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Old 06-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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Battery type question

I'm looking at upgrading both my starting battery and the Aux battery that powers my winch. I was checking out the Lifeline battery selection at Wholesale Batteries Direct and came up with a question for the spark chasers on the forum.

What is the difference in battery construction between a starting battery and a deep cycle battery?

These are the two batteries I'm looking at for replacing the Aux battery. The Aux battery currently is set up to power my winch and the driving lights, both front and rear.

Starting battery link
http://www.wholesalebatteriesdirect.com ... ttery.html

Deep cycle battery link
http://www.wholesalebatteriesdirect.com ... ttery.html

When I compare the spec pages for both batteries the deep cycle battery is 2 pounds heavier and has 5 more amp hours. Is there some reason you couldn't use a deep cycle battery as a starting battery? What makes the batteries use specific?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Battery type question

I know I am going to start a big debate by saying this but you should NOT use a deep cycle battery for any high amp draw like starting, winching, large inverter or even a really big stereo. It will shorten the life of the battery. The reason a deep cycle battery weighs more is it has more plates but they are thinner and thus are more apt to got hot and then warp when used for high amperage loads. For me the cut off point is 50 amps. If any single device or system such as a DVD/NAV Head unit, amps and anything else that is always on at the same time that counts as a single device. Take my van for example, I have a 100 amp auxiliary fuse panel with 12 circuits but I am only using 8 for a total possible maximum draw of about 60 amps. No one fuse is larger then 25 amps so I could use a deep cycle battery no problem. But I have a 3,000 watt inverter that has 2 x 100 amp breakers so I am way over my 50 amp for one device rule.

They used to make combination bateries that were worked as starting as well as deep cycle but they are not as popular any more. They probably did last well.

In my van I am using two group 65 (newer Ford size) 850 starting batteries in factory diesel van battery boxes I bought on ebay as auxiliary batteries. This has been working fine so far for us but we never camp more than four days without starting/driving the van and other than watching movies before going to sleep some nights we dont use much power. I always charge the batteries (with a variable rate charger that has a float charge as to not over charge them) at home before we go camping just make sure we can get the most out of them.

Something I like to point out about batteries is that if your batteries are low on charge your vehicle can never completely recharge them fully while driving. The vehicle charging system is only designed to keep a fully charged battery full.

I could go on and on about my battery thoughts as I used to teach automotive electrical systems at my last two jobs.

You also might look into Sears the Die Hard AGM batteries are quite good. They go on sale sometimes and if you ever need one while in a different city almost every area has a Sears or K-Mart for a warrenty replacement. Interstate batteries are also really good and are available in many locations and have an excellent warranty program. Those batteries you are looking at only have a one year warranty / fives years is only for the case if I read it right. Something I like about Sears and Interstate over most other battery brands is they have a charge and rotate plan. No battery is sold low on charge, or has an old date code. They check, charge and rotate the batteries thus keeping them fresh much longer. All batteries go dead sitting even if they are unhooked. Thats why all batteries even AAAs have date codes, either when made or when to discard.

Do you need or just want new batteries? If they are flooded or wet cell you might buy a hydrometer and check the cells to see how they really are. Also check the date code to see how old they are. If they are over four years old its a good time to think about replacing them. But if they are still good just give them a good (possibly long depending on their state of charge) charging and keep using them. Remember ALWAYS use saftey glasses when around batteries. I have a one eyed friend from a battery accident...

Good luck...
...Jamie
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Battery type question

This quote from “batteries-marine.com” sums it up
“Starting Batteries:
Starting batteries, those designed to give their power in 20 seconds or less, are designed to start motors. The starter motor on an engine needs this amount of power to start, and then the engine makes enough power to replace it with either an alternator, generator, or similar device. These batteries are not designed for prolonged electrical usage, like lighting the baseball diamond, or running the car stereo while you work and the truck is off. These types of activities will inevitably lead to a shortened life on your battery.

Starting batteries are built with thin lead plates inside the battery. These thin plates afford maximum amount of surface area for the chemical reaction inside the battery. The ample surface area allows the chemical reaction necessary to generate the electricity inside the battery to happen very rapidly. However, these thin plates are not as resilient to the acid, and break down more quickly when they are fully discharged. This erosion of the plates is accelerated by deep or prolonged discharging.

Deep Cycle Batteries:
Deep cycle batteries are designed to give power out over time measured in minutes, hours, or days. These batteries are designed to run electronics, or systems over time. The telecom industry uses them to keep the cell phone towers running. Your boat needs this power for radar, communications, and navigation. You like having the power to run the kitchen as well, stove, refrigerator, and microwave. There is not an electrical circuit that cannot be powered by deep cycle batteries when you have inverter too. When you want power, you pull it from a deep cycle battery, push it directly to the load or through an inverter to make AC power. Install the proper plugs, and you can run the appliances from home.

Deep Cycle batteries are built with very thick lead plates inside the battery. These thick plates are able to sustain the acid without breaking down for a longer period of time. The thicker plates are designed to be in the chemical reaction that produces the electricity for a longer period before the plates erode into the acid. This longer period allows you the customer to run electronics for long periods of time, recharge the battery, and see very little capacity lost.”

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Re: Battery type question

Some more about your question ……..Quote from “windsun.com”
“Starting, Marine, and Deep-Cycle Batteries
Starting (sometimes called SLI, for starting, lighting, ignition) batteries are commonly used to start and run engines. Engine starters need a very large starting current for a very short time. Starting batteries have a large number of thin plates for maximum surface area. The plates are composed of a Lead "sponge", similar in appearance to a very fine foam sponge. This gives a very large surface area, but if deep cycled, this sponge will quickly be consumed and fall to the bottom of the cells. Automotive batteries will generally fail after 30-150 deep cycles if deep cycled, while they may last for thousands of cycles in normal starting use (2-5% discharge).
Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged down as much as 80% time after time, and have much thicker plates. The major difference between a true deep cycle battery and others is that the plates are SOLID Lead plates - not sponge. This gives less surface area, thus less "instant" power like starting batteries need. Although these an be cycled down to 20% charge, the best lifespan vs cost method is to keep the average cycle at about 50% discharge.
Unfortunately, it is often impossible to tell what you are really buying in some of the discount stores or places that specialize in automotive batteries. The golf car battery is quite popular for small systems and RV's. The problem is that "golf car" refers to a size of battery case (commonly called GC-2, or T-105), not the type or construction - so the quality and construction of a golf car battery can vary considerably - ranging from the cheap off brand with thin plates up the true deep cycle brands, such as Crown, Deka, Trojan, etc. In general, you get what you pay for.
Marine batteries are usually a "hybrid", and fall between the starting and deep-cycle batteries, though a few (Rolls-Surrette and Concorde, for example) are true deep cycle. In the hybrid, the plates may be composed of Lead sponge, but it is coarser and heavier than that used in starting batteries. It is often hard to tell what you are getting in a "marine" battery, but most are a hybrid. Starting batteries are usually rated at "CCA", or cold cranking amps, or "MCA", Marine cranking amps - the same as "CA". Any battery with the capacity shown in CA or MCA may or may not be a true deep-cycle battery. It is sometimes hard to tell, as the term deep cycle is often overused - we have even seen the term "deep cycle" used in automotive starting battery advertising. CA and MCA ratings are at 32 degrees F, while CCA is at zero degree F. Unfortunately, the only positive way to tell with some batteries is to buy one and cut it open - not much of an option.
------- Using a deep cycle battery as a starting battery ------
There is generally no problem with this, providing that allowance is made for the lower cranking amps compared to a similar size starting battery. As a general rule, if you are going to use a true deep cycle battery (such as the Concorde SunXtender) also as a starting battery, it should be oversized about 20% compared to the existing or recommended starting battery group size to get the same cranking amps. That is about the same as replacing a group 24 with a group 31. With modern engines with fuel injection and electronic ignition, it generally takes much less battery power to crank and start them, so raw cranking amps is less important than it used to be. On the other hand, many cars, boats, and RV's are more heavily loaded with power sucking "appliances", such as megawatt stereo systems etc. that are more suited for deep cycle batteries. We have used the Concorde SunXtender AGM batteries in some of our vehicles with no problems.
It will not hurt a deep cycle battery to be used as a starting battery, but for the same size battery they cannot supply as much cranking amps as a regular starting battery and is usually much more expensive.”
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Battery type question

And the old "standby" ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_cycle_battery
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ARB Differential Covers - Nodular Iron With Dipstick And Drain Plug
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: Battery type question

Jamie

Thanks for sharing your battery ideas. The starting battery in my van was there when I bought it used. It's a smaller size battery then the tray it sits on. I'd like the peace of mind of knowing I have a full sized fresh battery sitting there.

The battery I originally installed as my winch battery is just to small for the job. I think I figured out a way to mount a larger battery in the open spot on the right side of the engine compartment between the fan motor and the radiator. It's really the winch battery that is the problem for me. I have a width limit of 6.5 inches and a BCI group 27T looks like it will max out the area available. The other option I'm looking at is mounting a larger aux batter on the right frame rail. But I need to come up with a mounting system.

Any one have a spare frame rail aux battery mount laying around or know where I can get one? I checked e-bay but didn't get any hits. I hear there is a stock battery mount that just bolts on.

I would have thought a deep cycle battery would work better for winching since it will drain the battery down low, something a starting battery doesn't like.

After I posted the question I did a little googling and one page told me the deep cycle batteries use a thicker plate than a starting battery.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Battery type question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGVANS

Yea.....I though of that after I posted the question. Feeling a little stupid this morning. My mind must be locked into a diesel Vs. gas debate or something.

I would like to hear other peoples thoughts on deep cycle Vs starting batteries for a winch application.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: Battery type question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvan
My mind must be locked into a diesel Vs. gas debate or something.
I got a kick out of that too!
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Rear Axle - 1 Ton Spec Dana 60/Full Floating
Eaton E-Lockers Front And Rear/4:10 Gears
ARB Differential Covers - Nodular Iron With Dipstick And Drain Plug
Leaf Spring Suspension Front And Rear
46 Gal Transfer-Flow Fuel Tank
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Re: Battery type question

Yeah sorry I am thinking about something else this morning (maybe the gas vs diesel post, maybe what I want to do today ) when I put thinner plates on the deep cycle. I thought thicker but my dyslexia spelled thinner, I just replaced my starting battery becasue the van is four years old and one cell was marginal. If you bought your van with the current battery and it is the wrong size you probably should replace it before it leaves you stranded. In the past I have used deep cycles for everthing in my vans and boats but these days I just like AGM starting batteries for everything. I think its like the gas vs diesel topic if it works good for you thats that, whos to say its wrong. Personally I like standard size batteries that I can buy locally and warranty repalce any where and would rather have two or even three aux batteries than have one huge rv one, but thats me.

Here is a tray like the two I used...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-OEM-VAN-BO ... 78&vxp=mtr
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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Re: Battery type question

Oh and if you want to do the factory Ford diesel battery trays/boxes I have all of the part numbers for the things I used.
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