Is a H8 size battery too big for '03 ALH?

5SP TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
TDI
2014 JSW TDI, DSG.
Looking to replace my battery and have read over multiple threads about what the best battery is. I few people have mentioned the H8, but have not said if there are any fitment issues? It appears the H8 has the highest amp hours at 85 and great CCA. Thanks.

Jeff
 

BradleyRas

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Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Location
harrisburg,pa,us
TDI
2000 Jetta GLS TDI Silver Arrow
H7 size:
Width: 6.89”
Length: 12.40”
Height: 7.48

H8 size:
Width: 6.89”
Length: 13.94”
Height: 7.48”


slightly longer.
 

cencarnacion

Well-known member
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Mar 14, 2011
Location
Houston
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, 2000 Jetta GLS, 2003 NB, 2003 Jetta GLS
I have the Interstate H8 on both my 00 and 02 Jetta ALH. I had to do away with the battery compartment. To secure the battery, I strapped the battery in two places around the base (1/4 and 3/4 section of battery). Also covered the positive terminal with the red plastic that comes with the battery.

Why did I use the H8 instead of H7? When the H7's died out, I did not want to have to buy new ones so I used the H8's that were on my unregistered W126 and W123 mercedes diesels.
 
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03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
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So. Cal
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01' NB, 5spd
Bringing this topic back to the top.
I've got slow cranking when it's cold (it's not that cold here) or when sitting for a few days. Currently have a DieHard battery in there that I think is 6 years old (not sure - new car for me).
Looking at batteries and H8 sized is cheaper than H7 by $25, higher AH rating and CCA.
I know that CCA isn't a big deal but since it degrades with time, the higher the better right?
Does an H8 fit no problem other than I can't use the cover? Or does the battery tray need to be modified?
Specifically I'm looking at getting this battery. For $122.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
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May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
In this case bigger sounds better. You may have adjust the tray, but it should be easy
 

FordGuy100

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Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Location
Silverton, OR
TDI
2004 Jetta TDI
I just put an H8 in my MKIV and there is no way to get the tray to fit around the battery. It sits in there and contorts the plastic into an odd shape. I bolted it down for now but need to go back and figure something out.
 

maxmoo

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Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Location
Lakefield, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2000 golf, 2001 golf, 2000 beetle, 2003 wagon, 2004 golf, 2004 jetta, all diesels
H8's or group49's fit no problem in the tray on jettas and golfs just not beetles......you will need to toss or modify the shroud that wraps around the battery though.

I have done this to all our golfs and Jettas....no regrets.
 

jayb79

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 20, 2000
Location
Exeter,NH
I put an H8 in my golf about a month ago, wish I did it years ago. It was about 25 bucks cheaper than the H7. It has NEVER cranked over so good. I did some extensive trimming(Dremel works great) and got my factory cover to fit pretty good. I also had to do some minor trimming to the bottom back part of the battery so it would slide under the hold down all the way.
 

03TDICommuter

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Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
H8's or group49's fit no problem in the tray on jettas and golfs just not beetles......you will need to toss or modify the shroud that wraps around the battery though.

I have done this to all our golfs and Jettas....no regrets.
I just put an H8 in my MKIV and there is no way to get the tray to fit around the battery. It sits in there and contorts the plastic into an odd shape. I bolted it down for now but need to go back and figure something out.
I guess I'll just have to give it a try. Maybe not all H8's are created equally hence it fitting fine for some and not the other? (disregarding the cover)


I put an H8 in my golf about a month ago, wish I did it years ago. It was about 25 bucks cheaper than the H7. It has NEVER cranked over so good.
I guess I'm getting old - I don't understand pricing these days. Everything has gone up and I can't believe it's due to raw material pricing, especially when you get more with an H8 than an H7 and it's less $$. (yeah, I'm getting old)

Off to Sam's this weekend for an H8 battery - but only if they're fresh (online it says my local store has 2 in stock)
 

03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
I think I figured out why for the same car someone can say it fits fine and another says nope.
I was looking at the tray in my jetta this weekend and though the tray looks wide enough for an H8, the back 'notch' area that holds down the rear of the battery is not full width. My 6+ year old 94R DieHard, the base of the battery has a foot that goes the full width of the battery and takes up almost all of the tray's notch width. So I'm thinking "If an H8 has a full width foot it won't fit without a mod to the tray."
Then I looked at the online photo for the battery I want to buy

Note that the 'foot' doesn't go the full width.
But this battery other battery does.

At the store I'll compare the battery I want to get with a 94R side by side and hopefully the H8 foot is only as wide as a 94R.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2003 ALH Wagon, 2005 BEW Wagon
Thanks for posting the pictures... I woulda swore those battery designations were completely fixed, dimensionally, in every way... and thus a H8 was a H8 was a H8. :) :)
 

03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
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01' NB, 5spd
So bummed. Stopped by Sam's Club armed with my tape measure. The photo of the Duracell battery above is not accurate. On the batteries I saw in the store, the lower 'foot' goes the full width of the battery on the same side as the terminals. The other side does not and is the same width as the 94/R foot.

So, if I could rotate the battery 180 it would fit in my tray without modification but I can't.

Left without buying the battery :(
 

RexNICO

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Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Location
South West OH
TDI
2011 Tiguan, 2011 Q7
So bummed. Stopped by Sam's Club armed with my tape measure. The photo of the Duracell battery above is not accurate. On the batteries I saw in the store, the lower 'foot' goes the full width of the battery on the same side as the terminals. The other side does not and is the same width as the 94/R foot.
So, if I could rotate the battery 180 it would fit in my tray without modification but I can't.
Left without buying the battery :(
That's a bummer.

I'd be more inclined to either modify the rear lip/slot on the tray, or the lower edge of the battery. Flipping the battery would put your positive cable by the body/fender which means unintended grounding of the power wire is more likely.
 

djrhetoric

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Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Location
MPLS
TDI
80 Rabbit pickup MTDI
I cut out the bump outs in my battery tray so I could fit a 95Ah battery. Once the bumps are gone it slides in just like it should. I can't use the cover, but that doesn't matter to me.

This is the battery I'm running:

 

03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
I cut out the bump outs in my battery tray so I could fit a 95Ah battery. Once the bumps are gone it slides in just like it should. I can't use the cover, but that doesn't matter to me.
Thanks! I considered doing this. Can you tell me if you noticed it making the rear hold down part of the tray less strong?

I thought I saw a photo/thread of someone that did the same thing and documented it but I cannot find it after looking and looking.
 

ritsco

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Dec 5, 2005
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Northeastern CT
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2015 TDI GSW SEL and 2006 Golf TDI GLS
I went to the dealer and got the OEM Bosch replacement, $150. Same size, same battery as original. Oh, why did I go to the dealer for the replacement battery? My ORIGINAL battery of 10 years just crapped out in December !! That was a damn good run ! And, the dealer was only a few bucks more than what was available from the auto parts stores.
 

djrhetoric

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Jun 28, 2007
Location
MPLS
TDI
80 Rabbit pickup MTDI
Thanks! I considered doing this. Can you tell me if you noticed it making the rear hold down part of the tray less strong?

I thought I saw a photo/thread of someone that did the same thing and documented it but I cannot find it after looking and looking.
I didn't try to stress test it, but I noticed no change in how strong the plastic tray is just by cutting out those bumps. I've been running that battery for 4 years now and also have a FrostHeater mounted to the battery tray... zero issues at all.
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
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Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT...... '01 Golf GLS 5MT.... '96 Passat Variant....
I went to the dealer and got the OEM Bosch replacement, $150. Same size, same battery as original. Oh, why did I go to the dealer for the replacement battery? My ORIGINAL battery of 10 years just crapped out in December !! That was a damn good run ! And, the dealer was only a few bucks more than what was available from the auto parts stores.
I think you made the right choice of the aftermarket Bosch over the dealer's standard VW replacement (made by EnerTec). The VW Enertec, though $20 cheaper, has gotten mixed review for durability. I got the EnerTec and haven't regretted it, but would have bought the Bosch had my dealer offered it.
 

03TDICommuter

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Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
It fits! (modified tray)

Bought the H8 Duracell flooded cell battery from Sam's Club. $121 before taxes, cheaper than the 94H battery. 900 CCA and 100AH per Deka's website.
I did modify the battery tray - the rear bumps have to be cut to allow the battery ledge to fit.
Old battery (6 years old)

New battery

Old next to new
 

Fix_Until_Broke

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Location
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
TDI
03 Jetta, 03 TT TDI
Short answer to the thread title is "Nope!", though it requires a little modification work to keep a somewhat stock appearance

The original battery lasted from 2003 until 2009 when I put in this ACDelco 94R which has served me very well for the last ~9 (!) years - no complaints there. But it's getting tired and if it's below 0F you have 1 chance to start it and that's it. 560CCA on a 9 year old battery just isn't enough juice.





So after having to get pull started a couple times after this recent cold snap after work I figured that it was time to invest in a new battery. Staying true to my screen name, we can't just put another 94R back in, or even a 94R AGM, that wouldn't be right :), so $200 later one of these shows up at the shop the next day



The battery tray is just the right width for the H8/49 battery to fit, however the "foot" on the battery is the full width and the "shoe" in the battery tray is not full width, so away with the excess...



This allows the battery to sit in it's proper home, fully supported and clamped by the OEM mounts. The tray is not structurally compromised in any meaningful way here, it's pretty beefy. You have to make some cuts on the "fixed" part of the battery surround to make it slide over the battery as well as cut off the "wings" from the sides of the power distribution center skeleton. Sorry I don't have many pictures of these steps - I was figuring it out as I went along and had a relatively short timeline (had to get to a wedding)







you loose the "latching" ability of the cover and holding the distribution block on top of the battery, but everything really sits pretty tight as it is and can't go anywhere.

Looks like it came from the factory like this...





The battery tested at 1040CCA before I put it in the car - this test was done with the doors and trunk open (10A draw?) for ~30 minutes - forgot to retest as we were rushing to clean up and get to the wedding (we made it on time!).

It has not been cold here lately, but so far it spins the engine over much faster and does not slow down after 3-4 revolutions like the previous battery did.

Bigger battery, more everything, OEM secure, OEM look, didn't loose the cover or power distribution block support, wire guide up the back, price was close enough to a conventional battery to not make it worthwhile.

I did monitor my scangauge voltage for about 3 weeks before putting this battery in - highest I ever saw was 14.3 for a few seconds, 99% of the time is 14.0 so should still be in the safe range for an AGM battery.
 
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Wankel7

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Dec 25, 2012
Location
Indiana
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Thank you Wonneber!
I will be firing up the Dremel and putting in an Autocraft AGM H8 in next week.

I would love to know why a H8 is cheaper than the smaller H7....
 

drucifer

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Dec 21, 2013
Location
fredericksburg virginia
TDI
2004 jetta sw tdi pd
I would love to know why a H8 is cheaper than the smaller H7....[/QUOTE]

I believe the reason is the economy of scale. They sell a boat load of h8 batteries and very few h7.

I put a Walmart h8 last year. No modification needed and if it ever fails returns are easy. Could you walk into a dealer at 1am and get a battery?
 

jayb79

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Joined
May 20, 2000
Location
Exeter,NH
I am still amazed at how much faster it cranks over with the H8, very noticeable difference. Even when my H7 was new it didn't crank like this.
 

Wankel7

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Location
Indiana
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
I would love to know why a H8 is cheaper than the smaller H7....
I believe the reason is the economy of scale. They sell a boat load of h8 batteries and very few h7.
I put a Walmart h8 last year. No modification needed and if it ever fails returns are easy. Could you walk into a dealer at 1am and get a battery?[/QUOTE]

That does make sense....

Can you exchange a battery with customer service or the auto center closed?

I am guessing it varies by store?
 

drucifer

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Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Location
fredericksburg virginia
TDI
2004 jetta sw tdi pd
The battery I returned at 1am was out of warranty but they were able to take my core. The one that had warranty returned during the day with no receipt they were able to scan the bar code and applied the pro rated amount to the new battery. Battery was never tested at that Walmart that had an auto center.
 

wonneber

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Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
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2014 Jetta Sportwagon,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
The battery I returned at 1am was out of warranty but they were able to take my core. The one that had warranty returned during the day with no receipt they were able to scan the bar code and applied the pro rated amount to the new battery. Battery was never tested at that Walmart that had an auto center.
I will never buy a WallyWorld battery again.
The one I bought didn't last long (2 years maybe I forget exactly).
They indicated out of warranty also.
 
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