Create your own blog: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17487

6 volt battery replace with dry cell

Electrical issues
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
Posts: 757
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:06 am
Bikes: '59 Pan FLHF
Location: N. California

6 volt battery replace with dry cell


Post by ozwick86 » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:27 pm

Description: I would like to replace my 6 volt battery with a dry cell

Post by ozwick on Oct 26, 2004, 5:01am

Can someone tell me who submitted the 6 volt emergency lighting battery replacement on the technical issues main page? My overflow vent broke on my 6 volt harley battery for my 59 pan now and would like to replace my 6 volt battery with a dry cell. After searching the internet, I have found this one with this deminsions and rating:
It is made by Eagle Picher

Does anyone have any comments or suggestions or where I can get a replacement overflow / vent fitting.



Post by ozwick on Nov 21, 2004, 4:45pm

Well, I ordered a Eagle-Picher CF-6V18. This is the one that will fit. You can get one at

Just sharing some info if someone wants to go to a sealed lead acid.

Post by kell on Nov 21, 2004, 5:57pm

I don't know about the replacement overflow but you don't need one with a sealed battery like the one you linked to. I guess that's why you went with sealed?
Keep in mind that a SLA (sealed lead acid) battery may not be electrically as robust as a flooded one because the batts with "gel" electrolyte don't take overcharging kindly. The electrolyte develops voids. The electrolyte is a semisolid. Overheated plates create permanent bubbles in the electrolyte, reducing the contact area with the plates. And you can't replace the dried out electrolyte.
You can overcharge a wet battery somewhat and just keep it topped up with distilled water, probably not much the worse for wear.

I've been using a sealed battery on my FL with 12 volt genny. My electronic voltage regulator keeps the voltage at 14.3 volts (when the bike is revved up), which is about right for a wet battery, but I think it might be kind of high for a SLA. I suspect a SLA may fare better a little under 14. For a six volt battery divide by 2...
I always hear that six volt batteries are expensive and hard to get, so going with sealed makes sense but keep in mind how a motorcycle environment affects it.
(1) Your voltage regulator is set up for a wet battery. (2) The generator doesn't put out full power until the motor really revs up, if you put a voltage meter on your battery you'll see what I mean.
This means that during casual around-town riding the battery will run down, especially if it's a small one. Lead acid batteries don't like to be run down, it shortens their life considerably. Then when the bike does get enough revs to charge the battery pulls lots of current through that sluggish "gel" electrolyte.

Post by Plain on Nov 21, 2004, 8:23pm


You have increased my knowledge yet again. In trying to figure out problems with gell batteries and charging rates I had never come across the overheated plates and permanent bubbles. That answers a lot of questions. Thanks! I too am keeping a small gel charging at approximately 14.3 to 14.4 but was wondering if this might not be too high of a charge rate for a gel. Will keep it there and see what sort of life I get out of the battery.
Had an old Pan in my youth that was the bane of my existence. Had a 6 volt 3 post generator that defied the best efforts of a number of electrical gurus. The high speed cutout would take it off line at crusing speed, sometimes, or more often than not. Slow speed and of course no charge. Fast - no charge. Slow no charge. It was a real beast to drive at night.
Now gel batteries and charging rates. Never a dull moment. I continue to learn. By the way. If you ever try to autopsy a gel battery and you get that snot on your boots it will shortly turn them to dust and holes. Evil stuff I tell you, evil.

Post by ozwick on Nov 22, 2004, 3:52am


Thanks for the input,

I found one in my area for $50 including shipping. Then right after I ordered, the guy from OSI quoted me one shipping included for $33.00! This battery is used for emergency lighting.
Yes, I went to the sealed battery for the convenience and it is much cheaper. I plan to check the regulator and dial it in to the battery specs 6.8 - 6.9 volts continous. Here are the specs again.

Post by kell on Nov 23, 2004, 12:29am

I should have taken a closer look at the specs. They say current into the battery should be limited to 6 amps, but the charging voltage is about as high as for a flooded battery, 7.25 to 7.45 (14.5 to 14.9). That 6.8 to 6.9 (13.6 to 13.Cool figure is for floating batteries in storage. I think they give that spec because a lot of these sealed batteries are used in exit lights and such where they just sit for a year or more and never get used, and sitting batteries need to be floated at that voltage.
So it looks like voltage isn't a problem but current does pose a problem if the battery is rated to take less current than the vehicle's charging system delivers. Six amps isn't much. Of course, sealed batteries may still be cheaper even if it means going through more batteries than you used to.

Post by 53rigidrider on Dec 21, 2004, 8:51am

I run an OEM replica battery in my Pan, and only had to charge it once in the past year.
Never had a problem with it, but will probably go after one with a overflow vent hose.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:58 am
Bikes: !951 FL
Location: Maine

Re: 6 volt battery


Post by cguay » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:17 am

It's been a while since this post was started. How did the Eagle-Picher CF-6V18 dry cell battery work out for you?

I'm looking to purchase a self contained 6 volt battery for my 51 FL. Any other ideas?


Posts: 1862
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 1:00 am
Bikes: 64FL 99FLHR 01FXSTD
Location: Mpls. MN.

Re: 6 volt battery


Post by Panacea » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:31 am

Mine runs a 12 volt exit lite battery and has worked fine for over five years, plus the previous owner had a few years on it as well!...Mike

Posts: 757
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:06 am
Bikes: '59 Pan FLHF
Location: N. California

Re: 6 volt battery


Post by ozwick86 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:59 am

It puked like all of the other batteries. I had to run my bike up a 2X12 to get my bike into the back of my brothers pickup truck and my front fender bottomed out on the tailgate and put a crease on fender. Crap! Bent it back but looks like hell. Since then, I have converted to 12V and went to a Cycle Electric Low Output regulator and a Yuasa YTZ14S sealed battery I tip on end on top of a couple pieces of wood. Happy ever since!

Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:58 am
Bikes: !951 FL
Location: Maine

Re: 6 volt battery


Post by cguay » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:56 pm

Thanks Guys!!


Fokker Triplane
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:29 am
Bikes: 1954 FL. Panhead Chopper. Basic nothing fancy. Just a classic old time chopper!
Location: Oak Creek, Wis.

Re: 6 volt battery


Post by Fokker Triplane » Thu May 26, 2011 11:02 pm

8) That battery from OSI batteries .com 6v18. I just purchased my second in about3.5-4.0 years. A real good battery. My ride is an 54 PAN KICK only 6volt 3brush bike. Its a basic ride. Over the 4-or so many years no problems. The only thing I do is when not tooling around is hook up the Battery Tender. Now too when I go on extended road trips the Battery Tender is with me. Mike

Post Reply

Return to “Electrical”