One tech's experience. I remember one job, I
was fixing a cooler. All I did was clean the
dust out of the condenser. The store guy was
totally determined that I added freon, and
would not believe me when I told him what I
did. Just totally would not believe me.
I believe you. (even before I read the rest of it. )
I've saved this whole post for future reference.
I've never had an automatic battery charger. I have a one-amp charger
my 80-something-year old cousin gave me in 1966 when he stopped driving
gave me his '50 Olds.
The 50-Olds had a 6-volt battery, and I often didnt' drive it on
weekdays. The battery went dead a couple times, so I ran an extension
cord from the place I lived that year in college to a post and then to
the car, put the little charger under the hood with the cord coming out
the grill. It didn't seem to charge in the cold weather on 6-volts so I
switched it to 12 volts and ran it all winter, day and night, when I
wasn't using the car, which was almost all the time. . The circuit
breaker inside a little glass thing that looked like a neon light or
xmas tree light, would trip every 15 seconds or so, and reset 5 seconds
later. So it tripped 3 times a minute, 180 times an hour, about 4400
times a day, at least 52,000 times in the more than 4 months I did this.
and the breaker still worked fine, then and now. (though now I have to
trip it on purpose.) EVentually in the late 70's, the selenium
rectifier broke, and in this case I found another which I had to mount
outside the case. It looks like a martian child.
And I have a 10 or 12 amp charger I found alone on a sidewalk in
Brooklyn or Queens in 1972. Sort of scratched up like it was heavily
used. It didn't work -- I'm positive -- and I looked all over NYC for
a large selenium rectifier, because in those days, I thought one had to
use just the kind of rectifier originally used. Ended up leaving it in
a corner for about 5 years and when I noticed it again, it worked.
Still works today, although I think I finlly replaced the rectiifier
with a 6 2-amp or 5 3-amp diodes in parallel. Proably at least 55
years old. I did eventually replace the leads, but I kept the large
spring clips, with a + or - sign cut through the clip. .
Never had a variable charger. Would the 1-amp charger have fixed it?
Can I discharge it now and recharge it with the 1-amp, or is the extra 3
years using it a problem?
The one-amp has no built-in meter, but I could put a meter in the
circuit. When I only had the one small charger, I figured 24 hours to
charge, but later I had to get to work and I was impatient and used the
big one, which usually put in enough in 10 minutes to start the car.
(In one of my cars I accidentally put in two burglar alarms, and another
had a light on all the time somewhere.)
If you have had a battery in storage for 3 years without it ever having
been charged, its going to be sulfated beyond redemption
A fully charged battery might still be OK if left stored for six months
but if a battery is discharged and place in storage, you don't habe much
time before stage 2 sulfation sets in
If you had an over-discharged battery a one-amp charger probably would
not be able to charge it. The voltage needs to be raised high enough to
get an initial flow of current.
It is possible though that the one amp charger might have worked.
I have an old vacuum rectifier shop charger designed for charging a bank
of six volt batteries in series. Possibly a dozen or so.
I replaced the tube rectifier with a silicon diode and use it for
recovering over-discharged batteries. Probably have not used it for over
20 years though
On Fri, 12 Dec 2014 04:27:41 -0800 (PST), trader_4
That's another very good point. I had other things on my mind, and was
going to install the battery buddy no matter what. the buddy might
have lasted only 6 months, not 3 years like I said. It has a big
button with a rubber cover one pushes to reset, but I can't push it. I
think I took the rear cover off but it was filled with plastic under
that. Some day I'll try harder.
I don't wonder. The buddy failed physically, but the Priority Start
works just fine. It's only tripped about 6 times in the last 3 years,
I think every time I was listening to the radio with the engine off.
(I'm a perpetual optimist who thinks this time it will last longer, but
usually doesn't time how long it lasts.)
The battery is only needed for starting (and listening to the radio.)
Once the car is running, an old decrepit battery is as useful as a new
one. That's the advantage of an alternator over a generater, greater
output at low speeds. And I keep the battery out of the landfill for
another 5 or 7 years. (3 so far)
And as I said, once the car starts in the morning, it's never a problem
to start it during that day. It is surprising that since I installed
the PStart, it's never gone dead over night, and caused the Priority
Start to trip. That part I don't understand. With the Buddy, one of
my cars with an old battery often went dead overnight. I"d have to open
the hood and push the big black button. With this one, I would only
have to put my foot on the brake, and I can even hear the motor in the
PStart turning and then stop.
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