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Funny thing happened with my battery today...

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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:14 pm

Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Hi,

I did the search thing, but didn't find anything real specific to my experience today, so I'm throwing this out, any words of wisdom, short answers, or definitive answers appreciated.

I have a Cycle Electrics low-volt 12V generator, and the little Yusa battery. It's been in there since at least last January, and 700 miles, and has been working perfect.

After about a 20 or so mile ride on the UL, on the back roads, trying to find where my tank goes on reserve, I got on the highway for about eight miles or so, took an off-ramp, came to a stop sign, and she dies. Aha! So I flip on the reserve and I'm about to kick her back to life, and I notice that my generator light is off...no ignition. So I pushed her off to the side of the road.

No lights, no generator light, no ignition. So I checked my fuse, and it was fine. Then I carefully flashed from the positive to negative, and found that the battery was totally, completely dead-nuts dead. Last few miles I must have been running completely on the generator, and when she idled down to where the gen light comes on, that was all she wrote.

In the hour and a half, at least, that it took the wife to go find the Son's trailer, (mine would have had to have all the tires checked and the license plates switched) hook it up, find straps, and arrive on the scene, I noticed that some very little juice had come back. Enough to run the generator light, but switching on the headlight would kill it.

Got it home, off the trailer, kicked her back to life (battery had come back to life more) and could see the generator was definitely working, turn on the headlight and you could see it go bright and dim with the revs, and the gen light would flicker on when she idled down, just like normal. Pulled the battery out and found that a couple of cells were very low on water...a hair below the tops of the plates. On an old volt gauge I got a reading of about 7 volts. One thing I learned was that you can't go by the lines on that battery to tell if it has water...I actually thought it was a little over filled last time I checked it. Then taking off the caps told the true story.

I've got it on the charger now, I've added electrolyte, not water, and the charger says she's really struggling to take a charge, or that it's not that dead...? It's not reading like a normal low battery does...needle is way down around like a half or one amp, normally I'd see 2-6 on a low battery. ???

My question is: Do you think the battery is now damaged? Dare I trust it further? With just some cells very low on water, should it have gone totally dead like that? Anyone have the same experience?

Or has it to do with the battery being so small, that when she dies, she dies completely? What Up? With no turn signals, (shhhh) starter, and I hardly ever use the rear brake, so the brake light isn't even using much juice, it's not like a 12V system should be getting over worked. ?? Up until today, lights have been nice and bright.

Thanks, TIA.

ken
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Frankenstein

User avatar

Posts: 1552

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:40 am

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

It's not a battery any more, it's toxic waste. If it won't take a charge, and doesn't have any storage capacity, it's on longer useful as a battery, to state the obvious. Not sure how it got to this state, but when a cell goes low on fluid, it's boiling itself dry. If you indeed have the low voltage version of the cycle electric, I'd just blame it on a defective battery, and move on. I'd suggest you switch to a "gell cell" and move up from a wet cell.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... ery/1.html
I"ve been using these for years and have had good luck. 2-3 year life span.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... ery/1.html
I"ve used the 5 ah version as well, likewise with good results.
There's just no need to mess with leaky batteries any more.
Just my opinion of course, your results may vary.
DD
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:59 am

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Hey, fast reply! Thanks.

No, I have no problem trying another battery.

Last night, I put that battery on the charger just before posting. After posting, I went to check it, and again the charger said it either wasn't taking a charge, or that it was charged...so I disconnected it and put the volt gauge on it, and to my surprise was right at 12.5-14 volts. But I put it back on the charger for the night, and she's right there again this morning.

Anyhow, I will try another battery, (opinions count!) I won't be trusting that one. Another obvious might be to check and add electrolyte much more often. !!

Another point I've pondered, is that with a bike with an electric starter, the starter kind of tells you when the battery is about to go, whereas with the kicker, you don't need many volts to start the bike. ??? That's the only way to explain to myself how it went dead so quickly, on the road. ?? Just a puzzle to me how it went completely dead at a stop sign. That and I guess those little tiny batteries just don't, or can't hold much residual zap.

Okay, well thanks. On to a gel cell I guess. !!!!

ken.
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Dusty-Dave

Posts: 883

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:39 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

I'm was in a fight with a chicken shit ebay seller amonth or so ago who shipped me a completely dead Ballistic battery then refused to warranty it because my 40 Indian isn't listed in the advertising, anyway right now I got no battery and needed to ride that day. So I ran to town and picked up 4 of the 123 batteries would have bought 8 but they were really high at wally world. any way I soldered them together in series to get 12V. Fired right up and went riding. Two sets of series wired tied together parallel would be much better but I thought that driving the 100 miles round trip to a bigger town was time I could be riding. I been running it dam near a month!
Dusty
Image
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fhsmith1

Posts: 206

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:10 pm

Location: Georgia

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:15 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

I tried 1 of these on my 1946 FL. So far, so good. Been in about 6 months.
F

http://batterytender.com/products/batteries.html

120 CCA Lithium Engine Start Battery (PN...
$99.95
Deltran Battery Tender's® line of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) engine start batteries are designed to replace Flooded, AGM, and Gel cell lead acid batteries in Power Sport applications such as Motorcycles, ATVs, Personal Water Craft, Lawn
...
At this time, batteries can only be shipped ground. Any other shipping options selected at checkout will not be honored.
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:12 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Well the Yusa drops back down to under or around 10V when you take it off the charger, in as little as five to ten minutes, so one cell is fried. So, ordered one of those 7ah gel batteries. I was hoping to be able to ride with the Yusa until that got here, but I really don't want anyone to see the Little Mistress on the trailer again...!!!

Now is there a battery out there that is closer to the size of the old 6V battery? Or is it always going to be a make-it-fit proposition? I don't suppose there is. Those are sure tiny batteries.

What Dusty Dave did...I would have never imagined that would work. ??!! Flint, about seven months is what I had on the Yusa, although it looks to be my bad, letting a cell go dry.

That sure was a new experience, having a battery go drop-dead at a stop sign. It seems they usually die when you go to start the bike again, or used to. Back in the day when they first passed the headlight law, everyone with 6V's it seemed was having the dead battery blues, (and the headlight ticket blues), and most people did have 6V, but I don't remember it happening like that...where the bike just quits running. Seems like you discovered it when you went to start it up.

Oh well.

k.
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Dusty-Dave

Posts: 883

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:19 am

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

knucklebolt wrote: What Dusty Dave did...I would have never imagined that would work.

Well I wasn't sure either but the Ballistic Battery uses a larger version of the 123. I needed to ride bad and the numbers said it should work.
Dusty
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:03 am

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

That is still amazing. !!!!

ken.
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Frankenstein

User avatar

Posts: 1552

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Something we ran into at the bike shop where I work part time was how batteries are rated. Many lead acid bike batteries are rated at "cold cranking amps", amps they will deliver at zero or 30 deg. So, first time we ordered a lithium replacement, we got a battery that matched the cold cranking amps. The batt was for a big stroker H-D. Well, the battery wouldn't crank it over at room temperature. Problem was, the lithium doesn't derate with lower temps, Lead acid does. So the lead acid delivers at least half again it's cold cranking amps at room temps, and would start the stroker. The lithium delivered the same amps cold or normal, and as a result didn't have the capacity to turn over the stroker. We had to eat the battery, ended up in the shop manager's Suzuki Savage!
DD
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

I wish I understood all that stuff better. I suppose the big strokers pose a dilemma as far as not being very kicker friendly, but also needing some serious battery for an electric start. Glad I have a stock UL with a kicker. I'll leave the big strokers for the big boys. !!!

Okay outstanding! As I sat down to write this, I hear a "beep beep", and there's the mail lady with my new battery. On the road again...but I'll have to put different connections on my wires, and "make" the battery fit my Yuasa battery box.

One last question: I read where the Gels, Lead Acid, and AGM batteries all seem to require different charging rates, when on a charger. Does a generator charge in such a way as to be compatable with the different types of batteries? How does the generator work with all types, when one charger will not. ???

Thanks.

ken
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Frankenstein

User avatar

Posts: 1552

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

The sealed types, agm, gel, can't be allowed to "boil" or vent. So, with those types, you need to be sure that the charging amps don't go to high. On a bike, you achieve that by keeping the charging voltage down to say 14.3, 14.4. Is it possible for a bike system to abuse a sealed cell? Yeah, probably sometimes, but nothing lives forever. Typically I get 2-3 years on the gel cells I use. Pretty good bang for the buck.
DD
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Hmmm...then I guess, or hope that my low-volt generator is low enough.

That battery fit great in the Yusa box, just needed to add a couple of spacers to get the height right. Then it fit perfect between the two shelves that the Yausa, Yusa, yuasa or whatever battery sat on. Not sure if I'm excited about the spade connections...? I am excited that the bike is ready to roll again. Now back to finding out where she goes on reserve. I'm guessing around 120-130 miles, (stock type 3.5 gallon fat bobs) and she's at 112 miles after the last fill up. But that's a wild guess, we'll see.

ken.
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Frankenstein

User avatar

Posts: 1552

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:09 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

I solder a couple of leads to the tabs on the battery. If you don't linger too long with the soldering iron on the tabs, you won't hurt anything. I'm thinking the output of the cycle electric genny should be o. k. While you're at it, put one of those HD 15 amp circuit breakers in the ground leg to protect your wiring.
DD
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knucklebolt

Posts: 222

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:50 pm

Re: Funny thing happened with my battery today...

Beat ya to it. !!! Have just such a fuse in my ground wire, and on the fateful day she died, that was the first thing I checked...was very surprised it was not blown.

Thanks.

ken.

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