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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Refreshing a Battery

I've finally come to the point where I need to fire the bird back up so I can back it out and get the rest of the body prepped for paint, but found I had a dead batt. I put it on a 12V 10A charge for about 30 min. and still nothing. All I got was a dim dash and a strange "ding" from something in the dash, sounded like from the pass side. (assuming it's the airbag module).

So I put it on a 12V 2A charge for about 30min. more and it still doesn't seem to be enough. Before trying to turn it over it shows about 11.89V on my meter. Once I hit the key it drags it down to about 11.2V and it slowly recovers back to the 11.89 or so.

Should I just set the charger for an hour at 2A and let it go or is there a better way to revive this battery? Keep in mind that this battery was only 6 months old when my wife wrecked the car just about 2 years ago, and it has been started periodically. Haven't checked the water level in it either.

Jay

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Beuler.....

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 11:44 AM
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id put it on a trickle charger and leave it for a few hours.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 11:51 AM
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make sure there is no corrosion on your connections under the hood, if you don't find any troubles get your battery load tested at your local garage. The battery is probably pooched. I've seen battery's go bad instantly after collisions because the plates shift inside them but they look fine. After sitting for 2 years without a charge on them the plates inside will corrode leaving the battery useless.

If your leaving a good battery not in use for an extended period of time put a trickle charger on it just to keep it topped up. You can get those solar panels that clip right on to your battery that'll do the trick.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Congrats! And thanks, I guess I'll just have to let it charge for a few hours and see what I get.

Jay

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 01:11 PM
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google de sulfating idk on the spelling but you will have to hook a batt charger backwardsand blast 100 amps into it and neg will be pos and vice versa idk what will happen on a sealed batt but that is your onlyhope if trickeling dosen't work.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 01:44 PM
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i know this may sound weird but, take a couple asprins and dump 1 tablet into each side of the battery if it has 2 caps to fill with water. 1 for each side, doesnt matter which hole they go in. fill the holes up with distilled water and let is set on a battery charger on low for the whole day. we did that and it worked great. battery is still going good after 5 years lol.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoop23
google de sulfating idk on the spelling but you will have to hook a batt charger backwardsand blast 100 amps into it and neg will be pos and vice versa idk what will happen on a sealed batt but that is your onlyhope if trickeling dosen't work.

Ever see a battery explode?????????????????

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2006, 10:29 PM
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A tricklecharger might get it back...

put it on the low setting (2a on my charger), make sure there is water covering all the cells, and leave in on the charger for a few days.

Make sure it is somewhere where if it blows up, or catches on fire, it wont hurt anything. battery acid is nasty.

Check it regularly to see if it is getting too hot; every 6 hours or so after the first day. If it never gets warm, its probably toast...

Make sure the water doesn't get below the top of the cells...add water as needed.

Do not hook it up backwards; that's as likely to kill your charger as anything; it will not help the battery.

After a few days, see if it will work...if it is better, but still wont start the car, top off the water to the right level, and put it back on the charger.

Once you get it to charge, put it in the car, and turn the lights on for an hour. If it goes dead in an hour, it is not worth going any further; you can try to keep charging it, but the odds of it ever working good is pretty low.

I finally have learned how to keep batteries for several years... all the info is out there, (google is your friend) these batteries have been around for a long time.

In short form:

1) fully charge a battery before using it the first time. The charging system in a car is not enough, and a totally dead battery can kill your alternator.

2) Keep the water level right. Sealed batteries or gel cells are not going to last as long as a regular one, but they have advantages in some applications.

3) Charge it once a season, overnight. Use the automatic or low amp setting. Make sure the water level is right before and after the charge. Charging in the car can cause corrosion, so I take mine out.

4) If it sits for more than a week (in the car, connected), charge it for a few hours. If you know it wont be used for a few weeks, disconnect one batt terminal; it will keep (and stay charged) for a month or so without a charge, disconnected. Make sure a battery is fully charged if it is sitting outside in freezing weather.

These simple things will keep a battery right for several years...I now have motorcycle batteries 5 years old...most of the guys I know replace theirs every year. (motorcycle batteries are more sensitive)

I have brought back batteries that sat for a year or so, and they worked fine... but others died and never came back...

Also: never let one turn over on its side...the crap that falls to the bottom of the battery will get in the plates and short them out.

Never try to charge a battery that has a dead cell; you will kill your charger.

I have a wasted cycle batt (given to me) that I may try the asprin trick on; can't hurt, anyway...its toast now.

Good luck!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, I'll give the 2A setting some time then. I set it for an hour and I got about a 1/2 crank out of the motor before it just clicked. I'm thinking about taking this battery and putting it in my Vic temporarily just to give the battery some "exercise" if I can use it at all. I noticed that on the 2A charge the battery was at 12.59 volts, which is up from the last attempt, so maybe it's waking up finally. I will also check the water level just to be sure it's full.

I charge it in the car, but w/ both batt. terminals discon. I definetly will NOT be hooking it up backwards and pumping 100A through it. Heck, my nice Schumacher charger that I'm using has a 200A start setting as well so if I plan on blowing it up, that'd be the way to go, lol... I may actually try the 100A setting if I get it close to starting and see if I can let the alt. do the rest w/o burning it up.

Jay

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordMan77
Cool, I'll give the 2A setting some time then. I set it for an hour and I got about a 1/2 crank out of the motor before it just clicked. I'm thinking about taking this battery and putting it in my Vic temporarily just to give the battery some "exercise" if I can use it at all. I noticed that on the 2A charge the battery was at 12.59 volts, which is up from the last attempt, so maybe it's waking up finally. I will also check the water level just to be sure it's full.

I charge it in the car, but w/ both batt. terminals discon. I definetly will NOT be hooking it up backwards and pumping 100A through it. Heck, my nice Schumacher charger that I'm using has a 200A start setting as well so if I plan on blowing it up, that'd be the way to go, lol... I may actually try the 100A setting if I get it close to starting and see if I can let the alt. do the rest w/o burning it up.

Jay
Have you tried just pulling the battery and putting it in the CV to see if it would start and run?

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 09:22 AM
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Im thinking that battery is probably bad After it sits for a while like that, stuff starts to degrade inside. Leaving it on the trickle charger overnight isnt going to hurt it at all, heck it would probably be best for it.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't tried putting it in the Vic yet. Probably do that this week some time.

If that doesn't work then I'm just going to set it on the bench and give it a good trickle charge and see if it can hold it.

Jay

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 08:30 PM
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The whole drag with batteries is called 'sulfation'

The sulfuric acid in the battery combines with the lead plates to make lead sulfide; it can be white or yellow, depending on the oxidation state of the sulfide.

The ***** about it is the sulfate is bigger than the lead, so it pushes everything apart, causing pieces to fall off, and plates to short, causing dead cells.

Never use tap water in a battery, only distilled water (NOT drinkable water. the minerals in the water will kill a battery.)

Lead acid cells are 2.2V apiece when charged; they are not supposed to be discharged below 2V per cell. Our batteries have 6 cells, for 13.2V nominal when charged, 12V when discharged.

The (Best) chargers use a unregulated, rectified, pulsating DC voltage to charge; it peaks about 16V on the standard setting, less on the 2A setting. There are expensive chargers available that will 'quick charge' a battery: Don't use them on lead acid batteries; other battery types handle that better. Good quality, old-school, with a big honkin' transformer is the way to go.

The 200A setting is about 24V peak, if yours is like mine. Don't use that for long; only to get a battery to accept a charge if it won't at all. eventually, it will cause more sulfation, not less.(too much energy, wrong reaction)

The chemical reaction in our batteries is reversible within limits.
a good battery, charged at 1/20C, where C is the Amp/Hour capacity of the battery, will typically charge in 20 hours. The military determined this 60-70 years ago, the only things that have changed is the manufacturers of the batteries. charging faster is possible, but the tradeoff is battery lifetime.

An equalizing charge will eat the sulphation off the battery plates, if they aren't damaged, and this happens when the battery is said to be 'gassing freely'. This means a continuous stream of Hydrogen gas is being generated at the plates, AFTER reaching full charge. Since this eats water, the water level must be checked regularly; if the top of the plates get exposed to air, different reactions take place, not good, and NOT REVERSABLE. The battery will also be warm; if it is hot to the touch, it is charging too fast. Turn down the charger, or just let it cool for a couple of hours. Refill with water at the same time.

Never add water to a hot battery. It can come out violently, with acid in the mix.

Never wear good clothes around where you are messing with a battery; they will be full of holes, even if you think you didn't get any on you.

Since your battery is in the fairly decent voltage range, and doesn't seem to have a dead cell, I'd keep charging it. Keep an eye on the water, make sure it doesn't get too hot. If it gets too warm, too fast, discharge it with a light, (put in car, turn lights on, if nothing else) and try charging again. Time the discharge time; if it increases as you charge/discharge, then you can definately bring it back.

I've got a UPS for my computers (bought surplus), that provides a 50mA trickle charge to the batteries connected to it. It's made for gel cells, but it brought back a dead motorcycle battery in about a month...it will also boil a cycle batt when the lights go out; now I have a deep cycle marine battery on it...Hope it can fix it.

Hope this helps...I've saved a bunch of money this way over the years...

/rant on/

I do not believe in the newer tech batteries on the market; The main problem is the way they all 'immobilize' the acid, by gelling it, or absorbing it in a matrix. Not letting it mix makes a local deficit of acid, or water, where it needs it. If the electrolyte is liquid, then movement and convection currents keep the electrolyte mixed, and fresh, allowing greater current capability.

Sure, they will work upside down, but if I'm upside down, that's the least of my problems...

/End rant/

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