$5K Budget Build: Adding A New Battery To Be Prepared For Anything

Selecting a new battery is more than just heading down to the local auto parts store and finding one that fits a vehicle. For us, and our $5K budget 1992 Chevrolet Silverado K1500, it was time to make sure that we stayed juiced for years to come.

We knew that this truck would be seeing time off-road and wanted to make sure we would be prepared for the dirt as well as any future accessories that would be installed on the truck. To make sure we were cleared, we turned to Optima Batteries.

Don’t Look At The Color

When it comes to selecting a battery for your vehicle thinking about the future use of the vehicle is important. If it is not thought of, two purchases may be in store for you.

“Optima Yellowtop Batteries are dual-purpose batteries, offering strong engine cranking power and the ability to be deep-cycled,” Jim McIlvaine, eCare Manager, Optima Batteries explained. “As a result, they can recover from deep discharges repeatedly, which is especially important for applications with significant electrical accessories like winches and refrigerators that can consume a lot of energy.”

We opted to go with PN 8014-045 as we knew it would fit in the truck and give us all the power we needed.

As much as we wanted to go with a Redtop to keep things colorwise the same, it was not the right choice for what our K1500 would be doing. In the end, it was less about the color of the battery, but the abilities of what we were putting under the hood.

“Redtop batteries are designed and warrantied for SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition) applications,” McIlvaine said. “They can be used when the discharge cycle is shallow and the alternator takes over after the battery starts the vehicle. Redtops are a better option for enthusiasts who have stock or minimal electrical loads or a daily driver.”

On the other side of the battery spectrum for trucks is the Yellowtop. McIlvaine explained, “Yellowtop batteries are ideal for off-road use, as they are well-suited for applications with significant electrical accessories and high-demand usage, as well as vehicles without charging systems.”

Regardless of what battery gets put under the hood, they all feature the same technology. “Optima’s signature Six Pack design means the spiral-wound AGM cells are compressed into one sealed case, giving the battery extreme resistance to vibration,” McIlvaine said. “The solid cast straps that connect the cells offer lower resistance, which allows for better energy delivery and faster recharges than a more fragile, intercell weld commonly used on flat-plate batteries.”

“The 99.99 percent pure virgin lead used also offers better performance and a longer lifespan, especially in extreme temperatures, making them a great option for demanding off-road environments,” McIlvaine continued. Knowing we would be covered in the dirt, the hood opened and it was time to get our hands dirty.

Switching Out Before The Trail

Swapping a battery is not rocket science and the list of places people have had to change a battery is probably as long as Santa’s naughty list. It requires basic hand tools, but the part of a simple install can leave you stranded at the worst time.

Popping the hood on our K1500 the battery is on the passenger side and within 10 minutes, we had swapped our used battery for Optima’s Yellowtop. One thing area that we could really see the difference in immediately was starting the truck.


The truck started with more ease and better than it had since we had bought the truck. Double checking all of our connections it was time to clean up and take the truck for a spin.

Swapping the battery it also looked like we solved one of our electrical issues with the truck. The battery that came with the truck did not appear that it could handle normal working conditions.

Before (left) and after (right) our Optima Yellowtop install.

Altogether, we are very happy with the install even if it is not the color we wanted because we know that we will be prepared for our time in the dirt. For more information on Optima and to find a battery for your vehicle, be sure to check out their website. Stay tuned for more with our $5,000 budget build Chevrolet K1500.

About the author

Steven Olsewski

Steven Olsewski grew up with a true passion for anything with a motor. He loves his wife and kids, and during the year can be found enjoying quality time together. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.
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