Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
Colonel
Senior Member
 
Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 230
Default Battery Acid Recharge

I have a six year old ford script repro battery that is marginal in starting the car. I have added water numerous times over the years. My hydrometer indicates the battery acid in each cell is very dilute and in the red zone. Can I add fresh battery acid to the cells and recharge? Thoughts..... Don't want to give up on the battery if possible. Don't want to have a safety problem either!
Colonel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
100IH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 893
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

The hydrometer reads specific gravity and in turn, the level of charge. Wrong to assume that it needs more acid. I'd take it to a place that makes batteries so they can remove all of the fluid and replace with new solution. then charge and load test. At least they could rebuild with new plates and fluid. Places like this are few and far apart but there is one in my neighborhood which is not much help.
100IH is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-18-2019, 05:41 PM   #3
Pete
Senior Member
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wa.
Posts: 3,409
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
I have a six year old ford script repro battery that is marginal in starting the car. I have added water numerous times over the years. My hydrometer indicates the battery acid in each cell is very dilute and in the red zone. Can I add fresh battery acid to the cells and recharge? Thoughts..... Don't want to give up on the battery if possible. Don't want to have a safety problem either!
In the past, I have drained a battery completely, flushed it with water a couple times and refilled it with new acid at 1275 sp. gr.
This battery was partially sulfated so I added a teaspoon of epsom salt to each cell also. I got another 3 months from that battery.
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 05:56 PM   #4
Patrick L.
Senior Member
 
Patrick L.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY and western Florida
Posts: 5,034
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Some of us used to do what Pete said when we were young and broke. The batteries would last for a while longer.

But, do not add acid to the water/electrolite in the battery.
Patrick L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 06:16 PM   #5
rotorwrench
Senior Member
 
rotorwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 10,002
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

When a battery is at full charge, it should have its highest specific gravity with peak acidic content. As a battery gets lower on charge state the specific gravity gets lower too. A portion of the acidic content is held in the in the spongy lead parts of the cell plates. During charging the acidic content comes back out into the electrolyte.

As a battery ages with constant discharge and charge cycles, the water will dehydrate out which will make the electrolyte more acidic in charge state until more distilled water is added. If you add electrolyte instead of water, it will eat the plates up more rapidly.

The lead plates deteriorate from acidic action as well as the added sulfation that happens over time so a battery's life depends on constant use to lower the amount of sulfation over time and careful adjustment of electrolyte so that the plates will have a relatively long life. If it's already sulfated or the plates are deteriorated, then it is close to its end of life. You can try the drain & refill but you need to be sure it is close to fully charged before you drain it. The epsom salts treatment may help the sulfation but there is no way of knowing how much. It's a fair amount of trouble to do all this and it may be beating a dead horse.
rotorwrench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 06:33 PM   #6
Joe K
Senior Member
 
Joe K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cow Hampshire
Posts: 3,270
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Battery acid about $10 a quart at Autozone.

I did a customer's sump pump battery (large but not huge) and it took about a gallon which came in a plastic bag (snip the spout, turn up and let it flow into the cells.)

New batteries are around $100, or $30 for the acid - and the hassle, and the hazard, and the possibility of failure.

Joe K
__________________
Shudda kept the horse.
Joe K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 07:43 PM   #7
Kurt in NJ
Senior Member
 
Kurt in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: on the Littlefield
Posts: 4,739
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

The problem with forcing the last little use out of a lead acid battery is that they gas a lot, and they are at higher risk of exploding
i only ever got 3 years from the script batterys, all other batterys lasted 7-16 years
Kurt in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 03:58 AM   #8
Werner
Senior Member
 
Werner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Germany, near Aachen
Posts: 381
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Colonel, in an old car-mechanis book at the 50th I read how to regenerate sulfatet batteries: You should load the Batterie with only 1/50 amperes of there capacity over 60 hours. The filling-in caps must be open, refill destilled water is nececary because the acid bubbles a little bit over this long time.



Perhaps this awakes your old Ford-batterie again. Last chance?
__________________
Beste Gruesse aus Deutschland,
Werner


Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
Hercules Wankel Rotary Engine, 1976 (Canadian version)
Werner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 10:53 AM   #9
katy
Senior Member
 
katy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2,015
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Use a desulphater?
__________________
Don't go away mad, just go away.
katy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 11:20 AM   #10
40 Deluxe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: now Kuna, Idaho
Posts: 2,943
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
I have a six year old ford script repro battery that is marginal in starting the car. I have added water numerous times over the years. My hydrometer indicates the battery acid in each cell is very dilute and in the red zone. Can I add fresh battery acid to the cells and recharge? Thoughts..... Don't want to give up on the battery if possible. Don't want to have a safety problem either!
A six volt Optima battery will fit inside your case if you desire the original look.
40 Deluxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 11:44 AM   #11
BillEbob
Senior Member
 
BillEbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 154
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
. . . This battery was partially sulfated . . .
I have heard this term but not familiar with its meaning.

Explanation?????
BillEbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 12:42 PM   #12
rotorwrench
Senior Member
 
rotorwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 10,002
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Lead acid batteries use a diluted sulfuric acid for electrolyte. As a battery sets unused, the sulfates start to build up on the plates from the separation of the water and sulfuric content (electrolyte breakdown). During a discharge such as hitting the starter motor, the sulfuric compounds vaporize a bit and go back into solution during the charge that takes place after the generator kicks in. If a battery sets unused for 30 to 50 days without discharge & charge cycles, the sulfation that builds on the cell plates only partially comes off due to a thickened state of build up on there. If it builds too much, it will short between the plates of the cell and reduce its ability to give a normal discharge and take a normal charge. Even one dead cell can kill a battery's capability to function normally.


Discharge can be just as important as a charge. Charging at a very low amperage rate as was previously mentioned can help reduce sulfation or at least soften it so that it can go back to normal discharge & charge cycles again. Batteries need to be used or they will die a quick death.
rotorwrench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2019, 10:02 AM   #13
DHZIEMAN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Sunrise Beach, Mo
Posts: 347
Default Re: Battery Acid Recharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
I have a six year old ford script repro battery that is marginal in starting the car. I have added water numerous times over the years. My hydrometer indicates the battery acid in each cell is very dilute and in the red zone. Can I add fresh battery acid to the cells and recharge? Thoughts..... Don't want to give up on the battery if possible. Don't want to have a safety problem either!
Old timers would talk about the acid going into the plates when the specific gravity was down. Charging a healthy battery would bring the acid and water back together to raise the SG to 1275! When a battery will not take a charge, it is probably sulfated. It is not a sign more acid is required. As long as there are no leaks in the battery, the acid is still there, and the measure is just showing there is a problem with charging. Sulphation is one of the causes, the others on aged batteries is breakdown of the plates and insulators. Sometimes a high charge rate (monitored carefully) on just a sulfated battery will bring it back.
DHZIEMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:00 PM.