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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the need for a new battery. My red top Optima is truly dead after 7 years of service. Want to go with the original look. So is the repo battery the way to go. It seems there is only Restoration Batteries as far as a supplier of a repo battery. How are the quality and service life of their Batteries? I read a couple posts on another site that suggested they are Optima batteries with a cover on them. Are the toppers all created equal? Someone on this site stated they are bad and can be spotted a mile away. Which way would you go.
 

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A topper is just that, a topper and looks hokey on an original restored car. I have one of their batteries in my convertible I put it in there 2 years ago, I have never had a problem or issue with it other than the cost of it. Just keep it charged and it will be fine.
 

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There are things you can do to improve the realness of the appearance of your topper. Add a real Delco eye, drill small holes in the caps, and a repro warranty decal. It's still just a topper as Tom rightly asserts.
 
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A topper is just that, a topper and looks hokey on an original restored car. I have one of their batteries in my convertible I put it in there 2 years ago, I have never had a problem or issue with it other than the cost of it. Just keep it charged and it will be fine.
Totally agree with Tom. Have one in my wife's restored '72 Nova SS....been in there 5 yrs. or so. I take it out for the winter and put it in the basement...use a battery tender from time to time to maintain charge...no problems yet.
 

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Below is a joke but this is how the different batteries look from a mile away (OK, maybe the scale is not 100%) :)



I opted for the battery topper but I was concerned how it would look after looking how others put there's on. Here are some examples that I think the person took it right out of the package and slapped it on and they do not look as well as they could.

How it fits if the battery posts are not in the proper spot to fit through the holes in the topper:







How one looks when the aftermarket sticker is left in place and the top not supported or fitted properly to where the clamp bar bends it down:



An older style Tar Top Topper that is not wide enough to even cover the top of the battery:



A topper with the standard Delco Eye plug and the other plugs not lined up as well as the one battery terminal not fully seated on the post:




The Delco Eye plug on my topper that I modified to look less "fake":



How my topper was before I fitted the openings to the battery posts:



And how well it fit after doing some work:



How mine looked before I removed the aftermarket battery case sticker:



And with it removed:



Like anything else, you can have something look hokey or not, have it not be 100% "correct", and it depends on what you have to work with and how well it gets installed.

On mine I got the topper in hand THEN went shopping for a battery. I did get a kick out of the parts guy when I was looking for the battery to go under the topper I had and he asked what car I needed a battery for and had to stop him there to inform him I needed one that fit the topper and not the car.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I have been kicking this around for several hours. After reading several threads on a few sites I am leaning towards the topper. There are several reasons for this. First is the cost. The repo battery is approx $315.00 to my door. Although it has the eye I don't believe it is correct because it is clear instead of green. I can get a topper and new battery to my door for approx $150.00. As Alan suggested the topper can be modified to have the eye appear original.
In a thread on another site it was suggested that an Interstate MT-24 was a perfect fit for the R59 topper and could be used without modification to the topper. The only issue is the Interstate battery is white and needs to be painted. Would you say the body of the battery should be more of a flat color or Satin?
I did see a video on Your Tube where the person ground down a clear plastic handle of a screw driver and used that for modifying the eye cap. Is that what you did Jim?
A topper would certainly more of a step towards correct than my red top Optima was.
One other thing. Bruce mentioned a warranty decal. Is that correct for a 69? Thought those came a little later. They are not on the batteries from Reproduction Batteries.
 

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I did see a video on Your Tube where the person ground down a clear plastic handle of a screw driver and used that for modifying the eye cap. Is that what you did Jim?
A topper would certainly more of a step towards correct than my red top Optima was.
Yep, I'm the cheap bastard that did that :) .


Jim
 

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Brad. I am happy the way my battery topper looks. Bought a black battery with a mostly flat top. Centered holes at post ,a little doubled sided tape and its good. If the holes around posts are slightly off the cable ends will cover that. Have had battery for 6 years cover for 5. Gets removed and stored every winter. I get far more questions on where I got the original battery than that"s a topper right. Hope your still making progress on yours.
 

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I've been using restoration batteries since completing my resto back in 1999. Just replaced and on my 3rd since then. So have averaged around 9 years per battery. Don't drive much only about 3,400 miles in 18 years and keep a Battery Tender on every time it gets parked. They are expensive but I prefer the original look and with the Battery Tender I get better than normal life out of them. Same with my OEM HD Motorcycle batteries and even my 7 year old Silverado still with original battery. I own 5 or 6 Battery Tenders.
 
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