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Old 01-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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Post Optima Battery

I've seen multiple comments about Optima installation in a Boxster. Many saying that a longer positive cable is required with the Optima 34R. I just installed a 34R in my 2003 Boxster today. Most instructions say to mount the battery to the aftermarket plate then slide the plate to the right (driver side - you're standing in the front storage compartment) so that it slips under the lip on that end. Now tighten the left end down and connect the cables. The positive cable WON'T connect if you take this approach. Try connecting the positive cable BEFORE sliding the battery to the right. After sliding it, connect the negative cable then bolt the left end of the plate down. The positive cable is tight but it does fit!

Doug
2003 Boxster
1962 356B T6

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:30 AM   #2
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It would seem that some cars have a slightly longer + cable than others; about half the Optima swaps we have done required putting in a slightly longer (~2 inch) + cable to eliminate any problems; other 986's the 34R drops right in with the factory cable. To date, I have not figured out any way to determine when the longer cable is going to be needed.............
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 01-18-2010 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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Optima Battery

My Boxster is a 2003 model. The positive cable was relatively tight on the Moll (OEM - I think that's the brand) battery. It's the same battery that was used on the 993's - I don't have the model number with me at the moment. I wonder if some Boxsters use a different (wider) model battery than the 2003's? I'll add the model number to this thread tonight when I get home.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougs986
My Boxster is a 2003 model. The positive cable was relatively tight on the Moll (OEM - I think that's the brand) battery. It's the same battery that was used on the 993's - I don't have the model number with me at the moment. I wonder if some Boxsters use a different (wider) model battery than the 2003's? I'll add the model number to this thread tonight when I get home.

For the most part, 986/987 have all used the same size battery (group 48). The actual issue is the positive cable, which is sometimes shorter. The year and base/S model does not seem to matter; sometimes the cable is just shorter. Replacing the positive cable with a longer one is a 5 min. affair, and just about any auto parts store can supply you with a longer one for a few bucks; so it is no big thing.

Most likely, some kraut bean counter figured out a way to save five cents a car by shortening the cable two inches..........
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #5
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My 2003 Boxster with Tip came with a Moll 570 69 battery (999.611.070.20).
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:35 AM   #6
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The variation

may be between the TIP and a manual car. Few know that the battery is actually different (bigger as in more AH in the TIP).

I have an '01S TIP and had to visit my local auto dealer for a longer (and $6) cable when I installed my Optima. No way was I going to fit the original cable. A trivial 3 minute install once I got back from the store. Take your original and match the thickness and add length.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:41 AM   #7
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I just ordered the Optima Redtop (34R) locally and the aluminum adapter plate with a longer cable from Yellow Dog Motorsports. Going to be a DIY.

I ordered the longer cable, JUST IN CASE. The frustration to find out the cable is not long enough is not worth it.

Last edited by ekam; 12-24-2010 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
I ordered the longer cable, JUST IN CASE. The frustration to find out the cable is not long enough is not worth it.
I ordered the longer cable (just in case) along with the plastic adaptor during the summer. I wanted to have them so I could install an Optima whenever I need a new battery. So far, I haven't needed a new battery.

My car had a new Interstate battery when I bought it over 6 years ago and it is still going strong. This is without never using a charger or maintainer. Also my car has sat for 12 weeks untouched at least twice during the 6 years and regularly sits for 2 to 3 weeks untouched. The Interstate has been a great battery but I want a sealed, maintenance free battery next go round.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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Well guess what, I needed the longer positive cable after all!!! Yellow Dog told me I don't need it and I have a 04 base, manual.

The aluminum adapter plate is good quality(for an extra $20 over the plastic version, it's worth it IMO), and won't hurt to get the thumb screw set as well, makes it so much easier to remove the cowl vent to replace the cabin filter, etc.

Install is pretty much a breeze. It came with 4-5 pages of instructions but the install is straight forward on its own. Don't have to be a qualified mechanic to do the job. The Redtop (34R) is smaller, lighter than the factory battery - just perfect.

It was easy to deal with Yellow Dog over the phone, they processed & shipped the items to me very quickly.

Last edited by ekam; 12-24-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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Sweet! Good thing you ordered the cable despite their advice. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty on which cars need a longer cable and which cars don't. I'm glad I ordered the cable as well, just in case. My luck, I won't need it.

I'm sort of looking forward to needing a new battery so I can order and install an Optima. Only because I know I have limited time on my 6+ year old Interstate and like the idea of a sealed battery.

Was your OE cable close to working or was it way off in length?
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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I didn't measure exactly how much longer, but I'd say it needed good 1.5-2" longer to go on top of the post. The negative cable is a tight fit but it fits.

The plate comes with 2 mounting locations for the battery but I used the mounting points closer to the driver's side or else the negative cable won't reach.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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In my products, cable cutting tool capabilities dictate a fairly wide tolerance on cable length. It can be as much as +/- 0.5 inches on a big cable like the battery cable on this car. Normal manufacturing tolerance probably explains the length differences seen here.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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2 inches is not a manufacturing tolerance, it is a different length cable............as also indicated by different part numbers……….
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:04 PM   #14
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I knew a dude that ran Optima batteries in his Searay, they didn't last any longer than lead acid and I don't think they are much lighter. I'll wait till 10 lbs lithium batteries are not 1,200 a unit, easy, serious, weight reduction.
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:46 PM   #15
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Optima's are lead acid technology, just in a patented AGM sprial wound format. They are lighter by a few pounds than a comparable flooded unit, and they do live a lot longer; often more than twice the life of a conventional flooded design unit. I own four of them, including one that is approaching its tenth birthday, and it recently load tested as though it were brand new.

And don't hold your breath waiting for lithium batteries to come down to the price level of lead acid; it will never happen...................
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #16
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I had a Redtop in my truck that lasted 11 yrs and my current Yellowtop is on it's 6th year. Great batteries.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
2 inches is not a manufacturing tolerance, it is a different length cable............as also indicated by different part numbers……….
Some need a longer cable, some not. All the same part number, correct?
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightsandaces
I knew a dude that ran Optima batteries in his Searay, they didn't last any longer than lead acid and I don't think they are much lighter. I'll wait till 10 lbs lithium batteries are not 1,200 a unit, easy, serious, weight reduction.
I had a red top in a seldom driven car for over ten years. It was completely drained at least twice in that time. It was still working great when I put it into another car and then sold the car. I've since put red tops in three more cars over the past seven years and am a true fan.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:45 AM   #19
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The lithium units are reported to last ten years, if I can keep and drive my car into the future my plan includes a vigorous weight reduction program with the 10 pound battery as a start. I think lighter wheels than stock would be helpful too in reducing un-sprung weight. Things are pretty bad though, it's just as likely I'll have to sell for a giant loss and give the Fiat to my brother who has better working legs.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:18 AM   #20
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Thanks to the EPA, lithium based SLI batteries have a major downside: Recycling. Because lithium, unlike nickel metal hydride, is even more insidious than lead in the environment, SLI usage has to be tracked "cradle to grave". Only problem is that lithium also poisons lead recycling smelters, so they cannot be handled through the existing, and very limited, lead battery recycling networks. This problem has prevented the expansion of lithium usage in commercial batteries for nearly two decades, and will continue for the foreseeable future as no one is building new battery recycling facilities in North America due to their "environmental nightmare" problems. That alone will continue to stifle its growth and reduction in price for a long time to come.....

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