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Old 05-27-2017, 12:32 PM   #1
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Where do you get giant starter batteries

I have an E-450 based cutaway shuttle bus. I was having trouble getting it to start and finally solved the problem. My other starter battery has a bad cell. Unfortunately this thing is HUGE. The size of 3 or 4 normal vehicle batteries.

specs: C8D3, CCA 1300, CA 1560, RC 435

How does one go about replacing such a thing. Will they just order one for me at advanced auto? Sorry if this is kind of a silly question.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:02 PM   #2
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I have an E-450 based cutaway shuttle bus. I was having trouble getting it to start and finally solved the problem. My other starter battery has a bad cell. Unfortunately this thing is HUGE. The size of 3 or 4 normal vehicle batteries.

specs: C8D3, CCA 1300, CA 1560, RC 435

How does one go about replacing such a thing. Will they just order one for me at advanced auto? Sorry if this is kind of a silly question.

Thanks in advance!
If it were me, I would consider the possibility of replacing it with a pair of "Group 31" batteries (the common truck-style batteries typically grouped together). These Group 8 batteries like you have are adequate, but very heavy and awkward to manhandle, and as you found out, one dead cell will leave you stranded.

Not many places will have a Group 8 battery. The group 31's are fairly common. Not sure if Advance will have these (or Wal-Mart, for that matter). I generally use a local mom-and-pop battery shop, he keeps dozens of odd sizes in stock and usually beats chain-store prices.

If you go this route, you'll probably need to change the battery cable ends, and get the short cables to wire the second battery to the first.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:02 PM   #3
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You have an 8D battery. They're very heavy, so most of us prefer using two 31s or some such setup.

Go to your local farm supply store to get a good deal on batteries.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:15 PM   #4
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Thanks. That sounds like a good plan, but can somebody direct to some information to figure out what to get and how to wire it? Parallel? series? Is there such thing as too much power? I know there's such a thing as too little. I'm not very good with this electrical stuff, just need my bus to start every time.

thanks
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheStinker View Post
Thanks. That sounds like a good plan, but can somebody direct to some information to figure out what to get and how to wire it? Parallel? series? Is there such thing as too much power? I know there's such a thing as too little. I'm not very good with this electrical stuff, just need my bus to start every time.

thanks
Wire the 31's in parallel. Do *NOT* wire them in series (you'll get 24 volts to your system than way, likely destroying fuses and sensitive electronics!).

Red-to-red, black-to-black.

Given that you're running a Ford van, presumably with a 7.3 diesel, two group 31 batteries should be fine for starting. One strong battery would probably do it for a few weeks.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
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To keep 12v, wire all the positives together and all the negatives. See illustration below.


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Old 05-27-2017, 01:55 PM   #7
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Thank you so much!

So here's what it originally had: 850cca battery and a 1300cca battery totaling 2150 cca

I now have two 850cca batteries in good shape totaling 1700 cca.

Is there a reason not to just get a battery with 450 cca to round it out? That would make for a three battery starter system. Is that rational?
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:08 PM   #8
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No, it's not really rational to have a three battery starting system. It's overkill. Two batteries is great. It starts well now, doesn't it?
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
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If you have the room and the funds, more is better.
When I bought my bus it had 2 dead 8d (the big ones). I know I won't need them, they will run the starter and body/head lights. There won't be the 8 ways or the strobe. I won't be driving a bus route with lots of idle time. But I got a good deal on 2 8d Batts, so I put 2 in. A Cummins 5.9 would have been just fine with 2 group 31 batteries.

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Old 05-27-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
So here's what it originally had: 850cca battery and a 1300cca battery totaling 2150 cca

I now have two 850cca batteries in good shape totaling 1700 cca.

Is there a reason not to just get a battery with 450 cca to round it out? That would make for a three battery starter system. Is that rational?
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No, it's not really rational to have a three battery starting system. It's overkill. Two batteries is great. It starts well now, doesn't it?
Nah, I wouldn't mix-and-match batteries like this. Some big trucks use 3 batteries and many road tractors use 4. The reason isn't so much because they need 4000 CCA, but because as the batteries age, they don't provide as much power. I had a Volvo last year with a Cummins ISX engine that wouldn't start during a cold snap. When I went to the battery shop, it was determined 2 (of the 4) were completely dead, 1 was weak, 1 was fair. So we established that I had been starting on 2 batteries for some time. Also, the dead batteries "felt light" compared to the others, they were "dry", so to speak.
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