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Battery questions.


Sevins7
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My recently arrived Caterham is very hard to start.

I believe I am having carb and timing issues but that is for another discussion.

It does run OK'ish and will start with a jump.

 

But I can't get it to start it from cold on the battery.

 

I have had it on charge all day (100% and 14 Volts) but as soon as I go to start the car the battery drains super fast. And just does not seem to have the cranking power to get it going.

Jump it and it starts in 3 or 4 tries.

 

The battery is a new Odyssey Extreme PC545 (supposedly). Looks like a jet ski battery to me and not anything fit to be in a car.

The seller was supposed to have installed a PC680 according to his work sheets.

I think this battery is shot or not fit for this car as it will not turn the motor over nearly as fast as a jump does.

I also read somewhere that if this kind of battery is drained to empty they are done. The car arrived at the port with the battery pretty much drained.

 

Is this battery fit for purpose? If so I will contact Odyssey and see if they can help me. If not I need to buy a different kind.

 

Thanks guys!

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My Caterham with a Zetec SVT got an Odyssey PC680MJT battery in July of 2011 and it is still working fine.  My car starts very quickly, and as in Hawaii, we don't have harsh winters or real cold weather here.  I drive it all year long and don't let the car sit for over a couple of weeks.

Good luck.

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I'm also using an odyssey PC680, but in a colder climate. current one is dated 2018 and is beginning to  need a charger if not driven within a month. otherwise it works well but my understanding is a trade off of 30lbs for a few years of battery life. [It also comes out in the winter and goes on a trickle charger]

Congrats on the car!

p.

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One of my race cars, which uses a PC680 (as does my Caterham 7) would quickly drain the battery while trying to start it. It turned out the bushings/bearings in the starter motor were worn which allowed the armature to be off-center. I had the starter rebuilt and afterward it spun like a champ and did not drain the battery.

Edited by Nick OTeen
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On 11/28/2021 at 8:05 PM, Sevins7 said:

 

I also read somewhere that if this kind of battery is drained to empty they are done. The car arrived at the port with the battery pretty much drained.

 

 

 

I have been using the PC680 for many years in a number of Caterhams.  Once they drain too far they cannot be rehabilitated.  

 

@coffee break has good advice.  It is very common for our se7ens to have parasitic loss on our electrical system and so a battery cutoff switch is a good idea to prevent flattening the battery unless you leave it on battery tender constantly.  

 

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13 hours ago, Nick OTeen said:

One of my race cars, which uses a PC680 (as does my Caterham 7) would quickly drain the battery while trying to start it. It turned out the bushings/bearings in the starter motor were worn which allowed the armature to be off-center. I had the starter rebuilt and afterward it spun like a champ and did not drain the battery.

Yes I think one issue is the bad tune it's in. I'm going to buy a timing light and check that out today. Also might need one carb rebuilding. For some reason the seller only had one rebuilt when he was restoring it. Kind of silly!

 

@coffee breakI will look into a switch too. Although my first Caterham never had these issues.

 

6 hours ago, Croc said:

have been using the PC680 for many years in a number of Caterhams.  Once they drain too far they cannot be rehabilitated. 

Yes I read that and i think that is the issue with this battery. It arrived at the dock drained and I think it is an older one. It is marked 2019. The seller insists it was new. Whatever. New one here tomorrow.

 

I will look into installing a kill switch. Anyone got ideas or a circuit diagram, switch type?

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If you have a volt ohm meter check the voltage with the engine running. The voltage should be higher than the voltage with the car off. That will tell you if the alternator is working. There are two types of master cut of switches manual and electric. Race cars have externally mounted cut offs. On Caterhams they are usually mounted at the base of the windshield where it bolts to the cowl. An inexpensive one is a switch that is built to attach to the battery post and the positive lead to the starter. You can also get a relay or solenoid that can be located close to the battery and small wires and a switch can be mounted anywhere. 

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47 minutes ago, Sevins7 said:

I will look into installing a kill switch. Anyone got ideas or a circuit diagram, switch type?

 

This is the type normally installed on Caterhams

Master Battery Disconnect Switch Kit — Beachman Racing

 

Should be instructions in the kit (he says hopefully).  Caterham parts also stock it but I could not link them as their website was down for me.

 

Photo shows usual mounting point on side of scuttle within reach of driver's left hand - its the red switch with protective eyebrow.

 

1531333093_DriversClub07-01-170057.thumb.jpg.8130e1605c504a61f2d7dc36ba59f46c.jpg

 

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