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Old 12/29/2005, 11:32 AM   #1
our special
 
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Battery boil over

Does anyone else have a problem with their battery boiling over?

Surely it can't be only ours, considering the number of patch panels I see being replaced and holes rusted ( eaten ) through under the battery tray.

I have replaced the altenator, two batteries, tried the old style voltage regulator twice and the electronic Ford replacement regulator twice. The electronic is presently on the car.

The problem is, it doesn't do it all the time, but it seems to happen more when I am doing highway driving.

It's a real nusance because I have to remove the battery every time and wash the tray, inner fender and the under side of hood when the fan blows the acid around.

I've taped paper towel around the top edge of the battery on occassion, as a tempoary fix, which stops the acid from running down the side of the battery and blowing around.

I wonder if a battery without vent caps would work?
Any suggestions?

Dave
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Old 12/29/2005, 11:59 AM   #2
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Are you using only distilled water to refill your battery?
How close to the top are you filling it?
Does it boil over leaving the same amount of water in the battery each time?
Do you have a way to determine the voltage you are putting to your battery when it boils over?
Does it only happen when your engine is at higher rpm's (highway and racing around town)

I don't have any answers, just a few questions

You may make it without friends; but with them, you can do anything.
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Old 12/29/2005, 12:16 PM   #3
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One more question.

Are you running a high-output alternator?
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Old 12/29/2005, 05:56 PM   #4
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When I just finished my car and the first show that I attended my battery boiled over. I checked the voltage regulator and it was bad. I went to another dealer and that one was bad also but I checked it out this time before I ran it. I put the old one on and it worked fine. Took the regulator back to where I purchased it and thet laughed at me. I have let to purchase anything from them.

302 V4 HCS
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Old 12/29/2005, 09:35 PM   #5
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When I was a kid, my Dad (who was a Ford man), told me whenever I drive on long trips I should drive with my lights on so the battery does`nt overcharge. Does this make any sense?

RHONDA
GT/CS FOREVER!
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Old 12/30/2005, 01:06 AM   #6
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I'll try to answer a lot of this, with my limited knowledge. First, use distilled water to fill the battery and only fill it enough to cover the top of the plates. Any more and it will boil out. Second, put a volt meter on the battery and monitor it. You can buy a dash mounted one and hook it up temporarily just to see what's going on as you drive around. It should never go above 14.5 volts. Third, the voltage regulator should keep the voltage within the range of 12.6 volts to 14.5 volts, regardless of the alternator output or what accessory is on- that's it's job. High output alternators provide more charging capacity for vehicles with high current accessories like big stereos, air conditioning, rear window defoggers, etc., but won't overcharge a battery unless something fails. Driving with your lights on is a good idea for safety, but does nothing for the battery. If you increase the system current load the alternator will work harder to compensate (I won't go into the physics of it, but trust me) which will have a small effect of engine power and gas mileage, but that's all. Hope this doesn't make me sound like a stuffed shirt, I'm just trying to help.
Steve
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Old 12/30/2005, 05:01 AM   #7
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Sealed

I guess try and get the Over charge problem fixed , but I have and would revert to a sealed unit asap. As these don't require as much maintenance and look much cleaner in the bay .
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Old 12/30/2005, 05:08 AM   #8
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Steve, if a high output alternator is used does a heavy duty voltage regulator need to be installed?
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Old 12/30/2005, 06:41 AM   #9
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Thank you folks for your replys. I will answer your questions the best that I can.

I have been using distilled water and I fill the cells just above the plates, (ring).

It seems to boil one cell more then the others.

I have not checked the voltage while driving, other then the dash gauge, and that rides about the width of the needle off center towards positive.

It seems to only happen at higher speeds or at least that is when I notice it most.

Yes, I am running a higher output alternator. I did that because of the six tail/brake lights which were a big draw. I have since added the LED tail lights which made a big difference. I would have figured though, if the regulator was working properly, the higher output alternator shouldn't matter. Maybe I need to look at a third regulator.

And yes Rhonda, there is a Santa Claus, Oh, thats not right is it, yes Rhonda, I was always told the same thing, if your car was over charging you should turn on the headlights, heater or anything else that would draw down some voltage. Does this mean that there may not be a Santa Claus either? NAH!

Anyway, I think that I will pull the alternator and have it bench tested, try a new regulator and look for a sealed battery which fits nicely. Battery acid splashing around gives me the willys!!

Thank you,
Dave
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Old 12/30/2005, 07:20 AM   #10
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If one cell is boiling more than the others it may be a bad battery, which seems strange since you've changed it twice.

How about this scenario; a faulty regulator sends a surge through the battery and damages it. You then change out everything else and all is working fine except it looks like you have a charging problem because that toasted cell keeps boiling due to the damage caused by the surge.
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Old 12/30/2005, 09:02 AM   #11
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All

We put in a new battery when doing our restoration. While putting the car back together and messing around with lights, etc., the battery needed to be recharged at least once. We bought the starter from Advance Auto Parts and the regulator from an aftermarket company (like Mustangs Unlimited).

Everything seemed to be working fine. One day I tried to start the car in my garage. It made a terrible racket and finally started but the starter would not disengage after the motor was running. It turned out that the after market starter solenoid was bad. We replaced it with a NAPA part, painted it and it works great.

Next, I drove the car from north Kansas City to south Kansas City for a car show. As soon as I got there and shut off the car, the car would not restart. Like the battery was completely dead. After getting a jump start, the car ran fine. Therefore, just figured the battery was bad. We replaced the battery and once again, everything was great. Then it happen again, exact same deal.

Someone on this site (or maybe another) told me to check the voltage regulator. We replaced it with a NAPA part - painted it the right color and everything has worked great.

Now, in looking back here is what I think I know. First, the batteries that we typically buy are high cold cranking amps (it is a thing we have since we grew up on a farm and our dad only used one battery to run 10 different things - and the battery never worked). We concluded that because of the high cold cranking amps at the battery and because the starter solenoid and voltage regulator was aftermarket and not made very well, this caused our batteries to zap all the juice.

Now, how this all relates to the problem mentioned above, I am not sure. I do think that when we assume our battery is bad (and leaking) it could be because our voltage regulator could be bad - causing our batteries to appear bad.

Just a thought.

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
1965 AC Cobra Replica - 390FE - Black on Black charcoal stripes - "The Black Pearl"
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Old 12/30/2005, 09:21 AM   #12
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Here is a blurb from an eBay auction ad. Can anyone explain how this works?

To go with all the new wiring I added a brand new 110amp alternator with a one wire hookup which eliminated the external voltage regulator in the engine compartment.
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Old 12/30/2005, 09:35 AM   #13
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My opinions on multiple questions.
If you are running a high output alternator, you should use a heavy duty regulator, although a regular one will work for a while. A sealed battery is a good idea, but you really need to determine what is causing the overcharge or you'll damage the new battery also. The factory gauge is an ammeter and the factory Ford ones are not very accurate. They are wired in parallel with a section of wire in the main harness and "sample" the current flow rather than give a direct reading like the gauges that are wired in series (power flows through the gauge before going anywhere else). An ammeter shows the current load of the system whereas a voltmeter shows the voltage potential. For this problem, I think you need a voltmeter. Finally, check your battery cables to make sure they are in good condition and both ends are making good contact. If one or both of your cables have those clamp on ends, throw them away and get factory made cables because most people don't seal the ends and they corrode on the inside of the connector.
Steve
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Old 12/30/2005, 04:23 PM   #14
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The after market stuff is all crap, I purchased two voltage regulators from two different stores and both were bad. I said it before all stuff made over the ocean is the same way. I had to repaint the motor compartment and part of the fender.

302 V4 HCS
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Old 01/02/2006, 10:09 AM   #15
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I agree about the after market stuff. When you are restoring, it is cool to get the part that makes it look original and provides a good show piece. However, if you plan to drive your car at all, the after market stuff does not hold up.

After we repainted the other parts, they look just as good as the after market stuff and show just as well. I won't buy any more of it as no one really knows the diff at most shows anyway.

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
1965 AC Cobra Replica - 390FE - Black on Black charcoal stripes - "The Black Pearl"
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