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Battery or wiring fault

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My defender has a very occasional annoying habit. Sometimes I go to start it and it struggles to turn over, I mean really struggle as if the battery is flat as a pancake, however all the lights are bright if I try them. I keep turning the ignition off and on, trying to start it and eventually (after some time) it spins over as if the battery is fully charged, springs into life as if there was no problem and I get on with my journey.

I've done some investigating, the battery is earthed fine, all connections seem to be ok. The starter isn't old, perhaps 12-18 months if that. Most of time it is fine but when it starts to play up I get a funny noise that sounds like a small animal growling coming from either the battery box (under passenger seat) or under the centre console when trying to crank it over.

I'm running a 4.0 v8 with efi and a red top optima battery. Could the battery be on its way out and not able to supply enough power under heavy load or is it more likely dodgy wiring???

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The growling sounds like it could be an arc between 2 things. I think you have to go through all the high-current connections including earth straps and make sure they are sound. Failing that fixing it, it points to the starter especially anything involving the starting current. As the lights stay bright it suggests the battery is Ok, and indeed all connections from the battery up to the point the lights etc are fed from. If you've had much growling hopefully the point it's happening will be reasonably obvious.

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