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Old 07-31-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
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Battery Acid Spill

Somehow I had a battery cell cover pop off or I somehow left it open on my left side group 65 battery. This allowed the acid in three cells to splash around that side of the engine compartment. I'm thinking this went on for several days until the truck would not start, which is how I found the problem. Fortunately we were home in the driveway at this point, having just returned from a trip to Colorado.

Besides ruining the battery the acid has also done some damage of it's own, eating paint off parts, etc. I neutralized it with a water and baking soda solution and then rinsed that off, but I'm wondering if there is more I should do. I'm worried that this may have created a situation for further corrosion and rust if I don't do more i.e. repainting parts and undercarriage, etc, but I'm unsure if that's over kill.

I've tried recharging the affected battery with no luck so I'm replacing both batteries.


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Old 08-01-2014, 12:00 AM   #2
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Bummer!
After washdown as you did, get some spray metal protectant. LPS3 or BOESHIELD are great!

http://www.lpslabs.com/product-details/612


http://boeshield.com
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:38 AM   #3
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I would be inclined to touch up the affected areas with black lacquer. My local Lowe's carries it in spray cans.

I like lacquer because it dries fast, lays down nice, is reasonably durable, and overspray is not a huge concern.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:51 AM   #4
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Battery Acid Spill

Thoroughly neutralize the acid to remove residuals then prime with a self-etching primer such as:

Shop Rust-Oleum 12-oz Gray Flat Spray Paint at Lowes.com

Top coat if desired with a good quality spray paint, I would avoid lacquer though. Lacquer is easy to apply and repair but it takes numerous coats to build up and is not durable. I would consider using something such an acrylic enamel.

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Old 08-01-2014, 08:44 AM   #5
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Battery Acid Spill

Actually lacquer is probably harder and at least as durable as spray can enamel, especially when not exposed to sunlight.

Un-Catalyzed enamel really isn't that great.

All in all either would work ok in this spot though.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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On the Road to Recovery

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I believe this will help me get things back to normal.

I purchased the new batteries yesterday O'Reilly's group 65 Super Start Platinum AGM's. I did some reading, but in the end I tossed a dart. I did decide to get away from maintenance batteries, so mission accomplished.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:30 AM   #7
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Just a note, make certain that your vehicle is not overcharging your battery. Pop a voltmeter on there a few times to make sure it isn't charging more than about 14 volts at the posts.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Just a note, make certain that your vehicle is not overcharging your battery. Pop a voltmeter on there a few times to make sure it isn't charging more than about 14 volts at the posts.
Good suggestion J. M. Since I have dual batteries is it necessary to disconnect them first?

Any idea on what I need to do to check the alternator output directly?
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:02 PM   #9
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No, leave the batteries connected.

Just check at the posts. If your alternator is out of whack it should show at the posts by either charging at above 14.3 volts or below 12.

Check with the engine running.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:23 PM   #10
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Charging Voltage

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
No, leave the batteries connected.

Just check at the posts. If your alternator is out of whack it should show at the posts by either charging at above 14.3 volts or below 12.

Check with the engine running.
Thanks, I'll definitely check that.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:17 PM   #11
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Wash everything with baking soda and water. Spray everything down that might have seen acid.

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Old 08-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #12
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More to the Story

So, there may even be more to this story than I originally thought. I did not mention it before because I actually noticed this problem a couple of days before we got home, thus before I found the battery / acid problem. But now I believe them to be related.

Quite suddenly I notice a disturbing grinding sound while applying my brakes when pulling in for some fuel. I knew that wasn't good, I had checked my brakes before leaving on this trip and they had plenty of life left. Still this sounded like metal on metal. Turned out my inside left front rotor had scratches, the brake pad had worn out prematurely, but not the others. I decided it must be a caliper problem which because we home bound I would deal with as soon as I got there.

Anyway flash forward to the present. I was telling my wife about getting advice on the battery acid damage and she suggested my brake problem might be related. I had not even connected the two events, but of course she's probably right on the money.

It's currently raining off and on and the forecast says it will likely continue through the weekend, but then I intend to pull the tire off so I can get to the brakes and the rotor. I'd already checked with the O'Reilly's part store and they can turn the rotor if it's not to badly damaged, or supply me with a new one for about $65.00. When I have the wheel off I will have an easier time getting to and seeing the affected engine and steering linkage area.

Additionally, I also found a disintegrating piece of tubing laying on the ground beneath the truck, yesterday, after I'd finished installing the new batteries. I'm pretty certain it's the Fuel Filter drain tube. I looked it up in my Haynes book and although the picture leaves much to be desired I'm pretty confident that's what it is. The more important hoses seem to be okay, but I'm worried enough about them to make sure. I'll post some pictures as soon as figue out how to get them off my new phone.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:03 PM   #13
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Acid Damage

Here are the pictures I mentioned. These pictures make it look a bit worse, but it's pretty bad. Nothing a little TLC can't take care of, but what a mess.

The disintegrating tubing Click image for larger version

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ID:	217979The Fuel Filter, (see tubing at bottom of filter) Click image for larger version

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The following are picture of the top and left side of the engine compartment (top Down)
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The following taken from the front left wheel well (around the tire)
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
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Battery acid can make short work of cast aluminum components. Your pictures look rough but I don't think that things are dire. I'd pay attention to the threaded tubing and banjo bolt connections and suggest another thorough neutralizing wash as soon as you are able. Paying particular attention to faying surfaces. Given the location of components you will end up with a fair amount of overspray in the engine compartment but you need corrosion protection at this point so mask what you are able, then spray at will IMO.

Your thoughts on the brakes are appropriate and a thorough inspection of the brake lines and caliper should be performed. Pay particular attention to the piston seals and the caliper pins and connection bolt holes.




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