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 > Your search for posts made by 'NinerBikes' found 1601 matches.

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RE: Tips for operating manual levelling jack with painful hands?

your jacks are for stabilizing, not leveling. That's your problem. Drive the tires on blocks to get level, then stabilize. leveling blocks
NinerBikes 03/17/15 03:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar 30 Charge Controller?????

At 14.8, I am getting 15.0 to 15.1v at the battery, since it is pulse charging. It is going to depend on how far the wire run is from charge controller to the batteries, and what gauge wire you are running, as well as quality of terminals and quality/cleanliness of the connections, as you'll have V loss along the way. I'd start at 14.8V. You should also let us know how many amps charging capacity in solar panels you have, and how many amp hours your batteries have.
NinerBikes 03/17/15 09:00am Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

Two weeks later, how is the patient doing? In critical care yet? Decisions being made yet for burial arrangements?
NinerBikes 03/17/15 08:56am Tech Issues
RE: Cummins 8.3 diesel problem.

If you are getting black smoke and no power, in a diesel engine, then you are getting fuel. What you are not getting is air with oxygen to burn that fuel. So you either have a hose to a turbo on the inlet side collapsing and cutting off air to the turbo charger being able to breath, or you have an air leak somewhere on the compressed air side, that is blowing off air into the atmosphere, instead of into the engine, where it will burn all the fuel injected. If you mash the throttle on a turbo diesel, you can create these problems, if you ROLL your foot into it slowly, you should not have these problems. Other sources could be air filters clogged or air intake ducting sucking something in and clogging air intake... or a rats nest, or... check everything hose wise from air intake, to air filter, to hoses to turbo charger, to hoses from turbo charger to intercooler, to intercooler hoses to intake manifold.
NinerBikes 03/12/15 11:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Walmart Battery Comparison

The first year I owned my travel trailer, I did 10 extended trips. Being it's only just me in it, I was able to manage my electrical power consumption. The 21 foot trailer got a Group 24DC Walmart battery, evidently the manufacture thinks you'll camp on the grid at a RV park all the time, however, what's the point of having a little trailer if you aren't going to dry camp with it off the grid? That Group 24 battery had no business on my trailer. It could not make it 1 day with the original incandescent lights dropping that battery below 50% and burning up 37 amp hours out of the 75 the battery made, when brand new. It lost capacity like crazy in 5 or 6 days. The stock WFCO 8955 was woefully inadequate to recharge the battery properly. First thing I did was get a proper deep cycle battery with double the capacity of my walmart battery. A true deep cycle. I picked up a Trojan T-1275, but a pair of T-105's or going to Costco or Sam's for a pair of GC-2's would have served me just as well, if not better. Second thing I did was read as much as I could on here about My Screwy 31, and BFL13's adventures with batteries, as well as mexwanderers post, as he was in the consulting business for batteries being proprerly used, not abused, and proper recharging. Then I bought a solar panel that put out almost 7 amps, and bought a separate, good charge controller that I could adjust the bulk charge voltage setting to 15.0V, so that the battery would at least get very close, if not completely top charged, daily. I am talking 97 to 98% charged daily, seeing Specific gravity making 1.265 to 1.270 on a daily basis, and at the end of camping trips, bringing it back up to a full 1.275 to 1.280, never letting them sag to 1.250 at the end of the afternoon. I also, concurrently, bought a Mega Watt switchable Power Supply Unit, the 30 amp version, and set it up to charge at 15.0V also, for those days where the voltage was low, and cloud cover for the day was going to interfere with solar being able to top things off for the day. Mega Watt also makes a 36 amp version. The point I am making is that you'll have to read a LOT, test your Specific Gravity a LOT, in the beginning, and figure out what works for you. There are no short cuts with batteries for dry camping, or charging them... It's solely up to you to stay on top of the monitoring of them, and setting your charging system up correctly to get the job done. I find Wal Mart Deep Cycle batteries a royal PIA to keep top charged and get them up where they belong after a week of camping. YMMV, there are a lot better batteries out there for that kind of money, that are true deep cycle batteries by design, not deep cycle batteries masking as car batteries in poor shape configurations for the job that really needs to be done. Get GC-2's and save the time and grief that taking the easy way out and just going to Wal Mart will cost you when you are out in the sticks camping.
NinerBikes 03/09/15 09:31am Tech Issues
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

I have a 2009 cc ram box with hemi with 252,000 miles on clock and tow 33 ft TT. 7200 lbs on scales. On a good day I'm 8 mpg.on a stiff windy day 6 mpg. I use my truck for work . Do 40-45,000 miles a yr. I'm going to look at the eco diesel. Max towing is 9400 lbs .Max mpg is 28-30 I've done the math when disel was 4.50 a gallon and gas was 3.75 a gallon. In 2 yrs it will pay for it self. I hope all you're planning on doing is just looking at it, and not putting your money down. There's no way to get a 3 liter motor to do the kind of work you need done currently... most eco diesels are lucky to get over 7000# tow rating in a crew cab and 4x4. I don't think it's enough truck to suit your purposes and needs, unless they've changed recently.
NinerBikes 03/08/15 02:24pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Thinking about Def

................. which could possibly effect resale of the vehicle down the road due to the additional fuel system. ........... DEF is not an additional fuel system. The fluid is injected into the exhaust flow at the SCR to reduce pollutants. DEF explainedI can explain it easy. There are basically two types of emissions in diesels that are problems. NoOX, and particlates. There are two ways to lower the NOX. LOTs of EGR to lower the combustion chamber temps, and lower the NOX formation in the engine (this lowers MPGs, power, and causes things like the EGR cooler and turbo to get choked with soot} or tuning the motor for best performance, then treating the NOX with an after treatment in thje exhaust (SCR). This is what the DEF is for. Whether DEF is used or not, both systems use a DPF for particulate emissions... The interaction part has to do with THE DEF systems being able to use LESS EGR, so the DPF can go longer between regens. There is a 3rd way to regulate NOX, and that is to also have a butterfly valve for air and oxygen intake to be cut back or restricted, in conjunction with an EGR. Cut back on the air intake, and you choke the air intake enough to effectively lower the compression ratio and lower the fuel combustion temperatures too, which again reduces NOX production. A SCR NOX regulated system which treats NOX with diesel exhaust fluid allows the tuners to tune for power and better fuel efficiency, as well as fewer DPF regenerations, which are a huge waste of fuel, and worry about regulating NOX standards further down stream with the Exhaust fluid cleaning things up instead for NOX requirements. Saving a lot more fuel more than offsets cost of DEF, but probably not if the DEF pump and heater system to heat the DEF fluid to the proper operating temps to function,is taken into consideration.
NinerBikes 03/08/15 12:30pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

Niner really? First you do know that FCA offers a limited lifetime bumper to bumper warranty don't you? Do the Euro trash offer one....I don't think so. My truck has a 8 year 125,000 mile bumper to bumper $100 deductible warranty. So I'm not worried one bit about my truck. You said "One very, very important other item, since VW likes to play games with warranty coverage on these very very expensive items needing replacement, at the dealership level." Sounds to my like VW is just as bad now as they were years ago! Sounds like a great company to buy from to me...NOT! Also maintaining your vehicle is YOUR responsibility NOT the manufacturer! As you pointed out "I've never had paint problems with any of my VW TDI's, ever, probably because they stay washed, waxed, and garaged. We don't have acid rain where I live either." Same here, my 2004 Ram is proof that a Ram can run for a very long time with normal maintenance. I wash and wax the door jambs and inner door and body jambs on ALL on my vehicles. I suspect that the people that have nightmares are the guys that beat and mod their trucks not the guys that take good care of them. Don Don, when do you plan to service the fluid on your transmission, mileage wise?
NinerBikes 03/08/15 12:19am Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

My Touareg, knock on wood, should last me another 10 years and 240k miles, if it's anything like any of my other TDI's. Or your POS CP4 pump will take a dump and you will have to take you're VW heap to the wrecking yard or shell out half the worth value of your car to fix it. :B Better make sure you don't have a drop of water in the fuel system or.......BOOM!!!!!!! :E Sir, sadly, you are clueless... 10 year, 100,000 mile drive train warranty on the Touareg, I am not worried, I don't lose any sleep over it, trust me. BTW... the VM motor in the RAM has the exact same Bosch CP4.2 HPFP... so, what is your point? All US diesels have that Bosch pump, in one form or another. In addition to that, VW is in the hot seat with NHTSA regarding that HPFP, and I am well aware of any procedures necessary to get my HPFP situation, should it fail, replaced and resolved, be it warranty work, or financially on my own dime. I'd file an online safety complaint with NHTSA, be it an Audi, VW or Porsche, or RAM, GM or Ford, that has a Bosch CP4.2 HPFP failure, before dropping my vehicle in the dealership for repair. That IS my point. Both engines use the same pump and same 100,000 warrantee but you "think" the VDub is much better vehicle for some reason. :R You talk about peeling paint on domestics but no mention of this. The same issue you whine about the domestics having? VW is notorious for only caring about the sale... not the service after the sale, at the dealership level. Have any idea who this quote is attributed to? LOL I do! What about this doozy? :B The Bosch CP 4.1 and CP4.2 as found on the Touareg, Cayenne and Q7, is, I quote "a very fragile design." Believe it, or don't, until it becomes your turn and your 3 week wait while your vehicle is down and VWoA waits for parts from Germany to do the R&R. The problem is such that I've heard that VW "kits" all the parts together for a HPFP failure in Germany, before it goes on the plane to USA. Good luck with your "peoples car." LMAO :B You tell me... None of my 3 DEF using TDI's stink of ammonia. I use about 1.8 gallons of DEF per oil change, or 10,000 miles, in the passat. I have a 2012 Touareg and a 2013 Touareg. Both of them average just at or under 3 gallons of DEF per 10,000 miles, when an oil change is due. I have no idea who RAM uses for their DPF, who programs the DPF regenerations, or why they need to occur so frequently, compared to my Touareg. Touaregs are not having exhaust pipes crack on them and diesel fumes getting into the cab. Touareg's have a means programmed such that you can perform an emergency DPF regeneration while idling, in 12 to 15 minutes of idling time. Touaregs use 8 or 9 liters of oil, same type as the RAM. They don't have $60 oil filters., More like 8 to $12 each. They don't have expensive Zuffhausen Transmissions that the ATF fluid is crazy expensive, or $260 transmission fluid filters and lower pan, made out of plastic. So, yeah, I don't think what Fiat has going is something I want to buy. Oil change kit ATF Type 4 for the VW Aisin 8 speed gearbox transmission, per quart.
NinerBikes 03/07/15 03:25pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

I read a little of that link at Club Toureg.com :B I couldn't tell if Niner was coming or going when placing blame for the HPFP failures. I accept the "fragile design", only because I take the proper precautions to keep the lubricity of my diesel fuel at a level of around 200 to 250 microns wear score, identical to the diesel fuel used in Germany, with rapeseed/canola oil based biodiesel. Not much different from all the garden tools I had to premix fuel for, except biodiesel has chemical properties as a fuel that also make it an outstanding lubricity agent as a byproduct of also being a fuel source. The secret is in the organic chemistry of biodiesel. I've never had paint problems with any of my VW TDI's, ever, probably because they stay washed, waxed, and garaged. We don't have acid rain where I live either. But you are welcome to quote me again when I do have a HPFP failure. Should I have a failure, I've no worries about how to go about getting it fixed. I'll worry about crossing that bridge if I ever get to it. Some folks drive smooth, some folks are abusive on their equipment and exacerbate potential problems with poor driving techniques. In the mean time, the Ford boys can enjoy this: Ford link
NinerBikes 03/07/15 03:14pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

My Touareg, knock on wood, should last me another 10 years and 240k miles, if it's anything like any of my other TDI's. Or your POS CP4 pump will take a dump and you will have to take you're VW heap to the wrecking yard or shell out half the worth value of your car to fix it. :B Better make sure you don't have a drop of water in the fuel system or.......BOOM!!!!!!! :E Sir, sadly, you are clueless... 10 year, 100,000 mile drive train warranty on the Touareg, I am not worried, I don't lose any sleep over it, trust me. BTW... the VM motor in the RAM has the exact same Bosch CP4.2 HPFP... so, what is your point? All US diesels have that Bosch pump, in one form or another. In addition to that, VW is in the hot seat with NHTSA regarding that HPFP, and I am well aware of any procedures necessary to get my HPFP situation, should it fail, replaced and resolved, be it warranty work, or financially on my own dime. I'd file an online safety complaint with NHTSA, be it an Audi, VW or Porsche, or RAM, GM or Ford, that has a Bosch CP4.2 HPFP failure, before dropping my vehicle in the dealership for repair.
NinerBikes 03/07/15 12:05pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

Perrysbug Dodge boy, I had 246k miles on my 1996 passat tdi diesel when I sold it. Did timing belts regularly, every 60 k miles. Brakes at 140k, all the way around. I had 213k miles on my 1998 Jetta TDI when I sold it, same motor timing belts every 60k mile. I had 320k miles on my 2002 Jetta GLS diesel on it when I sold it, timing belts every 100k miles. Had to change the seals on the injector pump at 240k miles. Brake jobs twice on it, and one alternator I pulled and installed new brushes on it, and reinstalled it. You'd be hard pressed to show me an Italian car here in the USA that will reliably do those kind of miles. There's a very good reason they call 'em "Fix It Again, Tony's" and as for Fords, "Found on Road, Dead". And don't give me the cr*p about first on race day... I don't race my vehicles around, they are daily drivers, I could care less about who wins on race day, it's irrelevant when it comes to working tow vehicles and RV's. Frankly, I am lost on the appeal of watching cars go round and round in big circles, kind of retarded if you ask me, if I want to watch stuff go round and round in circles, I should be a union worker, watching the hands of the clock instead. LOL... There for a while I thought you were interested in purchasing a ED. Yep I recall him saying that also so Troy, now he says how all American vehicles are nothing but big POS. Looks like we have an nominee for torll of the year right here. Golgoo paint coming off my VW Niner and then get back to me OK. LOL A few test drives of both a 2500 and a 1500, as well as talking to other Dodge pick up owners with trucks from the late 90's through 2010 was enough for me to make a decision to forget about the idea of a RAM being a truck in my garage. Versions I've heard on the Cummins is that the motor is pretty darn good, but the truck completely falls apart and fails around the motor. Electrical connector problems and constant gremlins there, wire gauges being too small, hvac controller failures. Living close to Hollywood, a lot of the people in the business that have to be on set locations hauling all the equipment are pretty adamant about getting rid of their Cummins in 3 years or 100k miles, which ever comes first, before the problems start cropping up. BTW, they are not engine problems, just problems with a lot of the rest of the truck... Chevy guys, some that I've come across, seem to hold on to theirs an extra year and 35 to 45k miles before letting them go as problematic money pits. YMMV, these guys have to be on the job, on the set, on time, lot of money riding on them being timely, and getting their per diem fees, as well as not breaching a contract. Not a lot of Ford lovers out there... not since the 6.0 and 6.4 debacles. YMMV, this is who and what I've talked to here on the West Coast. So their track record is a little shoddy, from the people I've personally talked to. My Touareg, knock on wood, should last me another 10 years and 240k miles, if it's anything like any of my other TDI's. Newest development, and Fiat Chrysler, deny, deny, deny. Exhaust leaks. Exhaust leaks in cab, through the vent system.
NinerBikes 03/07/15 10:06am Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

On the other hand, VW builds marine turbodiesel motors, built the Touareg on a truck chassis, and all kinds of people all over Europe town their big caravans to the mountains, the Alps, to go camping, with VW/Audi/Porsche TDI motors. You do know that VM also manufactures not only Automotive engines but yes marine, industrial and power generation power plants right? :R Your VW is the same displacement as the Ecodiesel isn't it? The truck is already starting out 1000 pounds heavier than the Touareg, at 6000 pounds, day in, day out driving. It has the aerodynamics of a brick, compared to the Touareg, which is why the Touareg can consistently get 32 33 MPG on the interstate all day long, and the Ecodiesel RAM in 4WD struggles to get it's rated 27 or 28 MPG's. 6500 to 7700 #'s is the tow capacity. I'd be thinking that 25 feet of travel trailer, loaded, with passengers in the truck, and all the junk in the bed of the truck, is going to put it at the limit of the vehicle, legally. And what is your Touareg rated to tow? The same, so whats your point here? The Ram with the Ecodiesel is not meant for towing large RV's and is not marketed as such. BTW with the 3.55 gears the Ram is hitting the 33MPG without issue the 3.92 is getting 30MPG. Highway at 70 I get 26 drop it back to 60 and I'm getting 29/30 now.Ram Still Officially Most-Aerodynamic Fullsize Truck Europe, in general, has a different philosophy about building cars and trucks, limited life design, and the distances are a lot shorter. They want the car worn out and off the road in 150,000 km, or 8 years. That's the design parameters they shoot for in Germany, and the Netherlands, dead and junked, in 8 years, or they tax the******out of you to keep it on the road longer. The Italians aren't much better, ask anyone that's ever owned a Fiat or a Ferrari, you have to own a towbed truck company to bring your vehicle into the garage when it breaks down. I can tell you all about my father's 1974 Fiat 128 that I had to keep running on the road for him... he kept that car the shortest amount of time of any car he's ever owned, even after buying it brand new. Terrible reliablity. 2 broken clutch cables in 60k miles, distributor jumped timing twice... alignment from the factory was pathetic for camber and tow out, and we don't get much rain or pot holes here in Los Angeles in the SFV. OMG are you kidding right now 1974? WTF man. You do know that the holy VW was not any better than a FIAT right? They were the turds of the German cars right up to the late 1990's Even the Karmann Ghia was a turd! The Benz is a joke and always has been, rust bucket oil leakers. Funny I have never seen the local VW dealership's service department slow. We got my DD a Volvo S80 the so called flagship of Volvo, that thing spent more time in the shop then even any of my Ford's did. BTW the Volvo dealership sells VW's also so yep I have first had knowledge on how busy the VW side was. I also owned a TDi Jeta, very fun to drive but nothing less than a utility vehicle. I wonder why VW had Chrysler build them a minivan instead of building one themselves? LOL PDB, you will have folks with an ECO diesel overloading it beyond tow capacity... it's highly unlikely you'll have Touareg or Q7 or Cayenne owners overload the tow capacity of their SUVS, endangering others on public roads and byways or roads used for commerce. THAT'S the big difference. For reasons unknown to me, people come on the internet with pictures of Herculean towing feats with their truck, grossly overloaded. I can't think of a more idiotic, self incriminating thing to do on the internet than such a bone headed move. Too many cheap folks out there, using the wrong tool for the wrong job, overloading it, then selling it all messed up, to the next used car buyer at the car auction. I've pulled off a couple of 37 MPG tankfuls in the Touareg, if I was on country roads and had to keep it at 60- 65. Same 3.0L sized motor, right? You can look at every fill up here, I can guarantee you an Ecodiesel will not come close to the MPG's a Touareg will. 31-33MPG, all interstate. 16-19 MPG when towing my 21 foot travel trailer. 2012 touareg mpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v374/grand_toots/2012%20Palomino%20Gazelle%20G210/014.jpg
NinerBikes 03/06/15 10:29am Tow Vehicles
RE: Bulk-Absorption Charging Voltage

Criminy, guys, what kind of can of whoop azz did I open talking about sine waves on generators?
NinerBikes 03/06/15 10:18am Tech Issues
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

Perrysbug Dodge boy, I had 246k miles on my 1996 passat tdi diesel when I sold it. Did timing belts regularly, every 60 k miles. Brakes at 140k, all the way around. I had 213k miles on my 1998 Jetta TDI when I sold it, same motor timing belts every 60k mile. I had 320k miles on my 2002 Jetta GLS diesel on it when I sold it, timing belts every 100k miles. Had to change the seals on the injector pump at 240k miles. Brake jobs twice on it, and one alternator I pulled and installed new brushes on it, and reinstalled it. You'd be hard pressed to show me an Italian car here in the USA that will reliably do those kind of miles. There's a very good reason they call 'em "Fix It Again, Tony's" and as for Fords, "Found on Road, Dead". And don't give me the cr*p about first on race day... I don't race my vehicles around, they are daily drivers, I could care less about who wins on race day, it's irrelevant when it comes to working tow vehicles and RV's. Frankly, I am lost on the appeal of watching cars go round and round in big circles, kind of retarded if you ask me, if I want to watch stuff go round and round in circles, I should be a union worker, watching the hands of the clock instead.
NinerBikes 03/06/15 10:14am Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

Yeah, look at the resale values of those Fiat 500's. Fast forward to 2014... when I picked up a rental VW in Amsterdam, I could NOT take the car into Italy, unless I wanted to pay a ridiculous insurance fee for the rental... Seems there is a huge problem with theft of cars in that country, the rental car companies charge you insurance rates while driving into Italy to discourage use in the country. One other thing, the post office in Italy is also rife with theft... buy some stuff on Ebay, and Italy is one country vendors refuse to ship to, among the European Nations. Welcome to 2014... nothing has changed in Italy, it has just gotten worse. 1974, I'd have been sporting a Bosch 009 centrifugal advance, and a Zenith on my 67 Beetle. Didn't have anything to tow until 1988 when I bought a Ford F250 with the 7.3 Navistar. The Stanadyne injector pump was junk on that too, as was the whole Ford front end, which ate ball joints and inner and outer tie rods at ridiculous rates. That was the first, and last American vehicle that I'll ever own. Pure money pit, beyond any VW or Audi diesel that I've also owned. Garbage engineering, front windshield would crack from cab flex, just pulling up into a driveway. Oh, and let's talks about quality of paint.... white paint peeling off in 5 years, with some garbage black primer underneath, whole hood and top of cab. Disenchanted with American Quality on US trucks, you bet I am.
NinerBikes 03/06/15 10:02am Tow Vehicles
RE: New 2015 Ram 1500 ECODIESEL HFE

I'm with The Texan except i push it a little farther than he probably does.LOL ... my truck is factory rated for 10.7K towing and I routinely tow 10K when at the ranch or between Idaho and Nevada. Many people seem to forget that it wasn't to many years ago that the "standard" OTR semi engine, was a paltry 175 - 190 HP Cummins or Cat. Those anemic engines did a pretty darn good job of moving 80K pounds down the road, so I would bet my money that these "new" grocery getters will do an AWESOME job towing a 10K trailer or 12K 5er. Those old trucks had 5.9L to 7.3 liters of displacement in the motor to do the work you speak of, that's a lot of square inches of metal to spread the workload over. The Eco diesel is a 3 liter motor, half the displacement, and it was designed to go in a Maserati sedan over in Europe, another grocery getter. On the other hand, VW builds marine turbodiesel motors, built the Touareg on a truck chassis, and all kinds of people all over Europe town their big caravans to the mountains, the Alps, to go camping, with VW/Audi/Porsche TDI motors. The truck is already starting out 1000 pounds heavier than the Touareg, at 6000 pounds, day in, day out driving. It has the aerodynamics of a brick, compared to the Touareg, which is why the Touareg can consistently get 32 33 MPG on the interstate all day long, and the Ecodiesel RAM in 4WD struggles to get it's rated 27 or 28 MPG's. 6500 to 7700 #'s is the tow capacity. I'd be thinking that 25 feet of travel trailer, loaded, with passengers in the truck, and all the junk in the bed of the truck, is going to put it at the limit of the vehicle, legally. Europe, in general, has a different philosophy about building cars and trucks, limited life design, and the distances are a lot shorter. They want the car worn out and off the road in 150,000 km, or 8 years. That's the design parameters they shoot for in Germany, and the Netherlands, dead and junked, in 8 years, or they tax the******out of you to keep it on the road longer. The Italians aren't much better, ask anyone that's ever owned a Fiat or a Ferrari, you have to own a towbed truck company to bring your vehicle into the garage when it breaks down. I can tell you all about my father's 1974 Fiat 128 that I had to keep running on the road for him... he kept that car the shortest amount of time of any car he's ever owned, even after buying it brand new. Terrible reliablity. 2 broken clutch cables in 60k miles, distributor jumped timing twice... alignment from the factory was pathetic for camber and tow out, and we don't get much rain or pot holes here in Los Angeles in the SFV.
NinerBikes 03/05/15 08:57am Tow Vehicles
RE: Solar Kit

Do a search here for "screwy 31" . It's a long read, but the Readers Digest condensed version is that when you are working with limited amp capacity from solar panels on stubborn to charge car battery shaped deep cycle batteries, you want to bump up the voltage slightly for charging purposes, to keep the charge controller in bulk mode longer, to effectively charge the battery the last few percentage points to get as close as possible to 100% state of charge before power production drops off with lower angle of sun, while still covering for amp losses as the CO detector, lights and refrig draw continue to suck amps off the top. A 5.5 Amp charge rate still has a draw coming off, making it effectively 4.5 to 4.75 amps per hour going into the battery if you have parasitic normal operation losses running 24.7 with the battery connected. Bumping the voltage on a lead acid battery in a group 24, 27, 29, 31, or T-1275 battery, due to construction and engineering constraints, when solar charge rate is at c-10 or less, up to something in the range of 15.0V to 15.3 V, in essence, allows more amps to be pressed into the battery before the charge controller dumps back to float mode and 13.6V. It is a way to get the specific gravity back to where it truly belongs, moreso on a daily basis. Check your specific gravity, that tells all about state of charge of a battery. Everything else is guess work. Specific gravity per cell never lies. 1.275 or better.
NinerBikes 03/04/15 09:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Kit

Update on my solar suitcase kit. I found that the 2 panels 50 watts put out max 5.5 amps at the house batteries. Of course this is without any load from the motorhome to take away the amps charging the batteries. I purchased an additional 30 watt panel. It came with cable and separate section with alligator clamps. I cutoff the alligator clamps and attached the short cable to the panel input connectors at the controller. Now I can easily attach or detach the cable as needed for additional panel use. I ran my house batteries down 15 amps on my Xantrex battery monitor. I Disconnected all power from the batteries and attached the 100 watt suitcase kit. I let it run for a few minutes and it got up to 5.5 amps at the batteries per my Xantrex battery monitor and my clamp-on amp meter. I then attached the 30 watt panel and the amps jumped up to 7.5 amps, also verified on the battery monitor and clamp-on meter. I let it run and came back to check on it. The voltage climbed to 14.6 volts on the controller for panels and batteries. I checked at the batteries and got the same amps, but the volts were 13.7 volts. I let it run some more and the controller amps dropped down to 5.5 amps and the volts remained at 14.6. I disconnected the 30 watt panel, and the amps stayed the same 5.5 amps. Interesting, the second panel does nothing to add once the amps dropped down to the 100 watt suitcase max output. Also, the voltage did drop by .2 volts. The new 30 watt panel along with the suitcase kit fit nicely under the dinette seat out of the way. I think I made a good choice. Sounds like with just a little bit of fine tuning, you are now perfect for amount of amps you need. Next time, try it for 24 hours and 20 to 30 amps from full, with all 130 watts, and see how long it takes to drop down to only needing 5.5 amps. You want that 14.6V at the battery terminals... fat wire and short run from charge controller to battery.... 3 feet or less, and 10 or 12 gauge wire, and call it good. Clean those battery terminals up to shiny metal and clamps up also to reduce resistance and voltage loss at the battery terminals also.
NinerBikes 03/04/15 06:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Sizing a replacement converter

What ever charge controller you get, make sure you have enough generator to power it properly without working the generator motor to death. A Honda Eu2000i will handle a 60 amp unit, a 70 amp might be pushing things a bit. Ask for some expert experience here to confirm.
NinerBikes 03/04/15 09:22am Tech Issues
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