what should I look for in a battery? Who offers the best deals?
Tractor supply store, 6 v battery with 12 month warranty, $89.00 plus core.
My '14, I buy a real good 12 v 6 yr. warranty battery.
I have had super good luck with Blain's Farm and Fleet 6V battery. These are stocked by them for the Ford Model N tractor. 8N, 9N, or 2N Ford tractors all use this group 1 6V battery. Most of the T's and A's in this area are using them. The one before the one I have now went well beyond 10 years and only cost me $24.95 back then. Obviously they have gone up in price but still are the best value around. They stock 12V batteries too that I have bought for my son's modern car when it needed a new battery. That was a few years ago and it is still going. One of the keys here is that this place sells a ton of batteries so they have a large stock that is turning over all the time so you just are not likely to get one that isn't fresh. Sorry if they don't have a store in your area.
If you go to a store like TSC where the batteries are on a open rack choose one from the back of the rack with the newest build date. At my local TSC I have found a 6 month delta between the battery at the front and newer one at the rear. My area used to be quite rural and they sold and rotated a lot of 6 volt units but this has changed as the mega subdivisions have built up over the years and 6 volts tractors disappeared....
Some Autozone locations have new batteries that have exceeded shelf life - they don't return them - they put them on a rack for $49.99.
They have a 90 day warranty.
Not all stores have them - you can call to check.
I just replaced a couple of tractor batteries (12v) and had a hard time finding any that had more than a 30-day warrantee. About 90 days is the most I could find. What ever happened to the 3,4 and 5 YEAR warrantees? This just changed recently. Are they trying to force people into Lithium batteries?
For 1919 and later Model T's, the house brand at your local farm supply (Orscheln, TSC, Fleet & Farm, etc.). For my non-starter T, the regular six volt truck and tractor battery from Orscheln took up too much space. So I got a much smaller one from ajcbattery.com. I don't recall the exact cost, but with shipping I think it was under $25. It rides in the frame rail and provides all the juice needed to buzz the coils for starting. I made a magneto charger for it.
Alternative is the better sealed battery.
Optima 6v red battery.
Have switched to using these, the fit is odd in the battery tray, but using some wood to make a frame all is well.
No more trickle charging, no more water adding, just on demand power now. Works for me.
Close your eyes and pick, I think it's down to about three manufacture's in the U.S. now. KGB
For years, I have been getting my 6V Model T batteries from AutoZone. They are the right size (9"L x 7"W x 8"H) for the battery box, have the posts in the correct position (+ on the back left corner, - on the front right corner) and are guaranteed. The number on the barcode on top of the "Duralast" battery is: 7 21112 61555 4.
Ditto on Dans OPTIMA red head 6volt battery. Amazon has them at $112 with free shipping. No more battery hassels with this battery---Paul
My vote is for the optima also plus they don't leak aced
Dan - Wondered when someone would mention Optima, and you finally DID! Expensive, but many advantages! Anything electrical is just "not my thing", however, a couple of those "advantages" are really worth the extra money:
To this day, I think many 6 volt batteries are not sealed, hence, continual corrosion from venting. The Optima is sealed,....hence no corrosion,....not the usual thing for even todays' conventional 6 volt batteries.
For anyone using a 12 volt battery, as a "starting battery" or otherwise, this often suggests that the battery is not being continually "topped off" like most starting batteries. In that case, I believe that the 12 volt "yellow top" Optima is a good choice, because it is still an excellent "starting" battery, but if the battery will undergo repeated deep discharges instead of being continually "topped off", the yellow top is designed to be able to withstand many more deep discharges than the Optima "red top". At least, with my very "limited" knowledge of anything electrical, that's my understanding,....FWIW,.....harold
Ooops,.....a couple other Optima fans while I was typing and choosing my words carefully because as usual, I'm talking about something that I do not fully understand,.....ha ha,....harold
What is the life span of an Optima battery?
One other thing I should have said is that unfortunately, Optima does not make a "yellow top" battery in 6 volts,......harold
Dennis - I'm not sure, but I know that one of the many advantages is that they do last for a very long time. Steve Tomaso of "Steves' T Works convinced me, due to his success with Optima. You often hear (as in this thread) people say something like,...."install an Optima and forget it"! There must be a reason for that, right?
I have only had a 6 volt for my 36 ford since last year but I got 2 12 volts from a friend that sat dead in his diesel pickup for 5 years after charging up I used them in other pickups at least 3 years I never had much luck with charging any other battery that was dead for a long time
I've had the Optima in my Racer (12v.) for 22 + years - no B.S. !!!
I should add that the Optima in my '96 F-250 is going on better part of 9 years ! After the 2nd battery tray, out came the standard battery !
With limited space in my 14 -- I put the battery under the rear seat storage -- the Optima sounds great. It would only be used for ignition and, eventually, turn signals. Would the red top hold up on, say, a week long tour without recharging?
To John : Well I guess the thing to look for in a battery is that the one you buy is fully charged and it fits location.
You sure don't want one he is discharged!
Just had to jabbed you a bit.
When not in use it might not be a bad idea put trickle charger on the battery, if you do not drive it much.
Marty - I don't mean to sound like an Optima sales rep, 'cause I have nothing to do with that company, or any battery mfgr, however, it sounds to me like the Optima would be great for what you are talking about. For the kind of use of which you are speaking, the Optima would be perfect. The 6 volt (as shown in Dans photo above) is very thin as it only has 3 cells in a straight line, and as is the case with all sealed Optima batteries, you can lay it on it side (or any other position) under the seat. And I'm also sure that it will hold a charge for much longer than a week. We have guys in our club that have said they only charge their Optima about once per summer touring season. I have not had mine for that long, and I do keep battery tenders on them as that's the best way to take care of any battery, but holding a charge for a long time is one of Optimas' "claims to fame". Pretty expensive, but for my $$$,....well worth it! I won't even say "YMMV", because I can just about guarantee that you'll never be sorry you spent the money,......harold