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D series Kohler twin battery sizes ?

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Ok - the UL-1 batteries won't cut it for turning over the big cast iron Kohler twins - got one that is only 6mo old and it's basically shot already . One start cycle and if it doesn't fire it's done - needs to be jumped . Since it's mounted above the Sundstrand pump and so close to that thumper engine I'd assume the vibration is just killing the plates . At a rate of 2 batteries per year - that doesn't work out very well and the rotating mass of that engine just draws far too much from the battery - even with a new starter .


From the BCI group number chart and some dimensions of what can fit in the tractor physically I come up with a Group 26 battery - what is everyone using in their twin cylinder D's ??


I see an equivalent Deka runs about $80 - anyone tried that size on one of these D's ...?



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Well, my set-ups probably wont work for others - like you cold weather guys. Some time ago, maybe 3+yrs, the battery on my 180 died and at that time I had an old Yard Man with a pretty fresh batt so I did a switch. Now this is the small one (I dont remember the #) like from walmart at around $30. I had been paying upwards of $100 for the full sized one. Anyhow, as time went on the small batt was working fine, even after sitting for a few weeks and in cool weather (thats about the best we get down here) so since then I have that Batt in all 3 of the D's - the 160 with the K341 and the 180 and 200 with the big twins for some 2 yrs now and I'm still sometimes surprised on a difficult start how they will spin those big engines. I think the one in the 180 is well into its 3rd year.

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That's the whole problem - if the temperature is below 40*F you have one short shot at starting this thing with even the biggest UL1 lawn and garden battery . Last winter became a problem at times when I had to go inside and warm up a bit at around 15*F , come out a short time later with a 2 month old battery and the engine would only rotate a few revolutions before the battery gave up.  I had to jump it on restarts nearly every time . Due to their size , no lawn and garden battery has the CCA reserve capacity to spin that big twin cylinder in cold weather - not to mention such a low amp/hr draw rating on them . Frankly , they can barely handle the big block single cylinder engines around here in the winter . The only one I have left that will spin over and start decently is an older Die Hard Gold that is in the 1277 and it's getting pretty old - but it will not fire the K482 twin in the same conditions , not even close .


This big K is either been rebuilt or it's just in excellent shape - tons of compression in it compared to most . It does start very easily - throttle at idle , hit the key and as it's turning engage the choke about halfway - fires up almost instantly even in severely cold temps . Best firing Kohler I own or equal to the '73 16 Auto and the 1277 is a close 3rd but it's starter-gen takes more revolutions to get it to fire . I borrowed a small automotive style battery from a buddy this spring to test the theory about amp hour draw rate and that engine spun over like it was possessed - the lawn and garden battery just isn't enough amp/hr rate to handle the load .





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The label on my D200 battery is partially missing.  490 CA  She is 5.25 x 9"  and 8"  height to top of case not the terminals. I dodn't recall how old but I think I got it when I got the tractor many years ago.  I do not use her in extreme cold but it spins her quite nicely  in the high 20s.



EDIT:  Looked at BCI sizes.  i guess they measure the top of the battery and any hold down tabs..  i measured the case, as my non standard hold down makes it hard to measure the top edges so add a bit to each dimension.  Also they include the terminal height.  Pretty sure it is a 22NF as I think I gt it about teh same time as I got batteries for my M37 and she uses 22NF the labels look the same 490 CA  and 390 CCA.  They are from June 2007.


22NF is equal to Mil Spec 2HN batteries

Edited by pfrederi

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I have a Group 45 in my 523Dxi diesel. It fits in the same space, only taller, as the U1 in my Kohler gas 5xi.

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I'm pretty sure a 22NF would easily fit the D's battery box and clear the linkage/fuel lines just fine . I've had to use this thing in well below zero weather , so hunting the largest storage capacity I can get - hence the Group 26 size . The group 45 is close to the same dimensions , but in the store with a tape in hand they seem to run longer in length - won't work in the D to clear the throttle arm enough not to interfere . I'm really leaning towards a Deka and have a Lowe's about 50 miles from me , might just go after one as this UL1 is finished - think it welded some of it's plates together now .


Pulling the engine forward later today to check the front pump bearing with a dial indicator - at minimum change the seal , again.....grrrr.



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I found out there is a direct labeled Deka available in a U1 size case , pretty good ah and CCA specs but still on the low side for a twin cylinder Kohler . Turns out that is the one that failed in the big D - I'm assuming it's just getting too high of a discharge/charging cycle to last - made it not too far past it's warranty at O' Reilly's . I got all the pump leaks stopped , just need something that will consistently whip this engine over and can handle the vibration/charging rate . I did find one odd listing that I wasn't aware of in BCI group sizes - MIATA . Seems older Mazda Miata's used a trunk mounted battery (forgot about that one , a buddy owned one too) and they originally used a very expensive Panasonic unit that was well over $300 to replace . East Penn carries a specific small case direct fit battery under part number 8AMU1R . It will place the positive terminal on the "wrong" side , but I need to make some better cables anyway so it can be fitted easily enough . This one does have a bit more reserve capacity and a slightly higher amp/hr rate - perfect for our tractors - not to mention East Penn's design is very robust and won't boil out so easily unless it's highly overcharged by a wonky rectifier/regulator .

Both of these are the same battery and agm type - designed for very high vibration and discharge/charge cycles





Here is a list of most of the agm automotive style batteries available and some research into case sizes leads to the following group sizes that could fit the D's dash , although they are a slightly larger foot print and would require a larger tray -

Group/O' Reilly's numbers

47 - 9A47/47PLT

75/86 - 9A75


The group 47 and group 75/86 has some serious power - if you ran the starter for an extended period either of these would easily burn it out versus knocking the battery flat - but in sub-zero weather it will handle that engine easily -


It is also available from O' Reilly auto parts - https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/super-start-platinum-5003/battery-accessories-16452/battery---automotive-16864/battery-12836/battery/47plt/4742699


The 75 - https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/super-start-extreme-4995/battery-accessories-16452/battery---automotive-16864/battery-12836/battery/75ext/4742488


I'll probably just order the 47PLT - easiest to fit into the D and more than enough reserve . I'm avoiding the smaller ones as they are pushed to the limit with this engine and charging system - even with a small agm . Not impressed with a 90 day warranty on the lower class units either , most will barely go past that warranty and I've already wiped out 2 of them . From O' Reilly , the Miata battery has a 3yr limited warranty but I'm not certain it would live long in this D - it spends a lot of time running for a short duration , gets shut off and then re-started when I'm doing yard work . Plowing snow in sub-zero conditions is the same deal - go inside to warm up , engine cools off in the mean time and it's sitting outside for a re-start - that's a hard cycle .



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Finally got the new battery ordered - O'Reilly's 47PLT which is the "Platinum" series AGM from East Penn . Even comes with a handle and the only real issue is it's size and the right hand positive when fitted into a D . This battery is big - measuring 9-9/16"L x 6-7/8"W x 7-1/2" T . Pretty much the limit as to what will still clear the hydro linkage assembly and still fit within the left side panel . I had to move the fuel lines as well as some creative work to route the choke cable and keep it away from that positive post to prevent vibration wearing through the vinyl coating and shorting it out . I also had to be build a new plastic tray which is required to keep the heat from the hydro pump from cooking the battery as well as directing air flow to cool the pump from the engine's flywheel intake fan .


I had a sheet of ABS plastic that has scored lines to bend it - the material is used to mount mobile audio equipment into various cars . Some flat iron stock and a bit of heat along with a few clamps made easy work of that part . I initially used a black wire tie to weld the corner joints , but being the wrong material versus the base abs it wanted to become brittle and crack . Ripped some thin strips of the left over abs and used that to weld the corners with my Portasol butane soldering iron - worked great although it had to be done outside due to all the smoke .






Once the tray was final fitted there is no room for error here - even the hold down rods just clear the new tray -






You'll notice how the choke cable wants to lay right on top of the positive post area - had to rethink that whole thing so it cannot wear through the vinyl coating and short the cable out to the battery . At 690 amps it would turn that cable into a welding stinger quickly , we don't want that ...lol .


I used a vinyl coated clamp (buy 'em in bulk from McMaster) and put a twist in it to match the angle of attack on the cable . Then , using an upside down flange nut below the clamp and one coming down from the top on the threaded hold down rod allows the height to be adjusted to make a smooth angle to the carb area and prevent the cable from binding .






For whatever reason , that choke cable has always wanted to interfere with the brace in the hood - didn't like it rubbing that way and trying to destroy the cable so I scribed the brace to follow the hood's shape better and cut it out with the air nibbler . No clearance issues now and makes for a neater install -




Since Big Ugly looks more like an industrial piece than anything - I gave the new cables a matching look and also isolated them from any metal contact for safety reasons . here's the final look -




Hood closes perfectly and the big battery rolls that engine quite easily . Also seemed to stop some of the crazy responses from the amp gauge once it was brought up to working rpm and it's holding a nice and steady 14.2v at the battery . I need to finish the rest of the wiring on the tractor and install an overhead bar for the flood lamps - I get stuck working it a lot at night in the winter and the stock headlights are less than adequate for me . I'll probably work on retrofitting some round led's into the stock location and use two pair of led flood cubes on the light bar . Might look like an alien craft but at least I'll be able to see what I'm doing...lol . Wish this engine had the bigger 30 amp charging system , pretty limited with the original 15 amp setup but I think I can stay under that total draw limit .




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