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Old 05-16-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
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Default Where to buy AC Delco batteries?

Other than a GM dealer, where are you guys buying AC Delco batteries?
The AC Delco website says that Checker Auto here in Minnesota sells them but after calling Checker, I find out that they don't carry them.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:07 PM   #2
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Find a reputable auto repair facility that sells the AC Delco "Professional Grade" batteries. They are a better quality than the generic retail version.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary-86Convt View Post
Other than a GM dealer, where are you guys buying AC Delco batteries?
The AC Delco website says that Checker Auto here in Minnesota sells them but after calling Checker, I find out that they don't carry them.
ewww, why do you want those acid leaking batteries?
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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I put OPTIMA batteries in everything I own. Never had one fail. In Phoenix that is amazing. Heat has killed every other battery I have tried in 3 years or less...
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
ewww, why do you want those acid leaking batteries?
Here we go again....when will this go away???? For those of you who believe that anything made in Japan is cheap junk or that we shouldn't use synthetic oil because it leaks past gasket seals, I'll say this again.

The AC Delco Professional batteries made since 2004 have significantly-strengthened cases and do not leak.

Batteries installed in C5s from 97-00 were prone to leaking, but in 2001, AC Delco came out with AGM (Absorbent Glass Matt) batteries that were leak and vibrationproof. However, like Optima Red Top batteries, the AC Delco batteries did not like infrequent or insufficient charges. If you drove your C5 often and long enough (as I did), the batteries lasted up to 7 years or more. Since so many people let their C5s sit for weeks at a time (without using a battery tender), AC Delco decided to come out with the newly-designed Professional series non-AGM battery.
This is an excellent battery that is priced well below AGMs.

You can get the right size for most C5s (not 04s) at Summit Racing:

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

for $99.95.

04 C5 owners should check the AC Delco web site for more retailers. Dealerships charge approx. $160.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default No Problem with Delco Batteries

Hi, I bought mine at Pep Boys In Pa. They have some stores in MN. Never had any problems with AC Delco batteries in more years of driving than I care to say.
And the battle rages on--Good Luck

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:00 AM   #7
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I have to mention that when I called my local Pep Boys, the guy there told me that the AC Delco batteries they carry are not the Professional series. They ARE less expensive and they may be great batteries, but I'm just passing this along; whether the same applies to your local Pep Boys, well, you'll have to ask.

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
ewww, why do you want those acid leaking batteries?
Maybe there was trouble years ago, But the last few years AC Delco batterys are great, I have used Delco for a long time with no trouble at all.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
Here we go again....when will this go away???? For those of you who believe that anything made in Japan is cheap junk or that we shouldn't use synthetic oil because it leaks past gasket seals, I'll say this again.

The AC Delco Professional batteries made since 2004 have significantly-strengthened cases and do not leak.

Batteries installed in C5s from 97-00 were prone to leaking, but in 2001, AC Delco came out with AGM (Absorbent Glass Matt) batteries that were leak and vibrationproof. However, like Optima Red Top batteries, the AC Delco batteries did not like infrequent or insufficient charges. If you drove your C5 often and long enough (as I did), the batteries lasted up to 7 years or more. Since so many people let their C5s sit for weeks at a time (without using a battery tender), AC Delco decided to come out with the newly-designed Professional series non-AGM battery.
This is an excellent battery that is priced well below AGMs.

You can get the right size for most C5s (not 04s) at Summit Racing:

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

for $99.95.

04 C5 owners should check the AC Delco web site for more retailers. Dealerships charge approx. $160.
Curious as to why 04's are different? if you know? or am i misinterpurting your statement above and it's just Summit that dosn't stock 04's (but i guess that would make them diff)
Thanks 'i think' LOL.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 99 View Post
Curious as to why 04's are different? if you know? or am i misinterpurting your statement above and it's just Summit that dosn't stock 04's (but i guess that would make them diff)
Thanks 'i think' LOL.
Actually, according to AC Delco's web site, it looks like the 75-7YR that Summit has is good for 2001-2003s, although for some reason, 98s can use either this battery or a 78-7YR. In summation:

97-2000 C5s use 78-7YR
01-03 C5s use 75-7YR (This is the one Summit has for $99.95)
04 C5s use 86-7YR (This is a top-post battery)
...among other types, such as dual-terminal versions.
It might be worth giving Summit a call to see if they stock the other sizes.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary-86Convt View Post
Other than a GM dealer, where are you guys buying AC Delco batteries?
The AC Delco website says that Checker Auto here in Minnesota sells them but after calling Checker, I find out that they don't carry them.
Sorry for the long post but this topic is one dear to my heart. I culled this information from a number of sources and discussion for a few years here on the Forum. If you can't find an AC Delco this advice may help you select an alternative that suits your needs.

I’ve read many posts on batteries over the years on the Forum and I thought it might be useful to post up my thoughts. I’ll accept that I am a little biased and I’m not a fan of AC Delco batteries but I’ll try to be objective not emotional.

I’ll admit, my experience has colored my views. My son’s 98 Camaro had a stock AC Delco battery. It gave good service (6 years) but it eventually leaked. Luckily I caught it before it damaged the car and all it did was leak acid on the garage floor. My own 02 Vette suffered a terminal failure after only 18 months and 8000 miles. It didn’t leak but it died without warning. Luckily I was stranded in the garage not the Mojave Desert. I replaced it with an Optima Red Top which was, at that time, well respected. It gave me good service for over 2 years when the car was a daily driver. I then shipped my car to England and the battery sat hooked up for 2 months in transit. Although it fired up with a jump start, the battery would never hold a charge after that so I replaced it with a Yellow Top. In that case I was happy that I knew that I’d killed the Red Top by discharging it. I’d agree that the reputation of the Red Top has since suffered and there do seem to be a lot of failures where I often wonder whether it’s the car not the battery that’s at fault. JMHO. I now have an Optima Yellow Top which is doing well but stays hooked up to a Battery Tender when not in use.

There are a number of major types of batteries on the market and the type of battery which suits you depends on your useage. Here’s a good tutorial on the types of batteries on the Optima page:
http://www.optimabattery.co.uk/engli...a/tutorial.htm

The key facts that I take from that tutorial are that:

“a starting battery is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy (such as starting engines) and has a greater plate count. The plates will also be thinner and have different material compositions. A deep cycle battery has less instant energy but greater long-term energy delivery. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and can survive a number of discharge cycles. Starting batteries should not be used for deep cycle applications as they will be quickly destroyed. The so-called Dual Purpose Battery is a compromise between the 2 types of batteries. A Gel or Gelled Acid battery is just a “non spill” version of the normal Sulphuric Acid battery. Silica Gel crystals are added or dissolved into the Acid to form a paste or Gel to stop the Acid being a liquid. There are Starter, and Deep cycle Gelled Acid batteries. These are gradually being superseded by AGM batteries. AGM batteries still use Acid, but in this case it can’t spill because it is Absorbed (A) into Glass (G) Mat (M). These offer more cycles, greater performance whether Deep cycle or Starter types. So this is a superior technology to Gelled Acid.”

To check your battery voltage, do not read the DIC when the car is off. The voltmeter is designed to measure alternator output when the car is running. It will always measure an inaccurately low voltage on the battery when the car is off. Anything from 11.0-11.9 is not abnormal in this mode. With the engine on, the voltmeter should show between 13V and 14.5V. A better reading can be measured at the battery terminals. Use a digital multi meter if you can. A fully charged battery measures approximately 12.66 V and a fully discharged battery measures about 11.86 V.

When you look for a replacement the shop manual quotes the GM spec for the Vette which requires a Cold Cranking Ampage of 500A and a reserve capacity of 80 minutes. The stock battery part number for my 02 is 19002277 model # 75P-7YR. There are plenty of choices that meet that spec.

Changing the battery is straight forward.

Disconnect the negative cable first
Disconnect the positive cable
Remove the battery hold down retainer bolt (13mm IIRC)
Lift out the battery
Clean the terminals before reconnecting
Reattach the positive cable and torque to 15 N-m (11 lb ft)
Reattach the negative cable and torque to 16 N-m (12 lb ft)
Reinsert the battery hold down retainer bolt and torque to 18 N-m (13 lb ft)
Don’t forget that if you have a stock radio, turn the security feature off before you disconnect or the radio will lock up.

Battery performance is a difficult one to pin down. I ran a battery poll which started back in August 06 and as of 17 Feb 08 it had about 733 posts, so its getting there as a sample. Here’s a snapshot on that date:

My AC Delco is still performing well 259 35.33%
My AC Delco died but caused no damage 154 21.01%
My AC Delco died and damaged my car or resulted in problems 34 4.64%
I now have an Optima Red Top and it has performed well 204 27.83%
I now have an Optima Red Top but it has given problems 45 6.14%
I now have an Exide and it has performed well 26 3.55%
I now have an Exide but it has given problems 6 0.62%
I now have another type of battery and it has performed well 106 14.46%
I now have another type of battery but it has given problems 13 1.77%

Here’s the link:
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show....php?t=1469503

Now I’m no statistician but I work with those guys. This can never be scientific because the questions are not perfect. What it does do is give a good subjective view on the major trends.

To get a true figure for the AC Delco (which admittedly is the main battery in use), you need to look at the first 3 lines.

For the AC Delco of 447 total (259 + 154 + 34), there were 188 failures of which 34 caused damage. That’s a failure rate of 42%

For the Red Top, of 249 total (204 + 45), there were 45 failures which is a failure rate of 18%. As it’s an AGM battery its unlikely to damage the car which is why there are only 2 categories.

The samples for Exide and others are too small to be relevant but I’d say the Exide does well.

The poll has probably run its course now because even the best OEM battery is due for replacement by now. What it showed me is that there was too high a failure rate on the original batteries and even though the latest battery is redesigned and probably much better, there are probably many C5 Vette owners out there with an original battery that has a high chance of either failing or leaking and causing serious damage.

The early OEM AC Delco battery had a problem and was prone to leaks. When it leaks, acid drips down first onto the battery tray and then works its way down into the wheel well into the area which holds the PCM. On its way it affects the wiring and the vacuum lines and can cause strange electrical and associated problems.

Toxdoc posted up his experiences after his battery leaked and its worth a read to decide whether you want to take this risk

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show....php?t=1539128

Here’s another members experiences:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show....php?t=1678032

Here’s the problem:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here’s a pic of the type of damage that ensues:

Click the image to open in full size.

So, others may disagree with my analysis but of course that’s what a discussion Forum is for.

There’s a lot of discussion on the versions of the AC Delco batteries which are out there. Corvette Forum Member timd38 pointed out that “The AC Delco battery in the picture was made by Delphi, thus the leak issue. Since that time Delphi abandoned the battery business and they are now made to GM specification by Johnson Controls. You can tell the new one ones because they have a different cover on the battery that has service caps that are not to be opened.” Member Dave68 advised that GM started fitting AC Delco AGM batteries in 2001 but that while these won’t leak, they suffer the same weakness as a Red Top, namely that they don’t take well to being discharged. The new top post AC Delco batteries were fitted from 2003 onwards.

This fits well with my experience. The old 98 on the Camaro (Delphi) leaked and the 02 on the Vette (JC) died, although that was despite it being a daily driver.

In sum it appears that there are 3 types of GM-fitted AC Delco batteries out there:

The original Delphi made batteries fitted from 97 to 01 which are prone to leaks.
Redesigned AGM batteries fitted from 01 to 03 that may die early if discharged.
Further redesigned top post batteries which should be OK. These latest AC Delco batteries have been redesigned to strengthen the case and should, hopefully, fix the leak problems. In the interest of fairness this is a link to the latest spec:
http://www.acdelco.com/parts/battery...al-battery.jsp

You need to know which battery is fitted to your car.

It’s an indisputable fact but the C5 has a small drain on the electrics even when idle. If you leave the battery hooked up for months on end, there’s a good chance it will be dead when you come back to it. If you think you may have an excessive battery drain, Bill Curlee posted an excellent guide on how to check for current draw and you can find it here:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show...rent+draw+test

If all that fails and you end up with a dead battery, the signs are:
Weak or no lights on the instrument panel when you turn the key
Clicking from the relays in the passenger footwell (the dreaded chattering relays) when you try to start,
Instrument panel lights that dim when you try to start.
There may be others.

I’d say best advice is that if you plan to leave the car idle for longer periods, invest a few $$ on a Battery Tender. This will give the battery a gentle trickle charge and keep it topped off. If your car sits outside, you can buy a solar powered equivalent which may do enough to keep the battery happy. All I'd say is don't neglect the battery for months on end and then be surprised when it's dead.

So what do I think is the advice I’d offer to a new C5 owner?

Firstly, when you're buying, check that the battery has not leaked. A new battery doesn't mean the old one hasn’t done some damage. Take a good look around the battery tray for signs of acid damage.

If you have an older side post AC Delco check for leaks, particularly if its pre 2002. If it has been discharged, it has probably been taken out of the car and the leads may have been over-torqued on reinstallation. Over-torquing stresses the case around the side posts. Better still, change it as a precaution because the older AC Delco’s are prone to leaks and particularly vulnerable around those side post connections. Look at it as a $100+ insurance policy.

If the thought of a leak worries you, buy an AGM battery. If not, there are cheaper batteries on the market. Ultimately its your $$ and your risk.

If your car is a daily driver, don’t worry about drains. It will almost certainly fire up like a Champ every day. If you regularly leave your car for a week or longer, buy a Battery Tender. If you have an AGM battery, make sure the tender is designed for that type of battery.

Bottom line for me is that I have no axe to grind either way but I have my views, colored by experience. I’m not an AC Delco fan but I’ll happily accept that the 03 onwards batteries are better quality. So if you are in the market for a new battery, even AC Delco should suit your needs. It’s your choice but hopefully this thread will allow you to maker an informed decision rather than rely on instant judgements from a single thread.
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Last edited by DeeGee; 05-17-2008 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:25 AM   #12
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Good info, Dee Gee, but I must take issue with a couple of your statements. The first:
Quote:
To get a true figure for the AC Delco (which admittedly is the main battery in use), you need to look at the first 3 lines.

For the AC Delco of 447 total (259 + 154 + 34), there were 188 failures of which 34 caused damage. Thatís a failure rate of 42%
is very deceptive in that the stats include all AC Delco batteries, including the older non-AGMs, which are essentially NOT the same batteries as the AGM 01-03 or the non-AGM 04+ batteries.

Someone recently asked if anyone has had a leaky 04-08 AC Delco battery and no one answered that he or she had.

Also, bringing up statements like:

Quote:
there are probably many C5 Vette owners out there with an original battery that has a high chance of either failing or leaking and causing serious damage.
is VERY misleading, since the newest "old-design" non-AGM AC Delco battery is now over 8 years old. Most likely, all the potential leakers have been recycled and are no longer in C5s.

I can't emphasize enough that most modern non-AGM batteries do NOT leak. I've been using AC Delco batteries since 1979 and I have never had a leaky one. Even if I had, I wouldn't continue to warn people about them, 30 years later. That's kinda like warning people not to buy a Corvette because your uncle's 69 creaked and groaned alot after only 20,000 miles.

I understand that you were burned before, but things are much better now; there's no need to say the sky is falling!

Dave
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
Good info, Dee Gee, but I must take issue with a couple of your statements. The first:


is very deceptive in that the stats include all AC Delco batteries, including the older non-AGMs, which are essentially NOT the same batteries as the AGM 01-03 or the non-AGM 04+ batteries.

Someone recently asked if anyone has had a leaky 04-08 AC Delco battery and no one answered that he or she had.

Also, bringing up statements like:



is VERY misleading, since the newest "old-design" non-AGM AC Delco battery is now over 8 years old. Most likely, all the potential leakers have been recycled and are no longer in C5s.

I can't emphasize enough that most modern non-AGM batteries do NOT leak. I've been using AC Delco batteries since 1979 and I have never had a leaky one. Even if I had, I wouldn't continue to warn people about them, 30 years later. That's kinda like warning people not to buy a Corvette because your uncle's 69 creaked and groaned alot after only 20,000 miles.

I understand that you were burned before, but things are much better now; there's no need to say the sky is falling!

Dave
Hi Dave

I tried to make my assessment as balanced as I could based on experience and stuff quoted here.

That the great thng about a Discussion Forum. These are just my opinions

At least anyone reading this can take both ends of the spectrum by reading both our views


Last edited by DeeGee; 05-17-2008 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:56 AM   #14
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My experience, two GM vehicles owned with AC Delco batteries, a '92 Pontiac Transport, a 2004 Corvette, BOTH vehicles the batteries went BELLY UP a few months after 3 years. Neither of the batteries leaked, just
stopped working. I don't buy AC DELCO batteries based on my experience.

Motorcraft batteries, made by Johnson Controls, I've had three vehicles go 10 plus years with OEM batteries, I have two '00 Ford Focuses now my son's use, that both have original batteries and start well at 8 years of age. AutoZone sells Johnson Controls batteries through their Duralast line.
Guess what I replace my batteries with?


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Old 05-17-2008, 09:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black 'n Tan View Post
My experience, two GM vehicles owned with AC Delco batteries, a '92 Pontiac Transport, a 2004 Corvette, BOTH vehicles the batteries went BELLY UP a few months after 3 years. Neither of the batteries leaked, just
stopped working. I don't buy AC DELCO batteries based on my experience.

Motorcraft batteries, made by Johnson Controls, I've had three vehicles go 10 plus years with OEM batteries, I have two '00 Ford Focuses now my son's use, that both have original batteries and start well at 8 years of age. AutoZone sells Johnson Controls batteries through their Duralast line.
Guess what I replace my batteries with?


John
Similar to my experience... my 2 year old AC Delco was deader than a door nail after the winter. Had it on the same float charger I used last winter. Tried to charge the battery with no luck, brought it to be tested and they verified it would not take a charge. I talked to the Vette dealer I bought my car from and he said he's been seeing a lot of AC Delco batteries dying prematurely. He's seriously re-considering keeping his Vettes all AC Delco and going with a different brand for the battery.

I went with an Autocraft Titanium Battery from Advance Auto, 3 year free replacement 72 month pro-rated for $80. No more AC Delco replacement batteries for me.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:50 PM   #16
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Again, you are comparing apples to oranges. Your 00 C5 had an older-design AC Delco that had structural weaknesses in its terminal post area. That was the last year in which that design was included in C5s.

My wife had a 1986 Honda Accord that had a bad tranny and steering rack. Should I tell everyone that they should never buy an Accord because of that generation vehicle? Of course not! Accords are now one of the most reliable vehicles on the planet and so are the latest (2003 and newer AC Delco batteries. Certainly, you can buy what you wish, but you should try not to make it look like all AC Delcos are trash because of failures from completely different design.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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The AC Delco that came in my '04 is still going strong.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:20 PM   #18
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Ask 1000 people for battery recommendations, you'll get 1000 different answers. My rule has always been: If I get good service out of a product, I try to buy that EXACT product again, if available. If I have bad service from a product, I try a different brand until I find the quality that suits ME! So I really don't pay much attention to all the battery threads, because I have the original 86-7YR in our '04 with a build date of Sept '03. After 4 1/2 troublefree yrs and counting, I'll buy another EXACTLY like it when the time comes. Just my .02

ps: Now I've probably jinxed my battery by replying to a battery thread!
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:35 PM   #19
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Despite all the discussion I really don't mind which batteries members buy. The big problem I have is that some still have the originals from 97to 01 and may be sitting on a "leaker".

If I can persuade just one owner to change it before it leaks I'll be a happy man.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:56 PM   #20
Rob 99
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Member Since: Jan 2001
Location: Northern N.J.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
Actually, according to AC Delco's web site, it looks like the 75-7YR that Summit has is good for 2001-2003s, although for some reason, 98s can use either this battery or a 78-7YR. In summation:

97-2000 C5s use 78-7YR
01-03 C5s use 75-7YR (This is the one Summit has for $99.95)
04 C5s use 86-7YR (This is a top-post battery)
...among other types, such as dual-terminal versions.
It might be worth giving Summit a call to see if they stock the other sizes.
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by c5streak View Post
Ask 1000 people for battery recommendations, you'll get 1000 different answers. My rule has always been: If I get good service out of a product, I try to buy that EXACT product again, if available. If I have bad service from a product, I try a different brand until I find the quality that suits ME! So I really don't pay much attention to all the battery threads, because I have the original 86-7YR in our '04 with a build date of Sept '03. After 4 1/2 troublefree yrs and counting, I'll buy another EXACTLY like it when the time comes. Just my .02

ps: Now I've probably jinxed my battery by replying to a battery thread!
Mine is 4 years no trouble so far, but with some of the feedback on the many diff battery threads it's a roll of the dice on how many more years it will last.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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