Why so hard to replace battery?

   / Why so hard to replace battery? #1  

SmallChange

Platinum Member
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Apr 19, 2019
Messages
667
Tractor
New Holland WM25 with 200LC front end loader, filled R4 tires 43X16.00-20 and 25X8.50-14 (had a Kubota B6200D with dozer and R1 tires)
First time replacing battery on this machine. Manual says "Group 34". That doesn't even come close to fitting. Spent a long time with the auto parts store clerk pulling out batteries and measuring their thickness at the bottom and finally gambled on a smaller Group 24 battery that appeared 1/8" or 3/16" too big. Which it was. I did shoehorn it into the tractor, though I had to spend a while rerouting cables and wires, and it does interfere with the motion of the hood latch (just not enough to prevent opening the hood). CCA says it's above the required minimum, so I guess it'll work. Clerk couldn't find a size number on the battery the tractor came with, which was thinner than any he had anywhere close to the CCA rating.

It's a rectangle. And only one dimension was kind of critical. Would it really have been that hard to include space for it and spec a replacement?

Ms. SmallChange said maybe I should have gone to the dealer. I dunno, maybe she's right.
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #2  
SmallChange, always agree with the spouse. You don't have to do it but at least agree. Happy wife happy life. Was the battery in it the original or are you the second owner? Can't believe that the battery didn't show the group size unless the label was missing. Can't go wrong with a battery with a higher CCA than required as long as it fits especially if you live in a colder climate.
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #3  
Sometimes it’s easier to do an internet search of the dimensions of your old battery, just because it may be unique and not in demand much (so probably not carried in stock at parts stores)
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery?
  • Thread Starter
#4  
The battery in it was the original. I bought the tractor new. Since there weren't any size numbers that either of us could find on the old battery, I couldn't do an internet search. Note that it was considerably smaller than the Group 34 specified in the manual.

I've just been running a bit, and it started right up. I'm a little nervous because the positive terminal lug is very close to the hold down bar, and torque on the stiff cable assembly could move it into contact with that. I did reroute the cable to minimize that torque, and got a plastic lug cover between the bar and the lug (barely), so I'll revisit my fasteners. Maybe I should grind out a section of the hold down bar.

I am curious what the dealer would have done. I'm guessing that the battery that was in it was some kind of special, and the dealer has more of them. It was a Rocket brand.
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #5  
Messick's online parts shows a Group 34.

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   / Why so hard to replace battery? #6  
First time replacing battery on this machine. Manual says "Group 34". That doesn't even come close to fitting. Spent a long time with the auto parts store clerk pulling out batteries and measuring their thickness at the bottom and finally gambled on a smaller Group 24 battery that appeared 1/8" or 3/16" too big.
Just because 24 is less than 34 doesn't mean a 24 is smaller. It is bigger. And a 27 is even bigger.

Charts of BCI Group sizes are readily available: BCI Battery Group Size Chart

Am guessing you confused 34 with 35. The 35 is a bit smaller than a 34.
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #7  
I always look up BCI charts too.

WAY too many choices when it comes to batteries. And in general....I like the biggest battery I can make fit. However....there are ALOT of batteries that are pretty close in size. And when replacing a battery, and looking up sizes....I can usually come of with half a dozen or so that would all fit and work just fine.

Then I look each one up on the parts store website. Sometimes the price difference is astonishing. Or simply which one they have in stock.

For example....my napa currently shows 3 group 24 batteries for $144ea. The SMALLER group 34 batteries are $5 more and they only have one. ANd the even smaller group 35 is another $5 more and they currently dont have any.

But I am confused. Manual calls out for a group 34 battery.....and you put in a group 24 which is the same width and length but 1" taller and now you wonder why its a tight fit?
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery?
  • Thread Starter
#8  
But I am confused. Manual calls out for a group 34 battery.....and you put in a group 24 which is the same width and length but 1" taller and now you wonder why its a tight fit?
There is plenty of extra room above and to the sides of the battery. The only dimension that was a problem is the front-to-back dimension, and it's only a problem for the bottom couple inches on the centerline. Toward the rear of the battery compartment there's a small steel angle welded on (and visibly a little crooked), so the battery can't move backward (and if it did it would crowd the front of the radiator anyway). Toward the front on the centerline there's a slot through which the hood latch hook sticks up. The hood latch pivots rearward toward the battery to release the hood. The original battery was about 1/2" thinner front to back and did not interfere with the hood release. The new battery does interfere with the motion of the hood release, so when I pull the hood release lever the latch hits the battery. However, it moves enough to release the hood. It's this dimension primarily that I'm calling tight. I copied and pasted this from the manual just this minute:
12 V, w/ negative ground, 660 cca BCI Group 34
And I showed it to the parts store guy on my phone, and we started pulling batteries off the rack, measuring with my tape measure and looking for one small enough across the bottom. They're generally bigger near the top, especially at the seam, but that doesn't matter at all in my battery compartment. The 34 and 24 and other numbers were printed right on the batteries. We were also excluding ones whose CCA was less than 660.

For the batteries we actually pulled off the shelf and measured, the 24 was maybe 3/16" smaller front to back than the 34, at the bottom. They were DieHard brand "Platinum". I think the one I bought was $239. I was taking a chance because it was still bigger than the space I measured, and they don't accept returns, but it did work eventually.

As a secondary issue, the old battery had the terminals on the top toward the rear of the tractor, but the new one has them on the top toward the front of the tractor and close to the hold down bar. Or of course I could rotate the battery, which would put the terminals far from the hold down bar, but that trades sides for the + and - terminals. I don't think I can make the cables reach far enough to cross. I was able to get them reach far enough to attach to the terminals in the position toward the front, with some fiddling around and by shifting the hold down bar a bit to one side.

I spent a while operating later yesterday and everything worked fine.
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #9  
When I renew a battery (which I do every 5 years no matter what), on the first renewal, I look at CCA as well as the largest physical size of battery that will fit in the battery box or tray (in my case) and finally terminal post location (as my cables allow for extra room).

The higher the CCA, the more lead alloy inside the case (and the heavier it is).
 
   / Why so hard to replace battery? #10  
Batteries come with the + and - in both ways. The "R" designation means they are swapped from standard. I like Mopar they are almost always "R" batteries.
 
 
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