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 07-18-2018, 11:49 PM   #1
ericr
Senior Member
 
ericr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,269
Default Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Was it really a widespread practice to open up batteries back then to replace plates etc.? Seems like a whole lot of work to drain the electrolyte, then somehow open up the tar top, etc.


The literature makes it obvious they had loads of battery issues. I know the economics were vastly different in that era but still, it seems like a lot of work to fiddle with battery repair.....labor rates then must have been peanuts to justify extensive repairs.
ericr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 07:45 AM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 8,801
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Yes, it was a somewhat common occurance because of several things. Labor was cheap back then, and so was the ability for the common mechanic to actually repair something. Because the plates were the usual issue, disassembly could be done so that the sulfated and/or loose plates could be repaired by the typical repair shop and they could get another round of service from that battery.
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-19-2018, 09:39 AM   #3
40 Deluxe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: now Kuna, Idaho
Posts: 2,911
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Just to illustrate, I have a 1947 Parts and Flat Rate Manual. Shop rates were about $3 an hour. A new piston was around $10. Today shop rates are around $80-$100 and if you shop for online specials, a new piston (for a 350 Chevy or 302 Ford) is still around $10. Back then you could knurl a worn piston skirt, machine a worn top ring groove and install a spacer, and ream or hone the wrist pin bore oversize and install a new oversize pin for far less than $10.
40 Deluxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 09:49 AM   #4
ryanheacox
Senior Member
 
ryanheacox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Northwest CT
Posts: 474
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

According to the inflation calculator, $3 in 1947 would be equivalent to about $33 today. Interesting to think about.
ryanheacox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 09:54 AM   #5
Jim Mason
Senior Member
 
Jim Mason's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 808
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

$3 in 1947 is = $34 today
$10 in 1947 = $114 today
__________________
www.jmodela.coffeecup.com
Fwiw, jm.
Jim Mason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #6
BILL WILLIAMSON
Senior Member
 
BILL WILLIAMSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: FRESNO, CA
Posts: 12,558
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

40 Deluxe,
But remember, it's all RELATIVE, WAGES were CHEAP, also !
In 1959, I worked as a Journeyman, Union Mechanic at Lutz Ford, in Palo Alto, Ca, for $2.67 an HOUR!
At Jorgenson Battery, here in town, rebuilding batteries was a BIG DEAL! They'd cut the cell connectors, with Horse Hoof Trimmers, place the battery under a hooded burner to soften the tar, grab on to the cell connectors or the posts & pull each cell out. If the plates were OK, they'd replace ALL the insulator plates & put it back together. They had molds, to form new cell connectors & posts. It's DANGEROUS WORK, always a chance of an EXPLOSION!!! The shop is still in business, after 3 generations of Family ownership. They supply NEW batteries for "EVERYONE", As changes in battery designs have made them UN-REBUILDABLE, except for some SPECIALTY Batteries.
Bill Frequentcustomer
__________________
"THE ASSISTANT GURU OF STUFF"
BILL WILLIAMSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
DHZIEMAN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Sunrise Beach, Mo
Posts: 342
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post
Was it really a widespread practice to open up batteries back then to replace plates etc.? Seems like a whole lot of work to drain the electrolyte, then somehow open up the tar top, etc.


The literature makes it obvious they had loads of battery issues. I know the economics were vastly different in that era but still, it seems like a lot of work to fiddle with battery repair.....labor rates then must have been peanuts to justify extensive repairs.
Storage batteries, in the early days, were definitely repairable, if you had the tools, and had the talent to deal with Acid and a mess! My dad was a mechanic from about 1919 for most of his life to 1965! He had battery rebuilding tools and hydrometers and a battery box that said Exide on the side, and he talked about battery rebuilding, and unsoldering cells or some had screw down external bar straps between the 3 cells, that were tied together in series to generate 6.3 volts. A mechanic of the day, could actually, easily buy replacement cells and acid (1275 to 1300 spg) and rebuild a bad cell. In fact there were shorting tools to check amp output of each cell to ident the bad one! I still have a copy of Dykes Automobile Encyclopedia of the day, that was my dad's that covers "How to" on battery repairs! Good question, hope this helps with a bit of history!
DHZIEMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 10:52 AM   #8
Mike V. Florida
Senior Member
 
Mike V. Florida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 13,917
Send a message via AIM to Mike V. Florida
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

The dykes manual has step by step instructions on how to do it. https://play.google.com/store/books/...YNbg0QC&rdot=1
__________________
What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them. - Henry Ford II
Mike V. Florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2018, 11:40 AM   #9
F.M.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 267
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post
Was it really a widespread practice to open up batteries back then to replace plates etc.? Seems like a whole lot of work to drain the electrolyte, then somehow open up the tar top, etc.


The literature makes it obvious they had loads of battery issues. I know the economics were vastly different in that era but still, it seems like a lot of work to fiddle with battery repair.....labor rates then must have been peanuts to justify extensive repairs.
I cant remember how many I did back in 1965 in Da Nang Viet Nam.. I also must have re-poured 1,000s of Posts burnt off from guys not knowing how to jump a set of four 12 volt batterys in one box.. In doing so I only had one pop back at me.. To this day I still have my post molds we made in my box in the garage.. We Seabees had many big glass jugs of pure acid that had to be mixed with water before use.. The Marines not far away needed Acid Bad !! We had no Beer, They had plenty of San Maguil ?? Any way, we traded a bunch for the beer !! Hey, warm beer is still better than NO Beer !!..
F.M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 08:27 AM   #10
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,366
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

I also repoured battery posts when I was in the Army. When someone screws up connections on two large batteries making 24 volts, you can turn a battery post into a lead puddle in about 1/2 second.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 08:55 AM   #11
BILL WILLIAMSON
Senior Member
 
BILL WILLIAMSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: FRESNO, CA
Posts: 12,558
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

I DISCOVERED this, on some Lucas batteries, while load testing, from post to post, with a carbon pile tester, then checking voltage of each cell with a multi-meter, one cell would REVERSE its' POLARITY!!!----WHY? I don't know.
And, the generator would NOT CHARGE, until you put in a NEW battery!
Bill W.
__________________
"THE ASSISTANT GURU OF STUFF"
BILL WILLIAMSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 10:08 AM   #12
ldreeg
Junior Member
 
ldreeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 25
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

I've been trying to locate someone in the Dallas-Fort Worth Texas area that rebuilds old lead batteries but haven't found anybody. Anyone know if they are still doing it?
ldreeg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 10:27 AM   #13
Corley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Battle Ground WA
Posts: 262
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

If you have never had a battery explode, you have missed an important lesson. Luckily, the one I had explode was under the hood of a car, and the hood was closed. I was standing next to it when my wife hit the starter, and BOOM! The hood sort of lifted a bit, and acid was everywhere. Took the battery to Wards, where I had just bought it the day before, and they said it was not covered under warrantee, because ALL battery issues turned out to be alternator problems. I showed the manager the area where the internal connector from one cell to the other had a big arc'd area, (bad connection), and convinced him (with the help of one of there "mechanics") that it was a faulty battery. The car never really recoverred from rust issues, even with massive rinsing, and the garage floor was permanently stained a light brown. AND, I never bought another battery from Wards.
__________________
Corley
-----------------
Subscribed to the KISS principle!
Corley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 10:47 AM   #14
Sparky
Senior Member
 
Sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 602
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

When men were men and battery cases were wood:

http://www.powerstream.com/1922-FLA.htm
Sparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 10:54 AM   #15
redmodelt
Senior Member
 
redmodelt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 4,435
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

So people don't get the wrong idea; the cells were hard rubber and they sat in the wood box/case. For a 6V, you would have 3 cells the were joined together in the wood case.
__________________
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas!
redmodelt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 11:08 AM   #16
F.M.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 267
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Before you do "ANY" of the above things, drain all Acid, Flush all cells with a water hose over and over. Now put A LOT of BAKING SODA in each cell, fill with water..Let it sit a few days, tapping on the sides, the lower the better, every so often.. Drain & flush well again. Now let dry upside down for several days, For this I used a welders hood, get a torch and run it over the cell fill holes, if no BOOM, your good to go.. Fix what needs be, Fill with acid, slow charge & you have a new battery..
F.M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 02:51 PM   #17
Pete
Senior Member
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wa.
Posts: 3,385
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

A very common used car lot battery rebuild in the old days was, a teaspoonful of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) in each cell. It usually rejuvenated the battery long enough to meet the 30 by 30 warranty.
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 06:41 PM   #18
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Synchro909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,292
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

There is a place here in Melbourne where batteries are still rebuilt mostly for people looking for originality in their restoration. They are constantly in search of usable hard rubber cases.
I remember my father getting 19 years out of a rebuilt battery he bought in the late 50s. Seems recycling was done better in the "bad old days" than now.
__________________
Nobody told me rigor could start while I'm still alive.
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2018, 11:43 PM   #19
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,366
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
There is a place here in Melbourne where batteries are still rebuilt mostly for people looking for originality in their restoration. They are constantly in search of usable hard rubber cases.
I remember my father getting 19 years out of a rebuilt battery he bought in the late 50s. Seems recycling was done better in the "bad old days" than now.
You got that right!
During my high school years I kept hearing we shouldn't be a throw away society, but today it's the worst throw away society ever. Not much is made to be repaired anymore, just throw it away and buy more new junk.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2018, 01:43 AM   #20
cpf240
Senior Member
 
cpf240's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 265
Default Re: Any Lore About Battery Repair in Model "A" Days?

My grandfather used to manufacture the wooden plates that seperated the cells in batteries. I still have some of them. It has been interesting to hear my fathers stories about working in my grandfathers factory.
cpf240 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 08:25 PM.