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Where Can I Get A Very High CCA Battery


On the Torino I have a huge high torque starter on it to overcome the 359 CI displacement at 11.1:1 compression and pretty tight rings and such (only 450 miles on the rebuild). Problem is that it draws the battery down enough cranking that the pemtronix ignition has trouble sparking a warm engine unless the battery is fresh off the charger. Alternator & regulator are putting out above spec voltage, even at idle (upgraded units).

A speed shop buddy of mine recommended a 1100-1400 CCA battery or the summit batteries that put out 14V when cranking but revert to 12V the rest of the time (nice trick). Not sure where to find such a high CCA battery. The group 27 I have in there now does 750 CCA and 850 CA. I think it takes a group 24 or 25 stock, but 27 was an option on the big block motors. I wonder if there is a way to step up the voltage just on the ignition circuit.....?

There is a car show in Chelsea tomorrow but it is a little crazy not knowing if I can restart the car. Starts cold the first time, every time with 2 pumps on the Holley 700 double pumper.
'71 Torino GT "M" code 359 CI shaker convertible
'96 & '98 SHO's 3.4l
'08 HHR 2.4l
'08 G6 3.9l hardtop convertible
'08 STS-V (Cobalt SS ordered - 30 MPG and 0-60 in 5.5s)

Back in the day, I had a Ranchero with a built Cleveland. It was in the 400hp range and I had the same starting issues.
I built an ignition kill button that I would push when I was starting the engine. This would allow the engine to come up to a good cranking RPM before getting any spark. On cold starts it wasn't too much of a problem. But for hot starts, the starter would labor and most of the time stall out without enough juice. The button was on the left side of the steering column and I'd push it to kill the spark. The engine would spin up to cranking speed and I'd release the button and the engine would get fire and kick off. Worked like a charm.
Doug Lewis
Ford Performance Specialists Inc.
Atlanta Georgia (770) 949-7191

Cool solution! This one is similar (build for a conservative 420 hp) and had a similar problem. To fix it we went with a super high torque starter, so now the starter RPM is no longer an issue. The engine will crank all day at good speed hot or cold. But now the starter is so big and cranks so fast, it pulls the battery voltage below what it needs to create spark!

If I flip the ignition back from start to run, sometimes the colapsing magnetic field from the monster motor will jump the voltage to start the car just on the momentum it has build up once there is spark. Maybe a reverse circuit would work for me - a button to disable the starter relay while the key is still in the start position. I was also thinking of trying a super high voltage coil.

I'm looking at interstate batteries but they seem kind of light duty - maybe 900 CCA and 1000 CA.

I was also thinking of 2 batteries in parallel like a diesel has - one in the trunk so the engine bay still looks stock.
'71 Torino GT "M" code 359 CI shaker convertible
'96 & '98 SHO's 3.4l
'08 HHR 2.4l
'08 G6 3.9l hardtop convertible
'08 STS-V (Cobalt SS ordered - 30 MPG and 0-60 in 5.5s)

While reading your first post, I was leaning towards the high voltage
Summit battery, and then you mentioned it. ;-)
WAY ahead of me there, Sir.

Doug's solution sounds brilliant.

Here's a thought -
You could probably make up a simple voltage doubler hooked through a
small relay which only has power during cranking - figure which wire
on the ignition switch - and then discreetly send the output wire to
the coil positive. When you are cranking and your battery voltage
drops, the now 10 v will jump to 20 v until you release the ignition
switch back to the run position.


Eric Lehmann
97 Ebony 42k Welded - With the Angels Now so that I don't have to be.
Long Live the Garage Queen !
97 Ebony 182k Resurrected, Welded, Experiment in progress
96 Medium Willow Green Metallic 103k Resurrected, Welded, Eaton M90 inside
96 Rosemist 72k 2006 Best Of SHO, Popular Vote, 2007 Best Gen 3, Welded
96 Medium Graphite 120k - Resurrected, Welded
97 Pacific Green - Parting this one Out

You could also install a capacitor w/ a timer such that it is
disconnected from the coil primary circuit until after say 3 seconds
of cranking (get the fuel flowing) and it stays connected for another
3 seconds in the Run position to recharge after startup. I would
suspect that as soon as the cylinders start firing, the load on the
starter would be reduced enough that there is enough circuit voltage
to keep the ignition firing.

Dan Carman
Philadelphia, PA

I had a 70 Monte Carlo with a Passenger High Performance ( cast in the heads ) 400 big block. It came with stock compression in that range, and had been rebuilt. IIRC, they were 10.25 stock and might have been increased in the rebuild.

It had the original starter on it in ( in 1986? ) and I took the engine out and put it into a truck with a good body.

Well, the starter had always cranked very slowly, but had always cranked.

As a PM, I went ahead and replaced the stock starter when I did the engine swap.

I replaced that replacement several times over the next few months. It got to where i could do it on about 5 minutes without getting dirty...

Anyway, there was something about that starter from 1970 on that Monte Carlo that was designed to start that engine with less juice than you are talking about. The replacement starters would bolt up and the electrical connections were right, but they would not last. There was something different inside. Four or five starters were just bad rebuilds, but about as many more were just not designed for that task.

Just FWIW, not sure how it could help, but maybe someone you know knows what was different about those starters back then.

That engine had some torque...


Why not supply the ignition system from a small second battery (even a sealed lead acid as it won't be taxed heavily for any duration). Connect it to the main charging system with a normally closed relay. Tap the start solenoid switched wire to open the relay at the same time starter solenoid engages. Now your ignition system will run off of that small battery until you come out of start at which point the relay closes and chargeback of the secondary battery occurs.

aka Beaker

Hmm some VERY clever ideas here guys...<thinking>
'71 Torino GT "M" code 359 CI shaker convertible
'96 & '98 SHO's 3.4l
'08 HHR 2.4l
'08 G6 3.9l hardtop convertible
'08 STS-V (Cobalt SS ordered - 30 MPG and 0-60 in 5.5s)

Make sure the cables are up to the task. Most batteries will deliver all the current they can under heavy load and are limited by the cables. Otherwise the Odyssey batteries are great for high current discharge. Not cheap though.


Paul N

I had a truck with 2 batteries, heavy but they were also placed poorly. CCA and ability to run acc for a log time was great but factory wiring was half asp. IBatteries were not isolated weel and one battery when it got old or weak would pull down the good battery.

Tim aka Sheriff Emeritus


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