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Old 04-12-2017, 05:52 PM   #1
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How old are my batteries?

Bus didn't want to start today. Had to jump start it with the car. Cells looked ok. Couple might be a little low. Alternator s running the bus but the voltage should ad higher if it's the same as old school cars. Doesn't move higher with rpm either.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:21 PM   #2
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They are still good cause the stickers are still on them.(jokingly)
I might be wrong but the guage shows battery voltage only with key on and not running but once started shows alternator voltage being supplied.
At least on my 86 bus and older vehicles I have mucked with.
Side note? You bus year ain't listed in your description so there is a lot of advice that could had from others here if they know the year your bus was created.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:35 PM   #3
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I don't mean to ask a stupid question or to insult you, but have you cleaned your battery terminals and checked the ground wire bolt on the frame? It's the simplest things that foul us up sometimes. Either of those having a varnish buildup will prevent proper charging.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:18 PM   #4
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They are still good cause the stickers are still on them.(jokingly)
I might be wrong but the guage shows battery voltage only with key on and not running but once started shows alternator voltage being supplied.
At least on my 86 bus and older vehicles I have mucked with.
Side note? You bus year ain't listed in your description so there is a lot of advice that could had from others here if they know the year your bus was created.
My bus is listed. What isn't listed there was no field is year; 1999.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:24 PM   #5
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I don't mean to ask a stupid question or to insult you, but have you cleaned your battery terminals and checked the ground wire bolt on the frame? It's the simplest things that foul us up sometimes. Either of those having a varnish buildup will prevent proper charging.
Terminals look clean as do the battery stickers.

I'm used to seeing 12.8 or so when the batteries are NOT doing anything. When actively charging the voltage is 13.8. Needle never moved. After an hour of charging, it restarted again.

Didn't go looking for chassis ground.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:18 PM   #6
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Most auto parts shops will load test your battery for free. Getting that 8D out gets you a good workout in the bargain.

I'd put a charger on that sucker overnight then see what the voltage drops down to after a day or so. A good fully charged battery should stay around 12.7v for a few days at least.

Here's a pretty good website explaining alternator charging. According to the website your alt may be a bit weak.

http://www.w8ji.com/battery_and_charging_system.htm
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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Most auto parts shops will load test your battery for free. Getting that 8D out gets you a good workout in the bargain.

I'd put a charger on that sucker overnight then see what the voltage drops down to after a day or so. A good fully charged battery should stay around 12.7v for a few days at least.

Here's a pretty good website explaining alternator charging. According to the website your alt may be a bit weak.

Testing battery and charging system
No where it's parked.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:02 PM   #8
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Only read some of that page. Enough to know the guy makes bad jokes or doesn't know car radios. I don't think they ever had vacuum tubes. They filaments wouldn't stand up to the vibrations.

Aside from that, nothing I didn't already know,

If I had electric, I'd use a trickle charger.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:20 PM   #9
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Short answer: We don't know how old your battery is.

Search eBay for "vintage tube car radio." Apparently they were popular back before transistors came along.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:54 AM   #10
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Short answer: We don't know how old your battery is.

Search eBay for "vintage tube car radio." Apparently they were popular back before transistors came along.
Bet they didn't last long.

Was hoping one those numbers was a date code of some sort.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:18 AM   #11
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There is a date code there. It's the number that follows the H, 032R. 03 is the month, 2 is the year. So it's likely a march 2012.

Some auto parts stores can test them. Those 8d batteries put out a lot of current and not all stores will have a load tester big enough.

If the battery was really dead, your alternator might be struggling to get up to voltage for a while. I know you don't have power at the bus, but your best bet is to trickle charge it for a few days, and check the electrolyte level in the cells and top up accordingly. If you have a battery hydrometer, you can check the acid concentration and get and idea of battery health.

Or you could just buy a new one, whatever works.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:31 AM   #12
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I don't think they ever had vacuum tubes. They filaments wouldn't stand up to the vibrations.
On a side note and off topic... I had a '48 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe that had a tube radio and on a good night with the perfect atmospheric conditions I could get russian radio stations.... in southwest kansas... Those mofos work like gangbusters...
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:34 AM   #13
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What Booyah45828 said.

If the battery is already showing signs of not holding a charge it's likely that it will continue having problems, usually at the very worst time possible. You could carry a fully charged car battery as a backup for a while.

I like 8Ds. They hold up so well in all this logging equipment around Oregon, even during freezing weather.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:41 AM   #14
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There is a date code there. It's the number that follows the H, 032R. 03 is the month, 2 is the year. So it's likely a march 2012.

Some auto parts stores can test them. Those 8d batteries put out a lot of current and not all stores will have a load tester big enough.

If the battery was really dead, your alternator might be struggling to get up to voltage for a while. I know you don't have power at the bus, but your best bet is to trickle charge it for a few days, and check the electrolyte level in the cells and top up accordingly. If you have a battery hydrometer, you can check the acid concentration and get and idea of battery health.

Or you could just buy a new one, whatever works.
That's what I was looking for!! Figured someone worked for Delco, Flying J, etc. Thx. The serial numbers are sequential.

Hydrometers are cheaper than new batteries. Those suckers look like thwy weigh a ton each. I don't want to go carting them around regularly but I suppose I could take them to the house and put them on a charger. Anyone make a solar and CHEAP charger for 12v?
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:45 AM   #15
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On a side note and off topic... I had a '48 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe that had a tube radio and on a good night with the perfect atmospheric conditions I could get russian radio stations.... in southwest kansas... Those mofos work like gangbusters...
AM and sunset would get you some weird stations for sure. For a house radio I would love a tube radio. But in a car, I just don't see how the tubes themselves are going to survive a pothole.

Then there is the voltage... the filaments take 25,000 volts (at least for TV and radar). I wouldn't think there would be room in the dash for the power supply.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:52 AM   #16
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I like 8Ds. They hold up so well in all this logging equipment around Oregon, even during freezing weather.
Off the top of your head, what do these batteries cost and who carries them? I can google but if you already know...

The school paid $200 each but I don't know if that's because they buy 100 at a time and they are really $300 batteries or if they are paying $200 because tehy are a school and they are really $100 batteries.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:55 AM   #17
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AM and sunset would get you some weird stations for sure. For a house radio I would love a tube radio. But in a car, I just don't see how the tubes themselves are going to survive a pothole.

Then there is the voltage... the filaments take 25,000 volts (at least for TV and radar). I wouldn't think there would be room in the dash for the power supply.
Radar transmitters and TV flyback transformers are what you are thinking of.

Nothing like that in the AM car radios that DID use tubes. Generally were 6.3v filament. That is the part that glows......

Here is one example: Old 1960 Ford/Bendix vacuum tube automotive radio, vintage hotrod
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:06 PM   #18
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8D batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Off the top of your head, what do these batteries cost and who carries them? I can google but if you already know...

The school paid $200 each but I don't know if that's because they buy 100 at a time and they are really $300 batteries or if they are paying $200 because tehy are a school and they are really $100 batteries.
Buying 8D batteries is like anything else. Good deals are where you find them. I've bought a new 8D battery for $100, but I've also seen them for $600. I usually go to Battery Xchange because they have decent prices and they back their warranty without any argument. Beyond that I'd probably go to the local farm supply store and probably pay a bit more.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:07 PM   #19
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Generally were 6.3v filament.
Good to know.

Navy school radars still had tubes in the '80s. The telecommunication equipment did not.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:13 PM   #20
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Buying 8D batteries is like anything else. Good deals are where you find them. I've bought a new 8D battery for $100, but I've also seen them for $600. I usually go to Battery Xchange because they have decent prices and they back their warranty without any argument. Beyond that I'd probably go to the local farm supply store and probably pay a bit more.
Bus parts are new to me. I don't even know what sites to search. Suppose I need a new serp belt... hop in the car and go to Pep Boys for the VW. Not sure that's even possible for an 8.3L.

I do want new side markers. JC Whitney or stop at a local Flying J? In the case of side markers, I'll likely go to West Marine. Cheesy but I'm thinking port and starboard lights.
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