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Author Topic: Changing to Group 31 Batteries  (Read 6244 times)
Fred Mc
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« on: May 16, 2007, 05:26:54 PM »

I have a GM PD4106 with 2 8D batteries that need replacing. The coach is a 12 colt system.

Ive read where a number of you have gone with group 31 batteries and I am considering this mainly becasue of the cost although weight is also a factor.

Can you get away with 2 group 31's replacing 2 8D's?

Where did you buy them and what is the cost?

Thanks

Fred Mc.

Edit: I changed the spelling in the subject header to make for easier searching in the database. - Dallas
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 06:43:26 AM by Dallas » Logged
Dreamscape
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 05:31:13 PM »

I got mine at Interstate Batteries, around 60 bucks each.

Paul
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ChuckMC8
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 05:48:49 PM »

Fred, I have 2 like new 8D's and am close to you. Email me at 14bama@bellsouth.net Chuck
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 06:52:54 PM »

 We are not getting away with group 31's. Once you remove the bus air, 8D's are overkill!!! 8D's have a one year warrenty group 31's up to seven years.
 Best battery, best deal? I dunno but I buy mine at Walmart, I can get a replacement battey almost anywhere 7 days a week!
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007, 07:23:41 PM »

Best battery, best deal? I dunno but I buy mine at Walmart, I can get a replacement battey almost anywhere 7 days a week!

I couldn't agree more.  I use Wal-Mart batteries in everything now.  They seem to be good quality and of course have an excellent price.  The only time I had one die prematurely, I took my pickup to the nearest Wal-Mart, they worked on it immediately.  They hooked up their tester to verify it was the battery that had the problem and then put a new one in no questions asked.  While the mechanic put the battery in, the clerk pro-rated the warranty and I paid.  Within 15 minutes of pulling in, I was driving away with a new battery under the hood.
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007, 11:00:59 PM »

I buy the tires for my toad at Walmart for the same reason.
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 11:42:20 PM »

I also have a 8V-71 Vdrive that I changed from the 8D starting to two size 31 batteries.  The original batteries were probably around 1200cca.  I use Interstate batteries that have 950cca each that spins the engine just fine.  The difference is 61lbs for the 31 and 132lbs for the 8D.  I do use Lifeline AGM 8D (2) for my house batteries that have 255amp/hr each, that I really like.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2007, 04:43:55 AM »

    One thing everyone needs to know about WalMart batteries. We purchased 2 group 31 batteries at a WalMart in NC last October, to replace to batteries that were 6 1/2 years old. 3 weeks later one of the batteries failed in South Georgia, we took it to the local WalMart for replacement. They said they could replace it but not with the same battery. I asked "why not?". The clerk explained that WalMart sells a "North" and "South" version. Sure enough the batteries I purchased were a 65N, the replacement was a 65S. They sell for the same price, but the "South" battery was about 75 less amps.  Jack
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2007, 05:18:31 AM »

That is interesting to know.  I imagine the higher amps rating for the northern batteries is to offset the performance loss of lead acid batteries at cold temps.  I wonder if other nationwide battery sellers do the same?
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 05:41:55 AM »

I imagine the higher amps rating for the northern batteries is to offset the performance loss of lead acid batteries at cold temps.  I wonder if other nationwide battery sellers do the same?

   I am sure that is the reason, but what upset me is that they charge just as much for the lesser quality "Southern" battery. And I now have an unmatched set of batteries connected in series for our bus starting batteries. But, if they fail, they will go back to the nearest WalMart for the free replacement. 
   I have no idea whether other national battery chains do the same thing.  Jack
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 05:43:29 AM by JackConrad » Logged

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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2007, 08:43:58 AM »

I buy batteries at NAPA, there are 5 times as many NAPA stores as there are Walmarts. 
  Any thing I want, if not in stock, will be here at 8 AM the next day.  Now you'll say Walmart will have them in stock, not so, the local Walmart doesn't stock group 31's and to order will take  a week or more.

Ed
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2007, 09:58:44 AM »

I recently purchased a new set of Group 31 maintenance free's (4) from NAPA and they appear to be doing fine - they especially seemed to handle the long periods of non-usage better than anything I've had so far - and the Group 31's usually have higher cranking amps - FWIW

P.S. - they were only $69 each at dealer cost - I think retail is closer to $100
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 10:00:30 AM by niles500 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2007, 10:36:20 AM »

And not all southern Super Wal-Mart have group 31 battery but usually Sam's Club does.

Also “group 31” does mean physical size only……..nothing to do with CCA. Check this for yourself  under “HEAVY-DUTY COMMERCIAL BATTERIES 12-VOLT (6 CELLS)” in BCI page: http://www.rtpnet.org/~teaa/bcigroup.html

However “group 31” is available in CCA rate from 625 to 1150 +. So ask or look for group 31 with highest CCA rating with roaming service store warranty.

So don't be misled that you have high CCA just because it is “group 31”

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2007, 01:06:14 PM »

NAPA's not open on Sunday, not that I would change a battery on the Lords day. But I might bee tempted to pick it up on the way home from church. Try to pull into most NAPA's with your bus.   NAPA is not open at night. I buy my fuel and oil filters at NAPA, I also carry extras. I do not want to carry an extra battery.  And the #1 reason                       I cant camp at NAPA!!!
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2007, 04:58:54 PM »

I thought we were talking about batteries not camping.

True NAPA stores aren't open on Sunday but it is very, very seldom that a man doesn't have some warning that he is going to need new batteries. There are certain indications that batteries need replaced. I try to monitor mine closely.

I'm sure that there are exceptions to every rule and people dedicated to the rule of semantics will post some exceptions but it still doesn't alter the fact that there are 5 times as many NAPA store as there are Walmarts which makes them more accessible.

The local Walmart doesn't carry group 31's that I can find. Now I could go to the next closest Walmart but, would pass 3 NAPA stores on the way.

Ed
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2007, 05:44:10 PM »

My local NAPA is open on sunday. 10:00-4:00 Guess I'm just lucky that way!  Grin Grin Grin
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Fred Mc
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2007, 08:42:49 PM »

So if "Group 31" refers to size only then what is the difference between a Group 31 and an 8D of comparable CCA?

Given that a Group 31 is physically 1/2 the size of an 8D and 1/2 the weight what do you get with an 8D that you don't get with a Group 31? What other ratings are important other than the CCA?

Thanks

Fred Mc.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2007, 09:27:14 PM »

North vs. South batteries:

I wish I had more time to put into this but I am leaving tomorrow in the bus and will have to get up early to get ready, so I hope this makes sense.

Yes, there is a difference in the batteries and there is a good reason for it. But like everything else there is a trade off with what you get. All batteries contain what the battery manufactures call pasting. Think of pasting like a sponge, lots of holes and surface area. A northern battery has thinner lead plates and more lead pasting on the plates. That is how they get the higher CCA out of them and keep the same case size.  The problem with the thick pasting is that it breaks down faster than thin pasting, it’s not as durable. If it flakes off and falls to the bottom of the battery it can short out that cell. Even Southern batteries have pasting but not as much, instead the Southern batteries lead plates are thicker. If you ever get to take a battery apart you will see what I am talking about. So, Northern climate batteries have a higher cranking current but the trade off is in longevity. If it where me I would rather have the Southern batteries because they are tougher and last longer (in theory).

If someone could say this with more clarity, please do so, I just don’t have the time to do this topic justice. If I am wrong, let me know, so I can go back to the battery distributor that educated me and correct them. Wink
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 09:32:09 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2007, 10:28:26 PM »

Fred Mc- read my post on page one on the cca differences.  2 size 31's at 950cca each flip over my 8V-71 fine.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2007, 04:49:40 AM »


Given that a Group 31 is physically 1/2 the size of an 8D and 1/2 the weight what do you get with an 8D that you don't get with a Group 31? What other ratings are important other than the CCA?


As I understand it:

  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is the current delivered for 30 seconds while keeping the battery voltage above 7.2 volts at 0° F.
  • Reserve Capacity (RC) is how long it takes a fully charged battery to discharge 25 amps until the voltage drops below 10.5 volts at 80° F.
  • Amp Hours capacity is how much current a battery will discharge over an hour although most are rated based on a 20-hour discharge period.  (i.e. 200 amp hours is 10 amps per hour for 20 hours)

    Group   
Amp Hours
31
95-125
4D
180-215
8D
225-255
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2007, 06:26:29 AM »

Quite a bit of battery information has been collected and posted on the Help board under the topic Favorites here: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=3071.0
If you have any additional links, I will be glad to include them.
Richard

BTW, I am really looking for Repair facilities across the country and links for the ones I have. With the start of the vacation season, a good list of repair facilities would be nice to have.

BK, please add your information if you want it on here.
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2007, 10:15:33 PM »

True NAPA stores aren't open on Sunday but it is very, very seldom that a man doesn't have some warning that he is going to need new batteries. There are certain indications that batteries need replaced. I try to monitor mine closely.

All I can say is you obviously don't live in the southwest. In AZ, getting any warning that a battery is going bad is the exception, not the rule. Here, if your battery seems weak on startup, go to the store *now* for a new one. But usually, you don't even get that much warning.
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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2007, 08:55:24 AM »

Okay, which Walmarts actually carry group 31 batteries?  I have never seen group 31 batteries at any local Walmart, but we also don't have any Supercenters here yet.  (They are coming.)  I don't recall if I've ever looked for group 31 batteries at any of the various Supercenters I have stopped at in my travels.

A local truck dealer is selling group 31s with 1200 CCAs for $62.50 which is much better than Sam's Club, but what happens if a battery dies away from home?

I need to bring out four new group 31s to my bus the next time I want to take it out of storage.  I did some bad things to the batteries and now they won't hold a charge for long.
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2007, 10:37:02 PM »

MSSheldon,

What part of AZ are you in?

I'm currently park in North Phoenix in the Deer Valley area.

Bill
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