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Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
#1075814 Sun Dec 28 2014 06:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,546
P
Shop Shark
Gentlemen,

Need some opinions and insights from you all. I pronounced last rights on a battery last night, and need to get a replacement. This is for a 1989 Toyota Pickup that I use exclusively as a firewood/winch truck, but I know you guys have experience far outside of just stovebolts. I went with an Optima red top in my 41 Chevy, and love it so I am thinking about getting another Optima.

Back to the woods truck. It is a non-registered beater firewood truck that sits more than it goes, but when it is used it is nearly always winching something and idles for long periods. I got 4 years out of a garden variety Advance Auto special lead battery which I think is acceptable given that the use pattern is a poster child for sulfating and high drawdown occurrences. I always run the truck when winching, but the 8000lb Warn electric winch uses LOTS of energy and I am certain it draws down the battery with each wood collection event. The AGM batteries appear to be superior to the traditional type of battery concerning sulphation, as is typical with largely sedentary vehicles (like many of our project trucks). The Yellowtop batteries are supposed to serve as both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery. The deep cycling characteristic sounds very advantageous for high electrical use patterns such as winching. Any personal experiences? Right now the 8104-045 D35/78 Yellowtop looks like the winner but the $200+ price tag has me a little price shocked. Will it last at least twice as long as a traditional lead battery in the application described?

Paul

Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075819 Sun Dec 28 2014 06:50 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 8,386
Extreme Gabster
The red top should be sufficient. Deep cycles are for use in situations where there will be long draws on them between charges, like with a trolling motor or RV camping in the boonies with no electrical hook up.


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Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075829 Sun Dec 28 2014 07:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,896
H
Boltergeist
Are you running a 12 volt system with an alternator, or something more primitive? If you've got the capability to provide 50 amps or more at fast idle from the alternator I'd suggest using two 6 volt golf cart batteries for plenty of reserve capacity to run the winch, and use a battery maintainer (possibly solar-powered) between uses to prevent the batteries from sulfating. I use a similar setup on the 35 foot motorhome we own for the 12 volt coach power system. The coach batteries can also be used for starting by pushing a momentary-contact switch to run the starting and coach batteries in a parallel circuit in case of a low starting battery. The two golf cart batteries would cost much less than a single Optima.
Jerry


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Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075830 Sun Dec 28 2014 08:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,860
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Extreme Gabster
AGM batteries are indeed good [and usually double the cost of wet cells], but as Cletis says, deep cycle and starting batteries are different animals, advertising claims non-withstanding .... usually that'd be labeled as a 'marine battery'

Bill


Moved over to the Passing Lane

"When we tug a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world" ~ John Muir
"When we tug a single thing on an old truck, we find it falls off" ~ me
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Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075846 Sun Dec 28 2014 10:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,546
P
Shop Shark
Bill,

This battery is supposed to be both a starting and deep cycling battery.

http://www.optimabatteries.com/en-u...34-78-yellowtop-starting-and-deep-cycle/

In my application it will endure the least optimal types of use: infrequent use, short trips of no more than a mile, lots of idling, and heavy load demand from an electric winch to skid firewood trees to the nearest road.

I am not sold on it; but objectively, what do you think?

Paul

Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075859 Sun Dec 28 2014 11:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,010
Boltergeist
I do not winch very much and over the past few year I have once again decided the Diehard is for me. Just another idea.


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Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075880 Mon Dec 29 2014 12:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,860
F
Extreme Gabster
why not a blue top grin or a Trojan

I think you'd be best off with a strong battery that's kept on a battery maintainer along with setting up a hand throttle to keep the engine at a high enough RPM when winching that the alternator is supplying most of the juice .... "one of the few true dual-purpose automotive batteries available" is sales hype, "dual purpose" means it doesn't do either job well wink

I notice the yellow top has lower CA and CCA than the red top and I'm surprised at the price, up here the red top is $230 and yellow top is $240 CDN, which right now is well below the US $

Bill


Moved over to the Passing Lane

"When we tug a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world" ~ John Muir
"When we tug a single thing on an old truck, we find it falls off" ~ me
Some TF series details & TF heater pics
Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1075884 Mon Dec 29 2014 12:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,426
J
Shop Shark
The 48 2 ton has the PTO driven lift body converted to electric drive and a 10,000 lb Warn for a loading winch (main reason for having to convert to 12V). It has an 85 amp alt.

I took the high road and put a Red top in the existing battery box (got the correct fit) and then the largest Yellow top in a utility box on the opposite side of the frame. Designed a custom gas tank and matching utility box for both sides of the frame.
There are 2 10ga wires off the alt, 1 to each battery.

Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1076140 Tue Dec 30 2014 12:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,546
P
Shop Shark
I spoke with some hardcore Jeeper rock hound guys, and many of them use a redtop for starting and a yellowtop for winching (much like you are doing Jim). That plan sounds great, but buying two batteries would double the value of this clapped out woods truck. I agree with most replies that I need to be better at using a battery maintainer (so many moving parts...so little time). I am still intrigued by the yellowtop IF it really can function as both a starting and deep cycle battery as claimed by the manufacturer...someone selling a product wouldn't lie would they???

I guess the deciding factor is: will any AGM last twice the time of any wet cell battery? If you all have testimonial/anecdotal evidence that an AGM can last 8 years, I think I will go that route as it will be an approximate break even point. If nothing more than for the sake of science.

Thanks guys,

Paul

Re: Yellow top, red top, or plain old acid?
Paul_WNC #1076172 Tue Dec 30 2014 05:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,860
F
Extreme Gabster
"any" AGM vs "any" wet cell? yes, AGMs can last a long time, if properly cared for .... as can wet cells wink twice as long by design? only if the wet cell is treated as if it were a deep cycle .... an AGM battery is not "deep cycle", it's a lead acid battery that's assembled differently, a VRLA, the yellow top has thicker plates than the red top, more lead = higher price [and heavier]

I've got a fairly cheap NAPA battery in my forklift that's probably over 8 now, and the last battery I replaced in the '58 was 7 .... at your first post above I was surprised at your 4 year statement, I'd say the short life was due to being left in a state of discharge for extended periods after use, always assure any lead acid battery [sealed or not] is fully charged before storage, deep cycle batteries can stand the abuse better but will still have a shorter than possible life

Bill


Moved over to the Passing Lane

"When we tug a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world" ~ John Muir
"When we tug a single thing on an old truck, we find it falls off" ~ me
Some TF series details & TF heater pics

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