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Discussion Starter #1
Hey SF,
This past weekend, I took my 87 7MGTE for two 430 mile road trips from southern California to central AZ and back. Outside temps for both trips averaged around 100deg F. On the drive back, my temp gauge was indicating higher than normal readings and got up to about two lines below the red zone on a few long uphill climbs. But my car ran nice and strong during the whole trip.
The next morning, I tried to start the car and it won't crank. I opened the hood to check and saw that the top of my battery is deformed and no longer flat. I have a 3 yr old red top R34 Optima battery and the top of 3 front spiral cells have slightly deformed; top of cover has been pushed up slightly as if the spiral cells have expanded upwards.
A quick check with my multimeter showed the battery has 12.37 volts. I haven't taken it to my local auto parts for load testing but will probably just get a regular lead-acid replacement battery.
I'm considering using some kind of insulating material around the battery to lessen effects of heat exposure.
Anyone on here using insulation around their batteries ? Is it worth the effort?
 

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I know alot of diesel trucks and modern turbocharged cars use them. If manufacturers are putting money behind them they must do something.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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how did your fan sound during the hot parts ? specifically did it sound like a school bus / semi tractor (whoooooooo humming noise)

when the clutch fully engages to spin the fan, mine is so loud I can't even rev past 4k bc it freaks me out.

I just did a drive last week ~90 deg outside temp (no ac) and holy shit I had not heard the fan like that in a long time.

possibly there are other factors adding to your battery issue as well. did you smell sulpher (overcharging / to high voltage due to bad alt reg). did you find any other melted plastic / signs of heat ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There were no loud humming fan sounds when driving thru the hot areas of AZ and I was going speed of traffic of 75 mph and higher to pass slow vehicles. Engine speeds when cruising were between 3k to 3.5k.
That's interesting, I mentioned the fan clutch and maybe installing a double row radiator to my son when driving, but didn't think that the fan will become louder when it engages. I'll do a check on the fan clutch to make sure it hasn't failed.

And there were no unusual smells from the engine bay or inside the car. No melted plastic or wires at all. When we took a break and fueled up, I did notice the coolant reservoir showing coolant above the "Full" line but wasn't close to overflowing though. And, it looks like I didn't lose oil or coolant.

Just for grins, I hooked up the battery again and tried to start the car. Dashboard lights up normally and I can hear the fuel pump running when I turn on ignition but starter does not engage and crank engine over. Not even a ticking sound at starter to indicate low voltage.

Since I did this about a month ago, I'm fairly sure my battery cables are still good and connections are tight but I'll double check my wires again just in case.
 

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There is a ground wire to look at that usually ends up getting fried.

no click. you can always try to by pass the key and get one of these and attempt to crank over the car. One side goes to 12v and the other goes to the brown portion on the starter...

251794
 

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I would be very careful messing around that deformed battery*

(the more info you shared is somewhat alarming / could point to a dangerous bat situation I encountered before)

safety glasses, do not lean over it etc!!!!!!!!!!!

its possible there is an internal short situation going on. meaning it can output 12v.....but once you get over a few amps it heats up and opens up. the internal plates. then cools down, makes contact and appears to have a charge

BATTERIES LIKE THAT CAN EXPLODE !!!

happened to me once on a commercial mower. unit came back reeking like sulfer, not lifting its decks correct etc. told the guy to wash it down, and we let it cool. went to jump start it (was dead) and the instant the cable touched the terminal BOOM. blew the top off the battery case, missed me and I had glasses on. was louder than a shotgun.

BE CAREFUL homie !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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id get rid of that battery asap. sounds like it might have shorted internally, kinda like a capacitor. temp extremes are not good for batteries, this is why i've always had mine insulated. doubt it makes a difference but ive only put 3 batteries in my car in almost 20 years. also, i ditched those optima batteries a long time ago for a toyota battery. toyota/exide/interstate batteries work great, they're pretty much made by the same people anyway.
 

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I would forgo Optima batteries altogether and get any other AGM based battery.

Northstar
X2Power (from Battery Plus).
LiPo based battery though light still unproven in constant drain/charge in automotive application. They are highly unforgiving when not constantly deep cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the warnings and feedback; much appreciated especially since I'm not familiar with AGM batteries. (Mine came with my Supra when I bought it.)
I've had good experience with Interstate batteries in the past so I'll be looking at getting one of those.
 

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1987 Supra Turbo R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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I'm also in SoCal and was thinking about taking my 87T for a trip to Vegas and back.

Even without high temperatures, that I-15 drive involves going from sea level thru 4 or 5 4K foot summits, bottoming out in Baker at 942 feet. That 9 mile straight climb out of Baker is notorious for over heating cars, trucks, motorhomes.

I just replaced my radiator and thermostat with Mishimoto gear a couple of months ago. For coolant I used Redline water wetter, Toyota red and regular water. So far the difference between my stock replacement radiator and Autozone thermostat has be phenomenal. Before I would get that temp creep up climbing hills that would never fully cool down while driving.

What are you running cooling wise?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm currently running the Valvoline Zerex red/pink coolant (premixed). Stock radiator and 180deg t'stat.
I made a round trip to Vegas this past February in the Supra and didn't have any issues; the cooler weather helped I'm sure.
I even helped a stranded SUV along the way; it needed a jump start, lol.
 

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1987 Supra Turbo R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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One thing I do recommend so far with my setup is the thermostat. Mishimoto calls it a "racing thermostat" and it opens at 158F. I've noticed my car gets to operating temperature quickly, and have yet to make the needle budge off of that classic Toyota position of just a bit under halfway up the gauge. I can tell just by its construction its a better unit than I had, but it is priced much higher at around $60.

I guess the true test will be a really hot day but so far its been a noticeable difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmm, lots of good reviews on that Mishimoto racing t'stat. I might have to check it out and see what all the fuss is about :).

Update: Borrowed a good working battery to see if I can start the car and still no good (dashboard lights up normally but does not crank when ignition is turned on). Looks like I'll be checking my wires between battery and starter. And maybe pickup that remote starter mentioned by figgie.

I'll also check my clutch start switch & make sure it's not broken.
By the way, would the theft deterrent computer somehow factor in with my problem?
 

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Honestly,

deformed battery means remove and replace battery.
Any of the "old" tech batteries will work.

DO NOT CONTINUE USING THE DEFORMED OPTIMA.
 

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^^Agreed. Get that battery out of there. You don't want it to explode, leak, catch fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Honestly,

deformed battery means remove and replace battery.
Any of the "old" tech batteries will work.

DO NOT CONTINUE USING THE DEFORMED OPTIMA.
^^Agreed. Get that battery out of there. You don't want it to explode, leak, catch fire.
Yes, the Optima battery is already out of the car. I'll install a new "old tech" battery after I get my wiring sorted out.

still sounds like a battery. if everything else works right and still doesnt crank then i'd look at the starter relay and wires.
I'm starting to check wiring now since the car still wouldn't crank after I installed a known good battery from another Supra.
 

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Engineer here. Agree it’s a liklihood that the battery internals transiently shorted to some extent. The kind of deformation you’re describing requires temperatures well beyond underhood temperatures during hot day hill climbs.

I also suspect the wiring to the starter, or even the starter’s internal wiring, could have played a role. Even so far as to initiating a failure that cascaded to your battery. A hot short through the relay (no fuse protection) comes to mind.

In other words, I’d suggest replacing the starter, inspecting/repairing the starter wiring, and a new (any kind) of battery.
 
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