Lithium Ion battery conversion for lead acid kart starters

Grilleguy

Premium User
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When the lead acid battery was going bad on my BBT starter, I looked into purchasing one of the Alien Motion batteries (and charger) to save weight. While there is nothing wrong with the AM battery, it's quite expensive, then you have to buy their charger extra.

I found this LIth Ion battery pack at Harbor Freight for jump starting cars. It has a CCA rating of 400, where the lead batteries are usually around 180 CCA.

The lead acid battery weighs around 10 pounds. This LI battery only weighs a pound! So the total weight of the starter and battery is right around 10-11 pounds! Half the weight!

Obviously there is a little bit of wiring that needs to be modified by cutting off the automotive style ends and crimping on basic eyelet terminals, but it's pretty straight forward.

The only drawback, and to me it's very minor, is that you have to turn the jump pack "on" to use it every time. Where the Lead battery is "hot" all the time. The sequence is push the gold button close to the end for about 3 seconds, then push the red button in the center for about 2 seconds. LED lights will light up to let you know if you've held the buttons long enough. The jump pack will auto time off after about a minute or so.

This new battery turns my animal over without any problems at all. I figured if it can turn over a car engine with 8 cylinders, my kart motor would be a breeze!

It comes with a 110v wall adapter, so charging is easy. I charged mine towards the end of August and only ran a few weeks until our season ended here in PA mid September. For kicks and giggles, I turned the jump pack on today, and it still shows full power! There are 4 blue LEDs on the pack to show battery level.

The regular price at HF is around $80, but you can find them on sale for $60, so be patient!

The HF item number is 62749.

I just used a couple bigger zip ties to hold it to the starter. It only weighs a pound, so no need for overkill.

Hope this helps the seemingly endless saga of the short life lead battery.

Disclaimer: legal mumbo jumbo, if you think you can do this, you probably can. If you don't like playing with electricity, get a good buddy to do it for you. As always be careful and do this at your own risk.
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
I should note, that I did tear the jump pack apart to see if I could just use the battery without having to push all the buttons. There's a small PC board inside to control the jump pack, so I just put it back together and use it as designed. It's really not that big of a deal to push the 2 buttons.
 

Rocket Man 54

New member
I wonder if this would work on a tag kart starting system since you have too keep the battery charge all the time.
the CCA might be to high any opinions? Looking for something to replace the acid battery also thinking about lithium.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
you know what they say opinions are like armpits everybody has a couple.
I say yes , only possible problem would be any delicate electronics may possibly get burnt though I don't really believe it would happen .
they should only take the needed power the excess amps are in storage.
my lithium power tools work good , once the charge get low they are done unlike the NiCad's they will still go albeit slower.
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
With the auto time off, I'm not sure how it would work. Maybe as long as the jump pack is sensing electric flow, it would stay on????
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
Rocket Man, a friend of mine used to race NHRA PSM and they just used LI batteries from cordless drills to power there computer for data collection and engine management. But they also ran an external starter. I'm not sure if your TAG kart has an onboard starter, or if you use an external like in my first post.
 

paulkish

Premium User
You said you opened it up a review says the batteries are not what they advertise. Here's the review:

MOST LIKED NEGATIVE REVIEW

2
2.9AH NOT NOT NOT 12AH

This thing works, it'll start an engine that's in good working order. That doesn't matter. The false advertising is so bad I can't stand it. I get it, batteries are usually overrated, power tools are usually overrated, everything is usually overrated. I only really wanted this thing for the battery. 12Ah of LiFePO4 for $80 is a heck of a deal. I figured it was probably only 60-70% of that, but still a good deal. I opened this puppy up and right there on the battery pack, >>>>>2900mAh. <<<<< 25% of what's stamped on the case!?!?! Now it's about the same price as any LiFePO4 battery cells I can get wherever. It's a neat thing and I'd give it 5 stars if they just advertised it as 4-5Ah (everything is overrated).

Harbor freight ad says 12000mAh. I'll probably buy a bunch for xmas gifts anyway because it's cool and they got the best price for similar units. But I found that when out on the web and thought I'd point it out. The net of it is if it works it works.

Thanks for the heads up you just cost me a ton of coin. ... :)
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
Paul, All I can say is that it turns over my animal with no problems, even if it's on the compression stroke. I've got a recoil on my clone, so I haven't tried it on that motor.

YMMV

BTW, I'm good at spending other peoples money!
You're more than welcome to spend $229 for the LI battery and an additional $99 for the charger from BBT...
http://www.bbtstarters.com/order---extras
 

paulkish

Premium User
Paul, All I can say is that it turns over my animal with no problems, even if it's on the compression stroke. I've got a recoil on my clone, so I haven't tried it on that motor.

YMMV

BTW, I'm good at spending other peoples money!
You're more than welcome to spend $229 for the LI battery and an additional $99 for the charger from BBT...
http://www.bbtstarters.com/order---extras
No thanks, just bought 4 of these for xmas presents thanks to this thread. ... :)
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Powermax-USA-12V-18000-mAh-700-Amp-Lithium-Portable-Power-Bank-Battery-Charger-and-Car-Jump-Starter/47311369


I sure hope they work with batteries which have side terminals the picture shows it's used on top mounted terminals. ... :)
 
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