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Old 05-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
Bus Geek
lornaschinske's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,583
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Where do I find Battery info?

We have a 8.2L TA DD that cranks just fine on one auto battery (Group 27? with highest CCA on the shelf)) from Wal-Mart. We also used to crank our Eagle's 8v71 DD with a similar single battery from Wal-Mart. Even in the NC winters. Although I have been told that we can't do that with a skoolie. Just don't tell our bus that. Our battery is ALWAYS up to full charge and our engine starts easily. If you are in really cold weather you may have a different experience that we have. Right now our "cranking" battery is doubling as our "house" battery. It is hooked up to the inverter/charger with a Charge Wizard on it to keep it charged.

On edit: the single battery has no problem cranking our engine in central NM (Socorro & Roswell) where it "hardly ever snows" but gets slightly colder than in TN/NC mountains. We would run the battery for two weeks in the food cart then toss it into the bus to crank the bus up and charge the battery back up for another two weeks.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 467
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Where do I find Battery info?

Unfortunately I can not answer either one of your questions directly but I would suggest talking with the local school bus mechanics. I've had tremendous luck with the local school district mechanics. Twice I've had my bus over to the school shop and both times the guys love to check it out and are more than happy to give all sorts of help. Short of them actually doing the work they have been very helpful.

You could also try NAPA auto parts. They deal in medium to heavy duty truck parts so they might have a listing for it in the computer.

As far as my experieince, our 8.3 cummings came with two 8D's. Currently I'm running just a single 8D as one of them gave up the ghost about a year ago. It has been plenty strong enough to start the bus in our moderate northern AZ temperatures.

As far as I'm concerned, you can't use too big of a battery so run whatever you are comfortable heaving into the battery tray.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 4,824
Re: Where do I find Battery info?

Don't forget the huge drain the flashing lights put on the system,if an alt goes out on a run bus would keep running (non electric deisel) and they had 1 8d if warm climate and 2 8d if cold.....made since when bus mechanic told me(lifer)
The lights are like 75 watt bulbs x 8 that's a lot of juice.

A normal battery charged should start it fine in normal weather....and dont kill it with too much stuff running off it,that is why most folks isolate starting and house batteries
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,341
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Where do I find Battery info?

Our 7.3L Powerstroke diesel came with two 31D starting batteries which handled starting, the power doors, the wheelchair lift and the three big AC fans. It also had a 230 amp alternator to keep up with it all. A single battery apparently works fine as long as the engine starts up quickly and the glow plugs aren't drawing a lot of current in cold weather. Not sure I'd want to get too far off road without two batteries.

I'm cabling our house batteries so they can be hooked up to the starting batteries in a pinch. Lots of reserve starting power is a good thing when you're a mile from the main road and the engine gets ornery.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MN
Posts: 732
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Where do I find Battery info?

I have a DT466 and I am currently running 2 31D's at 1000 CCA a piece. I live in MN, though and the extra cranking power is good insurance. I can start it down to about 15* without being plugged in (not that I would recommend that, just nice to know I can).
The journey is the destination...

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