6V Batteries

Electrical issues
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mrfeeney
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:08 pm
Bikes: 1964 FLH
Location: Beaumont,TX

6V Batteries

#1

Post by mrfeeney » Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:43 pm

Hello to the list and thanks in advance for any help/advice...

I have been working on a 64FLH, riding occasionaly. The problem is the 6volt battery. I went to Harley and bought a new battery(taiwan special in a Harley box), only to have it suddenly fail while riding the bike, it died at a stop light and did not have enough battery left to restart it. After getting the bike home I found that the battery would not even take a charge.

The local Harley shop did replace the battery, on warranty. So I checked out the electrical system, everything checked out ok, but I put a new voltage regulator on and replaced the wiring loom (planned on doing that anyway) and now six months later...same story, except this time I made it back home, but 1/2 hour later didn't have enough battery to even fire it up!!! (it will take a charge now, but has no capacity...dead as soon as you put a load on it ie. turn on the ignition and it drains the battery in about a minute)

Yes I know that I could convert to 12v but I am not impressed with that solution either (from what I've read and been told the batteries that will fit in the stock oil tank are not up to the task) so does anyone know where to get a decent 6v battery (ie. one that lasts more than six months)

Thanks again for any help

mrfeeney



Billy
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:57 am

RE:

#2

Post by Billy » Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:09 am

Sounds like you have developed a "short" that when you turn on the ignition it drains the battery. I realize that you mentioned that you checked your el. system 6 mos. ago. But think about it. Now when you turn switch on it goes dead??? you know what I mean. I think it warrants a check-up for at least peace of mind...

Guest

6 volts

#3

Post by Guest » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:10 am

I have to disagree with you. The 12V system is the best way to go, and the little tractor battery that you have to fit in the Horseshoe Oli Tank dosen't look like much, But you have to change them once a year anyway when you live in the sub-zero North. Swap it over, you will be happy you did. As for the short check it out but it may be just the battery can't handle long periods of sitting. if it is just a weekend machine. Also you can switch over to a magneto like I have back in forth over a 25 yr period.

weezeo
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:47 am
Location: South Florida

6 volt

#4

Post by weezeo » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:14 am

I have to take responcibility for the last post I thought I was still log in from the other one ya know what i mean :oops:
I have to disagree with you. The 12V system is the best way to go, and the little tractor battery that you have to fit in the Horseshoe Oli Tank dosen't look like much, But you have to change them once a year anyway when you live in the sub-zero North. Swap it over, you will be happy you did. As for the short check it out but it may be just the battery can't handle long periods of sitting. if it is just a weekend machine. Also you can switch over to a magneto like I have back in forth over a 25 yr period.

Billy
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:57 am

#5

Post by Billy » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:29 am

I have to agree with weezeo, 6 volts are a thing of the past. 12 volts is the way to go. I was thinking you were trying to stay 100% correct. Even if you are, you can change it back some day if you wanted to.
Also,
A good investment is a small "Battery tender" for when it's sitting a lot keeps your batt. full & ready for action!! Don't be fooled by the 12 volts size. They have plenty of juice... :D

Did your electrical system check out OK??
One thing you didn't mention is your battery constantly needing water??
If so you're Over-charging & boiling out the acid. Continually adding dis-tilled water will weaken a battery quickly.

mrfeeney
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:08 pm
Bikes: 1964 FLH
Location: Beaumont,TX

6 Volt Battery

#6

Post by mrfeeney » Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:48 am

Well, I checked the bike out and everything checks out ok...except of coarse the battery....will appear to take a charge but has no capacity. I read another post about installing an emergency lite battery available at electrical supply houses...planning on going this route until I can scrape up all the parts to change over to 12V. Thanks to all for your helpfull posts
and KEEP RIDING.

VT

Keep It 6 Volt

#7

Post by VT » Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:09 am

Something may be wrong with your charging system. What if you go to the expense of switching to 12 volt system and you have the same problem? You said you have new wiring, so if there is no short and your voltage reg. hasn't fried, or your generator hasn't slung solder and quit, then I would ask you one question? Exactly what type of battery charger did you use to initally charge the battery? If you used a 6V automotive charger, you over-cooked the battery. If you used a 1 amp motorcycle batt. charger, then you might be OK. Next time you have a new battery, get a quart jug of "Charge-It' from JC Whitney. A cadmium additive, that Kyle Petty claims "I rather race without tires than not use Charge-It in my batteries"...(!). Fill half the battery with fresh 1.275 electrolyte and the other half of each of the three cells with "Charge It", buy a 6V Battery Tender? and never worry about your "bay-tree" again. Top the electrolyte off periodically (especially the DAY after you first brought it to life with an inital charge) with distilled water, never tap water.
Last edited by VT on Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

FlatHeadSix
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Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas

6V Battery

#8

Post by FlatHeadSix » Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:21 pm

I have to agree with the "short" theory. I had a similar problem with my all original 49 Hydra Glide, went through several batteries in a short period of time that just wouldn't hold a charge or carry a load. After checking everything else in the charging circuit (twice) and replacing the battery (twice) the problem turned out to be the connector bolt which attached the positive cable to the battery terminal. If the bolt is too long it shorts out on the top of the oil tank. You don't notice it when you install the battery, but when you put the cover on top of the battery and tighten the wing nuts it pulls the battery down. The Taiwan 6 volts that Harley is selling now are standard lead-acid wet cell but they have a side vent tube which runs down the left side of the battery, it pushes the battery slightly to the right which puts that positive terminal directly over the rolled edge of the oil tank. Something to look at if you haven't found the problem somewhere else.
I ride mine all the time, almost daily during the summer, and other than what I mentioned above I don't see anything wrong with keeping the 6 volt system.

Pantony
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:23 pm
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin

6 Volts

#9

Post by Pantony » Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:05 am

I worked at a battery company, 1275 electrolyte is a little on the strong side, but aside from that I need to say my 48FL starts first kick after priming, so after all these years I need to ask, Why in gods name do we all of a sudden need to change the electrcal voltage when these work fine the way they were intendid?, Sick and tired of going to meets seeing all these bikes changed over when the owners were the problem not the motorcycle!

panheadd

6v or 12 v

#10

Post by panheadd » Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:11 am

The last guy had it right ! Nothing reallyl wrong with 6 v. look elswhere.

panheadd

batteries

#11

Post by panheadd » Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:25 am

Here is a bit more. Just finished restoration on a 49 EL. Had my local shop order a 6 v battery for me from V Twin, aka Ted's. What came in was a black typical looking old time HD 6 v batt, except I noticed it was made in India. Oh well. So put it away till last week when I was nearly ready to fire up, for the first time in years on this 49.

Took the batt back to the shop where I bought it for adding acid, and we did that. Hour later, at home, noticed acid all over the top and after tilting the batt, no more than 15 degrees. discovered that the top pannel leaked like hell, and acid lilterally ran out from the seams.

Took the batt back to the shop where I bought it, the dealer agreed that the seams were defective, and looked up my original purchase sheet.
Oh, sorry, that was over two months ago, and the V Twin warranty is onlyl for 60 days. So -- you are out of luck.

What shit this was. (Birdneck Cycle, in case anyone knows this place.)

I am going to figure out how to deal with this shit later. Meantime, I went to a national franchise, known as BatteryPlus, and believe it or not, they found my battery, and will have a charged one for me in five days, with a one year warranty, for $59 !!

Will update the results, if anyone is interested.

VT

#12

Post by VT » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:17 am

Yeah...60 days on those parts warrantys from V-Twin. You might want to get the 6V battery from the Harley dealer. I'll go over to flatheadpower.com an find the part number on a post. Be right back....
Okay...here it is 66006-29F and you have to order them and wait. While you wait for the battery, go buy a 6V Battery Tender? from someone like J&P or V-Twin, wherever. If you don't use a battery tender and charge the battery for 1 hr. per amp hour rating, you will warp the seperator plates....guaranteed. Don't use a trickle charger, even a 1 amp if you found one.
Better,..... go over to http://www.flatheadpower.com/ Tech-Talk>Varia>Battery Salvation and read what they wrote. They nailed it. Read it while it's still up there. Print it out.

Sadist
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:54 pm

#13

Post by Sadist » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:57 pm

My indian made Battery from VTWIN had the same leaks on the top, whenever you'd tilt the battery, it'd leak all over the place out of the seams..

I decided to mix up a little West System Epoxy, and fill the gaps..
Bummer I needed to do that in the first place, but I've put on damn near 1000 miles since.

I've got no problems with a properly adjusted / maintained 6V bike.

Sadist

Russ

lousy batteries...(long)

#14

Post by Russ » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:41 am

There does not seem to be available ANY worthwhile replacement 6 volt batteries of the H2 type. The India/Vtwin ones are junk, had them short out or leak in just a few weeks. Then bought the Harley replacement, went through 3(!) of these in about six months. One would only put out 6 volts if you pressed hard on the (+) terminal. All three were found faulty and replaced by the Harley dealer, two different dealers. Last time, they just got frustrated and gave me a refund!
The old batteries were very well made (remember how much they use to weigh?), and it seems none of the new replacements can't stand up to the heat/vibration of being mounted in the horseshoe oil tank.
I finally solved this by going with a Cycle Electric voltage regulator and a small 6V 12AH AGM style battery. Got into my third season with this combo before the battery gave up the ghost. Looking to put a FINAL end to 6 volt battery problems, I found that you can tape 2 of these batteries together, and they fit perfect into the horseshoe tank, just a little short. Grounded both, and ran the (+) terminals to a SPDT toggle switch, and now have TWO seperate batteries, each capable of running the bike. Just switch from one to the other every few weeks to keep both charged. Best part is , at $26 each, STILL cheaper to replace both when one dies than to buy one lousy Vtwin battery.

Guest

#15

Post by Guest » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:36 pm

weezeo,you got it right with the mag,ive had one on my pan for 20 yrs,and its the shit.

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