Substitute battery ....... non-boat

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OK - I ask on here as it's a Practical question and answer needed ...

My Garden Tractor has a sealed lead acid battery that I estimate is about 25 - 30 a/hr. Physical size is about 19cm long, 13cm deep, 16cm high. So quite compact and 12V.
Garden tractor is 13.5HP Briggs and Stratton with charge alternator fitted as well as key-start etc.

This battery is goosed after being flat during the last winter ....... it fails to hold charge and I'm stuck with long grass now !

I have a power pack with 17 a/hr Sealed Lead acid battery inside that is removeable. It is labeled with ... 14.5 - 15.0 V max charge rate initial, 13.5 - 14.0 V steady charge rate and 4.5A max rate after initial.
Pack supplies 900A peak boost, 400A start ....

Now the question is - I can buy a pack at £28 here ... and take battery out ... it is smaller than tractor job physically, but easy to fit in place of original. Original is difficult to find here and will be expensive. Will it be suitable and survive fitted to tractor ?
 

pvb

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No problem...

Those little tractor engines use almost nothing to start, the battery you described will be fine. When my old tractor stopped charging, I ran it for ages on a single charge of the battery.
 
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Re: No problem...

[ QUOTE ]
Those little tractor engines use almost nothing to start, the battery you described will be fine. When my old tractor stopped charging, I ran it for ages on a single charge of the battery.

[/ QUOTE ]

I had the pack sitting between feet on the foot-tray - but it kept sliding off. And the tractor has the seat activated safety switch ... so if you get off - engine stops. Original batt has enough to do maybe one start after a while running - but leave tractor for a few mins and zero.

I assumed that pack was ok - cause original batt would soak up the xcess charge .. last time I perservered for 2 hrs with it ...

Think I'll try it when I get home ... !!
 

pvb

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Re: No problem...

I've bypassed the seat safety switch on mine - everytime I turned round to empty the collector the engine stopped!
 

pappaecho

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Re: No problem...

Had the same problem with small 12 volt battery on 12 hp Briggs and Stratton ride on mower. Replaced with a battery for a Mini, plus a little judical engineering with a grinder, and the system worked well for five years until it got sold
 
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Re: No problem...

[ QUOTE ]
Had the same problem with small 12 volt battery on 12 hp Briggs and Stratton ride on mower. Replaced with a battery for a Mini, plus a little judical engineering with a grinder, and the system worked well for five years until it got sold

[/ QUOTE ]

Thought about it ... but tractors in A1 condition and only in its 4th year ... The battery holder is part of the framing under the seat and panelled up to cover the gearbox etc.

The funny thing is - today get home from office ... last day and half - I had battery off and on an old non-regulated car charger .... showed ~ 1A steady charge going in ....

Took it off charge - put back on tractor and ended up cutting about 20% of front garden grass ... Will remain toi be seen if it starts tomorrow !

Interesting comment on the battery ... for commisioning on sale ... Charge battery at 10A for min. 1hr ........ now that to me sounds brutal for a 20+ A/hr battery !

So maybe my previous attempts to charge with an automatic charger on tractor weren't shock enough ?

So let's see tomorrow ... I've got it back on the automatic charger till then ...
 
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Re: No problem...

[ QUOTE ]
I've bypassed the seat safety switch on mine - everytime I turned round to empty the collector the engine stopped!

[/ QUOTE ]

Know the feeling well ! We have a dog near size of St. Bernard who has a habit of carrying lumps of wood and bricks around ... leaves them all over the place ... so start vcutting grass .... Crunch ..... Crunch ..... get's annoying on / off tractor all the time and it stopping ...

I now carry a long radiator paint roller rod and handle - end where roller used to go ground and sharpened ... So I don't get of tractor even to open gates etc. now ... I use the "hook" ... handy also when the grass backs up in the "side-chute" ... lift the safety flap to allow the grass lump to free ... I don't use a collector ... I want the grass to chop down and feed the ground under. Soil here is very sandy and needs all the help it can get ..
The 4 years grass work I've done with letting the cut grass rot and settle in has already shown good improvement .. not only that but any seed is left as well ... adding to the coverage.
Seeing as I cut near every 7 - 10 days ... the cut grass gets chopped pretty fine to mulch on down ...
 

Avocet

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Re: No problem...

There are lots of online battery suppliers (MDS is one I can think of) who will probably sell you the correct replacement (or a gel-filled equivalent) that will fit in the carrier. It might be worth popping round to a motor factor and asking them if they can load-test the battery for you - unless you're absolutely sure it's the battery. My starter motor is a bit iffy sometimes and the symptoms are not unlike a flat battery.
 

ccscott49

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Re: No problem...

Motorcycle battery would do nicely, any of those out there? Anyway, wouldnt worry, just use the one out of a battery pack, be fine!
 

William_H

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Re: No problem...

High Nigel I am pleased to hear the weather has improved to make the grass grow.
The only concern a bout the Sealed Lead Acid batteries is the charging regime. Because you can't replace the water they can suffer from lack of water caused by large charge current. Yes the chemistry is the same so the charge volts should be suitable it is just that a wet refillable battery can cope better with abuse.
If you use the SLA battery then have a look at the charging voltage especially after few hours of work. If it is much above 14 I would suggest a diode in the charging wire may reduce the voltage enough to be easier on the battery.

A friend asked me to look at one of these tractors recently. He bought it for about 150 squid. Took the cutters off and uses it to tow his dinghy on a trailer home. he made me quite envious. Meantime I just keep ushing the rotary mower.

PS I would always collect the cuttings and allow them to compost after 6 or 8 months they are really lovely soil for gardens. I don't think leaving it on top does the grass any good. olewill
 
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Re: No problem...

Mmmmmm ... just checked : Latvijas Bizness Directore ..... can't find such company etc. in my town of Ventspils !!

And I sure aint jumping Ryanair for 3 hrs to get back to uk to have it checked !!

/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

I'm not in UK you might guess !!
 
G

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Re: No problem...

[ QUOTE ]
High Nigel I am pleased to hear the weather has improved to make the grass grow.
The only concern a bout the Sealed Lead Acid batteries is the charging regime. Because you can't replace the water they can suffer from lack of water caused by large charge current. Yes the chemistry is the same so the charge volts should be suitable it is just that a wet refillable battery can cope better with abuse.
If you use the SLA battery then have a look at the charging voltage especially after few hours of work. If it is much above 14 I would suggest a diode in the charging wire may reduce the voltage enough to be easier on the battery.

A friend asked me to look at one of these tractors recently. He bought it for about 150 squid. Took the cutters off and uses it to tow his dinghy on a trailer home. he made me quite envious. Meantime I just keep ushing the rotary mower.

PS I would always collect the cuttings and allow them to compost after 6 or 8 months they are really lovely soil for gardens. I don't think leaving it on top does the grass any good. olewill

[/ QUOTE ]

Both the tractor and Power Pack are SLA wet batterys ... I originally thought the Power Pack may be gel ... but not so.

There is no way to check the Tractor battery fluid levels ... case is black and there are no removeable cell plugs. There is a vent at side top which tells me it is wet cell.

The grass on top .... we have two "composting" mounds ... slowly becoming local tourist attractions - destined to be ski slopes !! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif One the collective horse stuff from mucking out ! Second the grass that is cleared from "bbq / cosmetic areas" of garden. Rest is left as not many days later it gets cut again and soon drops down under the top green grass. With soil in Latvia - it is high levels of sand and very powdery and needs every bit of help to create stucture. Other houses etc. I know rake up their grass, let it dry and burn !! Some who visit my place ask about why I don't do same ... so I then take them to middle of an area and ask them to check the underlying ground ... they soon see the difference. My ground is darker and starting to create its "humus" layer ... the grass is also thickening up to quite a strong matt as well.
I would estimate another couple of years and I'll then have good enough grassland to be made into lawns ... and then - yes grass collector is important. At present my 3.5 acres (14K sq.m) is more like pasture land ....

I tried towing my small boat with the tractor and is fine on level hard ground, but on soft or gradient - the belt drive has slipping function to stop damage to tractor ... and only one wheel then spins. I can fit better grip tyres - but then will mark the grass / ground that I cut ... It is fitted with "Turf-Rider" tyres as standard to stop marking the grass / ground.
I have thought about finding an older one that I can "butcher" to press into boat / haulage service ... as they are low-geared enough to be useable. But even older ones are still commanding good prices here.
My real wish is to find an old Belarus Village 1/2 size tractor ... as I need "JCB" functions to dig out roads, old building foundations etc. ... plus on a barge frame to dredge my canal. But they are like gold-dust here now ... daft prices ... in fact some are multiples of new price ... 30yrs later !!
 
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