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Old 06-18-2015, 05:18 PM   #11
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Go buy a battery and a battery charger. Charge the batteries in bus for a day or two. Dragging the bus to work on batteries is a good idea. If ya drag the bus far enough, batteries may not be required. To keep your bateries charged, connect to a 24 hour time to 6 hours on and 6 hours off. My bus is always ready to go. Both 8d and group 31 batteries has a short waranty time of 18 months. My Cummins with an 855 cu in engine starts quickly with a couple 850 cca batteries for about 6 years. Frank in Idaho
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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"battery charger" - is that something that would be powered by the new battery or by AC mains power?

Do you think it's worth trying to charge the dead batteries on the bus? Do you think they would eventually hold charge?
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by urban_racoons View Post
"battery charger" - is that something that would be powered by the new battery or by AC mains power?
Shore power. I mentioned the one that I use this morning-
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Second, and if you can't get the new battery right away, Home Depot has a 40amp battery charger that's fully automatic.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:48 PM   #14
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First of, I'd say ditch the two starter batteries and replace with one 8D with 1400+ CCA. Second, and if you can't get the new battery right away, Home Depot has a 40amp battery charger that's fully automatic.
I agree. I would not waste my time with crappy group 31 battery's.

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Id disagree.
if only starting it once in a while, I'd go with ONE group 31.
No sense in wasting money.
Can always add another.
Buying a battery that is at the minimum power needed is the best way to kill a battery in short order.

A single 8D will outlast anything else on the market, hands down.

The less frequent you start you bus, the More you need a 8D vs two Group 31's.

Group 31 battery are like light trucks. They look good, and get the same job done as a big rig. But only for a short time when being worked hard.
This is due the way they are manufactured. Group 31's are made disposable, 8D's are the work horses of the battery world.

Black and Decker make the best low buck charger. I have had two and love them still.
Amazon.com: Black & Decker VEC1093DBD Smart Battery 40/20/10/4 Amp Battery Charger: Automotive

Also be sure to disconnect your battery from the bus when not in use for long periods of time.

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Old 06-18-2015, 09:02 PM   #15
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The 8d is totally overkill and unnecessary. the guy starts the bus infrequently. Its in southern california.
The 8D packs a PUNCH, but they also give up quickly. 2 31's is MORE starting power from the same footprint.

I drove my bus 800 miles on one 31. That one 31 started the bus in Kentucky during a terrible winter. It was around 10 degrees that day. There were icicles in the bus.
For moving this guy's bus, why not just get an $80 battery??

Real bus fleet discussion about batteries-
http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/forum/...TOPIC_ID=34841
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:54 PM   #16
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Interestingly, the CAT and B&D chargers have the same feature set, and the same manual — or at least good chunks of them are word-for-word identical. I would say that they're the same internals; the packaging is very different, and the CAT one has a much nicer, more modern display, but it looks like they're the same thing under the hood.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:57 AM   #17
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Interestingly, the CAT and B&D chargers have the same feature set, and the same manual ó or at least good chunks of them are word-for-word identical. I would say that they're the same internals; the packaging is very different, and the CAT one has a much nicer, more modern display, but it looks like they're the same thing under the hood.
Good to know.

Thanks.

Nat
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:27 PM   #18
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Maybe I'm missing something in this thread, but have you tried charging the batteries overnight first? You mentioned that you connected your Mercedes for 20 minutes, but that won't put much charge in those big batteries.
If I were in that situation I would connect a battery charger to the positive and negative leads on the starter motor (since it will have a direct connection to the batteries, unless a battery disconnect switch has been installed) overnight and try starting in the morning. It's worth trying before throwing money at new batteries, unless you are absolutely sure that these batteries are fully toasted.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:43 PM   #19
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Thanks jazty. I went out and got the CAT battery charger from home depot. Attached them to the bus and started to charge. Within a few minutes, the lcd indicated a "bad battery" state (or whatever that was supposed to mean). It comes with a "reconditioner" function, so I figured it couldn't hurt to leave that on overnight and see how things progress tomorrow. The home depot return policy is pretty lenient, so we'll see...

The fallback plan is to get a group 31 and or this: CAT 1000-Amp Pro Portable Jump Starter-CJ3000 - The Home Depot

It's a little tricky because disconnecting the current starter batteries isn't going to be super fun, but I'm pretty confident it will eventually go. The bus is supposed to be moved by Monday, so wish me luck and any more ideas that you might have....
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:57 PM   #20
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I got my first bus home on regular car sized battery.
If all you need to do is start it a time or two, you could probably use just about any battery.
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