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Author Topic: 24 volt starting bank dead - How best to charge?  (Read 3939 times)
belfert
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« on: May 24, 2006, 07:40:40 AM »

I went to start my bus last night and it wouldn't start.  I found the 12 volt batteries were all reading about 1 volt.  There must be a parasitic drain somewhere as I left the battery disconnect on for maybe a week.

Any suggestions on how to rectify this?  The system is 24 volt.  Do I just charge each battery seperately with my 12 volt charger?  I am thinking I should remove all cables from the batteries to prevent damage to the VERY expensive DDEC and B500 ECM.

I certainly have no way to jump start the bus and I don't really want to do that as I have heard horror stories of fried DDECs.

Brian Elfert
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El-Sonador
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2006, 08:06:29 AM »

I went to start my bus last night and it wouldn't start. I found the 12 volt batteries were all reading about 1 volt. There must be a parasitic drain somewhere as I left the battery disconnect on for maybe a week.

Any suggestions on how to rectify this? The system is 24 volt. Do I just charge each battery seperately with my 12 volt charger? I am thinking I should remove all cables from the batteries to prevent damage to the VERY expensive DDEC and B500 ECM.

I certainly have no way to jump start the bus and I don't really want to do that as I have heard horror stories of fried DDECs.

Brian Elfert

Do you have a 24vdc house bank you can tie into, just to start your bus...

I installed a solinoid for this very reason and by flipping a switch I can jump start my bus... if not you have to use cables

Steve
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Dallas
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006, 08:16:52 AM »

I went to start my bus last night and it wouldn't start.  I found the 12 volt batteries were all reading about 1 volt.  There must be a parasitic drain somewhere as I left the battery disconnect on for maybe a week.

Any suggestions on how to rectify this?  The system is 24 volt.  Do I just charge each battery seperately with my 12 volt charger?  I am thinking I should remove all cables from the batteries to prevent damage to the VERY expensive DDEC and B500 ECM.

I certainly have no way to jump start the bus and I don't really want to do that as I have heard horror stories of fried DDECs.

Brian Elfert

Brian,
I've never fried a DDEC in close to 30 years of working with them.
Just make sure your polarity is correct.
Since it's down to LOW voltage, you may be well off to diconnect and service the batteries one at a time. Check the water in all of them. DO NOT refill with anything but PURE DISTILLED WATER. Clean all connections. Check each Battery for condition and voltage as it comes out of the bank. Check for a bad ground, (This is where I'm leaning. Parasitic loads on my 12V system will hold up for over a month without causing an alarm). Look for corrosion on cables, terminals, posts, and nut/bolt connections.
An easy way to check for a bad ground is to hook your battery ground to a set of jumper cables, then hook the cables to the engine directly. Try to start it from the rear. If, (with your indicated voltage) you get any sound at all from the solenoid, you have a bad ground.
IHTH

Dallas
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darrenayres
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006, 08:24:59 AM »

Brian,
I had some mc9 charter buses and had a couple of instances where the battery disconnect was not thrown and, sure enough, low batteries. I've done a couple of things depending on time available. One is just like you said: disconnect all cables and charge one battery at a time. I've done this with a charger and with jumper cables if no charger was available. Another time I threw the battery disconnect switch and waited a few hours. The batteries regained some juice. Then I jumped it from my 12 volt truck attaching the ground clamp to the far left battery terminal (grounded to the frame) and the hot clamp to the far right terminal (going to battery disconnect). It gave it enough to start the bus.

Darren
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006, 08:58:56 AM »

I don't have a house bank yet so I can't start from that.  I still have a evening or two of stripping before interior stripping is done.  Electrical will start in about 10 days when the bus is back from C&J Bus Repair where it goes next week.

I think I'll just charge each battery seperately.  I think they are sealed batteries that can't have water added.  I'm hoping the batteries aren't fried.

Brian Elfert
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El-Sonador
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2006, 10:25:18 AM »

I don't have a house bank yet so I can't start from that. I still have a evening or two of stripping before interior stripping is done. Electrical will start in about 10 days when the bus is back from C&J Bus Repair where it goes next week.

I think I'll just charge each battery seperately. I think they are sealed batteries that can't have water added. I'm hoping the batteries aren't fried.

Brian Elfert

Hey Brian...

Sounds like a good plan to pull them out, get them charged up [separately] and do a full service on them... ei... clean post, terminals etc...

I found that a sticky luggage bay light switch may be a cause of power drain when the Bus Bats are left on, but then again it could be a number of little things like that.

You will feel better with a total going over of those batteries in the end anyways...

Steve
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Dallas
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 10:41:40 AM »

I don't have a house bank yet so I can't start from that.  I still have a evening or two of stripping before interior stripping is done.  Electrical will start in about 10 days when the bus is back from C&J Bus Repair where it goes next week.

I think I'll just charge each battery seperately.  I think they are sealed batteries that can't have water added.  I'm hoping the batteries aren't fried.

Brian Elfert

Brian,
If your start batteies are lead acid, they most likely have some way to get to the filler.
There might be a piece of plastic over it, but that can be taken out or cut to access the fillers.
My group 31's looked like and said they were 'Maintenence Free', but a litle probing with a screwdriver fixed that. Besides, I've been using them for 7 years and they still work good.
Dallas
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plyonsMC9
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 10:46:57 AM »

Hi Brian,

Good advice has been given.  I would just re-iterate what Steve said about cleaning the terminals  EXCELLENT idea.  I skipped this step the last time I had to separately charge my 8-Ds.  Dumb mistake on my part.  Bus didn't start immediately.  LOUD POP.  I mean - LOUD!  Turned out one of the terminals wasn't clean enough for a connection.  So it arced (OK, I can't spell arc'ed, arked? )  creating the proper connection.  Between the post and the cable.  I won't ever let that happen again.  Also - watch out for sparks - be careful!

Hope this helps, Phil

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Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
belfert
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 11:23:19 AM »

Fortunately, these batteries are extremely clean right now.  They look like brand new.  I think the bus dealer put them in as they are from Virginia Battery Company or similiar and the bus was bought in Virginia.  (It was run out of Atlanta.)

I'll see if I can't check the water even if they are "sealed".

Brian Elfert
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plyonsMC9
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 12:02:25 PM »

Hi Brian,

New batteries - good.  Well, at least watch out for those sparks!  I didn't catch what kind of bus you have, but on my MC9, I was advised to start using the main / start batteries cutoff switch.  e.g., after stopping the bus, and before staying for a while, use the main start battery cutoff switch.    My batteries also had drained at some point.  So, I started using the cutoff switch - in case there was a small electrical drain somewhere...

Hope this helps,
Phil
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Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
belfert
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 12:12:34 PM »

New batteries - good.  Well, at least watch out for those sparks!  I didn't catch what kind of bus you have, but on my MC9, I was advised to start using the main / start batteries cutoff switch.  e.g., after stopping the bus, and before staying for a while, use the main start battery cutoff switch.    My batteries also had drained at some point.  So, I started using the cutoff switch - in case there was a small electrical drain somewhere...

I have a 1995 Dina.  I normally turn off the disconnect every time, but I forgot and left it for a week and now it is dead.  I'll have to find the drain after I get the batteries charged up.

I do know all the radios and electronics and such in newer cars means that they won't make it over winter if the battery isn't disconnected.  Older vehicles with none of that crap do just fine over the winter with battery connected.

Brian Elfert
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El-Sonador
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 12:14:30 PM »

Hey Brian...

Is a Dina a Mexican built version of the MCI...?

Not sure


Steve
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 01:01:21 PM »

Hey Brian...

Is a Dina a Mexican built version of the MCI...?

Dina bought MCI in 1994 and sold MCI in 1999.  The Dina Viaggio 1000 is a Dina coach that is a Dina design, not an MCI design.  It does have an all-American drivetrain.  MCI sold the Dinas in the USA, but under the Dina name even though MCI provides all service, support, and parts.  Marco Polo actually made the body for the Viaggio 1000.  Marco Polo eventually entered the Mexican market directly and the Viaggio 1000 was discontinued since Marco Polo was no longer supplying the body.

The F3500 was also made by Dina, but it had the MCI name on it even though it was a modified Dina design.  The G4500 was made in Mexico, but I have no idea if it is an MCI design or a Dina design.  G4500 production was moved to Winnipeg, but it appears the G4500 was integrated into the E4500/J4500 models.  The G4500 is no longer sold.

Brian Elfert
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tekebird
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 02:10:09 PM »

Actually the F3500 is a modified Flxible design.....righ down to the engine compartment battery tray that isn't used by the Dina/f-3500 versions.

Dina bought licensing for the Flxible Flxliner in the 70's......produced them through the early 90's when they had a facelift......then another in the MCI F3500 and whatever the Dina version was called.

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Hobe
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2006, 03:42:38 PM »

If its a MCi it most likly has a tap between the two 12 volt batterys. This will put a drain on the system even when the mast switch is open . It happens all the tme in my shop. It will drain the batterys in about aweek
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2006, 05:49:29 PM »

Wow!

I thought I was the only one with the exact same problem... I just dont got to 1 volt. I apparently drain to 18-20, but the bus just wont start on that. In fact, all it does is make a fast clicking noise.

there are 2 new batteries, and i figured that would solve it, but i forgot to throw the disconnect, and one week later... Cry

i have just noticed today that a lot of the terminals look like they have never been touched...not on the battery, they are all new, but the rest of the bus...

and i thought i was alone.

shawn
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Proud single custodial dad to a wonderful 14 year old son, Owner of a 1986 Neoplan 26' transit Bus AN408, Great weekender...Lots of work to come on this bus, can't wait to get her done! 8.2L with a Allison AT545...
belfert
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2006, 06:16:22 PM »

If its a MCi it most likly has a tap between the two 12 volt batterys. This will put a drain on the system even when the mast switch is open . It happens all the tme in my shop. It will drain the batterys in about aweek

Not an MCI, but a Dina.  It does have a Vanner equalizer.  Is that enough to kill the batteries?  The disconnect has off, both, 12 volt, and 24 volt.  It does seem like it kills the 12 volt and the 24 volt with the switch.  Not sure if the Vanner is before or after the disconnect.  It odesn't seem like the batteries drained before with the disconnect off, but I never went a week without starting until recently.

I haven't started to charge the batteries yet as it has been raining and I don't have a reason to start the coach right now.

Brian Elfert
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DrDave
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2006, 06:16:52 PM »

If any of your bay doors were left open, The lights were probably on and drained the batteries.

I placed a manual cut-off switch on my bay door light circuit and eliminated that problem.

Or just make sure the main disconnect is off when leaving the bus.

I have a 6-amp 24 volt charger wired in permanently that I plug in when needed and it peaks
the batteries after a long rest.
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gus
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2006, 09:28:39 PM »

New batteries can have oxidized terminals if they have plastic covers, and the dealer probably didn't clean the cable connections even if he did clean the battery connections.

One battery can have shorted plates and since you are hooking pos to neg to get 24V you have an automatic drainage.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2006, 10:03:43 PM »

Brian,

I reccommend you seperate and clean and charge each one individually as you plan and after doing this to each one load test it before hooking them together. Then when you get it hooked up and running always remember to turn off the batteries if it will be shut down 12 hrs or more! But while at C&J have them check your equalizer as Bobby's Dina's both have had to have the equalizers changed one of them twice! One was draining the batteries when shut off and the other was over charging while running and FRIED 3 sets of "Brand New Looking Batteries" know why they looked brand new? They were and the drivers were out in the middle of nowhere and would call in and tell him the batteries were shot again and he'd have whoever put new ones on and send the old ones back so he could get credit for them, well finally one of them was at home when it happened and I sent someone out to change 'em out and find the problem because I knew we weren't getting that many bad batteries in a row! Well he discovered the inverter was boiling them after he installed the new ones he started it and let it run while he ran and grabbed a quick bite, when he got back 30 mins later the 2 BRAND NEW batteries were boiling out so he got to checking and found the equalizer was putting like 30 volts out to 12 volt batteries! I've also talked with other owners who've had problems with the equalizers in Dinas! Just a thought and not worth much! LOL!
Cool Grin Cheesy Smiley  Knuckle  Cool Grin Cheesy Wink Smiley
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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)
belfert
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2006, 04:32:18 AM »

Brian,

I reccommend you seperate and clean and charge each one individually as you plan and after doing this to each one load test it before hooking them together. Then when you get it hooked up and running always remember to turn off the batteries if it will be shut down 12 hrs or more! But while at C&J have them check your equalizer as Bobby's Dina's both have had to have the equalizers changed one of them twice! One was draining the batteries when shut off and the other was over charging while running and FRIED 3 sets of "Brand New Looking Batteries" know

C&J won't even sell Vanner Equalizers anymore due to all the failures they see.  They sell Sure Power as replacements.  I'll check it out after the batteries get charged up.  My smart charger keeps erroring out so I need to get a new charger.

I thought my bus was going to be all repaired by now, but the parts haven't all showed up at C&J from MCI yet!  They are still waiting on brake shoes and MCI only had one tie rod end.  My bus probably won't go in for repair until week after next.

Brian Elfert
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Dallas
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2006, 06:45:52 AM »

As Bryce said,
Load test your batteries after charging, but as a piece of advice, let the batteries set for 12 to 24 hours to help equalize the surface charge after charging and before doing any tests. Before doing a load test check the specific gravity of the electrolyte. I use a refractometer, which is 100% more accurate than the cheap hydrometers sold at Walmart and Autozone, but MAK tools and Snapon sell pretty good ones.
Specific gravity will let you know where you have a weak or bad cell. 1 bad cell can cause all of your cells to go dead.

IHTH
Dallas
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2006, 11:20:13 AM »

 MAK tools and Snapon sell pretty good ones.
IHTH
Dallas
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Dallas I thunk you meant MAC & SNAP-ON Tools, but what would I know!
Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Cool Knuckle Cool Grin Cheesy Wink Smiley
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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)
Dallas
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2006, 11:30:29 AM »

MAK tools and Snapon sell pretty good ones.
IHTH
Dallas
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Dallas I thunk you meant MAC & SNAP-ON Tools, but what would I know!
Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Cool Knuckle Cool Grin Cheesy Wink Smiley

OK Bryce, make fun of me cause Phil won't give me no spill czek!
They always told me,
"Buy ya books and buy ya books.
Send ya to school and ya eat the teacher"!

You just wait till you get here!
Then you'll be sorry!
I'll have Gary park you with all the skoolies!

Dallas
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2006, 11:41:55 AM »

MAK tools and Snapon sell pretty good ones.
IHTH
Dallas
Quote


Dallas I thunk you meant MAC & SNAP-ON Tools, but what would I know!
Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Cool Knuckle Cool Grin Cheesy Wink Smiley


OK Bryce, make fun of me cause Phil won't give me no spill czek!
They always told me,
"Buy ya books and buy ya books.
Send ya to school and ya eat the teacher"!

You just wait till you get here!
Then you'll be sorry!
I'll have Gary park you with all the skoolies!

Dallas


I do not think a spell check wil help on trademark names like Snap-On , but if you really want one here is one I use and it works great.

]http://www.iespell.com/

Richard
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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