My 2007 Sprinter starter battery - branding evidence

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jdcaples

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We all know that Sprinters in the NAFTA region were not sold by MB USA, LLC's dealerships; Daimler's licensee was Freightliner and then Dodge.

Most of us know that this will change on Jan 1st, 2010 and Sprinters in the US will be a product managed by MB USA, LLC, wearing the Three-Pointed Star.

I was curious about my starter battery specifications (CCA, Amp hours etc), so today I uncovered it to take a look.

I couldn't believe what I found....


DSC_0247.JPG

What's that blacked out? (note the red arrow). Up close, it was clearly indelible ink... like a Sharpie pen....

I grabbed some acetone (it takes Sharpie off whiteboards, if you're a white collar guy like me, who accidentally uses a Sharpie instead of erasable markers).

Look what's underneath...

DSC_0248.JPG

I know that Daimler part numbers are on the Freightliner logos, the Dodge logos, the wheel coverings lack MB stars; but to order Sharpie pens for factory workers to redact the MB relationship - clearly visible on the battery - that's just.... unbelievable to me... especially since they didn't block out the MB logo to the left.

-Jon

or maybe they were just covering up "made in the usa?" I still don't see the economic reason for this...
 
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Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
Jon it's the way it goes with NAFTA and local content but the batt! should be 88-100 Amp
You guys sure love acetone:smilewink:
 

piper1

Resident Oil Nerd.
It could be as simple as not letting an end user know where he could possibly source a battery (a non standard size that if he needed in a hurry he would only find at the dealer$). FYI, my German assembled 2008 (Canadian vans are built in the motherland) has a Varta battery from Germany with very few MB markings on it.

Either way Jon, interesting find!!!
 

CocoaVan

New member
East Penn Manufacturing (Deka & MK brands). Not surprised, as they are one of the quality manufacturers of batteries here in the US. In my area, you can buy EPM/Deka batteries from NAPA (labeled as NAPA).

http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/0379.pdf

Brian
 

jdcaples

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I'm surprised MB didn't specify in the contract that the blacked out stuff be missing from the label.

I guess the supplier could have redacted the data before delivery.

No matter what, someone dropped the ball.

Brian (CocoaVan),

Do you think it's one of the two BCI group 49s on your PDF (thanks for that, btw.) ?

-Jon


PS: I just realized only one of the models listed is AGM. Do you think that's it?
 
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CocoaVan

New member
Jon,
I should look at my Sprinter's starting battery one of these days. Your's appears to be a BCI Group 49 battery. It probably is the Deka 9AGM49. I believe the NAPA part number for that battery is BAT9849. I'll call NAPA and ask them if that is the correct match. In the past, they've cross-referenced the OEM battery model numbers for me.

Brian
 

BBlessing

61k happy miles
jon, you spend way too much time alone with your sprinter!:thumbup: thanks for making me take up my floor mat! :clapping: my starter batery is a german made varta, and the aux is also varta, but made in the czeck republic. no marker cover-ups on these babies! :rad:

bb
 

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jdcaples

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Resurrecting this thread, but with a focus on the AGM replacement....


I could swear I read somewhere that my AGM factory battery was a three year battery. I just can't find it right now... or maybe I was hallucinating.

Either way, it made me wonder if we 2007 owners will begin replacing our starter batteries in the next 12 months.

I was looking the Braille Group 49 offering.

I reviewed this thread....
Then I reviewed Brian's posting about Deka: and finally then looked at the posting by josephpampliega.

Here is the Braille offering:
B10049v01sm.jpg

Here is the (East Penn) Deka - aka EPD -
eas9agm49.jpg

Here's the NAPA Legend (napa part BAT 9849)
678670.jpg


To me, it looks like the same casing on all the batteries; really similar to the form factor (color notwithstanding) of my factory AGM battery.


I think these are all suitable replacement start AGM NCV3 batteries.

What do you think?

Oh, and before anyone mentions it, I can't find any CCA specs for our factory (AGM) batteries. If you know them please post the CCA spec. If you know why these batteries are not a suitable alternative to the MB part number, I'd love to read your thoughts.

I think the factory battery labeling indicates the same manufacturer (EPD), aka East Penn aka East Penn Deka, the same source of the OEM equipment sells the above batteries for Braille, Napa and its own Deka line.

-Jon
 
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Chandlerazman

New member
John, you made me go out and pull up the cover on my battery! My battery is a Varta unit made in Germany. What is the price of that Braille battery? I installed a 3000 watt inverter in my van with 2/0 cables to the battery. It is handling it just perfectly but would like the security of a AGM battery. I thought the stock batteries for the Sprinter were the lead acid type seeing how it has a little "gas" breather hose. I didn't really get into the battery label once I've seen the varta logo.
 

jdcaples

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MSRP on the Braille Endurance is USD $260.00 - I don't know how the typical retail/street price drifts from that value.

Call Hollywood Racing on West Freemont Rd. in Phoenix. Maybe they can order Braille Battery part number B10049 for you.... somehow, I doubt it's on the shelf :)


-Jon

PS: If you buy it, please post pictures of how well it fits. :)

PPS: Jegs is selling it for a few dollars less:
http://www.jegs.com/i/Braille+Auto/147/B10049/10002/-1
 
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jdcaples

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Regardless of the postings about East-Penn Deka being the OEM for my factory NCV3 starter battery, the NAPA Group 49, and the others.... The Braille Endurance specs are greater in terms of CCA and a bit better in amp hours. I don't know if that's marketing or if Deka built a better version of it for Braille, or if Braille really did design it but used a Deka case.... Braille says it's theirs, but it looks way too similar to all the other group 49 batteries to make me think it's all theirs from the ground up.

Anyway, I ordered one. I'll probably do a write up on it, including if it fits in my battery well, and what both the Braille Endurance and my 2 year old factory battery shows on my Schumacher DSR 12500A tester/charger; and how it performs compared to the 2 year old factory battery in equivalent Seattle winter weather (something like -9C/15F mornings).

-Jon
 

Diamondsea

New member
About 3 years ago I was replacing some batteries on my boat making a choice between East Penn Deka and the same battery made by East Penn and sold by West Marine stores. I had my boatyard get East Penn batteries from the East Penn distribution organization. Upon arrival I noticed that the capacity specs on the East Penn labels were slightly lower than the advertised capacity of the West Marine batteries and I verified this by looking at the labels on the same batteries at a West Marine store. I contacted East Penn to find out what was going on and received this information: East Penn tests batteries and there is always some variation. They label on their own brand batteries capacities that (based on the testing) 90 percent of the batteries will meet and 10 percent will be under due to the random variation. Their contract with West Marine required them to label capacities that the average battery would meet; that is, the 50 percent point so half would be better and half under. I was assured that the batteries were absolutely the same. This can account for some batteries made by East Penn and sold under different names having slightly higher ratings on the labels!
 

jdcaples

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Well, the marketing worked on me. Thanks, Diamondsea. I learned something. I'll call the premium I paid over the NAPA version "tuition." Although, Braille insists they made the battery, not EPD..... I don't know how to independently verify that claim.

-Jon
 

Diamondsea

New member
It is possible I guess for a battery maker to use the same external cases and tops as East Penn but make their own batteries. I do not know if East Penn buys cases from another party or molds their own. My guess is that they make their own as they are very much a vertically integrated company including their own lead smelters. A call to East Penn might answer that question. Even if they make their own they could sell empty cases to others. In the case of West Marine they freely admit that East Penn makes their batteries as West manufactures nothing themselves. Lots of gamesmanship is involved in the labeling as my earlier post indicated. When buying a battery you can ask what percentage of tested batteries actually meet the advertised capacities and ask for it in writing!
 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
I received the battery today. It's going back. There's a hole in the top corner of the case and no visible liquid in the battery stains on the packing material. I'm waiting for a return sticker for Fed-Ex or UPS (I forgot the shipping vendor's name).

-Jon
 

qualityair

'09 144" Cargo
UPS= United Parcel Smashers.

Sorry to here about your battery Jon:hugs:, I hate it when my stuff comes in damaged. I also feel sorry for the truck that the acid leaked on to.
 

shanemac

Active member
Jon, keep us posted...my battery is on its death bed i'am debating either the napa or the braille. Our local school board has a 08 170 and they had to change the battery a few weeks ago, the driver said they put in the napa unit more than likely because it was available local.
 

jdcaples

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Jon, keep us posted...my battery is on its death bed i'am debating either the napa or the braille. Our local school board has a 08 170 and they had to change the battery a few weeks ago, the driver said they put in the napa unit more than likely because it was available local.
If the napa's on the shelves, go for it.

If you're jumping your Sprinter, I believe - and this is just one of my gut feelings - every one of your electronic control units is being electronically knocked around like a computer in a brown-out/surge/spike.

Maybe there's built in ECU protection that I don't know about.... maybe if a battery's shot, the ground still works just fine; maybe the control modules don't power up until some voltage/amperage regulator says, "it's safe".... I don't know.

I just know that ECUs are computers and computers like steady, stable power.

If you're jumping the system, I don't know how that can be "stable, steady power."

Can it?

Someone let the rest of us know, please.

In the mean time, if I were you Shane, I'd replace it with a napa part if it's on the shelves or available in a day or two since it's more cost effective and the need seems immediate.

-Jon
 
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