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Re: Optima Batteries

> I have come across a type of automotive battery called Optima.  It's
> SPIRALCELL design insures no free-standing liquid acid exists in the
> battery.  I was wondering whether anyone has used this battery and
> what your experience might have been.  It is definitely something that
> could be considered for use in "spill sensitive" areas.
> The Optima home page for the United States is located at:
> http://www.optimabatteries.com/
> Thanks in advance for your responses.
> Kenny
> Kenny Steward
> Pollution Prevention
> Pantex Plant
> ksteward@pantex.com

My brother put one in his Cobra kit car (
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/4277/frd1.htm ), and has had good
luck with it so far.  They cost quite a bit more than a liquid style
battery, but have many advantages, the best being that it's sealed and
will never spill.  This means that one can mount them in any position in
the car, even on their side, and they can be mounted within the
passenger compartment, since there is no offgassing of explosive
hydrogen, as in regular liquid batteries.

Another advantage to not having offgassing it is that the battery
terminals stay much cleaner.  With normal liquid batteries, the
offgassing condenses on the top, and creeps over to the metal terminals,
where it causes corrosion, and consequently failed starting.

Since they don't offgas and need no venting, these batteries can also be
mounted in the trunk or undercarriage of the car, which is a distinct
advantage to the racing and show-car crowd.  Ask anyone who's ever waxed
their battery for a car show, and you'll get a proponent of hidden

I am a proponent of hidden batteries.  :-) You can see the battery I
waxed many times at this site:
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/4277/pinto.htm .  It's the second
picture down the page.
The Optima battery in my brother's kit car is in the trunk, which makes
for a very clean engine compartment, and also makes the car harder to
steal, since a source of power to hot-wire the ignition is not readily
accessible.  It's also harder to steal the battery, too, since it's
locked up in the trunk.

Many full line auto parts stores carry this battery, and through mail
order, Summit Racing sells them for $139.99, with free shipping.  Phone
number is 800-230-3030.  Comparing this price to a liquid battery's $39
to $79 typical cost will make the average person think twice.

Besides price, one disadvantage may be lack of warranty support on the
road.  If you're out in the middle of nowhere with a defective, or just
worn-out battery, finding someone who sells Optima might be a bit tough.

I also understand that they are more durable in high shock applications,
such as off-road racing trucks, which may be applicable to other types
of rough service vehicles.

Hope this helps!

Gerard Forgnone, Inventor of BOB
ASE Certified Master Auto Tech
BOB Oil Recovery System: http://home.inreach.com/geewhiz
Geewhiz Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/4277 :
A Tribute to My Late Father, Classic Ford cars, the Story of BOB,
and Real Rockets on the Freeway!
Free Carburetor Tuning Page: http://home.inreach.com/geewhiz/carb.htm