1. #1
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    Default Koehler battery charger possibly not working

    Need some help. One of our engines is a 1988 FMC on a Spartan chassic. The batteries will not stay charged. It has a Koehler model 5560 (I think) battery charger on it (with an isolator). It has a 225 watt max output.The charger has 7 input/output screws on it. 1 is bat. 1 (+) , 2 is bat. ground, 3 is bat. 2 (+), 4 goes to a switched circuit breaker, and 5,6,7 goes to I have no idea. 4 only has power with master switch on (shows battery voltage). 5,6,7 only has power (muti meter reads 20.0 volt +/-) when the truck is plugged in to 120 v. power. 1,3 will have 14 volts when not connected to batteries, when you hook either one to their respective battery it will read battery voltage. If I put on an external battery charger and charge the batteries it will hold enough power for 4 to 5 days before it will not start. In those days it is keeping 6 portables, and 7 flashlights charged. So I am sure this is what is darining the batteries because the charger is not charging the batteries. I am confused with the high voltage on 5,6,7. The batteries are the monsterous dozer batteries, sorry I don't their group number, and are 2 or three years old. This truck has always been easy on batteries only 3 sets have been in it, this includes the factory ones. I guess anything is possible, but hard to believe this would just start all of a sudden. Sorry to be so long and confusing.

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    The type of battery you are talking about is called an 8D. They seem to take 2 men and a small boy to carry them. They last for very short times. I would suggest this. First disconnect all of the cables from the batteries. You should remove the grounds first then the postives (with the charger unplugged). You need to load test each battery to see if they are holding their charge or need to be replaced. If you find that one battery is bad change them both. Reason being that the failed battery has been drawing all of the power from the charger and altenator and the better battery has suffered. If you plan on keeping this unit for a while i would suggest changing out the big batteries for group 31 type. These are similar to a car/truck battery and i only use delco 1150 or 1151.

    If you load test the batteries and they are good, remembering that a fully charged battery is 12.6666 volts dc, i would take another battery and hook it up to see if it will take a charge.

    Where are you picking up your readings at? Are you reading them at the battery or the charger.

    What type of meter are you using? Do you have something else wrong such as an alternator that might be draining back?

    I have some books on the kolher chargers will have to dig them out as i use kussmaul on everything.

    Email me at firetruckfixer@cox.net thanks jeff

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    Have the batteries load tested and or replace them.

    Commercial batteries are usually rated at 24months not 60-72months like your car. All it would take is one or two cells to go bad and you will have problems.

    I am by no means an expert but ever since we started replacing batteries at 24-36 months old across the fleet our battery problems went away. Think about it, it is an emergency vehicle, you probably should replace them "before" they go bad. Jump start a truck and hammer the electrical system with the lights and Q2 responding.....

    This also assumes you checked the fuses etc on the battery charger/conditioner to make sure they are good.

    Just a thought...

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    The load test was going to be the first thing I do tomorrow. I have the batteries on charge so I can check them. I did ckeck the fuses, hell I even pulled all three out and was getting the same readings with or without them. I always replace all the batteries in a vehichle if one goes bad for just the reasons mentioned. The readings on 1,3 are the same at the battery and the charger if the batteries are hooked up. If the batteries are not hooked up I get 13 to 15 volts at the charger on 1,3. Now as far as 5,6,7 goes I get the 20 volts at the charger. I have not traced them down to se where they end. Using a digital multi meter.

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    When you are done charging the batteries let them stand for 30 min or so before you load test them. Also turn the headlights on for a minute to take the surface charge off. Then load test the batteries. You need to know the reserve capacity and cca for the battery and then load them to the apporiate setting. If you are using a cheap toaster type tester you will get an approx load. If you have access to a vat 40 or similar tester this will be much more accurate. Good luck and email me if you have any questions jeff

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    I went through a simiar problem like this with a Kussmaul (sp?) charger. The power light was on, and the anlog needle showed it was charging, but batteries would die in several days with the flaslights and air compressor pulling a load on the batteries. I disconnected the leads from the charger discovered no voltage, pulled the charger apart and found a wire had become disconnected before the needle, and was not charging at all. I reconnected the wire and the needle reset itself. Something worth checking is the amperage coming out of the charger. Just because something has voltage does not mean it has the amps required to keep up with demands.


    I hope my 2 cents worth made some sense

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    If your batteries have been drained to the point of not starting and then recharged so many times, it is abotu time for replacement anyway. I can almost say with certainty that they are on their way out regardless of any other possible problems.

    20vdc doesn't seem right. I don't know any details on that charger but nothing uses 20vdc. It is certainly possible the charger bit the farm and isn't working properly.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Finally got the wires traced out that had the 20 volt on them. The go to the dash panel that has a charge light indicator for each battery. The wires are so small. I am thinking the higher voltage is to make the distance. Had the batteries checked. They are okay. Took all wires loose changed and cleaned connections. Also started a dailey record to watch the voltage in each battery. I am checking daily with multi meter. Will let you know.

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