Got a new battery today (had to...) - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-21-2004
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Got a new battery today (had to...)

And that's a story in itself. I was actually running Carl's old factory original (4 years old) battery. Back when Carl got an Optima for his truck, he gave me his battery. I ended up putting it in my truck to find out if my old battery had a problem or not.

I wouldn't have had to replace this battery if I'd followed the old adage: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

My factory original battery seldom showed that little indicator window to be green. Sometimes it was, most times it was just black. You know what I'm talking about? The little "eye" in the top of the battery? Anyway, I put Carl's battery in and it was always green so I left it there.

Then an under-employed buddy of mine from church had his battery go bad so I gave him my factory original battery for free telling him, "I don't know how good it is."

Well, his car still starts, and my truck has been having problems. Today I used a clamp on DC ammeter and verified I don't have anything draining down the battery. The last straw was I went to lunch, got back, and went to start my truck to drive to a meeting at a different part of the plant and the truck wouldn't start! I figure 15 minutes is a real short time for a battery to go dead. Of course it was like 15 degrees out at that point -- but the truck had just been run.

I got a Pep Boy's "Pro Start" (El-Cheapo) for $59.95 with my old battery and all's well. I forgot how the truck was SUPPOSED to turn over. Much better!
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Old 12-21-2004
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my truck did the same thing about 2 months ago... i went into the store to buy somthing, then came out and the batt was dead...I went to another store to get something else and came back and it was normal...never had a problem since
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Old 12-21-2004
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If it was only one time, I would have been okay with it. But this has been getting worse and worse. Your battery is not so old. I "mistakenly" had the oldest batter in mine!

I did check the charging system, and it's okay.
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Old 12-21-2004
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john why didnt you get an optima?? ive still got mine in the torino, the thing sits for a month at a time, cranks for a good 2 mins in cold weather (damn that sticky choke), and has lasted 3 years so far being charged by a 60 amp alternator that runs a 13.5 amp elec fan and an MSD ignition system. not to mention its mounted in my trunk with a shady ground connection (remind me to fix that) the other one i have is in my brothers jeep, it was in my ranger, then in my bronco where it promptly caught on fire (damn shorting starter cable), was cleaned up and still kicking hard!! both red tops btw
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2004
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I've got the stock battery hooked up to just over 1100 watts (RMS) in stereo equipment. Still got my green eye showing, I wonder how long it will last?
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Old 12-21-2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundPer4mance
john why didnt you get an optima?? ive still got mine in the torino, the thing sits for a month at a time, cranks for a good 2 mins in cold weather (damn that sticky choke), and has lasted 3 years so far being charged by a 60 amp alternator that runs a 13.5 amp elec fan and an MSD ignition system. not to mention its mounted in my trunk with a shady ground connection (remind me to fix that) the other one i have is in my brothers jeep, it was in my ranger, then in my bronco where it promptly caught on fire (damn shorting starter cable), was cleaned up and still kicking hard!! both red tops btw
Almost twice as much money at Christmas is why. No way. I was begrudging spending the money after all the service work I've had to do lately anyway -- and my wifes Honda needs new tires. Another $50-$60 was not acceptable to me (I can be cheap). This battery may last me for another 3 to 4 years and by then who knows if I'll even still have the truck.
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Old 12-21-2004
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Wow John, you seem to be having all kinds of trouble lately. .. Hope this is the end of it for yah..

I haven't even looked at my battery since I bought the thing! The pleasures of a new vehicle.. I could get used to this! (And fear I have!)
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Old 12-21-2004
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lol! Don't forget how much of my "trouble" was self-inflicted. I don't count all the preventive maintenance I've been doing -- but the whole thing with the wheel studs was what cost the most overall and the wheel/lug nut combo I ended up with was the culprit and I wish I'd done more "due diligence" in putting that together!

All's well now, though, thanks. And I hope I'm not spending any more money EITHER!!! :)
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2004
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I wouldn't trust the cheap hydrometer they put in the battery to tell me if it had voltage or not. That feature is for use when new on the assembly line to tell if the battery is good enough to put into the vehicle. It isn't meant for you to tell your battery's condition years down the road.

Your ammeter didn't show you a draw because the draw is probably internal. Batteries fail internally all the time. In fact, they are always in the process of failing by the nature of how they work. Every time you cycle it the lead plates get a little more sulfur on them. They have less and less charge all the time until there is no "depth" left to the battery. Once the surface charge is gone it goes dead. Individual plates can fail completely or even short or partially short out. A combination of all these problems can lead to some pretty poor performance.

My factory battery failed after 25 months. Ironically my Cobra's starter failed the same day and I had to put the Cobra battery into the truck to get a new battery for the truck and a new starter for the car.
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Old 12-21-2004
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Yes, Dave, that ongoing failure is characteristic. I guess it should come as no surprise when it reaches a "critical" point -- but it still does, lol!

And I thought that too when I saw there was no external draw on it beyond what I expected.

Well, I guess if you were going to have simultaneous failures, having it in such a way that at least ONE vehicle could be made functional was fortuitous! :)
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2004
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yah i highly suggest the optima red top. i've got that and loved it ever since. no problems at all, 980 CCA too...winter... HAHAHA
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Old 12-22-2004
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i should also throw in this thread that the little sight thing in the factory battery is worthless. ive tested hundreds of batteries when i served time at autozone, the batteries with red were good about half the time, and the reverse too, batteries with green or yellow were dead as a doornail. the sight plug shows fluid level, which is important, but it does not show dead cells in the battery
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2004
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I heard once that putting to large a battery (like 1100+ CCA) is a bad thing. Anything to that?
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2004
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Only when your alternator can't charge it. That's why they make battery isolators for running two batteries, which electrically are just one really big one.
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