in my 40s over the last few years...Personally, I've never been all that impressed with them. Bought them because of the claimed life and ability to sit for longer periods than regular batteries.

But, as long a Pep Boys where I initially bought keeps replacing them for free due the warranty I will keep getting another one. Maybe I've just had a back string of luck with them?

I need to get a battery pretty soon for the LX450 myself (dealer I bought it from bought the cheapest smallest piece of crap they could find to stick in there) and not sure what to go with myself. My experience with Optimas makes me want to look elsewhere but I think the closed battery is a plus on the trail.

Hulk
01-09-2007, 11:10 AM
Chris,

Put it on a charger and charge it up completely before you put it in your 80. I bet it will run like a champ.

SROR/AKA 2BAD
01-09-2007, 01:07 PM
optima has a specific way of charging their batteries, if you want a copy i have it. shot me a pm and i can fax it to you or anyone who wants the procedure.

ginericLC
01-09-2007, 01:17 PM
I think there have been some major differences in quality over the years in Optimas especially in the red top line. Currently there are two versions of the red top available. One is the economy model which is sold at Costco and some other places and the other is more like the older ones. I'm not sure if there is any difference in quality between the two. I put one in my v8j60 in 1998 and last I heard (last spring) it still had it. The guy I sold it to was really hard on the battery too. He put a big stereo in and then he left the rig in a storage facility for 11 months will he was out of the country. It still works. Because of all the negative hype on the current red tops I ended up buying a 1000 CC amp Walmart battery for $72.99 for my 80 and I'm going to add a second one right next to it. They have an awesome warranty and there are Wal Marts everywhere. I really wanted the Exide Orbital but the cheapest I could get it for was about $160 in Idaho. 4 Wheel Parts sells a rebadged Exide Oribital for about $130 and they occasionally have their free shipping deal. When I did the math I realized I could have two batteries for the price of one and for my application two even if lessor batteries is a better deal because of all the electronic gadgets I have on my rig.

SteveH
01-09-2007, 01:25 PM
The inability to sit for long periods of time is what finally soured me on Optimas. I had one last 10 years in 4 diff vehicles (an exception to this rule), and every other one (several) has been troublesome. Interstate Batteries has supported them well, however. Next time, I'll try an Orbital.

Steve

Shark Bait
01-09-2007, 01:51 PM
optima has a specific way of charging their batteries, if you want a copy i have it. shot me a pm and i can fax it to you or anyone who wants the procedure.

Please fax it to me at 303-805-4409. The "owners" manual that came with the battery (I still had it!) didn't say anything about special procedures. It just said there should be a regulated charge.

wesintl
01-09-2007, 03:28 PM
chris can you post it here too

corsair23
01-09-2007, 03:38 PM
chris can you post it here too

x2 Chris :D

ginericLC
01-09-2007, 04:07 PM
http://www.batteriesareus.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=2&chapter=0
http://www.optimabatteries.com/publish/optima/americas0/en/config/product_info/automotive/starter/spec_sheets.RowPar.0001.ContentPar.0001.ColumnPar.0005.File.tmp/34%20&%2034R_082304.pdf

It appears that they need to be charged at higher amps than most home chargers will produce.

wesintl
01-09-2007, 04:21 PM
http://www.batteriesareus.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=2&chapter=0
http://www.optimabatteries.com/publish/optima/americas0/en/config/product_info/automotive/starter/spec_sheets.RowPar.0001.ContentPar.0001.ColumnPar.0005.File.tmp/34%20&%2034R_082304.pdf

It appears that they need to be charged at higher amps than most home chargers will produce.

I just found that too... good god man.

That's some bs just to charge a battery.

Crash
01-09-2007, 04:42 PM
I just found that too... good god man.

That's some bs just to charge a battery.

Might be some bs to charge a battery but I'd rather give that a go than shell out $100+ just to buy a replacement when it wasn't really needed. My Yellow Top has been showing signs of weakness lately and I will be charging it per the first link's instructions tonight, especially in light of the cold weather headed our way.

wesintl
01-09-2007, 04:48 PM
Yeah but a good charger than can run MIN 100amp for 15 min is way more than $100. That's some kind of investment for a Battery charger... All I have is an old skool 10/2 amp trickle jobbi

Shark Bait
01-09-2007, 06:13 PM
Might be some bs to charge a battery but I'd rather give that a go than shell out $100+ just to buy a replacement when it wasn't really needed. My Yellow Top has been showing signs of weakness lately and I will be charging it per the first link's instructions tonight, especially in light of the cold weather headed our way.

Steve, do you have a good enough charger to do that?

Crash
01-09-2007, 06:57 PM
Yeah but a good charger than can run MIN 100amp for 15 min is way more than $100. That's some kind of investment for a Battery charger... All I have is an old skool 10/2 amp trickle jobbi

Hey, when you have five vehicles all with Optimas, a decent charger ain't such a bad thing to have. Some of them sit in the garage through winter and without an occasional buzz the batts will go flat even with the vehicle's ground strap disconnected. I have an older Sears 2, 15, 50 & 225 start amps 6/12 volt charger I'd sell ya for way less than $100. Way less. :o

Shark Bait
01-09-2007, 08:35 PM
OK. I was able to scan the document. Interestingly enough it give a table on page 2 regarding charging. It says a 10 amp charge will get the battery to 90% charged in approximately 360 minutes. So, 10 amps overnight and it should be good, right?

They are too big to load as scanned, 1.3MB each. I'll try and shrink them some.

wesintl
01-09-2007, 11:44 PM
Hey, when you have five vehicles all with Optimas, a decent charger ain't such a bad thing to have. Some of them sit in the garage through winter and without an occasional buzz the batts will go flat even with the vehicle's ground strap disconnected. I have an older Sears 2, 15, 50 & 225 start amps 6/12 volt charger I'd sell ya for way less than $100. Way less. :o

with my luck and batteries i'm thinking of hitting a few yard sales and permanatly mounting a charger in every vehicle hooked up to the battery and then just plug in when I need to :lmao: :rolleyes:

I guess I should get a better charger one day :flamingo:

SROR/AKA 2BAD
01-10-2007, 12:49 AM
sorry, i just got back to this.

i'll still fax this to you chris, the diagram is pretty basic.

Shark Bait
01-10-2007, 01:23 AM
I think I got the gist of it from the links above, Jim. Thanks anyway.

My 10 amp charger shut itself off after 2-3 hours tonight saying my battery was fully charged. Volt meter said it's at 12 volts. Of course it started at 10 volts. Guess I'll throw it in the car and check it out. :D

Red_Chili
01-10-2007, 10:40 AM
If I follow their analogy, the 100A for 10 minutes isn't necessarily mandatory, just makes it quicker. Or, to put it differently, a 10A charge might be like using a 10oz. cup to fill a 55-gallon drum, but if the charger is doing the work it won't impact me if it takes a week.

My yellow tops seem to have revived, so I consider myself newly edjumacated.
[edit] someday that optima link will open... Someday...

Bobzooki
01-10-2007, 01:39 PM
Shoot, the Gnewt just eats Optima's. They stop holding a charge after anywhere from six weeks, to six months. I got tired of free replacements, and put in an Interstate or some such battery, and have had no problems.

wesintl
01-10-2007, 11:42 PM
Thanks Chris!

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/OptimaUser'sGuidepage1.pdf
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/OptimaUser'sGuidepage2.pdf