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Thread: Odd Battery is Odd.....

  1. #1
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    Default Odd Battery is Odd.....

    The Optima red top that had resided in my Cougar for the past year and a half has been draining quickly. Like from full down to 4.5 volts inside of 5 days quickly. Nothing was left on.
    I gave in and bought a new battery. The Optima itself WAS 3 years old so I figured I'd buy one and check the car to make sure this battery won't be toasted by some electrical problem.


    There's. Under 7 milliamps on a current draw test with a new battery.

    It's charging fine. The alternator in the car tested with the new battery at 14.6 volts @ idle.



    For the hell of it, I hooked up my charger to the Optima. I let it sit for 7 hours inside my house and the charge went to 12.4 volts. 2 hours later it was down @ 12.1..... That was Thursday night...... I just checked it again.....12.06.....


    I'm tempted to charge it fully (the charger even stated it wasn't done, but I had to go somewhere) and see what happens....
    Maybe it's NOT dead. Perhaps it just sat too long too many times? I typically only start the car about once every 2-3 weeks from October until the end of March/beginning of April. There was a 6 week long stretch this year where I didn't turn it over. Since November it's been on the charger about 5 times......Other than the last time I usually just hooked it up for about an hour to get the car started. Typically the voltage was in the high 10' or low 11 range though. NOT 4.5......
    -- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !! -- 87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom Cam - Many other goodies...3100Lbs...Low12's! http://www.fquick.com/V8Demon

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    When I store my car over the winter, I use a battery tender if I have electric available. This year though, there was no electric at the storage place, so I took the battery out and took it home with me. I put it in the garage and topped it off with a regular charger a couple times over the storage period, and one final time the night before I put it back in. My last battery lasted 7 years, and it was used when I got it, lol.
    CoogarXR

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    1985 Cougar XR-7


  3. #3
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    Best battery I ever had was an Exide I bought for the Cougar right after I bought the car. Had it over 10 years and likely it would have lasted longer save for a fusible link blowing in the charging system and me running the car until it died without warning. I put stupid mileage on it in the first couple of years as well...

    I've had other batteries that would sit for months. No trickle charger, no startup, cold weather; and they'd start up.
    I think I let the Cougar sit 4 or 5 months one year while it was waiting for paint. Turned right over.....

    I will say this; I took the Cougar out last night. I can't remember the last time it turned over so effortlessly. I don't think it ever did so that easily with the Optima.
    -- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !! -- 87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom Cam - Many other goodies...3100Lbs...Low12's! http://www.fquick.com/V8Demon

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    my cougars and van will not start if sitting for 4 or more weeks....I have battery tenders on them all the time when parked
    ***** Project "EVOLUTION" 1987 Cougar LS & 1985 Cougar Convertible *****

    5.0 HO 306 roller block, machined GT-40P heads, Wiseco dished forged pistons, Eagle forged floating I-beam connecting rods, Lunati pushrods, ARP bolts, Scorpion aluminum 1.6 rockers, Comp Cams Magnum 266HR, Explorer intake, 65mm TB, MAF Conversion, 19# injectors, Ford Racing stainless P-headers, 2-1/2" cat-less exhaust w/ Flowtech Afterburner mufflers , SC AOD with 2800 BDR torque converter, 3.73 T-Lok rear, CHE rear control arms, full 2-1/2" frame w/1" jacking rails & seat supports, Rear disk brakes, Turbine wheels, All original interior w/ floor shift upgrade .......
    Pretty much every panel on my 87 is new, rebuilt, or re constructed.
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    My 88 xr7 will start after sitting for about a month. Nothing fancy, but has a mini starter. No battery tender ECT.

    Unhook the cables to the battery then let it sit overnight. Check voltage before and after. If it drops more then .2 bolts, is guess the battery to be junk. The gel cell batteries are a bit different though. Supposedly 70% of returned optimas just aren't charged properly.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
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    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Demon View Post
    Best battery I ever had was an Exide I bought for the Cougar right after I bought the car. Had it over 10 years and likely it would have lasted longer save for a fusible link blowing in the charging system and me running the car until it died without warning. I put stupid mileage on it in the first couple of years as well...

    I've had other batteries that would sit for months. No trickle charger, no startup, cold weather; and they'd start up.
    I think I let the Cougar sit 4 or 5 months one year while it was waiting for paint. Turned right over.....

    I will say this; I took the Cougar out last night. I can't remember the last time it turned over so effortlessly. I don't think it ever did so that easily with the Optima.
    When I bought my Thunderbird it had an Exide battery. It lasted 10 years after I bought it (so 15 years total). It was replaced with a Motorcraft battery which has been great the last 5 years. I can let the car sit for 4 weeks and it starts right up with no charger.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #7
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    There is a video on Youtube on how to recharge a dead Optima, most "smart" chargers are too dumb to bring one up from total discharge... BUT, if it won't start setting for at least a couple months you have a lousy battery or excessive drain...

    No I'm not saying it's not a good idea to remove battery cable or use a tender, just that it should start...

    Reminds me I need to pick one up for the T-Bird...

    I just retired a 11½ year old 24F I pulled out of the Comet... It cranked the 428 after it's battery croaked but was straining... That battery was originally used in my Cobra Jet for around eight years, swapped it with a newer Motorcraft that was in Comet but the MC died this past winter... Had to buy batteries for both... Plus one for the Wife's Grand Marquis back in Dec...






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

  8. #8
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    I keep a Battery Tender, model KY-1-R0, on the dual batteries in my trailer and F350. Never have had a problem. Once a month I check the water level. Neither the F350 or 87 TC are daily drivers but I start the TC every week. I'm fortunate I can drive the TC year round here in Nevada.

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