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Subject: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.

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Kimberly    Posted 03-16-2019 at 18:57:53 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • I got a temporary reprieve on the battery by lightly smacking it on the ground. I charged it and put it back in the Old Girl and while the engine turned over nicely, it wouldn't start. I pulled a plug wire, stuck an old plug in but no sparkies. Dang, I thought, I am going to have to get points and condenser. Then a thought came to me. We have been getting rain like no tomorrow. Everything is damp. It occurred to me moisture had accumulated under the distributor cap and on the points even though the tractor has been in the shed. I popped the distributor cap off, remove the rotor and dust shield, and put a hair dryer on high and let it blow on the caps and points for a good bit of time. Put the dust shield back, rotor, distributor cap and the old girl started right up. This occurred to me because I had an old AMC once with an electronic ignition module that hated damp foggy mornings. I use to have to blow hot hair on the module to dry it off before I could start the car. Sometimes it is little things; glad I didn't go putting points and condenser in.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 03-18-2019 at 09:18:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • Be Careful. A friend recently had the entire top blow off an old starting battery. He was disconnecting the charger when the battery exploded. Battery acid splattered everywhere. The battery top hit him in the face. His safety glasses and hat ended up on the other side of the garage. The rest of the battery case was mostly intact but cracked and leaking so he set that outside, then went and changed clothes. He dissolved some baking soda in a spray bottle and was spraying the area to neutralize acid when his headache got so bad he decided to go to the doctor. His doctor was stunned that he has no flash burns or chemical burns. The battery top must have shielded his face and neck as it was clobbering him. His only injury was a small cut on one eyebrow. The headache may be concussion or from the flash. The doctor told him to avoid bright lights and sunlight for a few days. It is very fortunate that he only lost a battery and a set of work clothes.

    Kimberly    Posted 03-18-2019 at 11:57:37 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • I am glad your friend is OK after this accident. Batteries can explode for several reasons. For one, always remember that lead-acid batteries produce hydrogen gas when they are being charged. No smoking around them, no sparks of any kind. Turn off your charger before disconnection the leads. I had to replace my old charger due to a bad transformer; I would like to repair it if I could find a transformer for it. My old charger had an on off switch plus a timer. My new one doesn't have an on off switch so I have to unplug it to turn it on and off. Shorts in batteries can cause a large amount of current flow that can cause a battery to explode. I remember reading some BS about how a high school girl had develop a method for charging lithium cells in minutes. I thought, yeah, a high school girl had develop a method that the phD electrical engineers couldn't. Yes, you can charge any battery in minutes by pushing a large amount of current through them but you risk the battery overheating and exploding.

    Farmer Dan    Posted 03-17-2019 at 13:20:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • pour the acid out of your old battery and save it. Rinse the cells out good with a garden hose. When they are nice and clean put the acid back in and slowly charge it. Will buy you a little more time but I still think you need to stop playing with it and buy a new one.

    Kimberly    Posted 03-17-2019 at 22:32:56 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • Yes, I intend to, that battery is very old; I don't want to get stuck down in the little valley or the woods. I am going to have to wait though as I have spent too much money lately. I am self employed so I don't have a fixed income.

    49er swGA    Posted 03-17-2019 at 13:33:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • I hadn`t heard of this trick Farmer Dan...
    reckon it`ll work on one what has a bad cell??
    I have several in a stack for the recycler but will give this a shot to see IF...
    I might resurrect one or two for use...
    Thanks Dan

    Kimberly    Posted 03-17-2019 at 22:37:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • I don't know about the trick; I guess the idea is to wash out the crap. My battery was reading a bit over 4 volts which meant a shorted cell. There is a small space at the bottom of the cells and sometimes the sulphate craps builds up and shorts the cells out; or something like that. Since the battery was bad; lightly bumping it on the ground was not going to hurt. However, I know the battery is at end of life.

    However, I just wanted to point out that with all the rains some of us have been having, moisture can creep inside the distributor cap keeping one from having a good hot spark.

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 03-17-2019 at 13:40:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • As a battery ages, lead sheds off of the plates and collects in the bottom of the battery. This eventually causes a short between plates and you have a bad cell. By bumping the battery you dislodged some of this soft lead deposit.

    What Dan is suggesting removes that lead deposit. However the capacity of the battery will likely be diminished due to the loss of plate surface.

    I've never attempted to do this.

    Be careful! Sulfuric Acid is dangerous.

    jimmyjack    Posted 03-17-2019 at 16:56:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: The Old Girl Wouldn't Start.
  • It sounds like you will need a new battery. Why screw around with something that could hurt you or most likely some of your clothes, jeans, jackets, etc. It isnt worth the hassle. It that was a reasonable cure, everyone would be doing it.

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