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My '95 Dodge Cummins needs new batteries. After 9 years of faithful service, the blue top group 31 Optima are starting to slow down. So I'm looking to replace them. I like the long service life and zero problems and corrosion issues they've given me. I'm thinking I can stay with the same ones. The group 31 batteries just barely fit in their respective trays. The terminals are pretty close to the hood. Since I don't use the truck for snow plowing anymore, I'm thinking I could save some bucks and get the smaller group 27 batteries. They are the same size only shorter and lose only about 100 cca's each. The other part of me says it worked for 9 years without issues, why change the formula?

BTW, the blue top marine group 27 and 31 are electrically the same as the other Optima group 27 and 31 batteries. I've used the extra 5/16"s screw terminals for extra electrical accessories.

What say you guys? Same size? Smaller? Perhaps you have a recommendation for a different brand? It has to be a sealed AGM or the like to be considered a contender to be bought and installed. I don't use the truck very much and don't want the issues associated with traditional lead-acid batteries.
 

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My '95 Dodge Cummins needs new batteries. After 9 years of faithful service, the blue top group 31 Optima are starting to slow down. So I'm looking to replace them. I like the long service life and zero problems and corrosion issues they've given me. I'm thinking I can stay with the same ones. The group 31 batteries just barely fit in their respective trays. The terminals are pretty close to the hood. Since I don't use the truck for snow plowing anymore, I'm thinking I could save some bucks and get the smaller group 27 batteries. They are the same size only shorter and lose only about 100 cca's each. The other part of me says it worked for 9 years without issues, why change the formula?

BTW, the blue top marine group 27 and 31 are electrically the same as the other Optima group 27 and 31 batteries. I've used the extra 5/16"s screw terminals for extra electrical accessories.

What say you guys? Same size? Smaller? Perhaps you have a recommendation for a different brand? It has to be a sealed AGM or the like to be considered a contender to be bought and installed. I don't use the truck very much and don't want the issues associated with traditional lead-acid batteries.
I've never had batteries on a diesel last 9 years. I would stick with what you had! Just this week I got two new batteries from autozone for free since the last two only lasted two years... After these go I'm going to try the Optimas.

I also think that fords are harder on batteries than are dodges. Those cummins just crank right up!


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Yeah, I would take the if it ain't broke....philosophy. Although I guess the batteries are kinda broke, but you know what I mean. Also, they don't make batteries like they used to. And they have gotten $$$$$.


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As a former Optima fan, just my .02
I started using them back in the late 90's. I was working for the US Army at Ft Dix and they were in HUMMV's.
They were great batteries. Upside down, sideways, didn't matter. New technology of time.
They were made in colorado using virgin lead.
Fast forward to the last few years..
They moved to mexico and began using recycled lead.

I have been into Land Cruisers for years and a member of a cruiser forum. Everyone started having issues with Optimas and voiced the same problems. Batteries only lasting a few years.
A gentleman a couple years ago that was a former employee of Optima in Co. came into the threads and told what had happened in the company to cut costs and the resulting problems.

Most everyone made the jump to Odyssey dry cells made by EnerSys.
Seem to have the old Optima reliability.
They also make the Sears Diehard Platinum battery which most buy because it is a little cheaper than the Odyssey brand name. But same battery.
I put two in my cruiser.

Again, just my .02
 

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As Blue stated, the Optimas aren't what they use to be.

For what it's worth, I got 8.5 years out of the Autozone Duralast batteries in my '97 Powerstorke. I just had to replace them and had always said I would go with Odysseys but having to replace them two days after Christmas I didn't have $600, went back with Duralast for $250.

While Sears' AGM is made by Odyssey, how much longer will Sears be in business to honor the 4 year replacement warranty?
 

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Blue beat me too it but I was in the same boat a month ago cummins needed new batteries. I did a lot of reading and seems since optima went to mexico the quality went down hill. As he states Oddyssey seems to be one of the best but very spendy. The sears diehard platnum is made by Oddyssey and around 250 unless you can find it on sale. I ended up with AGMx2 from batteries plus for the life of me I can't remember who makes them but it is a respected USA manufactuer, call batteries plus and they will tell you. The group 27 which i think i put in is 930 CC amps. Any way ya cut it, its a 500 dollar bill for batteries...but it really spins em over. I figure if it don't start I got enough battery power I can drive it on battery power and the starter.
 

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I waited and watched the Sears website.
Every few months they throw out that 20 or 25% off auto coupon for a week or so.
That's when i bought mine.
And another tip is to dig through the battery rack at Sears. They put the newer made ones in the back of the row like at the grocery store. :tongue:
 

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I would say it all depends on how long you decide to keep the truck . If your looking long term yet, I'd stay with what you know lasts. If only a few years then I might go cheaper.
I also got a little over 9 years on the original batteries in my 2002 Duramax, they didn't completely die but you could tell they were getting weak. I went with AC Delco since they lasted well and the warranty was much better than others. Price was only a couple $ more than Carquest's, Auto Zone, BatterysPlus best battery's and not as good of warranty. Put the best old one in my beater work car and it lasted another 2years starting the V6 Buick.
My motto stay with what works for you.
 
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I would say it all depends on how long you decide to keep the truck . If your looking long term yet, I'd stay with what you know lasts. If only a few years then I might go cheaper.
I also got a little over 9 years on the original batteries in my 2002 Duramax, they didn't completely die but you could tell they were getting weak. I went with AC Delco since they lasted well and the warranty was much better than others. Price was only a couple $ more than Carquest's, Auto Zone, BatterysPlus best battery's and not as good of warranty. Put the best old one in my beater work car and it lasted another 2years starting the V6 Buick.
My motto stay with what works for you.
I gotta say I agree.
My original AC Delco in my '02 1500HD lasted 11 years!
Wound up putting a upper crust NAPA Maint free in it though.
Too much trouble to get a another AC.
 

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I just replaced my truck battery after 9 years also, it never failed but I just figured it was time. I replaced it with an optima because I got a good deal as my bil works for them. I'm not one for change so why not stick with the Optimas. I'm sure even after moving there production south they still have the same first class quality control and warranty. I have also replaced my utv battery with a hawker energy battery (given free to me by my buddy that works for the airlines) that was one tough battery never an issue. I have also used braille batteries in my can am atv's (everybody recommended odyssey but the brailles were the same size as factory and the specs. were better) those are a little more expensive than an odyssey and are meant for car racing. If you want the best I'd go with the braille they are a top rate battery. If you want to save a few bucks than go with the cheaper of the optima,hawker or odyssey.
 
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The Ford Motorcraft batteries are made by Johnson Controls. The factory batteries in my '96 PSD lasted seven years, then they started cranking slow. The replacement Motorcrafts are going on TWELVE years old. Knock on wood that they last the winter!

Doesn't matter what the brand name on the battery says as long as Johnson Controls makes them. I looked at Optima's when I bought my replacements and they were over $100 more than the Motorcraft's.
 

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The Ford Motorcraft batteries are made by Johnson Controls. The factory batteries in my '96 PSD lasted seven years, then they started cranking slow. The replacement Motorcrafts are going on TWELVE years old. Knock on wood that they last the winter!

Doesn't matter what the brand name on the battery says as long as Johnson Controls makes them. I looked at Optima's when I bought my replacements and they were over $100 more than the Motorcraft's.
Yes they are made both by Johnson Controls does that mean they are the same quality are have the same specs. I don't know definitely something to look in to. I got my Optima for $100 delivered I just couldn't turn that down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well after some research it does seem that the recent Optima batteries have suffered a larger problem with longevity than the generation of batteries I currently own...

Sears isn't really in my equation anymore, hasn't been for years. I have no idea when they'll end up closing up shop, but the writing is on the wall....

Odyssey seems intriguing, but I can't find some verifiable owners I know who like them. They are super expensive and don't seem to have a group 27 sized battery...

Never heard of the Braille batteries...


Standard flooded lead-acid WILL NOT EVER be going back in.



This isn't looking good.... Am I being too picky?:lol:
 

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You? Nah, say it ain't so...:mocking:

Why the aversion to flooded lead acid batteries?
I can't stand the constant science experiment they grow on the terminals. That corrosion also eats way at your cables, battery tray, inner fender etc etc. Who want's the possibility of battery acid anywhere? I don't know anybody who like the short lifespan of a traditional flooded battery either.
 

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If you're constantly having corrosion issues, there may be another problem. I've not had it happen on my personal equipment, and the only time I see it on customer equipment is when they have poor charging habits.

The last Group 31 I bought cost me $65 with a 12 month, no questions asked warranty. I regularly have lead acid batteries go 8-9 years, and they're half the price (or less) of their sealed counterparts. Just something to consider.
 

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If you're constantly having corrosion issues, there may be another problem. I've not had it happen on my personal equipment, and the only time I see it on customer equipment is when they have poor charging habits.

The last Group 31 I bought cost me $65 with a 12 month, no questions asked warranty. I regularly have lead acid batteries go 8-9 years, and they're half the price (or less) of their sealed counterparts. Just something to consider.
I do regular maintenance on my equipment to include batteries. I've never had a flooded battery last longer than 5 years. My wife's new car decided to puke the battery with less than 3 years on the clock. I hate these batteries. I've greased the terminals. Pulled them off and cleaned the terminals on a regular basis. I still get the stupid cauliflower corrosion on the terminals that just eats up the cables and associated hardware. A sealed flooded battery is just as bad as a regular flooded battery. In fact I'm not even sure you can even get the traditional flooded battery that's vented anymore. It seems they're all "maintenance free" and short lived, not to mention over priced....

9 years. No corrosion. Started every time. They were more expensive, but worth the difference IMHO. I'm still hoping my next set will be just as reliable. Just gotta figure out who makes them, if they exist, without spending $1k....
 

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If you plan on keeping the truck and have concerns about traditional battery technology then you know what you've got to do IF the batteries are bad. That said I'd disconnect the batteries and load test them individually. Two 15 second load tests 1 minute apart @ 3 x AH capacity or 1/2 CCA rating. Voltage must remain above 10 VDC under load. If either or both batteries fail then charge and retest. Don't discount the possibility of a charging problem though.
 
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Well after some research it does seem that the recent Optima batteries have suffered a larger problem with longevity than the generation of batteries I currently own...

Sears isn't really in my equation anymore, hasn't been for years. I have no idea when they'll end up closing up shop, but the writing is on the wall....

Odyssey seems intriguing, but I can't find some verifiable owners I know who like them. They are super expensive and don't seem to have a group 27 sized battery...

Never heard of the Braille batteries...


Standard flooded lead-acid WILL NOT EVER be going back in.



This isn't looking good.... Am I being too picky?:lol:
You have now! https://www.braillebattery.com/
 
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