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Optima battery in F430?

Discussion in '360/430' started by TheMayor, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 11, 2008
    83,339
    Vegas baby
    I just replaced the battery in my Maserati because I don't drive it enough anymore. The previous 2 lasted about 6 months each before becoming toast. I can't use a trickle charger where the car is and I travel too much to keep it running regularly.

    So, I put in an Optima today and it works just fine. My thinking is that a gell cell will have more stand by power over the long run.

    Thinking that someday, the F430 will have the same problem, does anyone have any experience in an Optima in one?
     
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  3. Vegas-Guy

    Vegas-Guy Formula 3

    Nov 25, 2007
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    I just had Wynn put an Optima in the 355 last week while she was in the shop..:) They told me with normal driving and our weather I should get 3 - 5 years out of it..:D
     
  4. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
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    Gel or AGM batteries tend to have a lower overall capacity but can hold a charge much longer. They also tend to have a low internal resistance so they crank very hard AND they tend to weigh much less.

    The problem with AGM in modern cars is that the car's electronics never really shut off so they draw current all of the time. Over long periods of sitting that trickle discharge plays to the strengths of a lead/acid because they have a higher total capacity.

    If you were to shut off the power the gel or AGM would hold a charge much longer than lead/acid.
     
  5. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    Interesting... well, let's see how this one works. It will be a pretty good apples to apples test against Lead acid.
     
  6. RobD

    RobD Formula 3

    Nov 10, 2003
    1,181
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    Just be careful if your 430 is still under warranty. I was going to put an Interstate battery in mine, but the dealer told me that fitting a non OE battery would void the warranty. He wasn't trying to sell me one either, he told me to leave mine in there. I'm sure Ferrari can't blame the battery for everything, but the wiring system, electric motors, injection, etc. All very expensive stuff if it breaks.
     
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  8. forgeahead

    forgeahead F1 Rookie
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    That is good advice. Damn, these cars are sensitive!
     
  9. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    That's what's so interesting about the Maserati. I have zero issues with it as a normal car. I jump start it -- nothing wrong. Battery goes dead -- no big deal -- replace it at Sears. I don't know why everyone says these cars are so finnacky. The Maserati is 7 years older and it's basically bulletproof -- electronics, Fuel Injection, F-1 gearbox, power top, etc. Honestly, I treat like it were a Camry.

    My battery in the F430 is fine but I was wondering if anyone OUT of warranty had any experience. I would say so far, the answer is no.
     
  10. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
    1,264
    Hi gang. Found an existing thread on the subject , so will bring it back rather than starting a new one. I'm cleaning the acid mess a freaking Interstate made in my car. And no, PPI didn't catch it; glad I checked.

    Anyway, why the hell Ferrari didn't put a plastic tray in there is beyond me, but don't think I can fit a generic tray, so prefer not to install a wet or AGM battery if at all possible. And couldn't find the appropriate Interstate AGM replacement locally anyway, so was thinking about an Optima, which costs about the same, and doesn't need a vent.

    Does anybody here have one on an 430, and which model? Or any other aftermarket battery? Ex owner told me the stock Ferrari battery was wet cell with a vent, just like this interstate, but I have the suspicion it's AGM, no? An AGM is better than wet, but still don't like either one inside the car, hence the gel Optima. Don't think there would be any problems with the alternator or electrical sytem, right? On my stupid M3, a dealer needs to code the car when you disconnect or replace the battery, which is absolutely ridiculous IMO. At least no such thing with the 430. Comments welcome. Will clean the acid mess while you guys reply :). Thanks.
     
  11. RobD

    RobD Formula 3

    Nov 10, 2003
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    The F430's OE battery is a vented Gel unit, somewhat similar to an AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery. Either a Gel or AGM is safer in the cabin than a standard automotive wet battery. Also, a Gel or AGM would probably cause less damage if a leak develops. If a wet battery leaks, the acidic water soaks everything around it.

    IIRC, the Scuderia has an OE Optima AGM battery. However, I've read that, in general, Optima batteries can be unreliable...some last, some fail prematurely. I've heard better things about Odyssey AGM batteries. If you go this route, some slight battery bracket modifications may be necessary when installing an Optima or Odyssey in a standard 430. The Gel Interstate battery is similar in size to the OE Gel and a much closer fit.
     
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  13. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Thanks a lot for your help Rob. Do you happen to know what 'slight bracket modification' entails??? And which Optima model is the right one? I agree with you on Optima not being what they claim to be, but am willing to take the risk, as don't want to have the car disabled that long. I plan to charge it frequently, so it should last a few years for sure.

    I also need to dig for the correct gel interstate (or AGM?) p/n I saw somewhere on this board. Thanks again.
     
  14. SfefVan

    SfefVan Guest

    Nov 28, 2008
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    In Europe at least it seems, the battery of the F430 is a FIAMM ECOFORCE VR760 (valve regulated lead acid battery) 12V - 65 Ah – 450 A. So no Gel battery. Until now, I never had any issues with my stock battery (6 years old!).
     
  15. RobD

    RobD Formula 3

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    #12 RobD, Feb 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
    Since the Odyssey/Optima batteries are smaller, the bracket tie-down rods need spacers to take up the slack (otherwise you'll run out of threads). Or, you can buy shorter tie-down rods. Otherwise, I think that's it.

    The Optima, I forget which one it is...just do a search and it'll come up. The Odyssey is the 925, IIRC. Just make sure the terminals are the right type and the +/- on the correct sides. The Gel Interstate is the MTP-H6A (or -48-H6A).
     
  16. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    If you use the plastic red top that comes with the battery and flip it over the battery will sit on it perfectly and that will take up some more room. Not sure that it will work in this case but it has worked on a red top application I had.
     
  17. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
    1,264
    Thanks for the help folks. Spent quite a bit of time researching batteries since found several different sizes, including groups 40R, 48, 91 and 34R. And I know for a fact the tray is 11" wide, so can't be 48. Turns out the official size is 34R, and that's the most popular of them all. By the way, it's higher than the one my car has right now, so doubt the bracket will be an issue. Only Optima carries that locally, so will reluctantly buy one again. Hope it lasts longer this time. At least it has 3 years free replacement warranty.

    Will take tomorrow to Autozone the tray, both rods and bracket, so will be able to 'install' the battery there to make sure it fits perfecty, and will report back. And yes, removed the tray to paint it since it was damaged by acid, but nothing else was, so all is well. And can't believe Ferrari puts a wet cell battery in a freaking $200K plus car, but whatever. Can't blame the previous owner for putting another one, I guess. But for those buying or transporting cars, I'd stuff plenty of rags in there before the trek; don't want anybody else having acid damage, especially if not caught early. Take care, and thanks again for the help.

    Oh, and will try to install the battery charger pigtail on the passenger side of the car below the wiper, and without having to drill anything. That way it'd take me a second to hook the battery to the charger without having to open anything. Will report if successful. Take care.
     
  18. F430GT

    F430GT Formula 3

    Sep 29, 2005
    1,300
    Marco Island, FL
    My 09 Scuderia came with an Optima battery, I'm the first owner.

    Optima Red Top 34R. 50Ah and 38 lbs (8.3 lbs lighter than the FIAMM in the F430).
     
  19. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
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    #16 ELP_JC, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Yep, 34R is the correct one, and a perfect fit. MUCH more powerful (1000 CA) and cheaper ($189). And no need to change, modify, or remove anything. I also took the time to do a factory job on the installation of the battery charger pigtail under the right wiper. That way I can hook it up in seconds, without having to open or leave anything open. And folks, GET RID OF THAT WET CELL BATTERY :). Don't want anybody else with acid damage, like mine. Fortunately, after sanding and painting the tray, it's like new again. But if I hadn't caught it early, it'd could have turned into a very expensive fix over time. And yes, also cut and plugged the vent; looks like a factory plug, and less clutter in there. Hope this helps.
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  20. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Four tips and a comment folks:

    - ALWAYS fully charge your new battery before the first crank for maximum life. Experts say you supposedly knock several months out of its life by cranking it right from the store. Hard to prove, but if you don't wait until you get stranded somewhere, why not do it?

    - Install your Optima battery (or any other with 7-7/8" height) with the post caps in place folks. Battery clears by millimeters, and you don't want to short it with the cross bar.

    - Put a thin coat of petroleum jelly all around the posts; that will prevent any sulfation.

    - According to Optima, you can charge your AGM battery with a regular Battery Tender Plus (1.25A), BUT battery has to have over 10.5V. Otherwise, it's better to charge it with an AGM charger with the proper charging protocol. Oh, and I wouldn't leave it connected all the time to be on the safe side; AGMs take longer to self-discharge anyway.

    And the comment is I don't think you'd be saving any weight with an Optima, but you'll definitely gain a lot of piece of mind. It's the cheapest and most powerful AGM battery for the 430, and if you take care of it, life won't be an issue. Hope this helps.
     
  21. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
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    Useless trivia. The Optima was designed by the company that sells the Odyssey. They had problems controlling the spacing between the plates when the cell was rolled. As a result the cells would short when used in off road, military, or extreme conditions. That problem drove them to sell the design and do it over. The new design is the Odyssey. Don't get me wrong, the Optima is a great battery but I think the Odyssey is better.
     
  22. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

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    #19 ELP_JC, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
    I'm not a fan of Optima either, but the truth is for this application (as well as trunk applications, like most BMWs), it's the best in terms of price and power IMO. The Odyssey AGM only has 700 amps (vs 1000), it's more expensive, and at least here, available thru special order only. Same with the Interstate AMG ($289, with also 700 amps or so). I'd NEVER put an Optima on an offroad vehicle OR next to the engine (heat will mess it up as well, and it gets hot here in TX :), but inside the car, its shorcomings should never be an issue.
     
  23. ZIP22

    ZIP22 Karting

    Jun 7, 2009
    157
    Yep...same here!
     
  24. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #21 tazandjan, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Lots of good information and misinformation in this thread. How to separate the two without causing a knife-fight?

    First off, here is the vented, VR760 lead-acid battery in the F430 WSM, also original in the 575M, according to the WSM. That means using a good vented, lead-acid battery like the Interstates will work fine if properly maintained. Use a good battery terminal spray or similar to guarantee no corrosion forms that can wash onto other surfaces. There is no issue with acid itself leaking and causing problems in a sealed battery (maintenance free). Plus the good Interstates come with an 85 month warranty.

    Early Optima batteries seemed to work well, but the latest versions since the company was sold have had problems documented in FerrariChat. No personal experience, just read others' problems.

    The Odyssey AGM battery is the King Kong of batteries, with plates very close together for tremendous power and the ability to be deep discharged to 80% and recharged with no degradation dozens of times. Because of the tightly packed plates, it is also very heavy at 50 lbs and expensive at $240-270 from discounters.

    There are no warranty implications from using a non-FIAMM battery in an F430. Ferrari dealers have been fitting Interstates, and lately Brailles, for years. Cannot say the same for fitting an aftermarket exhaust, however. Attached is a Braille fitment chart and a summary of some of the Interstate, FIAMM and Odyssey batteries. Needs to be updated a bit with the Brailles, but handy for sizes.

    I note the MTP-H6 is no longer avaiable, only the revised MTP-91 and MTP-48-H6. Will have to edit document.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
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  25. ELP_JC

    ELP_JC Formula 3

    Dec 13, 2008
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    #22 ELP_JC, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
    Well, you're spreading the 'misinformation' my friend :). Ha ha. The word 'sealed' is a misnomer on a wet cell (flooded) battery. Sealed only means it's not serviceable, not that it's really sealed, because it CANNOT be. Therefore, they can leak, just like it happened to my 'sealed' Interstate MTP-91 I had (one of your recommendations), and look at the mess it made in my car. An unnecessary gamble in my book.

    You also implied I said AGMs are better than wet cells performancewise, when I think just the opposite. But when batteries reside inside the vehicle, AGMs are the safe choice, even though they cost more, last less, and usually have less power. Although inside the car without extreme temperatures, their only drawback is price difference IMO. And the piece of mind the $100 difference over 5 years provide is 'priceless'. I never had acid damage before.... until now... and on a freaking Ferrari... which doesn't even have a freaking plastic tray to avoid acid damage. For those who want to keep their wet cells, do yourselves a favor and check the damn thing often AND try to find a plastic tray you can fit under the battery in case it leaks.

    Not trying to argue with anybody, but I just spent 2 days cleaning the mess on my car, and am just trying to be nice and warn others of the potential damage these things can cause. A bigger leak can make a hole in your car in weeks if undetected. It's just not worth it IMO, especially on a $150K+ Ferrari, but to each his own. I already made my point and provided the help anybody sane would want to do to his investment, so I'm signing off this thread. Take care folks.
     
  26. alex550575430

    alex550575430 Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2009
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    Yes, I replaced the Optima in my F430 June of 2010... So far so good...

    Alex Lin
     
  27. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #24 tazandjan, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
    ELP- Ferrari owners have hundreds of MTP-91s in use with no problems. They work just like the FIAMM OEM battery. So we might ask you the question of whether you fitted the vent tube to your battery or just bolted it in? Since the upper part of the battery is sealed, a vent tube is fitted to ensure sulphuric acid fumes do not build up to a dangerous level. A battery with the tube missing vents into the compartment where the battery is located, and, no surprise, corrosion occurs. Another source of corrosion is the cables, where if vaseline, as mentioned earlier, or another terminal treatment is not used, corrosion will occur that easily spreads to other locations, especially if that compartment is susceptible to high humidity.

    I was actually referring to the VR760 being a gel battery in the misinformation category. I never implied anything about AGM vs wet cell, or whether your battery leaked or not. You inferred that all by yourself.

    The MTP-91 has been providing yeoman service in Ferraris for years. I have one with vent tube attached and terminals sprayed that has been working fine for at least three years and has given absolutely no problems. I might consider replacing it with an Odyssey if it ever stops working (85 month warranty), but am not sure the difference in price (double) is worth it.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  28. Juan Uribe

    Juan Uribe Rookie

    Jul 2, 2011
    5
    Just replace my OEM battery. Went to autozone paid $200 got the Optima 34R. Easy to fit. I just made a minor modification on the attachements. Changed the angle of the post attachements to right angle ( give you 2-3 more mm of length) with a plier. Very easy. My 9 year old kid can do it!!!.
    Saved a lot of money if I was following all the red tape from the dealer!!
    It this one will last 3 years, I will be paying 5.4 cents per day!!!
    The hole operation took 45 minutes including the driving time back and forth to autozone.
    And, over the top... You feel like you did something good.
     

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