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Beta Don

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Beta Don last won the day on October 11

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About Beta Don

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    U.S. Mississippi Valley
  • My. T.C.'s Year
  1. Those are amazing little fridges, aren't they? I have experience with using them on several boats. I designed and built electric systems on probably a dozen offshore sailboats for customers over the years. Wind, solar, deep cycle storage (predominantly using flooded golf cart batteries and sometimes L16's) with inverters and charge controllers. I set up the fridge on my last boat to run off a pair of AGM golf cart batteries I bought from Sam's Club. If there was anyway to squeeze them under the hood, I would have a pair of those on my TC. Golf cart batteries are the biggest bang for the buck in deep cycle storage by far I would set your cut off voltage to 'High' (11.8 volts) because using 10.1 will kill your battery and 11.4 will still do it great harm. I don't see why 'Medium' (12.2 volts) would hurt anything for the restart voltage Repeated discharges to 50% will certainly shorten the life of any flooded starting battery - It causes the plates to shed material which falls to the bottom of the case and will eventually short out the plates, but AGM batteries don't suffer this same fate, so I'm not at all worried about an occasional 50% discharge on my Duracell AGM. Many people buy this same battery for use in boats which run all sorts of things, including fridges, for several hours with the engine shut off. I like that the manufacturer thinks enough of it to actually honor a three year full replacement warranty My experience with buying batteries online isn't good. Hardly anybody wants to hear from you when you have an actual problem . . . . whatever went wrong must be YOUR fault and they don't really care if you're a repeat customer or not, whereas buying locally you are dealing with the same people you would be returning it to should there be a problem. Even Amazon doesn't talk to you if a battery you buy from them fails - They refer you to the manufacturer and your odds of getting satisfaction there isn't very good Don
  2. The Segway is listed for 140 watts, 120 volts. It actually measures 110 watts when charging, so two of them would be 220 watts which calculates to about a 20 amp draw from the battery for the inverter when the engine isn't running. The battery doesn't seem to mind that for an hour or so - Don't think I've ever left it running for more than about 90 minutes. I also carry a very powerful, but tiny 120 volt air compressor which will actually fill a car or trailer tire in just a minute or two and I run from the inverter too, usually without the engine running. It's very handy to use with a 50 foot extension cord - You can reach just about any tire. Nobody makes a good 12 volt compressor which actually pumps much air, probably because it would need 40 or 50 amps to be able to do the job and you can't plug that into an accessory socket The Odyssey isn't much more powerful than the stock battery. It's very expensive and nobody but Odyssey warrants them. Several users on Amazon reported failures within just a year or so and Odyssey blamed the failure on everything BUT the battery and refused to honor their warranty. One guy said he went back to an Optima because they had never given him any problems Other folks seem to love them. To each his own I guess. I like my 3 year, no hassle, free replacement warranty from Sam's Club. A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it Don
  3. First, they haven't sold an NiMH powered Segway since 2005 - Ours are all lithium powered and each Segway uses a pair of 75 volt, 5.2 AH batteries (390 WH and $900 EACH new) so I'm charging 4 of those - 1560 WH total. The built in Seg charger isn't very powerful - It takes 8 to 12 hours to recharge if the Lithiums are fully discharged, but a full charge lasts for 20 miles or more so we seldom ever get them much below 50% DoD. It's not at all unusual for a lithium Seg battery to last 10 years or more, which is good, considering the replacement cost Second, if you read my post above, the reason for getting the more powerful AGM battery was so we could leave them in the van charging while we stopped for gas or lunch - The rest of the time, recharging is done while we're driving The other reason for changing to an AGM is because it's one heck of a job to change the battery in a Gen 2 TC and since I already had the 3 year old battery out while making the high current connection to the battery bus bar, I wanted to put something in there which (hopefully) will outlast 2 or 3 stock batteries, because I don't want to have to mess with it again. A bit of advice for the average owner - When your TC needs a new battery, buy it from some place which offers free installation As I said, I'll be sure to report back here when the AGM quits on me, so everyone else will know not to waste their money on an AGM replacement for the anemic (and way overpriced) Ford BXT-96R . . . . or, if it lasts 6 or 8 years, we'll all know it was a very good idea Don
  4. Well, 3.5 amps for 20 hours is plenty deep cycle enough for the way I'm using it to charge the Segways - They won't ever need half of that. I suspect it will run a small fridge overnight without any problem as well Don
  5. Starting batteries don't make good deep cycle batteries, but the reverse isn't necessarily true. The AGM I installed has 50% more "cold cranking amps" than the stock battery and they wouldn't rate it that way if it wasn't intended to see duty as a starting battery, nor would they be offering a three year free replacement. As a general rule, AGM's handle higher recharge currents much better than flooded batteries do I have a 1994 Miata which came with an AGM battery mounted in the trunk - AGM's are the stock battery in many more cars these days. Anyway, I replaced the OEM battery in my Miata with a deep cycle Optima Yellow top and that lasted me almost exactly 10 years before I had to replace it . . . . with another deep cycle Optima When the AGM I put in my TC fails, I'll report back here . . . . if this forum is still around then ;-) Don
  6. P0403 code on 2014 after replacing EGR valve

    I don't have my book handy to double check, but I *think* it's in front of the left front tire, down low just behind the fog light. If you remove the wheel and the fender liner, you can't miss it. I had to remove a large computer there (which I assume was the ECM) when installing new fog lights with DRL's in them. Really odd place for it as it's bound to get destroyed in even a minor fender bender and I'm sure it's really expensive, but as you know, there's not much room for anything else under the hood If that one isn't the ECM, someone please correct me - If I get home to check the book, I'll correct myself if it's not the right computer Don
  7. I found it - Here's my earlier post Since I already had the battery out, and since it's already 3+ years old, and since it's so doggone difficult to get at . . . . and since I'm hooking up a high current load which will need to run off the battery when I stop for gas or to eat lunch, it only made sense to replace it with something better. Ford has chosen to use 'Ford sized' batteries in all their newer vehicles which I suspect was done to try and enhance battery sales at the dealerships. Our battery is a 'BXT-96R' which doesn't seem to exist anywhere but from Ford - Granted, you can buy a few 'equivalent' size replacements elsewhere Anyway, I wanted a higher capacity battery and I wanted an AGM, so after a good bit of research I settled on a Duracell Group 48 (H6) AGM from Sam's Club - $159.99. It has a 20 amp hour rate of 70 (3.5 amp draw for 20 hours) and much better specs than the OEM battery and it's made in the USA. 3 year free replacement and a 5 year pro-rated warranty Battery Electrolyte Composition: Glass Mat Battery End Type: Top Post BCI Group Size:48 CA at 32 degrees F:875 CCA at 0 degrees F:760 Polarity: Right Positive Reserve Capacity:120 The BXT-96R has only 500 cold cranking amps It's *almost* a drop in replacement for our OEM battery. It's about 1/2 inch taller, but fits in the battery box OK and you can even use the OEM hold down clamp if you remove the rear battery box spacer so the battery can slide back just a little to center the battery on the hold down studs. Then the clamp fits OK if you raise (or remove) the lifting handles that come on the battery - They fold back down after the clamp is installed, so you don't have to remove them If you intend to run high current accessories for even a short time with the engine not running, an upgrade to a better battery is probably a smart move . . . . especially if your current battery is 3 or 4 years old Hope this helps! Don
  8. I did. I ran a #4 cable to the back of our 2014 and installed a 500 watt inverter to recharge our Segways as we drive. I wanted a stronger, deep cycle AGM battery under the hood so if we took an hour long lunch with the van shut off, the inverter wouldn't run the battery down - Sounds like exactly what you're wanting to do I don't recall the model number on the battery I used - That info may be listed here in a thread I did about the install . . . . . I'll look later when I have more time. I measured the old battery, measured the inside dimensions of the battery box and found an AGM at Sam's Club which was a little larger than the stock battery (with more amp hours too) and it looked like it would fit and it did. There's a spacer tin the battery box to keep the OEM battery from moving around and if you remove that, there's room for a larger (longer) battery - It can be a bit taller too, IIRC Don
  9. $300 a pair?? You are way, way richer than I am! I guess if I ran an auto service shop where they would get used everyday, they might make sense, even at that price, but for the average guy who *might* use them once a year . . . . . ?? I suppose someone, somewhere is making a $500 paperclip too . . . . but why? Don
  10. Wheel Size Question

    Please share the load rating you've found stamped on the back of an original TC wheel, so we'll know the minimumt we should be looking for Don
  11. Yes, you can jack almost any unibody car using the pinch weld under the door sills, but only if you put the jack in the correct location - Every vehicle I've seen has some sort of built in indication for the proper location for the jack. The sill pinch weld is internally reinforced to withstand the load, but only in the correct jacking locations. (There is an internal vertical piece of steel inside the sill at the correct locations - If you don't use the proper spot, you can crush the sill) On most Japanese cars, there's a little notch in the pinch weld the length of the saddle in the OEM jack, but my 2014 TC does it differently We have a notch (half oval) cut out of the plastic sill trim where the jack is supposed to go - If you look underneath the van, you cannot miss the jacking locations. I'm not aware of any other location . . . . cross members or anything centrally located, which should be used. The trailer hitch is rated for a tongue load of only a few hundred pounds, so definitely not there! The 4 factory designed jack points are the only ones you should use . . . . they were designed just for the purpose For years, I used an old hockey puck in the center of my hydraulic jack pad and sat the pinch weld in the center of it, but after I lost track of the puck, I made me a small block of oak with a kerf cut across it for the pinch weld to fit in - Works even better than the hockey puck and didn't have me sending $10 to China Don
  12. Sadly, we don't have the dual clutch transmission - That was used in many of Ford's trucks. No idea why they are mentioning it in the 2014 TC manual?? Also, we cannot change the filter, as it's buried within the transmission and you have to take the trans out of the van and separate it into two halves to get at it Mercon LV is the correct fluid Don
  13. My Wonder Bread van

    Can't say I recall ever seeing a black bread truck . . . . . Don
  14. Wheel Size Question

    I *like* the look of those! - They really made a dramatic change in the look of the van. Very similar to what I've got on mine I changed out my steel wheels & hubcaps for a set of 16 X 7 Ford Focus alloy wheels (from a 2012 I think) and mounted my OEM Continentals on them, re-using the original TPMS sensors Don
  15. Transmission fluid change

    I *like* the idea of drain plugs in transmission pans - A worthwhile mod, IMO Years ago we had a Mitsu with an automatic which was known to fail, often before 100K was reached. It came from the factory with a trans drain plug (which I'm sure 90% of owners never made use of) and every other oil change I would drain and refill the trans - I was changing engine oil every 3K with conventional oil. The trans took just shy of 3 quarts to refill after a drain. This meant (to me at least) that I was doing a complete fluid change every 20K or so, which I'm sure had to be a good idea for a transmission known to have 'problems'. Our car was totaled by a drunk driver when we had about 90K on it and we never had any trans related problems, so money well spent, IMO If you have to drop the pan to install the drain plug, why not change the filter too? In my not so knowledgeable opinion, if you want to switch from conventional ATF to synthetic, I think you should do as close to a 100% change as possible when you make the switch - Not by adding 3 or 4 quarts once every year. I'm sure they'll say the conventional and the synthetic are 'compatible' but running with 3 or 4 quarts of new synthetic mixed with 5 or 6 quarts of old 50,000 mile conventional doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I just bought 16 quarts of full synthetic to make the switch on my TC, but I recently realized that I'll need about 4 quarts more to get a 95% or better switch over If you only want to change 3 or 4 quarts regularly with your new drain plug, I think I'd stay with the factory recommended conventional ATF - Just my opinion Don