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Batteries for Caterhams

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  • Batteries for Caterhams


    Ours might be the last holdout, but with ten good years of service, the Banner battery in our Seven is weak and spiraling down. The rating when new was 30 Amps, and now we're getting about 8.5 according to the Interstate guy. I've seen some pretty creative installations in Sevens using gel cell batteries. What are my options for something lighter and smaller than the OEM 12V power source?


  • #2
    I use Odyssey Batteries from West Coast Battery -

    PC535 or PC625 are fine. Mount in any orientation and always start my car. They have hold downs too if you are so inclined.

    Be sure they are kept charged and if you need to charge them I recommend one of their chargers. If dead they need 6 AMPs minimum to recover. A trickle charger will not work to get them back. They need the current. Trickle charger fine to keep it up once charged.
    Last edited by Doug Liedblad; July 8, 2014, 12:50 PM.


    • #3
      There are many options now. I used a Lithium Ion one that was silly light. Like 3 pounds. But it was more expensive. As in over $500.

      My go to battery is the Odyssey 625.

      And if one ever does go flat.... you can jumper it to another good battery to put it back on a trickle... I just did that since I did not have another charger. As Doug said, alone and with little voltage, they do not take a charge. Official importer of the Zenos E10 Your USA dealer for Levante Cars, Origin Cars, Minotaur Racing, Sadev Gearboxes, RST V8 Engines, and more... How fast do you want to go?


      • #4
        Randy and Doug,

        How do you mount the 625 battery? Standing or on its side? The Banner wet cell battery in my car is standing and slightly lower in height.



        • #5
          I use the Odyssey PC625, and have been very pleased with it. If you get a Sealed Lead-Acid (SLA) battery such as this or similar, you will probably want to have a Battery Master Switch installed if you don't already to ensure zero parasitic load, as I understand this type of battery will not last long with even a small constant load on it.

          If you decide on a LiFePO4 battery, I see that the often used Ballistic EVO2 16 cell model is in stock at Pegasus for $239.99 +tax with free shipping. The price on these was dropping pretty regularly for a while there, but it seems to have leveled out now at around 240-250 bucks over the last few years. I am not personally familiar with the specific pros and cons of this battery technology, but I understand there is no elevated fire risk with it as there may have been with some earlier types of lithium batteries.

          edit -- I have mine mounted on its side, as orientation does not matter with these.
          | | Sean


          • #6
            Hi Sean,

            I appreciate your reply. My car has a Ford Zetec with the stock ECU. I know that these ECUs draw a small amount of current. Shutting off the current makes it revert to default settings and a high idle. However, my car gets driven pretty frequently, at least two or three days a week, so it seems that the battery should be able to handle the leakage between outings and commuting. Do you (or anyone?) have experience with this issue?



            • #7
              I was lazy and mounted it in the same bracket as the Banner. The upper strap was slightly higher and I added some rubber blocks with tie wraps to secure them. It would be relatively easy to make a custom bracket and lay it down though....
     Official importer of the Zenos E10
     Your USA dealer for Levante Cars, Origin Cars, Minotaur Racing, Sadev Gearboxes, RST V8 Engines, and more... How fast do you want to go?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Clark View Post
                Randy and Doug,

                How do you mount the 625 battery? Standing or on its side? The Banner wet cell battery in my car is standing and slightly lower in height.

                Look at this:

                Stock location & strap that my mechanic Mr. Cheeseball (that would be me) simply bent over the battery. The stock bolt worked too. Car was delivered in 2003. Battery is an Odyssey PC545 which has always had plenty of beans to start the car.

                Cheap & Lazy? You bet.

                Effective? Yup.

                Clean? Uh...

                Edit: I routinely disconnect it when the car is going to sit for more than a couple of days. The MBE seems to draw it down and it's easy enough to re-connect. Nothing changes in the map / settings w/out power.

                Oh, and good to hear from ya. Hope all (besides the battery:-D) is well!

                Last edited by moosetestbestanden; July 8, 2014, 09:08 PM.
                A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                • #9
                  Anyone using the stock Banner battery should stop.

                  Mine leaked when new and cost Caterham a warranty issue.

                  It leaked from the top seam.

                  You should not be using a battery full of liquid acid around aluminum. Or is it aluminium?


                  • #10
                    I started with the stock banner battery mounted below the carbs on my x-flow. When it died I put an Odyssey PC680 in the same bracket with a a couple of pieces of wood to take up the extra space. That one lasted a long time (I had a battery tender on it between drives). It finally died and I've upsized to a PC925 mounted on top of the passenger footwell. Under the carbs was pretty messy/dirty. I'm using the bracket that West Coast Batteries sells:

                    but I'm not entirely happy with it. But it does do the job.



                    • #11
                      I appreciate everyone's responses and know that any new (as in non OEM) battery is going to take some fiddling to make fit. In defense of the Banner brand, that's what my car came with, and the original lasted about five years after introducing the acid to it at Rocky Mountain Motorsports in Denver during the build. The replacement was delivered dry, so I took it to my local Interstate guy and he filled it with that toxic low pH liquid for free. That one's been in my car for almost ten years and still turns the crank, but it's days are definitely numbered. This morning I stopped by the Interstate shop on my way to work and he produced a couple of gel cell batteries that look a lot like the Odyssey units. They're both intended for the motorcycle/rec vehicle market. However I'm not sure if Harleys and such have a constant draw for their ECUs like my Ford unit does. More research.

                      Best wishes,


                      • #12
                        After going through 2 Odyssey 925s in 4 years I replaced it with the Ballistic Evo 2 18 months ago and have had zero issues. I do not trickle charge it and the car starts on the first crank even after 2 months idle. I do have a full system kill switch which means there is zero draw.

                        It also saved me 22 lbs of weight and at $225 is only ~$100 more than the Odyssey

                        V8 Stalker
                        06 Elise
                        02 Dodge Viper GTS
                        16 Dodge Charger Hellcat


                        • #13
                          I also have a ballistic 16 cell. I've had it for about 3 months now and haven't had any issues so far.

                          Here's a tip for the ballistic batteries. You can buy the charger for balancing the cells at many hobby stores.

                          buy this cable:
                          and this charger:

                          They are the same as ballistic sells for $80


                          • #14
                            My Ballistic has been place for 2-1/2 years without issue. Worth every penny in my opinion.

                            Westfield SEiW
                            2.0L Duratec
                            Throttle Steer


                            • #15
                              I ordered an Odyssey PC625. Will it be charged and ready to use when it arrives?