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6-volt long skinny batteries getting hard to get


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I just went to buy a new battery for my 1939 Buick today, and only one auto parts store could supply one...Advanced Auto Parts.  Even NAPA could not supply a fresh battery and O'Reilly could not supply one at all.  These are the long, skinny, six volt batteries Buick used for years and years.  I guess it is just part of the general overall decline in the U.S. markets.

 

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Tractor Supply typically has them in stock anytime. Apparently there are more 6 volt tractors out there that still use them than there are old cars out there that use them.

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I switched to Optima many year back for a couple of reasons..... availibity,  life,  and I had to have help putting the original type in the car.  

I showed the car (but not in BCA 400 point judging)  to hide the bright red top of the optima,  I found a black plastic trash can that could be cut down and fit over the battery'

I cut holes for the battery terminals,  and that little battery turned that big 320 engine over like a charm.    I was only getting 1 year life out of the original style batteries and the last Optima 

lasted 5 years.    

Not a great photo but here was my method of hiding that Optima

DSCN1435.JPG

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/18/2021 at 5:11 PM, Dynaflash8 said:

These are the long, skinny, six volt batteries Buick used for years and years.

 

 

When you think about it Buick used the long battery from 1938 to 1953, 15 years with an interruption for a war. So 67 years after they were discontinued is a pretty good run of availability even if they stopped today.

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 I occasionally buy one, and last year got one at a local battery vendor who sells nothing but batteries.  I have also checked at Advanced Auto and the local Interstate guy as well as Tractor Supply and they’ve all said if they dont have it, they can get one in a few days.

Mine seem to last two or three years.  Hopefully the supply issue is just one of people not wanting to show up for work and that will work itself out.  I know the group 2e is almost impossible to find so I switched to the group 3e which is stronger but slightly taller.  I just use a longer j-bolt for the tie-down.  Nobody knows unless there is a sharp-eyed judge looking at my car.

Edited by Century Eight (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

I noticed the "3E" series from NAPA would seemingly run itself down more quickly in the last few years of buying them. Running a trickle charger during winter to keep it topped off helped extend them noticeably. 
 

Batteries are one of those things like gas in the tank - you kind of need whatever works. I'm not running 1953 gas, either. Want to deduct a point for that too? Sure. Knock yourself out. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I go to Interstate Batteries for my '38 Special.  They make the same package that the Buick used originally - told me it is referred to as a "combine battery".  Picture the long skinny engine compartment of a combine, I guess.  The first battery I had for my Buick came from one of the Buick parts guys (it was 30 years ago, so I won't mention the name or continue to hold it against them).  It did not last.  The CCA of that battery was in the neighborhood of 350 CCA, while the Interstate is available in something like 650 CCA.  They have lasted me for years.  I peel off the label and it looks appropriate as well.

 

Jeff

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On 9/25/2021 at 4:51 PM, JBP said:

I noticed the "3E" series from NAPA would seemingly run itself down more quickly in the last few years of buying them. Running a trickle charger during winter to keep it topped off helped extend them noticeably. 
 

Batteries are one of those things like gas in the tank - you kind of need whatever works. I'm not running 1953 gas, either. Want to deduct a point for that too? Sure. Knock yourself out. 

 

 

I get about 2 years out of a 3E

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The Interstate distribution centers usually carry a stock of what they call Blems. I have been buying them since the early 1990's and never noticed any major blemishes. I call our local center from time to time to check on Group 27 and Group 24 blems. Last year they had some 27's come in so I bought two. $45 exchange, not bad.

About two weeks ago the Interstate blem in my '60 Electra failed. I think I put it in around 2011.. Popped in the new one and off I went.

Give them a call. A 3E could easily come up as a blem. Although I did buy a new first grade 3E from them for a '48 Packard I had.

 

The guys at the Rochester, NY Interstate Center couldn't be friendlier. Always the best service. And they sell a whole range of household batteries at good prices, too.

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