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Annoying battery problem #140644 05/03/08 8:49 pm
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 504
Sisyphus Offline OP
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I have one of those battery chargers that has an LED green light when the battery is charged. All winter I'd go into the shed and periodically check to see that all was well, and sure enough the light was on. What I didn't notice, however, was that the charger/tender was unplugged from some drooping stuff hanging up above the socket. The battery was lighting up that little LED for months, and when I went to fire the bike up last month the battery was of course flat.Here's my problem: I topped up the water in the battery, and ever since when I run the bike it overflows all over itself. I now have sulfated water and corrosion issues from the battery downward, all over the chainguard and the mounting bolts, wherever. Where should the battery overflow hose be led? I never had this problem before so didn't have any need for an overflow hose. This is on a 76 T140, and I managed to put one leading down and it ends up under the bike but on the after side of the oil-bearing frame tube. Not sure if this is right or not...


There is no such thing as a sympathetic vibration.
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Re: Annoying battery problem #140645 05/03/08 9:58 pm
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Riff_Raff Offline
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As long as the overflow tube is pointing to an area where any fluid won't get on anything, you're good.

Question is, why is the battery overflowing so badly ? There should be a low level line & a high level line on the side of the battery. Did you make sure you didn't overfill the battery ? And is the battery holding charge after sitting (working constantly) all winter and then being topped off ?

My OL had her battery tender plugged into the weather-proof cap instead of the lead for the battery tender all winter....DOH! LOL! Her battery was stone dead, completely out of fluid. New battery for her was a must.


"Factory Stock Is A Suggestion Only"
Re: Annoying battery problem #140646 05/03/08 10:36 pm
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Sisyphus Offline OP
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Well, I don't know for how long it was unplugged but it was definitely flat. The electrolyte was low so I added distilled water, but I may have overfilled because its so hard to see where exactly the meniscus is compared to the line on the outside of the battery. It appears to be holding a charge, but I always plug it in as soon as I get home. In my experience in the marine industry batteries are creatures of habit; if you change their duty cycle they go bad. They'll lose a cell or sulfate their plates up or something devious to keep you on your toes about scheduling.
What's the best way to test the battery? I heard you can test it by turning the keyswitch on and then the headlamp for x amount of time but I don't know much beyond that. I suppose that's based on the amp hours of the battery. this is a 12 N9 battery, pretty standard.


There is no such thing as a sympathetic vibration.
Re: Annoying battery problem #140647 05/03/08 10:56 pm
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Blapper Offline
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Hey Sys,

Sorry to hear of your bike suffering all that corrosion. I would forget that battery because sulphating for the plates will mean its b*ggered. Once the state of charge goes below about 85%, the sulphating starts and having been flattened for all that time, your is definately ready for the bin.

Get a GM sealed battery and forget forever your problems. You can get one for less money than it takes to repair your corrosion.

Good luck!

Blapper redwine

Re: Annoying battery problem #140648 05/04/08 1:15 am
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Riff_Raff Offline
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Blapper's suggestion for a sealed battery is a good one & it might be time to consider it.

As far as testing the battery, there's those eyedrop style testers with the colored balls inside where you can test each cell separately.

And if you're riding regularly now, there's less need to use the tender. My preference for testing is by using a digital multimeter. Just set the meter to Volts, hold the negative lead on the negative terminal, hold the positive lead to the frame for ground and see what the reading is. If it's been off the tender overnight after testing, you can test it again next day & see if she's holding adequate charge.

If the level lines on the battery are difficult to read, you at least wanna have enough electrolyte/distilled water to cover the plates.


"Factory Stock Is A Suggestion Only"
Re: Annoying battery problem #140649 05/04/08 5:36 am
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Roadwarrior Offline
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The GM Sealed battery is excellent. I bought one after seeing Blappers picture of his in his bonnie. Sealed battery, super long lasting, but about $120. The bat is supposed to last 5 times longer than the standard battery. Mine is an ODYSSEY PC310 and fits perfectly in all triumph battery boxes. :bigt:





Bob M.
Re: Annoying battery problem #140650 05/10/08 5:05 pm
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trumpettwin Offline
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Look at your charge rate. Over charging will boil a bttery.


65 T20 Mountain Cub
69 TR6R (with 73 TR7R engine)
73 TR5T
77 T140V
79 ES Street Tracker (in the planning stage)
Enough parts to build a couple more. smile
Re: Annoying battery problem #140651 05/10/08 6:35 pm
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Blapper Offline
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Google the Odyssey PC310 and read the .pdf for the spec. You will not beat it to death with a very big stick. It is definitely a case of you get what you pay for there.

Blapper redwine

Re: Annoying battery problem #140652 05/12/08 3:18 am
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dale karger Offline
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i test batteries a couple different ways. first i use a hydrometer...like the eyedropper tester only a dial indicator rather than balls. the specific should be the same or relatively close in all the cells. if one is 10 points or more off the cell is bad or will be soon. if you pull cloudy or blackish water out of one cell the same holds true. then i put it on a heavy duty load tester. a good garage or battery shop will have one. take all the caps off and put it under load. the HD tester will suck the battery down pretty quick so you will know what you have after just 10 to 15 seconds of load. when on load if your cells throw an occasional bubble that is ok but if one cell looks like you dropped an alka-seltzer in it or you can hear it hiss its going or gone.
trumpet twin is right too. check charging system with the battery in and running. bring it up to operating speed around 3k and check the voltage output. you should be 13 to 14/14.5 volts. then do the same with an ammeter (see section H4 part A of your manual)to see the rate of charge. according to my manual


76 T140V
79 Honda CB 650
79 Yamaha 175 Enduro
68 Chevy Impala Convert
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Re: Annoying battery problem #140653 05/12/08 10:51 am
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gs750 Offline
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See RF's comments here :

http://www.britbike.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/003537.html

re trickle chargers, before sticking your battery on a Tender for too long. beerchug


1971 Triumph T100C
1974 Honda XL350
1982 Suzuki GS750T
2000 Honda VFR800FI
Re: Annoying battery problem #140654 05/12/08 12:22 pm
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Tiger Offline
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Odyssey PC310, you may need to glue small pieces of sheet rubber [inner tube] to the battery to avoid chafing on std hardware.

I have had two breakdowns in 4 yrs and both were cheap [there is no other kind] wet cell batteries going open circuit.

How much is your life worth if all fails whilst you are overtaking or riding at night in the bush ?

With a 3 phase alternator and electronic charge control [Podtronics] I will be really disappointed if my PC310 does not last 10 yrs.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
Re: Annoying battery problem #140655 05/12/08 3:18 pm
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Vox Teardrop Offline
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I ONLY use sealed batteries these days. It's not worth having the corrosion issues when a little bit of battery acid gets on your frame. They also last longer and are slightly more powerful.


95' Triumph Speed Triple
72' Triumph T120
64' BSA Lightning Rocket
Re: Annoying battery problem #140656 05/12/08 5:30 pm
Joined: Oct 2003
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RF Whatley Offline
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Greek Hero -
Really very sorry to hear about your battery issues. Battery acid on the paint and chrome really sux. Hope you brushed the affected area with water saturated with baking soda to stop the corrosion, or else it will continue.

You learned some big lessons from this, but let's recount them for everyone just to be sure:

Never, ever charge the battery in the bike
For Winter storage, always remove the battery from the bike and take it to a warm place
Never leave a battery charger connected to a battery longer than a couple of hours
A battery in a warm place only needs charging about 1 hour PER MONTH at most
No battery hose is long enough to keep battery acid completely off your bike. Highly suggest you strap a 3/8 ID piece of black vinyl hose from near the battery to 6 inches below the bike. Then trim the battery hose to 4" and insert the clear hose into the black hose.
Sealed batteries are not 100% free of acid venting, but the amount of acid venting and spillage is drastically reduced over that of a typical "flooded cell" battery

See my article on the subject at: Winter Storage

Hope this helps! :bigt:


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA
Re: Annoying battery problem #140657 05/12/08 8:38 pm
Joined: Apr 2008
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Derry Hincks Offline
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I'm surprised no one ever mentions Optimate here. I used to suffer battery failure over winter regularly until I learn my lesson and bought an Optimate 3 sp.

They have a number of advantages the most important for me being that they cycle the battery during storage so if the battery deteriorates over winter, from natural causes, the Optimate will indicate this.

As both my running bikes have the same battery spec I connect the batteries together during storage (removed from the bikes). At the end of the season I bring them up to charge with the Optimate individually then connect the batteries together in parallel and kept them topped-up with the Optimate connected to both.

I wheel the bikes out in the spring, pump the tyres up, refit the batteries and start the bikes (I don't bother with this new-fangled stuff of putting fresh fuel in the tank, they always start. <s>)

Derry


Derry.

1969 T100S under reconstruction
GSX-R750K2 (having been rebuilt from a crashed wreck)
Re: Annoying battery problem #140658 05/13/08 1:18 am
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Mike Muir Offline
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Had problems with my mower battery this spring, machine is 2.5 years old, took the battery out and stored it in the basement (warmer than the Garage!), would not hold a charge and had to buy a new battery. Parts guy at the mower dealership said I should have left it in the garage and used a battery tender. I will confess to being lax on periodic charging, but....
The bike had an old battery in for several years, given the same treatment, however the trw just needed the coil to get "warm" enough for a spark, the mower (2 cylinders and more hp than the bike, do not know about cc) has an electric leg.
just my 2c worth.
Insquidently, got the TRW to run this pm, briefly, no pipes, a pint of gas in the tank (carb leaks, darn!), and I lost count of kicks required! More to do with carb adjustment than anything else. I may have trouble walking tomorrow.


Mike, home is where we moor it.

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