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The demise of my faithful Panasonic

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by CDN_Cruiser, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Well, it finally seems to have happened. My OEM Panasonic battery (circa 1997) seems to be dying slowly. A few weeks ago it seemed to be dead (light on or something) I did a charge and it started again with no problem.

    Last week we were heading up north and after pulling the truck in front of the house, I couldn't get it started again (no turn-over, dash lights on IIRC). I plugged the charger in for about 1 min and it turned-over without problem. I've replaced it (not happy as very hard to get the cables to fit - I think I need to extend the various plugs attached to the + )

    How can I tell if it's really shot vs something else (starter contacts?!). Also, it says 'maintenance free', but it looks like it has plugs to add distilled water - can I?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Hugh,

    It is reasonable to assume that your OEM battery is done. 7 years service is admirable. It is time to purchase a new one. you will need a BCI group 27F to replace it with. Try for one with the maximum CCA and reserve capacity available. I have thought about using a group 31 in place of a 27 but have not actually test-fitted one. My Dodge/Cummins has a group 31 in it and that battery has over 1,000 CCA's (you could weld with that bad boy ;) )

    I could put a tape measure on my group 31 tomorrow if you like.

    :cheers: D-
     
  3. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Thanks Dan, no need, I think I've got a 27 in it now, but I need to do some work to get the positive cable to fit properly.

    I've cut some of the cable ties and had to pull the anti-chafe rubber grommet from the tray (can you say fire?) - but the accesory cables and breakers/fuses are jammed in really tight

    Do you know if you can add more distilled water to the Panasonics?

    Cheers, Hugh

    PS with the strong Canadian $ I plan to order a few goodies from you shortly (I'll PM later in the month)...CDL, starter contacts, gizmo to stop frnt washer from spraying when using the rear, some rear bumper trip pieces, bulbs,...
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Hugh,

    The 7 yo battery is either dead or will completely die very soon.

    You can add distilled water in it. I don't recommend doing this as I tried about 18 months ago when mine gave up during a July heat wave. I thought it was the battery but, like you, I loved that old Panasonic and didn't want to give it up. Added distilled water, charged it over night and it fired up the next day. Took it down to Sears and had them do a load test. It passed. The next day it was dead as a doornail and sometime during the prior day it had sprayed acid in the battery tray, and made a big mess. I spent hours cleaning it up. The acid took some paint off of the battery hold down bracket and a few other pieces. YMMV.

    -B-
     
  5. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    I wish Toyota would sell those batteries as replacments. They are awesome. 7 years is a typical life in my experience.
     
  6. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Thanks B - I think I'll dip mine in bronze and hang it from my rear view mirror. Out of interest, the battery in my motorcycle is OEM and just gave up last year after 16 years - not bad.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  7. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Hugh,

    I also had the cable length issue and purchased a quick disconnect at Sears. It was an expedient and cheap way to get a few more inches on the positive cable, plus as a bonus I can disconnect it if I leave the car for weeks as I just did. For extending battery life, I've developed a habit of trickle charging the battery overnight a few times a year. Don't really have any data on it, but seems like a good thing to bring it to full charge once in a while.

    DougM
     
  8. Riley

    Riley

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    My truck has got a Panasonic in it as well. 1995 and 74K miles.

    I guess I have to assume that it's the original?

    That's a long time to have a battery and I'm thinking that I should replace it but it hurts to replace such a good battery before it fails. On the other hand - I don't want it failing at the wrong time.

    My question is - if it's a Panasonic, is it the original ?
    Since Toy doesn't import them then is it true that nobody else sells them in the US?

    R
     
  9. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    R

    Based on Dan's comments, it looks like yours is OEM as they don't import them (but we import bottles of water from France...go figure)

    Based on the thinking I've seen others use, I ended up with a crappy tire version - 3 year replacement, 7r decling balance, etc with the idea that I am more likely to come across a Canadian Tire than any other store in Canada, long hours, etc.

    I did debate getting an Optima Red Top (~$60 more), but I've seen some negative reviews and lower CCA, which are nice to have now that it's cold.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  10. shocker

    shocker

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    My 95 with 106K still has the original Panasonic, however I just bought a new yellow top today to replace it with.

    Currently looking for some battery terminal clamps that I want. Does anyone know where to look for the "military style" clamps that Christo uses on his site? No standard auto parts store carries them, and the one Car Audio store I went to had a lot of bling but not what I was looking for.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Riley

    Riley

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    Sorry to be clueless but I don't get the Optima Red Top, Yellow Top thing.

    Optima is a brand name? and they have different quality levels hence the Red Top & Yellow Top?

    Never heard of them around here except on this site.

    Anybody in Canada know who sells them up here?

    From what I've learned there are actually very few battery manufactures left with just a few cranking out many different brands.
     
  12. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Ryan,

    Wrangler has the military style terminals.

    Riley,

    >> if it's a Panasonic, is it the original ? <<

    Probably. Could have come from another vehicle with an original Panasonic, but unlikely.

    >> Since Toy doesn't import them then is it true that nobody else sells them in the US? <<

    True, AFAIK.

    -B-
     
  13. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    [quote author=Riley link=board=2;threadid=9594;start=msg86030#msg86030 date=1073453847]
    Sorry to be clueless but I don't get the Optima Red Top, Yellow Top thing...Optima is a brand name? and they have different quality levels hence the Red Top & Yellow Top?..Anybody in Canada know who sells them up here?
    [/quote]

    Optima is a battery brand of (suposedly) 'premium' batteries that are supposed to last longer, be less influenced by vibration, they are sealed so they don't leak (but not gel cells), can be mounted in any position, etc. The different 'tops' are based on the type of battery vs the quality.

    The Red top is a starter battery with 800 CCA (ie cranking amps, not designed to be heavily discharged). The Blue top is a deep cycle battery designed for marine apps (I have one for a trolling motor and for amateur radio back-up power). The yellow top is also deep cycle (I think it is just missing the marine terminals).

    In Canada, you should be able to buy them in Canadian Tire (they stock them in most stores here as well as on line) and they sell them at Costco as well (~C$160 for a red top and C$200 for a deep cycle IIRC)
     
  14. ppc

    ppc M Go Blue

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  15. shocker

    shocker

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    Thanks Phil & Beo :cheers:
     
  16. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    The Panasonic battery is an OEM unit. They are not imported as replacement parts. By the time shipping, hazmat charges and tariffs kicked in they would be 400 bucks or more.

    I doubt anybody would pay that no matter how good the battery is :rolleyes: