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Old 07-16-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
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Adding water to batteries in a Classic

Newbie here - I want to check the water level in my batteries on a 2006 Classic but I can't get the stupid things out of their compartment! Is there a trick or do I just need a little more muscle?
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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My Classic is a 2009, but I suspect the battery compartments are constructed the same as your '06. I wedge a long flat-blade screwdriver underneath to create a ramp upon which to slide the battery out. My batteries have plastic handles so I grab the handle with one hand and place the screwdriver under the battery, lever it up over the ledge, and slide it out.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:31 PM   #3
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The front edges of the door frame are sharp enough that the weight of the batt will cause its case to catch to the point that the frame digs into, or shaves, the bottom of the batt case. That makes it really hard to drag out. Try cutting some milk jug material the same width as the frame opening and slip it under the edge of the batt. It will slide right up and out.

I also cut some pieces of 1/8" plywood the same size as the floor and placed under the batts. This raises the batts to just about the same height as the opening frame.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #4
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Great suggestions! Sounds like a good project for my husband this weekend.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:55 PM   #5
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Another member just PMed me and jogged my memory. Both of us also installed nylon straps around the batteries to provide a pull handle. It helps a lot as well.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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F.Y.I. make sure if you add H2O they are at the fully charged rater before doing so........
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
F.Y.I. make sure if you add H2O they are at the fully charged rater before doing so........
Good advice as water added to an uncharged or undercharged battery will expand and possible spill over.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bigskyrider8 View Post
F.Y.I. make sure if you add H2O they are at the fully charged rater before doing so........
IF the batts need charging, do that OUTSIDE the AS... REmove the batt and set in safe place, properly fill with DISTILLED water... Charge appropriately...

PS>.. as long as you have water 'covering' all the 'cells' and a little extra.. say about 1/8" deeper than the cell...then charge.

You can put a piece of heavy cardboard over the lip/edge of the door opening to help not 'catch' or drag/shave on it.. Another option, carefully sand paper or file the edge.

Make SURE you do NOT let the terminals on top of the batt come in contact with the frame of the AS... you should not weld on your AS....like that anyway.

Carefully reinstall.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:34 PM   #9
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make sure the water level is above the plates before charging and top off after fully charged.

make SURE the positive post does not touch the door frame! (more use for the cut up jug.)

channing types fast! lol
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:38 PM   #10
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make sure the water level is above the plates before charging and top off after fully charged.

make SURE the positive post does not touch the door frame! (more use for the cut up jug.)

channing types fast! lol
Thanks Rich!! I do type fast, on the pc.. but I have a real reading issue..

I missed the part about the 'jug'!!!! If someone has an old shampoo or other heavy plastic...
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:48 PM   #11
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Switch to AGM batteries and you'll never have to deal with this issue again!
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:07 PM   #12
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AGM batteries are great within a closely controlled charging system otherwise they don't provide the flexibility of wet cell batteries. Most of the A/S that I've come across don't have multi-stage chargers/inverters and tend to overcook the AGM batteries.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:31 PM   #13
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AGM batteries are great within a closely controlled charging system otherwise they don't provide the flexibility of wet cell batteries. Most of the A/S that I've come across don't have multi-stage chargers/inverters and tend to overcook the AGM batteries.
NEWS FLASH!!!!!!

Airstream's OEM single stage, constant voltage Parallax converter will under charge and/or 'overcook' just about ANY battery! All lead acid batteries require 3-stage charging for proper battery life, although the voltages change depending on the battery manufacturer. Most liquid lead acid batteries require a bulk and absorption charge of between 14.4-14.6VDC and a float charge between 13.2-13.4 VDC, NOT the continual 13.6 VDC of a Parallax. AGMs require less voltage due to their significantly lower internal resistance, but all batteries benefit from a 'closely controlled charging system', not just AGMs.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:40 AM   #14
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Lewster is, of course correct. However, AGMs just don't pay out on a cost basis for me YET. With a proper 3 stage charger (Iota w/IQ4 in my case) and a desulfator (controversial benefit) my lead acid batts are performing well over 4 years so far and show little sign of degradation per Trimetric data analysis.

With this setup, I only have to add water when I remove batts for winter storage and in spring before installing.....and VERY little water at that....some cells none.

NOW, when I retire and need more battery capacity due to travel/lifestyle changes...AGMs are on the list.
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