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Lightweight racing batteries: Good for handling or just a load of hassle?

warren_S5 Dec 6, 2011

  1. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Whilst I've been sat in waiting rooms and other such pleasantries over the last couple of weeks I've been thinking through my strategy for how the S3 handles.

    I don't think it's unfair to say the 8P could ever be accused of being anything other than robust in a Kirstie Allsopp kind of way, and whilst I want a car that is entertaining to drive with a turn in that inspires some confidence and satisfaction, I've gone past the age where I'm prepared to strip out the interior, remove air con pumps or sell a kidney to fund some Dymag rims to shave off a few kilos.

    The simplest way to knock a considerable amount of weight over the front axle is a simple battery change, by replacing the heavy lead acid unit that is supplied at factory with a lightweight racing unit like the once you can buy from Demon Tweeks et al (Red Tops and Extreme Racing units).

    Some profess to be pretty much for racing use only with poor cold start and short charge hold lifespans, but some (specifically the Odyssey Extreme Racing Batteries) profess to be able to exceed OEM batteries in pretty much all areas whilst saving up to 10kgs in weight.

    Seeing that the battery is mounted painfully high in the car, and weighs so much (surely it must affect roll, ride and handling), does anyone know if there would be any tangiable benefit to forking out £120+ VAT for one of these super skinny 5.4kg batteries, or are there any serious negative aspects which would ultimately drive you insane for the benefits reaped? I appreciate as everything else is so porky losing 10kgs might be so insignificant it might do little more than give you a placebo effect, but is there anyone who has run with one in a daily driver and know of the benefits of what they're like asan every day proposition?

    Here is a link to one of the units in question: Extreme Racing 18 Battery

    Thanks in advance

    W
     
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  3. munchkincoupe

    munchkincoupe Registered User

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  4. Gavin0478

    Gavin0478 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    didnt i read somewhere that the a3/s3 has a battery holder in the boot.......
    can you just not move it?
     
  5. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    I put the battery in the boot of my Audi as there was already a battery box there fitted from the factory. I have a light weight battery fitted in the front of my R32 and had no problems. The only time you start to get problems is if you try to fit a smaller battery in the boot or a light weight battery in the front that is to small. Lots of the R32 turbo guys fit race battery`s in the States with no problems. If you get a gel battery make sure you get the correct charger for it.
     
  6. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Thanks for the comments guys. As the car is so new I don't really want to do a full relocation. I have precious little boot space with Quattro as it is, and by doing the battery conversion up front saves evasive wiring changes, and might enable me to broaden my intake options.

    Never thought a race battery would cope with day to day running of a car with a lot of electrical gubbins on it, so useful to see other members of the VAG stable making it work.
     
  7. S.

    S. Save the manuals

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    i think that the facelifts don't have battery box in the boot. IMHO i think that's not much weight saving for that money and doubt that you would feel difference in handling. rather go lightweight wheels or coils or arb's or something like that. if you want to improve handling.
     
  8. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    If you do get a battery make sure it is the right size to fit. I bought a Odyssey race extreme battery for the R32 which fitted in the space but was the wrong size for the standard battery holder. The extreme is the best version of light weight battery Odyssey do without going to the £1000 + lithium battery`s you can get. Changin gthe battery is one of the cheapest ways to remove weight from the car. People buy carbon bonnets etc for £500 + which loss less weight the changing the battery. By the time i bought a proper odyssey battery hold or modded my one and get the wiring etc to the high standard i wanted it was cheaper just to get the correct size battery to fit the holder. I have still got the Odyssey battery at TRD in Stroud if you want to try it Warren.
     
  9. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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  10. Gavin0478

    Gavin0478 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    how about smash the glass roof and replace it with carbon?????
     
  11. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    People have cut the roof off drag/race cars and fitted a carbon panel. As long as you have a full wield in roll cage to keep the frame ridged there is no problem.
     
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  13. munchkincoupe

    munchkincoupe Registered User

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    I need a new battery so exactly which one of these Odyssey batteries is the one I need - both power and size wise?
    Thanks
     
  14. paddy

    paddy Registered User

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    I really cant see this making the slightest difference unless done as a part of a real weight saving campaign.
    The ave audi 18" is about 12kg, a lightweight wheel would be about 8kg..."Losing 1kg of rotational weight (ie wheel weight) is the straightline performance equivilent to removing 10kg from your car" so work it out. :)
    I see where you are coming from, the cheapest way to increase power to weight ratio is always to lose weight but really losing unsprung weight is far better for handling. I always thought that once the 3.2 got old i would remove the excess weight and very quickly give it a power weight ratio far better than an S3,,but its another plan i didnt finish :)
     
  15. flying oyster

    flying oyster flying oyster

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    paddy you gotta let go the 3.2 has gone have you thought of counselling lol
     
  16. paddy

    paddy Registered User

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    NO No.. dont say that !! its not gone..its just not here any more but i am sure it still thinks of me sometimes :-( It would have been brilliant had it not weighed 3.7 tons :)
     
  17. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    So did you do anything then Warren? The odyssey 18 battery you where looking at is very small and does have much grunt behind it. You sure it is strong enough to start your car and run audio equipment etc on a daily bases ?
     
  18. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Hi mate

    I'm holding fire for a month or so as Revo / ITG are looking at some alternative intake options for me which could be costly, and I may also be changing wheels next month.

    Christmas costs and hospital visits have also got in the way so this is on back burner rather than shelved. Do have worries about running all the electrics, especially as these cars have the intelligent shut down of stuff until adequate charge rates are reached which could prove to be a F-PITA. Any changes must retain OEM convenience!
     
  19. a3tdi2001

    a3tdi2001 Registered User

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    Seem to remember from my bike racing days that every kg shaved from unsprung weight is worth 3 kg shaved from sprung weight in terms of handling. Must be similar for cars surely? Wheels and suspension first, rest of the car second.
     
  20. legin

    legin Registered User

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    I used them in my race cars but wouldnt touch them for a road car. They are easy to break (electrical sense) struggle with all the electric gismos and pretty expensive. Looked after they can be made to last ok. Better things to waste money on.
     
  21. paddy

    paddy Registered User

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    Did you read my post 12 ? :) The factors change on a car because of the ratio of unsprung weight to sprung weight. You are right though. Its much easier to see all this in action if you take a stock pair of wheels off something like a 916/996 and put a set of Magnesium Marvic's on then see how fast it turns in :)
    I still say it would be imposable to detect any difference in handling by moving or lightening the battery especially as it is bang over the wheels anyway..I also agree wheels first but dont say suspension...lol :) 99% of people here forget handling and go for looks when it comes to suspension.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  22. Gavin0478

    Gavin0478 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    dont forget when you start shedding weight you need to run a softer spring rate and softer arb,s due to their being less weight to act on them.
     
  23. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral Gold Supporter

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    Nicely put guys.

    I've managed to resist this temptation as the weight savings are really pretty small,and 10kgs out of 1500 kgs isn't worth worrying about.

    I saved around 30kgs on the brakes,and a bit on the exhaust also,but you really need to be stripping a car out(and we all know what that does to the resale value) to make big savings on weight.
     
  24. Boydie

    Boydie S3 8V DSG VCDS Map User

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    I am in the boat of "my battery keeps dying" so looking to replace it either with standard or a smaller/lighter battery like the one posted above:

    Odyssey Extreme 18 Racing Battery

    What do you guys think?
     
  25. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Moderator VCDS Map User

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    I've been steered away from it as I don't use my car every day and have been told that because of all the electrics on the car it won't deliver enough value to offset the weight loss as I may need to charge it occasionally which for me is a big no ; it will always happen when I need it least! Reliability is king!
     
  26. devonmikeyboy

    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    I was advised not to go anything smaller an Odyssey 25 unless you track the car as your start to get starting problems etc in the cold. I have a brand new unneeded Odyssey extreme 30 in my garage if you want to try a light weight battery. I ended up fitting an extreme 35 to my R32 as wanted to make sure i didn`t have any starting issues as it is my everyday work car and start work at 4am.
     

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