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Thread: Powersafe SBS battery in 205

  1. #1
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    Default Powersafe SBS battery in 205

    I'm doing an annual on a friend's 205 and they've told me their battery dies all the time.



    It has this tiny battery that is PMA'd for pa18's but nothing else. There is no 337 or W&B for it. But what I can't understand is the reasoning for it and the styrofoam. Anyone seen people doing this on planes the 205's size? I've seen that battery on lightsports, but was shocked to see it here. It was on it when he bought it.
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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Better battery and lighter. Spins 520 well. Yeah saw in many 180/185. Most now adays.

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    Oh, good to know. So getting a field approval is the way to go rather than replacing it? And is styrofoam a good idea?

    Glad I asked!

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    My first guess is the reason for the foam is to keep the battery from moving around. Could the Styrofoam be a fire hazard?

    When the owner said, it dies all the time. Just how long is that? If we knew how long a battery should last in a pa18 it would help to determine if there is a problem.

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    Yeah, that is correct. The battery box is original with the foam to hold it in place. My initial thought was a smoke/fire hazard, especially as some of it is blackened. That being said, from further research this set up seems to be fairly common. This one just happened to not be signed off or the w&b adjusted.

    The battery did always die and they just installed the plane power alt stc which seems to have helped a lot. I initially thought the small battery's less amp hours would hurt as well but it seems to be a popular mod. I'm thinking now that the old generator was just getting too weak.

    I guess it will boil down to approval. I'm not super comfortable with the current set up. But I'd hate for them to have to buy a new rg35 if this lighter battery could be approved. I don't have time to get them a field approval. If any of you know an IA who has experience with that battery mod I'll give them a call.

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    Could there still be a problem with the charging system? Just because it was replace does not mean it is working properly. Can you do load test on the alternator to make sure it's ok.

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    I typed a couple lines fairly thought out and deleted it accidentally so here's the short version.

    Approved battery in an approved box---certainly not a major (43.13 2b, car 3, FAR 43 app A)
    Replace the Styrofoam with whatever if it looks unsafe. Its probably fine.
    I think most guys around here are running them. For a long time. Call about any shop if you have questions.

    The above is worth what you paid for it. Maybe less.

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    The STCs ( noted to be STCed for PA-18) for these are usually for the smaller mounting box and mounting the battery in a non-original location.
    The battery itself is approved. But it does need a new weight and balance done to reflect the decrease in weight.

    I made sure that I had the drain opened by using a plywood spacer.

    Mine seemed to be loosing a charge as well, BUT it turned out to be that the prior owner had a multi-function display with a clock wired directly to the battery and it was always drawing power. Plus my starter was dying last summer as well and the combination made me think the battery was going bad.
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    Thanks so much for the responses! I appreciate the experience on this board.

    I definitely feel it needs a W&B change. So I can at least do that.

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    On my 185 I tried the small battery and it also lost the charge. I have a stock gen. And starter and installed it in the org. Battery box in the rear. Lots going against the small battery. Since I put in a 920(?) I think that's the # , filled in the space with foam from floor matts used for kids play areas ( it's fire rated). I haven't had a problem in two years now. I think Burls make a battery box and STC for a forward mount and the use of shorter cables would increase the delivered voltage to the starter and smaller battery. Hope this helps.

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    I've had a small Odyssey on the firewall of my Cessna for 17 years. I can park it all winter and it spins my 520 to life like I charged it yesterday. AC43.13-2B chapter 10 describes the rules to relocate a battery. The opening paragraphs of the AC describe how to use the AC as approved data if you think its a major. I'd lose the styrofoam. Batteries last longer if they stay cool and these AGM batteries put out near full power in winter temps so battery heaters aren't needed.

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    Also as far as the charging and not turning over fast make sure there are grounds getting from the case back to the battery/firewall. After fighting a poor starting 0-360 with the small battery for several years it finally dawned on me the ground for some reason was to the engine mount with rubber bushings. Lot of good that doesn't do. Simply amazing what a ground can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roamak View Post
    Also as far as the charging and not turning over fast make sure there are grounds getting from the case back to the battery/firewall. After fighting a poor starting 0-360 with the small battery for several years it finally dawned on me the ground for some reason was to the engine mount with rubber bushings. Lot of good that doesn't do. Simply amazing what a ground can do.
    I had this happen as well. Knee jerk reaction is to focus on the battery. The right choice in ground selection is imperative.

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    And in both airplanes I've bought, I had to replace the battery cable to get good start performance...battery and starter were not the problem either time. But we started there anyway.
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    I agree it isn't a battery issue. I believe the alternator STC fixed the problem. If it continues I'll check the cables. It is a firewall mount so voltage drop shouldn't be an issue.

    I just showed my inexperience with the question. I've done almost all my maintenance down in CA and hadn't run into that battery being used with the bigger engines. From here and a lot of other sources it really appears that the battery is great for that plane so I'm planning on getting it approved. The owner didn't even know he had a lighter one. Thanks for the info!

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