How big a battery do we REALLY need? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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How big a battery do we REALLY need?

So a buddy of mine has a Nissan SE-R with a JDM swapped SR20DEt engine. 2100 lbs with 310 wheel HP. Fun.

I always thought the rule was you need 1 cold cranking amp per cubic inch. I forget the exact ccas his car 'required' but to run turbo piping, and keep the battery up front, he found a battery from a Honda Civic that for all intents and purposes looks like a lawnmower battery. His car seems fine with it. It shaved 10 lbs from his car as well.

Now, with me, at least with my big block cars which are street driven, I tend to run the largest/most cca battery that'll fit the tray. 950 cca + in some cases. And of course, weighing 40+ lbs.. Am I going overkill? Obviously I cannot and wouldn't run such a small battery as my friend did. BUT, there must be some middle ground to both be reliable, and save some weight.. Anyone see what I'm getting at?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:37 AM
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1200cca, forklift battery......I got at NAPA for like $70 some dollars.

I mounted it right over the rear axle!



Heavy basterd.....I'd rather have the extra wieght in the back = traction!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead559
1200cca, forklift battery......I got at NAPA for like $70 some dollars.

I mounted it right over the rear axle!



Heavy basterd.....I'd rather have the extra wieght in the back = traction!
I don't really want to move the battery to the rear.. I think you were missing my point too. :?

The last thing my car needs is *MORE* weight.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:51 AM
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then use a drycell battery, they are much lighter.....If i remember right.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 02:52 PM
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I use a drycell with 950 CCA in my dragtruck and it weighs 24 lbs.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 03:59 AM
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Battery

On a strip only car if your not running an alternator, using two batteries instead of just one is a good idea.

And while two batteries on a street car might be over-kill, you never know when the extra battery power might be the difference between driving and walking.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 01:34 PM
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Two batteries seems a bit overkill ina car. A good quality alternator and voltage regulator should prevent dead batteries. I've killed countless alternators with cheapo $10 voltage regulators.

Finally learned my lesson and bought a NAPA made in USA regulator. 14.2 volts on the dot, never had that with the cheapy ones. My impression is good. Just gotta change over to the new alternator I go, not a spare I had laying around that whines like a ... yeah. It's kinda cool, the bad bearings sound like I've got a turbo under the hood. I've been driving around making wastegate noises the past two days. :lol: But hopefully this NAPA regulator will last and stop killing alternators with constant 18+v charging.

Dual batteries do make more sense in a truck though. The '86 F-250 I'm building up may end up with dual batteries. For now it'll just be stock (well, minus the 302 and ZF5). but with 33" tires. Eventually it'll get a Dana 60 front, 6" lift, and 38" tires. Probably before the lift and D60 will be onboard air using the old AC compressor, and I have a bunch of lights to mount on the truck. An extra battery would definitely be prudent for when crap breaks in the woods and I'm miles from civilization. It'll be a mean wheelin' machine when done.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 11:25 AM
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Re: Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S.
On a strip only car if your not running an alternator, using two batteries instead of just one is a good idea.

And while two batteries on a street car might be over-kill, you never know when the extra battery power might be the difference between driving and walking.
Ditto :!:

I run TWO batteries in my race car. I USED to run one battery but one night while racing my alternater went out and my ONE battery couldn't handle it. In the quarterfinals my car wouldn't start in the staging lanes :evil:

so I now run TWO batteries and the engine starts much easier as well



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 11:32 AM
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I think some of you guys missed what he's asking.

From the way I read it, he's asking how to measure how much battery he actually needs. He doesn't want to go any larger than required due to the weight.

If you're running an alternator:
Go to autozone and have them check your battery in the car. They should have you start it during the test. Their equipment should measure how many CCA's your car used. Be sure to take into account the temperature and other conditions (does the car require excessive cranking to start when cold, ect).

If you're not running an alternator:
Write a list of all electrical equipment on the car.

Measure and research how much amperage each uses at it's peak.

How long does the car need to run?

Min voltage for the battery at the end of the run.

Calculate how much 'storage' the battery must have to supply your car with the needed power and not drop below a given voltage.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96Mustang460cid
I think some of you guys missed what he's asking.

From the way I read it, he's asking how to measure how much battery he actually needs. He doesn't want to go any larger than required due to the weight.

If you're running an alternator:
Go to autozone and have them check your battery in the car. They should have you start it during the test. Their equipment should measure how many CCA's your car used. Be sure to take into account the temperature and other conditions (does the car require excessive cranking to start when cold, ect).
A+ Thats what I was looking for.. Actually, I've got a clamp-on ammeter I could use, and do it late at night (cold) after the car has been sitting some, and add a small safety factor.

Thanks for the idea.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:17 PM
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Only one choice for racing as far as I am concerned, Turbo Start 16 volt.
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:29 PM
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900-1000 CCA batterys are common these days...which is good . IMO , look for a battery with lots of cranking reserve . As in , how long will it provide x , y or z amps .
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 08:14 PM
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I see your point...

The reason your buddy can get away with a small battery is, despite how much hp the engine is making...it's still a small motor. Two liter?..that's only about 150 cubic inches.

Besides, a lot of the extra capacity for a larger battery is for idling, stereo, ignition systems, pwr windows, headlights...all the electrical drain that sucks juice from the battery when the alt/engine is not making enough juice to power every thing...so It takes it from the battery, puts it back after you get moving. If you don't have high drain accessories, you don't need all that reserve capacity. I would wonder if that little battery is enough if it was 20 degrees, trying to do a cold start...especially if it took 2 or 3 tries to get it started?

For a strip-only car, you don't drive it enough to put anything back, so you need more reserve, i.e bigger battery. The extra weight over the rear axel, is a bonus.

I've noticed that the factory battery on new cars is way too small most of the time anyway. finally, gear reduction starters are much better at starting a car, using less juice than the old style monsters we used to use.

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