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Old 11-08-2010, 11:45   #1
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Replace Deka 904D Batteries w/ Same, Or . . . ?

Bought 1972 Morgan Out Island 41, with a Westerbeke 4-107 diesel. It has a pair of Deka 904Ds in it, put there maybe 5 years ago by the prev owner, then left uncharged for the past 2-3 years. Obviously they are junk (anyone differ on this?). He had the boat since his father left it to him about 1977 and sez that is the battery setup they always had. They used the boat extensively with their kids over the decades.

The Deka 904D is a dual purpose FLA battery, maybe very common in diesel truck cranking applications; its Group 4D, weighing about 99#, w/ 1235 CCA @ 32* and 290 Reserve Capacity. I've seen where dual-purpose batteries may not be the best for cruising boats, but with existing wiring for only two batteries, and no plan to upgrade soon...

Exide makes a DC4D which is also a 4D FLA and so will fit my current battery box and is a true deep cycle battery. I havenít located specs on this yet (any leads appreciated).

Maintaining FLA batteries is what I'm used to, and I have no "fancy" charging or electrical management equipment, nor do I expect to install any for a couple years - priorities, after delivering the boat 130 miles down to my local marina, will be a few dozen square feet of deck re-core, and re-bed all deck hardware, hatches and so on to make boat usable. So, charging will be alternator/regulator under way and standard 10A three-stage Guest marine charger at the dock where the boat will be most of the time.

I can get the Deka 904D for $127 locally, w/core trade in, and the Exide DC4D for $150.

As far as getting one dual-purpose and one deep-cycle, vs just going with the two dual-purpose again, I maybe like the idea of having two batteries capable of cranking the engine, even at the expense of some deep-cycle AH capacity. Is this a realistic assessment of the tradeoff?

Was considering maybe keeping the 904Ds and their box for crankers in the long run, and later adding more proper deep-cycle batteries. Again, it seems good to have more than one battery that can crank the engine... Does this seem usual/reasonable?

Any input appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:33   #2
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get the deep cycle batteries. they will start your engine. i have a perkins 4-108 (same as yours) and my trojan t-105 deep cycle golf cart batteries have been starting it with no problem the past five years.

i've always thought that the so called dual purpose batteries don't do either job well.
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Old 11-08-2010, 13:43   #3
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What poster #2 said.
BTW: Poster #2 - what kind of name is that?
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Old 11-08-2010, 13:52   #4
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gordmay -

'one step' is the name of my boat, and it's a csy 37
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Old 11-08-2010, 17:32   #5
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Found the specs for the Group 4D Exide deep cycle. 1000 CCA @ 0*; 1230 CCA @ 32*; 320 minutes of reserve capacity.

Also found the same battery with regular terminals rather than marine terminals for $120, called 4D1000.

I guess with the 1230 CCA its a no brainer, considering I can combine both batteries through the battery switch for starting, if needed.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-08-2010, 17:40   #6
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Found the specs for the Group 4D Exide deep cycle. 1000 CCA @ 0*; 1230 CCA @ 32*; 320 minutes of reserve capacity...
Just to pick nits - the battery is not 1230 CCA, but 1230 MCA.

MCA (Marine Cranking Amps) is a measurement of the starting power of a battery at 32*F under a load for 30 seconds with the end voltage maintained at 1.20 volts per cell. MCA is generally 20% higher than CCA (cold cranking amps).
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Old 11-08-2010, 20:35   #7
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Just to pick nits...
I'm here asking questions to be schooled in just such details - thanks much!

Guess I'll buy a pair of those 4D deep cycles on the way up to the boat this weekend. Had no idea deep cycle batteries had so many MCA. Of course, at 99# each...
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Old 12-08-2010, 16:59   #8
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BATTERY SPEC CORRECTION & MAJOR VENDOR BS

So, I'm calling battery stores to verify the specs of the batteries I called about yesterday as web searches arenít really giving much data on the models they told me they have in stock, and some of the data is conflicting with more recent findings.

I decided to call all three stores (same company) to have more chance of speaking with someone who actually knew what they are talking about. Was told by one girl that "yes, we sell a deep cycle 4D, but you donít really want that as all the other boaters buy dual purpose batteries". Turns out she couldn't verify stock on her computer and she didn't want to go back to the warehouse to check it out.

Then I was told by a guy at another store that unless I was running an inverter, dual-purpose is the way to go because you can't start engines with deep-cycle batteries. He finally relented on this point when I insisted that any battery rated at 850 MCA could be used to start many engines, and that combining two (fully-charged) batteries through the battery switch would then yield about 1700 MCA. Turns out the deep cycles are back ordered and dual purpose is in stock. I'll wait...

FINALLY, SPECS THAT SEEM CORRECT NOW:

Exide DC-4D: Deep cycle; $150; 850 MCA; 250 RC; 160 Ah; 99#
Turns out, this is the Exide NG-4D relabeled "Pasco DC-4D".

Exide NG-4D: Deep cycle; 850 MCA; 250 RC; 160 Ah;

Exide 4D-1000: Dual purpose; $120; 1230 MCA; 320 RC

Deka 904D: Dual purpose; $127; 1280 MCA; 290 RC

Since Trojan t-105s would require modification of the battery space, box and wiring, and more shopping, I'll get two deep cycle Exides now for $300, and the Trojans next time around when I have more time and fewer high-priority projects on the old boat.
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Old 12-08-2010, 17:26   #9
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sounds like a good plan. stick with the deep cycle batteries no matter what some no experience store clerk tells you. they're probably just trying to sell you what they have, not what you need.

'when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.'

my main reason for getting golf cart batteries over 4d or 8d size is that i have to lift them up when replacing them, and sixty or so pounds is all this old body wants to lift....
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Old 13-08-2010, 06:41   #10
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...my main reason for getting golf cart batteries ...is that ...sixty or so pounds is all this old body wants to lift....
Yep, I heard that! "Boat Yoga" ain't as easy today as it was 30 years ago...
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Old 14-08-2010, 16:21   #11
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Jut curious, why are you considering 4Ds which weigh about 130# instead of 2 golfcart style batteries? I have ageing 8Ds that will get changed at the begining of next season. I DON'T YET KNOW HOW I WILL GET THEM OUT OF THE BOAT! Easy tosay, get a young dock person..........and I probably will, but that will make me responsible for his/their well being lifting over 140# batteries from an area where its difficult just to crawl into. Golf carts are my replacement choice!

Foggy
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Old 15-08-2010, 08:55   #12
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Jut curious, why are you considering 4Ds which weigh about 130# instead of 2 golfcart style batteries?

Per my post, one or two above:
"Since Trojan t-105s would require modification of the battery space, box and wiring, and more shopping, I'll get two deep cycle Exides now for $300, and the Trojans next time around when I have more time and fewer high-priority projects on the old boat."

And the weight spec I posted:
"Exide DC-4D: 99#"

I'm well past my prime, but I can still figure out a way to handle a 99# battery.
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