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What brand battery?
#1306519 Tue Apr 09 2019 02:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,241
cmayna Offline OP
Interstate? Duralast? SuperStart? This is not just for my truck but my VW camper and for whoever else is considering buying a new battery. What 12v brand battery is anyone recommending? Also for our trucks, what size is readily available with top posts?

Craig's '50 Chevy 3100 5 window
My truck
If I'm not working on my truck or VW camper, I'm fishing with the wife or smoking Salmon.
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1306520 Tue Apr 09 2019 02:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,763
I've found the batteries sold by the Subaru dealership to be very long lasting. Some say Interstate are ok, but the one I had conked out after only 2 years. In my truck I'm using one I got at O'Reilly's. I wouldn't have bought it there but the lady working there had done me a favor and I felt like giving the business to her.


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1306529 Tue Apr 09 2019 04:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,086
I've have good luck with Duralast Gold Battery's from Auto Zone.

1955.2 3100 Truck

The older I get the more dangerous I am!!!!!
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1306566 Tue Apr 09 2019 09:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 372
Over many years, I've had good luck with Interstate batteries. I started using them when I was working on BMWs and Mercedes more that 20 years ago, and they had a nice "European" selection that included the required vent hose fitting. More recently, I've had so-so luck with the Interstate products (typically 4 year life in TX heat), perhaps due to changes in manufacturing sources, but I don't know.

The batteries at the auto stores can be a bit of a crap shoot. Only some are made in the US any longer, FWIW. Quality control seems to be the issue since some of the offshore built batteries are OK, and some are weak right out of the store. Problem is, it's hard to tell what you are getting from the auto parts stores these days. So I tend to stick with Interstate, if I can't find a DEKA....

My go-to, when I can find them, are batteries made by East Penn Manufacturing, specifically their DEKA batteries. The DEKAs are rebranded to a number of stores. For example, some NAPA-branded batteries are made by DEKA, but the only way to tell is to look at their online Safety Data Sheet. It will say East Penn or DEKA on the SDS, if it's one of their batteries. There are a few DEKA dealers scattered around, that you can find here: DEKA Batteries - Dealer Locator. Their online catalog also cross references to other makes, here: 1937-2019 DEKA Car-Truck Battery Online Catalog. Lot's of top-post battery options.

I did a quick look at the AutoZone Duralast Gold that was mentioned, and at least a couple (a common Group 24, for example) are made by Johnson Controls, another one of the last US onshore manufacturers. I've not used the Duralast, but the manufacturing source is encouraging. With the newer AGM batteries, many folks on a new truck forum I frequent rave about the Odyssey batteries. But they are $$$$, and I'm too cheap to go there....

I know you are asking about 12V batteries in a general sense, but for others who may be looking for a 12V battery that fits where a Group 1 6V battery was OE, the Group 35 12V is close in dimensions. NAPA PN 7535 and 8435 are both Group 35 and appear to be rebranded DEKA batteries. The 8435 is apparently the same as the DEKA 735MF.

Finally, way off the original question, for those who may be looking for a good Group 1 6V battery, the NAPA "Commercial" PN 7244 is a rebranded DEKA 901MF. I have been running one of the NAPA 7244s for about 2 years in my '53, without issue. I do keep it on a battery tender, since its use is relatively infrequent.

Last edited by drdoug; Tue Apr 09 2019 09:29 PM.
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1306624 Wed Apr 10 2019 04:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,324
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
I've had good luck with duralast gold in my two primary vehicles. I usually buy the cheapest autozone battery for my cars that just sit around most of the time on a battery tender. The battery in my 36 is at least 8 years old now.

Another quality post.

Real Trucks Rattle

HELP! The Paranoids are after me!
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1308056 Sun Apr 21 2019 11:18 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,490
Master Gabster
Most batteries these days are made by only a few companies, with whoever is selling them putting their brand name on it. Diehard (if you can even find a Sears to get one from), Autozone, Advance Auto, Interstate, Wal-Mart and many others are all made by Johnson Controls. Napa sources theirs from Exide. Duracell automotive batteries are Deka, who also makes batteries for many of the smaller regional chain stores.
Quality is pretty even across the board, my best advise would be to look for the best price and warrantee, as well as highest cold crank.

Bill Burmeister
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1308058 Sun Apr 21 2019 11:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 629
Batteries are made by a few companies...............but............. the batteries are made to different specifications and often built to a price point.
Batteries are all about the plates and electrolyte ( acid) so a battery that weighs 10 pound less in the same case size means the batteries are not the same in power output.

Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1308061 Mon Apr 22 2019 12:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 641
yeah showkey and longbox55 are right, and it gets worst
most brands will use a variety of designs and price points batteries across their line up
and they also change sources from time to time
just because a specific battery brand in a certain size group treated you well or poorly doesn't mean much for how well the next will last or how other sizes of the same brand will do.

lately my approach is as follows - find the nearest wrecking yard, they usually have a pile of "tested" batteries for sale
usually their price is about $30-35 CAD with NO core charge - that means the dead battery is still worth $20 for core return to the metal recyclers
I get a 75% shot at having a great battery for $10-15!
sure beats paying $150 for a new one

For 6V i need to buy new, but one time i did saw a 12V in two, there was a dead cell on one side so you can never make 2 x 6V batteries, you have to pick a center cell to sacrifice for the cut
the metal recyclers don't care if your battery is sawed in two, they go by weight in that case

Attached Files
home_made_6v.jpg (321.91 KB, 142 downloads)
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1308151 Mon Apr 22 2019 07:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,130
The Duralast batteries are made by a company called Penn. I have a battery in my 54 made by them and I had optima and it lasted 13 years before that. I now have an Auto Zone Branded Penn Optima copy.

Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
Pix on Photobucket
Re: What brand battery?
cmayna #1308205 Tue Apr 23 2019 02:58 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,785
I've gone to Walmart batteries in our 3 vehicles including the 2 batteries in our Dodge/Cummins. The store is close and the battery reasonably priced. The Group 24 worked well in the '48 all last winter to 20 below but, then again, I use a frost plug heater when it gets that cold. That helps starting but not cranking. I think it's 700 CCA.

Their Maxx battery is $95-120. I use it for 5 years and then get another before trouble.

1948 3/4-Ton 5-Window Flatbed Chevrolet []

29 Years of Daily Driving. With a '61 261, 848 head, Rochester Monojet carb, SM420 4-speed, 4.10 rear, dual reservoir MC, Bendix up front, 235/85R16 tires, 12-volt w/alternator, electric wipers and a modern radio in the glove box.
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