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Old 08-11-2010, 12:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 12 volt Battery specs & size?

Ok, so I ahve done some searching on this forum, and it appears that the 12 volt battery in our Insights is a "12 V-27 AH/5 hours" and is apaprently also a "Group 51".

I'd like to find and buy a much LIGHTER battery, but with the same cold cranking amps, as I plan to spend some time in the northern U.S. this winter.

Questions:

- What is the cold cranking amp rating of our OEM battery?

- What are the physical Length x width x height measurements?

- How do you properly describe the terminal orientation? (so that the wires in the car and the terminals on the new battery align!)

- Has someone here already found the ultimate low weight replacement battery?

Jim G
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Group 51 is a Honda Civic battery, which is overweight and overkill for the Insight. The car originally shipped with a motorcycle-sized battery with SAE terminals, but that's no longer in production. I believe it had 270CCA. Here's a worthy alternative:

Braille Auto B129 Braille ''No Weight'' Racing Batteries

I've got a 25lb Optima D51R in mine, because I got the battery cheap.

How far north are you headed? If the main battery pack never drops below 0F, your 12V starter probably won't see any action.

Terminals: Doesn't matter. If you find the right battery with the wrong terminals, cut the ends off your battery cables and reterminate. A size 51 battery may require moving the negative cable to a different attachment point, which is easy.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good thread with lot of different options that people have tried:

Suggestions needed on what 12v battery to buy
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for the speedy responses! They got me heading in the right direction!

How far north? In the worst cases, Minnesota, and potentially Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (my stepmom and step sister both live there) where the nighttime temperatures in January drop down to minus 30 F, and where many of the outdoor parking lots have 120 volt outlets into which you plug your engine block heater when parking for more than one hour!

However, that sort of visit would be maybe once per year or two.

What is far more likely at this point though is work assignments (when I finally get re-employed!) in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa, where I would be staying months at a time, and where the winter nighttime temperatures get to low single digits above zero.

I don't NEED to do the replacement yet (the existing battery is working fine still), and probably won't for money reasons until I get my next work assignment, but when I do, I am willing to pay for the technology to get a battery as light as possible while meeting the following objectives / constraints:
- zero maintenance required
- stock OEM CCA rating or better
- fits into the existing battery box (ok if I have to use styrofoam around it to keep it from moving)
- connects to, or can easily be adapted via a nice clean set of adaptors, to the stock unmolested car cables and terminals
- No need to move the ground car cable to a different point (the starting circuit passes a LOT of current, and I suspect that Honda picked the point they did to ensure that the ground connection is not a "bottleneck" for current capacity)

From the referenced and derivative referenced threads above, it sounds like the closest might be the 12 lb Odyssey PC545 plus terminal adaptors?

1. Is there a lighter battery that still meets the CCA specs and is not going to create a "mounting adaptation" mess?

2. Also, I'd still really like to know what the dimensions of the OEM Insight battery are (my Insight came to me with a replacement conventional larger battery, so I cannot measure what I have to get the answer).

3. I'd also like to know the weight of the OEM battery, so that I have a reference point for weight reduction tracking. I cannot see thatw eight anywhere in the referenced thread.

Jim G

Last edited by JimGnitecki; 08-11-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've gotten a bit more information.

The original OEM battery for the Insight is no longer available from Honda. The Honda parts manuals now show the "replacement" battery to use as Honda pn 31500-SB2-100M. That is the battery that the former owner of my car bought brand new to replace the original in July of 2009.

I asked the parts guy at my nearest Honda dealer to weigh one of these replacement batteries for me, and he did. It weighs 28 lb.

This means that there is potential to lose as much as 20 lb or so, IF one of the miracle lightweight low amp-hour capacity batteries will actually be reliable enough in starting the 1 liter engine at the coldest temperatures I anticipate seeing in my travels in the winter - about 0 degrees F. Question is: would such a low AH battery be reliable enough?

Why get excited about 20 lb weight reduction? Because it's about 1% of the weight of the car. Find 4 more weight reduction items of equal magnitude and you have as much more nimbleness as a 5% across-the-rpm-band power increase, OR better fuel mileage yet.

Jim G
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Plus you'll be able to lean burn your way up more hills. Also, the car is so aerodynamic that a 1% reduction in rolling resistance will show up better than on most cars.

The Braille No Weight are rated for 323A continuous for 30s, which certainly sounds like enough. But I have no personal experience with them.

Thundersky makes a four cell lithium battery for starting cars. It's got lots of Ah, but not so many cranking amps. Plus, it's heavy.

Last edited by RobertSmalls; 08-14-2010 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Insight 12V Battery

Also take into account that the Insight DC-DC converter regulates the Battery to only 12.1 V, not the 12.7V or better of a conventional Alternator-based system. you have less in that 12V Battery than you think

On the few times I have fired up my Car on the 12V Starter Motor, the cranking speed was somewhat lethargic. I bought a new Honda OEM battery to rectify what I thought was a duff cell, there was no need, that 12.1V is designed to be.

Buy one of those voltage displays that plug into the underdash 12V socket, you will see the typical voltages of the Car

The Honda OEM Battery supplied for last 7 years on UK cars is the Furukawa 7000 Battery, marked as 34B17(RS)-MF. The box is marked 12V27AH(5 hours) which I assume means 5.2Amps for 5 hours giving the capacity of 27Ah. It weighs 18.4 lbs by my Bathroom scales
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Anyone know how much the optima battery weighs? Even if it is heavier, turning off the DC-DC converter should more than make up for it.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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http://www.optimabatteries.com/_medi...s/D51_D51R.pdf

26lbs, 38Ah.

200 cycles to 50% capacity at 100% DoD, 1000 cycles to 50% capacity at 50% DoD.

So if you treat it like a 38Ah battery, it turns into a 26lb, 19Ah battery in a year and will be dead within two years. Treat it like a 19Ah battery from day one, and it turns into a 9.5Ah battery over the course of five years.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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E27006: Thank-you! That data on the OEM Furukawa battery provides a big missing piece.

ARTRIC: Why and how could you be able to turn off the DC to DC converter by changing battery types??

Jim G
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