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Discussion Starter #101
Thank you guys.

When I pulled the cells longitudinally, they would not move. I put all my force and the connection was solid.
When I tried to bend them, put a moment on it, the connection broke.

So, I soldered them again. I will add some structural adhesive, I will do some mechanical testing with shocks, vibrations, etc. And then test the connection again.

This time i cleaned, sanded and cleaned the surfaces very good. And added more flux.

I have to be 100% sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
Lately I have noticed the following behavior.

When the IMA drops to 50% SOC (4/8 bars) and I keep using current, it drops two bars at once. So from 4/8 it drops to 2/8. It does not recalibrate down to 1/8 as was the case before with negative recals.

So it did that yesterday on the way home. I parked the car with SOC 2/8 and left it overnight. This morning, it charged for a while while driving and from 2/8 it recalibrated back to full. Btw, cell 1.12 was charged yesterday, so this is not the cause.

I wonder what is going on in the battery pack. I will know soon. I am waiting for my new chargers to be delivered from China to pull the pack. An OBDIIC&C would certainly give me much more insight!
 

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Lately I have noticed the following behavior.

When the IMA drops to 50% SOC (4/8 bars) and I keep using current, it drops two bars at once. So from 4/8 it drops to 2/8. It does not recalibrate down to 1/8 as was the case before with negative recals.

So it did that yesterday on the way home. I parked the car with SOC 2/8 and left it overnight. This morning, it charged for a while while driving and from 2/8 it recalibrated back to full. Btw, cell 1.12 was charged yesterday, so this is not the cause.

I wonder what is going on in the battery pack. I will know soon. I am waiting for my new chargers to be delivered from China to pull the pack. An OBDIIC&C would certainly give me much more insight!
It may be a difference between US / Euro models or 06-08 vs. 09-11, but if I EVER saw 2 bars, it was because of a negative recal, i.e., assist disabled and forced charging in almost all cases. It did NOT necessarily follow with a positive recal to 8 bars. Sometimes, it would terminate at 3 bars with limited function and creep back up to 5-7 bars.

It REALLY sounds like your 2 bar charging was a negative recal given that it followed with a positive.

IMHO, if you ever see 2 bars, you are IN a negative recal.

While 1.12 may be a problem it's not a certainty that the others aren't exhibiting some sort of issue. Imbalance/reduced capacity triggers recals far more often than an actual cell failure. If you charged 1.12 to full and the rest of the pack was at low SoC, that can trigger recals at both ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
When I want to charge 1.12, I charge the pack first with the throttle. And only then I charge 1.12 up to 1.39-1.40V resting voltage = 75-80% charge, just like its 131 brothers and sisters.

I agree that this behavior is a negative recal and cell 1.12 is not the cause. It is the other cells, which I can't monitor..
At the dealer last time, with full SOC, the tap voltages were not that well balanced anymore.

So I am very curious what I will find when I pull the pack. Fortunately I have 12 Insight cells for replacements!
 

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Apologies my moving and house decorating has destroyed my research time and ima work availability for the moment.. I might be able to mod and obdiic&c this weekend and send it next week..
 

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Discussion Starter #106
No rush Peter. Take it easy.
The IMA is coming out of the car soon anyway.

Hey, new house? That 's great! Congratulations.
 

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When I want to charge 1.12, I charge the pack first with the throttle. And only then I charge 1.12 up to 1.39-1.40V resting voltage = 75-80% charge, just like its 131 brothers and sisters.

I agree that this behavior is a negative recal and cell 1.12 is not the cause. It is the other cells, which I can't monitor..
At the dealer last time, with full SOC, the tap voltages were not that well balanced anymore.

So I am very curious what I will find when I pull the pack. Fortunately I have 12 Insight cells for replacements!
IIRC, you didn't do any significant self-discharge testing due to time constraints. Based on my experience with 15 HCH2 packs, SD is what takes them out much like your 1.12 cell. You likely have others with varying rates of SD.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
I am looking forward to the day when I will not have to charge my car almost as often as I charge my phone. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #109
I have everything I need for my next reconditioning. I got replacement cells which are thoroughly tested. I have validated the cell replacement method. I have my new super chargers.

The only thing I don't have is time! I am overloaded with work. Damn.
I guess it will happen spontaneously when I feel the inspiration.
 

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Discussion Starter #110 (Edited)
Steve, I would like your opinion on the following. I have planned to remove the pack fully charged from the car and do a 24 h SD test at the cell level. Instead, what if I remove the pack when it is at 50% SOC and just measure cell voltages?
This will give me a much more clear overview of the cells SD and IR differences and will allow me to make the diagnosis much faster. At 50% SOC, the differences will be much more pronounced, including the capacity. Plus discharging per cell will be half the time.

What do you think?

My original plan is 6 days. I am now shrinking it to 3, maybe 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Update: 1 year later

So, it has been a year since my last reconditioning. My IMA worked fine for a year, and still is, and I am still charging cell 1.12 every 3 days. I am noticing that cell 1.12 is getting quite bad lately.

Time for a new reconditioning and cell replacement!
 

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Discussion Starter #112
The pack is out of the car.
For some months I was having recals even after charging cell 1.12.

I pulled the pack today for a new reconditioning. I measured the voltages of the cells and I discovered that I have 3 sick cells.

Cell 1.12, 6.7 and 9.10.

This will be a fun weekend!
 

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HCH2 cells are notorious for failing in self-discharge. Iit's common for them to fail to retain any usable charge after 24 hours.

It's not surprising the single cell charging stopped working.

Get on Alibaba. Some suppliers are offering pre-strapped HCH2 stick pairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #114 (Edited)
2 Cells replaced!

I replaced 2 of the 3 cells with Insight cells I got from Peter.
I can tell you... this is not easy.

A piece of advice... don't do it.

However, I managed. I grinded off the spot welds, separated the cells and soldered the new cells in place. In the process I damaged a good cell, I milled one spot weld too far and went through the cell wall. Electrolyte started leaking. Now I will test the connections by measuring the resistance to be sure that it can take the current. If all works well, and it will, I will add some 2K structural adhesive to the new bonds.

About the 3rd cell... I will cycle it first a few times to see if it comes back and do an SD test. I hope it will work. This did work with one of the Insight cells before. Replacing it is a lot of trouble I would like to avoid... for the time being. We 'll see. If I have to I will replace this one as well.

For those who are interested, here are the pictures:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17mkbb_8p0DTfw7r7vpKNsizOV6cx7ffy

For the rest, the reconditioning I am doing is very simple. I discharge per subpack to 1V/cell, and then I do a deep discharge per cell to 0.4V at 0.5A.
That should do the trick. I know that the cells are good and quite balanced in my healthy subpacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #115 (Edited)
YEAH!

My IMA is reconditioned and cells 1.12 and 6.7 are replaced!
Cell 9.10 seems to be fixed... for now. After the deep discharge, I cycled it 3 times and I did an SD test of 36 hours. I did not see any difference with the other cells. Cell 9.10 was also in a better condition compared to the other 2.

The pack is back in the car and it works.

So, replacing cells is possible, but it is a lot of trouble. On the other hand, it is almost impossible for me to find healthy used HCH2 subpacks. I can't even find bad HCH2 subpacks for spare cells!

A couple of tips for any other masochists who want to replace cells to save their packs.

You have to practice first before attempting it in your car.
Grinding or milling the spot welds must be done very carefully. I damaged one good cell when I milled through the cell wall. Broke my heart.
Soldering stainless steel is hard. You need to do it properly. I also added a 2K structural adhesive to the connection, between the soldered bits, for structural integrity. And use a good adhesive.
Do not make a new connection at the level of a plastic spacer. I did that and because the new connection was thicker, the spacer did not fit. I had to modify the spacer to make it fit. That was a nightmare. But again, everything is possible if you have patience.

So, Steve, am I the second person in the world who has replaced cells? haha!

I added the pictures of the final subpacks with replaced cells. Link in post above.
 

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I replaced 2 of the 3 cells with Insight cells I got from Peter.
I can tell you... this is not easy.

A piece of advice... don't do it.

However, I managed. I grinded off the spot welds, separated the cells and soldered the new cells in place. In the process I damaged a good cell, I milled one spot weld too far and went through the cell wall. Electrolyte started leaking. Now I will test the connections by measuring the resistance to be sure that it can take the current. If all works well, and it will, I will add some 2K structural adhesive to the new bonds.

About the 3rd cell... I will cycle it first a few times to see if it comes back and do an SD test. I hope it will work. This did work with one of the Insight cells before. Replacing it is a lot of trouble I would like to avoid... for the time being. We 'll see. If I have to I will replace this one as well.

For those who are interested, here are the pictures:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17mkbb_8p0DTfw7r7vpKNsizOV6cx7ffy

For the rest, the reconditioning I am doing is very simple. I discharge per subpack to 1V/cell, and then I do a deep discharge per cell to 0.4V at 0.5A.
That should do the trick. I know that the cells are good and quite balanced in my healthy subpacks.


thank you so much for this info. sounds like a headache!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Update 9 months later

It has been about a year since I replaced 3 cells with the insight cells.
My pack still works fine. I did not have an IMA light all this time.
But from the first day I noticed a significantly reduced capacity. When the current demand is a bit higher than normal, the battery emties fast and does a recal. So I am pretty sure the different IR is a problem with the insight cells.

I could also see it when testing the voltage drop of the individual subpack compared to an original. The one with insight cells would have a noticably higher V drop under load.

Conclusion: It works, but not optimal. I am getting now used HCH2 cells for my next reconditionning and cells replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter #120
I bought some used HCH2 subpacks from Peter. I am testing them right now and all the cells look healthy. I am amazed. And very happy of course.

So, I am preparing for my next reconditioning. And this time I will be able to just replace 2 subpacks that have insight cells with original subpacks. I am very happy I will hot have to replace individual cells this time.

Peter, thank you very very much!
 
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