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CCA battery size for a 350??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by barbastard, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. barbastard

    barbastard 1/2 ton status

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    Well, it's time for a new battery as the piece of crap "DIE HARD" finally DIED HARD /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif. I'm pretty positive I want to get an Optima yellow top battery because it's got all the great characteristics of a marine deep cycle battery and I've had several friends that have them in their yotas and they swear buy them. However, I'm a bit leary of them because they only provide 650CCA, and I was once told as a rule of thumb you should have 2CCA for every CID. Seeing as I have a 350, by the powers my college degree gave me (thank you CHICO STATE!!) that would equate to 700CCA. Does anyone have any input on this?? Would the yellow top be sufficient? To answer a few questions: no I don't have a winch right now but I will have mine back from the shop within a month, and no I don't have a high output alternator....YET!!

    Thanks in advance for all the help and advice.
     
  2. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    IIRC, I've got a 650 CCA in mine. Been in there for 4 (maybe 5 /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif) years /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif and still turns the engine over great. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    No big accessories like a winch, though. Just some back-up lights and plow lights, but those don't draw a whole lot.
     
  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I would say Optima all the way. I went outside this morning to start my truck. It was snowing and 15* or so. That optima red top had plenty of power to crank the motor. I could tell the diffenece between warm and cold but that Optima kicks arse.
     
  4. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    650 at 0°F is the bare minimum. I've got an Interstate battery (I think it's a 700) that the previous owner bought for the truck a year or so before I got it... So it's creeping up on three years old. It does the job at -5°F but not with real confidence. It's not slow or anything but it just doesn't have the guts that it does when it's 70° outside. Then again, you can't turn the motor over by hand when it's that cold either. My auxilary battery is only a few months old and I think it's a 700 as well. I don't know. My Dad was nice and bought it for me. I was tickled pink that I didn't have to buy it.

    I don't have faith in deep cycle batteries. They provide excellent constant-drain characterestics, hold more energy, and are more efficient. However, they suck for starting vehicles. They don't react fast enough. They're great for trolling motors though.
     
  5. 74Chev

    74Chev 1/2 ton status

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    Actually, the Yellow top deep cycle is different from a marine deep cycle. The Yellow is a fast discharge deep cycle. Meaning that a regular marine type can be cycled to discharged over a longer period of time with a low amp draw, such as depth finders, radios, or small electric trolling motors. This same battery would not work as well with a high draw accessory such as a winch. This is where the yellow top comes in. It can be cycled deep (discharged) quicker. It will give out power faster for high draw accessories, but will come back up to it's normal state of charge. A red top or any other type of regular automotive battery can only be discharged a certain amount of times, and will usually never come back to a full charge. Under ideal conditions it takes around 400 amps from the battery to start a SBC. The yellow top will provide pleny of cranking power. It may not have as much CCA as some other automotive type batteries but I assure you it will be plenty and you don't have to worry about the internal plates shorting or acid leaking as with a typical POS battery.
     
  6. 81sb

    81sb Registered Member

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    Why not just get a large (1100CCA) non gel type battery?
     
  7. 74Chev

    74Chev 1/2 ton status

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    Optimas are not gel-type, they are saturated coil type, plus they are spill proof and stand up the off road abuse and vibration better than any other type. You can drill a hole through an optima and it will still work. There is nothing to leak out.
     
  8. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Mine has 750. Keep in mind too when it's cold it's usually upper 30's lower 40's... and usually never struggles unless it's colder then that. I dunno about Optimas but if you go with another type I personally would get something with 750 or more... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  9. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    I know some guys that have Optima batteries in their ricerockets to which the voltage across the battery drops and takes several minutes to recover after cranking.

    From a guy with one in a Jeep after putting in a "Mean Green" starter:

    ... I've thought about this a lot lately, because I use a high-end deep cycle cell (Optima Yellow Top--it was what was available to me at the time, and good for the money). It delivers a nice, even flow, but starting seems to draw it down well below 12V pretty fast, and it takes 5-10 minutes of driving before it idles above 10.5V. It normally delivers just over 12V, and kicks out about 650CCA when fully charged. I seem to recall that my old Red Top ran higher while charging, and kicked out over 700CCA.
     
  10. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    You dont want to get a battery that is too large. Like a 1100 CCA in a stock Blazer would not last as long. The battery does no work as hard and will ruin the "memory" of the battery and shorten its life. I used to make this mistake and would only get 2 to 3 years out of a battery, I moved to a smaller one and now get double the life. Even with a winch. I just went to two battery's for that.
     
  11. bigmack

    bigmack 1/2 ton status

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    I got my battery "a Duralast" from Autozone, it is 650CCA, and has been doing great for about 1 year. It has a total of 72 months warranty with 24 months of that free replacement. It cost about $50 IIRC, I have always had good luck with Autozone batteries, I don't have any large electrical accessories like a winch, and my alternator puts out about 108 amps, and I am having to start a 400 small block with about 11 to 1 compression, and it starts up fine every time.
     
  12. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    I disagree with Sandman. I prefer a bigger battery that doesn't have to work as hard. I've been running the same Everstart with 750 CCA on my Dodge Dakota daily driver for about 4 years. The batteries on my big chevy with a 350 don't last as long, but I contribute that to a mcuh harsher environment. I'd go with a red top optima if I had the $$. For now I'm sticking with my Max-78 from WalMart with its 3 year free replacement with no questions asked. I'll be adding a second battery soon and I haven't decided what to buy yet.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Just read Optima's FAQ, and it sounds like if you used the winch with the engine off all the time, the yellow top is what you want. Red is what you want if the battery will stay fully charged (or charging) all the time.

    Thats pretty much standard anyways...deep cycles are made for use without alternators (sort of...boats for instance) while vehicles that use an alternator typically don't use deep cycles. Of course, there are always exceptions, things such as emergency vehicles with high loads that may not necessarily keep the battery at "full charge" all the time, etc. Winching with the engine off I'm *sure* would fall under that category. A "standard" battery (Optima red top for instance), wouldn't like that very much.
     
  14. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Well sandman, what you talk about (memory) is only in Nicad and NiMH batteries.
    With lead acid be it gel powder liquid or saturated you want to keep the battery as full as possible without overcharging it.
    I have a cousin that is a mechanical engineer and he has a battery on an emergency power supply that has been used for more than 12 years and is still in great shape. It was sized generously and is always monitored and charged adequately and charging is cuttoff when it's full.
    I have to find that site again that has the chart but the idea is, the deeper you cycle the battery the shorter the life, the longer you charge a battery after getting full the more sulfated it gets.
    So maintenance and a full charge is the best way to prolong the life of a battery.
    One more thing, gel batteries cannot take a charge of more than 14.4 without being ruined. A usual wet type or powder type can and I hear that the red top can take it too.
    One more thing about red tops, they have the old design and the new one.
    The old one had 1050 CA and 950 CCA.
    The new one has 850 CA and 750 CCA
    I have a set of the old ones and if I want to buy new ones I would look for the bigger ones, they are $10 more.
     
  15. Buy the Optima. I have a old red-top, and it cranked my Sub this morning and it was 0 degrees,-20 with the wind chill. It groaned a little, but started. The temps around here have been anywhere from 0-20, for weeks.
     
  16. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    If you find the site let me know. I have had several inteligent people tell me this and I wouldnt mind reading other opinions or facts as it may be. thanks.
     

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