Long-Term Storage - 93 Brooklands (Battery and Suspension) - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Long-Term Storage - 93 Brooklands (Battery and Suspension)

I’m about to put a 1993 Brooklands into long-term storage over the summer (6 months +) and I’m wondering if there is any downside to completely disconnecting the battery and slightly raising the car off the ground. Assuming long-term storage is a common issue, I tried using 'Search' but couldn’t find anything on this within these forums.

I’ve been disconnecting the battery on a 1981 Silver Spirit over the winter in the North-East with no issues for a couple of years. As the 1993 Brooklands has more electronics and the trunk-mounted battery switch does not cut the power to some systems, I’m hoping none of these systems require some special ‘reprogramming’ if the battery is fully removed for a long time. I don’t want to use one of those ‘battery tender’ float chargers as I’ve read some bad reviews on them (unreliable, ‘boiling’ the battery, etc.), so removing/fully disconnecting the battery seems the best option – unless something will need to be reset in the Fall.

The Brooklands will be sitting in the South-West over the hot summer, so there’s a second question: I also plan to raise it slightly off the ground to take the pressure off the tires. The plan is to raise it just enough to keep a bit of tire contact with the floor – so the suspension is not fully extended. Is there any downside to doing this? (Some bad effect on the hydraulics?) This is the first time I’m facing this and I’m hoping that others have already dealt with this on SZ cars of this era (1993), so any advice on both issues would be very welcome.

Last edited by esotericcarsguy; 04-10-2019 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Tried to increase font size as looked smaller than other posts.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:48 AM
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Here's what you have to do. Your enemy with tyres is flat spots. You can buy devices that you drive onto that profile the roundness of the tread to prevent the spots and it will prevent or minimize any thumping when returned to the road.
The suspension will be fine. Avail from Amazon, ebay etc.
Battery. If you buy the correct charger (actually it's a "smart charger") to maintain your battery there will be no issues. Plenty of collections and museums and myself use this model https://smartercharger.com/collections/vehicle
Standard equiptment to major co's. Simply attach to the battery and shutoff the battery kill switch. Read about the difference between a charger, trickle charger and "smart charger"

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Wraithman! I heeded your advice and bought a CTECH MXS 5.0 on Amazon (currently $67.79 USD). This looks like a more trustable product than the cheap HarborFreight unit (trickle charger rather than ‘smart’ maintainer) I bought years ago and never used or the others I’ve seen online. However, I would still prefer to just fully disconnect the battery – if there’s no bigger downside to this, as this would remove any concerns about any potential problems with a ‘maintainer/charger’.


My biggest worry about the float maintainer (I’m familiar with the difference between charger and maintainer, etc.) is that the car will be left completely unattended. So there will be no technically competent person walking by and keeping an eye on what the ‘maintenance charger’ will be doing. (Unlike in the car museums, Jay Leno’s garage or likely your garage.) The CTECH MXS 5.0 has a selection of 4 modes. I presume that if the power to the garage gets interrupted due to a power failure in the area (will happen in 6 months), the CTECH will reset to the first (motorcycle) mode that should be sufficient to maintain a ‘trickle’ charge on the battery.


Since I wrote the original post, I came across info on these forums where I learned that the 93 Brooklands has an alarm system battery and a seat memory battery that have a lifespan of about 8 years. I presume these are being kept charged-up by the main battery. If yes, then – I’m guessing - fully disconnecting the main battery could cause these to go dead within 6 months? Such grief, and having to reprogram the alarm (?), etc. are my biggest worries about losing power to the car’s systems. The life of the main battery is not the issue – that’s a simple~$100 replacement when I get back. Having to struggle to get codes for some reprogramming or having to take apart the dash to replace a dead alarm battery (that also runs some other key systems) is my chief concern. Of course, the biggest concern is a defective ‘battery maintainer’ catching on fire and burning down the car and the garage. (Yes, I’m paranoid ) So yes – that’s why I was hoping to simply remove/fully disconnect the battery, as I do with the other cars left here (all pre-electronic era, so no worries about reprogramming systems.)


Agreed – potential flat spots on the new tires is THE concern and reason for lifting the car up. So THANK YOU for the hint about the flat spot preventers – I didn’t know these existed and may buy a set in the future. As with the battery above, I’m again concerned if there could be other suspension issues if I would just lift the Bentley off the ground. This Bentley is my first (and likely last) car with ‘modern’ electronics and ‘active’ suspension. I’m religiously ‘old school’ and try to do all car work myself.


Lifting the car up is a simple task as it would be sitting on a 2-post lift over the summer. The car that sat there last summer is gone, so the Bentley gets its preferred spot. As such, I don’t need to buy the flat spot preventers as the other cars have old tires. So if there’s no downside with the suspension, I’ll put the Bentley on the Bendpak 2-post over the summer.


Again, many thanks for the advice! All info is good info as I’m still feeling my way around these cars. Being old school, the additional dedicated system batteries (alarm,etc.) are a new issue. The 81 Silver Spirit I have up North doesn’t have these.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 07:27 PM
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You could put it on the lift (if you know the correct lift points--use workshop manual) and make sure it is merely touching the floor. Shocks do not like being out of their comfort zone for a long time and increase the chances for failure of any seals. I would leave the battery connected to prevent any code loss. Is there a way to keep the charger outside the car or under it if you're afraid of the charger going bust. I'm sure it will not happen. I leave mine in the trunk all the time with no worries and when it comes to garage fires I lost 7 cars in 1983 so I'm super careful.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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First - typo correction: The smart charger is made by CTEK not CTECH as I originally misspelled it above.


The concern about the seals in the extended shocks of a ‘hanging’ car makes sense. I’ll strive to raise it only enough to reduce the flat spot to about a half. Or, at least raise it to the height of a fully pumped-up suspension. Since I haven’t had any lasting flat spot problems with the other cars left here over the summer, the shocks will take priority over the tires – and the lift height will be commensurate. Thanks for the heads-up!


Hopefully the smart charger will arrive in the promised two days and will work properly – so the battery will be ‘maintained’ while I’m away. This is the first time I’m doing this as all my other cars are ‘old school’ and simply get their battery disconnected.


Wow - seven cars lost in a garage fire! That was a big garage and I presume quite a sad story!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:47 PM
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Question Ctek

Quote:
Originally Posted by esotericcarsguy View Post
First - typo correction: The smart charger is made by CTEK not CTECH as I originally misspelled it above.


The concern about the seals in the extended shocks of a ‘hanging’ car makes sense. I’ll strive to raise it only enough to reduce the flat spot to about a half. Or, at least raise it to the height of a fully pumped-up suspension. Since I haven’t had any lasting flat spot problems with the other cars left here over the summer, the shocks will take priority over the tires – and the lift height will be commensurate. Thanks for the heads-up!


Hopefully the smart charger will arrive in the promised two days and will work properly – so the battery will be ‘maintained’ while I’m away. This is the first time I’m doing this as all my other cars are ‘old school’ and simply get their battery disconnected.


Wow - seven cars lost in a garage fire! That was a big garage and I presume quite a sad story!

Does anyone know of a comparative study between CTEK and BatteryTender?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:56 PM
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There is a huge difference between a smart charger like CTEK and the Deltran Battery Tender.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Attention to detail in Smart Charger selection!

330GTC10573 – From the brief research I did before Wraithman provided me with the link to CTEK (see above), I got the impression that the cheap ‘trickle chargers’ like the Harbor Freight and Battery Tender products simply ‘push’ current at low amps(<1 A) into the battery as long as the battery voltage (electrical pressure) is lower than the charger’s. As such, they can overcharge the car’s battery if their voltage is too high. The CTEK products are more complex as they apparently use a microprocessor to control their ‘interaction’ with the battery. They can both charge (with higher current) and maintain (with lower current) the battery. …. I hope this is an accurate summary – if not, someone will hopefully correct me.


BUT, there are also differences among the CTEK products. Unfortunately, I think I ordered the wrong one! I read the various CTEK descriptions on their website, watched the various videos and read user feedback on Amazon, etc. I ended up buying the MXS 5.0 as it seemed to be the best combination of everything and the company touts it as their ‘most effective and versatile consumer charger’. It arrived today.


The following is an interesting observation of how one’s brain works: Reading the instructions, it says to push the ‘Mode’ button to select one of four modes.The order is motorcycle, car, AGM and Recond….. at this point I recalled that one of their units resets to the last mode it was in if somehow interrupted. I read this somewhere or saw it in a video when initially researching the whole brand. Of course, I didn’t recognize the importance of this statement at the time and don’t remember which unit this was. Now I can’t find that statement! The point is that if the source AC power is interrupted over the 6 months that I’ll be away, my particular unit might just restart at the first mode – motorcycle. (Not car.) I’m not sure what effect this will have, but that mode is designed for a smaller capacity battery.
My advice is this– be more thorough than me in determining your specific need before you buy! I don’t need a charger or ‘reconditioner’, just a maintainer – but one that can be left unattended for 6 months plus. I’ll test the MXS 5.0 tomorrow to see how it reacts to a supply power failure. If poorly, I’ll see if I can return it and try to find out which CTEK unit reverts to the original mode and order that.Hopefully it’ll get here before I leave.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 08:09 AM
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The reason it resets to the motorcyclce mode is because that setting is the least powerful. If you have a healthy battery to begin with and it defaults to the lowest setting for a period, It is doing the "smart" thing.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:30 AM
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The original RR / Bentley blue one can be left for 6 months or more.
It was made by Crewe, so should be the most convenient.
High quality bigger than the others Ctek...


I have one in excellent condition for sale if you are interested and if you are in UK

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