Charging a misused battery.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Charging a misused battery.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 04:32 pm:

I've got a question that's borderline off topic. When I bought my T it had a 12 volt battery in it, but was still set up for 6 volts. The increased voltage cooked the starter, so I had to use the hand crank. The alternator (not a generator, but it came with one and I'm getting it rebuilt along with the starter) charges at 6 volts.

I've gone through and rebuilt the electrical system for 6 volts, and bought a 6 volt battery. My buddy is interested in buying the 12 volt battery for his Camaro, but I need to get it back to 12 volts first. I tested it with my Simpson multimeter and there's only 7 volts in the battery. I've had it on a trickle charger for almost 18 hours now, and it hasn't moved yet.

Is it possible to put 12 volts back into the battery?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 04:46 pm:

NO. The battery is likely totally sulfated and dead forever. It really isn't at 7V from being charged at 7V it is at 7V because it hasn't been charged at all for a long time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren W. Mortensen on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 04:47 pm:

I think it's toast at this point.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 05:34 pm:

I was afraid of that. Didn't want to junk it if I could help out somebody who needed it. Guess I'll have to look into finding somewhere to get rid of it. Thanks guys.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 05:38 pm:

Take it to any auto parts store (Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's), they will accept it for recycling. Last time I took one in there was no charge (pun intended);^)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 07:57 pm:

Before you pitch it, what kind of battery is it, might it still be under warranty?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Wolf on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:05 pm:

Still worth 5 or 6.00


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:05 pm:

When you've determined its no good take it to your nearest scrapper. They will give you a few dollars for it. You might get enough for burger and fries!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wilson, Saint John NB, Canada on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:07 pm:

Years ago(1950s)I used a product called VX6 to rejuvenate sulfated batteries. Worked great although I don't now if there's any legitimate science behind it. What I used to do was check each cel with a hydrometer and put VX6 in whichever cel was weak. I don't know if VX6 is still produced but I saw a couple of boxes of it at Zephyrhills Auto Fest on Friday. Sould have bought some.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:36 pm:

If it doesn't have a dead cell, I have refurbished several the last couple years using Epsom salts and distilled water. Given the price of batteries now days it's worth a shot If you check the voltage from cell to cell and none appear to be completely dead then it may be fixable. I'm currently running one on my old Isuzu pick up that has been going strong for over a year. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:50 pm:

Sounds like it's worth looking into. Thanks, guys. I'm not hurting for money, at least not any more than the next car guy, but if all it takes is a little time and some Epsom salts and distilled water I'd rather not junk it. Especially when I can help out another car guy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:53 pm:

Jared, just google it in on the net and you will find the instructions. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 09:05 pm:

Stupid question: you're charger is working, right? If so you've got 8 Lbs. of garbage that should be properly disposed of. If you're friend doesn't have a core to turn in it's good for that if nothing else.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 09:45 pm:

We are getting about 8$ for junk battery's here in Portland Or, 8$ is 8$.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pamela Collinson on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 09:55 pm:

What sort of battery is it ? No, not a joke question! Some of the newer batteries have calcium in them and they really need to be charged on a "new type" charger. They need to be charged at up to 13 - 13.6 volts to be fully activated. Talk to your auto / battery shop, they could test it for you.
These batteries are going to end up having shorter lives in older cars (over 10 yrs old)as the charging rates are lower.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 10:42 pm:

It's an EverStart battery from Walmart. According to the date sticker it's only 3 years old.

As far as I can tell the charger still works. I can find another charger and see if it has different results, but I doubt it. Time to ask the almighty Google about the process.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 02:24 am:

Do be careful! I can be a real cheapskate myself. And I keep and use batteries as long as anybody. But I also had a battery explode once. It had about the force of an M80 and battery acid all over the place. Fortunately, the hood was closed on my pickup at the time.
Make certain that the "water" level is not low during any process of trying to rejuvenate a battery. Hydrogen is produced inside a battery, and if there happens to be a short (or degraded connection) between plates inside the battery, the short (or degraded connection) can spark and ignite the hydrogen. Pretty sure that is what happened in mine, and it was working just fine a few minutes before the truck shook.
A battery with like yours is more likely to have poor connections inside due to sulfation and/or corrosion inside. Making sure the water is well above the plates does NOT guarantee that the hydrogen won't ignite? However, ignition generally does require oxygen (air) so it greatly reduces the chance of ignition. Some batteries do have connections up high between cells (still a bit of risk).
So please do be careful.

This is advice I like to toss out there every year or so to remind people. We in this hobby tend to abuse batteries a bit(?). We all need to be aware of the potential risk. Having one go BOOM tends to change your outlook about batteries for a long time. I was lucky. I simply turned the key to start the engine and the hood was closed. The entire engine compartment was dripping with battery acid.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 08:41 am:

When you re furbish a battery, you completely drain out the electrolyte which can be neutralized by adding baking soda. The Epsom salts and water is then added and the battery is slow charged (1-2 amps)for 24 hours. If it recharges you are good to go, if not only a little time and a few pennies lost. And no you don't replace the Epsom salt mix, it stays so there is no acid to by or fool with other than the initial drained out. You cant drain all the acid out as some remains in the blotters between the plates. the only real danger is splashing the old electrolyte on your skin and clothes. I trust most of you will wear the proper eye and skin protection. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:12 pm:

I remember my dad using the epsom salts trick back in the early 1950s. Sounds like it still works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willie K Cordes on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 03:14 pm:

Jared, I pinch a penny sometimes but I would not even think of trying to save a 3 year old battery. Do your Buddy a favor and get rid of that useless battery. He needs a battery that works not one that will give him problems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 03:20 pm:

I vote with Willie. Your buddy won't be your buddy anymore after the battery you sold him cheap strands him and his Camaro two or three times.

One approach might be to "give" him the battery and let him try to revive it. Get an agreement up front that if he gets good service from it, then he pays you the agreed price for it. If it's a dud, then there's no payment, but at least it's out of your hands and he can dispose of it.

If you're worried that once he gets his hands on the battery you may never see the money, then what kind of buddy is he?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 04:14 pm:

A 3 year old battry?? I think i got almost 10 years from the org's in the 99 F-250.Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 05:07 pm:

Some "experts" recommend replacing your auto battery every 3 years. Not me, I'm still running the original batteries in my 98 Cummins Dodge. That's 16 years!

I'm sure it would not crank very long but Cummins always start on the first compression stroke and it will start at 10F.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 04:28 pm:

Jared,

Batteries are nothing to play with. Do the right thing and pitch it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 10:41 pm:

A 12 volt battery on a 6 volt starter will not fry the starter unless you keep cranking when the car won't start.
Many T owners have been using 12 volt batteries on the their 6 volt starters for many, many years.
I have run my '51 Ford pick on 12 volts with a 6 volt starter since 2005. never had a starter problem, or battery problem.
Go to a battery store and buy a new battery.
Walmart's are too expensive.
I would never buy a battery from Walfarts, O'Reilly's or Auto Zone, they are just too expensive too expensive.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Holland, Utah on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 08:35 pm:

Jared, Some times you can trick and old battery to charge. Most battery chargers won't charge a weak voltage battery. What you do is hook jumper cables from a good 12 volt battery to the weak 12 volt battery and then hook the charger to the jumper cables. Leave it on for about an hour and disconnect your jumpers from the weak battery and check the voltage. If it has increased, good. If it hasn't it is toast. Most battery chargers on the market will not charge a battery less than 11 volts. I guess it is a safety issue. Put it back on the set-up previously described and bring the weak battery up to about 11-12 volts. Disconnect the good battery and put the charger by itself on the weak battery. It needs to come up to close or more 13 volts or 13 and a half volts. Be sure and do this with proper clothing, gloves and eye protection and in a well ventilated with no sparks around area. Good Luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 09:51 am:

Kevin, that sounds like possibly the safest option. Well, safer than replacing or topping off the electrolyte.

It's amazing how many ways you guys have for saving a battery. It's also amazing how varied the responses have been. This is why I love the forum. I can get a bunch of information and decide what I think is the best course of action. Thanks again, everybody!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Holland, Utah on Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 11:35 am:

Jared, Most T owners are cheap skates or better said; thrifty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 11:53 am:

Waaay back in the day I ran the aircraft battery room at Homestead AFB Florida. About once every 7 to 10 days a Sergeant would come in with his car battery for me to dump out the acid, put in fresh & charge it. This went on for weeks and in 80-90 degree heat. It'd work for a few days then quit. I never found out where he finally got a replacement for it from. He just stopped showing up. True story.


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