A suggestion to all. I was getting tired of replacing my U(1-4) garden tractor batteries every year or two or so. So I found a small size auto/car battery. It fits just fine into the same slot (albeit a bit tight) that has great winter cranking power, lasts a lot longer. It can even start my tractor if I have NOT used or charged it 3 months in the cold. Mine new battery is guaranteed for 3 years vs. 6 mos for a UX battery and cost only about $40 vs. $25-30 or so.
I also noticed that the NEW JD's (larger 100 series also the 200 series especially) have car size batteries now. I guess others had similar problems with their "small" poor quality batteries and their replacements.
Thats what I've been doing for 30+ years. I've built little boxes on the back behind the seat for a car battery and ran a long heavier cable to the solenoid and ground. Wouldn't win a beauty contest, but it works.
Thats exactly what I did on my 317 and 180. I then stumbled on some nice individual NiCad type cells of 1.35 volts each. I them made up several 12 volt batteries and held them all together with a strap of stainless steel. These were brand new cells originally used on building up aircraft batteries. The initial charge was tricky as each cell had to be monitored for reversal until it started to take a proper polarity charge, but I have a couple of those made up batteries still powering up stuff over 10 years now, and no sign of them giving up the ghost either. I ran one in my 1720 for years after original battery died, up until late 1999 or 2000 when I acquired a couple of the gel cell Optimizer batteries, and then installed them, but the nice thing about these fully serviceable and rechargeable NiCad cells is that there is absolutely no corrosion such as found on lead acid batteries, and battery connections and trays are corrosion free. I have seen these cells sold on the American Scientific website from time to time. Initially they have to be charged up using specific parameters and proceedures, but after that they are basically maintenance free. Have not had a dead or low battery in many many years.
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