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AndyGJ

Optima Red Top Battery - Installation Issue

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Well, after 6 years of ownership, I finally had to replace my original factory Ford battery.

 

I took my SGT to LD's Performance to get my SPP Watts Link installed, fluids changed, and a Dyno Tune. I told Larry Day that I thought the battery may be weak...that was all I had to say, and there it went right before me. Larry ordered an Optima Red Top battery for me and said he would get it installed.

 

I checked on the status this morning, and he said all is just about done, but the battery is too close to the hood. He said that he had to order a different battery tray that would allow the battery to sit lower that the factory tray and not hit the hood.

 

Has anyone else experienced this issue?

 

I was under the impression from reading other battery posts (no pun intended) that there has not been a clearance issue with the hood, but those could be GT500 owners and the larger S/C domed hoods have better spacing for the Optima Red batteries with the post on top versus the Motorcraft battery with the posts on the side.

 

Any thoughts or advise?

 

 

Thanks,

Andy.

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Jim,

 

Did you have to make any modifications to the batter or tray to make it fit? I'd rather not be swapping out trays on the car.

 

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ

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Thanks Jim!

 

I'll try and contact my installer tomorrow AM and see how close this is to the hood that is concerning him.

 

Andy.

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I didn't ask what tray he had ordered, but he said that the top of the battery terminal was hitting the hood padding. He was worried that if it ever made contact with the hood, then I would not be happy with the results. He said that he could grind down the terminal some, but I didn't like that idea either.

 

I opted to go ahead and just have him install the tray just for safety....he usually would not suggest something if he really didn't feel that it was needed. And it was only $80 for the part...(and I hear what you guys are thinking next...watch out for the $1000/hour installation fees!! - LOL).

 

I'll get a look at it tomorrow, but I'll definitely keep the old tray just in case!

 

Andy.

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I installed a red top last spring, purchased from O'Reilly Auto Parts. There are different size Red Tops, they need to get you one sized for the Mustang. O'Reilly ordered mine by noon and it was there the next day. Simple install hooked right up with a little battery grease on the terminals no problems since.

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Andy,

Just hope that he's not planning on cutting up your car ! The stock tray sits directly on top of the inner fender - maybe he's planning on rotating the battery but if I was you I'd want to see what his plan involves before proceeding forward !

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Never had an issue with the red top in my GT, although I remember the guy at the auto parts store saying it wouldn't fit, I measured the old battery and then the red top and they were pretty close so I went with it.

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Oh crud! I thought it was sitting very close to the inner fender, but without the car here I don't have the ability to see the area and fully picture it. I remember that area of the engine bay/firewall from when I removed the entire battery and tray when I installed my Shelby Valve Covers. Now I will toss and turn all night wondering if my car is about to get a "haircut" of sorts!!

 

Generally speaking, Larry is not a hack'em up kind of mechanic, and is more detail oriented than anything. I'm not sure what he is going to do, but supposedly this new tray lets the entire battery sit an inch lower...where it gets that inch from, I'm not exactly sure. If it involved a lot of cutting, then he probably would have given the haircut to the battery, first, before the vehicle. And I'm guessing (hoping!) that he would have run this little part of the solution by me if it involved cutting things up.

 

He really did make it sound like this new tray is a simple bolt in installation process when we talked.

 

I'll let you know what I find out tomorrow.

 

Andy.

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I wonder if he is planning on installing something like this....

 

www.uprproducts.com/mustang-billet-battery-tray-kit-optima-05.html

 

This says it will work, but doesn't say anything about dropping the battery down some.

 

Andy.

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Or you could just install an OEM style battery and be done with it. Yours lasted 6 years why change?

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You are all probably right...hind sight being 20/20, I probably should have just done the simple Ford battery. I probably would go that way if I could do it over again.

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Andy,

 

I installed a yellow-top Optima when my OEM battery went belly-up. Wasn't a good choice I guess, it fit just fine, but after a year plus, I began experiencing the battery drain issue that's been discussed elsewhere. Eventually, the Optima was going dead about every week, so I yanked it and went with an Advance Auto Parts "Autocraft" - no issues, but then again I've changed my shut-down habits as well. More recently, I've found a "pure lead" battery made by Enersys - think it's called the Genesis - that looks like a really good replacement for the next time around!

I'm now in the process of relocating the battery to the trunk and installing a larger intercooler tank in it's former location!

 

CORRECTION: It's the ODYSSEY battery I was thinking about - pure lead plates as opposed to lead plated. I think Interstate and other companies are creating their own pure lead batteries as well.

 

Sam

Edited by 2007_Shelby_GT

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My red top also installed fine. I've had it a year and a half and it's starting to dye every two weeks. Going back to the stock battery. Went to a battery specialist who warranties Optima's. He said the quality of the optima isn't as good as it was when they started. :-(

Edited by WildAzCat

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Just saw these last two posts (Sam & WildAzCat)....OH CRAP! I picked up the car, and Larry did have to notch the black plastic piece that runs from fender to fender just under the windshield. It's not a big notch, and was only done to allow the billet plate that sits on top of the battery as part of the hold down have enough clearance to keep the correct position. The notch is about 3/4 inch log and 1/2 inch tall, but I noticed it right away when I inspected the battery.

 

I did keep my old battery tray and hold down kit, so if this one does the same thing, then its out of there and back to a Motorcraft or something like those Lead plate batteries...should have done that this time, but thought I was doing the right thing with a Red Top.

 

Live and learn I guess!

 

Andy.

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I really can't see why the Optima didn't fit. I have seen a lot of other Stangs with them other than mine, and there were no clearance issues. Maybe you got the wrong model number.

I've had mine in for a few years now. My car regularly sits for weeks without being driven, and it starts up right away. I'm definitely sorry that you've had such a hassle with it. I have a few friends that use the Odyssey brand battery too, and it looks like a great alternative.

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Fyi

We are taking on the Interstate Battery line at my work (includes Optima) and the rep told me that

Optima's are not what they use to be. They are now imported from China.

Interstate offers a new traditional style battery but in AGM with similar Optima internals.

Made with 99.9% pure lead not recycled material.

 

Just a suggestion for future battery needs.

Edited by FordFan1

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Just my 2 cents... unless your car is a daily driver, I would suggest hooking up a Battery Tender charger to the battery. The BT will fully charge the battery and then monitor/maintain the full charge. Sometimes my car will sit 1-3 weeks between drives and I have never had a battery charge issue. I installed the Optima red top in the spare tire well.

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It very well could be a different size. Every time I tried to look up a battery size for an Optima Red Top, I could not find any application for a 2008 Mustang....actually, nothing listed for a Mustang at all of any year when I went digging for info.

 

Andy.

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You are all probably right...hind sight being 20/20, I probably should have just done the simple Ford battery. I probably would go that way if I could do it over again.

 

I just replaced mine with OEM Ford Mustang GT Ford Battery for 89.95 list was 99.95 with 18 month warranty and was good to go at 6,000 miles. Not driving mine enough and cold weather got me. Removed and installed in about 15 minutes with 18 month warranty from Ford.

 

GG

Edited by TAPD117

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Hello, I saw your conversation involving our batteries and wanted to offer some assistance. We do not offer what we consider a "direct-fit" replacement for 2008 Ford Mustangs, although many owners use them in applications that we consider "custom-fitments." Andy, the exact concern about distance to the underside of the hood is the fitment issue and the fact that your mechanic identified it should suggest you have someone you can trust, who is working on your car.

 

Sam, a battery drain issue is typically due to something externally draining the battery, like an alarm or stereo. All batteries use lead plates, although some companies, like Optima, use 99.99% pure virgin lead, as opposed to the recycled lead found in the vast majority of car batteries.

 

The quality of our batteries has always been excellent and the batteries we are making today are the best we have ever made. Many of the “bad” batteries returned to us under warranty now are just deeply-discharged and work fine, when properly-recharged. In fact, we are now the title sponsor for the ChumpCar World Series and have outfitted entire fields with someone else's “dead” batteries. Frank, what kind of maintenance device are you using on your battery?

 

Kerry, I'd really appreciate it if you PM'd me the name of where you work and the rep who suggested the quality of our products had declined in any way or that they imported from China. Both statements are totally false and we'd like to follow up with them on our end, to make sure those folks are providing accurate information.

 

ccsl7578's advice about using a quality battery maintenance device on cars that only see occasional use is excellent. The key to long battery life, regardless of brand or manufacturer, is proper voltage maintenance. Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and left sitting in that state, sulfation begins to form, which diminishes both capacity and lifespan. That makes a quality battery maintainer an excellent investment for any vehicle that doesn't see regular use.

 

If anyone has any questions about our products, I'll do my best to answer them.

 

Jim McIlvaine

eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries

www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries

Edited by OptimaJim
  • Like 1

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OptimaJim,

My car is a daily driver. It should not need a maintenance device. In my 25 years of driving I've never needed a battery maintenance device. From time to time I get a three day weekend and it sits unused. I had the system tested and there are no constant external drains on the battery. Yet when I go to start it Monday morning, it's dead.
This evening I'm actually putting in a OEM battery as I have no faith in the Optima. For what they cost they should be a lot more dependable. I purchased the optima for my SGT as I had one that lasted 6 years in my 2002 expedition (loaded with electronics). This optima (if I could find my receipt) lasted just over a year. So from my experience, the quality has changed. The comment that "Optima is not what they use to be" is not new to me. I purchased the optima despite all the warnings on various forums.

Not hating, just disappointed...

 

Update... OEM installed along with new cover.

 

post-22352-0-07657800-1387338496_thumb.jpg

post-22352-0-07657800-1387338496_thumb.jpg

Edited by WildAzCat

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^ Glenn,

 

Did you have your battery on a tender and you still lost it?

 

Nope I tried to drive every weekend, but it has been parked for the last 8 weeks while I am recovering from surgery. Now I just fire it up each week and let it idle for about an hour. GG

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Frank, you and I seem to be the same age, as I've also been driving for about 25 years. My first vehicle was a '79 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT. There is a world of difference between that truck and my '13 Flex from an electrical perspective- memory everything, satelitte, nav, huge stereo, paddle shifters, crazy color-changing LEDs, etc... This isn't unique to Fords either. Right now, a whole new generation of C7 Corvette owners are coming to grips with the fact that their cars discharge batteries when they sit around unused.

 

Whomever tested your system either didn't know what they were doing or didn't give you an honest answer, because every vehicle has a key-off load. Measuring your parasitic draw is actually quite easy and it at least gives you an understanding of how much power your car is consuming while it is parked. We explain how to do it in

.

Driving a car every day doesn't preclude it from having battery issues either. Frequent short trips can also discharge batteries, if the vehicle's charging system doesn't have enough time to replace the energy that was used during storage and starting. Add in air conditioning and stereo use on short drives and someone can be creating a scenario that their alternator may never be able to keep pace with.

 

Glenn, I don't know what, if any, mechanical benefit there is to starting your car and letting it idle once a week, but you don't need to do it for your battery's sake. It would be better off if you kept it on a maintainer or disconnected it from your car entirely.

 

Jim McIlvaine

eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries

www.pinterest.com/optimabatteries

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