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Case Tractors Discussion Forum

Trickle charger for the antique tractors

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02-04-2007 07:17:19

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I have two old CASE and each has of course a 6V battery. Those of you out there know that these sit a lot and are used for show and parade. How do you deal with the battery during "in storage" time? I put those small 1.5V trickle-automatic float-does everything charger on them. I sometime give each a boost with the regular charger every few months.

How do others deal with keeping the batteries charged up. I use to disconnect the cable. but each are hard to get to. I installed cut out switches and this seems to work quite well. Some of the tractor owners at shows says that there is a slight draw on the battery over time as they sit. The cut outs stoped this.

I know that there is a big sale on 6v batteries at the local stores when ever the tractor show season starts. I think this tells us something.

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02-04-2007 13:07:50

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to Greenfrog, 02-04-2007 07:17:19  
I use a Battery Tender, "smart" charger that charges, then monitors and maintains the fully-charged battery for a completely topped-off start even if left hooked up for weeks at a time. I also use Optima gel-type, sealed for life batteries, so I don't have to worry about leaks, water loss, or corrosion. For infrequently used 6 volt systems, it makes sense for me.

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02-04-2007 13:38:41

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to F-I-T, 02-04-2007 13:07:50  
I am using a smart charger like what you describe...just a different brand. Tell me more about the Optima-gel type battery...has to be 6
v. Good tip---thanks

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02-04-2007 18:53:33

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to Greenfrog, 02-04-2007 13:38:41  
third party image

The Optima "Absorbed-Glass-Mat" AGM type battery uses a glass mat impregnated with an acidic paste, then rolled like a cinamon roll in a spiral. The individual 2 volt units resemble an old 1 1/2 volt dry cell, so three in series look like an old Hot-Shot 6 volt dry cell like we uesed to use on electric fences.

The design is leak-proof and can be mounted upside down if you like, since it acts like a dry cell. Their 6 volt unit can yield 1000 amps, 800 CCA, which is the most power per pound I think you can find in a 6 volt unit. The photo shows the rather unconventional design in my VAC's battery box. They are much smaller, but also a bit longer, so they do require a bit of hold down redesign. I installed my first one in the VAC 3 years ago, and it is still performing like new. They are more expensive, but I was getting really poor performance and less than acceptable life out of the lead acid designs, and these really crank better. You can find them on the web buy googling Optima battery. They make marine styles, deep cycle styles, and conventional automotive sizes, but only this one in 6 volts. I have several in service now, and I will continue to replace all of my old lead acid types with these. They're just so trouble free. They even have a silvered alloy terminal which really resists corosion, but since they are no acid fumes collecting in the battery box, the terminals stay fresh all the time.


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C. Amick

02-06-2007 09:20:36

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to F-I-T, 02-04-2007 18:53:33  
The cheapest price I could find on an Optima 6-volt battery was $139. Does this seem like a good price?

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02-06-2007 15:01:14

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to C. Amick, 02-06-2007 09:20:36  
That's probably about the best you'll find. Two years ago when I bought my first ones, I think they were $119.00

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green frog

02-06-2007 08:26:20

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to F-I-T, 02-04-2007 18:53:33  
Thanks Frank. I like this. I have a DC and an SC and seem like they need more cranking power. I use to have a VAC.

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Walt Davies

02-04-2007 10:13:22

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 Re: Trickle charger for the antique tractors in reply to Greenfrog, 02-04-2007 07:17:19  
I found that the trickle chargers do more harm than good as they don't charge and discharge the battery. I like to give them a good charge with at least 10 amp charger overnight and then let them sit for a month it helps to run your engine for a short while also during the off time so that will give your battery a regular discharge/charge situation. letting a battery just sit for along period time will do more harm than anything else.
There are some really goos systems that will use a daily discharge and charge but they are expensive.
also if you manually go out and take care of them then you will be more likely to check the water level that is most important as continuously charging a battery will lower the water level and expose the plates.
There are very good sites online for battery maintenance just google them.

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