saving old batteries or not

i've got a few old nopeds, honda urban express & regular express, that all have batteries and in most of them the batteries look sort of almost okay. I really don't want to get new batteries for all of them, but I also don't want to blow out the headlights when I get them running. What's the best rejuvenation for old batteries, should I just replenish them with distilled water and change the fuse? Is it better to go to the store and get new acid to put in? Some of them are at the right fill line, should I just leave them alone? I've never touched a ped with a battery so I'm kind of mystified as to what to do. If I wanted to take a voltage reading on them to see if they are working okay how would I do this? thanks benj

Re: saving old batteries or not

Steamboat Aka J. R. Stevens /

Re: saving old batteries or not

Get a battery tester .. the little ones that measure specific gravity of a sample of the battery acid. Use a volt meter to check total voltage. For each cell you should see from about 1.8 volts, up to about 2.3 volts.. even on a discharged battery.

If it's far less, one or more of the cells is probably shorted or dead.

Top them off with water and attempt to recharge the ones that are discharged. If one doesn't accept a full charge, toss it out.

Batteries that sit in a discharged state for more than a month or so start to sulfate. This sulfate coating on the plates cannot be removed and it reduces the amount of charge the battery can accept and deliver.

Consider replacing the wet lead-acid batteries with gel cells.. if you can fine one that fits the battery box. Gel cells have a gelatine-like stuff instead of watery liquid. The distructive sulfation process proceeds much slower and they hold a charge longer when they are left unattended.

Re: saving old batteries or not

Jonas Quimby /

I should note that the truly determined souls can in fact desulphate a lead acid battery.

You can build/buy a device that you connect to the battery along with a small battery charger to bring back older batteries. However it wont turn them into brand new cells overnight. More like a week or three of sitting, and then it'll work better then it does now.

Just if you're the kind of person who likes building odd gadgets out of spare parts, or not buying batteries...

Re: saving old batteries or not

i've heard things too.. just didn't wanna confuse the issue. Anyway, this will be one long thread if an argument starts about whether it's even possible or not.

And if it is, what's the battery worth? Would you pay good money for a junk battery that was desulphated to "like new" condition? Would you sell it with a warrantee of any kind?

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