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New battery time...

General chat on all things Mx/Roadster
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binarypunk
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New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:31 pm

When I bought the car, the (cheapo) battery that was in it was dead as a dodo. The garage scratched around and found an old AA 063 battery which has done the trick for a couple of years, but it's had it now.

I have heard mixed reviews about the Westco, and I'm not nearly flush enough for a Panasonic, but I don't want to mess round cramming another standard battery in there.

So I have decided to be a guinea pig and try a new one. Eurocarparts offers a Lion Brand calcium-calcium type battery (type 114) with the right specs and (so they say) designed specifically for the MX-5. I've not seen it, so I don't know if that's true. But at the moment it is about £91 all in (with a 20% off coupon) so is cheaper than the Westco but hopefully less drawbacks being a calcium type (better for infrequent use than a glass-mat apparently, doesn't mind deep-discharge so much, and better cold cranking). If the size and shape and venting is right, it might be a good alternative to the Westco hopefully.

Well, I shall report back once I've been and picked it up.
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

Check out my MX5 mods and tools:
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Re: New battery time...

Postby Mazda Mender » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:45 am

Wipe the westco off the list.......they are CRAP. they discharge very easy and quick, so you end up with them always on recondition charge.....alot.
I have had 3 of the bl**dy things and have wasted my money big time, i really do not recommend them,EVER, the best Battery by far is the OE panasonic gel battery, i know they are dear but think how long you get out of them 12years plus, when you weigh up what i have spent on the westco's and the hassle with them, to just laying out first hand and no worries every morning then the panasonic gets my vote everytime.
Tap Lazza, he bought a batt, can not remember which one, see how his as holded out, as i now that was cheaper and a good make.
M-m
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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:37 am

On mx5parts the westco seems to have good reviews - about 90% positive... but then you look and the positives are all "they delivered it really quick" and the ones where people have used it for a year are all bad.

We all know the Panasonic is good. But this one is half the price of the OEM, much better technology than the Westco (reading up on Calcium batteries, they seem to have the perfect qualities for a 5 although they are pricier than lead-acid or glass mat). I want one that will fit the tray and vents and clamp properly....which this apparently will. That's the bit I'm skeptical about...but I will just take it back if it doesn't fit.

So if it is any good at all, it'll be the perfect cheap alternative that actually works. Someone has to be first to try it...so that'll be me later! :-) I remember Lazza got a Bosch or Varta standard 063 didn't he? You can get all sorts of great batteries in the 'close enough' size and change the clamp and so on - this AA one was pretty good actually. But I'm more interested in finding out if this is a viable alternative to the Westco...
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Even better...since yesterday the price has dropped to £86!

Plus they have a 5l bottle of TripleQX 5w-30 semi-synth on offer for £12.49 - can't grumble!
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

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Re: New battery time...

Postby Lazza » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:23 pm

http://www.mazdamenders.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1084&start=10

It's good to try something new though. If it works well then we can recommend it to others. If not... well someone has to be a guinea pig :wink:

The main problem when it comes to being able to recommend a battery is that we won't know if it's any good for at least 5 years. If it's still like new after 5 years then it's better than the Westco.
Lazza

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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:01 pm

Well I've picked it up, but being a bit stormy out there I haven't fitted it yet.

So far I can say it roughly looks the right size, it has a charge indicator on the top (which is green for 'good' at the moment, also shows if it needs a charge or putting in the bin too...) and the polarity is correct. Also, chatting to the guy at the desk, it turns out eurocarparts commissioned Lion to design it for them, as there wasn't any good alternative to the OEM battery. This explains why I've not seen it anywhere else. I mentioned the Westco and he made a face and said 'because there wasn't a GOOD alternative'. So either he's full of it, or I might be on to something.
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

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Re: New battery time...

Postby Lazza » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:20 pm

Let's hope you're on to something!

Does it have vent holes?
Lazza

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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:59 pm

No vents, but the casing appears to be completely sealed. Doing some research, it appears they are an Australian company and they say this about them...maybe the bit in bold explains the lack of vents....


Sealed Maintenance Free Calcium/Calcium design - no need to add water
Low Resistance Envelope Separators to improve vibration durability and prevent internal shorting between the positive and negative plates
Patented liquid gas separators which enhance the Maintenance Free characteristics of the battery by preventing electrolyte loss through a process of collection and return of electrolyte to the reservoir.
Centred cast on plate straps and wrought Lead - Calcium grids add to the vibration resistant battery design whilst minimising gas and water usage and achieving less self discharge
Inbuilt ceramic disc flame arrestors to protect against accidental battery explosion from an external spark
In built ‘Magic Eye’ hydrometer to enable visual checking of battery state of charge
High cranking performance to suit modern engine starting needs
Fold away carry handles to allow ease of portability and placement into the battery box or operating area

Some rubbish phone pics...see, no openings anywhere...?
2013-10-25 22.47.09.jpg
2013-10-25 22.47.09.jpg (183.31 KiB) Viewed 8063 times

2013-10-25 22.48.25.jpg
2013-10-25 22.48.25.jpg (135.58 KiB) Viewed 8063 times
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

Check out my MX5 mods and tools:
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Need spares? Go to Autolink!
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Re: New battery time...

Postby Ricolas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:39 pm

Sorry to revive an old thread, but how is the Lion battery working out? I am finally going to give up on my attempts to keep my Westco going. It really has bitten the dust.
Ricolas
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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:44 pm

So far, excellent. I've hardly had a chance to drive her this winter and she has been left for weeks at a time, then a quick trip to the shop, then another few weeks on the drive getting cold and damp...and repeat. Every time she's turned over fast and started first turn.

Plus I'm in Somerset now, so it's hardly been a kind winter for batteries round here!

The real test is how it does over winter 2016/7 and beyond...but I only have good things to say so far. However...the price goes up and down like the proverbial so it's worth waiting for a good deal - there is a promo code at the moment, battery15 I think, for a discount. Still not quite as good as my price, but if needs must...
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

Check out my MX5 mods and tools:
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Need spares? Go to Autolink!
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Re: New battery time...

Postby Ricolas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:00 pm

Relieved that it is ok, Jon! Whilst I was out just now I realised I was going to pass a Eurocarparts. So I popped in to see if they had one, which they did and then said it would be not the £149rrp, or even the £120 on their website but £94. So I bought it.

Let's see how it does. The Westco has lasted a long time to be fair (8 years?) , but it is totally shot now.
Ricolas
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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:03 pm

Well, on paper the Lion is the perfect battery for the job...I guess it ought to be as ECP commissioned it from them specifically for the car. But it'll all boil down to build quality in the end. Let the long-term test begin! :-)
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

Check out my MX5 mods and tools:
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Need spares? Go to Autolink!
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Re: New battery time...

Postby Ricolas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:18 pm

Haha! Indeed.
Ricolas
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Re: New battery time...

Postby Ricolas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:34 pm

And a chum on another board has pointed this site out. It is a kind of pound-shop version of EuroCarParts; the same people, just cheaper. So on there, that battery is £89...

http://www.carparts4less.co.uk
Ricolas
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Re: New battery time...

Postby binarypunk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:48 pm

When I first looked at it it was £114...the next day they had a 'voucher code' that made it about £94, but I ummed and ahhed for a week and it went up to about £120 and then I finally decided when it was £78, but I left it a day and it went up a few quid again. They are proper shysters that lot...but if you time it right (and choose the right site of theirs) you can get a proper bargain. The other week they had 5l of semi synth tripleQX for £12...so I picked up 4!

Once you've bought something off them and if you forget to tick the right box, you'll get about 2 emails a week about a 'new sale' - right now it's 20% off service items. Next week it'll be 30% off brakes or something! But like DFS, the 'old' price will not be one you've seen before.
Jon - UK Mk1 1.6 1993 Classic Red

Check out my MX5 mods and tools:
http://www.binarypunk.co.uk
Need spares? Go to Autolink!
http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/

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