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Another Battery Question!!??
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/7/2015 11:19 AM (#82653)
Subject: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Hello everybody,

I have a question about installing a battery in a sidecar. I have read a lot of posts on here on the subject but I am still not real sure about safety.
I have a 1981 CLE sidecar that I am putting on a 1978 FLH-80 electraglide. I want to get rid of the bike battery and put a car battery behind the seat in the car. I really like the idea of doing this for the extra ballast, cost and capacity. I don't have any problems physically installing it but I am concerned about the battery producing gas in the small space behind the seat.
I have read where people use regular maintenance free batteries and some use Optima Batteries (expensive) that don't gas as much. I would rather use a regular maintenance free battery.
Is the gas produced enough to be a concern? Has anyone had any problems? Do you vent the space somehow? I don't really want to modify the tub too much if I can avoid it!!
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,

Bob
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VLAD
Posted 2/7/2015 12:35 PM (#82654 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: RE: Another Battery Question!!??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 412
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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
I install battery in the box between bike and sidecar on the frame. Made some holes for ventilation. Have it for 9 years now.
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Hack'n
Posted 2/7/2015 1:39 PM (#82655 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Many batteries are sealed these days.
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IndSlim
Posted 2/7/2015 7:50 PM (#82657 - in reply to #82655)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Regular

Posts: 98
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Location: SW Ohio
Hack'n - 2/7/2015 1:39 PM

Many batteries are sealed these days.


Sealed batteries are known as gel or AGM. The batteries HD sells now are that type.
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jkmolt
Posted 2/7/2015 9:34 PM (#82658 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Veteran

Posts: 195
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Other than the extra ballast what is the advantage of an auto battery. My BMW 1100 and my Triumph T100 do just fine with the stock battery. Just curious.
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jaydmc
Posted 2/9/2015 12:34 PM (#82697 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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We have in the past used Optima gel cell batteries, what we usually do is use 2 six volt batteries as they can be mounted in a lot of places a standard twelve volt could not. In general, I like to stay with a stock bike battery as for the most part they work fine. Bikes that sit for long periods of time with out being able to have a battery tender on them can benefit from the car battery, people that need to camp and run equipment uch as a Cpap machine like the extra capacity. One bike we had an electric shifter that she often parked for several weeks at a time when she would go to ride the bike until it ran for a while to bring the voltage up to fully charged did not shift all that well. In the case of this particular bike a GL1500 she would find that the shifter stopped working, we would go to work on the bike and every thing was fine. It turned out that she would have the bike towed home, put a battery tender on it and when we came to work on it, every thing worked fine. Her charging system on the bike was not working at all and she was running the bike for weeks on end not knowing that the charging system did not work as there was plenty of battery reserve. I also rode a GL1500 home for 3 days with no charging system by putting an automotive battery in the saddle bag and charging it at the hotel at night. Replaced then once home I replaced the alternator with an over sized one.
I agree however other then ballast there really is seldom a good reason or need for the automotive battery and as such we only do one ever few years.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793
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jkmolt
Posted 2/9/2015 8:56 PM (#82712 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 195
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Really appreciate the prompt reply, Jay.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/9/2015 9:18 PM (#82713 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Thanks for all your replies!! Sorry if I didn't reply quick enough but have been at work with no internet access. I guess all things considered I will stick with the bike battery and just add some extra ballast.

Bob
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crawf
Posted 2/10/2015 9:55 AM (#82725 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 344
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Location: smithville ontario canada
I run a 900cca truck battery in box behind seat of my CF1 chair,..simply ran heavy guage wires to batt with disconnect ( trailer plug) under seat for chair removal, runs l.e.d.s, laptop, stereo, and charges from the bike alternator,..8 seasons now,..good luck,..crawf.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/10/2015 12:53 PM (#82731 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Thanks crawf,

Did you get rid of the bike battery?? Have you had any problems with the battery gassing??

Thanks,

Bob
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crawf
Posted 2/10/2015 1:22 PM (#82734 - in reply to #82731)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 344
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Location: smithville ontario canada
no bob,..bike is factory with battery wired parallel, ( + to +),...(- to -),..gassing only happens when overcharging with too high amperage,..bike isn't that strong,..daughter has been sitting above the R.V. style batt. box since day one,..never an issue,...for safety sake,..wire in a 20 amp fuse on power line as a fail safe if concerned,...cheers crawf.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/10/2015 3:01 PM (#82737 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Thanks for the info crawf!!
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Al Olme
Posted 2/10/2015 5:21 PM (#82741 - in reply to #82737)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wiring two batteries in parallel does work. There is a gotcha. If the batteries of different sizes [cold cranking amps is a good gauge] it is possible to vastly over charge the smaller battery, causing it to fail. If it fails by destroying a cell or shorting a plate it will bring down the other battery. DAMHIK!

If you want a big battery in the hack for ballast, just remove the bike battery and use some BIG wire to the battery in the hack. I used welding cable and it worked a treat. The alternative is to use an RV charging set-up for multiple batteries. they work fine but you may consider it unnecessarily complex.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/10/2015 8:33 PM (#82744 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Thanks Al,

That was my original plan but I have read several things saying that gas build up in the compartment behind the seat could be a problem. I agree with crawf that gassing is not a problem unless charging at too high of a rate. I will only be charging with the bikes charging system and maybe a trickle charger!! I just want to make sure it is a safe thing to do before I do it!! I want to use a standard maintenance free car battery and get rid of the bike battery.

Bob
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Al Olme
Posted 2/10/2015 10:21 PM (#82745 - in reply to #82744)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
crawf is right, gassing is only an issue when charging at a high rate. Besides that, your compartment is likely to be less airtight than you may think. I guess my thinking is just that using two batteries is just adding one more point of failure and unnecessarily complicating the system. Either scheme will probably work just fine. Mine worked for a long time before the small battery failed.

Oh, the empty battery space makes for some nice extra storage on the bike. I put a tool kit and some spares in mine.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/10/2015 10:37 PM (#82747 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


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Posts: 15
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Al, that's what I was thinking!! Extra tools!! With an old shovelhead like I am putting the car on you can never have too many tools!! What size welding wire did you use? About 4awg is what I am thinking.

Bob
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Al Olme
Posted 2/11/2015 12:15 AM (#82748 - in reply to #82747)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Expert

Posts: 1736
100050010010025
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
4awg is fine. I've seen folks use 8awg and it worked fine. As you know the length of the run is a factor as well. In fact, one guy used a set of old jumper cables he had laying around the garage with no issues.
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crawf
Posted 2/11/2015 5:49 AM (#82749 - in reply to #82747)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 344
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Location: smithville ontario canada
note,..I have a quick release chair,..and in 5 minutes, I remove the sidecar and ride solo,..so the two battery system is required ,..the trailer plug on the mount bars,..allow me to plug my chair and extra battery into the system,..without delay or trouble,...if you have a dedicated rig,..one large battery you can trust is all you need,as wire size is needed to cover amperage draw,..I have only used 8 gauge braided wire.with a 30 amp fuse......good luck,...crawf.

Edited by crawf 2/11/2015 5:52 AM
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claude #3563
Posted 2/11/2015 9:05 PM (#82770 - in reply to #82741)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
Al Olme - 2/10/2015 5:21 PM

Wiring two batteries in parallel does work. There is a gotcha. If the batteries of different sizes [cold cranking amps is a good gauge] it is possible to vastly over charge the smaller battery, causing it to fail. If it fails by destroying a cell or shorting a plate it will bring down the other battery. DAMHIK!

If you want a big battery in the hack for ballast, just remove the bike battery and use some BIG wire to the battery in the hack. I used welding cable and it worked a treat. The alternative is to use an RV charging set-up for multiple batteries. they work fine but you may consider it unnecessarily complex.


AGREE! We do a lot of car battery conversions. Why keep a bike battery if it is a dedicate sidecar outfit? If one want to as a backup that is fine I suppose but keeping them segregated is the better way to go.
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claude #3563
Posted 2/11/2015 9:23 PM (#82771 - in reply to #82748)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
Al Olme - 2/11/2015 12:15 AM

4awg is fine. I've seen folks use 8awg and it worked fine. As you know the length of the run is a factor as well. In fact, one guy used a set of old jumper cables he had laying around the garage with no issues.


We have used 6 and 4. Going too big? Not possible. Going too small can be an issue.
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westfieldbob
Posted 2/12/2015 8:40 AM (#82775 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??


Member

Posts: 15
0
This is a dedicated rig, I have an Ultra Classic that is my daily driver. The sidecar rig is going to be for shows and rallies and taking my dog for rides out here in the country!! The length of the run should only be about 6-8 feet. I want to leave a little extra to slide the battery forward to remove. The amperage draw wont be much more than the stock bike, just the lights on the car. Claude I agree I would rather have too big than not big enough!! Thanks for all y'alls help!!

Bob
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papasmurf
Posted 2/18/2015 5:26 AM (#82910 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: RE: Another Battery Question!!??


Regular

Posts: 82
252525
Location: southern NH
Owned '95 GL1500/ CSC FSIII rig 14 years. Have run a pickup truck battery in s/c trunk [ inside covered box, available at camper supply dealers ]
for 12 years. Battery is connected to OEM battery leads, via twin 6 gauge plastic covered copper cables; one red/ one black [ obtained from local
Home Depot or Lowes in any desired length ]. Present battery is 700 CCA unit. Is kept on battery tender through Winter storage. Will start my
Wing fine in Spring; has plenty of reserve power for accessories. You can also obtain necessary copper lugs for connecting 6 gauge leads to OEM
battery + / - terminals @ above stores & side terminal screws at any auto supply store. NEVER had a bit of trouble with my setup and added
battery weight holds hack down a bit better on right-handers. Forgot to mention: SIDE TERMINAL batteries are much easier to connect than top
terminal type. TTFN. .....Old Tom aka papasmurf in New Hampshire.
P.S. Have used a CompuFire alternator in Wing for over 10 years, without any problems. Always keeps my p/u truck battery well charged.
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56t-bird
Posted 3/9/2015 1:48 PM (#83283 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Quick, reasonable and clean solution for 2nd battery



Member

Posts: 40
25
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Why would you want to get rid of the stock battery of the motorcycle? You don't gain any reasonable space, and loose the perfect factory designed seat for a battery. Preferably, put a secondary, independent battery in the boat. Depending on need and space, the 2nd battery can be another stock mc battery, or a larger car battery. Optional hookups. With a light mc jumper cable, and a small charging system to the side, you're prepared for all eventualities. Maintain and tend both batteries. Keep in mind battery problems are nr one or two for vehicle breakdowns. Take advantage of the added space of a rig.
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Hack'n
Posted 3/9/2015 3:58 PM (#83288 - in reply to #82653)
Subject: Re: Another Battery Question!!??



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
With just an auto battery in the boot, you can even run for a day without a working alternator. And most are much cheaper and last longer than a motorcycle battery.
Just put it on a tender overnight and you are good for another days running.

Lonnie
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