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Jim2
04-01-2016, 06:26 PM
It's a '98 F-150, V-6, 193K miles..

I'm hoping it's just corrosion on the battery terminals.

This happened a few months ago and I cleaned the terminals and replaced the battery. That fixed it right up.

This morning, it did the exact same thing again.

When I turned the key, it would click one time and then the power shuts off completely. At that point, all the lights go out and everything else is dead.

If I turn it off and on again, it seems to re-set something. The lights come back on and it will click (one time) again. Then everything goes dead again.

The corrosion on the terminal isn't as bad as last time, but the positive terminal was pretty bad. So I took both terminal ends off and cleaned it all up good again. (it's drying right now)

The multi meter showed the battery at 12.35 volts. I put the charger on it anyway (trickle charge)..

I think she'll start when I put everything back together, but I'm wondering if anyone knows what would cause this to happen again so fast. The battery is only a few months old.

Jim2
04-01-2016, 08:09 PM
Sure enough, she fired right up after a good cleaning... but I gotta figure out how to keep this from happening again. It's only been two months since I did this..

I would go ahead and just replace the wires, but the positive side looks like it would be tricky. ...it disappears into the loom and then the loom forks off in different directions.

The ground would be easy enough to replace, but that one doesn't get as corroded in the first place.

junk
04-01-2016, 11:06 PM
Can you just replace the positive cable end? Sometimes they unbolt from the clamp. Or even cut the cables and recrimp them into new eyelets and then a new clamp.

Make sure to keep a bottle of coke in the truck. When it don't start dump some coke on the terminals to clean the corrosion and good as new.

I've used a spray protectant especially for batteries to help keep the corrosion down. Not sure why some cars/batteries corrode so bad. My 2003 subaru's battery looks like one of those crystal kits kids play with. While my wifes 2004 stays clean.

Jim2
04-02-2016, 02:24 AM
Can you just replace the positive cable end? Sometimes they unbolt from the clamp. Or even cut the cables and recrimp them into new eyelets and then a new clamp.

Make sure to keep a bottle of coke in the truck. When it don't start dump some coke on the terminals to clean the corrosion and good as new.

I've used a spray protectant especially for batteries to help keep the corrosion down. Not sure why some cars/batteries corrode so bad. My 2003 subaru's battery looks like one of those crystal kits kids play with. While my wifes 2004 stays clean.

Yeah bro, I already replaced the clamps once. But there ain't enough slack to cut any more off the cables.. They're stretched pretty tight already..

When I put it all back together today, the ground clamp broke... but she still fired right up... I already got new clamps for both of em, and one extra to keep in the glovebox ;)

I also got the little felt washers, and a can of "battery terminal protector" too... but I'm wondering about what would cause this in the first place.

I want to find the cause, and not just treat the symptom.. you know?

The humidity around here is at least 60% on any given day. It's usually more like 70%... 50% is a rare day.. but at least I ain't on the salty side of the island...

Basically, I'm wondering if there's some little thing that would cause heat at the terminals, and cause the corrosion to happen so fast. If it's just the weather, then I'll just have to learn to deal with it ;)

Jim2
04-02-2016, 02:38 AM
Make sure to keep a bottle of coke in the truck. When it don't start dump some coke on the terminals to clean the corrosion and good as new.

Heheheheh, my neighbor said the same thing... and I know it's true... that's some old school right there.. "phosphoric acid" is the key ingredient... it works real good on the rust stains in old tubs too..

But I have a can of potion that's WAY more powerful than Coca-Cola ever was... It would probably kill you if you drank it ;)

Jim2
04-02-2016, 02:48 AM
...decades ago, I remember my grandma telling me that coca-cola will dissolve a nail if you give it enough time..

Phil V
04-02-2016, 10:10 AM
Jim, instead of using that red spray battery terminal protectant I just grease the hell of the terminals. Plain old axle grease works fine. It's one of the first things I do when I get a new vehicle (used -new to me) and I never have problems with battery terminals. I first clean all the terminals to shiny clean lead then glob some grease on the battery posts then glob some grease on the battery cable ends. Put them together and tighten them down. Then with my finger I spread the grease around on the battery terminal top to make sure there is no bare metal. I never have a problem after that and I'm talking several + years.

The only thing I can think of causing those terminals to go bad is they are micro arcing (word ?)

Henry
04-02-2016, 01:01 PM
Yeah bro, I already replaced the clamps once. But there ain't enough slack to cut any more off the cables.. They're stretched pretty tight already..

When I put it all back together today, the ground clamp broke... but she still fired right up... I already got new clamps for both of em, and one extra to keep in the glovebox ;)

I also got the little felt washers, and a can of "battery terminal protector" too... but I'm wondering about what would cause this in the first place.

I want to find the cause, and not just treat the symptom.. you know?

The humidity around here is at least 60% on any given day. It's usually more like 70%... 50% is a rare day.. but at least I ain't on the salty side of the island...

Basically, I'm wondering if there's some little thing that would cause heat at the terminals, and cause the corrosion to happen so fast. If it's just the weather, then I'll just have to learn to deal with it ;)

Good job with those felt washers and the Permatex spray.

Our vehicle batteries actually emit Hydrogen Gas which helps cause the corrosion and the felt washers help to keep that down some. Often, people apply oil to the felt washers which does aide a little more.

The other thing is over tightening the cable (shit, it ain't a lug nut) which can often create a tiny crack in the top of the case around where the post comes out.

If you were to use grease, ONLY use LITHIUM grease as it is water resistant and has other protective properties. A better battery also helps ward off more corrosion as well.

Use baking soda in water mixed well and pour it on the acid on the cables, posts and battery tray and on anything else the corrosion got onto. Next, DON'T BRUSH but rinse with water. Brushing is more for people who want the get the corrosion splattering over other things including themselves and their clothing.

NOTE: If you got DRY corrosion from a battery on your clothes blow or shake it off. If it gets wet on your clothes, you will have a hole.

Although side post batteries don't get the ugly that top posts do, they do get some crap around the threads and should be cleaned.

Henry

Jim2
04-02-2016, 08:29 PM
:thumb:

I wish I read all this before buying the "battery terminal protector" spray.. But, since I bought it, I went ahead and used it. What the heck, it was only six bucks..

The thing about using grease was interesting. I don't want to start an argument here, but I was gonna use dielectric grease.. but the instructions on the "protector" spray said to clean all grease off, so I just followed the instructions.

I figure I'll give it a chance, because the "battery terminal cleaner" (same brand) was really an impressive product! No need to brush or wipe anything, just spray it on and rinse it off. It foams up, and if you see pink in the foam, that means it found some corrosion. My positive cables were pretty ugly... After three spray and rinses, it was nicely clean. (but I did get in there and separate the wires in between each spray, where they were stuck together)

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g267/jimguitars/F%20150/20160402_134414_zpsxvuyoavc.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g267/jimguitars/F%20150/20160401_131529_zpsjfzptudq.jpg

---

So now it's a done deal. If it ever fails again, I'll post back here and let you guys know how long that stuff worked.

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g267/jimguitars/F%20150/20160402_134435_zpslhe3nrpu.jpg

Jim2
04-02-2016, 08:37 PM
...

Our vehicle batteries actually emit Hydrogen Gas which helps cause the corrosion and the felt washers help to keep that down some. Often, people apply oil to the felt washers which does aide a little more.

...

Henry

PS, I forgot to mention... I had some oil ready when I opened the pack of felt washers and it turned out they were already oiled. Thanks Henry :thumb:

Jim2
04-02-2016, 08:54 PM
....The only thing I can think of causing those terminals to go bad is they are micro arcing (word ?)

I dunno Phil.. The wires ain't exactly "new", but they don't seem to be that bad either. I'll have to try taking a close look at it tonight.

The truck has a plastic cover over the battery, but I left that thing off for years. There was time when I had to steal the battery and put it in the race truck because the race truck wasn't charging. (That's a whole separate story). Today is the first day in many years that the plastic cover is back on the battery.

I guess it can't hurt, but my leads are barely able to reach over that plastic cover.

Come to think of it, maybe it "can" hurt. The thing that Henry mentioned about cracks at the top of the battery, near the terminals, is something to consider...

Without that cover, the leads reach "but just barely".

With that cover, I had to pull them kinda tight. ...I'm sure that the positive lead is pulling on the post (at least a little bit..)

I'm gonna go back out and see if I can find some slack in that lead..

I'd rather not cut that lead back and add new wire, but maybe I'll have to.. The battery for this truck ain't cheap...

Wayne
04-04-2016, 05:15 PM
Do you know how to do a voltage drop test? If not this is one of many articles posted on the web:

http://www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_drop_testing.htm

The next time this happens you might want to go through the starting circuit doing a voltage drop test at all the connection points to narrow down your problem.

Jim2
04-04-2016, 09:24 PM
Do you know how to do a voltage drop test? If not this is one of many articles posted on the web:

http://www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_drop_testing.htm

The next time this happens you might want to go through the starting circuit doing a voltage drop test at all the connection points to narrow down your problem.

Thanks Wayne! :thumb:

I didn't know about that test.. might have to try it soon..

I only knew about the engine off/engine running test. At the battery posts, I have 12.29V with the engine off and 13.76V with the engine running.

Earlier, I mistakenly said that it was my positive cable was stretched tight. It's actually the negative cable that's stretched tight. I think I'll replace that ground cable this weekend just as a matter of course. It looks pretty easy to do.

I assume that all the cables are either original, or were properly replaced (with Motorcraft parts), before I got the truck. The people who owned it before me took real good care of it... Some years ago, I replaced both cable ends because the positive clamp broke when I was removing it. I think it was the original because it didn't look like the replacements that they sell at Napa.

I have high hopes about improving the grounds, because my windows and door locks are kinda slow too. That test you just posted will help me narrow things down a little more. Thanks again :D