Lightweight battery alternatives.

From Gtivr6wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Miscellaneous electrical things

From: Dick Rasmussen <rasmussend at mindspring dot com>
To: ax-digest at autox dot
Subject: Re: battery question
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 20:44:10 -0500

At 05:31 PM 1/1/02 -0500, Bruce Wentzel wrote:
>Someone asked and got some good responses sometime last year about small
>light non acid car batteries but I've lost it. Anybody help me?


I don't have the messages but here is a link to the battery I'm now using
in my Formula Ford. The Panasonic Sealed Lead Acid batteries seem to have a
good reputation and are a bunch cheaper than some of the "famous racing"
brands. Mine was about $55 delivered.

This design seems to be at least as rugged as an "off brand" (Checker
and/or Genibrel) that I got from Racer Wholesale many years ago that held
up very well. The Checker was much more rugged appearing than the Yuasha
that used to be the norm for small formula cars.

Here is a link to Panasonic.

If you scroll down to the links to the spec sheets, there is a lot of good

Note that one concern in the past with Sealed Lead Acid Batteries was the
need to charge them slowly.

It appears that new technology has solved that problem. Even the 20 AH one
in my car is rated for up to 8A initial charging current.

From: Eric Linnhoff <knuckledragger at kcweb dot net>
To: ax-digest at autox dot
Subject: Re: battery question
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 22:17:52 -0800

Would those 20AH sealed lead acid batteries be able to survive a full race
season in a street/weekend warrior car? Would it be able to reliably start
the car in cold conditions, not winter mind you, but early April and late
October Midwest events? How would it like being attached to a regular car
alternator as a charging source? I have to wonder since they were not
specifically designed for automotive applications. I think, at least for my
application, that in order to get one of those Panasonic type batteries
that's large enough to work well for a while that any weight savings would
be lost versus a standard wet cell car or motorcycle battery.

A fellow STS buddy ran one of the high dollar ($150) dry cell batteries in
his Subie and it worked well. But for that kind if money I don't think he
gained anything over me and my smaller battery (read below) except for an
additional 4-6# weight loss.

I know that Bruce was looking for a sealed battery (most likely to install
in the passenger compartment) but I purchased a Lawn & Garden "lawn tractor"
battery at Autozone for $35. It's half the weight (about 18#) and size of
my stock sized battery, still delivers 440 CA and 340 CCA (stock was 440CCA)
with a 45 minute reserve capacity. It worked well for daily driver duty in
my car all this past year. It never failed to start the car or complained
about running the stereo for up to an hour while working on the car in the
garage. I fully expect it to last another full season in the Neon and serve
Yeoman's duty doing so. I'd imagine it'd work very well for a FF type car
as well since it's designed for the similar electrical load of a lawn

Even though my class rules (STS) allow for battery relocation I didn't want
to do it for several reasons. First, it's a royal PITA to do so and second
the weight savings would almost entirely be negated by having to run 0 gauge
wire all the way to the trunk and all the required mounting hardware to
secure it. I also didn't want to have to deal with the chances of the cable
shorting out on something and starting a fire at the worst or simply not
starting the car at the best. So, I chose to simply leave it mounted up
front in the stock location.

That's my 2 cents.

Eric Linnhoff in KC
'98 Neon R/T (see-dan)
#69 STS #13 TLS
knuckledragger at kcweb dot net

From: Alan Dahl <adahl at eskimo dot com>
To: ax-digest at autox dot
Subject: Re: battery question
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 23:44:40 -0800

On Tuesday, January 1, 2002, at 10:17 PM, Eric Linnhoff wrote:
> Would those 20AH sealed lead acid batteries be able to survive a full race
> season in a street/weekend warrior car? Would it be able to reliably start

If anyone is looking for a small weight-saving battery that can still
function in everyday use I'd recommend getting your hands on the OEM
Panasonic battery from a Miata. Unfortunately Mazda USA does not sell
that battery anymore so the only way to get one is out of a wrecked
Miata. Alternately a company called WestCo makes a nice replacement
Miata battery which costs only $75 and is only marginally bigger.

One other nice thing about the Panasonic battery is that it is already
designed to be used in enclosed places (it's in the Miata's trunk) which
should make relocating it to the passenger compartment easier.

- - Alan Dahl

- --------------
Alan Dahl home:
adahl at eskimo dot com
Federal Way, WA, USA work: Alan.Dahl at PSS dot ICQ 52688023

From: "Andy Nguyen" <aqn at panix dot com>
To: list at gti-vr6 dot net (GTI)
Subject: Miata battery
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 12:24:20 -0400 (EDT)

My Black Panther/Odyssey battery gave up the ghost recently; it can
no longer hold a charge. Rather than springing for another one at
$160 or so, I decided to try what someone had mentioned on the auto-x
mailing list: use a Miata battery. It's small and light, yet has
the same CCA rating as the Odyssey, AND it costs half as much!

Being that the car was dead and I needed a new battery pronto, I
just bought one from a local Miata dealer. (Miata batteries are
not available from the usual battery sources like Pep-Boys, Sears,
etc.) It costs $80, and weighs 20 lbs. That's 6 lbs. lighter than
the Odyssey battery that I had, and only HALF the weight of a stock
replacement battery!

The Miata battery is rated at 370 CCA. The Odyssey, model PC925,
is rated at 360 CCA, and it was plenty good 'nuf for me in the year
or so that I ran it. In colder climes, I would probably run a
regular battery in the winter and a little battery in the summer.
Here in Texas, it's always small-battery weather!

One thing about the Odyssey: it only lasted a year in my car, but
do not take that as an indication of its fragility. I had had the
battery for TWO years prior to finally getting around to putting it
into my car. (Procrastinators of the world, unite! But not today!
|-) In that two years, I charged it maybe three times, max. Also,
once it's installed in the car, I left my lights on twice and
completely drained the battery. It's not unreasonable to think that
such "abuse" resulted in a less-than tip-top battery that consequently
did not last very long.

One note about the Miata replacement battery: it's also available
from two other sources, according to this page:

The one from American Battery Corporation looks like a good one.
If I had time, I would have hunted around for one of those.

Andy Nguyen \ aqn at panix dot com \

From: "Andy Nguyen" <aqn at panix dot com>
To: gdennis at bpg-online dot com (Gavin G. Dennis)
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Miata battery
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 09:54:12 -0400 (EDT)
Cc: list at gti-vr6 dot net (GTI)

Gavin G. Dennis wrote:
> how did the battery fit?

Well, I didn't need any welding. |-)

> did you have to modify anything, or did it
> fit right in using the factory anchors?

I installed it pretty much the same way I installed the Odyssey battery:

The only differences being that I used longer bolts (sections of a
1/4"x20 threaded rod actually) because the Miata battery is taller.
I also drilled a new hole in the base pan because the Miata battery
is longer.

Andy Nguyen \ aqn at panix dot com \

From: VW Golf <vr6nitedriver at yahoo dot com>
To: aqn at panix dot com, Stephen W. Peddle <swpeddle at crashscience dot com>
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Optima battery placment
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 10:24:37 -0800 (PST)
Cc: 'GTI List Server' <list at gti-vr6 dot net>

Im using a braille battery, perfect for weight

it weighs 11.5 lbs, no need to relocate to the trunk.

From: aqn
Date: Nov 20, 2007 07:47:00 CDT

More info on Deka lightweight batteries...
Google result for "braille battery"
Using a Braille battery in a Subaru STI
Braille battery mount kit from The Tire Rack.