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Discussion Starter #1
(Mods, feel free to move this if this is the wrong forum for this question.)

Took our 2004 6s Sportwagon in for an oil and filter change yesterday, and the (independent) mechanic, who also did a general check-up on the car, said that the original Motorcraft BXT-40R battery has begun its descent toward eventual failure. The original spec on the battery is 590 cold cranking amps (CCA), and ours is now in the 300s (the charging system checks out fine).

Having purchased an Optima Red Top in a previous vehicle, and being very satisfied with it, I headed straight for the local Optima retailer, who . . .

. . . refused to sell me an Optima!

The Optima dealer says no model of Optima would fit properly, and that the Mazda6 battery is a special shape, and the engine bay clamp would not strap down any Red Top battery correctly. He was prepared to sell me another Johnson Controls (Optima now is made by Johnson Controls) OEM-style battery instead, in a special "40" size designed for the Mazda6. This was not a bait-and-switch, because for the other battery the retailer would charge me half the price of the Optima, and the other battery comes with a warranty of equal duration. (The other battery has a higher CCA rating than the OEM Motorcraft, but not as high as the Optima Red Top.)

Over in mazda6tech.com, there is a thread in which a guy says that he installed - an Optima Red Top 34R in his Mazad6, though the cable pull to the + terminal was a bit of a tug. No mention that the clamp was a problem.

SO: my question is, does anybody else here have experience with replacement batteries (other than Motorcraft) for the Mazda6 Duratec V6? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Does anybody know what the -exact- dimensions of our OEM batteries are?
 

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I have a redtop, 75/35 installed. I tried the 34/78 first but it would not fit because the side terminals were interfering with the battery tiedown.

I still had to modify the battery tray to keep the battery in place (smaller dimensions) and had to bend the tiedown a bit to conform to the battery's new height.
 

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i have a 34/78 in my car and it does great, however because of its capacity and how powerful it is, sometimes it screws with my remote start, but i would definitely recommend it
 

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(Mods, feel free to move this if this is the wrong forum for this question.)

Took our 2003 6s Sportwagon in for an oil and filter change yesterday, and the (independent) mechanic, who also did a general check-up on the car, said that the original Motorcraft BXT-40R battery has begun its descent toward eventual failure. The original spec on the battery is 590 cold cranking amps (CCA), and ours is now in the 300s (the charging system checks out fine).

Having purchased an Optima Red Top in a previous vehicle, and being very satisfied with it, I headed straight for the local Optima retailer, who . . .

. . . refused to sell me an Optima!

The Optima dealer says no model of Optima would fit properly, and that the Mazda6 battery is a special shape, and the engine bay clamp would not strap down any Red Top battery correctly. He was prepared to sell me another Johnson Controls (Optima now is made by Johnson Controls) OEM-style battery instead, in a special "40" size designed for the Mazda6. This was not a bait-and-switch, because for the other battery the retailer would charge me half the price of the Optima, and the other battery comes with a warranty of equal duration. (The other battery has a higher CCA rating than the OEM Motorcraft, but not as high as the Optima Red Top.)

Over in mazda6tech.com, there is a thread in which a guy says that he installed - an Optima Red Top 34R in his Mazad6, though the cable pull to the + terminal was a bit of a tug. No mention that the clamp was a problem.

SO: my question is, does anybody else here have experience with replacement batteries (other than Motorcraft) for the Mazda6 Duratec V6? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Does anybody know what the -exact- dimensions of our OEM batteries are?[/b]
BCI Group Sizes: (Mazda6 uses a 40R)

27 - 12 1/16 x 6 13/16 x 8 7/8
35 - 9 1/16 x 6 7/8 x 8 7/8
34R - 10 1/4 x 6 13/16 x 7 7/8
75 - 9 1/16 x 7 1/16 x 7 11/16
40R - 10 15/16 x 6 7/8 x 6 7/8

except for height the 34R appears to be the closest fit.

If an extra inch is available in height the 34R should fit with no problem.


Optima makes the following Red Top sizes:

34/78 (top & side terminals)
34 and 34R (top terminals only - "R" has the reversed post configuration which matches the posts on a 40R)
25 (top terminals only)
35 (top terminals only)
75/25 (top & side terminals)


By the way, Sears has introduced a sealed battery similar in design to the Optima. Unfortunately it only comes in three sizes:
34 - won't fit the 6, terminals reversed from 40R
34/78 - same as 34 but with side terminals also
65 - not even close

Prices are also substantially higher ($189 for the 34 series) than the Optimas

Just FYI...................
 

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Discussion Starter #6
QUOTE (DennisW @ Aug 5 2007, 02:05 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1089944
BCI Group Sizes: (Mazda6 uses a 40R)

27 - 12 1/16 x 6 13/16 x 8 7/8
35 - 9 1/16 x 6 7/8 x 8 7/8
34R - 10 1/4 x 6 13/16 x 7 7/8
75 - 9 1/16 x 7 1/16 x 7 11/16
40R - 10 15/16 x 6 7/8 x 6 7/8

except for height the 34R appears to be the closest fit.

If an extra inch is available in height the 34R should fit with no problem.[/b]
Thanks for the reply.

The reason I asked about the -exact- size of the Mazda6 battery is that -- despite the fact that (as you note) all of the common batteries are fairly close in dimensions, with only small differences here and there -- none of the manufacturers seems to conform exactly to the BCI group sizes. In-- this link- EVSource took actual measurements to within 0.01 inch of the Optima Yellow Top D34 and the Exide Orbital 34XCD, both nominally BCI Group 34 size batteries. Interestingly, the manufacturers' specifications differed from the Group 34 size specification and the batteries themselves turned out to have dimensions different than -both- the Group 34 spec -and- their own published spec. In the link to mazda6tech.com in the original post in this thread, a guy had said that the Optima 34R fit under his Mazda6 hood all right, but the cable attachment required some jiggering.

QUOTE (DennisW @ Aug 5 2007, 02:05 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1089944
By the way, Sears has introduced a sealed battery similar in design to the Optima. Unfortunately it only comes in three sizes:
34 - won't fit the 6, terminals reversed from 40R
34/78 - same as 34 but with side terminals also
65 - not even close

Prices are also substantially higher ($189 for the 34 series) than the Optimas[/b]
I have not seen the Sears, but many large retailers sell batteries from the two giant battery makers, Johnson Controls or Exide, under their own labels. (Johnson Controls, which does not sell a battery under its own name, is the maker of most of the brands we all recognize in the United States, including Optima, which originally was made by the Swedish company Grylling, which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2000.) Exide, which is emerging from bankruptcy, had a notorious high-profile spat with Sears -- and Exide's CEO, Art Hawkins, was given a very long prison term -- in a bribery scandal a few years back. Given their past history, I would be surprised, though not shocked, to hear that Sears and Exide had kissed and made up. By reputation, some of the lesser lines of Exide have had QC problems, but, according to some posts on BITOG, the Exide Select Orbital (Exide's spiral-wound cell equivalent to Optima) , which is manufactured in Spain, apparently has been exempt from Exide's American problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I have spent far, far too much time researching and purchasing a replacement battery for our 2004 Mazda6s, but it has been educational, I suppose.

The BCI Group 40R size of our OEM battery is not all that unusual, after all, but finding a better-than-OEM battery in a size that will fit under our hood is a challenge.

I found numerous battery shops who were anxious to sell me a flooded lead-acid Group 40R battery made by Johnson Controls that is rated at 590 CCA just like the OEM Motorcraft battery (which was made by Johnson Controls). It is hard to find a battery these days that is -not -made by Johnson Controls, which has bought out Grylling and Varda and ACDelco/Delphi, and others. Optima? Johnson Controls. Sears DieHard? Johnson Controls. You can find a BCI Group 40R 590 CCA-rated Johnson Controls flooded lead-acid battery under literally dozens of brand names. Most shops I visited wanted about $80 to $85 for one, installed.

The main alternatives to Johnson Controls are from Exide, which has a bit of a sleazy history with bribery scandals (and selling used batteries to Sears as "new" batteries) and is currently trying to emerge from bankruptcy. Exide does have one line of batteries, the Exide Select Orbital, that is very interesting, but there is no battery in that line that is a good fit for the Mazda6. (Possibly the Exide Orbital Select 34XCD could be shoehorned into a '6, but it is pretty tall relative to the BCI Group 40R dimensions.) The Exides other than the Select Orbital line have a bad reputation (deserved or not -- I take no position here whether it is deserved) for quality control and reliability.

The best automobile batteries are those that use absorbed glass mat (AGM) technology. The most frequently mentioned battery that uses AGM is the Optima, but the closest Optima to our size is the 34R, and -- although some Mazda6 owners -have- managed to squeeze an Optima 34R under the hood -- when I personally tried to simulate the 34R's height by placing layers of corrugated paper atop the OEM battery, the "taller battery" so simulated failed the close-the-hood test. I am not sure how those who have mounted Optima 34R batteries under Mazda6 hoods have accomplished the task. The Exide Select Orbital also is an AGM design (and, like the Optima, uses spirally-wound cells rather than flat-plate cells to give the battery a six-pack look), but see the comments above.

(A third AGM battery line is the quirky "dry cell" battery from Odyssey, which model-for-model claims spectacular CCA ratings for the size and weight of the battery, but at the same time claims only mediocre reserve capacity ratings. The Odyssey batteries do not, for the most part, come in standard BCI Group sizes -- most are significantly smaller (and lighter) than the average automobile battery. None of the little Odyssey battery models can be fitted to the Mazda6 battery tray without making accommodation to keep the battery from sliding around in the space around it. One of the site sponsors (CP-E) offers a custom battery tray/billet with an Odyssey 680 battery; the combination saves significant weight in the engine compartment. I was seriously tempted to try it out.)

So far as I have been able to determine, the only AGM battery that will fit under the Mazda6 hood without having to make adjustments is from a manufacturer East Penn, the third largest automobile battery maker in the United States (ranked by market share), which makes Deka brand batteries (and batteries for Carquest to market under its house brand). Deka has an enviable reputation for QC and reliability. The Deka line includes a direct competitor to the Optima Red Top and the Exide Select Orbital, the -- Intimidator line, which offers a BCI Group 34 battery that is similarly-spec'ed to the Optima Red Top and Exide Select Orbital, but in a flat-plate, not spiral-wound, configuration.

Under the Deka (but not the Carquest) brand, there is a line of so-called -"Exact Fit"- batteries, which includes a BCI Group 48 battery that features AGM technology and which -- unlike BCI Group 34 and BCI Group 34R batteries -- is the identical length and width of the OEM Motorcraft battery in the Mazda6, and is only 9/16" (instead of a full inch, as the Group 34R batteries are) taller than the OEM battery; that means that it is about 13 mm to 18 mm - l e s s - tall (shorter) than a BCI Group 34 battery. The Deka Group 48 AGM battery sports 760 CCA vs.- the OEM battery's 590 CCA, and has a significantly larger reserve capacity, to boot. The model number in the Deka line is -Deka 9AGM48 (click me). On the basis of its dimensions, the Deka 9AGM48 should fit the Mazda6 better than any model of Optima or any Exide Orbital model, and, selling for about $110, is a less expensive alternative to Optima and Exide Orbital.

Deka also makes a conventional flooded lead-acid battery in the BCI Group 40R size, model number 640RMF, that is an exact-size replacement for our OEM Motorcraft (Johnson Controls) battery. Selling for about $10 less than the any-branded Johnson Controls 40R (we paid $74.47), it has ten percent greater capacity (650 CCA -vs. the Johnson Controls 590 CCA), and about ten percent better reserve capacity, as well. With a lower price and the same 70-month warranty, we decided to stay with the conventional 640RMF rather than venturing into the exotic with the 9AGM48.
 

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And up from the dead.

Does anyone HAVE this?:

http://www.cp-e.com/2016.html?open=19

--------------------

I'm not interested in the fit and finish of the tray. I am interested in using the PC680 as a replacement for my own battery dedicated solely to the task of starting the car. In fact, it will have a dedicated circuit to the starter motor.

That is not what I want to talk about though. I want to hear from Mazda owners (ideally v6, but I'll take ANYONE) who actually uses either a PC680 or a similarly sized battery under the hood. I want to know your experience. Does the car take an extra once-over to crank? is it cranking like stock? has it been reliable over a couple years to start the car?

how do you LIKE your slightly smaller battery?

Thanks,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
QUOTE (Whiterabbit @ Mar 12 2009, 01:56 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1532849
And up from the dead.[/b]
That cuts close to the bone, Whiterabbit. <_< I'm old, but not yet dead. :p

QUOTE (Whiterabbit @ Mar 12 2009, 01:56 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1532849
I am interested in using the PC680 as a replacement for my own battery dedicated solely to the task of starting the car. In fact, it will have a dedicated circuit to the starter motor.

That is not what I want to talk about though. I want to hear from Mazda owners (ideally v6, but I'll take ANYONE) who actually uses either a PC680 or a similarly sized battery under the hood. I want to know your experience. Does the car take an extra once-over to crank? is it cranking like stock? has it been reliable over a couple years to start the car?[/b]
I acknowledge that I am not directly responding to your purposefully narrow question, but you may wish to review this posting (click). The Kinetik HC600 is another Odyssey PC680 alternative.
 

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Ok, so I am in need of a battery for my '06 6s. Dealer requested I fork over $150 +tax +labor to replace, so I said no thanks.

posttosh, it appears from your posts (scattered around in different threads ... yes I did search and jump from link to link) - you liked the Deka 9AGM48 but ended up getting an FLA 640RMF instead.

I will visit a few Carquest stores this weekend to check if they have either of these in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
QUOTE (ydrone @ Mar 20 2009, 12:00 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1536447
posttosh, it appears from your posts (scattered around in different threads ... yes I did search and jump from link to link) - you liked the Deka 9AGM48 but ended up getting an FLA 640RMF instead.[/b]
Correct. :yesnod: When our OEM battery started to show signs that it was getting ready to fail, I did my homework (starting with post #1 in this thread), and -- after a lot of homework -- determined that we needed a BCI Group 40R size battery, that there was no AGM battery in the market in the Group 40R size, and that the Deka 640RMF was the pick of the FLA (flooded lead acid) batteries available in Group 40R size. I checked with local auto supply stores and none of them had a Group 40R size Deka in stock. At the time, I thought I was limited to batteries that meet BCI Group 40R battery specs.

We were scheduled to take a trek that would have us leaving the car overnight at the trailhead into a wilderness area. No way I wanted to get back to the car, hot, sweaty, and 30 miles from the nearest gas station (with unpaved roads most of that distance) and find the battery dead. As we approached the date of the trek, the battery showed right now.

Fortunately, Deka has a regional distributor at the Portland Airport industrial park, and I called there and asked them if they could sell me directly, without going through a distributor; when they said they could, I asked them to charge up one of their 640RMF batteries. (East Penn sends batteries out dry from the factory in Pennsylvania, and the distributor puts in the electrolyte and charges the battery when the battery is sold.) Only when I showed up at the Deka office to get that battery did I confirm that the dimensions and post orientation of the Deka 9AGM48 would allow me to install the AGM version in place of the conventional FLA battery, and I asked if I could have them charge up a 9AGM48 for me instead of the 640RMF that was waiting at the counter. They told me that they were willing, but that the charging time would take a couple or a few hours, so I would need to come back the next morning, which would force a delay of our departure for the wilderness trek. So I went back to the original plan and "settled" for the previously ordered 640RMF. Even so, we scored a battery that offered a performance upgrade from the OEM battery, and saved a few bucks from what I would have paid for an inferior Johnson Controls Group 40R (like the OEM Motorcraft).
 

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So, as an aid to anyone else looking for ways to start their car with lower powered batteries, I still do not know if that small battery will crank the v6 mazda6.

But I know that ANY OTHER battery that is that group size (and not a flooded automotive battery) will absolutely not crank the car. Must be approximately double the power. maybe 80% greater. Again, this is for non flooded, non automotive purpose built batteries.

It makes me very dubious that the PC680 would do it. But if folks have done the mod I guess it must..... still doesn't seem very reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
QUOTE (Whiterabbit @ Mar 20 2009, 03:23 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1536535
So, as an aid to anyone else looking for ways to start their car with lower powered batteries, I still do not know if that small battery will crank the v6 mazda6.

But I know that ANY OTHER battery that is that group size (and not a flooded automotive battery) will absolutely not crank the car. Must be approximately double the power. maybe 80% greater. Again, this is for non flooded, non automotive purpose built batteries.

It makes me very dubious that the PC680 would do it. But if folks have done the mod I guess it must..... still doesn't seem very reliable.[/b]
More information (but still no definitive answer to your question): Section 7.3 of this long article (click).
 

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QUOTE (posttosh @ Mar 26 2009, 04:09 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1538643
More information (but still no definitive answer to your question): Section 7.3 of this long article (click).[/b]
I value data above all else. How do I know similar group size batteries won't work? I tried it. Strung up 7-8 Ah batteries till the engine cranked. Took about 35-40 AH worth (approximately half or 2/3rds OEM spec) and the engine crank was wussy at best.

Doesnt matter. After that test, I had to cancel the whole second battery project. There is simply no space in our cars to fit a second battery unless it is exposed or unless we ditch the spare tire.
 

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My Battery went out this week on my 2006 model s. I think my stereo amps killed it prematurely. Here is what I ended up with. No mods needed. Simple install with a 10mm 1/4 inch socket.

O'REILLY/SUPER START - 72 Month Wet Battery
Item No: 48-72
$89.99 Each
[plus: $10.00 core charge]
1 Per Vehicle
72 month p/r warr 2yr free replacement (View Details)
700CCA/875CA
RESERVE MIN. = 100
SUPER START 72

:drive:
 

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The local Carquest said they can get me the 9AGM48 battery for $150 + tax + old battery. About the same price for an OEM battery at a dealer. Good or not so good deal?

40R 11 x 6,7/8 x 6,7/8 LxWxH
9AGM48 11 x 6,7/8 x 7,1/2 LxWxH

9AGM48 is 5/8" taller than 40R ... should be ok with the battery holder bar thingy right?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
QUOTE (ydrone @ Mar 31 2009, 12:23 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1540790
The local Carquest said they can get me the 9AGM48 battery for $150 + tax + old battery. About the same price for an OEM battery at a dealer. Good or not so good deal?

40R 11 x 6,7/8 x 6,7/8 LxWxH
9AGM48 11 x 6,7/8 x 7,1/2 LxWxH

9AGM48 is 5/8" taller than 40R ... should be ok with the battery holder bar thingy right?[/b]
As to price, here is a basis for comparison (click). Remember, your old battery is regarded as hazardous waste, so if you do not take the deal you list above and buy mail-order instead, either you will have to pay for disposal or wait until your local service district has (as ours does, periodically) an "amnesty day" for disposal of hazardous waste that people have hanging around their homes.

The 9AGM is the best battery you can get for the Mazda6, but if you think that you will be selling the car in the next year or 18 months, you would be fine with Deka's flooded lead-acid 640RMF, which is still a step up from the OEM Motorcraft battery, for (probably) about $50 less. The 9AGM48 is actually only 9/16", not 5/8" (=10/16") taller than the Motorcraft; in any event, you should not need to make any adjustments to fit the 9AGM48 in the battery tray or under the hood.
 

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QUOTE (posttosh @ Mar 31 2009, 04:04 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1540812
As to price, here is a basis for comparison (click).[/b]
I saw that earlier ... with shipping & handling (on a heavy item) it wouldn't be much cheaper I'd imagine. I don't see many vendors for this product. I saw a link for 640RMF for $80. Local Autozone has a regular 40R battery for about $100.

I'll research a bit more ... also will get second opinion on the condition of my current battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
QUOTE (ydrone @ Apr 1 2009, 06:20 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1541159
I saw that earlier ... with shipping & handling (on a heavy item) it wouldn't be much cheaper I'd imagine. I don't see many vendors for this product. I saw a link for 640RMF for $80. Local Autozone has a regular 40R battery for about $100.[/b]
If you go back to post #9 in this thread, you will see that we paid $74.47 for a Deka 640RMF; we purchased directly from the local Deka distributor.
 
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