Just got back from 3 weeks vacation and this is what I found on my Maxwell's dual batteries. These were NOS batteries activated several weeks before and the cables are all new. The whole setup was as clean as new 3 weeks ago. The system has two kill switches so there was no draw. I do know that the temperatures were likely 100 degrees or more in my Georgia garage while I was away.
Should I re-clean and grease all the terminals? Should I get those anti-corrosion discs? Never had this happen before unless it was on a vehicle with years of lack of care, this happened in three weeks on new parts??????
I am a function-over-form guy when it comes to mechanicals and other not-easily-seen details, so when it comes to batteries, I take a parts cleaning brush and the hose to clean the top of the battery. Once clean, I pour baking soda over the terminals and repeat the process much more slowly, to allow the soda to neutralize the acid on the surfaces. I get this clean again, and then pour more soda onto the mechanically cleaned terminals and posts and allow to set up into a hard cake around them. This can give me a year or more of unfettered service. It ain't pretty, but it really works.
Some of the older style batteries, especially 6 volt, have vented caps, and I'd sure be careful of any baking soda, or baking soda water entering the battery with that "method",......not good!
I just put a few drops of motor oil on my cables and haven't had any problems. When I went to start the coupe after setting for about nine months, they looked just like they did last year. The battery(6V) was also still up. As they say, your mileage may vary. Dave
Howard, were the batteries charged on a charger before being installed? Perhaps they "cooked" a bit and vented the acid laden fumes on to the top of the battery / terminal area. Or maybe your Maxwell's charging system was overcharging and the same venting occurred.
If you elect to use soda do not allow any to get near the vent caps and clean everything squeaky clean afterward.
Yes, you can use one of those "discs" under the terminal and / or grease it and keep a close eye on it for any re-occurence.
One more thought .......did you check the electrolyte level?
The batteries were filled and charged over a weekend and tested afterwards by a local battery distributor that has done this since 1947. I probably should have cleaned the tops afterward but I never have seen this level of corrosion so fast. The whole system has about 10 minutes running time and 2 minutes in the generator stopped charging so I'm sure that's not the problem.
Where did you find a NOS battery!? I never thought one would be around, but what do I know?
As for your question, were the terminal clamps new, did any acid get on them? Otherwise, this can be from overcharging Much like Floyd suggested. I don't know Maxwells, so I don't know how they charge.
The little green and red felt disks have always worked very well for me. But a good cleaning like Burger suggests first.
Good luck ....
Ditto on the green and red felt discs, I use them on all my cars, no problems.
From an electrical point of view, I would check the output of your generator. I am assuming that your Maxwell uses an adjustable 3 brush to control output. This along with a simple cut out controls overall output of the generator. A common mistake when restoring 3rd brush generators is to set the brush for max output or at the hi end of the adjustment.
If the 3rd brush is set for too much output the batteries can not accept that much charge. At that point the acid boils in the battery which will raise the internal heat and force the heated gases to rise out through the caps then as it cools the acid will then cover the tops of the batteries, causing the corrosive condition you now see.
I suggest you check the voltage and amperage out put of your electrical system. You need to do this with only the ignition system drawing current. You need to test at road speed, not at idle. Pick you average driving speed for an accurate check of output.
I would also suggest coating your terminals with a spray coating availible at any parts store, this coating will stop the chemical reactions.
Along with what Brassie says, a Fun Projects Voltage Regulator is needed. www.FunProjects.com I think.
When you installed the new cables, you may have inadvertantly cracked the lead to case seal under the battery terminal. Some times when you apply torque to the connection, trying to get them nice and tight, you also apply a twisting torque which bends the terminal ever so slightly and a crack can occur under the terminal. This crack will act as another vent for the battery and the acid fumes will cause the corrison. Sometimes those red and green felt disks will help. Just be careful when tightening the terminals.
First I need to re-state this system only charged for 2 minutes then quit, so I know overcharging didn't cause this. I can't use a Fun Projects regulator because my system uses a large cut out/regulator built in to the dash panel. All items, batteries and cables were new. The batteries were dry NOS purchased off eBay. They were probably made 30 years ago and never sold. Looks like I need to clean everything and get those felt pads and hope that stops this rapid corrosion.
I failed to find an answer here but when Googled I turned up an answer. It turns out these new old stock batteries have dried out to the point where the tar has pulled away from the terminals allowing battery gases to seep past the posts and corrode the cables. Anyone have an idea what would be a good thing to use to reseal the tops of these batteries after I clean the acid off?
You should coat the battery terminals with grease.
A Fun Projects regulator can be wired in by cutting the wire someplace between the generator and the instrument panel.
On the inside of the firewall would be one good location.
You can also spray the terminals with hair spray. It will prevent the formation of corrosion.
The entire top of the battery appears wet. If the tar on top had indeed dried out and pulled away from the edges or the terminals, then there are multiple places where battery gasses are venting and in a 100 degree garage for three weeks, there was most likely a lot of venting going on there. Even the cell connectors have turned black. they should be silver-lead color like the cable ends, and the top of the battery should be dry. I would use a modern sealed battery, or at least a modern plastic topped battery with vented caps, and keep the top clean and dry. Put the tar top battery in for shows or judging if you need to.