Sparkfire’s Birthday

Pulling out the batteries

At 83 lbs a piece, it's always a workout.

It’s been a while since I completed some maintenance on the Spitfire.  The batteries needed some maintenance and cleaning.  I finally found the time between some other projects to tackle this long neglected job.  With the help of some beer fueled friends, I started to pull all of the batteries out of the car.  They’re not light, but they’re pretty easy to disconnect.

Corrosion underneath batteries

That ugly white powder means corrosion.

The real threat was some corrosion that was beginning to form on my battery mounts.  Apparently the battery acid that sprays out slightly during charging was shorting the batteries to the vehicle frame.  I cleaned everything up as much as possible with baking soda and water to neutralize the acid.  Luckily most of the corrosion wasn’t on the body.

Cleaning and Filling

Water, water everywhere.

We filled all of the cells with distilled water and washed the batteries with the same baking soda and water solution.   It was interesting to see the top of the batteries bubble and sizzle with the chemical reaction.  We were clearly doing something right.  We put the clean batteries back in with enthusiasm.

I also spent some time searching for a short that was draining my small 12V battery that I use to close the contactors.  I was able to determine that the DC-DC converter has something wrong with it.  There is a short inside of the unit that wasn’t there when I installed the thing.  The solution might involve opening up the unit and looking for something that has failed.  It’s going to be tough to trace.

Gas cap inlet parts ready for gluing.

All we need is glue.

While I was working on the car, I decided to finally install the electric inlet into the gas cap, where it logically belongs.  I had to run the wires and epoxy the inlet into the gas inlet.  I just need it to not pull out when I try to disconnect the unit.

I had been popping the trunk to plug in my extension cord, but it’s so much better to use gas cap.

Charging through the gas cap.

Sexy.

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