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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to send my thanks to all those who responded to my query about melted
battery posts.

My conclusions are as follows:

- I have batteries that are quite capable of storing and delivering the
power I need, but have the incorrect posts, likely made simply of cast lead.
This results in a poor connection and a wide variation in quality of
connection from one post to the next. The resulting overheating easily melts
the cheap posts. These batteries should be replaced with ones that have tall
AP posts made of cast copper that is plated in tin, lead, or solder,
probably Trojan batteries.
- My cables should be replaced with careful attention to post size
difference, if any, between the positive and negative posts.
- Connections should be properly prepared and tightened. I should follow
recommended procedures make these connections and test them to insure they
are functioning correctly.

So here's my plan:

Given that I have a reservation for a Nissan Leaf that will replace this
car, I plan to source the batteries, cables, and other materials to make it
right. Then I will probably offer the car for sale with two options for the
buyer:
1. I will make the changes outlined above and sell the vehicle at full price
(probably around $10K). Note that there will be a significant lead time
while I source, order, and install the batteries and cables, or
2. You can buy it "as is" at full price minus some amount for the
recommended work. It is functional at the moment at 90 volts instead of the
designed 108 volts, but I don't plan to drive it until the battery situation
is resolved.

So if you know anyone who might be interested, please put them in contact
with me.

Even with this problem, this has been a great vehicle for me. I've put
around 3,000 miles on it in over a year using it mostly as my daily
commuter. I hate to see it go.

You can see more detail at the wesites I listed previously:
http://home.windstream.net/relytgerg/ecoescort.html and
http://www.evalbum.com/2695

I hope to update these shortly with the new sale offer as soon as I can
determine the cost of replacement batteries and cables.

Thanks again.

Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Greg Tyler
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 1:45 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [EVDL] Melted battery posts

With the eco-escort (details below) I am experiencing melted battery posts.
The first time it I found one, I thought it was actually a broken battery
post from cable strain that then melted due to sparking at the now loose
connection, but I've since concluded that the posts are somehow being
overheated and melting.



I've had 4 now. It's always a negative post. It can be anywhere in the pack.
It does not appear to be related to the quality of the cable connection. My
theory is that this is happening either during charging, or during use. I
use the vehicle to commute approximately 12 miles (one way) to work.
Although range is sufficient for a round trip, I usually charge at work and
at home. I do drive over some hills, so much of the time I am going full
throttle. In fact, I'd say that most of the time I am either full throttle,
or coasting.



My plan for testing is to drive the car (with a smaller traction pack now)
under these conditions and test for heat at the batter posts both right
after driving and during charging.



Does this seem like a reasonable testing plan?



Does anyone have any experience or insight that would point to one cause or
the other?



Thanks.



Greg



Components:

Motor: ADC 9" FB1-4001A

Controller: 750 amp Logisystems 120AFX

Batteries: John Deere OEM version of Exide E-3600

Charger: Russco SC 18-120 SO - this was purchased around 2003



More detail can be found at
http://home.windstream.net/relytgerg/ecoescort.html and
http://www.evalbum.com/2695

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70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Greg,

Your batteries aren't the best for the application, but I don't think that's
the cause of your post-melting problem.

The fact that it's always a negative post which melts is a dead giveaway.
My guess is that all you really need to do is put the proper size clamps on
the negative cables. They're probably positive-size clamps and don't make
good contact.

You'll also want to repair or replace the damaged batteries. If you haven't
let them sit for a long time while discharged (which would cause sulfation),
a good battery shop can cast new terminals onto the "stumps" and make them
usable again.

I'd hate to see you give up on an EV for something as minor as this.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greg Tyler wrote:

> - I have batteries that are quite capable of storing and
> delivering the power I need, but have the incorrect posts,
> likely made simply of cast lead.

I hate to break it to you, but if you are using flooded golf car batteries, then your only choice is terminals made entirely/simply of cast lead.

You can certainly choose a terminal style that is more or less suited to your particular cables and to on-road EV use generally, but they're all lead. The only batteries I've seen with anything but have been sealed batteries, and even then you're likely to get plain lead terminals unless the batteries you choose have threaded insert style terminals.

> This results in a poor connection and a wide variation in
> quality of connection from one post to the next. The
> resulting overheating easily melts the cheap posts. These
> batteries should be replaced with ones that have tall AP
> posts made of cast copper that is plated in tin, lead, or
> solder, probably Trojan batteries.

I had the pleasure of touring a Trojan golf car battery manufacturing line recently, and I assure you that the terminals are of simple lead, cast in-house.

Cheers,

Roger.

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