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Battery Size Group Chart 8/14/05 Stars5.gif (1046 bytes)
"BCI Group Numbers, and Dimensional Specifications"
Looking at this chart, you can see why 2002 KJ (BCI Size Group 86) owners have had success using the 75/35 Optima Red Top batteries w/o any modifications:
86: 9 1/16"L x 6 13/16"W x 8"H
35: 9 1/16"L x 6 7/8"W x 8 7/8"H (+1/16"W, +7/8"H)
75: 9 1/16"L x 7 1/16"W x 7 11/16"H (+1/4"W, -5/16"H)
You can also see that the battery for 2003+ KJs (BCI Size Group 34) is over an inch longer, but other dimensions are the same or very close:
34: 10 1/4"L x 6 13/16"W x 7 7/8"H (+1"L, -1/8"H)
Parts
Optima Red Top Battery Size Group 75/25 (8022-091) By Optima 2/12/05 Stars5.gif (1046 bytes) Write Review
"An OPTIMA RedTop battery is the only battery specifically designed to take abuse."
Can be installed in an '02 Liberty (and any other that uses Size Group 86) with no modifications to the tray. (You may need to bend the terminals a little.)
720 CCA (910 CA)
Vendors: 1st Optima Battery Sales 139.95 Free shipping!
Amazon.com 145.24 Free Shipping
Reviews: sd-kj Purchased one before last winter and its worked perfectly through our tough cold northern winter and hot summer. Its not worth messing around with, if your going to get a battery just go for an optima. 10/23/08
Duralast Gold Battery (34-DLG) By AutoZone 3/14/05 Stars5.gif (1046 bytes) Write Review
High-rated battery for 2003-2004 Liberties (Size Group 34).
800 CCA (1000 CA).
3-year free replacement, 8-year prorated warranty.
Vendors: AutoZone 89.99 Only available in retail stores. Price assumes that you will turn in old battery for core refund.
Reviews: Casey Id also like to mention, after reading the recent reviews, he must have returned to a dealer loaded with bad batchs, all the snow plow guys love to double up on these guys and Ive spent a many 4am morning in -6 degree F and below, Ive NEVER had an issue due to cold, this is exactly why snow plow truckers love them. 12/9/09
Casey Amazing battery, car turns over MUCH faster from OEM battery and is top in performance vs price of all AGM batteries including OPTIMA batteries, obviously not including DEEP CYCLE OPTIMAS, in which I would use an ODDESSY. Ive abused the battery for 4 years now, its still going strong. 12/9/09
Philip Shanks I have the Duralast Gold - bought because of good rating. No luck with it. Fine all year except when it gets near 0 F.. then battery goes dead. Working on 3rd new replacement now. Very irritating. 1/22/08
Exide Orbital 75DT Automotive Battery (ORB75DT84) By Exide Technologies 2/18/05 Stars5.gif (1046 bytes) Write Review
"By using tightly wound cylindrical cells, we've created a virtually indestructible starting battery that retains its capacity, is maintenance free, and will never leak..."
I'm not sure this battery fits a KJ, looking into it...
690 CCA (850 CA)
Vendors: Amazon.com 199.88 Free Shipping
AutoZone Duralast 7-year Battery (86-DL) By AutoZone 2/27/05 Stars5.gif (1046 bytes) Write Review
This battery was rated #1 by Consumer Reports (11/2004) for both warm and cold weather, and for reserve capacity, and is a CR Best Buy. Note: Consumer Reports did NOT rate this battery in Size Group 86, which fits the 2002 Liberty.
525 CCA (650 CA) (Seems kind of low.)
2-year free replacement, 7-year prorated warranty
(I believe these are actually manufactured by Johnson Controls.)
Vendors: AutoZone 79.99 Only available in retail stores. Price assumes that you will turn in old battery for core refund.
Reviews: BJ The battery lasted 14 months. Still charges fine but puts out no cranking amps. Luckily, it has a 2 year free replacement, but hope that one lasts longer than it's predecessor. Also, the cranking amps seem low compared to others of similar price, and won't buy again. 1/18/10