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Old 09-13-2007, 07:31 AM   #1
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lightweight battery?

I am looking to replace the battery in my 92 VX. In times past I would go for a heavy duty battery, but now I am wondering about the weight. Does anyone know of a good battery (brand) that will work good in the VX and is still one of the lighter ones on the market?
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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While doing some surfing I came across these links:

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83272

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2353060

They are both using a lightweight DEKA battery which is only $60 and weighs only 11.5 lbs! Which saves you like 20 lbs on a regular battery. The only thing is that you have to make some kind of mount to be able to attach a battery that small onto your original battery mount. Anyone handy with machining? I am sure more members would like to have this battery!
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:16 AM   #3
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With a battery like that and the way that the Civic's battery tie down is....you should be able to go to an autoparts store near you, get a universal battery hold down (the threaded "J" hook style) that has the threads going down far enough (like one for a lawn tractor battery) and just install the new, shorter "J' hooks in the OEM position tight enough to hold the smaller battery in place.

I may be going this route come winter time when my 3 year old battery might die. Then again it might make it through this winter as well as it's not showing any sign of dying anytime soon. Realistically on my VX the only thing the battery does is starts the car, then powers the ignition and radio during the summer as the climate control fan is off all summer and only on the first setting during winter. The radio never gets turned up at all, just loud enough to hear.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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You could try the lawnmower battery shown in this thread. $25 at Wally World

http://www.gassavers.org/showthread....hlight=battery
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:14 AM   #5
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Thanks Tom and Mrmad. I went to California for two weeks and when I came back the battery turned out to be totally empty. I jumpstarted it, drove a pretty good distance with it, but the next day..nothing, not even a click from the starter, so I think I have a battery problem. Either that or an alternator problem. Not being mechanically inclined I wonder how I can get this checked without having to then buy from a battery/tire place. Seeing as this battery is only $60 I may just put it in and if that doesn't do the trick i will know it is the alternator

I am not using the AC myself either, but the again it's not functional right now hehehe. Havn't got any winter experience with the heater yet.
While in California I saw at a family member of my wife's a solar cell in the back catching rays and thus recharging the battery while the car sits. The solar cell weighs virtually nothing. It's like a small black carpet laying in the back.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:11 AM   #6
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Or you have a short that's killing the battery overnight
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Though it is likely a dead battery, did you check to see how clean the battery terminals were? They often get small amounts of corrosion between the terminal and the battery cable which prevents enough current to start. Though not as often, there also could corrosion on where the + cable connects to the starter.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:30 AM   #8
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...Not being mechanically inclined I wonder how I can get this checked without having to then buy from a battery/tire place...
Maybe I can encourage you to become just slightly mechanically inclined. Testing to see if its the battery or instead a problem with alternator is not toooo difficult.

You'll need a voltmeter or - more commonly seen - a multitester. A multitester includes a voltmeter plus other goodies, usually a continuity tester and an ohmmeter (measures resistance). Can be had for as little as about $10 at big box stores; coffee or fast food on the way to a shop for "free" testing can cost nearly as much as that!

You need access to the two terminals on the battery: + and -. Sometimes there's a plastic shield over the + terminal so you need to pop it out of the way for testing.

With the engine off, put the + (red) probe of the tester on the battery + terminal and the tester's - probe on the battery's - terminal. Tester should read maybe 12-12.5 volts. The exact voltage isn't that important but you want to see it go up when you start the car, which causes the alternator to run.

With engine idling, put the tester probes on the same terminals as before. Tester should read anywhere between 13 - 14.5 volts with engine idling. You should redo the test again (third time now!)after turning on a bunch of electrical stuff: headlights, fog lights if you have them, cabin fan on full blast with vents open so the air has someplace to go. That would be enough to make the alternator do some work.

As long as the alternator can put out 13 - 14 volts with those things running then you're pretty safe assuming it's able to do it's job, and can supply enough current to charge the battery while still running all your stuff. If alt is doing it's job, that would mean the problem is in in all likelyhood in the battery.

On the other hand if you're only getting 12.5 volts or less (with car and accessories running) then it looks like the alt is not doing its job.

I'm going with IF the alt looks good, then assume the problem is the battery.

I'ts possible that if the alt looks good the problem is not the battery but instead the starter motor is bad, but that's less likely. It's reasonable to replace the battery if the alt tests as OK.

However if you want to cover yourself and not risk buying a new battery in case the starter is bad, you can get a shop to test the starter. They'll need an ammeter (tester) that reads via a sensor clamped over your battery's + cable. Not hard to do but the tester costs more than $10 so you probably won't get your own.

Hope I didn't confuse you. Testing the alternator/battery using a $10 multitester is pretty doable. And it can come in handy for other things too.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
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Though pricier, I've heard these batteries perform great, and some are also very lightweight.

http://www.odysseybatteries.co.nz/Batteries.html
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:26 PM   #10
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Actually, DO worry about tiedown, a hard brake can force the battery to move, and it may move into contact with metal. An otherwise minor incident can turn into a battery exploding under the hood. You can get a tiedown kit that uses a plate with a couple of really long bolts to hold the battery in place, just drill holes in the battery tray, install the bolts, then clamp on the tiedown.

Some parts stores have electrical system testers that will tell you what is wrong with the vehicle. They will roll the unit out and do the test for you for free, no obligation to actually buy from them. If the battery is going dead though, I suggest replacing the alternator and battery as a unit. Trying to charge a dead battery can blow the diodes in the alternator, which then will not charge the new battery. Can turn into a vicious circle. If you are not mechanically inclined, a good mechanic's shop is where you need to turn to for this. Either that or take a case of beer by your friendly neighborhood gearhead.
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