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Starting (battery life) ZTR's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I got a new battery last year for the Tiger. Well today it was cranking slow, amp meter showing 0 or -5 with pto engaged, fuse blowed. Tested battery at Advance auto, checked bad, so I got another one. Seems like no one is having luck with mower battery's around here and I'm not sure if it's the batteries are defective or the charging system is not taking care of them. Do they make a good aftermarket ZTR Battery? The last one was a Interstate, and they are supposed to be good. Still have the original on the 05 Exmark.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    There are 3 ways a battery can go bad.

    1: A break in the battery's internals.
    2: Complete discharging one time.
    3: The bottom of the battery completely fills up with sluff as the battery gets old.

    Breakages within batterys are rare but do happen. The plates within the battery are connected from cell to cell. When a connection breaks the battery ceases to function or show voltage. Not likely here.

    Without getting into specifics... As a battery is charged and discharged the acid within it is converted. Ideally you do not want 100% conversion of the acid inside the battery by discharging it completely. The acid will reconvert if it is not discharged 100% by recharging the battery. If the acid is 100% converted it will not reconvert. The result is a battery that will not take a charge.

    As batteries charge and discharge small amount of the plates "sluff" off and fall to the bottom of the battery into a space designed just to hold the sluff. When that space is filled with sluff the sluff doesn't stop falling. It continues to fall until it starts to reach the bottoms of the plates and then it starts to short the plates out.
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    Oddly enough, I've never had to change a battery on any mower I've owned. Either I'm good with my sluff or just lucky.:)
  4. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,345

    First off if the fuse is blown on the tiger it won't read positive amps because it stopped charging when the fuse blew. Make sure the battery is completely charged by throwing it on the charger before you put it on the mower. If the battery isn't completely charged the mower will try to charge it but will blow the fuse becuase too much current is going through it.

    The charging system on the tiger is made to maintain the battery not bring it from the dead.
  5. magbarn

    magbarn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Another thing that helps is to use a battery tender during the off-season. My dad has one from Deltran that's got 4 charging leads for his batteries during the winter. Keeps them from freezing and also will keep them from sulfating or completely discharging which as mentioned above is fatal for lead-acid batts

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