It's about time I upgrade from Walmart batteries and I need some opinions.
I've heard good and bad about Optima, but I don't know a whole lot about batteries in general. It needs to be able to sit for extended periods of time and have a lot of CCA.
Also, I'm planning to upgrade my sound system and run dual batteries in series to lighten the load on the main battery. Would a normal dry cell car battery work ok? It may also be used to run a few other accessories.
Optima is fine. I run my truck, 650 watt amp and winch off of one. Haven't had any issues yet. The main thing with optima is the materials they are made of is different than your average automotive battery. They take a very slow charge. Low amperage for a long time. Don't run them in series, you will fry just about everything electronic in the truck. Running them in series will double the voltage. Parallel will double the amperage and keep the voltage down to 12. Invest in a dual battery isolator and follow the instructions.
Normally I'd suggest a WallyWorld battery, but lately they have left a bad taste in my mouth...
Replaced one in my ranger last summer under warranty & went out the other day to let it run a while & only got a couple relay clicks, no start. Stuck it on a charger for a few hours & got it back up to 11v & it started, but looks like it's gonna get returned when it warms up enough for me to take it off.
They're made by Johnson industries (or something like that) which makes batteries for several different companies that stick their branding on them.
I got the largest physical sized battery that fit in my tray without modding & seems like it had 1000cca but the newer ones are only about 850cca. The stock battery was only like 650cca, so I'm not too worried about being under powered.
Definitely run a diode or relay style isolator for dual batteries. I've had the isolator for mine for over a year & still haven't got around to installing it or the extra battery.
Some people say you don't need to isolate the batteries, but if one dies it can drain the other battery too if not isolated.
I got a NOCO 200a isolator from amazon for about $60.
As far as recommending a new battery... it's kinda a toss up, you might get one made by the same company as the wallyworld batteries, maybe another company.
The thing about wallyworld is they've always been good about replacing them under warranty... unlike autozone who refused to replace a dead battery that still had 6 of the 7 years of warranty left.
I too have thought about optimas but for the money, you could buy 2x regular batteries & have money left for an isolator.
For the 2nd battery, you might consider a "marine" deep cycle battery. They're about the same price as regular batteries, but they're meant for deep discharge & quicker recharges which should be fine for car audio use.
I am running dual Optimas 1000cca group 34 yellow tops with a 200 Continuous duty solenoid to isolate. It has never let me down and will run all of my lights all night without my voltage dropping significantly.
Prior to the duals I ran a single factory size red top that worked great for 7 years until my winch cable shorted and cooked the battery. It was showing no signs of weakness even after 2 trucks lots of lights and winching.
Have you guys found good DIY articles for this, or have you just gathered the knowledge from multiple sources?
there is lots of info and opinions out there, Expedition portal has several good threads on how to up grade your electrical system. 3 steps in my mind first upgrade wiring, then bigger alt then dual batteries.
pics for you to ponder,
old tray out (hardest part) abs module moved and painted
New tray mounted and solenoid installed
wiring - you can see my 0 gauge flat strap for the engine to chassis ground as well (make sure to use braided for this or you will get one heck of a whine in your stereo)
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2003 Ranger Fx4 4.0 TR- DBR long travel, Deaver G50, 305/70R16 MTRs, Supercharged, C4x4 bumpers, super sliders, 10K winch lots of lights and radios.