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Just a firefighter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys this is not for me but for the troops stationed here at Ft. Hood that are being sent to the desert. These guys leave here for a year at a time and when they go they put their cars in storage or with friends hoping the friends will run them and keep the batteries up. Well as you can figure these guys come home and of course the battery is as dead as it can get. Now I work at Autozone on my off days and these guys bring in the dead batteries to get them recharged and it don't work they are so far gone we can't save them. After charging they have the volts but 0 amps in them. If I can save 1 out of 20 I'm doing good. Is there anything I can tell these guys to do so they don't come home and have to buy a new battery right off the bat.
I
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

First of All, Pass along our Deepest Gratitude To the Guys at Fort Hood for Serving our country in the highest tradition in perilous times..It is appreciated!

Next, the Best Course of action. Is get a Small automatic Trickle Charger, Remove the battery, Or At least the cables, and let it Charge the whole time..(Mark the power cord "CHARGER , DO NOT UNPLUG!" )

Clean, and Coat the cables with Vaseline or Anti Corrosive Compound.

This will keep the Battery Charged and not be subject to the drain of Computer memory and active memory presets from a CD player.

You should also run the fuel down to about 3 gallons, and add some Fuel Conditioner..Install new filters..

Tightly Duct tape some plastic wrap around the Distributer to keep condensation out of the works..and the same with the Carb throats..(if Carbbed) If you have a Brain Box (like MSD) For the Ignition put plastic over that too.

Do that, and they should have a car that will Crank right over after removing the plastic and hooking up the battery..and add fresh fuel.

Doc :pimp:
 

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boatbob2
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1,385 Posts
charge battery

hi,a lot of times,if the battery is TOTALLY dead,which it will be after a year, take a set of jumper cables from a good battery,to the dead one. then put the charger on the GOOD battery.leave it for awhile (1 hour or so) then unplug the charger,put charger on dead battery ,plug charger in,and most times dead battery will accept a charge. dont ask me why,im not an electrical engineer.. im boatbob2
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

If you do that, on a totally dead battery, you do not charge the good battery, but tear it down..

Electricity seeks equal resistance to achieve "Balance" ... as the Dead battery goes up, and the Good battery goes Down , it will reach a point of Equal Internal resistance and neither battery will take much of a charge..Result is usually two low batterys..that may not start the car.

The Best way , is to avoid it all together, with a Trickle Charger , and proper prep before it is left to sit..and removing the cables is the most important.

Doc :pimp:
 

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Just a firefighter
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324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Doc and Bob I just wanted to thank you for the info. I'll be sure and pass it on and hopefully make their home comming a little bit better with one less thing to worry about.

Thanks again
 

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Ford Man to the bone!!!
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112 Posts
I have an old LARGE heavy duty truck charger from back in the 60s. If a battery is too far gone it won't start charging it, but there is a button on it to start the charging. The idea of using one good battery to trick the charger into working at least until the dead one is charged a little would do the same thing. One easy way would be to put jumper cables from a running car onto the dead one. Let it charge awhile before using a charger. I have drained batteries down to nothing and used my charger. The battery was not hurt. Before anyone slams me for that comment, YES drain then recharge does take a toll on a battery. That is why I have $800s worth of deep cycle batteries on my Semi.
 

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The Maintenance Geek
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263 Posts
Actually Doc...

This does work, the most chargers will not start charging
if the voltage is too low. By jumping the dead battery with
another battery and the charger at the same time, you'll put
a surface charge on the dead one. Only then will the charger
work as advertised...

I work with industrial batteries everyday, and when a super
dead one comes in, that is how we get the chargers to work...

K
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

Not a slam..but let me tell you why they don't make those "Lightning Bolt" chargers anymore...(and yes I Do remember them when Every Gas station carried them..)

A battery that is that severely drained will develop "holes " in the plates..where the antimony has flaked off during the charge/discharge process..and a gunk called Sluff, will develop on the plate surface and in the plate sluff box. (bottom of the battery) This Sluff is conductive, and CAN short the plates, and can Start EXPLOSIONS if energized violently.

When you "Crow Bar " the battery with a Burst of power, you blow that sluff and antimony off the plate..IF it takes a charge, it usually will only last a few days , even under the best of conditions, The plate literally falling apart to a frame with holes in it.

The Second Draw back is the fact that too many of those "Zero Charge" battery's were flat blowing up when zapped with mega current..On old battery's, the plates will develop "Whisker" growth which is a cluster of gunk that grows like a wire, from the plates to the sluff box, killing the cell capacity, and changing the battery's internal resistance, It is conductive..net result when "ZAPPING" it with high current usually is a short, Gassing, and explosion.

Exceptions to the rule , would be a relatively brand new battery, that has been properly maintained, with no manufacturing defects at all..(but it would be unlikely you would ever see a "zero" charge under those conditions, low or dead is more likely)...

I have seen, and we had one case here on the forum, where a "zero Charge" battery was charged accidentally backwards..Pos to neg and Visa Versa..(Yes it is possible on a flat dead unit) and when the battery was installed in a Vehicle, it did Considerable damage..another situation to be aware of when messing around with battery's that dead..

The long and short of it is, If it is that far gone, and won't slow charge...Trash it..it is beyond service life..and will be a problem now or shortly in the future.

Doc
 
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