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Old 12-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
motoretro OP
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Vintage Motor Scooter Battery Charging and options

Working on trouble shooting a 1950's motor scooter which has a 6V system. I was finally able to locate a 6V, 11AH Battery which fits the factory specifications and bracket. Unfortunately it's the old style non-sealed lead acid battery with filler caps and vent hose. I have a 6V/12V charger/maintainer although don't feel comfortable sticking the battery under the bench with filler caps off allowing fumes to constantly escape during the charging process in my shop.

I was in hopes of finding a sealed unit to avoid this, I did find a 12AH sealed battery which could be installed although the bracket would need to be modified. Oddly enough, all the sealed units I've found in this AH size have what I feel are lightweight spade terminals or a built-in wiring harness with approximately 10 ga. wiring. I'm no electrician although question if the terminals or lighter wiring are sufficient for the scooter's electrical system. The scooter's factory battery cables are very heavy, about 7/8 the size of automobile battery cables.


Has anyone any thoughts on this?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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I wouldnt mind charging a standard 'flooded' battery with caps off, unless you want to weld or grind stuff while charging it.
Except for the first charge, the vent hose it's enough for a slow charge to top-up the battery, so no need to open caps.

I charge my car batt. with an electronic charger, max output 3.8A and they never bubble.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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I'm constantly charging Rv batteries in my shop at high charge rates, multiple at a time. Not a big deal. They don't constantly offgas as you suggest, and such a small battery will charge fairly quickly, it really won't vent a significant amount.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'm old school and just purchased my 1st Charger/Maintainer. (6V/12V, 1.5 Amp). I've never used one and really had no idea of how much the battery outgassed when hooked up on a constant basis. I do quite a bit of grinding in the shop along with Mig and Gas welding. This project is just starting so I was apprehensive without additional information.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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How much battery do you need? Could you use a "stick" of NiCad's instead of a regular battery? Less weight, space and no out-gassing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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The original specs call for 6V and 11AH. The Scooter doesn't have a starter motor per se although uses current through generator coils to control cams and contact points along with a reversing switch to cause a rocking type action against compression to pull fuel in and start the engine. Certainly a unusual method and possibly the weak spot of the scooter.

I was in hopes of finding a sealed unit to avoid this, I did find a 12AH sealed battery which could be installed although the bracket would need to be modified. Oddly enough, all the sealed units I've found in this AH size have what I feel are lightweight spade terminals or a built-in wiring harness with approximately 10 ga. wiring. I'm no electrician although question if the terminals or lighter wiring are sufficient for the scooter's electrical system. The scooter's factory original battery cables are very heavy, about 7/8 the size of automobile battery cables.

As far as a stick of Nicads........I'm not sure.

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How much battery do you need? Could you use a "stick" of NiCad's instead of a regular battery? Less weight, space and no out-gassing.

motoretro screwed with this post 12-12-2012 at 01:49 PM
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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What kind of scooter is this? Does the scooter have electric start? If it does, scratch the ni-cads. Does your headlight only run when the engine is running? What is on/working when the key is on/engine off vs. key on/engine on?
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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Check the specs on your OEM battery cable. Big doesn't mean it has much wire in it. Recently cut into an old one....lots of rubber sheating, not much copper, about 10Ga to my eye.

BTW that type of battery you are contemplating with the wires built in, often used in old 6V BMW motorcycles.

Like this:

http://bmwdean.com/6_Volt_Battery.htm

Fuse it to be on the safe side, altough if you think you may blow the fuse troubleshooting, I'd use something like that:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/COO...-Breaker-6AYJ4

Thread worthless without pics....I want to see the old scooter.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Maicoletta....250cc 1959. Not really a electric start in the traditional sort of way although uses current to rock the engine. Read my description of method earlier in the thread. I'm just starting to figure all this out will need to get battery wired in to answer all the questions. A lot of my material is in German so I'm basically in the dark until i have juice.
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What kind of scooter is this? Does the scooter have electric start? If it does, scratch the ni-cads. Does your headlight only run when the engine is running? What is on/working when the key is on/engine off vs. key on/engine on?
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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As a bit of a follow-up, Is it normal to have a non-sealed battery with a vent tube sitting under the bench with filler caps off while hooked up to a Tender/Maintainer? I'm concerned I might forget it's there and do a welding/cutting job and blow the place up. It seems the Tenders are designed for sealed units...........
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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The 6v batteries I get are shipped to me dry and then I add the acid and charge them up. I pull the caps off for the initial charge and after that for maintianance charging I leave the caps on and let it vent through the vent tube. Ive not had any problems doing this, but I also don't have my batteries charging below my welding bench.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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Gotcha,
Due to our very cold weather(MI) I usually bring my sealed 12V units inside and store them in the basement, charging them once a month with a 2 amp charger, this has worked well for me through the years. With the un-sealed 6V, I'd rather not hook up a tender to it while in the basement. The bench in the garage is the closest spot to a wall outlet, plus I'm concerned it may freeze if taken off a tender in colder temps.
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The 6v batteries I get are shipped to me dry and then I add the acid and charge them up. I pull the caps off for the initial charge and after that for maintenance charging I leave the caps on and let it vent through the vent tube. Ive not had any problems doing this, but I also don't have my batteries charging below my welding bench.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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6v wire size

When I was just out of High School in the late sixties, my first job was in an auto electric shop. There were still a lot of cars running around with 6 volt systems left over from the 50's. The boss made sure I understood that I had to use heavier gauge battery cable for the six volt systems,as the lower voltage needs more conductor because the amperage is higher for the same power.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
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That is a beautiful old scooter. I don't think I have ever seen one of those before. If it has no electric starter, it should be easy to convert it to 12V and keep the 6V electrics with a step down transformer. It most likely will need to be a motorcycle/scooter battery, the headlight can still draw quite a bit of current.

But, you can charge an old style flooded battery without removing the caps, as long as you don't try to charge it to fast, which can damage the battery anyway, they do have a vent. My Genuine Stella is 12V, but it came with an old fashioned flooded battery. It is still holding up, so I have not replaced it. I keep it in my living room with a Deltran battery tender hooked to it, with the battery in the scooter, and all the covers on. I have a pigtail wired to the battery, and just unplug it and plug it back in when I ride it. I have 2 other scooters in the same room hooked up the same way, but with sealed batteries. I would only charge it outside or in the garage, but a battery tender does not have enough power to hurt anything, even if the battery shorts out. They automatically shut off if that happens.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-LC-R...ges/B009DKCX62

will one of these unit do? I had 12 volt one and there was no issues beyond making up a leads to the battery . seal units.
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