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Discussion Starter #1
My 66 has been sitting for a few years and needs a new battery - old one won't take a charge. Instead of just heading to WalMart or Pep Boys does anyone have a specific recommendation for a replacement? I think 780 CCA was specified in the original DC 12. Any experience would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If you want the look of the battery used in 66 go with the Delco SR-59 Classic Car Script Sealed Maintenance Free Battery, they are expensive, but look original. click on the picture;

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the heads up on the SR-59. If I want to just go with a regular commercial battery (Die Hard, etc.) should I just find one with the same approx. dimensions, CCA's, etc. I've had difficulty finding the battery specs for this car.
 

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Why not go with a DELCO premium battery? I was quoted 90 or so for my 70.
You can get a top to look OEM from Ames for about 35-40. I have seen them and they look pretty good. Its a plastic battery top that fits over top the battery and you hook your terminals up. Looks original.
 

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I've heard a LOT of negative feedback on the gel batteries failing prematurely in cars that sit a lot.
I have gotten to the point of buying the Wal-Mart, Pep Boys level batteries, because they seem to last as long as one twice as expensive in my seldom run vehicles, especially my boat. Most of these are warranted for 1-2 years free replacement and prorated for another 2 years. Most of mine last the 3-4 years and aren't worth anything on the prorate system for warranty anyway. Why spend 90-120 when 50-60 will do the same thing...:)

Randy, that Delco is a really nice looking battery !! If I ever get any of my 3 vehicles to a stage where I would drive them often, I would try to get past the price tag and buy one.:cool
 

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Delco has a "Professional" series battery for our cars now that retails for about $100. It carries a 50 month "full replacement" guarantee. Tough to beat. I just bought one for my 65.

Hal
Hal Vatcher's Web Site
That is a good battery. While it doesn't look original for our classics, I did put one in my 2000 K1500 last year after the original, 8 year old battery gave out. Bought it over the counter from the Chev dealer down the street for under $100 with tax.:)
 

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Delco is the only battery I use. Been using them for 34 years their premium line is tops IMO.

As I stated previous you can get a battery and put that OEM looking plastic battery cover top on it and to look at it the battery looks period correct. Cheap alternative to spending 300 for a period correct one.

The battery cover top looks just like the battery top Randy's pic depicts.
 

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I've been doing what TMP is doing: Wal-Mart or Kragen batteries that seem to last just as long and cost $60 or less. I don't show my cars, just drive 'em, and they work for me. Maybe if I do a restoration on one of my goats someday, I'll pop for the "correct" battery.
 

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Jeff, part of my motivation to go "cheap" is the fact that I have 11 "units" that require batteries and the Pete takes 3. I'm buying at least 2 batteries a year around here. I've bought 3 so far this year. I replaced the original battery in my Harley this spring. It was 9 years old, so I went right back to H-D and bought an original replacement for $110. Seems spendy for a battery that you can hold in the palm of your hand but I figured if I got another 9 years, it was worth it...;)
 

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if you dont care about keeping it looking original....you can't go wrong with Costco batteries; they are relatively cheap, function well, and they come with a 36 month unconditional warranty to boot
 

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I've heard a LOT of negative feedback on the gel batteries failing prematurely in cars that sit a lot.
I have gotten to the point of buying the Wal-Mart, Pep Boys level batteries, because they seem to last as long as one twice as expensive in my seldom run vehicles, especially my boat. Most of these are warranted for 1-2 years free replacement and prorated for another 2 years. Most of mine last the 3-4 years and aren't worth anything on the prorate system for warranty anyway. Why spend 90-120 when 50-60 will do the same thing...:)

Randy, that Delco is a really nice looking battery !! If I ever get any of my 3 vehicles to a stage where I would drive them often, I would try to get past the price tag and buy one.:cool
All batteries over time dissipate in voltage. If you are not maintaining your batteries it does not matter if it is a gel or non gel battery. The "gel" battery is just a battery that vents internally. The plates inside are wrapped in "absorbed glass matte" or you may know this as AGM battery. They are maintenance free where the traditional battery may require add distilled water at some point.

A battery will not dissipate by itself below 10.5 volts. So next time you go out and check your car's battery and it's at 7 volts, this is b/c during it's storage there was a small current drawn on the battery.

I prefer what most refer to as the gel battery for a few reasons. One they are more reliable in my opinion. They have a better chance at recovery as opposed to the traditional wet battery, meaning you can abuse them a bit more and still not get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. The traditional battery has a tendency to die out of nowhere, where as the Glass matted batteries will give you more notice they are on the way out. The other reason I prefer "gel" batteries in my cars is due to an accident that happened to someone I know. Now if your battery is in the trunk then your ok, but I knew this guy who from a collision erupted the battery on impact and acid flew onto his face and was permanently blinded.

Optima batteries are not what they used to be, I'll say that. If you use an Optima make sure it is a red top, unless your running a lot of accessories without the car running. Then use a yellow top. As the yellow tops are more dual purpose SLI and Deep Cycle.

I am rebuilding a 1970 GTO and when I'm done I would like to use an Odyssey battery. I think they are far superior than Optima batteries.

If you wanna get a few more months to years out of your cars. Place a battery tender on your car....not the same as a trickle charge. Deltran makes great tenders. This is different in the fact that they float your battery. A trickle charge only turns on when is needed allowing your battery to constantly rise and fall. A float charger will maintain your battery constantly at 13.2 volts when it's peaked. The battery can still fail on these devices cause all batteries will hit that wall at some point. Any car that sits for periods of times should use these tenders. They are safe to leave on for extended times as well.:seeya:
 

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if you dont care about keeping it looking original....you can't go wrong with Costco batteries; they are relatively cheap, function well, and they come with a 36 month unconditional warranty to boot
Optima batteries purchased at Costco are typically rated lower in the CCA rating than the same battery at a retailer. FYI. Atleast for Optima's line.
 

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36 mo battery is not a very good warranty. Keep in mind in these classics these batteries will sit for long periods of time without being used. Sulfation is someting to be concerend about. Whether you opt for a cheap battery or good one, get a battery tender and use it.
 

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I have a Sears DieHard that I'm happy with. I spent big $$$ on an Interstate battery that didn't last very long...won't do that again.

Must confess I do disconnect the battery while the car is in the garage.

Hollie
 

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I recently purchased a Die-hard for the wifes Subaru. I was impressed with the warranty. I think it's 60-month full replacement. However, the battery was somewhat pricey. (like $110) For $60 at Advance, I could have gotten almost 2 batteries and 36 months on each. But, I've had Die-hards that lasted 8+ years.

My grandfather always said "If you get four years out of a battery, it owes you nothing." He would replace them even if they were still good. I could see the logic but I still couldn't replace a battery that wasn't needing it. Hell, call me thrifty.

Still, on my 69 GTO (I have a convertible) I opted to go a different route. I tend to put the top up and down with the car off and I also have a stereo I use without the car running. That tended to drain the regular 750-850 CCA batteries with the stock alternator. I also only drive 1-2 times per week and thus the battery demand for starting coupled with the extra load was forcing me to charge it during the week when I wasn't driving/enjoying the car. I ended up having a specialty alternator built at a local, reputable alternator shop that puts out 140 amps and upgraded to a 1000+CCA Advance Auto Parts battery. The Alternator cost me about $125 and the battery was about $90. But, I can run the stereo and top up and down as much as I like and not worry about having juice to start the car. Plus, starts are smoother and faster and the battery holds a stronger charge between my weekly outings. Needless to say, the alternator is internally regulated so the voltage regulator was removed and I have HEI to avoid any points burning. (not that it's an issue)

The Advance battery also had side and top mounts. I used the extra side mount to run an extra ground to the frame since these older cars tend to have grounding issues. It's not stock by any means, but works very well. And, If I get 4 years out of the battery, I guess I'll do what Grandpa reccomends.
 

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Jstreet

My experience, modern batteries last about 45/50K +/-10K no matter what brand or price...I replace my wife and kid's batteries at 50K even if they are working. May sound crazy but it beats answering the phone at work...."can you come get me, the car won't start"! :willy:

Rickster
 

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If I get 4 years out of the battery, I guess I'll do what Grandpa recommends.
Gotta remember Grandpa may go back to the days of 6 volt batteries too. They didn't last long and up here in the frozen north, my Dad removed the battery at night for most of Dec-Feb, when the temps went well into the minus digits. By keeping it warm in the house and putting it back in the morning, you stood a better chance that the old stovebolt would crank over fast enough to start. Most guys he worked with would then go start the cars at lunch and let them run for 25 minutes so it would start again at 4:30pm. Oh and don't forget the alcohol in the cooling system before anti-freeze became widely available and affordable. We have a very ez life with our modern cars.;)
 
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