Need a battery recommendation for a '72 - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 19, 6:54 PM Thread Starter
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Steve
 
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Need a battery recommendation for a '72

Short story - I want/need a new battery for my '72 and I'm looking for recommendations of brand/mfg/product.

Yes, I could have searched (and yes, I did search) but battery technology and products and manufacturers change all the time, so I'm looking for more recent up to date information. I've had luck with DieHard in the past, and there is still a Sears open near me, so that's my leading contender right now, but looking for opinions.

Longer story - I put my car away in October. It has never had a problem holding a charge for a long period of time, but I put a battery tender on it periodically anyway. About once a month I would go down to the garage, hook up the tender, and roll the car forward or backwards a few feet (not really worried about flat spots on the tires, but it gives me an excuse to sit in the car ) Usually a day later I go down and disconnect the tender after it has topped the battery off and is in maintenance mode. I haven't even put a key in the ignition or touched anything other than that since last October.

The last time I was in the car was about a week ago. Everything normal. Today, I was down in the garage today for something else, and the weather is turning nice (kinda) so I figured I would pull the cover and just poke around for a bit. I opened the door - no dome light. That's strange thought I, so I tried the headlights. Nothing. Pop the hood, put a volt meter on the battery - it's down at like 3 volts. Very strange... I put the tender on it to charge it up anyway, but something is clearly wrong. Now, maybe I was a dumb*** and didn't shut the door all the way last time I was there (but I always check) and the dome light was left on and killed it. Or some sort of weird drain just suddenly appeared out of the blue.

Then I noticed the date code on the battery - 05/11. So, the battery is 8 years old. So, since I'm pushing my luck already - time for a new one (especially since this one hit 3 volts I know it will be unhappy) and then I will try and see if there is a suddenly new constant drain that has appeared (which would be strange in and of itself.)

Somewhat related which makes me thing it wasn't necessarily my fault, I had the battery in my 4 year old Fusion just up and crap out and toast a cell one day out of the blue. One day, perfectly fine. The next day, not even enough juice to turn over a tiny 4 cylinder engine. Took the battery out, tested it, one of the cells had shorted out. Replaced it, no more problems. I'm wondering if the same or a similar thing happened here with the up and down temperature fluctuations of the springtime weather (45+ degree swings in 24 hours a few times in the past few weeks.)

1972 Chevelle, 454, 2004r, 3.08
1981 Camaro Z28, 355, TH350, 3.73
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 19, 9:26 PM
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Scott
 
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

A dead battery is 11.7V. 3V indicates a short somewhere or multiple dead cells. Check for other problems.
As far as batteries go, I love interstate batteries. Last one I had, lasted 13 + years. I believe it's still a standard flooded type battery, I'll check.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 19, 9:52 PM
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

Do you intend to put a battery topper on the Battery? One battery that will take an R-89 Topper is the Duracell Ultra SLI24 440CCA through Batteries Plus Bulbs (order on-line with code CDP10047 to save 10%).
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 19, 10:24 PM
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

Last Walmart battery came with the car when I bought it and lasted 9 years. So went back and picked the largest CCA battery off the shelf that will fit in my battery tray, a group 24F 750cca top post for $111 carry out to spin a BBC. The Everstart batteries are made by Johnson Controls.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 19, 7:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

No battery topper needed. Thanks for the link though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickeyChevelle View Post
Do you intend to put a battery topper on the Battery? One battery that will take an R-89 Topper is the Duracell Ultra SLI24 440CCA through Batteries Plus Bulbs (order on-line with code CDP10047 to save 10%).

1972 Chevelle, 454, 2004r, 3.08
1981 Camaro Z28, 355, TH350, 3.73
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 19, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

I let the battery charge up overnight on the little charger/tender. It brought it right up to 12.00 volts and then went into maintenance mode.

I disconnected everything and checked for parasitic draw. When I first connect the meter, it jumps up to 360 milliamps. After about 5 seconds it drops down to about 160 milliamps. Then about 5-10 seconds later it drops down to about 20-25 milliamps and holds steady there from then on.

I ran the test 4 times (waiting about 5 times in between each just to make sure full resets happened) and it was very consistent.

I have an aftermarket stereo, alarm system and Dakota Digital dash that I can attribute that draw behavior to. It doesn't seem totally out of line.

So, I don't think a magic parastic draw jumped out of nowhere.

As an experiment, I left the battery connected, and I'll go check on the voltage level periodically and see if it craters or just holds reasonably steady as it had before. It was showing 11.99 volts when I left the garage.

Meanwhile, I'll be scoping out a new battery (no rush, I won't be using it for another few weeks anyway.) Sears had DieHard Gold with 770 CCA and 120 minutes of reserve on sale yesterday for $119. Today they were back up to $158 (I thought the sale was good until end of May, I guess not) so I'll wait and see if they go back on sale.

1972 Chevelle, 454, 2004r, 3.08
1981 Camaro Z28, 355, TH350, 3.73
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 19, 1:18 PM
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

Stay away from Optima batteries. Despite what they say, since they moved production to Mexico, they're not that great anymore.

I've found the very best battery is an AGM from Braille. A little more expensive but worth it. Comes with a load test report. Spins my big block as long as I want it to.

Next up is from Odyssey. Also more that the usual retail batteries but great stuff, I have one in my daily driver. It's never let me down.

I used to think Interstate was a good brand but I had a new one die after one winter in storage on a battery tender. Never again.

If you buy a battery off the shelf at an AutoZone or Pep Boys, you'll have a nationwide warranty to back it up. Pep Boys has Bosch, which are pretty decent. Have the staff get you a battery from the back of the shelf, it'll be newer that what's in the front.

Whatever you get, make it an AGM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 19, 1:35 PM
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

I've been getting my batteries from Advance Auto Parts and they seem to last as long as any others but I always buy the best that will fit into the vehicles battery tray.

I see recommendations of a lot of different things on here but it seems to me that one thing folks don't think about is "are they the same as they were back then?"

It really depends on which manufacture has the contract to put which labels on their batteries today.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 19, 4:47 PM Thread Starter
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Steve
 
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Re: Need a battery recommendation for a '72

Thanks Dean - Exactly why I'm looking for opinions based on what the market looks like today.

This thread will probably be irrelevant in 6-12 months given market/product/technology changes, and I wouldn't be surprised at a complete set of different opinions/recommendations then too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean View Post
I've been getting my batteries from Advance Auto Parts and they seem to last as long as any others but I always buy the best that will fit into the vehicles battery tray.

I see recommendations of a lot of different things on here but it seems to me that one thing folks don't think about is "are they the same as they were back then?"

It really depends on which manufacture has the contract to put which labels on their batteries today.

1972 Chevelle, 454, 2004r, 3.08
1981 Camaro Z28, 355, TH350, 3.73
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