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Starter/battery issues


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First, the facts:

  1. engine starts right up, so long as it turns over.  It will start when barely turning over, even after an attempt when it doesn’t turn over, so this is not an engine issue 
  2. batteries (4) are whatever the seller had laying around, 925, 650, 950, 825 A
  3. two batteries showed bad with cheapo tester at rated amps, but showed good at 750a
  4. my tester would not test one battery,  would just restart the menu when attempted
  5. Truck starts after sitting in shop on charger
  6. charger says all batteries are 97% individually, and 87% when connected to all
  7. truck doesn’t like to start after sitting out for several days not connected, cranks slowly or not at all
  8. replaced voltage regulator, get 14 v when driving now
  9. starts ok after driving 

my  conclusions:

  1. i have a drain somewhere- i can fix that, or disconnect batteries 
  2. batteries are not great
  3. best case would just be to buy all new batteries, or better yet, all new truck, but would prefer to understand the issues at play here

my questions

  1. will batteries work ok in a group if they are different ratings?
  2. will a higher amp not great battery pull the others down even if it tests ok at lower amperage ?
  3. what kind of amps do i need for a s60 12.7 to start?

Thank you for your patience and assistance.


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Charge all the batteries, and disconnect them from each other.  Check individual voltage.  Wait a day and check again.  If they pass this test, apply a load to each and then check again.   My money's on a bad battery.  A set of matched batteries is best.  Not necessarily new, but close in specs and age.

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I agree with the above comments.  One bad battery will make the charging system ignore the good ones and either not charge them or over-charge them. 

If you think you have a drain on the system while the truck is turned off, the best way to know is with a clamp on DC current meter.  They are getting less expensive.   This one is relative inexpensive.  It seems to work well. Bought from Amazon.  Voltcraft Current Clamp Meter VC330.  There are less expensive ones on Amazon but I can't attest to their functionality.  

With the truck turned off and all the accessories in their usual state while stored, turn the meter to a high DC scale, zero it, and clamp it over the positive battery wire (there may be more than one positive lead on the battery if accessories have been tied directly to the battery).  Get a reading and note whether the meter shows  positive amps or negative amps.  Reversing the clamp on the same cable will reverse the polarity reading.  Get the meter to show negative as (with the truck off) there will definitely be a draw from the battery.  On the high voltage scale, the reading will not be very accurate but it will likely show some rounded off amperage.  Reset the scale to the range needed, zero it again, and clamp it on again.  There will always be some drain while turned off.  I don't know what is acceptable to your truck but it should be less than an amp, I would think.  Starting the truck will run the alternator and the direction of the DC current polarity will reverse and then start decaying in amperage as the battery gets recharged from its effort to start the truck.  

Good luck! 

Edited by NeverEasy
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One bad battery will take down the others. If they all have been drawn down repeatedly to a level where they won’t start the truck, their performance has been reduced.

2 good batteries should be able to fire off that engine in the summer.

A couple weeks ago, the local Volvo dealer had a pallet of batteries for $74.95 ea.

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One time I counted the number of combustion cylinders, batteries, and tires we have here on the farm.  No wonder maintenance is such a chore.  I've since eliminated a bunch of cylinders, mainly by selling motorcycles.  Down to 9.........many with no battery.😉

I know folks who don't put new batteries in old tractors.  They just park them on Delco Hill.

Edited by rickeieio
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Roger that.  Consensus is for me to break out my wallet.  Since i hurt my shoulder, it hurts even worse to get it out 😯

And yes, i want a clamp on dc ampmeter too.  I will look into it more, and try to convince my neighbor to buy one  


went to dealer on my way home from work to price batteries, and line was almost out the door, so skipped it for today. 

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