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OH CRAP!! Car died

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Old 21 Oct 2003, 11:16 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: .
Posts: 463
Default OH CRAP!! Car died

OH NUTS! I was drivin' along tonight with my satellite stereo blaring, stopped the engine, and... nothing. No chimes, no lights. But the gauges were possesed; flipping around like maniacs [:0] Close Encounters...?

My wife's Honda came to the rescue with a jump start. That was enough to get me home (everything worked normally although I didn't power-up the stereo at all). Parked the car with the hood aimed outward for easy jumpin' and sure enough, dead as a door nail!

First of all, this is the first electrical issue I've had. Car has 42k, so warranty is expired. I don't have a voltage gauge hooked up so I don't know if it's the battery or the alternator, but once it got jumped, I drove it home for 10 miles with the headlights on suggesting battery problems.

Secondly, there was no previous hint of trouble. No bogging starter motor at all. How about some quick tips on isolating the problem?
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Old 22 Oct 2003, 12:24 am
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Barrie, Canada.
Posts: 1,171

alternator toast!
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Old 24 Oct 2003, 10:31 am
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: .
Posts: 463

Resolved. Culprit: Corroded battery terminals [)] Batteries-Plus said it had 12.8v and 760CA.

But I did learn a lot about the PT's Battery:

1. Group Size = 26R. "R" = Reversed terminals, meaning the "+" terminal is located in the upper left corner of the battery. The PT MUST use this set-up because the lower right corner is partially obscures by the fender and you don't want a terminal near that!

2. The 26R measures 8 5/8L x 6 13/16W x 8H according to Exide while the battery tray measures 10.0L with room in the Width area.

3. The only other size that looks maybe possible is the 34R. It retains the W&H but grows to 10 3/16 or 10 11/16. Optima makes a 34R that's supposedly 10", but the terminals are located too far inboard to work with PT's 90-degree OEM cables. Has anybody made the Optima 34R work in their Cruiser? I know of no direct-fit deep cycle replacements out there.

4. The 2001 Service Manual actually shows the wrong battery on pages 8A-1, 2, 4 while 8A-8 is a correct "R" terminal (look closely). Mine also didn't have the Built-in test indicator eye.

So the bottom line: Clean your terminals with baking soda. Neutralize the white & green "fuzzys" and when you need to replace it, get a 26R and DIY. Don't fall for the line that the PT has a 'special' battery and pay $100 to have the dealer do it. They're out there. Ex: Kmart has the Champion 26R-60 (made by Exide) starting at $40.

Hope this is helpful to you all. [8)]
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Old 24 Oct 2003, 02:59 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Posts: 1,872

I like the info given. Thanks. [?] About the Optima, only thing I know is I have two on the boat and they are great. They can also be put in any position. Still don't know if they would work on the Cruiser though.[:I]
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Old 24 Oct 2003, 03:51 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA.
Posts: 543

Maybe the Optima 75/35 (725U) battery will work, 9.4 L x 6.8 W x 7.6 H. But they don't appear to offer an "R" model in that size.

Haven't seen the Vortex Champion Battery available lately, but they used to offer a spiral cell battery in the 26R size. The terminals are almost centered.

Odyssey recommends mounting their 925 on it's side for the N/A PT Cruiser so there's no problem with the air box clearances.

Some info from their website:

PC925MJT and PC925LMJT
Medium duty 925 cranking amp battery with metal jacket and SAE automotive terminals. A step up from the 680 that provides higher cranking power and a larger reserve capacity.
Battery measures 7.05" wide x 6.64" long x 6.08" tall and weighs 26 pounds.

Can be easily mounted on it's edge to accomdate side post applications.
Side mount will accomadate BCI group 21, 26, 50, 58, 64 and others
Mounted on it's edge will fit the OEM Honda Civic tray.
The PC925LMJT has the positive terminal on the left.

2002 Almond Pearl Limited Edition 27K
It\'s nice to be important, but it\'s more important to be nice.
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Old 24 Oct 2003, 04:56 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: .
Posts: 463

Sci-Fi, I don't see that particular Vortex working because the neg. terminal would be under the fender. Looks like they tried to accomodate more applications with that design by moving the terminals more to center, but I'd say no go for PT. I don't think the guy with the Pantera (pictured) really needed an "R" anyway.

Again, the "+" terminal has to be in the upper left. Has anybody been able to do other than the 26R IN THE STOCK LOCATION?
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