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Old 03-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default my luck or a common theme with sitting batteries?

so both of my insights came from used car lots, the cars had been sitting unknown periods of time. both cars the IMA worked perfectly fine during the test drive and even for months after purchasing the cars.

fast forward though, about 2-3 months after buying and driving the car both cars kick on the IMA at about the same point after purchase. so there seems to be a recurring theme that it is very difficult to tell you are getting a car with a nearly dead IMA battery until it just poofs one day. both cars worked great up until that point too, so it is very easy to be fooled into a false sense of security based on just a test drive.

yesterday my '01 which had been working great kicked on the IMA, spat out a P1449 and even stalled in traffic and refused to restart for about a minute while everyone honked at me as it made me look like an idiot. once it was done with that it gladly started for no apparent reason and then worked fine with the dead IMA system.

anyways, the likely cause is that the slow natural discharge of the cars sitting followed by a forced IMA reset charge probably is lulling people into false sense of security by giving the battery enough capacity to work somewhat normally for a short period of time.


main point is, the big part of why the value of these cars has dropped so drastically and why i advocate not spending more than absolutely necessary is because of exactly this reason. unless someone documented a battery recently then you probably should plan for it. i am not complaining about it, as i got the car for $750 so there is no room to complain, but had i paid $3500 or more for it, yes, i would be throwing a fit. the first one i paid $2200 for, and i wasn't very thrilled about it needing a new battery so technically i overpaid for it and wasn't about to make the same mistake twice.

in my case i have the battery packs from both cars so maybe i'll just see about making one slightly better pack. if i was stuck with just the one bad pack i'd probably just convert it to ditch the IMA, the system causes more grief than benefit most of the time and buying IMA batteries is counterproductive to saving gas and owning a tiny underpowered car. figure $2200 every 5 years, i could just drive my bigger, safer, roomier jeep grand cherokee V8 and run the a/c year round if i wanted and come out even.

grid charging bought me about a year and a half on the first insight but it got so bad that i even started to just avoid doing them and did periodic IMA resets just to fill the IMA battery just so the car wouldn't outright die on me. a discharge would have probably been good but it was my daily driver and i couldn't spend a week trying to revive the abused battery in that case.

so, it's a little bit more of a warning than anything else just to be prepared if you didn't get any battery documentations and are looking at buying one of these cars. i'm sure plenty of others have had similar results as i have, because 2 for 2 doesn't seem to me that this is an isolated incident.
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Kind of the nature of the beast. But did you grid charge them? If not you probably have a lot of imbalanced cells. There is a good chance these batteries can be revised with a grid charge. Record the tap voltages before and after you grid charge so you'll have an idea where you are.

Edit: I guess you added to your post while I was replying. It might be too late for the first one, but it's worth trying grid charging on this one. And you don't have anything to lose by doing some discharging on the first one.

We know that grid charging won't work forever. Most people do it while saving up for a new pack.

Sam
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i yanked the battery from the dead car and i am going to start doing some testing on that to see how imbalanced it is, then i'll probably yank the battery from the current car and do the same, throw the balanced sticks into one case and sell the spare battery case to a battery recycler.

while i have it apart i think i may just leave the front 2 IMA mount bolts out, anyone had any ill effects or tried doing that? it's such a huge pain to remove remove the IMA with those 2 bolts still in place. would have been so much easier if they had just put in sliding tab holders up there, but you know engineers...
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'll probably be ok leaving them out. But I don't understand the problem. They are accessible from behind the passenger seat. The one on the outside requires removing the bolt from the air duct and pushing it out of the way. Then use an extension on your ratchet. Once the bolt is loose use a magnet to lift it. Same process to put it back together. But yeah. Some kind of tabs would have been easier.

Sam
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lyger,
Let us know your success/failure of trying to make one good pack out of 2. I remember reading one of JIME's posting about assembling a pack and I believe he no longer does this as you can spend a lot of time for a small amount of success. And JIME just happens to be an Electrical Engineer (with advanced intelligence I might add) so after reading his posting I decided to never open up a pack. Or my Alzheimer's may be kicking in and I may be referring to someone else.

Also curious as to whether the 2 rear IMA bolts would be sufficient to hold the IMA in place. Agree that those 2 front IMA bolts are a pain in the butt.

EDIT: Sam you posted while I was posting. Are you saying you don't remove the Tom Mix Bar and the plastic inside panels that surround the mix bar to get to the front IMA bolts? Removing that nonsense is a pain just to get to those 2 front bolts.

Gerald
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They made it difficult so no one would be able to fix it except the dealer. PERIOD.

Theory wise, the battery is heavy enough that it should stay in place with just the two rearmost bolts holding the battery in. Maybe a viberation problem?

I'll see what kind of design I can come up with for the front bolts. (If needed)

HTH
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i couldn't see any easy way to get to them, i wound up removing the whole sheet that covered the area behind the seats but that wasn't something i'd say was easy. the only thing easy about it was how easy it was to break the clip covers for the screws holding the pocket netting in place. it wasn't what i'd call hard either, but a waste of time, yes.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyger View Post
a discharge would have probably been good but it was my daily driver and i couldn't spend a week trying to revive the abused battery in that case.
You can bypass IMA with 12V charging by disconnecting all 3 BCM harnesses. Drive it around a week or 2 or however you long, and you can do a discharge with battery in the car.

You probably already know about the usual 3-step cycle. An alternative is very low current discharge with a 5W bulb or 300R resistor, and just let it sit for a week or two until the pack is deep discharged.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galevin View Post

EDIT: Sam you posted while I was posting. Are you saying you don't remove the Tom Mix Bar and the plastic inside panels that surround the mix bar to get to the front IMA bolts? Removing that nonsense is a pain just to get to those 2 front bolts.

Gerald
I do think the Tom Mix bar has to come out, but that's easy. I don't remove the plastic panels. I just stuff the carpet back in the gap.

I would worry about the heavy battery taking a bounce on a big bump and breaking the rear mounts. But I wouldn't worry about leaving the front bolts out for a short time while testing batteries.

Sam
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Genesis Charger and Discharger
BumbleBee Battery
OBDIIC&C Gauge
NM license plate KERS
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Alpine Stereo
Scott's front and rear springs
GAZ rear shocks
2003 Lean Burn CVT (Wife's car)
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Late to the conversation.

For removal of front pack bolts, I remove the side-to-side cross member just behind the seats (under the carpet).

- A row of bolts on the rear side of cross member ( 6 of 'em IIRC), a couple on top at the sides, and another row of bolts on the front side. All 10mm.

- Spread the vertical panel away from the IPU compartment.

- One 10mm bolt holding the pack fan inlet plastic duct (black). Odd looking bolt, easy to remember where it goes back to.

- Spread the vertical panel again to view the front pack bolts.

- 12mm socket on an 18" (or so) extension to loosen the front pack bolts.

- Extension magnet will lift the 12mm pack bolts out. Same for placing them back in.

I don't remove the passenger seat either.
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