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Is anyone willing and able to build this? I don't have the skill or parts to do so and I don't want to cut up my harness. I have 2 manual 1st gen insights, a 2000 and a 2006. Both have batteries that no longer respond to the Prolong Delux charger or discharger unfortunately. They gave me a couple years, but unfortunately don't keep the cars running right for even a few days now. I'm in a bind, because I want to keep the 2006, but can't afford to buy a replacement IMA battery now. I'd sell the 2000 one if anyone is in Texas and wants one. I've got a couple Civic Wagons including an AWD 6 speed I need to sell as well.

Anyways, I hope you don't mind me brining this thread back from the dead. It gave me some hope until I saw what's required in the very well made video. Hopefully someone here can offer some help or advice.
 

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Is anyone willing and able to build this? I don't have the skill or parts to do so and I don't want to cut up my harness. I have 2 manual 1st gen insights, a 2000 and a 2006. Both have batteries that no longer respond to the Prolong Delux charger or discharger unfortunately.
What voltage did you discharge your IMA batteries to?

They gave me a couple years, but unfortunately don't keep the cars running right for even a few days now. I'm in a bind, because I want to keep the 2006, but can't afford to buy a replacement IMA battery now. I'd sell the 2000 one if anyone is in Texas and wants one. I've got a couple Civic Wagons including an AWD 6 speed I need to sell as well.

Anyways, I hope you don't mind me brining this thread back from the dead. It gave me some hope until I saw what's required in the very well made video. Hopefully someone here can offer some help or advice.
I've had good luck with my 9 year old Honda warranty replacement battery by discharging it till it is below 5 volts and leaving the load on overnight. Then I do a full grid charge to 174 volts. My battery is much stronger now.

It really doesn't seem to hurt the IMA battery to let it self discharge to low (or next to NO voltage) and then grid charge it.
 

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It really doesn't seem to hurt the IMA battery to let it self discharge to low (or next to NO voltage) and then grid charge it.
You mean manually discharge low, right?, not just self discharge?

You can damage cells/packs with deep discharges, especially ones that throw P1449-78, where imbalance is severe. The extent to which one doesn't do damage or cause outright failure is commensurate with how dysfunctional the pack is to begin with. And since most people don't know that, it's basically a gamble. Then again, most people can't handle seemingly more detailed reconditioning regimes, so they basically don't have anything to lose with that gamble...

olrowdy, you probably started with a decently functional pack and do discharge and grid charge as a matter of routine? If so, you're not gonna damage stuff because the cells are OK and they're likely well balanced. There's nothing wrong with deeply discharging a single cell (though you may need a special routine to bring it back up, if you go really long and ultra-deep). There's problems deeply discharging an extremely unbalanced pack of 120 cells, where most cells are probably up around ~75%, one is empty, and a handful are somewhere in between... Personally, I'd never want to run 0.75 X 6500mAh=4875mAh worth of current backwards through any of my cells...
 

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olrowdy01 said:
It really doesn't seem to hurt the IMA battery to let it self discharge to low (or next to NO voltage) and then grid charge it.
You mean manually discharge low, right?, not just self discharge?
Both. I've done my in car pack to 0 volts 2 times and the 13 year self discharge pack that started with 8/10 volts pack voltage with unknown condition cells in it. The owner had removed the IPU cover and I think he thought he could charge the pack with a 12 volt charger that was sitting in the back of the car. o_O

You can damage cells/packs with deep discharges, especially ones that throw P1449-78, where imbalance is severe. The extent to which one doesn't do damage or cause outright failure is commensurate with how dysfunctional the pack is to begin with. And since most people don't know that, it's basically a gamble. Then again, most people can't handle seemingly more detailed reconditioning regimes, so they basically don't have anything to lose with that gamble...

olrowdy, you probably started with a decently functional pack and do discharge and grid charge as a matter of routine? If so, you're not gonna damage stuff because the cells are OK and they're likely well balanced.
I agree. I'm sure I have cells that are low in capacity but the discharge to zero has brought the pack to better performance.

A few years ago my Honda warranty replacement battery was doing recails all the time with the usual error codes now and then. Doing discharges to various low voltages didn't really help that much over time. I happened to meet/talk to a guy who runs a testing company for small aircraft that apparently need testing their batteries to some government spec. He told me that with Ni-Mh batteries he discharges them to zero volts and then shorts the terminals out over night before charging them back up.

I didn't like the idea of the dead short so I tried just leaving the load on the pack overnight. My battery stopped the recails and now holds SOC for weeks at a time at various SOCs in normal usage. The battery is still going after 9-1/2 years.

There's nothing wrong with deeply discharging a single cell (though you may need a special routine to bring it back up, if you go really long and ultra-deep). There's problems deeply discharging an extremely unbalanced pack of 120 cells, where most cells are probably up around ~75%, one is empty, and a handful are somewhere in between... Personally, I'd never want to run 0.75 X 6500mAh=4875mAh worth of current backwards through any of my cells...
I haven't worked with individual sticks or cells and by starting the discharge using two series connected 40 watt bulbs my discharge typically starts at around 275 ma and goes down from there as the pack discharges.

Of course the 13 year old pack was very well balanced at 0 volts after 13 years. :D
 

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^ Sounds like you've taken precautions and had starting conditions that would have favorable outcomes. The example of how it's safe to deeply discharge a single cell was only to illustrate how it'd be safe to discharge a balanced pack of 120 cells, since the two are essentially the same. It's when imbalance is extreme that risk ramps up.

I'm all for the benefits of deep discharges - like 66% of 'my research' has focused on it over the years. But I think it's necessary to point out context, pre-conditions, basically the times when it's not appropriate, like old-design aftermarket cells and badly unbalanced packs. People have killed their packs with deep discharges and then blamed the methodology or the underlying 'theory', when ultimately the methods and theory are good, it's just that they don't fit in a lot of cases.
 

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^ Sounds like you've taken precautions and had starting conditions that would have favorable outcomes. The example of how it's safe to deeply discharge a single cell was only to illustrate how it'd be safe to discharge a balanced pack of 120 cells, since the two are essentially the same. It's when imbalance is extreme that risk ramps up.

I'm all for the benefits of deep discharges - like 66% of 'my research' has focused on it over the years. But I think it's necessary to point out context, pre-conditions, basically the times when it's not appropriate, like old-design aftermarket cells and badly unbalanced packs. People have killed their packs with deep discharges and then blamed the methodology or the underlying 'theory', when ultimately the methods and theory are good, it's just that they don't fit in a lot of cases.
All points above are good.
 

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What voltage did you discharge your IMA batteries to?


I've had good luck with my 9 year old Honda warranty replacement battery by discharging it till it is below 5 volts and leaving the load on overnight. Then I do a full grid charge to 174 volts. My battery is much stronger now.

It really doesn't seem to hurt the IMA battery to let it self discharge to low (or next to NO voltage) and then grid charge it.
I discharged them down to effectively nothing. I called Prolong and was given directions that I followed to the letter. First using my Prolong discharger and then a simple light bulb setup. After all that the IMA in one car failed immediately in one car and the other lasted 1-2 days. I thought it was maybe a fluke, but I've had the same result after 3-4 attempts.

I used the grid charger/discharger for years and it worked for quite a while. Now I'm getting next to zero results. Even on the car that's doing best, I would need to spend 1-2 days discharging and then charging to get 1 day of driving... Um, yeah. Not worth the hassle.

Previously I'd get at least a few months before the IMA/CEL light came back on. Then the grid charging worked well enough to keep doing it.
 

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What voltage did you discharge your IMA batteries to?


I've had good luck with my 9 year old Honda warranty replacement battery by discharging it till it is below 5 volts and leaving the load on overnight. Then I do a full grid charge to 174 volts. My battery is much stronger now.

It really doesn't seem to hurt the IMA battery to let it self discharge to low (or next to NO voltage) and then grid charge it.
It's possible both cars have their original batteries. If that's the case one pack is 22-23 years old and the other is 16-17 years old.
 

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It's possible both cars have their original batteries. If that's the case one pack is 22-23 years old and the other is 16-17 years old.
Sounds like the extended warranty on both packs has run out. :cry:

After you discharged either pack, did you notice how high the voltage rises (with the load disconnected) after letting battery sit for 1/2 hour or more? My battery always recovers to over 110 volts or more depending on how long I wait before charging it again.

Have you measured the stick pair voltages on the packs after a charge is done? That would give you an idea if the sticks are even balanced (and/or at least point out which sticks have a problem).
 

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Sounds like the extended warranty on both packs has run out. :cry:

After you discharged either pack, did you notice how high the voltage rises (with the load disconnected) after letting battery sit for 1/2 hour or more? My battery always recovers to over 110 volts or more depending on how long I wait before charging it again.

Have you measured the stick pair voltages on the packs after a charge is done? That would give you an idea if the sticks are even balanced (and/or at least point out which sticks have a problem).
I can't recall what the bouceback voltage was. It was more than I would have expected. I don't know how to measure "stick pair voltages", so I haven't done that.
 

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I can't recall what the bouceback voltage was. It was more than I would have expected. I don't know how to measure "stick pair voltages", so I haven't done that.
Hopefully eq1 will chime in here and give the link to the original thread that gives the details of how to do it. I did a search on "eq1 stick pair voltages" and found the attached drawing he made that shows the connections on the BCM connector towards the rear of the car where you can probe the sticks. The harness for that connector that brings the tap voltages from the IMA battery sticks has the orange insulated covering.

[Naturally you have to have the cover off the IPU to get at the stick pair connections. And then turn the IMA master switch ON.]
Rectangle Font Line Parallel Slope


You measure each pair by inserting the test + and - probes into A+ to B- then measure C+ to D- etc as you work your way to the final reading at S+ to T-. My probes wouldn't make good contact on the wire side, so I unplugged the connector, made a reversed drawing of the above one and measured the voltages from the other side of the connector.

My 13 year old not used battery, after a charge - discharge - charge cycle and sitting around for a few days I got a voltage range of 16.33 to 16.54 volts after the first complete cycle. Not perfect by any means but not bad after a 13 year sleep. The balance got better after the 2nd charge (of which I can't find the data right now).

Record each measurement and post it here so we can see what you have on both batteries.

It seems that the 9-1/2 year old battery in my car got the idea I might replace it with the older battery and after I cycled the car battery once it has been working much better than before. :unsure:
 

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Off the top of my head, sounds like the packs would be difficult to 'revive'. If OP's done full pack charges and discharges, some discharges to "effectively nothing," and now he can't even get a day of use with such a regime, then it seems like he's gotta have at least one really junky cell. Which means breaking down the pack, replacements, etc.

For what it's worth, here's a link to a post that describes how to check tap voltages: The quintessential Insight NiMH voltage thread
 

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I read the latest additions to this thread with interest. I have observed that as long as currents are kept minimal (I set 25 mA as a maximum to avoid reversal problems) that, for at least the orange Primearth cells I've examined, discharging for longer than we typically read about here tends to help correct self-discharge problems, at least temporarily.

However, if a cell is not able to hold voltage at all after a short charge, a long, slow deep discharge does not help.
 

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...[Naturally you have to have the cover off the IPU to get at the stick pair connections. And then turn the IMA master switch ON.] You measure each pair by inserting the test + and - probes...
fyi, pack switch doesn't need to be ON to measure tap voltages. The wires ('taps') are a more or less direct connection to the sticks...

I'm not really sure what kind of damage exists in briterobert's pack, that would prevent it from working for at least a day after the typical charges and deep discharges. In my experience it takes so little to produce a functioning pack that one that can't work at all has got to have a serious issue.

My read is that probably the most common type of out-right failure would result from a sequence like this: at least one cell has faster self discharge, cells become imbalanced, probably extremely so; and then by the time grid charging and discharging are undertaken, you end up over charging a lot of cells by a lot, but probably more importantly, you end up reversing the least charged cell a lot/for extended period/possibly at relatively high rate (whatever the full discharge current is at beginning of discharge)...

I don't know. Probably what's not fully appreciated around here, is that charging and discharging imbalanced cells in bulk doesn't mean each cell sees the same kind of treatment. For example, even 'zero volts' probably doesn't mean empty, it doesn't mean every cell is discharged deeply, I think. I think you can push single cells into reverse and then they simply never pop fully out of it during the process, even though full pack voltage could read zero. That zero could be the result of a weird combination of single-cell voltages - some still reversed and negative, some low, some probably still on the normal voltage plateau (~1.2V) and still charged. The combination of single-cell chemistries/conditions balance-out in a way that the still-charged cells don't have enough motive force to discharge through the reversed cells, a sort of stalemate...

So.... My guess is, with full pack charges and discharges, you can end up 'banging on' the same few cells a lot, such as reversing them, producing some kind of damage, and at some point they simply don't 'pop back', won't charge, or won't hold a charge... Meanwhile, the more or less more normal cells never get the 'treatment' they need, either... It's basically this weird race between these 'more normal cells', the ones that are charged the most (but probably still putzed-up), that need full discharge, and the near empties - that need a full charge - yet keep getting deeply discharged and reversed in the full pack processes. You can get lucky for a while, you can find some wiggle room, get some usage, but it's really a crap shoot.

Anyway, not really sure of any 'easy' methods to get beyond briterobert's situation. You'd need to take tap voltage measurements under discharge load (I use autostop, but that requires a working pack; bulb discharger load might be enough), identify any outlier tap voltage, then take it from there. If say 'tap 9' had 14.20V or less and others had 14.40V or more, then I'd probably do tap shorts/discharges on all but tap 9, followed by a grid charge. It's actually more complicated - you need to measure tap voltages at rest near a known empty point (near neg recal), then measure under load some moments later, so you can calculate voltage drop and use the voltage drop as the indicator of an empty cell (i.e. least charged tap). Or measure in autostop under ~1 amp load, time 1, time 2, calculate change... It's pretty foolproof, but it takes leg work/know-how, I guess...

It's probably too much for most people to deal with, especially in this situation, where the pack/s seem completely dysfunctional, where prospects for revival are dim. IMA bypass is probably the way to go.
 

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Thanks for all the detailed and informative replies!!

After a lot of thought and research I decided to order some packs from Bumblebee. A standard rebuilt one for my 2000 and a 5 yr warranty performance 8.0 amp hour for my 2006.

It seems like that's the best option for me at this time as luckily funds allow for it now luckily. I'm hopeful that the packs will help me get some of that investment back via higher MPG than I'm getting with my fleet of 7 other old Hondas.

Thanks also to everyone for letting me revive this old thread that I thought might be a good way to go for me when I first found this thread. Some other car forums just start yelling if you start replying to an old thread. I guess some people are too angry with their keyboard. Thanks for not doing any of that. :)

I have been in contact with Bulldog here to look at the current hack mod. I'm not as technical as many are here, so I'm hoping once I see the install directions that I can be confident that I can get that done myself properly or with a little help from a friend.
 
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