Can I bring back this OPTIMA red top battery from the dead.......... - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 01-01-2003, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I bring back this OPTIMA red top battery from the dead..........

I got this optima for free from a friend of mine. It's about 5 years old but here is the kicker, it's been sitting on a shelf for 4 years. Even after all that it still had 8 volts in her. I have been bringing it back up on a slow charge.

I'll see what happens I guess. I believe these are gell cell batts right?

Are they better than normal lead acids with sulfating problems with sitting around for long periods of time?
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Old 01-01-2003, 11:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i dont think that optima changed their ways so it is probably still gel celled.
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Old 01-01-2003, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, you should be able. We had to really hit one with some heavy juice to bring it back from 1 volt, but it came back from the dead.
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Old 01-01-2003, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I read somewhere on this board that these batterys don't like slow charging. When charging my Optmas, I use 10 amps. Never brought one back from the dead, though.
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Old 01-01-2003, 12:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great thanks guys I will go hit it with 6 amps for a while and see what happens. LOL thats all the amps my charger can do.
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was told that on 12volt gel-cell batt. that some times when the charge stays below 10 volts for an extended time that 1 or more of the cells can go bad and no mater how much you charge thhe sucker it will not return to 12 volts. so after you charge it go and have it tested on a LOAD tester to maku shure that it will preform.
I had one in my Jeep go bad on me because it was below 10 volts for about a month I could not drive due to a broken leg so i did not start my jeep for about 2 months. The batt. was replaced under warranty because it was new but have it checked
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I forgot to say that it appears to be stable at 12.1 volts with no charger but this is unloaded of course. I will probably just throw it in tommorrow and use my starter as the load tester. I figure she'll either work or she won't.

Do Optimas have a lifetime warranty. now that would be bad ass.
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Am I retarded, or is a Optima dry-cell? Or are those terms interchangeable?

We used Optima yellow tops at the surveying company I used to work at to run our GPS equipment, and we found that if you didnt use at least 10 amps to charge with, these batteries do not live. Also, we discovered that a chrger with an auto setting doesnt work so well when on auto charge, as they tende to stop charging to soon. We used to killa brand new optima once every six months, but these batteries outlasted any other we tried.
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Old 01-01-2003, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Start your truck w/the current battery, yank it out, throw in the optima and drive around ;-)
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Old 01-01-2003, 07:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if your close to a 4wp tell them that you only had it six months. they will return anything.....
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Old 01-01-2003, 07:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It should come back. My buddy had one lying around for a few years, and we just threw it on the charger for an hour and it was good to go. We didn't use it for long though. The battery in me DD had diead cause i left the lights on and i just needed to egt it started. Hookit up with jumper cables, and the car started right up.
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Old 01-01-2003, 09:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snake47720
Start your truck w/the current battery, yank it out, throw in the optima and drive around ;-)
I think his engine would die once the circuit was broken.

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Old 01-01-2003, 09:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SJM


I think his engine would die once the circuit was broken.

--Steve
what he has no alternator? must not be able to drive long
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Old 01-01-2003, 09:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SJM
I think his engine would die once the circuit was broken.

--Steve
I've done it before on mine. you have to have the idle up high for it to work. If the idle is set at normal, it will die.
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Old 01-01-2003, 10:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I believe they are starved electrolyte cells.

To bring one back when discharged very deeply....it
takes a long time charge at low current. They don't like to
be fast charged in a real low state.

Jay
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Old 01-02-2003, 12:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A serverely drained battery can be resurrected, but it will have lower reserve capacity and load capacity. A trickle charger will work better, but it will take a long time. I would not trust this battery to save you in the boonies, far away from civilization.
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Old 01-02-2003, 05:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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4. HOW DO I TEST A BATTERY?

The are four simple steps to test a car battery--inspection, remove
surface charge, state-of-charge test and load test. To test a battery
(or to troubleshoot charging or electrical systems), you will need a
digital voltmeter with .5% or better accuracy. A digital voltmeter can be
purchased at an electronics store and will cost between $20 and $200 U.S.
If you have a non-sealed battery, you can use a temperature compensating
hydrometer which can be purchased at an auto parts store for approximately
$5 U.S.

A. INSPECTION

Visually inspect for obvious problems, e.g., loose alternator belt, low
electrolyte, corroded cable or terminal clamps, loose hold-down clamps or
cable terminals, or a damaged case.

B. REMOVE SURFACE CHARGE

If you have just recharged you battery or driven your car, eliminate any
surface charge by one of the following methods; otherwise, go to the next
step:

1. Allow the battery to sit for two to three hours,

2. Turn the headlights on high beam for five minutes and
wait five minutes, or

3. With a battery load tester, apply a load at one half the
battery's CCA rating for 15 seconds and wait five minutes.

C. STATE-OF-CHARGE TEST

Using the following table, determine the battery's state-of-charge:

Open Circuit Approximate Average Cell
Battery Voltage State-of-charge Specific Gravity

12.65+ 100% 1.265+

12.45 75% 1.225

12.24 50% 1.190

12.06 25% 1.155

11.89 0% 1.120

[If the temperature of the electrolyte is below 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees
C), then add .012 volts (12 millivolts) per degree below 70 degrees F to
the reading.]

For non-sealed batteries, check both the specific gravity in each cell
with a external hydrometer AND the battery terminal voltage with a digital
voltmeter without the engine running. For sealed batteries, measuring the
battery's voltage without the engine running with an accurate digital
voltmeter is the only way you can determine the state-of-charge. Some
batteries have a built-in hydrometer which only measures the
state-of-charge in ONE of it's six cells. If the indicator is clear or
light yellow, then the battery has a low electrolyte level and should be
refilled before proceeding, or if sealed, the battery should be replaced.

If the state-of-charge is BELOW 75% using either the specific gravity or
voltage test or the built-in hydrometer indicates "bad" (usually dark),
then the battery needs to be recharged BEFORE proceeding. Replace the
battery, if one or more of the following conditions occur:

1. If there is a .050 or more difference in the specific
gravity reading between the highest and lowest cell, you
have a weak or dead cell(s),

2. If the battery will not recharge to a 75% or more
state-of-charge level or if the built-in hydrometer still
does not indicate "good" (usually green, which is 65%
state-of-charge or better),

3. If digital voltmeter indicates 0 volts, you have an open
cell, or

4. If the digital voltmeter indicates 10.45 to 10.65 volts,
you have a shorted cell. [A shorted cell is caused by
plates touching, sediment build-up or "treeing" between
plates.

D. LOAD TEST

If the battery's state-of-charge is at 75% or higher or has a "good"
built-in hydrometer indication, then load test the battery by one of the
following methods:

1. Turn the headlights on high beam for five minutes,

2. Disable the ignition and turn the engine over for 15
seconds with the starter motor,

3. With a battery load tester, apply a load equal to one half
of the CCA rating of the battery for 15 seconds, or

4. With a battery load tester, apply a load equal to one half
the OEM cranking amp specification for 15 seconds.

DURING the load test, the voltage on a good battery will NOT drop below
9.7 volts with the electrolyte at 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C). [If the
electrolyte is above 80 degrees F, add .1 volt for every 10 degrees above
80 until you reach 100 degrees. If below 80 degrees F, subtract .1 volt
for every 10 degrees until 40 degrees.] After the load is removed, wait
five minutes and the battery should "bounce back" to the 50%
state-of-charge level or above. If the battery drops below minimum test
voltage, does not bounce back, or will not start the engine, then you
should replace it. If the battery passes this test, you should recharge
it to restore it to peak performance.
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Old 01-02-2003, 05:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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What are the different types of lead acid batteries?
(These explanations are somewhat simplified)

Flooded: This is the traditional engine start and traction style battery. The liquid electrolyte is free to move in the cell compartment. The user has access to the individual cells and can add distilled water as the battery dries out.

Sealed: This term can refer to a number of different constructions, including only a slight modification to the Flooded style. In that case, even though the user does not have access to the cell compartments, the internal structure is still basically the same as a Flooded battery. The only difference is that the manufacturer has ensured that a sufficient amount of acid is the battery to sustain the chemical reaction under normal use throughout the battery warranty period. Other types of lead acid batteries are also sealed, as explained below.

VRLA: This stands for Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery. This is also a Sealed battery. The valve regulating mechanism allows for a safe escape of hydrogen and oxygen gasses during charging.

AGM: As stated earlier, the Absorbed Glass Matte construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plate’s active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Actually, the AGM batteries are a variant of Sealed VRLA batteries. This particular style has recently become very popular in many engine start and power sports applications.

Note: It is not uncommon for the marketing folk of the industry to exercise a bit of literary license in the description of various Lead Acid batteries performance characteristics. The creative marketer, although meaning well while sculpting a recognizable niche in the all-too-often drab and unappealing market landscape will occasionally coin a phrase that not only catches on but also generates a bit of confusion. One such phrase is “DrycellÔ Batteries”. That description is an extension of the performance characteristics of a very high quality AGM battery line, intended to emphasize the minimal amount of free acid (virtually none) that will leak in the event that the battery wall is ruptured. The unfortunate confusion results from conflicts with the required warning verbiage dictated by Underwriter's Laboratory standard UL-1236 for battery chargers used in engine start applications. That wording, from subparagraph 47.4.11 h) is: “... Do not use battery charger for charging dry-cell batteries that are commonly used with home appliances...” What is not obvious to the average end user is that the intent of the UL-1236 warning, written in June, 1994 is to avoid attempting to recharge primary, non-rechargeable cells, like D, C, AA, alkaline cells that are used in things like flashlights, cameras, etc. There are rechargeable battery types available in those sizes, for those same household appliance applications, but for the most part, the chemistry of the cell is not lead-acid. The technical staff at Deltran has had numerous inquiries about the compatibility of Battery Tenderâ battery chargers with “DrycellÔ Batteries”. Once the battery brand name is identified to be the sealed, AGM, lead acid type, then there is no concern over compatibility with Deltran chargers.

GEL: The gel cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a GEL cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen, first like Jell-O, then after subsequent discharge/charge cycles more like peanut brittle. Micro cracks form in the gelled electrolyte that provide paths for the oxygen recombination reactions between the positive and negative plates. The recharge voltages on this type of cell are lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging.

Note: It is very common for individuals to use the term “GEL Cell” when referring to sealed, maintenance free batteries, much like one would use “Kleenex” when referring to facial tissue or "Xerox machine" when referring to a copy machine. Be very careful when specifying a charger. More often than not, what someone thinks to be a Gel Cell is really a sealed, maintenance free, GRT, probably AGM style battery.

Maintenance Free: This term is very generic and refers to basically all of the battery types except flooded batteries that have accessible individual cells so that the end user can add water. Since any sealed construction prevents the user from adding water to the individual cells, then by default it becomes maintenance free.
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Old 01-02-2003, 09:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SJM


I think his engine would die once the circuit was broken.

--Steve

FuCkInG moron...the system is self perpetuating once the engine is started.

Hell you could drive to Kansas and back as long as you did not stop the engine and require it to start.
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Old 01-02-2003, 10:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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FuCkInG moron...the system is self perpetuating once the engine is started.
He isn't as much of an idiot as you think, but for a reason he did not think of.

It is possible to trash the diodes in the voltage regulator by open circuiting the alternator (but not likely simply from disconnecting the battery). Normally, there is enough of a load from other systems to prevent the altenator from "seeing" an open circuit, but if the battery is really sucking the amperage because it is wasted, and then you disconnect it ... An open circuit can make the alternator try to source infinite current - and bang goes the diodes in voltage regulator!
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Old 01-02-2003, 11:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harvester of Sorrow



FuCkInG moron...the system is self perpetuating once the engine is started.

Hell you could drive to Kansas and back as long as you did not stop the engine and require it to start.
Quote:
Originally posted by Busto
He isn't as much of an idiot as you think, but for a reason he did not think of.

It is possible to trash the diodes in the voltage regulator by open circuiting the alternator (but not likely simply from disconnecting the battery). Normally, there is enough of a load from other systems to prevent the altenator from "seeing" an open circuit, but if the battery is really sucking the amperage because it is wasted, and then you disconnect it ... An open circuit can make the alternator try to source infinite current - and bang goes the diodes in voltage regulator!

And you can easily kill computers in todays cars/trucks but dissconecting the battery while the motor is running, yup I did it in a 280z
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Old 01-02-2003, 11:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
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My 96 chevy died when you pulled the cablr, computer has a direct 12v from the battery...duh.
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Old 01-02-2003, 12:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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i left the lights on in my brothers 93 YJ with my new blue top optima for about 4 days. i went out to the garage to find them barely glowing. the Optima was at about 2 volts.

so, i hooked the battery charger up to it and about 10 seconds later the overload tripped in the charger. i started the YJ with another battery, pulled it out, and as soon as i hooked up both cables to the optima, the alt. pulled the engine down and it the engine died. about 3 more tries, and the engine would keep running, but at about 500rpm. i then drove it around trying to get the battery to charge up....it got up to about 10 volts, but not enough to re-start the 4.0L.

i called my buddy who i bought the optima from and he said he had done the same thing to the red-top in his "new" (my old) VW sandrail. for kicks, he hooked up his little 1amp trickle charger to the dead optima and let is sit for a week. after that it was fine.

i decided to do the same. for the first 20 minutes, the little trickle charger would charge for about 3 minutes, then overload and kick-off for about a minute, then come back on. after 20 minutes, it didn't overload again, and kept charging. i checked on it again 3 days later and it seemed to be fine. i threw it in the YJ and it started right up and has been great ever since.

my suggestion is to buy a $20 Schumaker 1 amp trickle charger and try it. i have also brought back another dead deep-cycle battery from my boat with it. so far, its been a worthy investment!

matt
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