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Author Topic: battery switches  (Read 2863 times)
wal1809
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« on: April 28, 2011, 06:23:12 PM »

One project at a time, right!!!  Nope.  I got the WVO thingy going and the batteries have been giving me fits.  Soooooo, I dug in there to investigate.  I took all three batteries out and headed to get them checked.  They were all useless.  I bought replacements and headed home. It got me to thinking because I was never able to turn the battery switches off.

I replaced the batteries in the right spot and looked behind the switches.  If you will look in the photo you can see the rear of the top switch.  The battery cable is hooked to the post with the buss bar.  Am I seeing things correctly?  Did they bypass the non working switches and wire the batteries straight?  If this is the case I know what my next project will be.  Number 1 project will be to make a slide out tray for the batteries and 2 will be to fix these switches to where they are operational.  Comment if yall would as I am just getting into this.
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1984 Silver Eagle Model 10 6V92 Allison auto tranny
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 06:36:31 PM »

was there a wire on other post of disconnect? talking about switch #2  and is there 3 switches=1 for each battery or am I not seeing a second switch in the picture? 12 volt system?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 06:52:57 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
wal1809
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 07:10:19 PM »

12 V system .  There are 2 switches in the pic.  1 right on top of the other.  The third switch is out if view in the pic.  Nothing is connected on the second threaded post on any of the switches.  I am pretty sure the PO was just using the threaded posts and the buss bar to just connect the three hot wires together.  I just wanted to see what y'all know about the switches.  Can I take them apart and clean them up?  Maybe get them working again or buy new ones.
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 07:25:33 PM »

Wayne, the 2or three switches allow you to feed 1, 2, or three battery's into the system. buss bar feeds the system as well as starter. Wink
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 07:29:08 PM »

 Prob going to be copper to copper mechanical contact if you can get them apart and reassembled. clean with emery cloth. Should be a common item used on heavy equipment. Available with key activation if necessary. common problems are they corrode  , the shaft s freeze up,or they get a burned spot on one surface that is sometimes able to be sanded out.  Good luck    Bob    Should be Napa Item
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
wal1809
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 07:35:51 PM »

Your are right about the shafts.  They are frozen to where they won't turn.  All of the grips to turn the switches are broken off as if the PO had trouble turning them and broke them off.

When you say it is probably a Napa item, does that mean I can just go get new ones at Napa auto parts.  If that is the case i'll just do that.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 07:41:23 PM »

Yes sir  or cat uses them for master switches also. Moisture over years tend to get in around shaft, just a little grease smeared there will keep it out.   bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 08:18:26 PM »

Wal, do the switches you have have a "sub-switch" for the alternator field winding?  Mine does (there's only a single switch in my 24V system but it's different from everybody else's anyway).  When I turn the switch, it makes the big contacts for the battery juice and it makes the small contacts for the alt field.  That way, when you turn the switch off, the field doesn't continue to draw power (parasitic draw).

However your switches are set up, you'll need to match the same ones.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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wal1809
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 01:29:58 AM »

There is another switch, in the rear batch that says starter switch.  It is functional.  The big wire coming from the three switches goes to this switch.  But when the switch is turned off there is still 12 v juice getting robbed because the PO or POs have tied into the 12v electricity in between the battery cut of switches.

I am attempting to get this back to original.  When I cut the switches I want all betteries to be isolated.  I am sure this is what killed all three batteries. I was quoted $429 to replace the batteries that were all 1000 cca.  I went with 3 new walmart batteries with 2 year free replacement and can be replaced at any walmart in thr country. These are 800 cca each.  They worked just fine when I started it and they were $220 for all three.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 05:25:05 AM »

You need to do some shopping. Was just upset when local jobber went up to 62$each for serries31 batteries for my coach. paid 46$each last year--New.I buy as a Contractor; you should know one or get a police officer discount.  Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2011, 06:39:27 AM »

I removed the 2 Battery Switches that were on my bus and went direct. They started to have connection problems both on the terminals and internal contacts. The way i looked at it was that there would be 6 less connections to worry about. (4 terminals and the 2 internal contacts)

BUT, I drive my bus at least once a week, 4 times a week at this point.
When I have to let it sit for over a week I just disconnect the cables at the battery terminals. I do this only about once or twice a year. (we try not to book gigs Thanksgiving week or Christmas)



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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2011, 07:35:45 AM »

i work on equipment a lot, and some have similar disconnects as pictured. Most of the this stuff has been left outside in the rain or next to the ocean, etc, for months just sitting.... I would just have tossed most of the stuff in your picture, and bought new disconnects, and maybe made up some more cables... depending on condition. Grease as mentioned before helps on the termiinal posts, etc. You can also purchase a battery grease that works really well also, i just cant think of the name right now, but it comes in a little plastic bottle with a brush in the cap.  I have used 31's in place of the others for batteries, i don't think they are available at walmart, but im a dummy...  Grin...  I certainly wouldn't use anything smaller than that in a coach.. but thats a battery discussion, not this one.   And i have even used a group 24 1000 cca for moving busses around the wrecking yard. I think lots of people ignore the battery cables, etc, and they should be cared for on a regular basis...
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2011, 12:51:37 PM »

There is another switch, in the rear batch that says starter switch.  It is functional.  The big wire coming from the three switches goes to this switch.  But when the switch is turned off there is still 12 v juice getting robbed because the PO or POs have tied into the 12v electricity in between the battery cut of switches. (snip)

I apologize, Wal.  I wasn't clear.  What I meant was that I have one switch box with one handle.  Inside that box are the big contacts (which are the main battery contacts) and a smaller set which provides/kills power to the alternator field.  If I implied that there was a separate switch, I apologize.  (My 24V system is "made 24V" by having the two batteries in series; there is only one "hot" cable from my battery set and only one ground to the one switch.)

I read with interest that others have said that there appears to be corrosion and deterioration on your switches.  You also say that your PO seems to screwed around with your system so that it drains batteries with the switches off.  My system is probably very different from yours but if I were faced with your issues, I'd do the complete rebuild/replace until everything is back to stock and working.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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gus
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2011, 05:32:17 PM »

Do yourself a big favor and put a cut-out switch on each battery. A master cut-out will not help if one of the batteries in a set is shorted out.

These can be found in WM or about any auto parts store for less than $10. I have the ones with green knobs and have them on every vehicle I own. It only took one stuck starter relay to convince me of the wisdom of this system.
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chev49
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2011, 08:01:34 PM »

If you buy individual cut off switches like the green knob ones, be sure to get high quality ones. I have several of the cheap ones i have removed and tossed out cause over time they can make a bad connection, which is hard to determine where the heck it is.  The last one i did was about 6 weeks ago, and i thought the battery was bad until i took that switch apart..
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2011, 08:38:36 PM »

Quote from: chev49
If you buy individual cut off switches like the green knob ones, be sure to get high quality ones.

Anybody have a picture, so those of us electrically challenged individuals would know what to look for? And, if that same individual (i.e. ME) were to walk into a store to get some of these, how would I know if I was getting a high quality one or not?

Mike
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2011, 08:52:02 PM »

Amps.
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2011, 09:18:33 PM »

I haven't had any luck with the WalMart ones, either. They don't last.

Tom Caffrey
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eagle19952
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2011, 09:39:45 PM »

Check Summit Racing,they have a 350 amp, 500 amp surge battery disconnect switch for under $15.
Caterpillar uses a Cole Hersee made switch.
NASCAR/NHRA probably has more stringent requirements than Wal-Mart.



http://www.summitracing.com/search/Part-Type/Battery-Disconnect-Switches/?keyword=battery+disconnect+switches&page=3

Keep looking they even have key fob remote control disconnects.....for those of us who want not to walk......
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 09:55:19 PM by eagle19952 » Logged
wal1809
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2011, 03:43:46 AM »

I wish I could have been able to get the camera back in there.  You can see what I am talking about but it is difficult.   The cables from each battery go to the side with the buss bar and the main cable going to the engine is hooked to the buss bar as well.  None of thr cables are hooked to the posts opposite of the bar.  I think they did that to bypass the switches.

On the outside looking in the face plate with the part of the switch, where you would reach to turn the batteries off and on, is rusted.  I am thinking about taking it out.  Replicating it with diamond tread and replacing the switches with new. 
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2011, 06:30:27 AM »

Good quality switches are not cheap.  One of the best is Cole-Hersee.  You will only need to buy it once.
http://www.levineautoparts.com/cole-hersee-colehersee-75907-battery-disconnect-switch.html
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2011, 04:17:25 PM »

I think I've had two or three of them fail out of about 25 in use. There is no doubt that bus vibration is hard on them but so far I have no complaints.

I got most of them from JC Whitney before WM started carrying them.

I wish I knew of a way to tell which are high quality and which are not, but I don't. You sure can't go by price!!

The big advantage to these is you only have to screw the knob in or out. I don't like the ones that detach or the blade ones that take up so much space.

To each his own!
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robertglines1
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2011, 05:52:06 PM »

This might not be a quality answer for you switch question and will cost more. Cat is the leader in the construction industry as far as quality.The starting needs of the construction dozers etc I'm sure exceed the needs of our Detroit's etc. that said the master switch shut off for them either keyed or just twist should be adequate for our needs. Just a observation from a retired heavy equipment owner.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2011, 09:16:34 PM »

I think Len sourced it pretty good. Don't have to look further for a switch.
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2011, 07:34:34 AM »

  The cole hersee switch 75907 Lin posted is rated up to 2000 amps up to 30 seconds, 300 amps continuous and fits a panel up to 1/4 inch thick. Thats a lot of switch for the money. There is another basically identical switch, the 75908, that will fit a panel up to 3/4 inch thick.

  Wal, I think someone did what you are surmising, they bypassed the disconnects by connecting the batteries directly to the main bus bar. The bus is a good idea if you have seperate banks and have a bad battery bank, then you can take that bank offline and still have power to the main bus. If you can isolate the switches away from the batteries, like the other side of a bulkhead, and weather proof the area, they wont get so corroded. And in the unlikely event something goes wrong, having the switches accessable away from the battery compartment may allow you to access them even if the batteries are burning.
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2011, 03:37:29 PM »

Bob and Art,

What are the prices of these two switches?

Separate battery switches allow you to isolate or combine batteries in any way you choose, banks or no banks. It is especially good when doing maintenance.

It is the ultimate solution electrically but is a little convenient if you have a bunch of batteries. I only have four in one bus and three in the other.

My objection to keyed remote master switches is they usually require more heavy cable runs, our buses have too many of these already.

The green knob ones clamp directly to the battery post and require no extra cables of any kind. Stone simple.

I've found no Gp 31s at WM either but got mine at Sam's. On my 4104 I have two 31's for starters and two deep cycle for house. My 4104 has an 8D for house but I'm going to change that for two 31s.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2011, 05:33:30 PM »

My account price is $54 for keyed 3000amp surge for 30sec. from cat: the Cole hersee I do not have a price on. List on the cat is $98. is it worth it? I never replaced one except for one that was vandalized.  As far as the ones that go on the batteries I have no experience with them so I cannot comment on them good or bad  Bob
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2011, 06:17:08 PM »

Bob and Art,

What are the prices of these two switches?

  I thought I saw $68?
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