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Old 09-29-2016, 08:35 AM   #1
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E350 Optima Yellow and Red Top

Hi -

Here is a E350 question: Is it best to have two Optima Red Tops or a Yellow as the secondary (underneath)

Does this require a custom battery box?

Or is it best to run to 6v in series inside the vehicle. I would think 2 Optimas would be the way to go.

I'm about to swap in a OEM cruise control unit so I would think now would be the time to deal w/the batteries.

I'm proceeding in order of priority before the weather turns here in the PNW.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:41 AM   #2
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I'm running RED starting, Yellow for my AUX mounted on the frame rail.

I've had to replace the Red top battery already. I'm not sure which gets abused more. Starting battery is also my winch battery, but the AUX powers a 2200 watt inverter, and has hit low voltage cut-off frequently. When the aux battery finally goes, I'll replace it with another. It's still holds charge like-new after 5 years.

I'm not a fan of wet-cell batteries inside, and I've never even looked for 6V gel cells.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:16 AM   #3
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Optima batteries saw a steep drop off in quality a few years ago. The original versions would last for nearly 10 years without issues while the newer ones don't seem to last even a couple of years in my experience. Only take these comments as my personal opinion, but there are other options available that are far better values for what they intend to do.

Scott
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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I would go with the optima blue top. Same cold cranking amps but are more of a deep cell battery. They perform much better to the continual deep drain and charge then the red or yellow tops.

Just my opinion
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDOVAL View Post
Optima batteries saw a steep drop off in quality a few years ago. The original versions would last for nearly 10 years without issues while the newer ones don't seem to last even a couple of years in my experience. Only take these comments as my personal opinion, but there are other options available that are far better values for what they intend to do.

Scott
^^^ all that x2. I have the exact same opinion. The optimas are no where as good as they used to be before jci bought them out. And that's when I used to do huge stereos. Now the alarm led is enough to bleed a charge in a vehicle only driven a few times a month. I gave up on them
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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I'm going to agree with REDOVAL, Optimas just don't seem to last like they used to. My last 2 of them only lasted 2-2 1/2 years. I just installed an Odyssey 1750CA AGM in my van and it certainly has better specs than most (all?) of the Optimas for about the same price as a Yellow Top. In all honesty, I'd sooner buy the relabeled $160-$190 Deka AGM from the local auto parts store than buy another Optima.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:40 AM   #7
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Yup, I used to use Optima, but once I started seeing several of them fail within a few years that was it. Switched over to Deka. That being said, if you're looking for a house battery, most of us use the big 4D for larger capacity. Keep in mind if you have a solar panel, keep all your batteries the same(wet or gel). If you don't have solar, might want to think about adding it to keep all those new batteries topped off
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Yup, I used to use Optima, but once I started seeing several of them fail within a few years that was it. Switched over to Deka. That being said, if you're looking for a house battery, most of us use the big 4D for larger capacity. Keep in mind if you have a solar panel, keep all your batteries the same(wet or gel). If you don't have solar, might want to think about adding it to keep all those new batteries topped off
Who carries Deka? do you know if they fit the size of the Ford Battery Electirc Blankets?

The Ford 100 month batteries must be good stuff, cause my rig appears to have them close to 100 month mark...

Apparently I panicked when some cold weather rolled in at the pass and I deep cycled them... Got a jump and drove them back to the city, 100 mi or so, and all is well... I just don't like to take chances... I go pretty far off the beaten path
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:27 AM   #9
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Just do a search in your area for Deka. They are made by east-penn, often private labeled. Batteries plus carries a version but doesn't always have the best selection or price. They make a size for most applications. Odyssey and Lifeline batteries are also very good. Check with local solar supply companies. I was able to find a distributor with pretty decent prices.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
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I have found the relabeled Deka group 65's at Oreilly Auto (Super Start), AutoZone (Duralast), Sears (Diehard), and even WalMart (Duracell) of all places. The advertised specs varied a little, but they were all the exact same AGM battery, usually their highest priced "platinum" model which ranged from ~$160 to over $200. They all were in the same light grey colored case too. I believe it does say East Penn Manufacturing either in their online description and/or in fine print on the physical label. Probably the best value for an AGM right now.
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