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Best battery for infrequent use?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 04Yoda, Mar 18, 2022.

  1. Mar 18, 2022 at 8:56 AM
    #1
    04Yoda

    04Yoda [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Driving my ‘04 infrequently these days. Garaged in South Central TX. Small constant draw for dash cam and sPod. Any recommendations for the type of battery or manufacturer I should consider?
     
  2. Mar 18, 2022 at 9:06 AM
    #2
    $yoda$

    $yoda$ Well-Known Member

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    They say AGM batteries are more tolerant to infrequent use but then you have to do the voltage booster mods to make sure they are fully charging. I would just stay with whatever battery you have always used and get a good battery tender.
     
  3. Mar 18, 2022 at 9:27 AM
    #3
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Trash Aficionado

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    Battery isn’t important, but a trickle charger is useful here.
     
  4. Mar 18, 2022 at 9:31 AM
    #4
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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  5. Mar 18, 2022 at 9:36 AM
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    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Trash Aficionado

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    Plenty of people run AGMs on first gens without any voltage modifications as the voltage shortfall is inconsequential. Is it different for 2nd gens?
     
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  6. Mar 18, 2022 at 9:41 AM
    #6
    sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Well-Known Member

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    x2 on a smart charger. Don't use the old fashioned trickle chargers - the cheap ones will boil a battery in time. Pay enough to get a quality smart charger. Here's the one I have on my MGB: NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger. You can even wire them in so that you just leave the charger connected and plug it in when parked.
     
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  7. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:10 AM
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    alexh

    alexh Well-Known Member

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    Isn't the higher voltage only important if you deep discharge it as opposed to just using it for starting? I got a Northstar for about $250, a good AGM from the chain stores is $200 so I just got it for peace of mind and longevity. I previously had a Optima red top and that damn thing lasted 12 years! Also seems like with a AGM if you do discharge it to the point where you can't quite start the car it may recover if rested to the point where you can start - may save a tow.

    I think if you are going to remote areas it makes sense. Supposedly a few discharges on a normal lead acid battery and its toast and the failure will be delayed, in other words it likely will recover after the discharge event but fail later out of the blue.
     
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  8. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:24 AM
    #8
    04Yoda

    04Yoda [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Trickle charger is probably the best solution, just a little inconvenient in my garage configuration. Wiring in a NOCO is an idea I hadn’t considered.

    Aside from the higher cost, are there any significant reasons not to consider an AGM in a 1st Gen? Marketing suggest AGM hold a charge longer and recharge more quickly. If so, I’d probably go that route and pay the “convenience tax.”
     
  9. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:31 AM
    #9
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Trash Aficionado

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    The best thing to do is avoid deep discharges entirely using a low voltage cutoff device, they're not good for either kind of battery. Also, charging voltage is very dependent on temperature. If someone is running around on a 95 degree day with the voltage cranked up to 14.5 volts, that's not good for the battery either. And to top it all off, I don't know that changing the voltage is doing any favors to the alternator regulator either, creating another potential early failure.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:35 AM
    #10
    alexh

    alexh Well-Known Member

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    Especially if you go to remote locations and intend to keep the vehicle a long time. If you go to Autozone or whatever I believe their in stock high end batteries are AGM, I bought a battery for my wife's DD and it says AGM on it. But I would get an Odyssey, costs about the the same as the chain store brands but higher quality and its deep cycle. The chain store AGM's are not deep cycle.

    Just be aware that for 1st gen I had to modify the bracket because the battery is actually smaller than standard even though groups size is correct. I think most cars use the bottom clamp method now so the top dimensions may vary.

    Another good idea is to change your interior lights to LED, I also have interior lights in my shell. They draw such little current. I have left my dome light or shell interior light on for few days by accident and did not even know because truck started normally.

    Usually that's what gets me is leaving a interior light on but very unlikely to draw down a good AGM to the point it won't start or at least it will do minimal damage to the battery since its deep cycle.

    Finally another nice feature of AGM is that when they reach end of life, they don't usually fail outright like a lead acid, you will notice slightly lower cranking speed (of course you can see it on the rest voltage too) and this could go on for weeks or months. My red tops never actually failed to crank the engine, the crank speed decreased slightly and I checked voltage.

    With the red top, even though its not a deep cycle I drained it several times by accident and it still lasted 12 years. I bought a replacement red top but it only lasted 5 years with no discharges so I can't recommend those anymore.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2022
  11. Mar 18, 2022 at 1:36 PM
    #11
    $yoda$

    $yoda$ Well-Known Member

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    That’s what they tell me. They say on start up the voltage is about 14.4 but after it warms up it drops to about 13.5. From the threads I’ve read on here to be able to charge the agm to full capacity you need a constant 14.7. Apparently it shortens the life and overall performance to charge with insufficient voltage.
     
  12. Mar 18, 2022 at 1:56 PM
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    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Trash Aficionado

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    Smells very fishy to me. Looking at the Northstar application guide, you can charge it at 2.41V per cell at 77 degrees F if you need to fast charge it - otherwise they suggest charging at 2.27 V/cell (13.62 for the whole battery). The battery needs to be at a temperature of about 45 degrees F if charging it at 2.45V/cell (14.7 for the whole battery) to do it without damaging it.

    https://masterbattery.com/wp-conten...-Automotive-and-Marine-Application-Manual.pdf

    I suspect its similar with other companie batteries too, the technology is all very similar.
     
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  13. Mar 19, 2022 at 2:08 PM
    #13
    USMILRET

    USMILRET Tacoma Owner

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    As most are saying.
    its not so much the battery as the full state of charge that needs to be maintained. Get a good trickle charger that maintains a full state of charge.
     
  14. Mar 19, 2022 at 2:13 PM
    #14
    Cudgel

    Cudgel “Tonka”

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    Cheap battery. Charge it the night before you drive it with any charger. Drive it once a month. Overthink your retirement planning.
     
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  15. Mar 19, 2022 at 6:11 PM
    #15
    $yoda$

    $yoda$ Well-Known Member

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    I’m surprised you have 13k messages but have never came across one of the many agm threads. Like I said it’s just what they tell me. I haven’t got to far into researching for myself yet. Not sure if I want to go agm for my audio stuff. From what I have read on here you can charge it at regular alt voltage but if it’s drained to far you can’t charge it all the way. Something about maintaining the full charge. Like I said I haven’t got to far into it yet.
     
  16. Mar 19, 2022 at 6:25 PM
    #16
    cruxofthebisquit

    cruxofthebisquit Well-Known Member

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    OME and worth every penny.
    I get 10 yrs on Walmart lawn batteries with a tender.
     
  17. Mar 20, 2022 at 4:24 AM
    #17
    taysdad

    taysdad Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had the greatest luck with AGM batteries. I ultimately have moved to Interstate batteries from Costco for all my vehicles -- work like a charm. I agree that a trickle charger is the way to go here. Also good to have a mobile battery jumper for vehicles that sit often. Cheap insurance these days to prevent getting stuck somewhere.
     
  18. Mar 20, 2022 at 4:29 AM
    #18
    knayrb

    knayrb Well-Known Member

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    Regular lead acid battery on a quality smart trickle charger like a Batter Tender brand and you’ll go years. It will always be ready.
     
  19. Mar 20, 2022 at 7:02 AM
    #19
    Reh5108

    Reh5108 Well-Known Member

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    Small solar setup will maintain it and you won't be paying for electricity to charge it. Or add a disconnect to it and shut it off when not being used for extended periods.



    I have an agm and don't have a voltage booster. It's working fine. Maybe it's not at 100% capacity but it will still run a fridge for a couple days without a charge.
     
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  20. Mar 20, 2022 at 7:28 AM
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    Akkording

    Akkording Well-Known Member

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    My Diehard 24F AGM works fine not sure it's a deep cycle class but it runs for $220. Stock battery holder bracket fits and the battery comes with some clean terminals on the post already to my surprise.
     
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