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Battery venting acid

Old 06-11-2005, 08:17 AM
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Battery venting acid

I have noticed the last couple of times after driving my truck I can hear the battery on the right side venting. When I check it, it always has a little acid that has vented onto the A/C line and into the battery tray. I wash it out, but it is there the next time I drive it. I have made a splash shield to protect the A/C line, but what is causing this? The left side does not do it. They are maintenance free batteries, and I know, if I had Optimas, it wouldn't do it. Yea, and that would be about 340 bucks too.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Chris
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:10 PM
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That's the reason I run Optimas. Don't know where you got the the $340 price, they are easily availible for $99 - $120 each
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:48 PM
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What he said.... The future holds a few possible results from running acid batteries with the boil over. A battery can blow up, makes a mess, your front fenders will have the paint trashed, it likes to run down the outside of the fenders.

I never found any way of stopping the overcharge boiling. Even to going to a seperate regulator. When the left side starts it takes out your cruise control fittings and the preheat solonoids, trashes the paint to the metal on the inner fender, generally makes a rear mess.

Optima cures all that.
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:45 PM
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Check to see what it's charging. If over 14.7 volts, I think, you are essntially cooking the battery. This happened in my BMW. I didn't realize it when I smelled something that was like potatoes cooking, but that was the battery being fried by the alternator.
I ordered a regulator and that fixed the problem. I did have to replace the battery soon after, though.
I do not know if you can get just a regulator for our Dodges. You may have to replace the entire alternator.

Chris
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:21 AM
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Well, I think I figured out what was going on. I checked the voltage on the two batteries. They were 13.2, with the truck off. It is about 13.8-14 with it running. I have a new alternator on it already.
The truck had been sitting for about two weeks with me only starting it enough to move it in and out of the shop, so one of the batteries may have gotten a little weak and then that resulted in the other one getting overcharged a little. Both are less than a year old. I went on a 300 mile trip yesterday and it did not vent acid at all. I did make a splash shield out of rubber before going. It looks pretty good and will protect most all of the sensitive pieces surrounding the batteries. I will probably look at getting a gel cell battery, but right now, I just ordered 4 Bilstein shocks to install, so I have to get over that expense. I only have a limited budget I can work with per month.

What is the difference in the gel cells? I see that Optima has a New Red top (119) a classic red (109), a yellow (149) and a Blue top(179). What about the NAPA gel cells?
Thanks,
Chris
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:56 PM
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Optima is an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) not a gel cell. Both are meant to give better maintenance free performance, but with slightly different approach. They try to keep the plates 100% wetted.

Optima red tops do not have the Reserve Capacity (RC) for me to run the Espar in the winter. That thing is really nice, but demands a lot of the batteries. Now the newer yellow & blue get me the RC so next battery change I may have to shoot the budget as they run close to $200 each.

I run a Optima red top in the Mommy van and really love it. Picked it up on a Summit Racing special for dirt cheap (even with shipping).

Not all AGM or gel batteries are created equal. I don't remember the brand, but it comes from New York and we had horrible results on commericalbatteries for buses.

An important thing is to check the contact points for all power cables. This means cleaning the grounds and a clean tight fit on the battery clamps.

My battery clamps were shot and I replaced them with military clamps. I cut the clamps off and crimped lugs on all the existing cables.

Above all, get the batteries load tested on a commercial system. I discovered a bad battery was causing high charge voltage. It passed many load checks, but finally failed on the big unit at Sears.

good luck
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by Fueling around
My battery clamps were shot and I replaced them with military clamps. I cut the clamps off and crimped lugs on all the existing cables.
Now don't just leave us hanging here, what about these military clamps? What makes them so good? What are they made of? Where can I get them?
I'm thinking of changing mine out on the 96, as they are near their last leg. Maybe get some welding cable, or marine battery cable too.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by Stamey
Now don't just leave us hanging here, what about these military clamps? What makes them so good? What are they made of? Where can I get them?
I'm thinking of changing mine out on the 96, as they are near their last leg. Maybe get some welding cable, or marine battery cable too.

Thanks,
Chris
I got them from NAPA under Balkamp brand for around $4 each. (Tried searching and they wouldn't come up.)
The have a bolted connection for lug (ring terminal) style cables. That's how I was able to cut off the old clamps from the factory cables and re-use them by crimping on lug style terminals. Used a nifty Greenlee cordless crimper from work, too.

From the weight, appear to be lead coated brass. Very good quality for the price.

-John
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:10 PM
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OK, thanks. I'm gonna check into them.

Chris
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