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Old 17th February 2010, 16:54   #1
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Default Offroaders - Choose your 4x4 battery carefully

So my Jeep battery gave up entirely. I was surprised as the battery is only an '07 build Amaron, and a diesel Jeep hardly causes any electrical stress. Plus, the Jeep's kms usage is limited at best. Why then is it dead so early? Structural damage.

My battery mech showed me that, if you tilt my battery even a little, it leaks out fluid somewhere from the side (not top where the caps are). Move the battery and you can hear all kinds of things shaking inside!! After a check, Amaron reported that the plates / case is broken. First (and only) suspect are the jolts & vibrations caused by offroading. The battery in question is a regular car series Amaron that looks like this:

Name:  prod_go.jpg
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Based on research and recommendations (including directly from Amaron & Moderator Samurai), I've zeroed in on a tractor battery for my Jeep . Apparently, this series is built far more robust, and has a higher resistance to offroad stress. Well, they are meant for tractors after all.

Name:  prod_harvest.jpg
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Just a headsup for when you are choosing a battery for your 4x4 next. I went for the higher 90 Ah spec. Cost = About 5K.

Internationally, I've heard of Optima offroad-spec batteries. Unfortunately, they aren't available in India.

Last edited by GTO : 17th February 2010 at 16:57.
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Old 17th February 2010, 16:58   #2
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Great Info GTO. In the process of replacing mine for the King. Would it be the right choice for it too? or would it create a burden on the stalk alternator?
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Old 17th February 2010, 16:58   #3
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Excellent inputs GTO - thanks for the same.
I guess the logic would also apply to Soft-Roaders like some of us Scorpio/Safari owners here.
I find basis my own experience that the OEM Battery which comes with the vehicle when one purchases it, typically lasts only about 2 - 2.5 years to a maximum of 3 years with normal city + highway usage + the occasional soft road foray.
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Old 17th February 2010, 17:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Internationally, I've heard of Optima offroad-spec batteries. Unfortunately, they aren't available in India.
It is available if you really want it. A fellow offroader (swastikviji) recently got it for his MM550.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...f-roading.html (Amaron Optima Yellow Top: Can they be used for off-roading?)
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Old 17th February 2010, 17:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I've zeroed in on a tractor battery for my Jeep
If you haven't bought it yet HOLD ON!! Exide makes a maintenance free All Terrain Battery rated at 75 AH ideally suited for our use. You can get one off the shelf anywhere in India.

I bought one just before the Bangalore trip for my Jeep. Its called Exide ATB and it costs Rs 5450 or so

Last edited by DKG : 17th February 2010 at 17:22.
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Old 17th February 2010, 17:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
If you haven't bought it yet HOLD ON!! Exide makes a maintenance free All Terrain Battery rated at 75 AH ideally suited for our use. You can get one off the shelf anywhere in India.

I bought one just before the Bangalore trip for my Jeep. I think its called Exide ATB and it costs Rs 5450 or so
hey guys, sorry to interupt, but i am the franchisee for Amaron in Goa, i have been using the same battery that GTO has talked about in my Gypsy for the last 2 years, also having a fair amount of abuse to the vehicle, but till date no probs, that particular case MAYBE, a case of improper mounting of the battery in the battery bay??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi View Post
Great Info GTO. In the process of replacing mine for the King. Would it be the right choice for it too? or would it create a burden on the stalk alternator?
no, those tractor batteries are not available for the Gypsy. they come only in 75AH and 90 AH, and a gypsy uses 35 AH, so ruled out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
So my Jeep battery gave up entirely. I was surprised as the battery is only an '07 build Amaron, and a diesel Jeep hardly causes any electrical stress. Plus, the Jeep's kms usage is limited at best. Why then is it dead so early? Structural damage.

My battery mech showed me that, if you tilt my battery even a little, it leaks out fluid somewhere from the side (not top where the caps are). Move the battery and you can hear all kinds of things shaking inside!! After a check, Amaron reported that the plates / case is broken. First (and only) suspect are the jolts & vibrations caused by offroading. The battery in question is a regular car series Amaron that looks like this:

Attachment 289723

Based on research and recommendations (including directly from Amaron & Moderator Samurai), I've zeroed in on a tractor battery for my Jeep . Apparently, this series is built far more robust, and has a higher resistance to offroad stress. Well, they are meant for tractors after all.

Attachment 289724

Just a headsup for when you are choosing a battery for your 4x4 next. I went for the higher 90 Ah spec. Cost = About 5K.

Internationally, I've heard of Optima offroad-spec batteries. Unfortunately, they aren't available in India.
hey can you specify which battery you used? what was the AH rating?. i am taking this up with Amaraon

Last edited by khan_sultan : 17th February 2010 at 17:26. Reason: one logical post :-)
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Old 17th February 2010, 17:26   #7
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@GTO was your battery drained out completely due to internal short circuiting? what was the root cause of failure?

Spike
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Old 17th February 2010, 17:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
So my Jeep battery gave up entirely. I was surprised as the battery is only an '07 build Amaron, and a diesel Jeep hardly causes any electrical stress. Plus, the Jeep's kms usage is limited at best. Why then is it dead so early? Structural damage.
I had the exact same thing happen to me this week. The Amaron Hi-Way 80Ah battery in my Jeep just died. Took it to a professional charging station and they said the plates were shot (something about scaling & sulfur deposits). Also, liquid leaks out of it when tilted a little - just like you said.

The battery was purchased in Mar-2008 (I think) but was manufactured in Dec-2007, and had a 24-month warranty. So took it to a Amaron dealer expecting a replacement, unfortunately couldn't locate my warranty card. So, no replacement... tough luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Based on research and recommendations (including directly from Amaron & Moderator Samurai), I've zeroed in on a tractor battery for my Jeep . Apparently, this series is built far more robust, and has a higher resistance to offroad stress. Well, they are meant for tractors after all.
I had the exact same thought process and bought a 90Ah Powerzone Tractor battery yesterday. Powerzone batteries are made specially for the rural market by Amar Raja Batteries - the same guys who make the Amaron batteries.

This is the one I bought - PZ 900 MF

I paid Rs 2,600 with exchange discount for the old battery. It came with a 12-month replacement warranty. Hope it proves to be a bit more robust.

NOTE: While I was wondering why the old battery just died, I started suspecting the alternator. The sticker on the battery says that it needs a charging voltage of 13.6V to 14.2V for optimal performance, anything less of more could damage the battery and effect its performance & life-time.

I measured the alternator output on my MM540 with a hobby multimeter and it showed between 12.4V to 12.9V, didn't even cross 13V. I plan to get it checked at a proper auto-electrical workshop as this could cause problems. If you guys have any info on this, please share.

Cheers
Teja

Edit: As Rossi questioned earlier, is it possible that the stock alternator is unable to deal with the higher amp rating of the battery? If so, what are the options? Can the alternator be re-wound of something to enhance capacity, or do we need to go for a higher capacity alternator?

Last edited by H3LIOS : 17th February 2010 at 17:33.
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Old 17th February 2010, 18:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi View Post
Would it be the right choice for it too?
Guess not, thanks to whitemm550's post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I guess the logic would also apply to Soft-Roaders like some of us Scorpio/Safari owners here.
My battery dealer was telling me that MUVs / SUVs with large diesel engines need robust batteries. The engine vibration is enough to speeden up wear & tear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
It is available if you really want it. A fellow offroader (swastikviji) recently got it for his MM550.
At 22 grand? No thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
If you haven't bought it yet HOLD ON!! Exide makes a maintenance free All Terrain Battery rated at 75 AH ideally suited for our use. You can get one off the shelf anywhere in India.
Just did. Was installed today infact. But good to know we have a choice. I don't like being dependent on a single brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitemm550 View Post
hey can you specify which battery you used? what was the AH rating?. i am taking this up with Amaraon
Ok, in case my battery hasn't already been sent back (I got some $$$ for it), will take a picture of the damage too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
@GTO was your battery drained out completely due to internal short circuiting? what was the root cause of failure?

Spike
As mentioned in my opening post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H3LIOS View Post
Took it to a professional charging station and they said the plates were shot (something about scaling & sulfur deposits). Also, liquid leaks out of it when tilted a little
Mine was the first case I've heard of. We now have a 2nd!

Quote:
I paid Rs 2,600 with exchange discount for the old battery. It came with a 12-month replacement warranty. Hope it proves to be a bit more robust.
1/2 the price that I paid!! Good deal, man.
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Old 17th February 2010, 18:50   #10
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
1/2 the price that I paid!! Good deal, man.
I had considered it last year. Follow this discussion: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post1208827 (Which is the Best Car Battery Brand?)
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Old 18th February 2010, 10:26   #11
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Quote:
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Yep, PowerZone is cheap - and it is of lesser quality than the Amaron branded ones. That is why the warranty for PZ is only 12 months versus 24 months or more for the Amaron branded ones.

But my Amaron Hi-Way failed within 22 months, and the Harvest series costs about 5000/-. So I thought I will take a chance with PZ. They claim it is made for rural markets and the PZ 900 is especially designed for tractors, so I am hoping that it proves to be a bit more robust than the Amaron Hi-Way series.

EDIT: Question - If I measure the voltage between the two battery posts with the engine running, I am measuring the charging voltage right? Just want to make sure my alternator is able to charge the 90Ah battery. Thanks.

Last edited by H3LIOS : 18th February 2010 at 10:29.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:13   #12
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Thanks WhiteMM550 & GTO for the update. Will stick to the stock ones.
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Old 18th February 2010, 15:40   #13
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Thanks for this thread GTO. i hadnt even thought of this but now it makes so much sense. In an OTR your battery is going to get tilted hence the distilled water is bound to leak out and cause some sort of damage. Im going to get a battery from Opera House from my jeep from a friend's place. Ill put this query to him and see what he advices me.
Wow!!
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Old 18th February 2010, 15:44   #14
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Just want to make sure my alternator is able to charge the 90Ah battery. Thanks.
It just takes longer, that's all.
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Old 18th February 2010, 18:25   #15
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GTO,
I had the same Amaron harvestor battery in my jeep until now. I can vouch for it. It was installed in 2006 and had juice in it until recently when electricial told me that one cell had slightly become weak. I am sure even in the current set up it would have lasted me another year.

4 years of hardcore pure off roading and able to take heat like on palar is an achievement. I changed this battery on preemptive basis

I now run TATA GREEN harvester battery. Was in need of a battery urgently couldnt find amaron hence TATA green. 75 amps battery costed me 4600. I got Rs 800 for my old battery.
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