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Old 01-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
Fortress Maximus
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Default lightweight battery replacement

I have read various threads discussing lightweight battery replacement, but I'd like some more current recommendations, particularly because of the increasing availability of lithium batteries. I want light weight, but I also want good reliability and reasonable lifetime. I plan to leave the battery under the hood of my '06 WRX which is stock except a stage 2 system (turbo back exhaust and ECU). I live in Texas, so heat is definitely an issue. I only drive the car on weekends for spirited driving and the occasional autoX or track day. I'm fine with leaving it on a battery tender in the garage, but I want to make sure it will be reliable in extreme heat (i.e. track day during the summer). I know Li batteries are expensive, some more than others. I'm willing to pay $200-300 but would obviously prefer cheaper. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
Charlie-III
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As an avid RC'r, I would likely NOT recommend a LiPO/LiFE battery in a car application.

Yes, they're light.
Yes, they have decent "high amp draw" power.

Yes, if mishandled (a battery tender is NOT a recommended method) is a great way to start a fire.

No, I've never used a LiPO/LiFE in a car.....short term or long term.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortress Maximus View Post
I have read various threads discussing lightweight battery replacement, but I'd like some more current recommendations, particularly because of the increasing availability of lithium batteries. I want light weight, but I also want good reliability and reasonable lifetime. I plan to leave the battery under the hood of my '06 WRX which is stock except a stage 2 system (turbo back exhaust and ECU). I live in Texas, so heat is definitely an issue. I only drive the car on weekends for spirited driving and the occasional autoX or track day. I'm fine with leaving it on a battery tender in the garage, but I want to make sure it will be reliable in extreme heat (i.e. track day during the summer). I know Li batteries are expensive, some more than others. I'm willing to pay $200-300 but would obviously prefer cheaper. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!
i have used a 'pc680' size agm battery since 2003---not the same one, im on my 3rd one....in both my wrx's

relocated under the passengers seat

one of my fav ever mods, really

if you are NOT gonna relocate it.....just forget about it....yeah, not kidding

it wont last...and if the car isnt driven regularly, the paracitic drain from the car will kill the battery sooner rather than later and the heat under the hood is bad juju...that is why i put mine under the seat

and the wrong 'tender' will kill the battery quite rapidly...get the correct one or be

and taking the most weight off the front end as is possible really does make a big difference in the way the car drives, no doubt
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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OK, so I guess Li batteries just aren't quite ready for car applications. I was afraid you'd say don't bother if you don't want to relocate the battery, but it seems like the risk of parasitic drain can be mitigated by using a battery tender. As you said, you need the right one, so that begs the question, what's the right one? Assuming I get an AGM battery with the right tender, will it hold up to occasional high heat? I'm OK with replacing it every couple of years, but I don't want to blow it up. Will this work, or is it just asking for trouble? Thanks again!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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I've been running the same battery as Uncle Scotty for about a year and a half now.

Its still in the engine bay and is showing signs of imminent failure, I carry a jump box with me now, and use it frequently

I'm either looking for an agm battery with a little more oomph than 220cca, but I'll most likely get the same (pc680) battery and locate it under my passenger seat.

~Evil
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Thx Evil. I was just looking at an Odyssey PC680 that has a 2-yr full replacement warranty...

Any thoughts on a good tender for that battery?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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This is what I have been using for about 8 months http://www.batterymart.com/p-shorai-...n-battery.html I highly recommend it! Bang for the buck seems great, 5 pounds... yup 5#'s! with 540cca. Search around cause I'm pretty sure I got mine cheaper elsewhere. No problems down to 2 degrees here. I do not have a bangin aftermarket stereo system thumpin yo, so can't comment on that.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bru1212 View Post
This is what I have been using for about 8 months http://www.batterymart.com/p-shorai-...n-battery.html I highly recommend it! Bang for the buck seems great, 5 pounds... yup 5#'s! with 540cca. Search around cause I'm pretty sure I got mine cheaper elsewhere. No problems down to 2 degrees here. I do not have a bangin aftermarket stereo system thumpin yo, so can't comment on that.
Do you have yours in the engine bay or inside the car?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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OK.....here it is as far as my extensive research on all of this has revealed....and i HAVE researched this quite a LOT

the new Lithium batteries....most of them, i guess.... are sensitive to COLD.....they get sluggish at lower temperatures and most require 'pre heating' them by turning the headlights on for a couple minutes to warm them up...before they may start the vehicle....this seems to be an issue below ~30*F
other than that....they seem to be great.....there is no real data on their long term life though or their high temperature tolerance

the AGM batteries.....they die quickly under the hood....NOT so quickly if ya keep them cool
i used an Odyssey PC680 that lasted 5 years.....got a magnum powersports etx20L for ~$90 at advance auto....these are DEKA batteries...great quality.....the first one i got was a 'return' battery that i got CHEAP cuz i was poor at the time....it lasted ~18 months and wasnt DONE but i had the $$$ to get a new one and it is going strong...even when the car isnt started for 10-12 days at a time.


i wouldnt worry about the 'cca'....never been an issue

agm batteries dont care about the cold but may take longer to start the car due to it being stiff with the cold


the next battery i buy will almost certainly be one of the Li batteries which i will likely mount above and behind the glove box ir in the glove box
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeephaha View Post
Do you have yours in the engine bay or inside the car?
Engine
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:06 PM   #11
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i was considering the LFX21A6-BS12 as being plenty much...and 3 pounds
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
i was considering the LFX21A6-BS12 as being plenty much...and 3 pounds
I don't know your location Scotty but if you see freezing temps I would get more CCA. I mean the stock battery from my search skills indicate ruffly 465CCA and it did not like to start in the cold. Although you read these are Li Iron not Ion, so I guess that's what makes them crank even harder the longer the key is turned so you may be alright. To me that one would be abit of a gamble. I did just purchase a battery warmer but haven't used it yet. The car sits 4-5 days at a time. If you do get the shorai I would get the positive terminal on the right side and spin the battery around backwards as the stock GD cables and placement make it a tight reach. You could get some wire/cable and extend the stock ones, I just chose the path of least resistance LOL
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bru1212 View Post
I don't know your location Scotty but if you see freezing temps I would get more CCA. I mean the stock battery from my search skills indicate ruffly 465CCA and it did not like to start in the cold. Although you read these are Li Iron not Ion, so I guess that's what makes them crank even harder the longer the key is turned so you may be alright. To me that one would be abit of a gamble. I did just purchase a battery warmer but haven't used it yet. The car sits 4-5 days at a time. If you do get the shorai I would get the positive terminal on the right side and spin the battery around backwards as the stock GD cables and placement make it a tight reach. You could get some wire/cable and extend the stock ones, I just chose the path of least resistance LOL

d00000000000000d...stock subaru batteries are total garbage and that is that...they wouldnt be good for a lawn mower

......ive been using agm batteries for 10 years that have had less than 300 'cca' and never had any issue.....that goes down to the 1x*F temps
the battery in my car has sat here for 10 days and it started right up afer temps in the 30*'s the whole time


and there is no way in hell id put the battery back under the hood anyway.....hasnt been there since 2002.....its under the passengers seat now and i get the liFe battery and its goin either in the glove box or behind it.


the only real issue that you will have with any of these is reduced ah capacity
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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Dooood I realize the stock battery is garbage and that's more or less what I said. The AGM/DEKA batteries are good I'm sure but not 5# good, they are almost half the price of the one I posted but 3 times the weight without the power. Why would you mount it in/behind the glove? Just seems diffucult to access. Is it merely for weight distribution?
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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Not sure why everyone dumps on the OEM batteries, maybe it's the FI guys, maybe Subaru "cheapened" the batteries in newer cars.

My OEM battery lasted just over 9 years.
My wifes OEM battery lasted almost 9 years.
Both were Panasonc batteries.

Both are NA cars.
Both batteries had ~130K miles on them.

AGM batteries are a form of "lead acid" battery, thus pretty old tech but pretty tolerant of abuse. AGM stands for "Absorbed Glass Mat" which means very little electrolyte that is free inside. If you crack a case, you don't get a big liquid spill.
Yes, they're heavy.
No, they don't tend to explode.
A "Battery Tender" (as made by Deltran in FL) will work on any type of lead acid battery (flooded, gel-cell, AGM) but NOT on LiPO, LiFE, Lion.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
Not sure why everyone dumps on the OEM batteries, maybe it's the FI guys, maybe Subaru "cheapened" the batteries in newer cars.

My OEM battery lasted just over 9 years.
My wifes OEM battery lasted almost 9 years.
Both were Panasonc batteries.

Both are NA cars.
Both batteries had ~130K miles on them.

AGM batteries are a form of "lead acid" battery, thus pretty old tech but pretty tolerant of abuse. AGM stands for "Absorbed Glass Mat" which means very little electrolyte that is free inside. If you crack a case, you don't get a big liquid spill.
Yes, they're heavy.
No, they don't tend to explode.
A "Battery Tender" (as made by Deltran in FL) will work on any type of lead acid battery (flooded, gel-cell, AGM) but NOT on LiPO, LiFE, Lion.
you got lucky with the panasonic batteries...your na cars dont heat up underhood nearly as much as turbo cars and that makes a HUGE difference...batteries dont like heat...ive never seen a turbo subaru battery last more than a couple years in a hot climate

true agm batteries have no liquid electrolyte and are not a hazmat and are air shippable, wont spill at all or explode....true agm batteries MUST have the proper 'float tender' type maintainer.....the wrong kind will kill them quite quickly....NO 'trickle charges' should be used

and they are NOT heavy if they are not full sized....the one im using weighs 15 pounds, not 40....and fits in a kids lunch box
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
you got lucky with the panasonic batteries...your na cars dont heat up underhood nearly as much as turbo cars and that makes a HUGE difference...batteries dont like heat...ive never seen a turbo subaru battery last more than a couple years in a hot climate

true agm batteries have no liquid electrolyte and are not a hazmat and are air shippable, wont spill at all or explode....true agm batteries MUST have the proper 'float tender' type maintainer.....the wrong kind will kill them quite quickly....NO 'trickle charges' should be used

and they are NOT heavy if they are not full sized....the one im using weighs 15 pounds, not 40....and fits in a kids lunch box
I know about batteries & heat, it's the industry I work in.

I have also done "battery life" poll's on a few Subaru sites. In general, the FI guys get ~1/2 the life out of similar batteries compared to the NA guys. Almost ALL of this is due to heat soak from the turbo leading to higher underhood temps.

Heat & vibration are 2 of the biggest failure modes in a car battery. Draining them to "crap" is likely the third issue.

I also maintained our Panasonics. I would check water level every few months & top off as required (using distilled water).
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:41 PM   #18
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Just ordered a Deka ETX 18L

CCA @32*: 340
10 Ah rating: 20
Weight: 18lbs
Length: 8 1/8"
Width: 3 9/16"
Height: 6 3/8"

$94 shipped

It'll be going under the passenger seat for longevity.

~Evil
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvileyeZ88 View Post
Just ordered a Deka ETX 18L

CCA @32*: 340
10 Ah rating: 20
Weight: 18lbs
Length: 8 1/8"
Width: 3 9/16"
Height: 6 3/8"

$94 shipped

It'll be going under the passenger seat for longevity.

~Evil
meh...the 20L is plenty for most, but i wouldnt do the 16L for a dd

im gonna get the #3 lithium battery and put it behind the glovebox and done
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvileyeZ88 View Post
Just ordered a Deka ETX 18L

CCA @32*: 340
10 Ah rating: 20
Weight: 18lbs
Length: 8 1/8"
Width: 3 9/16"
Height: 6 3/8"

$94 shipped

It'll be going under the passenger seat for longevity.

~Evil
How's it holding up in the cold? I'm about to pull the trigger on this. Who'd you order it from?

My PC680 just ain't cutting it anymore.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx_9 View Post
How's it holding up in the cold? I'm about to pull the trigger on this. Who'd you order it from?

My PC680 just ain't cutting it anymore.

my 20L is now a year old and goin great...was 25*F this mornin and the car turned over just fine after not being driven for 3 days
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:47 PM   #22
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Turntech makes some 2 lb LiFe batteries that go for $114. they seem to be pretty popular with the moto crowd.

I personally bought my battery from batteryspace, but just about all of the stores are about the same. My battery is about 1.5 lbs and was $79. I bought it because it has the circuit board to prevent over/under charging built into the battery and it self heats. You can buy a cheaper LiFe battery for $40-$50 bucks but then you have to find and solder on your own pcb.

I have never had to charge my battery or put it on any kind of trickle charger but I did buy a smart charger made for lithium batteries "just in case". The only other concession I made was to put an insulating blanket on the battery. I cant prove whether the blanket does anything but the insulation cost nothing so I figured why not?
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojala View Post
Turntech makes some 2 lb LiFe batteries that go for $114. they seem to be pretty popular with the moto crowd.

I personally bought my battery from batteryspace, but just about all of the stores are about the same. My battery is about 1.5 lbs and was $79. I bought it because it has the circuit board to prevent over/under charging built into the battery and it self heats. You can buy a cheaper LiFe battery for $40-$50 bucks but then you have to find and solder on your own pcb.

I have never had to charge my battery or put it on any kind of trickle charger but I did buy a smart charger made for lithium batteries "just in case". The only other concession I made was to put an insulating blanket on the battery. I cant prove whether the blanket does anything but the insulation cost nothing so I figured why not?

how long have you been using it and under what conditions??
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:00 AM   #24
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I have had the battery about a year. This is just my daily driver so it gets parked outside at work and in the garage at home. Summer, cold, can't tell any difference from a lead battery.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #25
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Braillie's Lithium Ion Automotive Battery

http://www.braillebattery.com/index....batteries/gu1r

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Only 6.6 lbs / 3kg - Save up to 40lbs!
- Daytona 500 Winning Technology
- Bolt-In Performance Upgrade
- Sealed-Safe DOT Approved
- Alternator Compatible
- Faster Recharging
- 10+ Yr Design Life
- Made in the USA

Battery Sizing Class: “U1R” Group
Length: 7.68” / 195 mm
Width: 5.13” / 130 mm
Height: 7.13” / 182 mm
Minimum Weight: 6.6 lbs / 3kg
Post Type: High Amperage Brass with 8mm x 1.0 mm
Threaded Bolt (Auto Terminals)
Polarity: Right Positive (Left Custom)
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