Exide Select Orbital
few months ago, Exide Battery Corporation released
its new Orbital batterry. Though Exide is the world's largest
producer of lead-acid batteries. The Exide name is big in motorsports,
like NASCAR, Exide is a leader, right up there with Interstate,
Delco, and Champion. But, on the rocks, it has been another story...until
demand a lot from batteries, and many of us overlook how much
abuse we put them through. Maybe you've been putting whatever
$40 battery you could get on sale at Wal-Mart in your CJ-7 for
years and never gave it a second thought.
you need a battery, think about it a little harder. How much are
you asking of your battery? Got fog lights? Got a winch? What
other goodies do you have that need power? Start adding up the
the power all that stuff needs and you'll quickly realize that
you need more battery than you've got right now. You may even
need two batteries!
about this. What is it that we do with our rigs? We climb hills.
We go into crevaces. We get into all sorts of off-camber situations.
How will your battery hold up in the event of a roll-over? Assuming
it is strapped down well in the first place, unless it is a sealed-type
battery, you're tempting fate if it starts leaking.
Optima batteries have been around and been the number one choice
for four-wheelers who were serious about their rigs. Their spiral
technology made them the leader in the field. But now Exide has
taken their idea a step further.
Orbital uses tightly wound plates, along with gas recombinant
technology to eliminate free-liquid battery acid. What the heck
does that mean? Don't worry about it. The bottom line is that
each of the six battery elements is sealed up in what looks like
a six pack. In the event of an overcharge, the battery features
six "burp" valves which allow gas to escape without
compromising its sealed quality.
cannot possibly leak and because there is no danger of leaking
acid or explosive gasses, the Orbital can even be used upside
down! In addition, it is one of the only batteries that can be
shipped by US Mail and other couriers like UPS and FedEx.
at 41 pounds, the Orbital puts out 890 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps)
at 32 degrees F and 700 CCA at 0 degrees F. That means that when
it's cold outside, this battery is going to start your rig. Even
if it has been sitting for a while. The battery even has a handle,
fold-down handle for carrying it around and for lifting it back
out of your engine compartment.
So how does it work? Our Project TJ has a 4.0L with a/c. Also
under the hood is a Premier
Power Welder and an ARB air compressor. That means that we
have no room to run a dual battery setup. This is very common
and unfortunate situation for those of us with TJ's.
order for us to test our Orbital, we needed to take out our other
battery. We had been using a blue top Optima battery, which is
their marine deep cycle model. We realized two things immediately
after dropping the Orbital into the Jeep. First, we really need
to clean up our under-hood wiring. Second, the Orbital has two
full-size posts on top and on the sides there are threaded holes
to accept screw-in posts. This threw us for a loop because on
our Optima, we had run some accessories off of the side posts.
Not a big deal, though, as we had some extra post adapters around
and jammed everything on the top. The
Jeep fired right up and we called it quits for the day.
I noticed right away, was the way the Jeep started with this battery
in. It started a lot nicer and didn't have as much of a surge
like with the Optima. It seemed friendlier and a little more gentle
on the motor.
quite a bit with the battery and even though it's not a deep cycle,
we really put it through it's paces. We decided that if we were
going to test it, we were going to use it! We made that
battery winch us up long hills and it never gave up. Just a tap
of the gas pedal here and there was all it needed to keep going.
wasn't enough, we even welded with it. Again, it came back for
we've enjoyed having our Orbital and we'd highly recommend it
to anyone who needs a new battery (whether they realize it or
Exide has brought out a new deep cycle model, so if you have room
for a second battery to run your winch, welder, or lights off
of, the deep cycle model provides 950 CCA at 32 degrees F and
750 CCA at 0 degrees F. Running one of each of these batteries
under your hood would be an unstoppable combination.
one really nice thing about our Orbital, is that it happens to
be the same model that applicates to our Chevy Tahoe tow rig,
so when the day comes that we need to swap, we'll have the Orbital
ready to go.