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Old 07-10-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Seven Springs, NC
Posts: 39
Year: 2007
Engine: CAT C7202
Battery recharge


I drove the bus I bought on Public Surplus from Cincinnati to eastern NC last week of June on the 28th. I was at the beach the whole first week of July and when I got back to the bus on 7th, and tried to start it.. nothing. look like battery was dead. The bus has been out of service at the school since August 2017 so I am not sure if the battery is bad or ? Should I plan on new battery?

Today, I am going to try and clean it to the best of my ability cleaning the terminals and wires (sign of acid build-up) then grease it. My question is if the regular battery recharger will work ok?? I have the 10/2/50 battery recharger and they are old. Or do I need a bigger one?

And any thought on solar 12v battery recharger? I thought about ordering 1 or 2 to keep battery floating while the bus is parking?

Thanks in advance for your helpful input.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,935
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
A battery charger and a volt meter would be very useful here. Check the battery voltage at the battery. 12.7 volts is a charged battery and 11.9 is a dead battery.

You may have a bad battery or may have something draining the battery. First, disconnect the battery cables then charge it overnight. You should see 12.7 after the charger has been disconnected for an hour or so. Let the battery sit for a day then check voltage again. you should be in the 12.6 to 12.7 volt range. Any less than that and you've likely got a failing battery.

If the battery holds charge hook up the cables and check it again after a day. A big voltage drop will tell you something's draining it.

Most parts stores will load test your battery for free but it needs to be charged in order to test it.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:38 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,633
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
A 10/2/50 charger probably means 10 amp high rate, 2 amp low rate, 50 amp for starting. It'll have a duty cycle limit for the 50 amp setting though, and should be anticipated that it might hit a thermal cut-out or even be damaged if left running at the 50 amp rate for a long period of time.

I didn't see what bus you have, but if it's a full size and runs a pair of 8D batteries as many do, you may want a higher-powered charger. I'd have to make lots of if's and guesses in the math, but I can say I've had times when I used my 8 amp charger for a pair of well-discharged 8D batteries. It took over 24 hours. I have another charger that goes up to 40 amps, but in this case I was in no hurry and my little one is convenient and also better-suited to being left out in case of inclement weather.

The batteries in my bus are aged and in poor condition. If it sits for several weeks unused the batteries will be too low to start. If yours sat for a year with the batteries connected, they may have been deeply discharged and their capacity is permanently reduced.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:32 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Seven Springs, NC
Posts: 39
Year: 2007
Engine: CAT C7202
Thanks for the reply. I have went ahead and took batteries out. There were two. Heavy Duty Commercial. Napa brand. While I was at it, the drawer for the battery is in bad shape I went ahead and took it out. I'm going to sand it a bit and spray paint black rustoleum over it. the 100amp bus was in bad condition so I am going to replace it.

As for battery I am sure it needs replacing but for now the goal is to get it recharged enough to crank the bus and drive it to NC DMV for inspection to convert the title from bus to House Car then from that point the bus will be sitting for a long time before I can get it rolling so new battery is not important or priority in short future.

I'll just use 10amp and charge it until it is full. In meantime, it is supposed to be cool on Thursday so it is a good opportunity to put in sink, fridge, microwave, and self composite toilet for House Car inspection and getting NC tag. (I'm still on 45 days temp tag from OH until Aug 11).
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