A Barrage of Battery Options

Choosing the Most Important Part of Your Chevy’s Charging System

By Ryan Manson   –   Photography by the Author

Battery maintenance is not often at the top of any classic car enthusiast’s to-do list, but if those headlights have started to dim or that starter is beginning to groan, chances are it’s time to address that worn-out battery. While not a remarkably romantic aspect of a muscle car build, battery technology has come a long way since that old Camaro rolled off the assembly line, and one of the brands leading the charge in charging technology is Duralast.

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001 Duralast Gold Batteries are perfect for those original or mildly modified classic Chevy muscle cars
For up to 1,000 cold cranking amps (CCA), with a reserve capacity of 120 minutes, the Duralast Gold Batteries are perfect for those original or mildly modified classic Chevy muscle cars. High-compression, big-block–equipped street machines, or those cruisers hauling around extra electronic components can benefit from Duralast’s Gold line of batteries. Featuring an additional 100 CCA, Duralast Gold Batteries are guaranteed to meet or exceed the vehicle’s original battery specifications.

Recently, we noticed our project ’72 Camaro was beginning to bear that awful groan that typically precedes the much-more-despised “dead starter clunk.” A couple hours on a battery charger served as naught, so we set out, turning our attention to DuralastParts.com to research what options were available to replace our tired battery. Turns out, Duralast offers three different battery options that serve the classic car market: Duralast, Duralast Gold, and Duralast Platinum. All Duralast Batteries meet or exceed OE cranking amps and reserve capacity and feature Duralast’s proven robust construction and rugged durability.

002 Duralast Platinum AGM Batteries
Duralast Platinum AGM Batteries feature spill-proof design and an increased CCA rating of 900 and 160 minutes reserve capacity. Where the Platinum line really shines is a life cycle up to twice that of the traditional flooded cell battery capable of more cycles and faster recharge times as well.

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The two baselines most commonly used for comparing batteries are cold cranking amps (CCA) and reserve capacity. CCA is the amount of amps delivered over 30 seconds at 0 degrees F. This unit determines a battery’s ability to start an engine. Reserve capacity refers to the amount of time in minutes that a battery can provide power before being fully discharged. High reserve capacity is important in vehicles equipped with multiple accessories, such as heated seats, power windows, high-end audio equipment, and so on.

003 Duralast Battery Maintainer
If that classic Chevy sees more time inside a garage than out on the road, it’s a good idea to grab a Duralast Battery Maintainer while you’re out battery shopping. This ensures that classic fires up every time and promotes a longer lifespan for the battery.

The Duralast and Duralast Gold lines are traditional, flooded cell construction batteries and feature an extreme bond construction created by high-density paste formula. Duralast is an effective OE replacement and Duralast Gold is designed to outperform OE. Impact-resistant polypropylene construction helps minimize damage from vibration—a necessary improvement for those lumpy-cammed Chevys. Inside a fully framed stamped power grid resists shorts and improves charging with 66 percent more corrosion resistance and 70 percent better electrical flow, resulting in longer battery life than industry book mold grids. Proprietary-designed High-Density Paste improves cycling performance, while a higher overall plate count and thin grids maximize the surface area delivering increased CCA and reserve-capacity requirements. Robust separators and positive and rounded corner negative plates help eliminate shorts. Heavy-duty strap and weld construction utilizes high-grain top alloy and the industry’s best intercell weld, engineered to stop corrosion and prevent premature failure.

004 battery cable of at least 2 0 gauge should be used
In addition to a properly sized battery, the correct-gauge battery cables, both positive and negative, are of utmost importance when it comes to premium battery performance. If the battery has been relocated to the trunk of the vehicle, this is even more important and a battery cable of at least 2-0 gauge should be used.

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Duralast Platinum Batteries, on the other hand, feature a completely different, modern construction design known as Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM). Featuring numerous thin lead plates sandwiched between soaked glass mat “sponges,” AGM batteries carry its charge amongst the soaked sponges instead of the free-flowing liquid inside a traditional “flooded” cell battery. This construction allows Duralast Platinum’s AGM battery to provide a faster recharge time, higher CCA, lengthened lifespan, and withstands shaking and vibration better than the traditional battery design. A special valve design contains the liquid inside the battery’s case, capturing the elements released inside the battery as electricity is drawn or charged, resulting in a spill-proof, sealed battery. (Note: Electric Flooded Batteries, or EFB, are also available in Duralast Platinum.) ACP

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005 Routing battery cables through sheetmetal
Routing battery cables through sheetmetal can be tricky. Thankfully there exists a handful of ways in which to safely pass through a solid, steel plane, such as these bulkhead fittings.
006 routing of battery cables can be achieved using properly sized insulated clamps
Careful routing of battery cables can be achieved using properly sized, insulated clamps.
007 alternator cable should also be sized to match the output of the alternator
Like the battery cables, the alternator cable should also be sized to match the output of the alternator. This wire is to be replaced with a larger gauge version to match the new alternator.
008 pair of properly sized fuses should be installed between the alternator and the battery
A pair of properly sized fuses should be installed between the alternator and the battery as well as between the battery and the fuse panel. This ensures the entire electrical system is protected against shorts or runaway components.
009 Proper grounding points between the battery chassis engine and sheetmetal
Proper grounding points between the battery, chassis, engine, and sheetmetal ensures optimum performance of all the electronic components and promotes battery charging efficiency and battery lifespan.



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