If left unfilled does a Lead Acid Battery have a shelf life?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Bevelheadmhr, Feb 27, 2019.

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  1. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I've started to recommission a bike I restored 25 years ago, its about time it stopped being an ornament. I fitted a new battery at the time, but left it empty, that is with no acid.

    If it was filled with battery acid now, would it still hold charge, or would it be useless after being left so long unfilled?

    I'd rather not throw it away if its still usable. MHRcoils 006.JPG
    #1
  2. BeezaJohn

    BeezaJohn Been here awhile

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    About 20 years ago I bought 12 batteries old stock wholesaler was changing brands some were on the shelf in my shed for
    over ten years and were good to use. As yours has been sealed I think it will be fine make sure you add the correct Sulphuric
    Acid specific gravity 1.25.
    John
    #2
  3. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

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    That a Ducati desmo 250? Nice job on the restoration! Oh, yeah, what BeezaJohn said on the battery!
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  4. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info, I'll have it filled next time I'm at my local bike shop.
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  5. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    Its my 81 Ducati MHR, I restored it about 25 years ago, and since then its been an ornament in my living room. Decided that this year I want to put it back on the road before I'm too old to ride the thing. Not done much yet, just fitted new tyres and inner tubes, stripped the callipers and master cylinders ready for new seals and polished some alloy. I'm hoping the engine will be fine, as over the years I've kicked it over every few weeks, just to keep things moving in the engine. But we'll see.
    MHRPart2a 004.JPG MHR2b 003.JPG
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  6. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

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    Ah! I see the second cylinder in these pictures!
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  7. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    I tried to used some 30 year-old batteries. They didn't react when I filled them, and never took a charge. If It was my bike, I'd find a modern sealed battery to replace it; sooner or later every traditional battery leaks some acid and damages everything nearby. Save the original for shows.
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  8. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I'll probably fit a new battery once I know the bike is running ok and its on the road, being kickstart only it doesn't need much power to get it running. A Lithium battery would save weight, but I'm not sure what affect fitting a Lithium battery would have on the old charging system.
    #8
  9. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    It's the other way around, the charging system would affect the battery.

    This is what a lithium battery looks like after an old school charging system starts acting up

    [​IMG]

    All the smoke comes out. There is a LOT of smoke in there, and it smells REALLY bad, as will everything it smolders it's way into.

    If you are going to run a lithium battery, upgrade the regulator and install a voltage meter. No, really. Just do it.

    PS - this battery had an internal "Battery Management System" that was meant to protect against such things but When Ducati stuff screws up it doesn't screw up half way.
    #9
  10. Overdog

    Overdog 'Burghherfer.....

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    What would the shelf life of an AGM battery be if never installed in a bike and used?
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  11. robtg

    robtg Long timer

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    If left on the shelf it would last forever. If installed in a bike, who knows?
    #11
  12. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    A guy with whom I used to work once said about Ducati, "They should have let the Brits do the electrics."

    LOL. I have noted that they self-discharge very slowly. They seem to handle neglect quite well.
    #12