Author Topic: Tutorial 4: Batteries  (Read 175 times)

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Offline Gonzo_Descente

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Tutorial 4: Batteries
« on: April 23, 2019, 11:01:23 AM »
Good article here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead–acid_battery

For us shade-tree mechanics, a few basics:  since most of us have lead-acid batteries in our vehicles, let me mention a few things.

Constant checks for the electrolyte (the liquid inside) is important , and the level must be maintained by filling with DISTILLED or DE-IONIZED water.  Distilled is cheap and available everywhere.  Fill only to the level of the ring you see when you look down into the cells.  Don't overfill.

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE.  Keep all the corrosion off the exposed metals.  The acid fumes in the electrolyte attacks all the metals.  I carefully clean every bit of the terminals on the battery and the connectors on the cables.  Once that is done, I grease all the metal which will be exposed once the cables are connected.  This includes the threads of the screw part of the clamp.
Also grease the threads of the hold-down hardware.  Otherwise it gets thinner and will break just as you sail across rough terrain.  Don't ask how I know this (DAMHIKT).
Put one of those felt washers at the base of the battery terminals, then at the end, after assembly, grease the top of the battery terminal.

One tool you might want to invest in is a Hygrometer.  This thing looks like a turkey baster, kind of like a giant eye-dropper, but it has a little float inside.  To use it, suck some electrolyte out of a battery cell and observer where the float is.  The markings will tell you how good the electrolyte is.  Put the liquid back in the same cell.  Repeat this for each cell.  I have one of these things, and
even though I seldom use it, its cheap and effective.