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Unread 04-11-2008, 02:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

So I think that I will build my own from the information that is on the web.
The one that was built here at work was for 12V batteries and I am not sure if that will work on my 6's. I think it will be good to have anyways. I will post when I get it built and if it works. It looks like the Minn Kota is available at Walmart but, I don't see it on the site so I will have to stop by there.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 10:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

My 1985 Club Car's Trojan 6V batteries (3yrs old?) have been getting less amp/hrs over the past few months (can only drive for about 30 minutes then cart starts going slower and slower. The battery tester I have says they are weak, not bad.

So I bought some EDTA on Ebay, 2 pounds at $15 a pound and decided to try and revive 3 of them. I also bought a 36V desulfator from for $78, which has yet to arrive. I bought 3 2.5gal containers of distilled water from the local supermarket for $12. I also bought some new sulfuric acid at Autozone ($4 per qt. 3 of these). So all totaled about $39 for the EDTA process for 3+ batteries (a lot less than buying new batteries).

The process: I dumped the sulfuric acid from the batteries. It looked like rusty colored water into a low wide storage bin. I put the cloudy old acid in empty winshield washer bottles with a funnel. Then, I mixed 4 tablespoons of EDTA to 2 qts of distilled water in a plastic pitcher (ratio is 2 tbsp per qt of water) and poured it into each cell of the batteries. It started fizzing like the batteries were on a charger, but they were not. I left them in the sun for the rest of the day/night with the caps just on top of the cells, but not tightened down (heat helps the process). The next morning, they cells were no longer fizzing. Again, I dumped out the solution (more cloudy water, but not as red, more beige-brown colored). This water is not acidic, so I discarded it.

Next, I filled each battery with new acid from autozone (1/3 of a container per cell), then I mixed 1 tbsp of EDTA with a qt of distilled water and divided that between each of the 3 cells. This is a preventative weak solution and will continue the desulfation process and will not harm the batteries continued function.

Back to the old acid. After sitting all night, the deposits in the old acid sunk to the bottom, so it was reasonably clear on top. I poured off the cleanest part of the acid and added that back to the battery in each cell until it was topped off. Then I put the caps back on the batteries and gave them a good wash off with water and put them back in the cart. I connected the cart to the charger and started the charging cycle. This is where I am right now (waiting for the cart to charge). I will let you know how this process went. I still have 3 more batteries to do, but this process took the better part of 2 mornings to complete.

I figure the 36V desulfator will keep the batteries working like new since they have been cleaned (I don't want to do this process again, it's not that fun), but I have yet to see if this works. I also need to go to Walmart and get a hydrometer for a $1 to check and see if the Specific Gravity of the batteries is ok. I might have to add more acid.

A FEW NOTES: It's messy, you are working with hazzardous chemicals, and heavy, bulky batteries. Definately wear rubber boots, gloves, and eye protection and dirty clothes that you don't care about getting holes in, because the acid will eat holes in your clothes if it splashes. Keep a garden hose near by too in case you need to wash your hands or anything that gets acid on it. I would also do this on an area of grass you don't mind killing. If you do it on concrete it will etch your concrete. A&H Baking Soda is another item to keep handy in case you need to neutralize some acid. It takes at least 1-2 pounds of Baking Soda, to neutralize 1 pint of battery acid. If you intend of disposing the battery acid, take it to a hazzardous recycling center or an auto garage. Reusing as much of the old acid as you can is your best bet.

Do NOT use tap water in this process. The tap water will make a gray sludge that will float to the top of the batteries in the EDTA solution due to the impurities and the impurities could short out the plates.

I'll post my results here.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

Nice, Keep us posted. I'm always interested in this kind of thing. As long as your not dumping the acid on the ground and finding a recylcer thats cool.
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Unread 06-24-2008, 07:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

The batteries are now reporting as charged 100%. I was having an "aw crap" moment there for most of yesterday. I was charging the batteries and my charger was reporting an abnormal charge cycle (I have a Tennent Floor Buffer 36V charger for my cart, it's completely automatic with extra leds for charging information). I thought I ruined the batteries I took 2 days to refurbish. Well, after 3-4 charging cycles, all the leds on the charger are green and report 100% charged.

I am going to run the cart today and see if I get more than 30 minutes out of it (the car used to run for several days before needing a recharge). I'll post my results here. Remember, I only refubished half of the batteries, so it shouldn't be totally fixed until I do the other 3 and get the desulfator on the cart. I still have to get the hydrometer too.
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Unread 06-25-2008, 07:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

Saw a device that's supposed to "desulfate" lead-acid batteries. Check out Appears to be expensive but maybe not if it works! For 48V system (6- 8V batteries) the device is almost $200, the price of two new Trojan batteries.
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Unread 06-25-2008, 08:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild has a 48V desulfator for only $89.99. Here is the link...
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Unread 06-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

My cart took a full charge and is running now. It is still loosing its charge after 30 minutes, but I had double the load in it this time and it didn't get as slow as it has been. I had my wife and 2 kids in the cart and it still made it up our sloped driveway when we were done. I am suspecting that the remaining 3 batteries are still loosing charge pretty fast which is affecting overall cart performance. I will do the remaining 3 batteries this weekend and see what the overall result of the work is. The desulfator will be here this weekend too, so I will put that on as well. More info to come.
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Unread 06-25-2008, 08:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

Try the battery equalizer stuff. I've bought 6 32 oz bottle so far. Stuff is great. No doubt in my mind the stuff works.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 09:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild

Well, this process didn't work as good as I hoped it would. I checked the Specific Gravity on the batteries I fixed and it is low. I think that the most important thing to do is when you are filling the batteries, fill them with new acid. A 6-volt battery needs more than a quart of acid per cell. So that is $16 per battery of acid. When you add this to the cost of the edta, distilled water, your time, etc. It brings it to over $50 per battery. It's $99 per new battery at batteries plus for their Werker Golf Cart battery. In my opinion, that would probably be the best option. However, the remaining 3 batteries that I didn't fix, seem to be working much better with the pulse desulfator I bought. In fact, I think those 3 batteries are the only thing keeping the cart running and they are working much better. So get new batteries or keep your old batteries and get the desulfator and within a couple of months with the desulfator you will see an improvement in charge and power.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: Battery Rebuild


To breathe new life into your lead acid battery you will need to first purchase the chemical
Magnesium Sulfate.
You won't find it on the shelf of a store if you are looking for magnesium sulfate but you will find it on the shelf of almost every department store and pharmacy if you are looking for EPSOM SALT and it’s only a few dollars!
To recondition your lead acid battery you will need Epsom Salt, and a quart of distilled water.
Warm up the water to about 150 degrees (very hot but not boiling). The temperature doesn't need to be exact and will still work
even if the water is at room temperature, it just won't work as well. Mix 14 heaping table spoons full of Epsom Salt into the water and stir until most or all is dissolved. Most batteries will be low on fluid so adding this solution will not over flow the battery. If not, remove enough electrolyte in the battery to allow this mixture to be added. I have used a turkey baster to remove some liquid out of each cell equally. If they are totally dry , you may not be able to save the battery because the lead plates are most likely ruined. But still worth trying.
Then simply pour this warm solution into your battery where you would normally put water to maintain the acid levels. Do not attempt to put Epsom Salt directly into your battery because it will not dissolve into the battery acid, only water will dissolve Epsom Salt. It is only recommended to add 3/4 quart of solution to an average size battery. After adding the solution it is recommended to put the
caps back on and shake the battery a bit to mix all the chemicals. Place on charger for minimum of 14 hours. It will improve the performance after this first charge, however it takes about a week to fully remove sulfates and optimize the battery capacity. Each time you use and recharge the battery will get closer to original condition.

If you take a battery Hydrometer reading before and after this procedure , you should see a noticeable improvement. This is the best way to measure results.
TIP: For Golf Cart charging I usually use a auto style charger rather than the cart charger. Thisallows individual battery charging (or 2 if you use in 12V mode and go across 2 batteries) You do not have to remove the interconnecting cables on the cart batteries. I do this because most modern automatic chargers will not turn on unless they sense the 36V charge to begin with , so if you have several bad cells or batteries the cart type charger may never turn on. This is not a requirement just a tip. (See dia very bottom of procedure.)

Some batteries have caps that come off the top to maintain the acid levels easily but Low
Maintenance batteries require a bit more work to recondition. A low maintenance battery has its
top sealed shut to prevent evaporation but it also prevents easy reconditioning. These batteries
can still be reconditioned but you will have to look for the "shadow" marks on the top plastic
that shows the holes into the cells. Simply drill holes in the plastic to get access to the cells
then pour in your warm solution. You will then want to plug these holes with plastic hole caps
that can be found at most hardware stores. When purchasing a new battery it is recommended
to look for the batteries that you can easily maintain in the future. It is also recommended to
purchase a small solar charger to keep your unused batteries charged over the winter to
prevent this problem from happening in the future. This method works most of the time but not
all the time. It depends on how bad the cells are decayed. If left dead for long periods the cell plates can rust and/or short out. These will not be helped by this procedure. This process can also only be done 3
to 5 times before the cells are worn out.


Links to information regarding De-Sulfation, EDTA and Battery maintenance EDTA source

"Dissolving Sulfation with Distilled Water - Empty the electrolyte from each cell, and in its place
put distilled water. Allow to stand for an hour or so, then put it on a slow charge of about 4 amps.
The sulfate crystals will gradually dissolve (they are more soluble in pure water than acid/water)
and turn into euphoric acid. A combination of battery charging and chemical reaction will cause a
rise in temperature within the battery. If it reaches 45° - 50°C turn the charger off and let the battery
cool down."
"Keep the slow charge going while the 'specific gravity' reading is increasing. If the specific gravity
goes over the normal figure of about 1.300 it means someone has added acid to the battery. The best
move then is to tip it all out and start again with fresh distilled water. When the specific gravity
reading stabilizes tip it out, then refill each cell with a fresh acid solution, then run the battery
through two or three charge/discharge cycles and check your specific gravity reading."

Some other formulas with ingredients a bit harder to come by but will enhance performance:

Power Additive No1 - Sodium Sulfate (salt cake) 15 parts, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) 10
parts, and Magnesium Oxide (Calcined Magnesia) 5 parts. Mix all together (by stirring), then add 2
heaped teaspoonfuls to each battery cell. It may be necessary to repeat this treatment 4-6 months
Power Additive No2 - Aluminum Sulfate (also known as alum cake, papermakers alum and pearl
alum) 88 parts, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) 4 parts, and Cadmium Sulfate 1 part. Dissolve
the Epsom Salts and cadmium sulfate in water. Then add the aluminum sulfate. Use only enough
water to make a smooth concentrated solution. Use 3 teaspoonfuls every six months.

Battery Testing with Hydrometer

Battery Testing can be done in more than one way. The most popular is measurement of specific gravity and battery voltage. To measure specific gravity buy a temperature compensating hydrometer at an auto parts store. To measure voltage, use a digital D.C. Voltmeter.

You must first have the battery fully charged. The surface charge must be removed before testing. If the battery has been setting at least several hours (I prefer at least 12 hours) you may begin testing. To remove surface charge the battery must experience a load of 20 amps for 3 plus minutes. Turning on the headlights (high beam) will do the trick. After turning off the lights you are ready to test the battery.
State of Charge Specific Gravity Voltage - 12V Voltage - 6V
100% 1.265 12.7 6.3
75% 1.225 12.4 6.2
50% 1.190 12.2 6.1
25% 1.155 12.0 6.0
Discharged 1.120 11.90 6.0
*Sulfation of Batteries starts when specific gravity falls below 1.225 or voltage measures less than 12.4 (12v Battery) or 6.2 (6 volt battery). Sulfation hardens the battery plates reducing and eventually destroying the ability of the battery to generate Volts and Amps.

Please email me with any questions. I believe I have offered this information at a fair price and want it to work for you. I will give advice and answer questions as needed. Thanks Again and Good Luck. Hope this saves you money like it has for me. Rich

· I left my car unattended for a few months and now my charger would not come online. I have a newer model charger: Total Charger, Powerwise, Lestronic II, or Accu-Charge.
Most modern golf cars have a kill switch or a “Tow/Maintenance” switch inside the battery compartment. If you did not flip this switch to the “TOW” or “OFF” position, the car’s batteries will be drained at a rate of about 1 millivolt per day due to the controller’s need for slight power. After a few weeks the batteries will become weak or dead. The newer electronic chargers must sense a certain amount of voltage in the batteries for the charger to come online. If the charger does not come on, the batteries are below the critical level of voltage the charger is trying to sense.
To remedy this problem, charge two adjacent batteries together in a series with a 12-volt auto-style charger. (SEE DIA BELOW) You will need to do this 3 times; once for each of the three sets of two batteries. Once the critical voltage level is reached, use the normal charger and charge as usual. For 8-volt batteries use a 10 minute charge per battery using a low amp 12-volt auto-style charger. Connect the leads before you turn on the charger and only charge each battery for 10 minutes max. Once the critical voltage is achieved, the normal charger will come on to charge.

· How old are the batteries of my car?
The battery codes will differ with the manufacturer, but only slightly. Below is the most commonly used date code system. The code will either be stamped into the battery posts or applied to the top of the battery with a sticker.
Battery Code Examples
A=Jan 8=1998
B=Feb 9=1999
C=Mar 0=2000
D=Apr 1=2001
So a code of G1 would mean the battery was manufactured in July of 2001.
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