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David Gore
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3584
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 - 07:48:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Vladimir has asked me to post the following information on his behalf as his current internet connection is not allowing him to queue posts for my approval:

"I recently became more insane and purchased a D34 Optima Battery for my deep purple Spirit for a tidy sum of $412AUD delivered.

This is an AGM - Absorbent Glass Mat battery.

I have had a lifelong cause to hate batteries in general. Forty years ago you could buy a lead acid battery that would last 8 years. Now most normal batteries from new usually last a third of that if you are lucky.

Optima gives a 3 year warranty on this battery which they claim is 15 times more vibration resistant than lead acid batteries.

To crank a 350 Chev V8 you need 350 Cold Cranking Amps and this Optima Battery has 750 CCA so the Spirit 412 CID should spin over nicely.

The Optima battery is also several kilograms lighter than it's equivalent lead acid battery.
But that's not why I bought it. The Rolls Royce battery on a Spirit sits inside the boot compartment which as you know is trimmed in expensive carpet with leather edging.

Lead acid batteries breathe out hydrogen together with a fine mist of acid (hence the rotting of battery trays) and just as annoying it's a constant battle to keep the terminals free of corrosion. I don't like the idea of having hydrogen building up inside the boot compartment. The Optima battery does not vent highly explosive gas nor an acidic corrosive mist.

My neighbour who drives a Kenworth/Cummins road train hauling triple trailers and pulling 150 tons of berserk cattle thinks I'm stark raving mad for having paid $412 for a battery delivered and he may be right.

A quote for a suitable lead acid battery was $290.

One drawback of the Optima is that if the battery drops below 10.5 volts normal battery chargers will not fully recharge the battery. For a crazy price you can buy an Optima Battery Charger. I have a solution to that but that's another story.

Time will tell whether I have blown my loot."
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David Gore
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3593
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Friday, 21 February, 2020 - 18:45:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

More information from Vladimir:

Jetsetters, my new Optima D34 AGM battery arrived yesterday and naturally my demented postman delivered it upside down but I wasn't fazed one bit knowing that these batteries don't leak acid.

The first thing I noticed was the terminals were slightly pitted which decreases the amount of contact to the clamps. Not happy with that I fired off an email in Spanish to the place of manufacture - Mexico - demanding that the Senorita in-charge of quality control be flogged like the family mule, fitted with spectacles and flogged again.

Then I tested the voltage with my new multimeter to find the blasted thing was dead flat.

Flying into a rage, I had a cigarette, a coffee and then I tested the multimeter against AA 1.5 volt new battery and it was flat. In times like this it's necessary to kick the cat twice.

Then I discovered that I not pushed the connectors all the way into the multimeter. That fixed, the voltage read 12.68 volts.

I figured that was not too bad considering the battery probably was charged at the factory maybe 6 months ago or more given the Pacific Ocean, the Wall, Mexican, US and Australian customs and border control not mention the obscene amount of time Australia Post took to transport the thing from Sydney to my front gate.

Recharging these batteries if they fall below 10.5 volts is said to necessitate the purchase of a special Optima battery charger with a hideous price tag. Given the bad rap on the net about these chargers I have decided to keep the battery fully charged as possible always.

Could it be that I am now free of the unpleasantries of corroded terminals, corrosive battery vapour, spilt battery acid etc? If I am then I think the extra $122 AUD spent over an equivalent wet cell lead acid battery was money the bank.

I fully intend to purchase a second Optima battery as an emergency back up battery for the Deep Purple Spirit which will travel along with the spare fuel pump, alternator, starter motor, distributor etc to remove or at least cut down on the chance of a "failing to proceed" situation.

Given that I live in the real Australia 126 kilometres from the nearest supermarket via a treacherous gravel road frequented often by drunk heavily armed cowboys, and phone reception black holes it may be said by some that my preparations are unnecessary overkill.

But I can live with the overkill.

And if you buy your RR/B an Optima battery discard the flimsy plastic carry handle or perhaps retain it to flog your failing to lay chickens because while these batteries are touted to be 15 times more vibration resistant than lead acid batteries dropping them onto the concrete or onto you foot would not be a good look."


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