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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently running dual Optima Yellow Tops in the Dawg now but they don't hold their cranking power through several starts at a race (they are getting old). In my research I have found that the 34/78 Red Tops are rated higher for sustained starts. Anyone have any thoughts on which would be a better choice? Who has the best price in the Boise Area? Summit has them for $180 plus handleing and Sears has them for $170.

Or......I have read that Costco has something similar (same, re-branded Kirkland?).
 

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Sams club carries the OPTIMA brand for like 160-180 bucks.
 

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Dawg, I can get you the Interstate version of the Optima :D

Red top batteries are a starting battery. The Yellow tops are deep cycle battery, meaning that you can discharge them further and they will bounce back. But the red tops will put out more CA's when turning over the beast!

Red tops from Interstate also have a 3 year warranty.
 

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Orbitals are a good choice too, they are almost identical to the Optima's, except they have 6 vents and are wrapped the oposite directions.

The thing with red top Optima's or Orbital's is that they don't like being discharged alot. We run them in all the trucks at work. And when they go dead, we pull them and swap them with fresh charged ones. Then we put the dead ones on a slow 2 amp charge for a couple of days and they are good to go. I have found that if I try to fast charge them when they are dead, that they don't last as long.

Yellow tops on the other hand are designed to be discharged and charged many times, which is why they make great batteries for RV's and things that have draw in between charges. For what you do, it is what I would run.

Here is a excerpt from Optima's site:


Dual Purpose (Starting and Deep Cycle) Batteries for Professional Use

OPTIMA YellowTop is made to install and forget. No matter the conditions, be it dampness, heat, dirt or exposure to extremes in vibration or regular discharge, you can count on OPTIMA to deliver uninterrupted power. OPTIMA's ability to hold a higher voltage during the discharge cycle makes it possible to utilize more of the stored power in the OPTIMA compared to ordinary batteries. The YellowTop handles many discharges as well as re-charges without losing significant capacity. OPTIMA is also ideal for seasonal use because of its very low self-discharge rate. That means you can store your seasonal vehicles all winter without regular charging and still spring out of the starting block when winter is over.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·


I spent a lot of time on the Optima site too and ran across this graph. It's what made me wonder if the Red Tops might be better than the Yellow Tops I run now. You guys are right about the deep cycle Yellows being better for many discharges, which is why I run them now. I was just wondering if my thinking was still right. Guess maybe I just need to replace the old ones. I'm doing a little running around today so I guess I'll check prices. Thanks for the feed back :thumb:

edit: Who sells the Orbitals and other Optima copies?
 

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We have always run the Red top Optimas in our trucks - $150 at Les Schwab, but if you can get them from Ken or Shane for around the same price I would definitely buy from the little guy than give me $$$ to Schwab's!
 

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NAPA, Schucks, Les Schwab, and many others.

But, as far as I know, they don't make a deep cycle like optima does.

Never tried these Odyssey Drycell Batteries but read some good reviews on them also.
I have used those for years, but the problem with them is they dont have any reserve capacity. And now they are very expensive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a FYI. I had a Dodge pickup that I installed 2 Orbitals in it. To prove a point I left the lights on all day (8:AM to 4:30 PM) Went out and started the truck, it started great. On the way home from Boise to Kuna the amp guage was pegged on 30 AMPS. I left it parked all night and the next morning it fired off just like allways. Amp guage slowly reduced to around 10 AMPS on the way back to Boise.
So two Optimas will take one hell of alot of punishment and still perform.

BTW The engine was a 440 with 10.5 compression and big cam.

I can put you into the Optima for $149.00 each.
Is that for the D34/78?
 

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Be careful about the discount store Optimas, they usually have less juice. I want to say 700 cranking amps, vs 1000 in a "real" Red Top.

The Yellow and deep cycle Blue are the only ones your supposed to run a winch with. If you run a winch on a Red top, it voids the warranty... (if they can prove it). That is per the folks at Optima.
 

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Be careful about the discount store Optimas, they usually have less juice. I want to say 700 cranking amps, vs 1000 in a "real" Red Top.

The Yellow and deep cycle Blue are the only ones your supposed to run a winch with. If you run a winch on a Red top, it voids the warranty... (if they can prove it). That is per the folks at Optima.
That is not entirely true..

You cannot hook a winch up to the side posts...That is the only restriction.
 

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You got me thinking, so I just called them to check since my info was a couple years old.

1-888-867-8462 and I talked to Bridget.

She told me:

Red top is only for starting and the warranty is voided if you hookup a winch to it, doesn't matter top or side posts. The battery isn't designed for a long draw that a winch demands and it will ruin the internals over time.

Blue top deep cycle or Yellow top are what to use for a winch.
 

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You got me thinking, so I just called them to check since my info was a couple years old.

1-888-867-8462 and I talked to Bridget.

She told me:

Red top is only for starting and the warranty is voided if you hookup a winch to it, doesn't matter top or side posts. The battery isn't designed for a long draw that a winch demands and it will ruin the internals over time.

Blue top deep cycle or Yellow top are what to use for a winch.

I guess its all about who you deal with...I have warrantied batteries before, and I have asked reps about it....No problems at all!

I guess it pays to have a good parts guy all the time :D
 

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Be careful about the discount store Optimas, they usually have less juice.
That is what impressed me, OWR came in with out even trying at a price $40 below a Discount Store Battery.

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i have ran the red tops on almost all my vehicles i like them but if your interested it a little more money but die hard came out with a batt. that is suppose to runs circles around the optima batt. and it holds up to the vibrations and can mount them just like the optima batt anyway but upside down if you have any questions go talk to Brian Howard @ sears and he might be able to help you
 

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The redtops at Costco definitely aren't the same as you buy from a battery store. The advantage of going with the Interstate badged ones is the longer warranty.
 

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Just make sure you are comparing CCA's. Optima sells two sizes of the red top, Costco only sells the smaller one. Seeing that you have a sponsor that sells the Optimas, I would talk with them. They made me a great deal on my last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Just make sure you are comparing CCA's. Optima sells two sizes of the red top, Costco only sells the smaller one. Seeing that you have a sponsor that sells the Optimas, I would talk with them. They made me a great deal on my last one.

I checked Costco yesterday and they have the Yellow Top D34/78's for $166 - CCA is 750 amps [870 CA] with a researve of 120 mins. (The Red Top's 34/78 CCA is 800 [1000 CA] with the reserve of 110 mins.)
 
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