What battery rating should I get for 1970 SBC 350? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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What battery rating should I get for 1970 SBC 350?

What battery rating should I get for my 1970 Kingswood with SBC 350? Currently, I have 450 CCA but when I go to AutoZone.com to look it up, it shows 520 CCA as the lowest. AdvanceAutoParts.com on the other hand shows 420 CCA as compatible battery.

Another question: I just came back from PepBoys with battery jump starter rated at 300 CCA (600 Peak). Would that work for occasional jump starting dead battery? I already killed my battery three times so battery booster would be a nice thing to have in the trunk. Plus it was only $15 AR.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:29 PM
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Even though your car left the factory with a 450 CCA battery it didn't need any more as aside from the starter the only electrical drain was the radio and headlights. Even then the battery discharged when the lights were on unless you are driving down the road. Today you will have a radio that draws more than your headlights; and that is only one of many electrical loads that are added to these old cars to add a few creature comforts. I would recommend a 100 Amp single wire alternator and a 780 CCA battery with heavier gauge wiring in the charging circuit and with heftier battery cables as well.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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I did notice that the voltage drops below 12V when I have headlights and turn signal on. So I guess alternator upgrade would fix that. My radio is 2x15W only and I do not use it that often as my exhaust has a nice tone almost like a melody :-)

What about the battery booster, would 300 CCA start my dead battery or I shouldn't even bother with such a small rating? I think the next one is 450 CCA and then I would have to get huge booster that's way over $100 if I want to go above 450 CCA.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:49 PM
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The amperage is found in the battery; the jump start device just provides the push (increased voltage as they usually measure 16 volts at the clips) to get your car cranked. If the battery is defective (shorted out) no amount of jumping will make your car reliable.

If you are having battery problems you need to determine if your battery is sulfating out or your mechanical voltage regulator is dying (a very common problem). One of the nice things about a modern transistorized alternator is that the voltage is rock solid and current flows at the full rating as low as 1,500 RPM. You older alternator has to wind higher to begin to match it's 32 Amp rating.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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My battery has problems because of me. I have forgotten to turn the lights off twice and once I pushed the flasher knob on the way out and left flashers for 5 hours while I was biking. Battery is fairly new (1 year) but probably after three discharges it lost some of its charging capacity.

Once I get thru the price shock that I got when I heard how much it is going to cost me to replace bushings, tie rods and ball joints, I will put alternator on my list of upgrades.

Thanks Dave.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 11:02 PM
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Fully discharging a lead acid battery doesn't hurt it extensively (you should not do that on a daily basis as they make deep cycle marine batteries for that purpose). A lead acid battery is infinitely rechargeable with the lead plates sulfating out (changing their chemical make up) being how they die over time as the chemical reaction goes to completion.

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