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Old 11-26-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
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Bus won't start! Gelp!

Went to start the bus today because I will be moving it to another place. However, it won't start.

I heard a loud clicking sound that got weaker after a few seconds. The gauges move around crazily and some lights blink.


I have attached a short video. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them. Trying to avoid having someone come over to check it, but I may not have an option.



When I was redoing the rear brake lights I used a voltage tester and it all worked fine. Now I can't even get the blinkers to work.



NOTE:

The bus has been sitting for a few months. However, I have been using a battery charger and now an engine warmer.


A while back I removed some wiring and redid the rear lights. However, the bus did start after that and I even drove it. In fact, I drove it with the rear light wiring rigged temporarily with some tape. It started and ran fine more than once.



Here is a link to a short video on youtube showing what happens when I turn on the ignition key:
https://youtu.be/DJ0QxKJotko


https://youtu.be/DJ0QxKJotko
Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2020, 05:37 PM   #2
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Batteries. Bad / weak cells are common and prone to quick discharge in cold weather, even with no load.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Batteries. Bad / weak cells are common and prone to quick discharge in cold weather, even with no load.
Thanks!

Interesting. I am going to put the battery charger back on tonight and check tomorrow.
Just noticed that the charger has a setting for starting, so I guess I can try starting the bus on that setting tomorrow, and if it starts, that solves it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:15 PM   #4
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Question...


This bus has three batteries: two on the port side, one on the starboard.

The starboard one was for the lift, which I removed, but I kept it connected to the others.


Does the bus need two batteries, or will one suffice to start and run?


If it is the batteries, I am thinking it would be good to pull out the third one on the starboard side and eliminate that wiring.


Anything to watch for if removing those batteries? I had a battery explode while driving a little 1976 Corolla and it scared the crap out of me! Sounded like a bomb or like something hit the car.

They scare the hell out of me, those things.



Any recommendations as to new battery/batteries?
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:23 PM   #5
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I think you can start with one but most people carry at least two. I like the peace of mind that comes from having three batteries, and they were only $125 each.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:35 PM   #6
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So I reconnected the battery charger and it seems to read 100% charge. Is that what it's putting out or what it's reading from the battery?


Also, I have it at 5AMPS. Should I increase it to the 10AMPS?


I see the 50AMP/Start mode says 10 seconds max, so if I use that, I may unplug the extension from the wall, flip it to 50 amp, and then have my wife plug it in, then start the bus. This because it'll take much more than ten seconds to get from the charger into the bus, not to mention back down and turning it off. Also because I don;t want my wife or me near the batteries with that 50AMP on.


I wonder if the batteries are low on water. Never checked them since I bought this thing last year. Kind of paranoid about causing an explosion though.



Here's the picture of the battery charger that's connected right now:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3376.jpg (283.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:47 PM   #7
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The 100% is likely what the charger is putting to the batteries. Once the charger has done its thing, if the batteries don't show at least 12.5 - 12.75, replace them. Adding water can help if it is low and designed to be maintained, but it will not help a weak or bad cell.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I think you can start with one but most people carry at least two. I like the peace of mind that comes from having three batteries, and they were only $125 each.



Good to know.
I will definitely go at least two batteries.


Thank you!
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:29 AM   #9
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The 5 amp is a slow charge, 10 amp faster. Low and slow is the way to go.

The 50 amp setting probably won’t start it. I used that and my truck together to start my bus while a wildfire was bearing down. It worked. Not recommended.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
The 100% is likely what the charger is putting to the batteries. Once the charger has done its thing, if the batteries don't show at least 12.5 - 12.75, replace them. Adding water can help if it is low and designed to be maintained, but it will not help a weak or bad cell.



I will have to check how to add the water. I believe it has to be distilled water. GOnna read up on that and see.


THank you!
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
The 5 amp is a slow charge, 10 amp faster. Low and slow is the way to go.

The 50 amp setting probably won’t start it. I used that and my truck together to start my bus while a wildfire was bearing down. It worked. Not recommended.



OK, that sucks. I will try it tomorrow and see if it works. Other than that, I guess I'd have to get new batteries.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:37 AM   #12
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Pictures of the port side batteries...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3377.jpg (125.1 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3378.jpg (94.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3379.jpg (113.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3380.jpg (122.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3381.jpg (126.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:46 AM   #13
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So tomorrow I am thinking of checking the batteries for water level. Is there anything I need to know about one blowing up? Do I have to disconnect them before the refill or even the check?
Any safety measure advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:50 AM   #14
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I don't recommend it, but I have filled them without disconnecting. Distilled water is best, tap water will do in a pinch. As I said, it will not cure a weak or bad cell. And those are a common problem in cooler weather, even with a fairly new battery.

You might try cleaning the terminals (can be done pouring Coca-Cola on the terminals). Disconnecting and wire-brushing each terminal and post. Wear gloves and a mask if you do the latter.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:48 AM   #15
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have you piut a volt meter on the batteries after the charger has been removed and the batteries sat for a few hours with nothing turned on?



have yiou measured with a volt meter at the batteries when you are pulling a load? like when you turn on the headlights or turn the key to 'ON' for the glowplugs to activate?



the T444E needs to spin REALLY FAST (160 RPM) for the compouter to fire the injectors..


when i check the water in batteriesd like those I wear safety goggles and gloves and only use distilled water to fill them. if I find one cell is much lower than the others than its a good bet the battery is on its way to ghte graveyard...


-Christopher
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:45 AM   #16
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For cleaning posts:

If they have corrosion on the terminals use baking soda in water and a toothbrush, rinse with clean water. Cheese mentions Coca Cola. It will work, but it will leave residue, so it needs to be rinsed off Diet Coke doesn’t have the sugar, so that won’t leave as much.

Sand paper or a wire brush if you can’t get nice clean contact otherwise.

In case it’s unclear, wrap positive connections with red electrical tape.

Take photos before you start and pay careful attention to polarity.

Just putting this here for those it might help
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:25 AM   #17
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I think I'll go get a mask and some distilled water.
It's 27 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. Got a light dusting of snow. So that will be a factor then in the voltage. But I haven't checked the batteries ever, and have had the bus for over a year, so maybe they are low.


Thanks everybody!
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:50 PM   #18
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HUGE thanks to Magnakansas for his PM and helping me determine what was going on with my batteries, as well as some priceless sage advice!
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:11 PM   #19
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What ultimately was the problem?
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What ultimately was the problem?

OOPS!

Sorry!
The batteries are too old and not charging. One of them is marked with "2012".
Had the charger on for several days and still only getting 10.3 volts. Magnakansas helped me figure it out.


So now I have to find a pair of those 8D-XHD batteries, preferably from Interstate Batteries. Trying to find "blemished" ones to see if I can save some money.



Bus has been sitting for a while so I really need to start it and drive it around.
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