Why did battery explode - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 03, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Mark
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 478
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returning from the beach I noticed a rotten egg odor from under the hood of my ‘67. I pulled over and found the battery was hot with steam was hissing out of it, then...Kaboom,the top of the battery blew off. I disconnected the battery, thinking I could continue home on just the alternator. However, without the battery connected the ignition would break up above idle. So I re-hooked up the battery, which still worked, and disconnected the alternator. I was able to make the one hour trip home. But I had to spend a while cleaning acid from the engine compartment.

What do you guys think went wrong? Bad alternator, bad votage regulator, bad battery or bad something else?

Also why would my stock points ignition not work on alternator alone?

Ideas greatly appreciated.

67 RS Convertible, 355ci, 650cfm, 5-speed, 12-bolt, 3.90 gears. 12.7 @ 110 mph
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 03, 03:27 AM
 
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Run a diagnostic on your charging system because it sounds like it fried your battery. It most likley is a bad regulator, but a quick trip to Advance auto parts and the use of their equipment will pinpoint the problem
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 03, 08:31 AM
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Location: Austin, TX, USA
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If I recall, a discharging battery generates hydrogen and a charging battery generates oxygen. I could have those reversed, but in any event, both can lead to an explosion if exposed to an ignition source. Since the battery was hot, it may have developed an internal short. I can just imagine a little arc frying away in there until the hydrogen to oxygen ratio was enough for a boom. Over charging might also be a cause, but sounds like the ignition source was internal to the battery. Loose clamps can also cause arcing. In any event, I second the charging system check and recommend the battery be replaced.

-dnult

Dave
========================
68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 03, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dnult:
If I recall, a discharging battery generates hydrogen and a charging battery generates oxygen. I could have those reversed, but in any event, both can lead to an explosion if exposed to an ignition source. Since the battery was hot, it may have developed an internal short. I can just imagine a little arc frying away in there until the hydrogen to oxygen ratio was enough for a boom. Over charging might also be a cause, but sounds like the ignition source was internal to the battery. Loose clamps can also cause arcing. In any event, I second the charging system check and recommend the battery be replaced.
-dnult
Actually, a charging battery develops both hydrogen & oxygen by electrolysis of the water in the battery fluid. There is also sulfuric acid in the battery fluid so that would account for the rotten eggs smell.

1970 original owner, F41
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 03, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Clean the under side of your car. Hawaii has a deal where after no rain for a long time the salt spray builds up on power lines. Rain showing up put that salt into a slat water state shorting out power lines. Big voltage power lines at that. Salt and water are a fantastic conductor. Salt and oils is probably also a great conductor. You might have crud down there that splashed on causing a constant drain throwing the charging system into a constant charge. Although I'd more likely believe a bad cell in the radiator. Never top off a battery with tap water. Use a distilled bottle water or some drinking water advertised as filtered at least.
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