How to maintain an MF battery? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2007, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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How to maintain an MF battery?

Okay, I have a 14 Ah maintenance-free battery and life is good. Question is, when is the MF battery going to dry out? The joke used to be that the only difference in car batteries between wet and MF is that the wet type actually have caps which allow you to check and fill the cells - both will eventually dry out.

I am going into the second summer in Tucson with an AGM MF battery, YTX14AHL-BS. Has anyone had one of these fail? If so, what was the failure mode and what was the result? Does the absorbed glass mat (AGM) relieve the need for adding water or acid altogether, or just reduce it?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2007, 03:14 PM
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maintanence on MF battery? it is a sealed brick, i don't think there is anything maintainable besides keeping the contacts corrosion free (we used to cover them in vaseline in the army)

these are not deep discharge batteries and as such they have very thin mesh electrodes that were designed to maximize contact area and maximise CCA ratings. if the battery gets deep cycled these platters deteriorate so i guess the best thing for the battery longevity would be not to drain it.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2007, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrelc5 View Post
Okay, I have a 14 Ah maintenance-free battery and life is good. Question is, when is the MF battery going to dry out? The joke used to be that the only difference in car batteries between wet and MF is that the wet type actually have caps which allow you to check and fill the cells - both will eventually dry out.

I am going into the second summer in Tucson with an AGM MF battery, YTX14AHL-BS. Has anyone had one of these fail? If so, what was the failure mode and what was the result? Does the absorbed glass mat (AGM) relieve the need for adding water or acid altogether, or just reduce it?
The AGM is the key to this style of battery. As tankist said, as long as you do not deep discharge it, it will last a long time. The AGM also makes it handle shock and vibration much better than traditional plates. The internal series resistance is much lower than traditional style so it can delivery higher CCA's and require lower charging currents.

I have the same battery as you got. Got it at Batteries Plus for around $ 55 with tax. Worth every penny.

Jon

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2007, 05:09 PM
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Best thing for one that is not ridden much is to keep it on a battery tender, one made for motorcycles. Bell made mine. I can verify that if you slow discharge one to zero, it will ruin it. My son's has gone legs up. They should last two or more years, some up to five years. You'll eventually have to replace it, but if you keep it charged up it will last a long time.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 03:10 AM
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Just installed my AGM MF battery. Was really surprised how low the water level was on my wet battery. Just checked and filled over a month ago.
No more worries about that problem now!

Mike B.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 01:13 PM
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I use to make lead acid batteries and for gel cells for a living.

First a AGM is a maintenance free battery by definition. So a AGM MF is just a marketing ploy. over 99% of the Oxygen and Hydrogen are recombined within the battery so there is no need to top off the battery with water.

Water is whats cooked off during use so that's why you never add acid to a traditional battery.

A gel cell battery is simply a lead acid in gel form. So it does not spill if tipped over. That's why they were initially successfully in wheelchairs and other medical devices.

A absorbed glass matt or AGM uses acid gel in the matt or plate. Since the AGM reuses the water, there is no waste/maintenance and due to the plate or matt usage, it has very low self discharge, it recovers well from freezing damage and no spills/fumes. I'm sure I missed something.

Now you can still get MF batteries that do not have the cost of AGM batteries but the only difference is each cell in a lead acid MF battery is not accessible to the user. It may look sealed but its not, there is a tiny hole for the water cooking issue and altitude pressures, they just deny you access to the cell for topping it off with water. That's MF on a traditional battery.

So for our purposes there are only two types. Traditional and AGM. Traditional batteries are cheap, can leak and do not recover from a freeze where AGM's are expensive, do not leak, really does not need any maintenance and recovers from freezing. It total depends on your preference for doing your own winterizing and normal maintenance.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 11:33 PM
 
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Hi Guys

I work at East Penn Mfg.
We make Jell batteries and they work well.
As said in a previous post keeping any battery tended is the best way to keep it happy.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 10:22 AM
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I have a 2 yr old Westco Maintenance free battery in my bike.
Last night I came back from a ride (local ride so no real high RPMs to give it a good ride charge).
Pulled into the garage, plugged it into the tender (I do this everytime whether I plan to ride the next day or not) and looked down at the tender..
Green light!
For the wet batteries they suggest checking the battery weekly (see note above about how much water was gone from on in a month). For our bikes that means taking the seat off every week and checking. Figuring 10 minutes for each check x 52, that's 8.66 hours of ride time used up checking a battery!
I'd rather "plug and play" and ride!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianna View Post
For the wet batteries they suggest checking the battery weekly (see note above about how much water was gone from on in a month). For our bikes that means taking the seat off every week and checking. Figuring 10 minutes for each check x 52, that's 8.66 hours of ride time used up checking a battery!
I'd rather "plug and play" and ride!
At that point you have to ask yourself should you just replace it every year? Check it less often and when going to/from long trips. Cheap O acid cell type is just over 20 bucks by me. That's less than I can change my own oil, which is done a few times per year.
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