home register FAQ memberlist calendar

Go Back   Turbobricks Forums > Mechanical > maintenance & nonperformance

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-28-2017, 07:11 PM   #1
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default How to revive a lead acid battery

I let my 240s already marginal Duralast group 24 battery die while I was on vacation and wanted to see if I could revive it. It would not take much of a charge and only read 10.5 V after charging at two amps (trickle) for 12 hours. After following the steps below, it passes a load test and holds 13V over night. Thought I'd share:

SAFETY: Any time you are working with a battery with the caps off you should wear goggles, a full face shield and nitrile gloves. If you get acid on your skin, flush immediately with plenty of water. Read SDS for all chemicals before starting this procedure.

Supplies:
Battery charger
Paper towels
10 gallons of distilled water
8 lb of baking soda
1qt of sulfuric acid (1.28 SG) PN UN2796 available at oreilly's
Nitrile gloves
Full face shield and goggles
Acid resistant container 5 gal (most plastics are good for this)
pH strips or pH meter
Small funnel (small enough for the water ports on the top of battery)

Method:

1: remove battery from car and thoroughly clean exterior of battery.
2: don goggles, face shield and gloves
3: remove caps and carefully dump acid into container
4: neutralize waste acid by slowly adding baking soda and water
5: once acid is neutralized most municipalities allow you dump into sewer, NOT STORM DRAIN! I used a ph meter to confirm the PH was neutral (7.0)
5.5: inspect plates in each cell for mechanical damage. You might see brown crystalline build up on the plates, the next steps should take care of that. Keep in mind the cells with lots of build up may take longer to clean. Also check terminal posts for looseness. A battery with a loose post will not be cured by this method.
6: heat up a medium sauce pan full of distilled water (at least 2qt) and stir in baking soda until it stops dissolving.
7: place battery in empty container and use funnel to add soda water to each cell. DO NOT INSTALL CAPS! The acid base reaction offgasses and could rupture a battery or spray acid everywhere if capped. Let stand for 1 hour or until bubbles stop. This step removes the sulfate layer on the plates that prevents your battery from taking a charge.
8: with all your PPE on, shake the battery carefully and let it react for another 15 minutes.
9: flush a couple of times with distilled water and be sure to neutralize the waste before dumping.
10: drain the water thoroughly, collecting all runoff and neutralizing all waste water.
11: wth all your PPE on and the battery in the empty container, distribute the sulfuric acid evenly to each cell and top off with distilled water.
12: check voltage. Should be above 10V before charging.
13: charge battery in empty container with caps off, over night at no more than 2 amp.
14: top off cells as necessary, check voltage; should be above 12.6V. Trickle charge and top off cells as necessary and install caps.
15: install battery
16: drink a beer
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by amerbritcan View Post
Lando you have an enticing midriff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 240240 View Post
get on my lawn

Last edited by Lando; 12-29-2017 at 04:17 PM..
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 07:34 PM   #2
photoman327
Board Member
 
photoman327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Alabama
Default

Interesting! Build up inside the battery on the plates and as it settles in the batter will cause it to short out. Depending on cost of the acid, I have been planning to try to revive one. Thanks for your how too list.
photoman327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 07:38 PM   #3
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoman327 View Post
Interesting! Build up inside the battery on the plates and as it settles in the batter will cause it to short out. Depending on cost of the acid, I have been planning to try to revive one. Thanks for your how too list.
Actually the build up is non conductive so it causes poor conductivity, which reduced the available surface area available for the reaction to take place, thus reducing the capacity.

The acid I used was $8/qt, the baking soda was $1/lb and distilled water was $1/gal. So the total cost was $26. Everything else, I had on hand. The procedure should be cheaper to execute with lye instead of baking soda, but lye was not available readily and I have not tested it.
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 08:05 PM   #4
Cwazywazy
Board Member
 
Cwazywazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Granby CT
Default

Hmm. I have a battery that showed .6v. Charged up to 12.6v but the bad battery light lit up.
Cwazywazy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
swedefiend
Board Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Woodstock
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lando View Post
Actually the build up is non conductive so it causes poor conductivity, which reduced the available surface area available for the reaction to take place, thus reducing the capacity.

The acid I used was $8/qt, the baking soda was $1/lb and distilled water was $1/gal. So the total cost was $26. Everything else, I had on hand. The procedure should be cheaper to execute with lye instead of baking soda, but lye was not available readily and I have not tested it.
Caveat emptor. Buying bulk quantities of lye *may* revoke your right to fly.
swedefiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 12:21 AM   #6
Bobbyz
Board Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Park Rapids MN
Default

Living in northern Minnesota I don't screw around with old batteries. I buy new ones with the most cold cranking amps that'll fit. A car not starting at -30 really sucks.
Not saying this is a bad idea just that for 150 bucks or less I ain't taking a chance in the winter.
Something I only use in the summer like a lawn mower is another matter. Who cars if the lawn mower doesn't start?
Bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 12:27 AM   #7
swedefiend
Board Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Woodstock
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbyz View Post
Living in northern Minnesota I don't screw around with old batteries. I buy new ones with the most cold cranking amps that'll fit. A car not starting at -30 really sucks.
Not saying this is a bad idea just that for 150 bucks or less I ain't taking a chance in the winter.
Something I only use in the summer like a lawn mower is another matter. Who cars if the lawn mower doesn't start?
I'm with you.

But, this is TurboBricks. Home of the ziptied redblock and 14.99 Virgos.

Topic is relevant.
swedefiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 12:45 AM   #8
Otto Mattik
Board Member
 
Otto Mattik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Midwest
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swedefiend View Post
Caveat emptor. Buying bulk quantities of lye *may* revoke your right to fly.

You could always say you are making Lutefisk ?
__________________
Originally posted by Jack
"You talk about parts cannon but you throw the Obamacare diagnostic tool orgy onto this like it's a cloned embryo of baby Jesus"
_______________________

Future need of elf assistant for interior work - cash/beer option
Otto Mattik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 01:11 AM   #9
apachechef
Burnt Sierra Madre
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Letterkenny, ON
Default

Had surprising results w desulfating an dead optima with a lrecectronic one, ze batterie still chooching 2 y later.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by lummert View Post
Dammit, Lummert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse8931 View Post
Well keep us updated on how your dumbass plan goes.
apachechef is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 01:29 AM   #10
photoman327
Board Member
 
photoman327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Alabama
Default

Well, a no start in any weather is a problem. Mine you it’s only in the low 20’s tonight and when I walked today is was 29 degs when I started. I have more cars than I need and I’m in if I can extent the life a few extra years. Every time I visit a pull a part and they have a one of those green batteries with the right build date any if fits any of my heaps it leaves with me. Been meaning to look into this a little but never have. I don’t have no starts issues. When it slow starting I want to know why. I might be most anywhere and don’t need the hassle. Now for you guy way up north, I feel for you. I was in Chicago a few years ago in my SS Chevy in -12 deg weather and I hated to crank my car in the morning. Sounded horrible for a few minutes but I used 15-50 in that car.
Though at the time, I would beg, borrow or steal to get the hell out of there!
photoman327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 01:29 AM   #11
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swedefiend View Post
I'm with you.

But, this is TurboBricks. Home of the ziptied redblock and 14.99 Virgos.

Topic is relevant.
No real risk here. You can visually inspect the condition of the plates and load test it after assembly. Just a fun science project that also saves you money. It only took about 1 hour away from my time excavating a room in my basement (which is also another $0.17/hr job). That being said it's probably a job best suited for when the battery shows signs of failing,not when it stone dead.
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 08:23 AM   #12
tryingbe
Boosting along.
 
tryingbe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mesa, AZ
Default

Since most of my battery dies before the warranty runs out, I'd just get in the zone.

__________________
85 GLH 350whp
00 Insight 72 mpg
94 855 in hibernation
tryingbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 10:22 AM   #13
nel621
Board Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Default

I've noticed that the newer battery chargers will not charge a really low battery. I was able to bring back to life a battery by just connecting it to a known fully charged battery overnight. The next day the battery voltage on the dead battery was high enough to allow the charger to actually charge it. No issues with the formally dead battery. YMMV
nel621 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 03:58 PM   #14
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default

Just took my Volvo down to the old dealership I worked at and had them load test the battery with their fancy GR8 battery diagnostic tool. 13.1V and 950 CCA out of a battery only rated for 750 CCA.
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 04:02 PM   #15
Dan
TQ>HP
 
Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Antonio
Default

I have some scooter batteries that are not that old, but not charging. I let them sit for too long between charging..... need to try this trick on them...
__________________
 photo IMG_1843med_zpsfmoa7vhh.jpg
"You never want to keep a perfectly good car running and driving for too long. You gotta disable it for months to years at a time or you're no Hot rodder" David Freiburger
Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 10:48 PM   #16
nedc
Board Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manning, SC
Default

Interesting...thanks for posting that how to. How old is the battery? Mine is a bit over 5 yrs. old and the cold weather has made it a bit sluggish. May be a good candidate for 'rejuvination'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lando View Post
Just took my Volvo down to the old dealership I worked at and had them load test the battery with their fancy GR8 battery diagnostic tool. 13.1V and 950 CCA out of a battery only rated for 750 CCA.
nedc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 11:12 PM   #17
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedc View Post
Interesting...thanks for posting that how to. How old is the battery? Mine is a bit over 5 yrs. old and the cold weather has made it a bit sluggish. May be a good candidate for 'rejuvination'.
Mine came with the car when I bought it over 4 years ago, so it's at least that old. Yours sounds like a good candidate for sure. A trickle charge can desulphate a battery that isn't as far gone as mine, so maybe try that first and then give my procedure a try if that doesn't work.
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2017, 12:59 AM   #18
Wren
Porkchop Sandwiches
 
Wren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Athens, GA
Default

What charging rate would be considered a trickle charge for a lead acid battery? I know that for nicads it's 1/10C.
Wren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2017, 02:14 AM   #19
JW240
All idiot, no savant
 
JW240's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: The Netherlands, Europe
Default

Well my 240 is running a '99 build date Volvo brand battery. It's getting a bit weak
Cool little project.
__________________
240 | 1991 | 324 KKm | B230F+T | Cossie T3 60/63 | M90 | Toyo R1R/Polaris
Amazon/121 | 1968 | finished 2020+? (for sale)
760 | 1984 | B6284T swap | 2x13T | finished 201?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwood Chair View Post
Don't forget about properly seasoning it on HF jackstands for a couple years whilst dreaming about big powah 'goals'.
JW240 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2017, 02:43 AM   #20
Lando
Arthur Digby Sellers
 
Lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rancho Relaxo
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wren View Post
What charging rate would be considered a trickle charge for a lead acid battery? I know that for nicads it's 1/10C.
2A or less.
Lando is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2017, 10:23 PM   #21
Bobbyz
Board Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Park Rapids MN
Default

This weather sucks ! It was over (under?) 30 bellow this morning, -24 and dropping now.
Just to give you some idea what a pain in the ass that is on batteries. If you don't get a door shut all the way and the interior lights stay on and drain the battery, then it freezes and once they freeze good and solid they're junk.
After buying a few new batteries to replace one's that weren't very old I've gotten pretty good at making dammed sure the doors get closed.
I love Minnesota!
Bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2018, 01:16 AM   #22
8587turbo
Board Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Montana
Default

Good info thanks, FYI:Had a Volvo that came with a battery blanket that was plugged into 120 vac to keep battery cca' s higher in cold weather.
8587turbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2018, 02:27 AM   #23
nel621
Board Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Default

A "trick" I used on very cold days was to turn the key to KII, just so all the warning lights were on and wait a few seconds. Then I would crank the car. My thinking was to warm up the wires before actually trying to start the car. May be an old wives tale but my car always started. I helped a neighborhood woman get her car started, always needed a boost when very cold. Told her to try my trick. She never needed another boost for her car. YMMV
nel621 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2018, 04:52 AM   #24
swedefiend
Board Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Woodstock
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nel621 View Post
A "trick" I used on very cold days was to turn the key to KII, just so all the warning lights were on and wait a few seconds. Then I would crank the car. My thinking was to warm up the wires before actually trying to start the car. May be an old wives tale but my car always started. I helped a neighborhood woman get her car started, always needed a boost when very cold. Told her to try my trick. She never needed another boost for her car. YMMV
I think you would have to freeze the wires with nitrogen gas before they would benefit from "warming" them this way. Now, battery warmers exist. Ask one of the actual Swedes here.

But, if the car is a diesel... Then yes. By all means, allow the glow plugs to do their job

Last edited by swedefiend; 01-01-2018 at 09:55 PM.. Reason: kant spel
swedefiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2018, 03:39 PM   #25
apachechef
Burnt Sierra Madre
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Letterkenny, ON
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swedefiend View Post
I think you would have to freeze the wires with nitrogen gas before they would benefit from "warning" them this way. Now, battery warmers exist. Ask one of the actual Swedes here.

But, if the car is a diesel... Then yes. By all means, allow the glow plugs to do their job
cold wires good, cold battery, bad

a little draw can warm battery and increase output
apachechef is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.