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Old 04-27-2016, 02:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Recurring battery problems

Alright so we have been having some weird issues with batteries, and was hoping someone on here might have some advice.

Bought a brand new battery and was working fine in the bus and then about a day goes by, we try to start it, it makes a few chugs and then a click and then stops. Then the battery isn't even detected. So we tried a jump start and that worked fine and we tried to charge it up for a bit but then once we unplugged the cables and tried to start it, it wouldn't start up. So we look the battery to get tested and the battery tested perfectly fine. We tested the volts, cold cranking amps and load tested it and everything was fine, but it wouldn't start the bus!!!

So we got a refund on that battery and we got a new one, and the new one started the bus fine again. Then the bus was driven about 600 km, left over night with the battery unplugged, and in the morning, the bus didn't start. Almost the same thing happened again, but this time it sounded like it was almost going to start but then nope, nothing and the brake suddenly seized up at that point, unable to press down on it. What is going on!? Everyone we talk to about it seems to be baffled.

Any ideas would be so helpful, thanks!
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:55 PM   #2
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What engine and how many cold cranking amps on the batteries in question?
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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1991 International. The first battery had 950 CCA and then the second we had to go elsewhere to buy it and the closest we could find was 850 CCA.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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Also, heating system doesn't work, don't know if this is new however. I don't know if they ever worked.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:58 PM   #5
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What size engine did you say that was?
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:07 PM   #6
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The brakes and starter are 2 random occurrences at the same time.

Good battery + bad ground = Starter not energizing

Good battery + good ground = Starter energizing

Good battery + good ground + bad starter = Starter not energizing

Are your brakes air or hydraulic?
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:09 PM   #7
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Also, what condition are the terminal clamps in? Are they old and corroded? has the battery wires broke or frayed?

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start........
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:29 PM   #8
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Alright, so I am newbie so bear with me but...

ENGINE- 1991 International. I believe the engine is 6 cylinder, which i think is not the usual for a school bus? (usually 8?)

CLAMPS- The clamps don't look too bad, like how clean should they look? They also aren't really clamps, they just slip over and are secured with a nut. Should they be clean and shiny looking?

BREAKS- Not sure if the breaks are air or hydraulic, I think they are air.

BATTERY WIRES- The wires are okay, you can kind of see the inner wires on the negative beneath the rubber casing whereas you cannot on the positive.

Also, the bus is currently not with me. My partner drove it up to northern Ontario last night as we are starting a season of tree planting and he had to leave it in town while he went out to bush camp and will be back to trouble shoot tomorrow, so i'm trying to do some research to report back to him.

So i'm thinking the first thing to try is cleaning the connections of the wires going to the battery and the engine, and then making sure there is nothing interrupting those connections. Is that a good call?
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest-Bus View Post
Alright, so I am newbie so bear with me but...
...
BREAKS- Not sure if the breaks are air or hydraulic, I think they are air.
...

So i'm thinking the first thing to try is cleaning the connections...
Dear Forest-Bus,

Please accept this as a friendly arm about the shoulders and a well-intentioned correction. I'm saying this as a noob myself: I have no bus, but I've been doing a lot of reading (including the CDL handbook). I mean only the best for you and your family, and have no criticism (hey, you and I are new to this) but great concern.

I think your first thing to do is to find out what type of brakes you have, and how to do a trucker's/busdriver's pre-trip inspection. You have lifesaving equipment which could potentially take out your family if you don't know how to use it properly. Brakes are not to be trifled with, and I'm a bit concerned that you're driving (or would be if the batteries behaved) without this piece.

I sincerely wish you the best.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:07 PM   #10
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No worries, my partner is much more knowledgeable on this stuff, just trying to gather some info for him.

The break lines were just replaced when and they we're working completely fine until this second battery incident, so i'm not really sure what that could mean.
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