Replica Battery Box

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Re: Replica Battery Box

Postby fiftysevenXL » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:37 pm

Sorry - missed the bottom photo of the 59 coded eBay battery (second style case)
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Re: Replica Battery Box

Postby hennesse » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:11 pm

wz507 wrote:I was looking at size specifications for the 6N6-3B battery and the dimensions I see specified vary widely, where some would fit the shell I have and others would be too wide. So beware - not all 6N6-3B batteries are sized the same and depending on the battery shell employed, may or may not fit.


There are several manufacturers of both the battery shells and the 6N6-3B battery, and their products vary in exact dimensions. So depending on which ones you get, you may need to sand down the inside of the shell so the 6N6-3B battery will fit. I got my shell from Duane Taylor ( duane@taylorclassiccycles.com - only $96 ), and a Yuasa 6N6-3B battery. I will need to sand down the inside of the shell for the battery to fit. Duane also sells a smaller lead-acid battery, marked "Mfg for Wisco, Racine WI 53403" and "JA-8". Where actually made - who knows? For a kick-start bike that's seldom driven at night, this might be just the ticket. I have one of these batteries, and will probably use it when I get my 54 KH done. Duane's shells do not have the top with filler plugs. Both Hummers and K/XL have covers over the battery, so no one will notice.

Stan's photo of his cored-out original battery shows the lead terminals going through the case. The shells I have seen are not like this. The terminal is only on the outside, and is attached to the case by a sheetmetal screw. Steel screw going into a soft lead terminal? Be gentle with those terminals !

Over on the Hummer Club site, there's a recommendation for using the "gel-cell" batteries used in emergency Exit lights and Power-wheels toy cars. My experience with these is that they work fine in Hummers, which most people use for short trips in the daytime. I don't think these are suitable for a K/XL that is used for long trips or at night. I suspect these batteries were not designed for vibration and potholes, and they seem to die suddenly. Perhaps the ones marketed for Power-wheels are better than the ones marketed for Exit signs? I have used the Exit sign batteries in my Henderson, but the Hen has magneto ignition, battery only for lights, and I don't drive it at night, so if the battery dies suddenly, no big deal. I use two of them in parallel, with quick connectors, so I can bypass one if one dies suddenly.

On the "extra line of text" batteries, I've seen 'em both ways. Perhaps Harley had two different suppliers? Or one supplier with two different molds? We see so few originals, it's hard to tell for sure. The approximate dates on our Technical page come from noted Hummer restorer Mutt, who observed them on many original Hummers. Still, an otherwise original bike might have had a replacement Harley battery installed many years ago, so it's really hard to be absolutely certain.
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Re: Replica Battery Box

Postby chuckthebeatertruck » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:09 pm

I use duracell sealed batteries in a few bikes (both 6 and 12v systems) at 4-5ah. These are very similar to the "exit sign" and "powerwheels" batteries and on a "good" day they will give no more than 30-45 minutes of head lamp lighting if there is no input from the generator.

I've used these types of batteries in kick only bikes for a couple of decades. They last 4-5 years, sometimes longer. I think the longest I got was 7 years -- and I consider that pretty good for 15-25 batteries. They also come in a "motor sports" version -- but I can't tell the difference.

I've never had one blink out and been stuck without lights. I used to ride 8-10K miles annually; I'm down to "only" 5-6K miles spread across the bikes. The two vibratron bikes (59H and 69 Sprint) see decent mileage at about 2000 a year on the sporty and 600-1000 on the sprint. Not "high" mileage by any stretch of the imagination -- but certainly within the "norm" for many riders. The 59H has it's battery mounted right on top of the engine case and the mechanical regulator is mounted right on the battery. It sees HEAVY vibration and heat -- and I beat the hell out of that bike. That battery is three years old and I've never put it on a charger . . . it sits all winter and fires up in the spring. The sprint is just a vibby bike -- the duracell is "only" two years old. It too has never required a charge -- though I use that one with an e-regulator to better respond to its puny little generator.

I never actually worried about a battery croaking and leaving me without lights -- to be very honest, I never have considered it because I've not seen it happen. I've seen batteries fall out, terminals break, terminals ground, regulators stick and cook batteries, but never a random failure. They usually give you ample warning . . . or I've just been super lucky.
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Re: Replica Battery Box

Postby wz507 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:44 pm

Dave,

Thanks for your input on battery shells and batteries therefore.

Regarding the ‘extra line of text” batteries, “fiftysevenxl” has made a fairly convincing argument (at least to me) for the “extra line of text” batteries being the norm for batteries from ‘52-58. I don’t see how we can question his date-coded battery cases which render his observations unambiguous, unless there were batteries that were not date-coded. He reports that he has never seen a “no extra line of text” battery with a date code earlier than ’59. Until someone turns up a “no extra line of text” battery case manufactured before 1959, I think we are compelled to go with the “fiftysevenxl” teachings. But as always, we continue to learn and I’m certain there is more to be ferreted out on this subject too.

Beatertruck,

That’s nice to hear of your good fortune with the Duracell batteries – "they take a lickin’ and keep on tickin”. They really have served you well, and I’d be pleased to get the same result. I also liked your summation about the myriad faults one may encounter with batteries (fall out, break-off, ground out, etc), that actually have nothing whatsoever to do with the battery itself, but fall more into the category of operator error. Based on your experience I will likely follow directly in your footsteps with the Duracells.

On a related note I was conversing with a friend this AM on small batteries for hogs, and he pointed out that everything will be fine with small batteries (5ah) so long as they remain close to being topped off. As I understand it, in general the optimum/maximum(?) charging rate for a battery is on the order of ~ 1/10th the amp/hr rating of the battery, so a 5ah battery would optimally be charged at ~ 0.5 amp rate, which it will like and such a rate will not overheat it or degrade it. However, if the battery is half discharged and you start the bike, turn the lights on and take off, your K Model HD generator would likely be putting out ~ 10 amps, which the little battery will not like for any sustained length of time, and if continued would likely overheat and damage the battery. Anybody have any related experiences?

As always interested to hear additional tales of success and wow with low ah batteries.
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