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Batteries and looking after them..


B5NWW
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Morning all,

I committed a cardinal sin, as a newbie classic owner, I failed to look after my battery.

I came to my GT6 after many months if it being cooped up in the garage (no electric supply) without being taken on a run to find it was as dead as a dodo.. not a thing on a turn of the key.

Then it got me thinking, what is the best way to look after your battery from your opinions?

I now need to replace my battery. I have always been a fan of the big brands, Bosch etc. On other threads there are difference of opinion on size. I have a MK3 GT6 if this makes any difference. In the good weather I get out in it plenty but then it can sit a while. I tend to do hour long runs when out and about so should be good enough to keep a small battery charged up but then a large battery would hold a charge longer.. decisions decisions.

What chargers / conditioners are recommended bearing in mind I can't charge the battery in trickle whilst it's in the garage?

Thanks all and it really is great to be thinking of getting out in the car again! 

Ben

 

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1 hour ago, David Kirk said:

Hi Ben,

You could always remove the battery and take it home with you.

Batteries like to be stored charged and do better if not too cold.

Thanks David. I think that may be my best option and put it on a trickle charger at home instead when I suspect it will be say for a while.

I saw a previous thread that intimated 063 batteries are the preferred type. My current battery has no markings on it whatsoever (unless on the bottom).

Was looking at the Lion (cheap ans cheerful I suspect) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/lion-063-car-battery-3-year-guarantee-444770631

And the Bosch (which I suspect will perform better, hold charge longer etc) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/bosch-s4-car-battery-063-4-year-guarantee-444770637

Both batteries on the smaller capacity so when using more frequently I can be happy that the shortish runs i do are keeping it topped up.

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Just some passing thoughts ;

Solar panel placed on the roof of the garage, even just loosely placed up there once in a while on a nice sunny day (..it doesn't have to be hot weather). ?

When laid up the battery ought to be disconnected from the car.  Then anything like an alarm or a clock won't be draining the battery, but even without those there may be some residue loss of charge into the loom. Of course a radio may need its code re-entered.

On my vintage motorcycle I was using two small batteries in parallel, however I believe in the old days various cars used two 6V batteries in series (..to give 12v) which has the advantage that two small ones are individually lighter to carry than a single big one.  

Modern gel batteries tend to be smaller than the old lead acid batteries, and again have the advantage that they are safer to transport home for charging.

The battery I bought recently for my 'modern' was a Varta Silver, gel battery, which has high crank starting amps. It has a carrying handle. I bought it (inexpensively) via an e-bay shop so it was delivered directly to my home.  As it turned out the car was at fault (a diesel and the sensors to its glow plugs was misreading - which is why I was having difficulties with starting) and so once that was sorted the old battery was and still is fine.  For the past 3 months that new battery has been here in the apartment and every month or so I put it on trickle charge to keep it fully charged.  I know it'll be handy to have sooner or later. 

The batteries I use for LED lighting in my storage shipping container (..likewise with no mains electric) are deep cycle batteries sold for wheelchairs. I have two and so can bring one home at a time to recharge them. 

Pete

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batteries need to be used /cycled  charge discharge   etc  

could you not pop down to the car and run it for 10 mins  on a more regular basis  agree discon if you have radio memory or clocks 

solar is a good way when no power is on site , 

failing that take it home and get a aldi/lidl trickle conditioner charger they work well   ...with 240v  available and just leave them to keep the thing topped up 

Pete

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9 minutes ago, B5NWW said:

Thanks David. I think that may be my best option and put it on a trickle charger at home instead when I suspect it will be say for a while.

I saw a previous thread that intimated 063 batteries are the preferred type. My current battery has no markings on it whatsoever (unless on the bottom).

Was looking at the Lion (cheap ans cheerful I suspect) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/lion-063-car-battery-3-year-guarantee-444770631

And the Bosch (which I suspect will perform better, hold charge longer etc) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/bosch-s4-car-battery-063-4-year-guarantee-444770637

Both batteries on the smaller capacity so when using more frequently I can be happy that the shortish runs i do are keeping it topped up.

Get a halfords tradecard, then an 075 4yr battery is £47, cheaper than the slightly smaller 063 (I guess they shift more 075s thesedays)

Hafords used to be brilliant batteries, and even today we have one in a spitfire that is in a lockup. Leave it 3 months (probably more) and it still starts the car fine (despite the dellortos, which my wife has far more success getting going)

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3 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

batteries need to be used /cycled  charge discharge   etc  

could you not pop down to the car and run it for 10 mins  on a more regular basis 

Sorry Pete,  this is not good for the engine ..as running for just 10 minutes would be mostly on choke, and the petrol-rich mix washes oil from the bores, and soots everything up. Also causes condensation in the exhaust, etc., etc.  Much better to lay the car up properly, and to take the battery home or else configure other charging means, such as solar panel or a small wind generator.  And If you haven't winterised the GT6 by raising it on blocks then, every month or so, move / roll the car 6" or so to turn the wheels and avoid tyre flats.

Another option  is to use jump leads from your 'modern' / daily driver car to the GT6's disconnected battery for ten minutes or so.  Letting your modern / daily driver idle for 10 minutes, when it is already warm, would do no harm (..as long as it's not prone to overheating when sitting in traffic).  The GT6's battery can of course remain on the car, which saves carrying it home to charge it.

Pete.    

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1 hour ago, Bfg said:

this is not good for the engine

its all down to whats the main problem youre trying to solve   cars in remote storeage will always be a compromised solution 

its   do what you can or humping a battery around  ,

 i would add cars in any storeage /lay up should blow the tyres up and extra 10psi/20 psi 

let them down before a drive !!!   thats a  std car manufacturer process 

Pete

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You could try a heavy 100 amp charge (if you have a big charger) to rescue the battery then trickle charge it. I am surrounded by tight farmers that bring batteries to me to do that, and i manage to rescue about 50%. Farmers do abuse batteries on combines (once a year start) and electric fences till totally dead.

Tony.

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50 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Store it somewhere off the ground; according to my local Autofactor nothing kills batteries quicker than being stored on a cold concrete floor. On a shelf or on top of a cupboard is better, but make sure they won't fall off and land on anything expensive...

The airing cupboard!

Although I had one explode in my old mini, that would make a mess! :lol:

Doug

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I can't comment on a suitably rated solar panel for the garage roof as suggested.   But, with Mains supply available in my garage - I have used an Accumate Batt conditioner for years - it's been 100% reliable.  I'm still using a ten year old Batt on the Vit, having 'conditioned' it from purchase date. Accumate.thumb.jpg.0ffd1a21788477e0c559a00315e7507c.jpg

Gav

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Ben

I have an Exide Classic battery EC708. 70ah 540A. I luckily have access to power so keep it tickled up with a Ctek smart charger. (expensive but sometimes available used on ebay)

Charger is on a timer and is on for a couple of hours each day when the house solar panels are active.

I used a Solara solar panel on the boat for many years to keep the batteries topped, but it eventual gave up the ghost. We now have shore power so I haven't bothered replacing it.

Ian 

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1 hour ago, trigolf said:

I can't comment on a suitably rated solar panel for the garage roof as suggested.   But, with Mains supply available in my garage - I have used an Accumate Batt conditioner for years - it's been 100% reliable.  I'm still using a ten year old Batt on the Vit, having 'conditioned' it from purchase date. Accumate.thumb.jpg.0ffd1a21788477e0c559a00315e7507c.jpg

Gav

Thanks Gav. Super handy to know.

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8 hours ago, Bfg said:

Sorry Pete,  this is not good for the engine ..as running for just 10 minutes would be mostly on choke, and the petrol-rich mix washes oil from the bores, and soots everything up. Also causes condensation in the exhaust, etc., etc.  Much better to lay the car up properly, and to take the battery home or else configure other charging means, such as solar panel or a small wind generator.  And If you haven't winterised the GT6 by raising it on blocks then, every month or so, move / roll the car 6" or so to turn the wheels and avoid tyre flats.

Another option  is to use jump leads from your 'modern' / daily driver car to the GT6's disconnected battery for ten minutes or so.  Letting your modern / daily driver idle for 10 minutes, when it is already warm, would do no harm (..as long as it's not prone to overheating when sitting in traffic).  The GT6's battery can of course remain on the car, which saves carrying it home to charge it.

Pete.    

Thanks Pete. Really informative. It's a shame there isn't a unit that you can charge which then acts as a cordless trickle charger, then going up as you say every month when rolling it taking the charger home and recharging that. Guess it's a perfect solution to a seldom problem such as mine.

 

Thanks again!

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I use a 40 watt solar panel plus cheap regulator to charge my battery . You need a regulator to control to input voltage which can be as high as 21volts on a sunny day 

Paul 

 

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I have 2 Batteries in the garage. Both attached premanently to 15quid Aldi Solar Panels. They have been happily sitting at around 12.6V for some 2+ years now the one that came with the 13/60 had been since Nov 2015. The Motorhome has 200W of solar on the roof, that has a fully regulated 40W controller and 2x110W Deep cycle batteries. But we get a full 3 to 5days "off-grid" and more with a bit of Sun.

Pete

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