East Penn vs Johnson Control (Clarios) H8 / Group 49 AGM?

Joined
Sep 13, 2021
Messages
1
Hi folks,

I've been reading various threads on batteries as I will need a Group 49 / H8 battery for my old w124 Mercedes at some point.
My general understanding after reading many many many threads here is that of the three main battery manufacturers,
  • East Penn > JCI (Clarios) > EXIDE
To that end, the last battery I purchased was an East-Penn AGM sold under the "Napa Legends Premium" label and I have been satisfied with that purchase. I noted at the time that the East-Penn sourced battery and various competing AGM JCI (Clarios) batteries sold by Autozone (Duralast), Pepboys (Champion), and others had the same exact specifications in terms of CA and CCA. The East Penn battery had a 10 min lower reserve capacity than the JCI (Clarios) at 120min vs 130min, yet the East Penn battery was 47.5 lbs versus the JCI (Clarios) at 44.4 lbs so I convinced myself that the East Penn was the way to go (more lead=better?).

That being said, I find myself in the position to have to shop for a Group 49 / H8 battery in some time, and, again, I have been looking at East Penn vs. JCI (Clarios). To my dismay, I have found the following information, which *feels* inconsistent with the conventional wisdom that East Penn > JCI (Clarios) ---- perhaps this is because I know nothing about batteries / tradeoffs/ compromises aside from comparing "Feeds and Speeds". That is to say, I don't know what kinds of compromises are made in the quest for the biggest number in the specifications. This is what I have found:

  • NAPA - East Penn
    • CA - 975A
    • CCA - 850A
    • Reserve - 170min
    • Weight - 58 lbs
  • Autozone - JCI (Clarios)
    • CA - 1000A
    • CCA - 900A
    • Reserve - 160min
    • Weight - 60.76 lbs

Interestingly enough, O-Reillys seems to carry both models too, the East-Penn one under the 49PLT SKU and the JCI (Clarios) under the 49PLTJ SKU.
Any advice from folks that know how to make a decision between these two?

Thanks.

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Joined
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Missouri
My Advance Auto Die Hard AGM battery (24F) in my Sienna was purchased 6/23/15 and still cranks like new.
Hopefully they haven't changed it's construction since then. I plan on purchasing the same in the future.
 
Joined
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Make sure you look at the warranties. Most of Napa's batteries only have 18 months free replacements.

O'Reilly's have 36 month free replacement.
And the Pepboys battery has a 48 month warranty. Maybe it doesn't really matter, I have the original AGM battery that came with my car, In about another 2 months, it will be 14 years old. I guess inflation is real, now they only do 10% off on batteries. Wonder if there will be any black friday sales, they used to do 30-40% off in pre-covid times.
 
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when I was looking at batteries Pep Boys had the best warranty...problem with warranties someone has to be around to honor them...the Pep Boys around me have all gone belly up...

Good luck with your choice

Bill
 
Joined
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when I was looking at batteries Pep Boys had the best warranty...problem with warranties someone has to be around to honor them...the Pep Boys around me have all gone belly up...

Good luck with your choice

Bill
They're doing better in some areas than others. All the ones near me are still around and they've been there for years.

And my almost 14 year H8 battery is a Varta which was JCI/Clarios.
 
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I just got an H8 AGM for my truck so the information is fresh in my mind.

Odyssey is 950 CCA at $300
Costco interstate 900 CCA was $180
NAPA Legend 850 CCA was $180

There were also the Duracell or Diehard brand names which I believe were JCI manufactured for ~ $220.

I ordered the Osyssey from NAPA however after waiting 16 days they had issues getting it from the distributor. It was cancelled.

The NAPA Legend battery with rewards 20% off plus $20 rebate was by far the best deal. It was $120 plus core charge. The quality of EP also was reassuring considering the warranty is only 18 months, however the price after discounts was incredible.

NAPA has a current promo that ends tomorrow if you sign up to be a rewards member that will net a $41 discount on their H8.
 

RAR

Joined
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263
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Minnesota
I use this same size battery in the Charger in my signature.

I was using an AC Delco sourced from my local Menards… ran and started fine but I kept getting a check engine light for my new O2 sensors that was always a high and then low voltage to them. All of them. It was intermittent so I left it for a while. But it was annoying.

I considered an AGM, but I decided to go with a standard flooded battery instead. And it wasn’t any of the “approved by BITOG” ones.. it was an Exide with 950 CCA from my local farm and fleet. It starts the car very nicely and no more voltage issues.

On the old W124, do you absolutely need the AGM? I would recommend it on the newer Euro cars simply to put off the little electrical quirks these cars show when the battery is on the outs, or is new but not quite up to the job (like my Menards battery). The old 190e I’m going to drag into my shop in a few weeks? Basic flooded battery will be put in to do the job.

My two pennies for what it’s worth. 😁
 
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I use this same size battery in the Charger in my signature.

I was using an AC Delco sourced from my local Menards… ran and started fine but I kept getting a check engine light for my new O2 sensors that was always a high and then low voltage to them. All of them. It was intermittent so I left it for a while. But it was annoying.

I considered an AGM, but I decided to go with a standard flooded battery instead. And it wasn’t any of the “approved by BITOG” ones.. it was an Exide with 950 CCA from my local farm and fleet. It starts the car very nicely and no more voltage issues.

On the old W124, do you absolutely need the AGM? I would recommend it on the newer Euro cars simply to put off the little electrical quirks these cars show when the battery is on the outs, or is new but not quite up to the job (like my Menards battery). The old 190e I’m going to drag into my shop in a few weeks? Basic flooded battery will be put in to do the job.

My two pennies for what it’s worth. 😁
I think the charging algorithm is slightly different for the AGM and if your car didn't come with one, then it'd be fine to put in a non AGM battery. My 2008 E-350 came with the AGM so I'll put that in when it comes time for it. But my AGM is almost 14 years old at this point.
 
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i seen on this forum that Johnson Controls was bought out OVERSEAS, but East Penn near me in Reading Pa area + also remember reading due to shipping cost Wally sources from the closer suppliers + my Wally batteries are said to be East Penn. whatever you have keep it well charged for a long life!!
 
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The Clarios DIN AGMs I’ve seen(Costco and O’Reilly) are made in Germany or Spain by Varta. Deka would be the better of them for quality but I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Clarios if it does say Made in Germany or Spain on it.
 
Joined
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The Clarios DIN AGMs I’ve seen(Costco and O’Reilly) are made in Germany or Spain by Varta. Deka would be the better of them for quality but I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Clarios if it does say Made in Germany or Spain on it.
I have an AC Delco AGM H8 (group 49) purchased about 3.5 years ago...also marked "Made in Germany"...I assumed it is probably a Varta...but only because that is the only battery manufacturer I familiar with from Germany. :)

It was top rated by Consumer Reports (in the Group 49 category) at the time of purchase. For the first couple years it would load test at around 1015 CCA (rated at 900 CCA). Even today, it still load tests at around 925 CCA.
 
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when I was looking at batteries Pep Boys had the best warranty...problem with warranties someone has to be around to honor them...the Pep Boys around me have all gone belly up...

Good luck with your choice

Bill
I sweat through that detail just recently. The Champion (Clarios) AGM H8 battery in my E350 recently tested bad. It is 36 months old, with a 48 month warranty . . . from Pep Boys. Pep Boys closed all their parts stores, here in Utah, about a year ago or so. Fortunately, they only closed the parts stores, and kept their service shops open. So the service shop honored the warranty and installed a new Champion AGM H8 in my car. If the service shops weren't still open in my area, I suspect I would have been buying a new battery from Costco.

With the battery installed, I looked the best that I could for Made In info, but could not find it. It would be interesting to know where it was made.

Admittedly, I did buy this battery on price and warranty. At the time I got it, Costco didn't carry AGM batteries. At least not in my local market. And I didn't want to pay the price for a new MB battery. It was hard to beat $150 and a 48 month warranty. Of course it was inconvenient to deal with getting the replacement battery. But the good news is, after 3 years to the month, I've got a brand new battery for the cost of install.
 
Joined
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Messages
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I sweat through that detail just recently. The Champion (Clarios) AGM H8 battery in my E350 recently tested bad. It is 36 months old, with a 48 month warranty . . . from Pep Boys. Pep Boys closed all their parts stores, here in Utah, about a year ago or so. Fortunately, they only closed the parts stores, and kept their service shops open. So the service shop honored the warranty and installed a new Champion AGM H8 in my car. If the service shops weren't still open in my area, I suspect I would have been buying a new battery from Costco.

With the battery installed, I looked the best that I could for Made In info, but could not find it. It would be interesting to know where it was made.

Admittedly, I did buy this battery on price and warranty. At the time I got it, Costco didn't carry AGM batteries. At least not in my local market. And I didn't want to pay the price for a new MB battery. It was hard to beat $150 and a 48 month warranty. Of course it was inconvenient to deal with getting the replacement battery. But the good news is, after 3 years to the month, I've got a brand new battery for the cost of install.
I noticed with online photos that all the AC Delco AGM batteries no longer have a country of origin on the labels or cases. they used to all say "Made in Germany".
 
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If you have a choice, East/Penn Deka is the better choice.

The Clarios DIN AGMs I’ve seen(Costco and O’Reilly) are made in Germany or Spain by Varta. Deka would be the better of them for quality but I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Clarios if it does say Made in Germany or Spain on it.
the walmart clarios everstart h8 is made in germany

Clarios owns Varta :sneaky:
 
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Seattle, WA USA
I just got an H8 AGM for my truck so the information is fresh in my mind.

Odyssey is 950 CCA at $300
Costco interstate 900 CCA was $180
NAPA Legend 850 CCA was $180

There were also the Duracell or Diehard brand names which I believe were JCI manufactured for ~ $220.

I ordered the Osyssey from NAPA however after waiting 16 days they had issues getting it from the distributor. It was cancelled.

The NAPA Legend battery with rewards 20% off plus $20 rebate was by far the best deal. It was $120 plus core charge. The quality of EP also was reassuring considering the warranty is only 18 months, however the price after discounts was incredible.

NAPA has a current promo that ends tomorrow if you sign up to be a rewards member that will net a $41 discount on their H8.
Duracell car batteries are manufactured by East Penn.

I had good luck with an Odyssey AGM back when then use to make them for Sears under the Sears Diehard Platinum AGM brand. Their normally $300+ battery was available from Sears private label for $150. It was top rated by Consumer Reports as well at the time (9 or 10 years ago). I have no idea who makes Sears AGM batteries now, but Odyssey stopped making them for Sears about 6 or 7 years ago.
 
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Duracell car batteries are manufactured by East Penn.

I had good luck with an Odyssey AGM back when then use to make them for Sears under the Sears Diehard Platinum AGM brand. Their normally $300+ battery was available from Sears private label for $150. It was top rated by Consumer Reports as well at the time (9 or 10 years ago). I have no idea who makes Sears AGM batteries now, but Odyssey stopped making them for Sears about 6 or 7 years ago.
What kind of life did you get out of the Diehard labeled Odyssey batteries that you have owned? I've considered buying an Odyssey, when buying a battery. I've heard accounts of getting very long service (8-10 years and longer) out of them. And I've also seen others state that they got no longer life out of their Odyssey battery, than they have out of any other auto battery, AGM or flooded.
 
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