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Technical Battery foams up!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hot-rod dude, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. image.jpg Hi guys, hope you can help with this problem, I had a search and could not find a match. I have an old '37 Chev roadster running mostly all original components with the original 6 million volt system. It has a gutsy 6 volt Caterpillar brand battery in it. The problem is that around the battery terminals and around the starter and earth cables, it foams up ( I can't remember the correct term for this!). Even when I disconnect the battery for periods of storage, it still does it and it won't stop. The battery sometimes looks wet on top. It's even starting to corrode through the iron on the starter motor. I hope some one can steer me I the right direction with this issue. Cheers! - image.jpg image.jpg H.R.D-
  2. Clean that mess up with some baking soda and a little water (wear eye protection and gloves), spray the terminals with this stuff and keep the battery charged (and not over-charged). 3 battery protector.jpg
  3. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 700


    That looks like corrosion caused mostly by over charging, rinse it off with baking soda and water, disconect all terminals and clean then reassemble with dialectric grease, keep the terminals greased. Check generator and regulator output and repair if needed. Ralphie
  4. If you are still using the original 6 volt generator, they had a lousy little regulator which was not much chop. The charging voltage could go as high as 9 volts, resulting in boiling (hydrogen coming out), and the dreaded white caca you have there. Check your voltage (at the battery terminals) while you have that stovebolt powerhouse at about 1500 RPM.
    You may be able to fit a 3 terminal 6 volt job ( a la FJ or FX).
    A good smear of Vaseline on your nice clean terminals will keep the crud off them.
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  5. Thanks, I know it doesn't look like it ( winter hibernation) but I keep the terminals clean and have In the past sprayed terminals with some terminal protector, but it persists. Sounds like an over charging thing, with the wet battery and all. Thanks.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,218


    If my memory is correct there is a way to adjust the output of the generator by doing something with the brushes,I also thing the headlight switch also plays a part in the generator putting out more.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,908


    I'd have to agree that that is corrosion that is due possibly to over charging or to the posts being a bit loose in the case from being miss handled.
    Clean it properly as the guys suggested above and check the cables themselves to make sure that the corrosion doesn't run up inside the covering because when it is like that it often eats it's way up the cable.

    Make sure you check the voltage output as 36roadster suggested and then do some studying on exactly how you reset things to have it charge properly if it is way too high. Back in the day a lot of guys tweaked the regulator to put out 8 volts and put an 8 volt battery in cars and trucks to get the starter to spin the engine a bit faster in cold weather and that may be what was done on that one in the past and now with a 6 volt battery it is overcharging.
    loudbang and lothiandon1940 like this.
  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,114

    from Nicasio Ca

    Someone recently mentioned, I think here on the HAMB, putting some sealer around the base of the posts. I just replaced four Group 24 batteries out of an emergency radio repeater on a hilltop, and I'm keeping the old ones as they are in great shape. They were all wired together to one solar charger and all had equal voltage but two had corrosion around the posts and two did not.
  9. Ah yes! Something along the lines of a "third brush" which is adjustable and used in conjunction with the little box (which is mounted on top of the generator) to give you around 7 volts out.
  10. spooler41
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,099


    Over charging can be dangerous . Years ago I had a friend ,that had a 6V battery explode ,when a
    spark from his generator ignited the hydrogen from an over charging battery and it pretty much
    vaporized the battery. The only thing remaining was the two battery terminals hanging off the
    ends of the cables, it also blew battery acid all over the engine compartment. Not pretty at all.

    ................................... Jack
    loudbang and lothiandon1940 like this.
  11. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,724

    from Hampsha

    No smokin' round here either! ^^^
    Jet96 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  12. Jet96
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 1,001

    from WY

    These guys have steered you right on the corrosion issue, I just wanted to say- Nice Roadster!
  13. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,938


    As I recall, the stock generator on the '37 Chevy had a lever on the rear of the generator, called a 3rd brush regulator, which moved in a small arc to adjust generator output. There was also a diode on the headlight switch which came into play if the headlights were off and which prevented over charging, in case the generator output exceeded the maximum charging rate. The '37's didn't have a voltage regulator as we know it today - the volt regulator was introduced in 1938.

    Get hold of a '37 Chevrolet Shop Manual and it'll give you all the info you 'll need.
  14. Thankyou every body. I had another look at it and it's so bad, it appears that it has corroded a hole right through the cast iron body of the starter motor!!

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