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Raw Slaw 04-06-2014 02:09 PM

Dead battery
 
Hey guys, we are a couple of noobs doing our first conversion. Been busy lately and haven't started the bus in about a month. Went out today and the battery was dead. I've heard conflicting info about whether or not we can use our car to jump the bus. Searched and couldn't find any answers on the forum, so I apologize if this has been thoroughly covered. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

Also, is it a good idea to carry a portable charger, and if so what kind? Thanks.

opus 04-06-2014 03:30 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
1 battery, 2 batteries? 12v I am assuming? If its a school bus it would be 12v. You can use your car to jump start. Hook up to the battery that has the cable going to the starter. You should also learn to use the battery disconnect switch when you park the bus. First, incase something wants to short and cause a fire. Second, something in the bus might have a draw, which is causing the battery to drain.

Raw Slaw 04-06-2014 04:39 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
2 batteries!

Docsgsxr 04-06-2014 04:59 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opus
You should also learn to use the battery disconnect switch when you park the bus.


Do all models and manufacturers have this? If so, how would I find it??

opus 04-06-2014 05:30 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
First, what do you have for a bus? Once you tell what bus/engine/configuration you have, we can go from there. Most buses have a switch. All it does is removes the ground.

Docsgsxr 04-06-2014 08:39 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Sorry to hi jack your thread....... thomas mvp (re) cat 3126. Pm me the answer?

opus 04-06-2014 08:58 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
I'm not sure on a Thomas, but it should be by the batteries. Mine is a Blue Bird and on the frame rail in the engine compartment.

Follow your ground cable form the batteries and see if it takes you to one.

Raw Slaw 04-12-2014 11:03 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Hey thanks for responding. I've been away for a bit, but will try starting it with the car tomorrow.

For emergencies we plan to get a charger like the Black and Decker--however that model is discontinued. What kind of specs should we look for when we buy a new one?

Would one of these work?

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher-Sp ... ethod=p13n

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Diehard-80-20 ... ethod=p13n

BUBB 04-14-2014 07:03 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
As far as trying to save the battery is concerned, it would probably be best to get a battery charger from walmart, such as the one listed above, set it to its 2 amp charge setting and let it charge plugged into the charger for a day or two, or until it says the battery is fully charged,
This assumes 12v is the right voltage,

If a battery is showing 12.2 volts or less when it is not plugged into anything it is probably toast, so a multimeter test might help speed the process. Regardless of what the meter says, make sure it is properly topped of with distilled water and give it a day or two plugged into a charger,
Once it is charged, unplug the battery and let it sit for 12 hours, then test it again with a multimeter, it should be at least 12.6 volts for most batteries, 12.4 or 12.5 means it has some damage, less than 12.4 and less and you need a new one

White99z 04-15-2014 05:32 AM

Re: Dead battery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Docsgsxr
Quote:

Originally Posted by opus
You should also learn to use the battery disconnect switch when you park the bus.


Do all models and manufacturers have this? If so, how would I find it??

I am curious about this too! I have a 1992 Bluebird TC2000. I was going to wire one in myself, but that would be awesome to know if there is one already there. What am I looking for? Any pics?

BUBB 04-16-2014 11:13 AM

Re: Dead battery
 
https://www.amazon.com/Post-Battery-Mast ... disconnect
This is one type of battery disconnect, just make sure it is strong enough for your amp pull, you will need one for each battery so if one battery goes bad it will not damage the other.

I can agree with using more than a 2amp charger,

But to make sure you did not kill or severely age the battery you still need to:
Make sure it is properly filled with distilled water,
Take the battery out (or at least disconnect it) and charge it for a day or two,
Then once charged let it sit overnight and then test with a multimeter,
Otherwise you wont know how it will perform in a few months or when the temp drops.

My bus starts fine in the summer with a single 700cca car battery, I tested it just for fun, (1990 7.3)
I tried it again with the temp at 45 degrees and it could barely turn over the engine.

Raw Slaw 04-19-2014 03:00 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Seriously cannot find that Black and Decker anywhere. Anybody know a good alternative? Thanks.

Scooternj 04-19-2014 06:58 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Check Amazon; $150 (US) plus 17 bucks shipping

Raw Slaw 04-20-2014 10:56 AM

Re: Dead battery
 
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-VEC1 ... PYCCKZ50ND


How about this one, eh?

This one looks good too:
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SSC-15 ... Schumacher

Also digging this one: https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-XC103- ... bs_auto_33

Raw Slaw 04-21-2014 05:50 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Sweet, thanks.

Raw Slaw 05-12-2014 05:30 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Hey so I got the recommended B&D charger, and the batteries wouldn't take a charge. To be sure, I took them to Advanced Auto Parts to have them tested/charged. They wouldn't take a charge and the guy said they're worthless now.

So my questions are this:

What caused this to happen? During the winter we tried to start the bus about once a month, and it was starting after the coldest weather was over. Should we be taking the batteries out or something like that?

What kind of replacement batteries should we get for a replacement? Gels? We're trying to get the finest battery to avoid this in the future. We're still learning all this stuff after a lifetime of not knowing, and heard maybe gels were more reliable.

The batteries say: Interstate Batteries: High cycling - Workaholic. 31-MHD CCA - 950 RC - 195.

Thanks for any input!!!

BUBB 05-12-2014 06:23 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
When you started the battery monthly did you let the bus run for at least 5 minutes so it could fully charge the battery?
When you start a bus especially if it takes more than a few seconds to start it will take a few minutes for the alternator to recharge the battery,
You dont want a gel battery as a starter battery, I would say get the manufacturer recommended battery or something very similar, it needs to be a starter battery and not a deep cycle or marine battery.
If you dont want to start the bus more than once a month then you can hook up a charger to it every week or two to top off the batteries.

Raw Slaw 05-15-2014 08:54 PM

Re: Dead battery
 
Dang. We let it run 15 minutes or more during the winter. Since all our batteries are dead as hell, is there a good way to pick a new one? Good brand, pros/cons of different styles? Or a good way to educate myself on these topics. Thanks for helping us out everyone.

rjnye79 05-22-2016 11:25 AM

Piggybacking on the last post here... I'm shopping a 1997 Bluebird (a TC2000, I think, it's a flat nose, short wheelbase) and it has a dead battery. If I were to buy a replacement, what is a good source for bus batteries and how do I figure out what type of battery? The bus is not near me, so I can't go see in person, right now.

EastCoastCB 05-22-2016 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjnye79 (Post 149168)
Piggybacking on the last post here... I'm shopping a 1997 Bluebird (a TC2000, I think, it's a flat nose, short wheelbase) and it has a dead battery. If I were to buy a replacement, what is a good source for bus batteries and how do I figure out what type of battery? The bus is not near me, so I can't go see in person, right now.

I got 31's at Rural King for $75. Check and see if you have a RK nearby.
I'd say just grab one.


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