New battery: Hawker Odyssey PC680

It starts!

Of late, my starting problems have been getting very annoying. I've had to rock the car in-gear before it would start, even when cold, and several times I've had to wait twenty minutes after filling up with petrol before I could get the car to start again. Sometimes even then I've only managed it by jumping the solenoid. I'd already done the relay mod, have recently cleaned and lubricated the solenoid, and I have also run a power feed directly from the starter to the solenoid because some people reckon that the long run via the battery master switch introduces too much of a drop in voltage.

I'd tested the battery, having been stung before with a dead battery causing starting problems, but it seemed fine. I recently borrowed a wideband lambda sensor from Bill Shurvinton and it couldn't heat up the sensor without the engine running; it even had a few problems with the engine idling. I'm not sure how realistic it was to expect that to work, since the heating element probably does draw quite a large current, but it spurred me into action. Based on recommendations from BlatChat (and Phil in particular) I ordered a Hawker Odyssey PC680 sealed dry-cell battery from Knight Batteries. The service was excellent: ordered late afternoon, arrived well packed the following day.

The PC680 is only fractionally wider than the Banner, and about half the depth, so it fitted in the tray fine. I was going to bend the retaining strap to fit, but it turned out to be a long night so instead I padded the gap with a couple of blocks of wood on the basis that it's only a temporary measure because I will have to move the battery when I fit the dry sump anyway (because the tank's going to go where the end of the passenger footwell and battery currently are).

One of the reasons I was in the garage until 1am is that the main earth lead wouldn't reach to the terminal on the new battery. I wasn't pulling that hard, but the lead came out of the spade connector at the engine end. So I had to remove the bolt from the starter, retrieve the connector, and mate the two back together. I'm not sure how well I did this, but it can't be worse than it was. Perhaps that was the root of my starting problems?

Since I've had the new battery, the engine has started instantly every single time. Fingers crossed...

This page is It was first published on Sunday 4 July, 2004 and last updated on Monday 5 July, 2004.