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Author Topic: Help with batteries  (Read 1960 times)
topfrog007
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« on: November 15, 2011, 08:53:05 AM »

Hey all,

Had a question regarding the stock industrial batteries that come in coaches. I don't know what else to call them besides industrial, they look like 3 normal car batteries attached as one unit. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about!  Smiley

Anyways, I have one in my coach that is about a 1.5 years old. It is completely dead. I was going to trickle charge it using a little Schumacher battery charger however, I read in the Schumacher manual that the unit I have should not be used for "Industrial" batteries.

So I took the battery to AutoZone/Advance/Etc. They said they would trickle charge it and to come back in a few days. So my questions are:

How long is too long to trickle charge one of these batteries?

What kind of lifespan do you usually see out of these?

Is there a specific charger you guys use at home to charge/maintain these?

Thanks!
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Preston - Dothan Alabama - 1986 MCI 102A3
Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 12:54:00 PM »

I'm surprised no one volunteered.   The big battery you have is, no doubt, what is called an 8D, which is the standard designation for the case size.  8D size batterys are available in designs optimized for deep cycle use (house battery) and for engine starting. Most likely, since it came from a bus, it is a start battery.  If it was completely dead trickle charging is not likely to resurrect it.  Sometimes charging will restore a fully discharged battery, if it happens you are very lucky.    Many bus owners have replaced 8D batterys with 2 or 3 smaller ones group 24 & group 27 being popular choices.  The 8D size offers CCA ratings of 1200 to 1600 which is why 2 of the smaller lighter batterys are needed as a replacement.  The 8D start battery is no different than other automotive start batterys in life with 2 to 5 years being typical. 
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eagle19952
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 08:51:32 PM »

I usually get 4-8 years and closer to 6-7yrs. from 8d and 4d batteries.
Provided they are kept charged and do not freeze.
I have a group 27 Gen start hooked to a 15A echo charger,that i bought in 2004.
My 8d house/starts were new in 2007 and still stand up to the load tester every 90-120 days.I use about 1.5 gal of distilled water per year per 2 batts.---<8D.
My inverter/charger guru says to equalize once per month,but I don't,otherwise I might get more life from my batteries.
just me and my experience, yours might be different.
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qayqayt
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 09:20:42 PM »

If they manage to get the batteries charged up, get them to do a load test.  The tester puts a load on the batteries and shows how long it takes for the battery to recover.  If it fails, replace it.
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Bryan
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 12:11:50 AM »

  (snip) My inverter/charger guru says to equalize once per month

    OK, how do you equalize a pair (or group??)  of batteries? 
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

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garhawk
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 07:13:38 AM »

To equalize, __________.

Moderator Note - Offensive content removed.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 11:53:26 PM by Dreamscape » Logged

gary t'berry
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prevosman
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 07:36:36 AM »

Equalizing is a high voltage charge for a specific amount of time. I think it is around 15.5 volts, and the inverters I am familiar with have a means by which they can go into equalize mode.

The battery manufacturer's equalize procedure should be followed, including the frequency of using the procedure. This site gives the specific instructions for equalizing Lifeline AGM batteries and each type of battery is likely to have its own procedures.

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.php
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Jon Wehrenberg
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 08:09:23 AM »

 Equalizing is a high voltage charge for a specific amount of time. I think it is around 15.5 volts, and the inverters I am familiar with have a means by which they can go into equalize mode.
The battery manufacturer's equalize procedure should be followed, including the frequency of using the procedure. This site gives the specific instructions for equalizing Lifeline AGM batteries and each type of battery is likely to have its own procedures.  

     Thank you.  That's very helpful!  I was recently given a pair of almost-new "take out" 8-D's.  I had been planning a set of 6-volt for my house system (and mulling over "should I spend the $$$ for AGM's until I'm sure that I have the charging set up right on my new inverter/charger/alternator/generator system") but the 8-D's fit perfectly in the little battery area that I've been able to rig up under the floor ("transit" bus, no bays) so it seems like the thing to do to run these "free batteries" as long as they last, get some experience with my charging system, and then be ready to make the decision on whether it's good for me to move to AGM's when these batteries reach the end of their lives.

     In the meantime, I will have to develop maintenance routines and this info is really helpful.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 08:16:53 AM by Oonrahnjay » Logged

Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
prevosman
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 08:48:28 AM »

Bruce,

Maintaining batteries is not difficult, and if you follow the charging protocol (on the site I listed above) your batteries will have the maximum life span possible.

I have noticed when owners switch types of batteries, such as going from lead acid to AGM that they overlook the difference in how they are to be charged. Each specific type of batteries has different voltages for the three stages. In addition, an owner should be aware of how their charger or inverter functions. Some, such as mine will revert to bulk charge every time power is removed and reapplied to the inverters. Obviously that can tend to damage some batteries if it happens frequently.

Observe the recommended voltages for each stage of charge and life is good.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 08:53:06 AM »

To equalize, paint half of them white.

Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
gus
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 03:40:21 PM »

gary,

That was in no way funny in the least and has no place on this board.
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PD4107-152
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Ash Flat, AR
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 04:35:29 PM »

 Cry
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topfrog007
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 12:13:23 PM »

Guys,

Ended up buying a new battery. 8D Autocraft battery - $140.00

Can I charge these like a normal car battery? Can I use my trickle charger and leave it on for 24-36 hours?

Thanks,
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Preston - Dothan Alabama - 1986 MCI 102A3
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 01:19:50 PM »

To Equalize batteries, paint one half of them purple.... or pink.... or female..... or Chicken flavored... or Vegan.... or... or.... or.... why have a pick on the color white? sounds a bit discriminatory to me.

I think we are too afraid of being politically incorrect here. Maybe Gus needs to take a chill pill. No one said anything about the color of his bus, or his engine or his cat.

If something like an ethnic joke makes you angry, maybe you should look at yourself before you say anything.

As evidence, I am an amalgamation of Jewish, German, English, French, Black (OK... African American or Negro), Latino, Italian, Cherokee, Nez Perce, Apache, Irish, Arapahoe, Scots, Black Foot, Polish, Russian, and a few more... oh, I forgot to add Chicken!

That should give me the right to make a joke about any of the parts of me that make me, me. I also have no problem with jokes that are told about any of my many parts or pieces. If it offends YOU... get over it.

What you do when you try to make a joke a personal affront is to point it to you personally.

I defy any person that is from the south to prove that they don't have "Afro American" genes. Ever look at the history of the south?

How many of you can say that you are a true WASP? (For those of you that don't understand, that means Whit Anglo Saxon Protestant).

Why not quit trying to be offended and laugh with the rest, anything less is just going to cause you an ulcer and an earlier grave.

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I'm just an old chunk of coal... but I'm gonna be a diamond someday.
gus
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 05:14:56 PM »

No, Gus needs no chill pill. The people who post these coded racist and bigoted comments know very well what they are doing.

This has nothing to do with being politically correct, it has to do with respect for ones fellow human.

I grew up in the segregated south. I've been around much longer than most of you and have been seeing this stuff all my life, some people just don't get it.

Why is it that so many posters just cannot resist the urge to post a camouflaged dig about minorities or Chinese??

There is a difference in making a joke which is a racist dig and making a joke which is funny.

I, too, am a mixture of all types, so are most of us, but that gives us no right to make sly racist comments.

Hey guys, grow up and stick to buses.
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PD4107-152
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Ash Flat, AR
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2011, 08:17:13 PM »

Not that it's worth a watering contest but (as I was involved in the discussions) I didn't take it that way at all.  The picture in my mind was a battery half painted white and somebody standing there saying "that's equalized".  But whatever.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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