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Jag Daddy 10-30-2003 01:52 PM

Opinion on Optima Batteries
I was at Costco last night and noticed they are selling Optima Red Top batteries. Anyone had any experiences with Optima's? Do I need to make any changes to the system to use one? They look physically smaller than a stock battery.


zonk 10-30-2003 01:57 PM

I've use'd one in the coupe for 4years not a bit of trouble,no corrosion on terminals,can be mounted about anywhere any position, do not need a battery box if in trunk would recommend for any vehicle. :thumbup:

Stroked_Jeep 10-30-2003 04:31 PM

Great for Jeeps. Like Zonk said, very rugid and work at any angle with no acid spill. The downside I have heard is that they don't have the life that traditional lead/acid batteries have.

hotwheels55 10-30-2003 04:41 PM

They can be physically smaller, but they usually have much more CCA (cold cranking amps) than anything that comes in your car originally. They do not have the traditional liquid battery acid in them, so they can be mounted upside down if that interests you.
As for life span, I had one in a classic car that sat for six months at a time during the winters. The OPTIMA never failed to start the car. That battery was still showing peak CCA after almost seven years. They will recharge quicker than a lead acid type battery.
Check out the warranty of an OPTIMA. It is longer than any other lead acid battery.
If you chose to mount an OPTIMA in your trunk, they do not need to be vented like a lead acid battery.
When OPTIMA was being developed, the manufacturer provided them to state law enforcement in AZ (for the heat) and CO (for the cold). They were overwhelmingly approved by the two agencies that tested them. They were put into production after those tests.

302 Z28 10-30-2003 06:31 PM

The shorter life is the first time I have heard that comment. I have heard nothing but praise from people who have them.


Stroked_Jeep 10-30-2003 06:41 PM


This was one guys opinion that used Optima's in the past . I don't have first hand experience on this battery. Probably shouldn't have thrown that unreliable info. out there.


302 Z28 10-30-2003 08:49 PM

No prob Brad.


Jag Daddy 10-30-2003 10:34 PM

Optima's sound the way to go, I'll need to replace the Jag's battery box and bottom plate. Which brings me to the next question. Did you have to change your battery hold down and bottom plate because of the size difference? I don't mind the battery being smaller I could use the room.


zonk 10-31-2003 03:13 AM

Made mine,you might be able just to use your old box,put new battery in old,maybe screw small piece of bent steel tight against battery,your hold down may still work

hotwheels55 10-31-2003 08:20 AM

I didn't mean to imply that an OPTIMA can't fail...anything manmade has that ability, but an OPTIMA probably won't fail due to the typical weaknesses of a lead acid type battery.
Since an OPTIMA is usually smaller than an oem type battery, you may have to alter your oem type hold down/tray. The OPTIMA (from COSTCO) typically comes with two red plastic adapters that may allow you to use you oem hold down/tray without much modification.
You can also do that as others suggested or if you want to spend the money, there are several billet type brackets that are OPTIMA specific.
If you intend to trunk mount your OPTIMA, then a battery box will be a good idea. I used a generic black plastic battery box for my OPTIMA, but RB'S OBSOLETE has a really nice compact ABS battery box now.

Dave E Shank 10-31-2003 12:39 PM

HEY JAG: I bought a 6 volt unit for my 1954 Chrysler because it sits around a lot and lead acid battery would run down quite often. It doesn't self discharge so it will last a long time. I then bought a 12 volt for my 38 Lafayette street rod because I was having hot start problems and wanted the higher cranking power. I am completely satisfied with both applications and I am using battery disconnect switches on both vehicles just to be sure of no circuit drain. They initially cost more but you will not have to replace them like lead acid units.....DAVE

horvath 11-01-2003 01:44 PM

Hey, Bro'

I put an Optima RedTop in my truck earlier this year. After researching batteries, I couldn't find anything that would top the Optima -- I believe it's the best battery available today. I had to make the batt-box in my truck larger (the original wasn't wide enough) ... otherwise, it works just fine -- my truck starts like a champ!

54 Chevy Pickup

lust4speed 11-02-2003 12:44 AM

The only thing that bothered me was Costco was getting the same price for the batteries as the auto parts stores around town. I wonder why they are not giving us a price break?

trees 11-02-2003 06:57 AM

I have been using Optima Bats for several years because my batteries are inside my coupe and PU. No fumes, no vents, no corrosion and very good service life. You need to read the fine print on charging. They do not like fast/quick charge and will die a sudden death after about the 2nd or 3rd one (been there, done that). I prefer the Yellow Top ( deep cycle) for my street rods because of the sometimes inactive periods and the constant discharge of sound system and efi memory circuits. The CCA is almost as good as the Red Tops. I also like the side post/top post capability since I use the side posts for starter and main ground leads and the top posts to feed my electrical control panel.which I locate near the battery for easy access vice on the fire wall behind the dash.


302 Z28 11-02-2003 07:20 AM

I like your system Trees, that is exactly what I am looking at for my 34.


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