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Old Aug 08, 2007, 11:52 AM
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dll932's Avatar
Euclid Ohio
Joined May 2005
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Lead acid battery rejuvenation?

Any of you folks have any experience with bringing back nearly dead lead acid batteries with additives like VX-6, or with "pulse" chargers?

It's a 500 pound, $1000 battery for an electric forklift, so it's worth trying a few things!
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Majortomski's Avatar
Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
Joined Aug 2000
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Fresh Acid?
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 01:35 PM
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United States, TX, Weatherford
Joined Dec 2005
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I've used an additive to clean the scale off of the plates, and brought one back from the junk heap that way; it was for a bulldozer....can't remember what the additive was, but it was not something you'd get in an auto parts store. (Gimme a break, it's been 22 years!)
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 02:15 PM
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United States, TX, Farwell
Joined Feb 2001
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The problem lies with whether any of the battery plates have collapsed onto each other. Older batteries plates usually are corroded and thin. they are easily broken or bent and make contact with other plates effectively shorting the battery out. So, if the battery is very old, it may be a lost cause.

If the problem is acid salts bridging the battery plates and shorting it out, you might have luck washing the battery out with a slightly caustic solution that will dissolve the salts. This is extremely dangerous to do without proper equipment and I would not reccomend anyone untrained try it. Some radiator shops I've visited have facilities to do this, but it is a rare service as far as I know. I've tried some additives including the one you mentioned with so-so results. In no case did the battery last very long afterwards.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 03:12 PM
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GTA, Ontario, Canada
Joined Apr 2004
827 Posts
$1000 is pretty much small potatoes for something like that. We spend more than that on fuel every month for our business.

Depending on the age, it may just need to be topped up with fresh acid. Most auto parts places do that.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 04:46 PM
Radix malorum est cupiditas
radix2's Avatar
Joined Jul 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dll932
Any of you folks have any experience with bringing back nearly dead lead acid batteries with additives like VX-6, or with "pulse" chargers?

It's a 500 pound, $1000 battery for an electric forklift, so it's worth trying a few things!

If you can make some simple measurements, you can determine the problems the battery has. Is it a 6 or 12 volt battery ?

(assuming electrolyte is at correct level/strength)

Put it on a slow charge for a few hours


what was the voltage during charging?, what current during charging? (will indicate short/open condition)
what is the open circuit voltage ? (will indicate number of cells shorted)

The posts above have described the problems of old batteries - in the case of heavy forklift type cells, the plates start out very thick and solid, so normal corrosion likely causes shorts (fixable for a while by cleaning), however, at some point, the plates will corrode and fall apart leading to an open (not fixable)
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 04:48 PM
Radix malorum est cupiditas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenda635
$1000 is pretty much small potatoes for something like that. We spend more than that on fuel every month for our business.

good point - when can he expect the new battery gift card ?
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 12:46 AM
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sometimes if you add a product called epsom salts to the battery and give it a hard charge it will clean the plates off, I have done it many times usually for a car battery about a heaped teaspoon per cell will work but if the plates are collapsed and shorted you wont fix it
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 12:14 PM
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dll932's Avatar
Euclid Ohio
Joined May 2005
306 Posts
Thanks for the advice, folks! Here's what I think we're gonna do:
I hooked up one of those "pulse" charger/desulfators, and will leave it on for a week or so. Also, we're probably gonna get some of this stuff-
http://www.duoregen.com/
or similar. What makes it different than EDTA, epsom salts or VX-6 is that won't eat the plates along with the sulfate. The science sounded pretty good. It's still cheaper than a new battery (and easier than installing one!), and if it doesn't work, well, not much lost. We have a skid jack and a regular forklift, it's just that it's a waste to have this electric "walkie" sitting there doing nothing.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 01:12 PM
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farmers use a desulfator type charger, very expensive
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