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

Joined
Sep 13, 2021
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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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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
 
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Joined
Apr 27, 2012
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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
Mar 6, 2016
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193
Location
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. 😁
 
Joined
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Messages
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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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