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I have a 1970 Chevelle SS396 with a modified cam(previous owner). I have noticed that when I go to start it, the battery just doesn't have enough "kick" to get the car started in cold weather. The battery is a Diehard gold.

I assuming that with the cam, it just takes more cranking power to start the car.

Would a battery such as the Optima brand provide more CCA, which I assume that I need? Or, any other recommended brand?

Also, what is the maximum size which would fit in the standard factory tray?
 

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What's the condition of the battery cables? They may be undersized. Do they get hot while you're cranking the engine. Also, check that the negative battery connection at the block is clean.
 

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Whats the CCA of the battery you have now? How old is it? Are you sure it's being charged properly?

Also, how cold is it outside when you notice the problem?

I would think the compression ratio rather than the cam itself would be more the factor here. Any idea what pistons are in it?

Have you tried a synthetic oil? As I understand it, synthetics will perform better in severe cold weather. It's just that they allow so little friction that the engine will take longer to warm up.

Agree with Jerry, check the battery cables and connections. Some people put on welding cables. In general, the bigger the diameter and the shorter the cable, the better the electrical performance.

I also hear that the mini gear reduction starters perform better in hard situations like this as well. I have also seen starers "drag" if they aren't performing 100%
 

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Ralph an Optima battery is an excellent choice for any car. I have been using them for 15 years. The first one was in a company truck and was still good 8 years later when the truck was sold. I have one in my truck that has performed well for the last 7 years and has been in 3 different vehicle. There is a deep cycle Optima on my car trailer for running the winch and 2 in my RV.
 
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