NorthStar Group 27F Battery (MODEL: NSB-AGM27F) for the 5th Gen 4Runner
After owning my third 5th Gen 4Runner, it’s becoming a well-known fact that the factory batteries arent meant for running many extra accessories.
In a previous article, I talked about replacing and installing a battery along with voltage readings on the Panasonic battery after about 3.5 years and 30K miles. That article covered the basics of installing and replacing your battery along with in-depth information on the Odyssey Group 34 battery.
In another article, I talked about everything you need to know before buying a battery. That article is more or less a “what to consider when shopping for a battery upgrade“.
Now the time has come to replace our battery in Jade, our MGM (Metal Grey Metalic) TEP (Trail Edition Premium) 4Runner. Jade is a 2016 4Runner with 41K miles.
Time to Replace Your Battery?
Batteries have been known to last well beyond the three-year mark. If you reach deep in the forums, some guys even claim 8 years on the factory Panasonic battery. However, you can bet that they were not running many power-hungry aftermarket accessories like a Fridge, Winch, LED light bars, LED fog lights or even common LED/HID headlights.
The battery on our MGM 4Runner was starting to become quite sluggish and took longer than normal to start. This was the exact sign and symptoms of both my 2014 and 2015 4Runners. The Panasonic battery wouldn’t start the 4Runner if the LED headlights were left on for longer than 5-10 min. Thankfully, we have a couple of battery jumps like the NOCO GB40 laying around. If you don’t have one of those, I highly recommend one, with or without a new battery.
- Noco GB40 (1000Amp – 12V): Check Price
- Noco GB40 Case: Check Price
We could probably pull another year out of the factory Panasonic battery if we wanted to, however, we have many aftermarket lights and accessories going. With a new AGM battery, we can rest at night knowing that our 4Runner will have the power it needs to stay on the road, and power the accessories we are about to install on it.
Factors that affect your Battery Life
- Short Trips prevent batteries from fully recharging. Frequently taking short trips can shortening your battery’s life expectancy.
- Extreme Temperatures have a very negative effect on batteries. Extreme heat and cold can really shorten a battery’s life expectancy. If you can, try to garage your 4Runner in these severe conditions.
- The climate contributes to your power degradation. Depending on where you live can have a big impact on the lifespan of your battery. Check out this map for reference points.
Common Battery Options for the 5th Gen 4Runner
- X2Power Group 27F: Check Price
- NorthStar Group 27F: Check Price
- Odyssey Group 34: Check Price
- NorthStar Group 31: Check Price
- Odyssey Group 31: Check Price
1. X2Power Group 27F AGM
- CCAs (Cold Cranking Amps): 930
- RC (Reserve Capacity): 195 min
- Ah (Ampere Hours): 103
- Weight: 68lbs
2. NorthStar Group 27F AGM
- CCAs (Cold Cranking Amps): 930
- RC (Reserve Capacity): 195 min
- Ah (Ampere Hours): 103
- Weight: 68lbs
3. Odyssey Group 34R AGM
- CCAs (Cold Cranking Amps): 850
- RC (Reserve Capacity): 135 min
- Ah (Ampere Hours): 67.5
- Weight: 51.5lbs
4. NorthStar Group 31 AGM
- CCAs (Cold Cranking Amps): 1150
- RC (Reserve Capacity): 220 min
- Ah (Ampere Hours): 103
- Weight: 76lbs
5. Odyssey Group 31-PC2150S
- CCAs (Cold Cranking Amps): 1150
- RC (Reserve Capacity): 205 min
- Ah (Ampere Hours): 102
- Weight: 77lbs
NorthStar Group 27F Battery or Odyssey 34R?
So why the NorthStar 27F?
To put it simply, I wanted something different than the Odyssey Group 34R I already purchased for the other 4Runner.
I was looking to go with the most power possible while not having to extend my power and ground cable to reach terminals. Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple and just drop in a new battery. That’s it. No spacers, no wire extensions, just a good ol’ 10mm and done.
I was perfectly happy with the Odyssey 34R but its always nice to have more power, all while having fewer parts.
NorthStar Group 27F Vs. Odyssey Group 34R Fitment
The NorthStar Group 27F is taller than the Odyssey Group 34R. This is nice because you don’t need to add a spacer in order to get the battery to match the terminal height, like the Odyssey 34R.
For the Odyssey 34R, you will place a spacer on top of the plastic battery tray and then set the battery on top of the spacer. See that here.
For the NorthStar 27F, just remove the plastic battery tray and place the battery directly on the sheet metal.
Because the plastic battery tray is just short of the NorthStar 27F length, they don’t line up. The fix is simple, just take out the battery tray. The battery is held in place by your battery clamp alone.
Both of these batteries take up nearly the same amount of space in terms of cubic feet but the NorthStar 27F has higher CCAs and RC than the Odyssey 34R.
One of the biggest selling points of the Odyssey 34R was its weight. Sitting at only 50lbs, it comes in at 17lbs less than the NorthStar Group 27F. If weight is on your mind, then you may want to consider the Odyssey Group 34.
Because if you don’t know by now, weight is the enemy.
NorthStar Group 27F or X2Power Group 27F AGM?
NorthStar Group 27F is basically identical to the X2Power Group 27F AGM so who wins this battle? On paper, these batteries literally have the same exact specs. And, if you look more in detail at the X2Power batteries you will find that they are in fact manufactured by NorthStar (USA Made) as a white label brand for Batteries Plus. What I found interesting when shopping around is that I was able to get a NorthStar battery on Sale Amazon for less than the X2Power which is typically known to be a bit more affordable.
The choice came down to these two options and I pulled the trigger on the NorthStar for around $329 on Amazon. Regardless of which unit you choose, you are likely getting the same product and if you buy an X2 battery from Batteries Plus they have a great (60 Month Free Replacement) warranty.
There is not much to review on a battery out of the gates. I will find out what the lifecycle really proved to show 60 months from now.
Whether you choose NorthStar, X2, or Odyseey – you are likely to see great results.
Over the last year, my Odyseey group 34 has powered everything I’ve asked it too. What I did find interesting though is recently I left my white 4Runner in the garage with the Odyseey for about two weeks without a start. Upon starting the 4Runner, it did give me a tiny bit of hesitation. I didn’t think it would show signs of fatigue that early.
As long as the alternator keeps that battery charged though, it’s lightning-fast to start. In fact, I have noticed that the Odyseey provides power faster than the brand new NorthStar even though on paper, the NorthStar has better specs.
Again, I think the real debate will come down to 3-5 years of consistent use on both of these batteries to really gauge how they hold up.
In any case, I think the NorthStar, X2, or Odyseey batteries are all going to be good options. Just personal preference and hopefully you can find a deal on one of them when you wake up with a dead battery in the winter.
It’s nice to run the NorthStar 27F and the Odyseey 34R for a real in-depth comparison down the road.
I need to get a new battery for my 2018 4Runner and read this post but paused because it’s couple years dated and I’m sure new options have come out in the market.
David, I have been running the Northstar Group 27F since this post came out, and not one issue. It’s been running incredibly strong. I do not have a voltage booster on it. I have never needed to hook up a maintainer on it. It’s been great so far and I would absolutely buy this one again over many others on the market. For a drop-in starter battery, this has fit my needs perfectly.
Thanks Brenan, I went looking for the NorthStar AGM 27F and the online outlets I checked are all out of stock… learned from one of the reps that NorthStar (who was founded by 2 ex-Odyssey people) has recently been purchased by Odyssey — go figure! So, I was able to locate and buy the X2 27F AGM which you mentioned in the review — which ironically is manufactured by NorthStar and is identical to the Northstar AGM 27F — even has a NorthStar logo on the front … so round about way of saying I was able to get the NorthStar but with a X2 sticker — imagine that! 🙂
Do these all require a voltage Booster fuse?
After researching, I came to the conclusion the Northstar and X2 are the EXACT same battery. The X2 is just a store branded version. The Northstar can be found retailing a little cheaper than the X2, but, the Northstar has a 48 month replacement warranty. The X2 has a 60 month replacement warranty. So you’re getting an extra year warranty for the extra money. Now, if you purchase the X2 from the Bulbs Plus website, and choose the pick up at store option, you get a 10% discount, which is going to bring it down to just about the same price as the Northstar. A 5 year free replacement warranty, as far as I know, is the best in the industry. You only get a 3 year replacement warranty with the Odyssey. I put an Odyssey on my ’02 Avalanche in March ’17. It lasted about 31 months, so I got a new one just before the warranty expired. I bought the Odyssey to replace an Optima I bought in ’06. That Optima lasted almost 12 years. I would have just replaced it with a new Optima, but found out the Optimas are made in Mexico now, and that quality isn’t what it used to be.
Great write-up. the million dollar question is – If funds are limited, would you consider running a fridge off one of these batteries? Not as a 2nd battery but instead as the main, primary start and fridge battery. Seems the high AH would allow for this assuming you move frequently. thoughts?
Assuming you move often or start your truck often, yeah, a lot of people run refrigerators off their starter battery. You don’t want to draw from the battery with the truck off for more than a night, though. General camping trips and overnights with the truck off and the battery drawing will be fine as long as your battery was fully charged and the amp draw on your fridge is low. I wouldn’t set the fridge to high/freeze amp draw just before going to bed is what I mean. If anything, turn it down a bit and when you wake up start your truck, and let the alternator charge your battery back up. Check your amp draw on the battery and then readjust accordingly. These AGMs, especially this NorthStar 27F is a strong powerhouse and can take a really big amp draw before showing signs of weakness. As with everything use common sense and do your research. Common factors like climate also come into play. If you in sub-zero temps, maybe shut the fridge off to be safe and then turn it back on in the morning. It really all depends. Backup solar generators are nice along with jump boxes for added protection.
you could also just solar charge the battery first thing in the morning if you are spending the next day camped.
Yeah for sure! That’s always an option.
Thanks. This is what i figured. I will be testing this over the month of July. Wish me luck.
Thanks for this post… im currently in between the northstar 24f and the 27f. I see your not running any type of upgraded battety tray in the stock location….have you experienced any sheet metal cracking due to the extra weight? I noticed someone mentioned getting the tundra tray as it fits the 27f just right. If the tundra tray is purchased does it help prevent cracking with the 27f? Id prefer the 27f as the specs are better but fear the added weight on top of the sheet metal cracking. The 24f is 10-11lbs lighter and uses the 4runner oem tray but the specs are slightly lower. Any thoughts?
So I have for about 3 years now been struggling with a need for power, for my 2016 quicksand TRD Pro. I am currently using a monocrystalline solar panel I can’t recall right now with the wattages on it but it’s like a hundred and 80 Watts or something I think, along with the RedArc charge controller with dual batteries. I have an odyssey 34 series as my auxiliary battery and I forgot the brand that I’m using for my house battery. My LEDs and refrigerator as well as heaters for my water tank for the winter time (I clean windows for a living out of my 4Runner) and in no time will run my Odyssey 34 battery down. Even on a sunny day with full charge coming in for my solar panel. Even with our long or two hour long drives between clients in that sun getting both current from the alternator and solar I still struggle for power. I’ve been searching and researching and asking and trying to educate myself if it’s possible that in the near future perhaps having a third battery side-by-side as my auxiliary battery with my batteries working in parallel (not only with each other but with the house battery) if that would help give me that edge to continue being able to run my refrigerator and my heaters without having to unplug one or the other and choose which I needed the most. I can’t always leave my truck running. And that’s the whole purpose of having solar to begin with is to try to be green so to speak or use free energy so that I’m not using fossil fuel so much. Thoughts anybody? I did enjoy this article,& it was validating to know that the battery that I’ve been struggling with which is an Odyssey 34 series that is not necessarily a problem with the battery as much as just not enough power put back into the battery to replace that crazy rate of usage that I am currently doing.-J
It sounds like your heaters are causing the issue as they use a lot of power and you probably need to add another battery or two.
I’ve got a few things I’m trying to figure out:
1) What is a safe weight battery, without having to worry or buy a special cage to hold it, and not fatigue/crack the metal over the wheel well? This would be with normal average 4-wheeling (not racing or jumping around on rolling fire roads). The Northstar / 2XPower 24F is 57 lbs. The 2XPower 27F is 68 lbs. The Odyssey 34R is 50 lbs.
2) It feels weird to mount a battery (27F) just sitting directly on the sheet metal. The plastic tray has alignment pins into the sheet metal that hold the tray and may help keep the battery from shifting or sliding?
3) Any suggested options for something to put under the 27F battery? Reasonable priced tray for a Gen 5 to fit a 27F?
4) The bottom of these batteries looks smaller than the top. What is the exact bottom footprint measurement for the 27F?
5) Batteries contain acid (purpose for the battery tray?). Do these AGM batteries never leak a drop?
Sorry for asking so many questions!!!
I would not run mine without a tray so when I did my X2Power 27f swap I used the battery tray from a Tundra which comes with a 27f. Toyota part number 74431-0C020. It fits perfectly.
I did the same thing here with the Northstar 27F. The Tundra tray costs a little under $50 shipped from an out-of-state dealership. Time will tell how it holds up.
Mike – awesome thanks, man. I may have to grab that for our NorthStar.
You are welcome! 👍
1) People run everything from 20lb Li-Ion batteries to 70lb AGMs. All of those are “safe” weights.
2) The battery clamp does a great job of holding the battery in place, however, if you want to use the plastic tray, you can. All you would need to do is cut the edge of the plastic rim off.
3) Reasonably priced battery tray: I don’t know of any aftermarket battery trays for the sheet metal for the 5th Gen.
4) Bottom is 11.75″ and the top at its largest width is about 12.25″.
5) AGM batteries are for the most part supposed to be leak-proof.
I’ll probably go with the 27F too.
I was a bit confused about this article. It didn’t make sense to me that “The NorthStar Group 27F is bigger than the Odyssey Group 34 but the nice thing is that you don’t need a spacer. Just remove the factory battery tray and drop this NorthStar Group 27 into place. Both batteries take up just about the same amount of space in the battery tray”
A) If the tray is taken out, how can the Group 27F “take up just about the same amount of space in the battery tray?
B) Without the tray how is the battery held down?
C) What exactly do you mean by a spacer?
D) Seems strange that the NorthStar 27F @103AH would be a similar height (no spacer needed) as the Odessey 34R at 67 AH and still have length and width dimensions that work in the space available (link to the NorthStar 27F doesn’t give dimensions).
E) Are there any gotcha’s to not having a tray support the battery
F) Sorry for all the questions, but if the piece was about whether a 100+ AH battery was better than a 67 AH, I think the answer is clear. What seems most important is how many AH can you get in a quality battery in the space available even if it takes a special tray/hold down system to do it, yes?
A), B), C) I Rewrote that whole section.
D) In terms of cubic feet, they both take up the same (*Similar – I should really measure them both) amount of space. The Odyssey is shorter than the NorthStar battery but once you add a spacer underneath the Odyssey, they both become a similar size in relation.
E) I don’t think so but I am not a battery expert. Typically AGM batteries are designed to provide higher vibration resistance so removing a 1/8″ flimsy tray shouldn’t be an issue in my book.
F) You are correct – I am trying to pack as much power in the space our 5th Gen 4Runner has and I think the NorthStar 27F does that well.
Thanks for your comment and sorry if I was not clear there in the first place. My bad.