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Thread: Battery time for the 2001 DMax

  1. #1
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    Default Battery time for the 2001 DMax

    Hi All
    Does anyone have a recommendation on batteries for my tow truck?
    Right now it needs to be used every day or the batteries are to low to start.
    When i bought the truck it had mismatched batteries,and one was weak so i put in a matched set of Napa premium ones with the highest CCA.The one good battery that i removed is still going strong in my GF's Jimmy.
    The truck lives in my shop so cold temp starts are few.
    Kind of disappointed in the Napa batteries.I charged them this summer on a smart charger that "rebuilds" bad batteries.It did not help these.
    Thanks
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  2. #2
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    What resources do you have nearby? Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, chain parts store, etc. I resolved some time ago to just go with batteries that meet the group and CA requirements, the longest replacement warranty, for the least money, that is most available. I replaced the original Delco batteries in my 2001 with Optima Yellow tops. They lasted 10 years, sort of. One of them quit at about 8 years, and I ran only the remaining battery for another 2 (solo). They did have a LOT of desert dry camping on them (no generator, and a lot of inverter use). Replacement Yellow Tops would cost more than 3X the Walmart brand I bought, and they've been going about 5 years. They are just now starting to show slight weakness, but are balanced and holding voltage. I expect to replace them again in a year or 2, probably with the same. Overall reliability doesn't seem to have suffered, at a fraction of the cost, and availability a non-issue.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  3. #3
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    Have a look at the following link here in The Diesel Page. The choice of battery pretty much agrees with DmaxMaverick, plus a little more info about tray maintenance.

    https://www.thedieselpage.com/features/batterytray.htm

    Update: The above linked battery tray maintenance article was written in 2020 - which itself included information from a TDP online article written nearly a decade earlier about battery service. As of November 2023, neither of those NAPA maintenance-free batteries (I installed in my GMC in 2020) have caused any tray corrosion.

    Incidentally, the company that produces POR-15 paint has never been an advertiser here at TDP, and no promotional consideration was received before this article originally appeared or at any time since. In fact, I've not had any contact with them. I paid the full retail price for all of the POR-15 products I've used and written about through the years. I continue to recommend them because of how well their paint has performed in the applications shown here.
    ***** Five Star product!
    Last edited by More Power; 11-06-2023 at 10:30. Reason: add stuff

  4. #4
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    Great wright up on the batteries and trays
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
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    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  5. #5
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    I read it and learned something...
    Awsome
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  6. #6
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    I have had excellent luck using DEKA batteries.
    ORDERED 1-15-03 ARRIVED 2-10-03= 03/2500HD/D/A/EXT.CAB LT/ LONG BOX/4X4/CARBON METALLIC/ONSTAR/ TTT CAMPER MIRRORS/WESTIN BOARDS WITH LITES/HUSKY FLOOR LINERS/PRO FIT FLAPS/ACCESS TONNO/LINEX BED RAILS/ FUMOTO OIL DRAIN VALVE,
    BEDRUG/BILSTEIN SHOCKS/ ISSPRO EGT GAUGE/RED LINE LUBE, BANKS EXHAUST BRAKE. GALAXY 929 CB/ WILSON 1000.KENNEDY LIFT PUMP.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    High charge. Low charge. Acid replacement. Alka-Seltzer. Etc. Tried it all. High amp charging can force a charge into a cell, but it's temporary, and very dangerous. Youtube is dangerous.

    Some short-cycling batteries can be recovered, somewhat, if treated early. Sulfation prevention sometimes helps, but once it is bad enough to effect capacity, you don't get it back.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  9. #9
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    My brother bought a "Smart"charger
    it is supposed to rebuild batteries.
    My luck as been OK using it,but it nothing for the ones in the tow truck
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  10. #10
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    Too close out what i ended up with...
    I called around to see what my options were
    $215 each my cost to replace the Napa ones that didn't impress me.Most batteries from the parts places came in within dollars of the Napa ones,
    Went with Canadian Tire batteries,Got the sealed ones like in More Powers article,probably made in the same factory.
    $169. each 3 year replacement warranty.On the website they showed made in the USA,the ones that i got are made in Mexico.battery 2.jpgbattery 3.jpgbattery 1.jpgbattery 4.jpgTwins...i went with the top post combo's as that will give me options of use after one battery craps the bed,of course in 3 years and a few days.
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Battery followup... Sarah bought a set of new "EverStart" maintenance-free batteries from Wal-Mart when the 6.5TD Blazer project was nearing completion in the fall of 2021. Aside from labeling, these look exactly like the NAPA versions I used for my 2001 GMC. Thus far, the Blazer has gone through 2 full years with its new batteries and about 3k miles of driving. The batteries are maintained during the winter (when it's not being driven), periodically using a low amp "Battery Tender" maintenance charger.

    While poking around under the hood of the Blazer this past July, I noticed that one of its batteries had vented a little acid... We caught it early, so clean-up was quick. So far, I haven't seen any signs of corrosion return. Maybe it was a fluke, but we'll keep an eye on it. The alternator voltage output was measured, reading just over 14 volts at idle.

    I bought/installed new "EverStart" 78-series maintenance-free batteries from Wal-Mart in Lil Red a year earlier in 2020 (exactly like those we installed in the Blazer in 2021). So far, the batts in Lil Red haven't vented any acid - nor have the NAPA batts in our 2001 GMC.
    Last edited by More Power; 11-05-2023 at 12:15. Reason: add to

  13. #13
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    Plus a battery update from me
    October saw my tow truck beginning to have starting issues...
    Had to boost it a few times which wasn't putting smiles on my face
    Left it with the batteries disconnected for a few days and had the same result
    The left side battery was toast,right side was compromised according to my battery tester
    Both batteries replaced on warranty.
    Hopefully not a sign of the make of batteries as i invested heavily in Canadien Tire batterys this summer getting over a dozen. 4 group 31's for my fuel truck, 2 4D's for my 950 2 for the tow truck 2 for the 6.5 dump truck and a couple for cars including a 6 volt for the 52
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  14. #14
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    It looks like Canadian Tire may be getting their batteries from East Penn (Deka). My experience with Deka is they are top shelf and I actually seek them out when I can. Of course, they may have switched to the Chung Ho battery factory last April...
    The Constitution needs to be re-read, not re-written!

    If you can't handle Dr. Seuss, how will you handle real life?

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  15. #15
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    Both my 2012 and 2016 OE batteries lasted over 7 years, but the 2016 batteries crashed hard about a month ago. I use Interstate as replacements so that puts my 2012 at 4 yrs now and no sign of weakness, leakage, etc. Just the "Good" MTP series.

    I have a desulfate option as well as an equalize option on my chargers, but not sure how well that works. In either case I believe disconnecting from the vehicle electrical system is mandatory. I would also run a equalize cycle first or better yet a "dumb" charger to top off as the battery needs to be full in order to run a desulfate if memory serves.

    On smart chargers: I like them, but always want a dumb one around in case a battery gets severely drained.


    Battery stories from left field:

    We have two small Honda ATV's here for the Grandsons. Oldest is 2016 and the battery was replaced when we bought it so it is 2yrs old now MOL. The newest one is 2019 model with what appears to be the OE battery as we've owned it for a couple years now. Both batteries were dead this spring (parked in pole shed) so put on a smart charger that said they were full, but they would not turn over. I ordered a new lithium battery for the older one to test. The idea being that lithium don't care if they are 100% or 50% where lead acid are just not happy below 90% for long term health, so no dicking around with maintainers. Same way I set up my boat. The lithium spins the ATV over perfectly so I ordered another for the second machine. For grins while I was waiting I put my old Schumacher 1-1/2 amp charger on the newer one and and left it for a few days. Now that battery spins it over just fine and no issues. I put the second lithium in my forklift that gets used every couple of years and always has old hand me down batteries that die between uses. Kind of funny a teeny battery that you can hold in the palm of your hand in a fork lift.

    If it weren't for cold charging limitations, I might move more of my stuff to lithium.

    I built a 24v 280AH lithium into a Milwaukee Packout box to run the cabin. No more worries about having enough sun in winter to keep topped off or adding water in summer. Looks like no way to upload the pic in this particular forum.
    Kennedy Diesel-owner
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    2005 Chev K3500SRW D/A CC Long LT(SOLD)
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    2012 GMC K3500SRW D/A CC Long LTZ Happy Birthday to me! Built 1 working day after my birthday and delivered 7 days later.
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  16. #16
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    I bought 4 new batteries for my T800 Kenworth fuel truck this fall.A couple times over the summer i had to boost it.In the summer the fuel truck does not get used regularly.
    The batteries in it are one pair of delco remy's that are 15 years old, and one set of Napa's that are 14 years old.
    When i bought the KW i had a Ford 8000 that the tank had been deemed obsolete by Transport Canada.I had just put 3 new delco's in it.The T800 had crap batteries so i took 2 from the Ford and bought 2 more new ones.
    My guess is the fact it gets used every week in the winter is what kept the batteries working.
    So far they are still starting it and the new ones are in the shop
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  17. #17
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    I watched a video a while back about Electric Vehicle batteries. It said that the EV lithium batteries live longest when run from ~90% down to about 50%. Deep draw and 100% charges reduce life - they said. I don't know... I try to do that with my iPhone.

    I do like the fact that Lithium can be stored long term without losing charge. As JK said, disconnecting them from the vehicle is wise due to a parasitic draw of computers and such. Sitting discharged kills typical auto batteries very quickly...

    Speaking of long-term storage, I've found that AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries keep their charge over winter as well as Lithium. The ATV/motorcycle industry went to AGM batteries quite a while ago. It's what I buy when replacing a battery in my motorcycle. These are maintenance-free once past the initial fill. What is an AGM battery? Go Here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by More Power View Post
    I watched a video a while back about Electric Vehicle batteries. It said that the EV lithium batteries live longest when run from ~90% down to about 50%. Deep draw and 100% charges reduce life - they said.
    Definitely true but 20% and even a touch lower is fine. That's where a programmable BMS comes in. I can set the top (and bottom) voltages that the battery will accept plus with the off grid solar charge controller I can set the top charge voltage to simply "not go there"
    Kennedy Diesel-owner
    More than just a salesman-I use and test the products that I sell on a daily basis!
    Superflow Lie Detector in house
    2002 Chev K2500HD D/A CC Long LT 11.77@ 124mph at 7700# fuel only-e.t. needs help
    2005 Chev K3500SRW D/A CC Long LT(SOLD)
    2007 Chev K2500 Classic EC Short LT (Sold)
    2012 GMC K3500SRW D/A CC Long LTZ Happy Birthday to me! Built 1 working day after my birthday and delivered 7 days later.
    2016 GMC K3500SRW D/A CC short LTZ

    Custom tuning in house using EFI Live tuning software!

  19. #19
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennedy View Post
    Definitely true but 20% and even a touch lower is fine. That's where a programmable BMS comes in. I can set the top (and bottom) voltages that the battery will accept plus with the off grid solar charge controller I can set the top charge voltage to simply "not go there"
    Programmable chargers sound nice. Overcharging kills batteries of all types. I developed an automatic field charger for Radio Control systems back in the early 1980's. It was also part of a story I wrote for the leading RC magazine at that time. It was pretty simple to do. You'd think that Apple, battery tool manufacturers and every other manufacturer would just do automatic chargers as standard practice.

  20. #20
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    The new batteries are working fine
    So far the tow truck has been having to rough it outside
    Without the luxury of a warm shop to rest in the truck has started with no issues outside.
    -17C was the coldest it's had to come to life in,fired up fine
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

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