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Old 11-18-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
Rob Rose
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Default 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Newbie here with a new-to-me Model A. Had it a few weeks. The battery was low when I got it, and I put a trickle charge on it that took several days to charge fully, then overnight the battery went dead. Zip. Too low for the trickle charge to kick on, so I got a 6 or 12 volt shomacher battery charger that is on it now, Positive on a head bolt, negative on the starter nut. The LED says it is not charging, but I'll leave it overnight and see. The battery looks recent-but i don't know.

Why would it go fully charged and then lose the charge overnight , then appear to not charge?
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

That is how I charge mine. When I posted the question a week ago, nobody answered. Wayne
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

There should be a date code on the battery, usually a little sticker about the size of a nickle with a letter and a number. It may look good but be old.
Also check and make sure the brake lights are not stuck on.

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Old 11-18-2016, 08:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

is the car actually + ground? Check the battery connections to be sure.

Was it charged backwards the first time?

Is the brake light sw stuck on as mentioned above, or some other accessory stuck on?

remove battery and have auto parts store test it; they test them for free

if you have a bad ground at the frame of the grounding battery cable as I suspect from your first post then maybe the charger output is not reaching the battery at all

time to get some help as mentioned in the other thread
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Years ago I read that each time you fully discharge a lead/acid battery you have just killed 10% of it's life. So, you can see just how bad it is to have a drain that goes unchecked. And charging a dead battery in reverse is really bad and most times leaves you having to buy a new battery.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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Try a non-trickle charger, for 12hr.. And not over night.. do the 12 hr charge a second day and see (my crap trickle chargers I think discharged my battery... It's held the above 12 hr twice charge for 13 months without any outside charging...
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

The battery is shot. Get a new one.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

What they said.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Tom, post # 4: ". . . each time you fully discharge a lead/acid battery you have just killed 10% of it's life."
----------------------------

I live off-grid and use solar panels to charge up my bank of batteries to give me a reservoir of 12v DC electricity to run my small cabin. As such, maintaining batteries is a major part of my life in the wilderness.

With 35 years experience with daily living with battery maintenance, I can tell you that what Tom says is pretty much true. Specifically, any drop below 80% of full charge, starts eating away at the batteries longevity. And a drop down to 'dead' takes a big chunk out of battery life.

Removing the battery and taking it to an auto parts store would be a good start to see what you have. The better stores have a 'battery life' measuring device. For a few bucks they can tell you how much life is left in your battery. Then you can make an informed decision if buying a new battery is a better choice than 'fighting' a dying battery.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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The battery is shot. Get a new one.
This looks like the best option. But like said above, get it tested first.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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This looks like the best option. But like said above, get it tested first.
Why do people jump to conclusions so easily? With the info given no one can make an informed decision about the condition of your battery. There are a few things you need to check, and post results if you want any kind of informed advice. 1. Check the battery polarity AT THE BATTERY. 2. Check the battery voltage with a good VOM at the battery. 3. Check the voltage at the battery after trickle charging for 24 hours. 4. After charging 24 hours, check the voltage on the battery posts, NOT the battery clamps, while attempting to crank the engine. 5. Use the VOM in current mode to check for any discharge current to see if its killing the battery. (inline with the battery) After these numbers are posted THEN pay attention to the advice you get, anything prior will be only guesses.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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Tom, post # 4: ". . . each time you fully discharge a lead/acid battery you have just killed 10% of it's life."
----------------------------

I live off-grid and use solar panels to charge up my bank of batteries to give me a reservoir of 12v DC electricity to run my small cabin. As such, maintaining batteries is a major part of my life in the wilderness.

With 35 years experience with daily living with battery maintenance, I can tell you that what Tom says is pretty much true. Specifically, any drop below 80% of full charge, starts eating away at the batteries longevity. And a drop down to 'dead' takes a big chunk out of battery life.

Removing the battery and taking it to an auto parts store would be a good start to see what you have. The better stores have a 'battery life' measuring device. For a few bucks they can tell you how much life is left in your battery. Then you can make an informed decision if buying a new battery is a better choice than 'fighting' a dying battery.
Deep discharge batteries are designed to take large swings. Auto batteries are not. A photo of my solar panels.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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Why do people jump to conclusions so easily? With the info given no one can make an informed decision about the condition of your battery. There are a few things you need to check, and post results if you want any kind of informed advice. 1. Check the battery polarity AT THE BATTERY. 2. Check the battery voltage with a good VOM at the battery. 3. Check the voltage at the battery after trickle charging for 24 hours. 4. After charging 24 hours, check the voltage on the battery posts, NOT the battery clamps, while attempting to crank the engine. 5. Use the VOM in current mode to check for any discharge current to see if its killing the battery. (inline with the battery) After these numbers are posted THEN pay attention to the advice you get, anything prior will be only guesses.
Guess it is from experience with four vehicles that use this kind of battery.(6 volt). It saves a lot of work if it is the problem. But like I pointed out, get it checked to be sure.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

What Eagle said X2.

If you take a battery in for testing, be sure to charge it up first. I would use a 6 amp charger and leave it on for a minimum of 12 hours before testing.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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What Eagle said X2.

If you take a battery in for testing, be sure to charge it up first. I would use a 6 amp charger and leave it on for a minimum of 12 hours before testing.
Yes. People jump a vehicle that's dead and drive away, thinking if they just drive it for a few miles its good to go. If a battery in a vehicle goes dead, you need to put it on a low rate charger for overnight to get that battery up to what it should be. Jumping to get you going is fine but when you get home in the evening put it on a slow charger at least overnight. A low rate charge for a longer period of time is much better than a high rate charger. I like a 2 amp motorcycle charger for 24 hours. Will bring many batteries back from the abyss. Don't get me wrong, draining a battery completely is REALLY tough on them but properly charging them when it accidentally happens is very important.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Take the battery to an auto parts store and have them check it.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Not that this wasn't checked but I didn't see mention of it. Also make sure the cells haven't gone dry or are low on fluid prior to charging.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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Originally Posted by Rob Rose View Post
Newbie here with a new-to-me Model A. Had it a few weeks. The battery was low when I got it, and I put a trickle charge on it that took several days to charge fully, then overnight the battery went dead. Zip. Too low for the trickle charge to kick on, so I got a 6 or 12 volt shomacher battery charger that is on it now, Positive on a head bolt, negative on the starter nut. The LED says it is not charging, but I'll leave it overnight and see. The battery looks recent-but i don't know.

Why would it go fully charged and then lose the charge overnight , then appear to not charge?
Nothing to do with the condition of the battery, but
What I learned 45 years ago : a battery has to be charged without been connected on the car (so not on the head bolt and starter contact)
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

why?
we charge in the car all the time
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:07 PM   #20
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why?
we charge in the car all the time
Tines 2....
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:27 PM   #21
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why?
we charge in the car all the time
Very complicated matter.
You do not charge a rechargeable flashlight with the light on
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:38 PM   #22
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Very complicated matter.
You do not charge a rechargeable flashlight with the light on
True, but everything is turned off when recharging the Model A battery.
I can see your idea is needed if the car has a short that keeps draining the battery.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:43 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

I don't think we charge batterys in the car with the headlights on....

I charge modern car batterys everyday in the car... most have parasitic draws
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:06 PM   #24
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....

I charge modern car batterys everyday in the car... most have parasitic draws
Everyone does what he wants, but it's not the way to do it.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:20 PM   #25
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Everyone does what he wants, but it's not the way to do it.


Why not?
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
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[/COLOR]

Why not?
Alternators in modern cars (or generators in old cars) are calculated on charging a battery in a certain car. Battery chargers are for general use and they can give pulses that are not so good for ecu in your modern car. Charging a connected battery in a Ford A can do some weard things also. (many users of this forum can't even understand why you can measure 6v on some places when teh key is in the off position...)
Again too difficult to explain especially in another language. I refer to electronic stuff forums.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:49 PM   #27
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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[/COLOR]

Why not?
Actually Bob, there are several reasons to remove the battery from the car to charge, not least of which is the connection between the charger and the battery are not compromised by any corrosion that could be between the terminals and the post, but also while charging a lead acid battery there are vapors/sulfuric acid fumes that emit from the battery that can eventually eat the paint, primer, and metal beneath that, as well as the upholstery.

So, take the battery out, place it on a couple pieces of wood, hook up the charger and let it run over night.

BTW, NO SMOKING around a charging battery !!!
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:25 PM   #28
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Actually Bob, there are several reasons to remove the battery from the car to charge, not least of which is the connection between the charger and the battery are not compromised by any corrosion that could be between the terminals and the post, but also while charging a lead acid battery there are vapors/sulfuric acid fumes that emit from the battery that can eventually eat the paint, primer, and metal beneath that, as well as the upholstery.

So, take the battery out, place it on a couple pieces of wood, hook up the charger and let it run over night.

BTW, NO SMOKING around a charging battery !!!
And this isn't happening when the alternator or generator is charging it
in the car?

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Old 11-22-2016, 04:26 PM   #29
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And this isn't happening when the alternator or generator is charging it
in the car?

Bob
Yes it is...
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:46 PM   #30
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

I always keep the tops of my battery's wiped down and clean to minimize dirt tracking between post. And always jump a battery with cables connected to the positive post on both battery's and the negative connected to the good battery post and ground it on the block or? in order to not spark near the fumes on the dead battery. But I never disconnect anything when I am charging with a charger. I guess at 70 years old, I have been charging my battery's all wrong after all these years. . Go figure. Now I am going to use my mig welder and cook a turkey
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:55 PM   #31
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

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And this isn't happening when the alternator or generator is charging it
in the car?

Bob
Yes it is Bob, THAT is why the under side of your battery mount is all but destroyed and the battery "box" is in disrepair. It is just not as much as when you hook up a charger, and also only as your motor revs the amount of charge changes where the charger is going to try to boil a charge into the battery for as long as it is hooked up.

zzlegend, I'll be right over and share my recipe for stuffing for that bird since I believe that mig welder is the only way to cook it!
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:03 PM   #32
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Yes it is Bob, THAT is why the under side of your battery mount is all but destroyed and the battery "box" is in disrepair. It is just not as much as when you hook up a charger, and also only as your motor revs the amount of charge changes where the charger is going to try to boil a charge into the battery for as long as it is hooked up.

zzlegend, I'll be right over and share my recipe for stuffing for that bird since I believe that mig welder is the only way to cook it!
Farm out......................Cant wait to see that recipe. And my bird will be happy.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:23 PM   #33
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Just for kicks is there any chance you have a BATTERY SWITCH? If so, and its off, NO amount of time on the charger will help the battery.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:25 PM   #34
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Actually Bob, there are several reasons to remove the battery from the car to charge, not least of which is the connection between the charger and the battery are not compromised by any corrosion that could be between the terminals and the post, but also while charging a lead acid battery there are vapors/sulfuric acid fumes that emit from the battery that can eventually eat the paint, primer, and metal beneath that, as well as the upholstery.

So, take the battery out, place it on a couple pieces of wood, hook up the charger and let it run over night.

BTW, NO SMOKING around a charging battery !!!
Why put it on wood?
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:35 PM   #35
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

for some reason years ago the battery case used to be made out of a very dense porous material. nothing could leak out but setting it on concrete will drain a battery. Also when storing a battery dont leave them directly on concrete or they will be alot faster than using a chunk of wood as an insulator.

im not sure if thats true with modern batteries or not but how hard is it to throw a 2x4 or something under the battery?

I always clamp the charger leads right on the terminals of the battery without disconnecting everything. never had a problem. if possible i charge the battery in the car just because its easier. Now if i had a buick or air cooled VW i would remove it from the car so the interior doesnt fill up with ozone or if sparks happen it doesnt ruin the interior...

only time i remove it is when the car isnt near an outlet...
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:42 PM   #36
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Well, since concrete never dries, and water is a great conductor, it gets around to the same theory as being able to now charge your smarter phone without plugging into the charger, just laying it on the pad allows energy to transfer from pad to battery. Even with asphalt this convection can remove some of the charge, not as much as concrete, but still draw from the battery even through the plastic of the battery insulates the bottom. Since air is a decent insulator and wood is a poor conductor, placing on the wood just helps get and keep the charge in the battery.
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'31 SW Town Sedan
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'42 Super Deluxe 4door Sedan

"If it don't fit, get a bigger hammer.
If it breaks...... ya needed a new one anyway!!"

Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:46 PM   #37
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Well, since concrete never dries, and water is a great conductor, it gets around to the same theory as being able to now charge your smarter phone without plugging into the charger, just laying it on the pad allows energy to transfer from pad to battery. Even with asphalt this convection can remove some of the charge, not as much as concrete, but still draw from the battery even through the plastic of the battery insulates the bottom. Since air is a decent insulator and wood is a poor conductor, placing on the wood just helps get and keep the charge in the battery.
yea, anything placed directly on concrete and the temp fluctuates in the night (like fall and spring) you lift it up in the morning and its soaking wet underneath.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:48 PM   #38
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Correct slug the old school battery cases were a cause for concern when storing etc.. as far as modern batterys putting them on wood to prevent discharging is a MYTH.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:35 PM   #39
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

We store the farm batteries on wood in the shop as the concrete floor can get way below freezing which does not do an idle battery any good at all.

But back to the original discussion: deep discharge of a lead acid battery results in the formation of a sulphide (or is it sulphate?) coating on the plates. My memory is dim as it is fifty plus years since I looked after banks of lead acid cells used as uninterruptable power supplies in telephone exchanges and railway signalling. I seem to remember that we used an 'over the top' charging current to blow the crap off the plates. The downside being that the crap would sink to the bottom of the cells eventually shorting out the plates. By the way, this is why overly high charging caused by mis-adjusting the third brush on a Model A generator is a bad thing.

Hope this makes sense and my memory is not too befuddled by so many years of home made wine.
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:27 AM   #40
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Mitch, when i warned my nephew that there was a 'be sure to put the battery on wood and never on concrete else the electricity will leak out' cult out there, he was incredulous. I alerted him just before he went off to restoration college in KS. I did not want him to laugh right in a customer's face.
Of course eventually he did encounter such a person and he couldn't help it, he died laughing.

as far as removing batteries from cars to charge them, next we will be told to remove a gas tank from a car before we fill up, and remove the radiator before we fill it

guess we have been doing things wrong for so many years.

It will take a thorough education in physics and electrical theory, and not heresay, myth, and rumor to counteract these misconceptions.

However, in the end, it is your car, so charge it anyway you wish
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:40 AM   #41
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

I only recommend removing the battery from the car because the amount of vapor being boiled out of the battery using a charger 24hours is going to be enough to possibly start deterioration of the surrounding area, possibly the front of the beautifully reupholstered front seat, and the higher the charge rate, the more vapor.

Only a precaution, not an absolute necessity.

J.C.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:18 AM   #42
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Rose View Post
Newbie here with a new-to-me Model A. Had it a few weeks. The battery was low when I got it, and I put a trickle charge on it that took several days to charge fully, then overnight the battery went dead. Zip. Too low for the trickle charge to kick on, so I got a 6 or 12 volt shomacher battery charger that is on it now, Positive on a head bolt, negative on the starter nut. The LED says it is not charging, but I'll leave it overnight and see. The battery looks recent-but i don't know.

Why would it go fully charged and then lose the charge overnight , then appear to not charge?
Sounds like you have voltage draw when the car is off. Does it have an alternator? A common source of a draw when off. Another is a sticking generator cutout which is a big draw. Get a new battery they are junk cheap to buy and don't last long.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:28 AM   #43
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

common causes of acid residue creating havoc is:
Overfilling the cells
Overcharging
Battery post to case leakage (not sealed) / case crack
Smart chargers are readily available and used now in our modern society to eliminate the overcharging / boiling the cell issue.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:44 AM   #44
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Default Re: 1931 Model A Battery Charge Issue

Disconnect the battery after it's fully charged and check it the next day to see if it lost current. If dead again I would suspect that something is still on draining it. I had a new alternator that would drain a battery overnight and it was just a tiny current drain. You didn't say if you had an alternator or generator, if an alternator it may have a bad diode.
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