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I own a Vintage 550 Spyder built in 2002. Need a new battery. The battery in my car is located directly behind the driver 's seat in a very limited space (only a small battery will fit).  My local battery store (Batteries Plus) claims they have nothing that will fit.  Can someone help me with battery recommendations? 

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Batteries are rated in three categories, IIRC. Those are CCA = Cold Cranking Amps, XXAh = Amps per hour with the XX equaling the number of amps used per hour, and finally they are rated by size. Your current battery should have these markings somewhere on them. If Batteries Plus doesn't carry the right size you could probably get it from Tractor Supply or any other national car parts chain.

I also think @Michael Pickett used a smaller than normal battery as well as a few other guys. Maybe @Gordon Nichols, @Lane Anderson, @El Frazoo . One of them used a battery from a garden tractor or something.

Mine's a little smaller than Mike's, above.

My battery is an Odyssey P680 500-amp-starting, racing-style battery mounted in the nose of the car in the forward well of the trunk. It sits just forward of the gasoline heater and I needed something small (with specific dimensions) to fit the limited space.  IIRC, I paid around $160 bucks for it and they're available through Amazon Prime.  I keep it on a battery tender whenever it's in the garage.  Shown below, it's the little red box at the bottom.

final install

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Both my Vintage Spyders(I had a 2002, now a 2016) have a U-1 garden tractor battery. However, they are usually all the way in the rear behind the engine and transmission, but on the driver side(same side as the starter). The starter is right there so battery cables are 2 feet or so each.

I have a 400 plus CCA garden battery from Tractor Supply, it's been good for 5 years so far. It weighs less than twenty pounds. It's a standard lead/acid wet cell battery.

@The Lost Spyder is the battery inside the passenger compartment or is it in the engine compartment tight to the firewall?

As Robert says, the size should be on it somewhere and/or the CCA or amp/hour rating. To duplicate what you have, measure it carefully and search online for the size. It is likely that it may be a motorcycle battery size, or possibly a race car size.

Last edited by DannyP

I, like Danny, have a battery that one might see in a riding lawn mower mounted in the far rear corner.

battery 550

It's a Big Crank battery. This is the second one in the 7 years of owning the car. Personally, I'd like a bigger battery, but I'm limited to the dimensions of the bracket that was built around this particular battery. I might try another brand, if I could find a better one that'll fit. It looks like you might be in the same boat.

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I put a really light and small LiFePO4 Deltran (Battery Tender) BTL24A480CW battery in my Spyder just recently.  It was much smaller than the Odyssey PC680 it replaced.  It's dimensions are 6.89 X 3.43 X 5.12.  It comes with rubber shims so that you can use it in larger battery mounts.  It weighs only 4lbs.  Cranks like a mutha...480CCA.

I also use the same setup in my 1985 911 and it does that car well too.  No problem starting it.

@SpyderMike posted:

I put a really light and small LiFePO4 Deltran (Battery Tender) BTL24A480CW battery in my Spyder just recently.  It was much smaller than the Odyssey PC680 it replaced.  It's dimensions are 6.89 X 3.43 X 5.12.  It comes with rubber shims so that you can use it in larger battery mounts.  It weighs only 4lbs.  Cranks like a mutha...480CCA.

I also use the same setup in my 1985 911 and it does that car well too.  No problem starting it.

Isn't modern technology cool! I could cut 35 pounds out of my car just with that battery. And if I then removed the spare tire my car would be be lighter than Danny's. Then I'd only need 50 more horsepower to challenge him!

Maybe 80, but you do you, Ed.

I think you are already a minimum of 35 pounds lighter than me, so I wouldn't fret about a battery.

35 pounds is a funny number for me. I removed 35 pounds of ballast in my Formula Vee. Why? The previous driver was about 165 pounds. I'm a "bit" more than 35 pounds above that. Pretty positive I'll be over minimum weight.

Last edited by DannyP

Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies. Special kudos to SpyderMike who brings home the coveted thread grand prize (a virtual pat on the back) for the winning suggestion. I just got the Deltran LiFePO4 battery -- holy crap! It's unbelievably small and light, and the price is surprisingly reasonable (no more than a lead acid at my local auto shop). This is exactly the type of modern product I was hoping to find. I've got it on my Deltran charger right now. With any luck, my old Spyder will be back in action this weekend.

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One other thing worth mentioning about this battery is a circuit board built into it.  This is referred to the Battery Management System.  From their manual:

"All Battery Tender® Lithium batteries contain a BMS. A Battery Management
System (BMS) is any electronic system inside the battery that manages
a rechargeable battery (cell or battery pack), such as by protecting the battery
from operating outside its Safe Operating Area, monitoring its state,
calculating secondary data, reporting that data, controlling its environment,
authenticating it and / or balancing it.
The BMS will monitor the following conditions:
● Over Charge protection.
● Over Discharge protection.
● Temperature protection – High and Low.
● Self discharging/non active mode.
NOTE:
If any of the above conditions occur the BMS will automatically
shut the battery down to prevent any damage to the battery.
● To activate the battery simply press the BATTERY RESET
BUTTON located at the end of the Quick Disconnect (QDC)
charging harness for ONE second."

And, full disclosure, I do not work for them.

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