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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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Originally Posted by JAB View Post
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, 05:42 PM   #10
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Thanks very much for the links, Yes, that's the Battery type I was referring to. I have some sections of the battery leads left I believe, I'll cut into it to determine size. I also need to determine the charging capabilities to see if I can install a bit larger unit.
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Here's picture of what I'm working with;







Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
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 sheathing, 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.

motoretro screwed with this post 06-14-2013 at 10:51 AM
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #11
H96669
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Left ooops edit, long day...RIGHT click on any pics if they are online somewhere, open "properties" then copy/paste the URL in the window that opens when you click on the yellow mountain/sun icon above. May have to click delete first to get rid of the Http:// thing in the window.

I know what you mean with translating German, often comes out weird with online translations . Then I go to my German neighbor, old retired mechanic, good for them technical terms.

Nice scooter...! Got to wonder now if they looked at some Buicks for the portholes.

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H96669 screwed with this post 12-12-2012 at 07:27 PM
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #12
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That's cool! I'm guessing this is the grandfather of Maico motorcycles.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:28 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tip, It worked as you can see.
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Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
Left ooops edit, long day...RIGHT click on any pics if they are online somewhere, open "properties" then copy/paste the URL in the window that opens when you click on the yellow mountain/sun icon above. May have to click delete first to get rid of the Http:// thing in the window.

I know what you mean with translating German, often comes out weird with online translations . Then I go to my German neighbor, old retired mechanic, good for them technical terms.

Nice scooter...! Got to wonder now if they looked at some Buicks for the portholes.

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:48 AM   #14
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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   #15
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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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