Lowriders practically have to become battery experts by default. Most of us aren’t running single batteries in our cars or trucks. With the amount of power required to run hydraulics, airbags, big stereos, and the rest of our setup, usually one battery just won’t do the trick. So, aside from finding room in our cars to stuff all those components, we also have the tricky task of stashing several batteries somewhere cleanly and accessible enough to charge and route the cabling out of. Most of the time our engine bays aren’t conducive to more than one battery, so we have to find new ways to mount multiple batteries, and anyone who has worked with typical lead acid batteries knows that this is a tough proposition.
For one, lead acid batteries leak, even when they’re right-side up. After spending thousands on paint, upholstery, and everything else, we don’t want to take chances on corrosion occurring in areas our friends and judges will see. So what’s the best course of action? Here we’ve selected an assortment of batteries to help you make the right decision for your project. The good folks at Optima make batteries we tend to think are some of the best on the market and decided to stack up two of their top sellers next to a lead acid battery. We also threw in a charger since our cars often have to sit idle for indefinite amounts of time and need some help to come back to life.
Take a look and see if there’s room for one (or more) of these in your car or truck. Also, it’s recommended you disconnect batteries prior to testing them to see if they are OK or not. Vehicles that have been modified with fuel injection, high-output radios, amps, and various other accessories can hold voltage in small capacitors that can trick the battery test device.
Optima Yellow Top
Thinking of running a variety of accessories on your car? Optima’s Yellow Top batteries deliver plenty of power for long periods of time, whether you’re out in California or in a colder state. They are conducive to repeated recharging after deep power drains. With lower internal resistance, Optima Yellow Top batteries provide consistent power and can fully recharge in one hour and continue working after 350 full discharges. Optima batteries are filled with AGM (absorbed glass mat) and are sealed, so it won’t leak and you can get creative with mounting, even doing it upside down. If your car is loaded with electronics, such as a big stereo, a hydraulic system, fuel injection, air conditioning, and so on, this is truly the battery for you. Prices and dimensions vary. You can visit www.optimabatteries.com to see which model is best for your car or call (888) 867-8462 to speak with one of their technicians about the setup you plan to use.
Optima Red Top
If your car or truck is more of a stock configuration and may sit for long periods of time, the Optima Red Top will deliver plenty of cold cranking amps time after time. Although not intended for accessory-loaded vehicles, the Optima Red Top is leak proof, which, like the Yellow Top, gives you the opportunity to mount it in a variety of locations. It also has amazing high-power delivery and is resistant to the most common causes of battery failure. They can sit for a long time without dying, unlike conventional batteries. This maintenance-free battery also has plenty of vibration resistance and works well on motorcycles. Prices and dimensions vary. You can visit www.optimabatteries.com to see which model is best for your car or call (888) 867-8462 to speak with one of their technicians about the setup you plan to use.
Optima Digital 1200 Charger
Constant-on/momentary tailcap push-button switch, mode select side switch
Sometimes AGM batteries have gotten a bad rap because people have returned them after unsuccessfully trying to recharge them with a standard charger. This is usually because they’re using the wrong tool for the job. Not all AGM batteries like Optimas can be charged by standard chargers, so it makes sense to have a charger that can recharge AGM and wet cell batteries like the Digital 1200. Unlike standard off-the-shelf chargers, it analyzes what is needed to get a complete charge in the least amount of time. It alters how much amperage and voltage is applied to bring the battery back to a full charge. With an LCD menu and gauge, it’s simple to use. Just select the battery type by pressing the picture on the menu. Although it doesn’t provide engine start capability, it makes sense to have one of these if you buy an Optima battery since it will charge other batteries down to 1.25 V. The grips also have integrated LED work lights and it features a nifty USB charging port. At $200, it’s not cheap, but is one of the best user-interface chargers on the market.
AC Delco Battery
AC Delco has been making batteries for a long time. They are standard lead acid-type batteries and very reliable if you want to go with something more traditional. Their terminal design is leak resistant and envelope separators are designed to help eliminate shorting and “corrode-through” to improve reliability and car battery life. The large reservoirs above the plates provide ample electrolyte reserve for maintenance-free performance. Both positive and negative grids are lead/calcium alloy to maximize corrosion resistance, increase cycle life, and reduce water consumption to improve battery durability. Prices vary by size. Visit www.acdelco.com for more information.