Experience with Yellow Tops?

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Laughing Otter

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Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with Optima Yellow top batteries. I just installed one. For years I've use Red Tops, but with the addition of exterior lighting, CB, Scanner, Ham Radio, 2 GPS units, and in the near future...a winch...I needed a "deep cycle" battery. The Red top has more CCA but according to Optima literature...Yellow tops are best for multiple accessories...However this is my first rodeo with the Yellow. With my last Red top I had a 12 volt motorcycle battery hooked up for accessories, but it was a pain...so I'm hoping this solves my issue. Just wondering if anyone out here has used the yellow tops and can share their experience...Thanks.
 

Mike W

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That should work fine for you, but I went with Odyssey after reading about a lot of the Optimas having issues and failing over the last few years. It is always hard to know true reputation on these things, but ya. Should be fine, just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get over discharged. I use a low voltage cutoff isolator to make sure my setup is not over discharged.

 

Rodtheviking

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I have heard too many bad stories since they shifted to Mexico made. I went with a Oreilly (Deka Intimidator) Super Start AGM battery, same specs as a Yellow Top but 60.00 cheaper.
 

Laughing Otter

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Pathfinder I

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That should work fine for you, but I went with Odyssey after reading about a lot of the Optimas having issues and failing over the last few years. It is always hard to know true reputation on these things, but ya. Should be fine, just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get over discharged. I use a low voltage cutoff isolator to make sure my setup is not over discharged.

Ok...so, I see you have 2 batteries...or am I mistaken? Is one just a back up? I'll look up that low voltage cutoff isolator...thanks for the heads up. If you are running two batteries, what size and output alternator are you running?
 

Laughing Otter

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180 C Street Southwest, Forks, WA, USA
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I have heard too many bad stories since they shifted to Mexico made. I went with a Oreilly (Deka Intimidator) Super Start AGM battery, same specs as a Yellow Top but 60.00 cheaper.
Yeah I had heard that too...but, I've always found the Red Tops reliable, so I thought I'd give the Yellow tops a shot....If it fails...lesson learned.
 

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maktruk

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I fitted a yellow top Optima about 4 months ago, my OEM battery had started spraying at the caps and generally making a mess

Here it is, I fitted the Blue Sea fuse box and circuit breaker at the same time.

 
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Tim

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I've been running a yellow top for several years as an auxiliary battery (so most of my accessories run off that). I have a red top starter battery and a RedArc smart solenoid to handle the charging between the two. Basically the smart solenoid joins the two batteries in parallel when the engine is running and splits them up after the engine has shut off (or when the voltage falls below a set value). No real problems with it but found the capacity (Amp Hours) a bit small for my needs. I think you get the option of either a 55Ah or 75Ah. I have the smaller one because that's all that would fit in the battery tray but it would only last just over a day running the fridge. If you need power when the engine is switched off, I'd certainly recommend some kind of low voltage protection (some fridges have this built in) or have you considered a battery pack? Something like this; http://www.nationalluna.com/PPPack.htm - just as an example. For now I've replaced the yellow top battery with a Numax 89AH one since it fits in the same space and give that longer run time that I need. I'm also planning an alternator upgrade as the standard one is only 80A.
 
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utspoolup

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I also started venting my battery and it was only 10 months old. I said screw it and put in a odyssey 34R (reversed terminals) required to keep pos and neg where they are in the X and as Maktrak's photo also shows, the Xterra has a retarded fuse block/ bus bar that we need to keep or completely rewire. So the 34R was great for my usage. I will be getting a second and running dual batteries hopefully by the end of the year.

I heard a lot of failure reports on yellow tops so I chose to stay away more so that I am only on 1 battery currently. But I do always carry my noco jump box

 
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Laughing Otter

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Pathfinder I

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I also started venting my battery and it was only 10 months old. I said screw it and put in a odyssey 34R (reversed terminals) required to keep pos and neg where they are in the X and as Maktrak's photo also shows, the Xterra has a retarded fuse block/ bus bar that we need to keep or completely rewire. So the 34R was great for my usage. I will be getting a second and running dual batteries hopefully by the end of the year.

I heard a lot of failure reports on yellow tops so I chose to stay away more so that I am only on 1 battery currently. But I do always carry my noco jump box

Yeah, I've heard the reviews on Optima failures....but to be truthful, I can google any brand battery or any other product online and find a large percentage of bad reviews. Unfortunately, people can be paid to post "good" or "bad" reviews...Reviews online, imo, just can't be trusted. That's why I was asking our community here on Overland Bound if any of our members have actual long term experience with the Yellow Tops so I can get some idea of what I may expect in the future. My experience with the Red Tops has been excellent and above expectations. I was just curious as to fellow overlanders experiences with them. I am still considering a second battery to run accessories...but a full size, not the small 12 volt motorcycle battery I was previously using. The Red tops always performed great for me, but they are not a "deep cycle" battery...and as more and more accessories got added it became a considerable drain on the battery. I have resisted adding isolators and aftermarket fuse boxes and such...but I may have to go that route.
 

Laughing Otter

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Pathfinder I

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180 C Street Southwest, Forks, WA, USA
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Ansa
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I've been running a yellow top for several years as an auxiliary battery (so most of my accessories run off that). I have a red top starter battery and a RedArc smart solenoid to handle the charging between the two. Basically the smart solenoid joins the two batteries in parallel when the engine is running and splits them up after the engine has shut off (or when the voltage falls below a set value). No real problems with it but found the capacity (Amp Hours) a bit small for my needs. I think you get the option of either a 55Ah or 75Ah. I have the smaller one because that's all that would fit in the battery tray but it would only last just over a day running the fridge. If you need power when the engine is switched off, I'd certainly recommend some kind of low voltage protection (some fridges have this built in) or have you considered a battery pack? Something like this; http://www.nationalluna.com/PPPack.htm - just as an example. For now I've replaced the yellow top battery with a Numax 89AH one since it fits in the same space and give that longer run time that I need. I'm also planning an alternator upgrade as the standard one is only 80A.
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out!
 
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Laughing Otter

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Yep, I run a dual battery setup (Traxide kit http://www.traxide.com.au/complete-diy-dual-battery/land-rover-dbs-kits/discovery-3-dbs-kits/d3-bs--sc80--abg-25.html).

I just have the original alternator from the factory. I think it is ~140/150 amp. I also use a CTEK 56-353 multi US 7002 charger to keep them topped up in the garage. The aux batt is a Odyssey 34-PC1500T and the starter batt is slightly larger than OE Exide Edge AGM L5/49.
Nice Disco by the way...mine be a series 1 discovery.
 

WJ - Firefly

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I tried a yellow top in my wife's 99 Grand Cherokee last year. It lasted just about a year, then wouldn't hold a quiescent voltage above 11v. I am looking for a good agm for a dual battery for mine. Also considering automotive grade Li-Ion, but sheesh... The pricing...
 

Laughing Otter

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Pathfinder I

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180 C Street Southwest, Forks, WA, USA
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I tried a yellow top in my wife's 99 Grand Cherokee last year. It lasted just about a year, then wouldn't hold a quiescent voltage above 11v. I am looking for a good agm for a dual battery for mine. Also considering automotive grade Li-Ion, but sheesh... The pricing...
Yeah the Li-Ion systems are out of my range as well.
 

Mike W

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Off-Road Ranger I

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I tried a yellow top in my wife's 99 Grand Cherokee last year. It lasted just about a year, then wouldn't hold a quiescent voltage above 11v. I am looking for a good agm for a dual battery for mine. Also considering automotive grade Li-Ion, but sheesh... The pricing...
Did it regularly get hooked up to a charger? I know that with my dual Batt setup would be tough to keep the batts in great health if i didn't put a charger on it. For one I just don't drive the rig enough for it to top them up via alternator.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

maktruk

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That positive battery terminal is absolutely ridiculous. I looked into relocating the thing and it's so convoluted and runs so many amps thru it it wasn't worth my time.

I have a spare OEM terminal in my toolbox. If it ever smokes on you you'll wish you had one too. Ask me how I know!
 

WJ - Firefly

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Did it regularly get hooked up to a charger? I know that with my dual Batt setup would be tough to keep the batts in great health if i didn't put a charger on it. For one I just don't drive the rig enough for it to top them up via alternator.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
She drove it town a couple times a week. Should have been enough. A good agm battery should require less maintenance, not more.
I have since changes the battery terminal connectors to professional multi-wire types. The old ones did not fit well and regularly needed to be tightened.
 

Andrew110

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I have two yellow tops hooked up as secondary batteries, they run the fridge, lights and charge batteries. They've been installed for nearly three years and have seen deserts, deep water crossing, insane corrugations and plenty of weekends away. They aren't quite as fresh now and I really need my solar to keep me going in one spot for more than 36 hours but otherwise all good. I like them as they are not very tall and fit in a Defender under the seat quite well.
 
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