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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having issues with my JD 285 leaking battery acid. I have checked the voltage while the tractor is running and it reads about 13.5V at idle. It will increase to about 14.3V at full throttle. It appears it is coming from the covers and I assume is boiling over. I have heard this is a common issue with unsealed batteries and JD's. Wondering if those voltages seem OK and my charging system is working as it should. Battery is about 1 year old.
 

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Landscaping Nut
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Has anyone added water to the cells?

If the battery is fully charged Each cell should be filled no higher than the bottom of the tube leading down to the plates.

The volume of acid grows as a battery reaches full charge. This is a problem when a person has a battery that has discharged and they remove caps to see acid level is low. They then add water to near the max capacity of cell. THen it charges up and acid flows out of top and all over battery/tray etcc.

If the battery is discharged only enough water should be added to make sure top of plates are not exposed to air. Once battery is fully charged make sure it is no higher than bottom of tube.

If you got leakage from somewhere other than cell openings, like a punctured case etcc.. THen you may want to get a new battery.

A 12 volt battery has 6 cells, a six volt has three. 2volts/cell. The voltages you are getting are normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I bought the tractor used, so I have no idea what has been done to it. I opened up the cells and they don't appear to be overfilled. No idea at this point. I have considered buying a maintenance free battery or a gel cell battery. Not sure which route to go just yet.

Has anyone added water to the cells?

If the battery is fully charged Each cell should be filled no higher than the bottom of the tube leading down to the plates.

The volume of acid grows as a battery reaches full charge. This is a problem when a person has a battery that has discharged and they remove caps to see acid level is low. They then add water to near the max capacity of cell. THen it charges up and acid flows out of top and all over battery/tray etcc.

If the battery is discharged only enough water should be added to make sure top of plates are not exposed to air. Once battery is fully charged make sure it is no higher than bottom of tube.

If you got leakage from somewhere other than cell openings, like a punctured case etcc.. THen you may want to get a new battery.

A 12 volt battery has 6 cells, a six volt has three. 2volts/cell. The voltages you are getting are normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looked at JD's online parts site and couldn't find what you were talking about.

Deere offered a special battery cap unit with a fitting to connect a hose to, to direct any battery overflow away from the tractor. Of course, this ends up dripping on the lawn.

Don't have a part number.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for looking. The only issue I have with this is that I have no place to drain it. Don't really want to drain it onto the floor. I think I will try to find a gel cell battery to fix it.


I found it. Took me about five minutes, but I found it. It's optional for the 332 Garden Tractor. Part number is AM106129. Costs around $10.
 

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My previously owned 285 did the same thing. Had it for 17 years before my 345. Same engine in both but 345 does not have this problem.
I seemed to reduce the problem by keeping the cells just barely covering the plates.

Just my 2 cents.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Reduce, but not eliminate it?

My previously owned 285 did the same thing. Had it for 17 years before my 345. Same engine in both but 345 does not have this problem.
I seemed to reduce the problem by keeping the cells just barely covering the plates.

Just my 2 cents.
Dave
 

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Make Smoke, Boil Water!
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What is to high? Fluid level is about 1" below the opening.
All serviceable batteries have an 'eye' at the base of the cell fill hole. The electrolyte plus water topoff should be no higher than the base of this 'eye'.

It looks kind of like this when you're looking into it:

( )

When the manufacturer designs the battery assembly, they will adjust this distance to provide the proper covering for the plates, plus the correct amount of room for expansion. So in some batteries, the 'eye' will be close to the top, in others, farther down. If you can't see the water against the base of this 'eye', then you have too much water in the battery and it's going to boil all over until it gets down a bit.

Hope that helps clear it up. :goodl:

By the way, the battery I just replaced in my 345 had this 'vent' feature. It was the original battery, also. There was a special cap on the battery that hooked to this hose that went down towards the grass. Always seemed a little unnecessary to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So this eye you speak of is basically two plastic tabs that sit vertically in the battery opening and water/acid should be just to base?

All serviceable batteries have an 'eye' at the base of the cell fill hole. The electrolyte plus water topoff should be no higher than the base of this 'eye'.

It looks kind of like this when you're looking into it:

( )

When the manufacturer designs the battery assembly, they will adjust this distance to provide the proper covering for the plates, plus the correct amount of room for expansion. So in some batteries, the 'eye' will be close to the top, in others, farther down. If you can't see the water against the base of this 'eye', then you have too much water in the battery and it's going to boil all over until it gets down a bit.

Hope that helps clear it up. :goodl:

By the way, the battery I just replaced in my 345 had this 'vent' feature. It was the original battery, also. There was a special cap on the battery that hooked to this hose that went down towards the grass. Always seemed a little unnecessary to me.
 

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Make Smoke, Boil Water!
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So this eye you speak of is basically two plastic tabs that sit vertically in the battery opening and water/acid should be just to base?
Yes, just to the base of them. Covering them a little bit is OK if you didn't stop pouring distilled water quick enough. Use distilled water if you can get hold of it easily. You never add acid to a battery that's been filled already and has had water added to it. ONLY add water to a battery.

Where you get into trouble is if you fill it all the way up. The 'eye' is split to allow for the normal venting of hydrogen gas; if this split gets covered with water, the battery will 'boil' all over everything because it vents gas normally. And so you get a mess.

I found a diagram that should help explain it a bit. This particular diagram shows how the manufacturer wants the battery filled initially. When you're putting the initial acid fill into a battery, you never fill it all the way. Sounds funny, but that's the way it works. I can give you more details if you are interested, but this post is long enough already...
 

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