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Posted: 8/15/2002 7:55:05 AM EDT
We recently got an old bike. Now it has a bad battery. If I can track it down, we also have a automotive charger with a 2 amp and a 10 amp setting. Is the 2 -amp setting going to be OK for this small battery, or will it get toasted. Not that it isn't toasted already - the headlights reportedly both went out with a blue flash, and the battery was bone dry in all the cells. Sounds like it got overcharged, to me, though the previous owner says the battery has been crap for a long time. Ideas? Advice? Would like to know how to test the regulator, too. Thanks PRK
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 9:04:31 AM EDT
The 2-amp setting should be fine, as long as you don't leave it connected for more than a day or so. The only kind of charger that should be left permanently connected is a maintenance charger that is voltage-regulated. Even then, it's a good idea to check battery water levels every month or so. Best way to test the regulator is with a digital voltmeter (cheapies available at Wal-Mart for under $15, Harbor Freight also often has them on sale for under $10 ). With the engine running and the battery fully charged, the battery voltage should be higher than 13 volts and lower than 14.2 volts. The actual voltage you measure will depend on ambient temperature, how many electrical accessories are turned on, the battery's state of charge, engine speed, etc.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 9:45:47 AM EDT
Check the water level of the battery before you charge it. If it's low add some water. [b]Distilled water.[/b] Using an eye dropper or something will help fill low cells. Skibane is right about the charging and alternator info.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 9:52:57 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 9:57:49 AM EDT
here's an old trick that works to bring old, sulphated batteries back to life: drop a plain aspirin tablet or two into each cell. top off with water and charge for 12-24 hours on a low amperage setting.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 10:01:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By prk: Not that it isn't toasted already - the headlights reportedly both went out with a blue flash, and the battery was bone dry in all the cells. Sounds like it got overcharged, to me, though [i]the previous owner says the battery has been crap for a long time.[/i] Ideas? Advice? Thanks PRK
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Ideas? Advice? How about buy a new battery?[;D]
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 10:05:53 AM EDT
[b]Yausua[/b] is the only scoot battery worth having. They cost around $100 bucks but will outlast anything else on the market. My current ride is 3.5 years old and still going on the factory new fangled dry cell, and I'm amazed as I've had the new [b]Yausua[/b] (not yet filled w/ acid, supposedly good for 10 years as long as it hasn't been filled and charged) since last winter. Unless you ride everyday don't expect to get more than 48 months outta anything else. Invest in a battery tender and you'll get the most outta your not daily ridden scoot battery. Mike
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 10:48:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: Ideas? Advice? How about buy a new battery?[;D]
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That sounded pretty attractive, but then I thought it would be good to do the trouble shooting with the old one installed, until we figure out if some other problem exists, say with the regulator. I don't want to fry a brand new battery.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 11:13:48 AM EDT
The battery makers recommend not charging any bike battery at a rate greater than 1/10 of the battery's amp-hour rating. The amp-hour rating is typically concealed in the model designation. For example, a YB12LA-2 is a 12 A-H battery, so 1.2 amps is the way to go. In a perfect world. In reality, your 2A charger will be fine for all but the tiniest little scooter batteries. When you top up the cells with distilled water, wait for 15-30 minutes for the porous lead plates to soak up the water, then top up again, then put it on charge. Sometimes the plates warp and short out against each other, or short due to crud sitting in the bottom of the case. In that event, you can sometimes use a hose to flush out the gunk and then try to refill and charge. "Battery Tender" is a good brand of charger that will keep a battery charged without overdoing it. If this one ends up toast, you can sometimes save a little core charge if you turn in the old one when getting the new one. That way, it gets recycled too.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 6:04:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2002 6:08:56 PM EDT by prk]
OK, we never heard back from the guy that borrowed the charger, but here's what happened: Refilled with distilled water & let sit for several hours. Noticed bubbles still coming up occasionally. Installed the battery in the bike again a few hours ago. It was reading about 10 volts wihthout having been recharged. Started the bike up, and it read about 16.5 volts on my analog meter. That got down to 15.5 after 10 minutes of running. Went to get a headlight bulb & returned about an hour ago, put the bulb in but didn't plug the connector on. Tested both low-beam and high-beam voltage with the digital meter - now reads about 11.5 volts using a digital meter with the engine off. However, once the engine is running, low and high beam both read 17.7 volts at the connector to the headlight bulb. This makes me think the voltage regulator has gone bad, and that it needs to be replaced before we get another battery. I don't think we can adjust it. This is a 1983 Suzuki GS750. What you you think? Should we run it a while longer to see if the charging stabilizes at a normal range like what Skibane identified? We've been running it about 10 minutes at a time so far. Or should we just go get the regulator (probably it will have to be ordered)?
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 6:26:44 PM EDT
IFFFF your voltmeter is accurate, you need a regulator. Wiring shorts and the like can not hurt the headlamp. Check accuracy of your meter. DO same tests on your car and see how they compare. 12.6 volts after sitting for a few min. 13.5 to 14.5 running. Not exact but close enough and more accurate than many meters.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 6:26:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2002 6:28:49 PM EDT by kentstate4]
Try one of this when you get it fixed. [url]www.icpglobal.com[/url] select products then solar charger. I have one on my ATV work perfect even in an extreme climate as Alaska.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 6:30:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2002 6:30:47 PM EDT by bobbyjack]
If you are going to charge it,I would suggest Visa or Mastercharge. Bob [8D]
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 9:31:25 PM EDT
OK, the battery itself is up to just under 12 volts, and the charging system still makes it go to 17.7 So it looks like we'll be buying a new regulator and a battery. And we got our charger back. The neighbor came by, we asked him, he said he only used it at our house. He went back to his place and came out a few minutes later holding our charger. Seems he forgot he borrowed it and forgot he put it under his chest of drawers in his room [:D] Thanks for all the help, guys Now we return to our scheduled programming: FISHING
Link Posted: 8/16/2002 5:19:01 AM EDT
Don't know much about amps etc, but once a motorcycle battery gets more than a couple of years old, toss it. One shot cell will make the battery worthless. Your best bet is to get a regular motorcycle battery charger. Make sure you have it set for 12 volt when charging. Not too many 6 volt batteries anymore. In the winter take it out of the bike, and once a month charge it for a couple of hours. Halfway through the riding season take it out, refill it with water, and recharge. Guys who don't follow this advice buy one every year. I usually get 3-4 years out of a battery. Also, make sure the strap holding the battery is tight. Vibration kills batteries quick!!!!
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