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Discussion Starter #1
My old battery began failing gradually 2 or 3 months ago (I know this in hindsight, although at the time I didn't know what the problem was), and since then I have had the BCM and MCM replaced under warranty. Honda won't replace the IMA battery because the car has a salvage title. I'm not sure why, but they were firm on this. :?
So I ordered a used battery from a 2001, VIN#1171. It cost $800 plus shipping, they say it has 36,000 miles on it, and is in "A" condition, and is (replacement) warranteed for 6 months. There are no modules on it, just the battery with junction board on the side.
It's sitting in my garage right now, waiting for the weekend when I have enough time to do the work. I'm taking photos of every step, eventually I'll figure out how to post some of them.
I measured voltage at the output terminals. Zero. I thought it was discharged, but then I measured voltage at other locations on the junction board and read 83 volts in some places and 142 volts in others. YES :D It's alive :!:
Do these voltages sound normal :?:
Thanks
- Jim
 

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The main terminals will read 0 if the switch is off. The thing can kill you, so be careful where you put your hands. Leather or heavy rubber gloves will give you a bit more protection.
I wrote up a short discription of how I removed and replaced my pack:
http://99mpg.com/TheBestHybridmix/attachmentplaterip/
good luck with the new pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was measuring with the switch in the "on" position. If I place one lead at the negative (rear) output terminal, I measure 83 volts at the Switch terminals and the Battery Module Fuse terminals, and 142 volts at the Bypass Resistor and the lower terminal of the High Voltage Contactor. Above the HVC there is zero including the positive (front) output terminal. In other words, the HVC is open. I'm thinking this might be normal when the IMA is not hooked in with the BCM and MCM. What do you think, Mike?

- Jim
 

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the bypas resistor 142V should be the battery voltage. That would indicate depending on temperature about 50-70%SOC, ann should be a good SOC dtarting point. The IMA will start from zero SOC because the disconnected BCM will be reset. A few minutes of driving if all is working well should get you to a positive recal, and from there on should work normally.
Good luck, and be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Done!

I finished :D It only took about 2.5 hours, and I work slowly! There were no hitches, and a quick test drive showed that the used battery works like it should. :) Time will tell how good it really is.
I took photos every step of the way. I’ll upload them to Yahoo! Photos soon, and post the links.
The used battery cost $800 and came from LKQ somewhere in CA, I’m not sure where. Shipping was $100 to Oroville. (Oroville is about 70 miles N of Sacramento, on Hwy 70.)
I followed the procedure almost exactly as in the Service Manual. I didn’t disconnect the MCM and BCM from the Power Control Unit; I just unfastened them from the battery and folded them back out of the way. (The object was only to disconnect everything from the battery.) I had a vacuum cleaner handy, and sucked all the dust off of everything I could get to.
Before the test drive, I reset the IMA system by disconnecting the 12V battery. During the test drive, I checked the time to full charge, and it was 9 minutes @ 3000 rpm. This still seems like too little time; but it is a lot more then the 3 minutes the old battery took :!:
Oh, BTW the old battery measured 156V at the Bypass Resistor. :shock: Maybe the BCM was overcharging to compensate for its malfunctioning :?:
- Jim
 

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Congratulations! :D ;) What will you do with the old pack? It would be useful to find out what went wrong.It looks pretty dirty in there. My car has nearly 100K, and the fan encolsure and MPI outlet ducting is still nice and black with not much dust. I have looked in 10 or more electronics enclosures and never saw one that coated with dust. I wonder if that is part of the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't decided what to do with the old pack. What do you suggest? :lol:

I live on a gravel road, 4 miles from pavement. Dust galore. I don't know much about the prior history of my car, I only bought it in October 2005. It lived in Central CA, and also in TX.

The dust layer was unsightly, but not enough to interfere with air circulation or heat transfer IMO. Are you thinking dirty electrical connectors? There is a stain in the bottom of the pan, you can see it on the second photo. I looked on the old battery and didn't see any sign of leakage though. Have you ever seen a stain like that? Maybe caused by heat... :?

- Jim
 

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Congradulations on your success! :D Nine minutes may be fine as there may have been some charge on the cells. Keep us informed. :D
 

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shewb
The air that passes through the battery is drawn from behind the passenger seat. Unless the cabin is as dusty as the inside of the electronics box, I can't see how it could be coated so heavily, unless it came from New Orleans and was in a flood with silty water? Could that could explain the stain?
I remember that one of the guys in the group was able to look up the vin# and tell the history of a car.
You also replaced the junction board, which has two relays and the current sensors, not just the battery.
If the connectors had corrosion, they would have picked it up when replacing the MCM and BCM.
You said the the old pack failed gradually over 2-3 months, what were the symptoms?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drove to work on Monday. My mileage is nothing to brag about (I'll work on that later) but in the first 5 miles of my trip we climb 400 feet. The SoC was down to about 50% by then (trip mpg was 42). The old battery would have recal'ed long before this. After 20 more minutes on paved 50-65 mph highway, we were back up to full charge. So IMO the new (used) battery is working properly.

The cabin does get dusty from my gravel road. I'll replace the cabin filter again, and remember to keep the windows closed when I'm following anyones dust.

There's no sign of water damage. The old junction board looks as clean as the new one did - some dust and a few cobwebs.

The battery deteriorated slowly. First I noticed I was getting recals once a month, then once a week... In an effort not to prompt a recal, I would drive in a lower gear - the battery would discharge easily and recharge slowly. My mileage went from high 50s to high 40s. After a recal, it would charge back to 100% in less than 5 minutes. During the last two weeks, I got the IMA light and CEL after a recal. No chrg, no asst. I reset the system and I could nurse it along until the next recal. My dealer replaced the MCM and BCM under extended warranty, in spite of the salvage title.

- Jim
 

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I just went back and inspected the old battery. The only unusual thing is on the front surface where the battery cells are concealed with form-fitting plastic covers, there is a brown oily (greasy) residue on the cells, which has attracted dust and cobwebs. Some of the residue has spread onto the plastic covers. I would imagine that this dust & cobwebs could impede air flow a bit. Would you like me to take a photo?

- Jim
 

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Jim
If you drive with the passenger window open on the dirt road, and the batteries were hot enough for the fans to run, that could explain the dust. There is no filter between the air inlet behind the passenger seat and the battery inlet.
On the failure, most people seem to have an approximate SOC where they get a recalibration, and it remains fairly stable. I have always suspected a weak low capacity cell in one of the subpacks as the likely cause of recalibrations. Your old rapidly degrading battery may provide a way to confirm this, and could possibly let us find a way to isolate the bad subpack and only replace the subpack with the problem. Several guys have tried to determine this, but with no conclusion.
Do you have a way to charge and discharge the old pack at fairley high discharge rate, while monitoring the subpack voltages?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Do you have a way to charge and discharge the old pack at fairley high discharge rate, while monitoring the subpack voltages?
No. What would I need, and what is the least expensive way to get it? I'm willing to do a little research for the cause, if it doesn't cost me much...

I'm an engineer, with a rudimentary knowledge of electricity, and I can follw directions pretty well. :)

What if I carefully & safely isolate the subpacks and measure their voltages?

- Jim
 

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Jim
Unfortunately the load and charging system is not that easy to do, and safety will be a much bigger issue than just swaping the pack.
The way I would do it would be to set up the pack on a bench with the 10 subpack monitoring taps brought out to a screw terminal strip. I would run the two ends of the pack (Negative to one terminal) precharge resistor (+ )to another. The main on off switch will still turn off the pack as it breaks the pack in the middle. The taps could be brought out to a break before make rotary switch so each of the 10 groups of 2 subpacks could be compared with a digital Voltmeter, by simply rotating the switch.
The load needs to draw enough amps to show any difference in subpacks clearly, and that difference may not show up until the pack reaches the end of charge.
I have some heavy Nichrome wire that I used for my initial boost system test that will handle 20-30A amps.
An 220VAC electric dryer heating element from a junk dryer would also work in a pinch.
You said that the old pack had 150V or more when you checked it, so even without charging, you may be able to see if one of the subpacks is lower voltage under load than the others.
The voltages you would be dealing with can kill you, so the utmost care would need to be taken while making connections and testing. I am sure everyone would understand if you chose not to do this. ;)
 

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I hope you're not in a big hurry, because this sounds like a good winter project, and it might take me that long to assemble the components :!:

So, I need a 240V electric clothes dryer heating element, that sounds easy. And I need a 10+ position break-before-make rotary switch. That might be harder to find cheap.

Oh, :idea: so the rotary switch is just for reading the voltages, and the nichrome wire will be hooked up to the main battery terminals, or across the precharge resistor? Ideally, you would want me to read all the voltages simultaneously, and plot them as a function of time? How long does it take for the pack to discharge?

I wish I still worked in a research lab.

Am I starting to get it now?

A schematic might help me.

- Jim
 

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Jim
You have the Idea. Some further ideas:
I could send you some nichrome ribbon if you want to make a better load.
But the dryer heater pulled from a junk dryer should do the job, and is safer since the ceramic insulators and terminals are already in a safe enclosure.
The rotary switch just makes it easier to rapidly switch from one tap to the other. The ideal system would scan the battery taps and record the voltage on each while the pack is discharging. The difficulty with this of course is that the data acquisition system needs to deal with reading the 14.4V of the 2 subpacks being monitored, that sit on top of the subpacks below it, with the last 2 subpacks at 144V. Isolation is a must.
Back in 2001 I made a battery pack monitoring system using relays that were sequentially scanned by a Labview based system. The connection to the pack was spring loaded pogo pins in a specially made clip on holder.
http://99mpg.com/batterypacksexpose/batterypackmonitor/
I used it several times, and decided that if I ever got recals, I would rebuild it with opto isolators so the scaning would be faster, and would determine just what was going on. Still no recals.
Without a charging system, you will only have one discharge cycle to watch, and if you wait till winter, the pack may self discharge to a point where you will be starting on empty?
 

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When I was 14 I built a carbon arc welder using heater element wire, a pine plank, some asbestos board, rubber hose, zip cord and some steel plumbing parts. :shock:

A simple charger could be made with the heater element and a rectifier, but there is always the risk of electrocuting a family pet, burning the house down, or inadvertently developing the first rocket powered IMA pack. ;)

Mike said: " I am sure everyone would understand if you chose not to do this.".......I agree.

If you decide later that you want to do this, I'm sure Mike or myself will PM you with a reasonably safe procedure. (Another member here disassembled two packs, then charged and tested each of the sub packs individually. He combined the best sub packs from these two packs to make one refurbished unit. relatively safe, and effective, but time consuming.)
 

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b1shmu63 said:
<snip>...,or inadvertently developing the first rocket powered IMA pack. ;)
Now there's a mod the ricers would love to get their hot little hands on :!: :p :lol:

b1shmu63 said:
Another member here disassembled two packs, then charged and tested each of the sub packs individually. He combined the best sub packs from these two packs to make one refurbished unit. relatively safe, and effective, but time consuming.)
Kip,

IIRC the attempt was done safely but without success. He didn't have the required load high enough to accurately evaluate each sub packs condition. Too high and you may (very remotely) end up with a rocket powered sub-pack.

Do you remember the membername or still have the link :?: I remember digging it up for a post we both participated in not more than a couple months back. But I failed to grab it for my local FAQ archive.
 
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