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  • Electrical: Lead battery out gassing

    Please educate me on the subject of "out-gassing" For years I have employed a "Battery Tender' 1.1/4 trickle charger on the battery in my Avanti. Never had an issue. Today after a six month hibernation, I started the car and took her out for a bit of highway fun. When I returned to the storage garage I set up a beach chair and just relaxed before tucking her in..........I happened to notice a small stain in the Saturn plastic air strip I put on the Avanti many years ago to bring more air to the cooling system. The stain looked like the result of electrolyte that had somehow dripped down from the battery and landed on the plastic air dam. No tell-tale signs of acid spill on the bottom of the battery itself, or on any of the surrounding painted surfaces. The stain can not be removed and is etched into the plastic. So my question is..........could this be lead acid battery outclassing?............and what exactly is out-gassing? Thanks in advance for the education, and if I should purchase a new battery. Btw, I am happy to report that after six months storage, I pumped the gas three times while cranking, and she fired right up!

  • #2
    Google is your friend ! A simple question into google will give a ton of info about charging, discharging and the gasses formed.

    See the first sentence under paragraph 3 This is why you have to add water every now and again. Both the act of charging, and the heat of both charging, and discharging will deplete the water in the battery. Some of the "moisture" and gases are formed and just drips down the outsides sides of the battery. This is why the mounting area (fender or trey) is ALWAYS rotted after a coupla years..!
    https://northeastbattery.com/most-co...tery-mistakes/

    Mike

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    • #3
      If your Avanti is a '63 with a 3EE Long Style Battery, they are always weak with only about 5 or 600 CA and you are very lucky if you get 2 to 3 Years out of one.

      So unless that is a very fresh Battery, it at the very least needs more Distilled Water but likely could not Pass a Load Test.
      Starting an easy to start Engine is not a good test.

      Your Voltage Regulator may be overcharging it as well, due to stuck or dirty Points.

      The Studebaker Vendors WERE selling a Acid absorbing Battery Mat to help with the Steel Body Battery Tray rust out, but we are no longer able to get them, except maybe some remaining older stock.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 05-11-2022, 10:53 PM.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Rich I have a '64, my VR after crank stays pretty much in the middle of the gauge.

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        • #5
          With a constant 1-2 amp trickle charger will boil a battery dry and destroy it, max .75 amp should be used. There are several ways and means to maintain a battery as mentioned in some texts, fully charge before storage and regular charging in between. No use is abuse. If a battery only has periodic use the life will substantially shortened. A regularly used battery may last 5-7 years, while a stored and periodically used battery may only last 2-3 years. If a stored battery is abused by over charging it on a regular basis ie trickle charger 1-2 amps will cut its life very short. I have seen a new battery on a 2 amp trickle charger boiled dry and destroyed in 2 years. I used to inspect emergency generator systems and found many batteries boiled dry attached to a 2 amp trickle charger. I had to educate many building managers on the issue of maintaining their batteries. Many felt that their emergency was ready to go. I inspected one building and the emergency generator was new clean and with the appearance of a perfectly maintained system, trickle charger on the battery 24/7 reading 2 amps. I opened the caps on the battery and it was dry, I contacted the manager and asked him if he regularly started the generator for a test he said yes every week. I asked him to test it for me he agreed by all means, he opened the main breaker to simulate a power failure and nothing, the genset didn't even click. He said the battery was only 2 years old but he completely destroyed it by over charging.

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          • #6
            That is precisely why I use an Optima battery in all the cars that I care the most about. I use lead acid batteries in many of my cars because of economics, but I'm fully aware of the risks involved. At the first whiff of out-gassing the battery is out of here. Regardless of how effective the battery seems to be in starting the car, the damage that it will cause to the car is the overriding consideration.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by altair View Post
              With a constant 1-2 amp trickle charger will boil a battery dry and destroy it, max .75 amp should be used. There are several ways and means to maintain a battery as mentioned in some texts, fully charge before storage and regular charging in between. No use is abuse. If a battery only has periodic use the life will substantially shortened. A regularly used battery may last 5-7 years, while a stored and periodically used battery may only last 2-3 years. If a stored battery is abused by over charging it on a regular basis ie trickle charger 1-2 amps will cut its life very short. I have seen a new battery on a 2 amp trickle charger boiled dry and destroyed in 2 years. I used to inspect emergency generator systems and found many batteries boiled dry attached to a 2 amp trickle charger. I had to educate many building managers on the issue of maintaining their batteries. Many felt that their emergency was ready to go. I inspected one building and the emergency generator was new clean and with the appearance of a perfectly maintained system, trickle charger on the battery 24/7 reading 2 amps. I opened the caps on the battery and it was dry, I contacted the manager and asked him if he regularly started the generator for a test he said yes every week. I asked him to test it for me he agreed by all means, he opened the main breaker to simulate a power failure and nothing, the genset didn't even click. He said the battery was only 2 years old but he completely destroyed it by over charging.
              Forgive me, the unit I utilize (Battery Tender) goes into a "float" stage when the battery is fully charged.

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              • E. Davis
                E. Davis commented
                Editing a comment
                Me too. have used a "float" type charger for years with no battery problems. Battery in my Hawk is 11 years old and still works perfectly.

            • #8
              What Sam (Hawklover) said: I use 'battery maintainers" of various brands including a Battery Tender on all my "old" cars. The most recent battery I had to replace was 'ONLY' nine years old and my cars always have a strong battery when I want to use them.
              Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
              '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
              '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
              '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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              • #9
                I suggest using a battery ground disconnect on the negative terminal and disconnect when not using the car and have a good battery charger available for when the charge is down.

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                • #10
                  Lead acid batteries contain sulfuric acid as an electrolyte (H2SO4). It moves its hydrogen atom and sulfate anion around and magically makes electricity. If it leaks, it leaks very nasty sulfuric acid. When they "out-gas" it is hydrogen gas. This is dangerous , too (Have you heard of the Hindenburg?) H2 gas is odorless and tasteless and highly flammable. H2 is not toxic. It is one of the reasons Diesel-electric submarines need to come up for air--to vent the battery compartment so they don't blow up. The H2 gas from a car battery isn't likely to cause problems BUT I did have a battery explode once. It was quite impressive and it could certainly hurt a person. So be careful, especially when jumping a battery. Always crank it from inside the car.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Videoranger View Post
                    I suggest using a battery ground disconnect on the negative terminal and disconnect when not using the car and have a good battery charger available for when the charge is down.
                    Funny I have a service station charger and booster from 1975 (250amp boost mode).....it is a huge beast on wheels. Maybe I will leave off the Battery Tender for the year and see how long the battery will be able to crank the car to life...........if not here comes that 250 amp booster! The car does sit for at least six months per year covered in the garage.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
                      Lead acid batteries contain sulfuric acid as an electrolyte (H2SO4). It moves its hydrogen atom and sulfate anion around and magically makes electricity. If it leaks, it leaks very nasty sulfuric acid. When they "out-gas" it is hydrogen gas. This is dangerous , too (Have you heard of the Hindenburg?) H2 gas is odorless and tasteless and highly flammable. H2 is not toxic. It is one of the reasons Diesel-electric submarines need to come up for air--to vent the battery compartment so they don't blow up. The H2 gas from a car battery isn't likely to cause problems BUT I did have a battery explode once. It was quite impressive and it could certainly hurt a person. So be careful, especially when jumping a battery. Always crank it from inside the car.
                      But would H2 gas turn into a liquid state?.......there is that staining on the plastic air dam. It did not magically materialize there by nature:-)

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                      • #13
                        The hydrogen gas that outgasses includes tiny particles of sulfuric acid. That's the liquid you see on the battery.
                        Skip Lackie

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                        • #14
                          Over charging can boil the liquid in a battery a thus cause the H2SO4 to escape thru the vents in caps.

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                          • #15
                            And yet no paint damage to the inner fender paint, or the area surrounding the battery itself.

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