Youngsters missed that. We had 6 volt systems too.
I converted a 6V Karmann Ghia to 12V. Everything but the starter was
changed. Turn the key and it really cranked.
The generator also turned the cooling fan so it could not be removed.
My brother, the engineer, bored and reverse threaded a Chevy alternator
and screwed it on to the generator shaft.
No, if you start at 1400, kill it once you are at 700. Kill it again
you are at 350. Kill it again you are at 175. Kill it again you are at
87.5. Call it 88. The fifth discharge gets you 44, the 6th makes 22.
The 7th makes 11. The 8th leaves 5.5 - call it 6. The ninth makes it
3. The tenth makes it 1.5 - call it 2. The 11th gives you one more -
so you get 12 full discharges to 100% DOD.
Now if you only get to 90% DOD the numbers go up.
From real true life experience with several customers' vehicles with
the high calcium Freedom Batteries, they would have been happy to get
11 chances. I had several less than 2 years old dead after 3 or 4
times leaving the headlights on overnight.
On 06/30/2014 08:47 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Like I said, it's not likely a full discharge would kill the battery
entirely after only 3 or four times.
As I have mentioned before I was in the industrial battery business.
What probably happened was that the battery was so discharged the
chemical reaction ran to completion and the voltage dropped close to zero.
What happens when the voltage is very low is that automatic chargers
will not detect a battery's presence and will not even turn on...making
at appear that the battery is completely useless.
I've seen them so low that we've had to dial up the voltage quite high
(sometimes 36 or more volts) and carefully monitor the current. As soon
as the battery starts accepting current, then the voltage can be turned
down until the battery normalizes.
What happens when a battery dies is that the plates simply crumble away.
With your standard lead-antimony battery you have the ability to cycle
it many times. I've never seen a lead-calcium battery destroyed by only
3 or 4 full discharges, but I have seen plenty of batteries with the
voltage so low, the charger would not start.
BTW: A lot of the old timers said that those ancient vacuum tube
chargers were much better than their modern day equivalents. I have a
few of them in my "museum" and they were designed for charging six (or
possibly more) 6 volt batteries in series.
Since the output could be cranked up over 36 volts, one of those
chargers could easily recover a "zero" voltage battery.
One more thing. If a battery is left in a discharged state, stage three
sulfation will begin to occur. It may take months for the battery to
fully crystallize, but once it does, there is nothing that can bring it
back. That's why batteries should always be stored fully charged and in
a cool place.
work of charging batteries in poor condition and deep discharges!
give the still OK replaced batteries to a buddy with a 12 volt windmill
FWIW, I have only replaced one alternator in 30+ years. A well-meaning
auto parts fellow checked it and was 'sure' it was the alternator.
Bought the alternator and then didn't have time to mess around with it.
Took it to my regular mechanic, who replaced it right away. Then I took
the old alternator back to the parts house and it checked out as being
good. Turns out the connectors at the battery were intermittent.
Learned 2 more of many life lessons -- do the troubleshooting in a
logical way and always remember what dear old dad used to say (check the
No, that is not what happened. I spent 25 years in the automotive
repair and auto-electric buisiness.
These batteries would take a charge but would not hold a charge or
start the vehicle the next day. Back then we didn't have the
MidTronics type testers, but we did have AVR and load testers.
The chargers we had at the garage could put a charge into a headlight
bulb - in other words, they did not have "polarity protection"
circuits that disable charging on a dead or reverse connected battery.
The one battery I remember in particular was in a customer's brand new
Chevy - a 1980 or 81 Caprice Classic. She lived a few blocks from the
shop, and over a period of about 6 months she left the lights on 5
times. After the 4th time the battery was testing borderline and a few
weeks later we had to go give her a boost again - the headlights were
on. The battery then would not take enough charge to start the car -
It would still light the lights for a while and run the radio, but not
start the car. We sold her a new battery and a headlight warning alarm
buzzer. We didn't put a Freedom Battery back in
Lead Calcium batteries are a lot more sensitive to deep discharge than
lead antimony batteries. (or pure lead spiral wound cells)
The old Tungar bulk charger could charge 15 6 volt batteries (or 7 12
volt, or any combination up to about 72 volts. Being "unregulated" it
was easy to boil the batteries if you were not carefull. Several times
I had to holler at the parts department at the Canadian Tire shop I
worked at for a short time because I could hardly breath down at the
parts counter. They didn't notice anything. (I am quite sensitive to
the outgassing of an overcharging battery)
On 06/30/2014 11:17 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Well, I am convinced now that you know what you are talking about...so I
guess those calcium batteries are even worse than I thought.
I do know that when we installed a bank of stationary batteries in a
nuclear power plant years ago, they had us run so many discharge tests
on them, we cycled them out before they were even put on-line and we had
to replace the entire bank of them!
Yeah, I could not recall how many they could charge. I have one in my
workshop that I put a silicon diode in and I can revive just about
anything with it. Though after 38 years I got pretty used to the
hydrogen fumes, I could easily tell if there was an excess amount.
This was a Point Beach. They have two independent control systems and
each one has two entire banks of back-up batteries.
The bank we installed was a spare that could be switched over to either
one of the control panels in the event that both backup batteries died.
In the case of an emergency, the backup batteries would only be needed
to be used until the diesel generator kicked in.
After working in the power plant for six weeks I have to say I was
impressed by the safety measures.
BTW: We were being continually monitored and if we made a simple human
error that violated their security structure, though we did not get in
trouble for it...a guard with a dog and a shot gun appeared quite fast.
Yes, that's what the graph shows. Not specific to a calcium lead
battery. My experience with antimony lead or straight lead batteries
is a lot better -
And nowhere did the original statement imply the battery would only
survive 4 such discharges - As per the "calculations" they would
survive roughly 12 complete discharges. They could quite possibly
last more. Or, as I have experienced with at least one brand on more
than one occaision - less.
The important thing is, DEEP DISCHARGE KILLS SLA BATTERIES.
That cannot be argued.
in my case I do a LOT of driving. I do field service so I am always on the road:( I have cut back somewhat in recent years becuse of the cost of gasoline.
at one point I was drivoing over 50,000 miles a year:(
A few things I am certain of:)
I DONT like getting stuck! Which is most likely on a zero day:( So I replace batteries before they fail!
Althernator fail much less often since I started doing this. Perhaps they are better built?
I bought when I was perhaps 20 years old a 200 amp boost battery charger. one of the best investments I ever made. these days I mostly help out neighbors and friends
buying a high end battery is a good investment too. my last alternator failure had me many many miles from home over a 100. I was able to get home with my alternator stone dead..
Maybe because I drive o much and hate breaking down I look at it this way:)
A new premium battery is about a 100 bucks.
say I replace it at just over 3 years.
thats around 33 bucks a year, far less than a single candy bar or a mc double a week.
its a cheap investment so I am not stuck in zero weater waiting for AAA, zero weather is when everyone calls for service..
I am happy to let others use the run battery till it dies system:)
What I always installed on vehicles I have depend on most. The analog
ammeter and volt meter so I can see when battery is going. I never got
stuck with dead battery on the road. Specially when I was towing 30 ft
fiver with 3/4 ton F250 towing special HD truck with kids sitting in
the back of super cab. After kids all grown up, bought small piece on a
bare land condo selling the rig, built a 4 season cable.
I once got stuck in the middle of no where with broken steady bearing on
the axel shaft. Good thing my BIL came out with new bearing, what a
messy fun replacing it on the highway turn out. Thank goodness I carried
full set of tools with spare jack in the truck.
About 20 years ago I used a cheap analog movement, diodes, and resistors
to make an 11-16V meter. It's fastened to the console in front of the
gear shift and plugged into the lighter. It's much more precise and
accurate than the one on the instrument panel, and I think seeing a
needle position is better in this case than reading digits.
I infer charging current by the voltage with the lights off. If the
battery is well charged, the current will be low and the voltage up
around 14-15, depending on the temperature. I like to keep it well
charged so I don't let sulfate remain on the plates indefinitely.
Even that does not guarentee you will not have a dead battery. I and
another man worked second shift and one night when we got off work (the
first very cold night of the year) his battery was dead. I took him home
and the next day we got him the best battery the store had. The very next
year at the first very cold night , his battery was dead again.
It had only lasted one year.
I have had two batteries go bad in two differant cars in less than 2 years.
Neither of them had ever been discharged by leaving the lights on or such.
They were suspose to be the 5 year batteries, and the warrenty took care of
most of the cost.
Reminds me of working for Sears changing tires and batteries. Fellow came
in with a dead battery. He had all the paper work and thought he was going
to get a new battery as he had about 2 months left on the warrenty. He got
fooled , they allowed him $ .25 on the new battery.
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