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My new 1988 T/A

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  • Like most things I jump into for the first time, this is a longer, messier job than I thought it would be.

    Only one way to the bottom, err, top. Keep on digging! Gasket scraper to separate several plates about 3/4 - 1" down, one of granspa's old ball-peen hammers to tap it in, regular pliers to rip out a little section, needle nose piers for the more stubborn wires at the edges of the plates. Do it again, and again, and.....

    Got a couple of hours in on it today. Added clamps to help support all four corners, hoping to avoid further damage. Trimmed off a little more of the bottom, so I could more easily remove plates all the way to the edges and ends. I'm about 2 cells short of finishing my second pass. I'm gonna say I'm 1/3 to 1/2 half way to the top when I finish this row. Doesn't seem like that's going to be this weekend though.

    49790762943_862bbbfd90_b.jpg

    49791617827_0e69bf76d1_b.jpg
    DynoDave
    POCI # 72200



    1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

    Comment


    • I remember hearing from someone who worked at a battery reclaiming place about how they broke up the batteries. They dropped them down a shaft about 20 feet onto a concrete pad. Yes, there were people down there breathing that nasty stuff and picking up the pieces.
      When in doubt, Whip it out !

      Comment


      • Yeah, I was thinking about those pictures you see of our electronics being "recycled", shipped overseas, dumped into piles, where children sort through, stripping the precious metals. Given what we're going through here, it's easy to forget just how go we have things.

        AM: The odds of this little project succeeding got a little bit longer today, when this sizeable hole appeared in the side of the case. Not good. The case is old and brittle, and does not like me hammering and tugging at it. I haven't even looked at the top, to see how that crack around the negative post is looking. I'm trying to be careful, but there's only so much I can do.

        49793335448_2504bfe9c0_b.jpg

        Plan B is it to scrap the case and save just the top, if it comes to that. But this top needs to be functional, with the cables attached. I'm not sure if the repro toppers have real terminals that pass all the way through or not. But something like that is plan C. Buying another repro battery is the last stop for this train wreck.

        Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. The good thing for me is that all of the sides, and 50% of the top are hidden by the Thermoguard. So I can get away with a lot.


        PM: At last...a breakthrough. While breaking off little 1/2" squares of lead plate, I finally got a large piece of a plate!

        49795679056_83f75cc570_b.jpg


        Seems that while much of the battery is badly decayed, including all of the battery at the bottom (top as viewed), the further I dig down toward the top of the case, the better the condition of the plates, and some are hanging together well enough to come out in larger pieces.

        After a few more rows pulled out in the a similar fashion, I broke through into the fluid space at the top!

        49795678811_75378dea8b_b.jpg

        The rest of that cell, and the couple next to it came apart in a more typical (difficult) fashion. Then this cell started pulling apart in huge pieces, until I could see the first daylight through of the cap holes on the top cover! I feel like I just escaped from Shawshank!

        49795983202_2ac3917b6b_b.jpg

        Here's where I left off for the night. Did a little shop cleanup, and called it a day.

        49795983102_9f05980421_b.jpg

        49795678126_0494a30d3c_b.jpg
        Last edited by DynoDave; April 19th, 2020, 09:51 PM.
        DynoDave
        POCI # 72200



        1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

        Comment


        • Good god, that is not something I'd want to be tearing into! They don't sell a cover that can go over top a new battery and have the terminals poke through?
          Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

          "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

          Comment


          • They do. And that is plan C. But another lead acid battery, or another repro (plan D) means 58 lbs. of lead placed on the left front corner of the car. That lithium replacement I linked to above weighs 9!!! It may seem an odd consideration for a car that's never goign to be raced, but if I'm replacing the battery, why not make some improvement, right? Less nose dive during braking, better weight transfer on accel, better turn in, better accel, etc.

            I'm personally going to weigh 58 pounds more by the time this C-19 thing is over, so a light weight battery will help me break even.
            DynoDave
            POCI # 72200



            1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

            Comment


            • Can you use the Plan C cover with your super-light battery?

              58lbs? How big is that battery? I guess it being a flooded battery makes it a lot heavier than an AGM.

              I thought our Cruze's battery was heavy at like...52lbs and it is an AGM. It's also enormous.
              Last edited by MP81; April 20th, 2020, 10:48 AM.
              Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

              "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

              Comment


              • It's a group 27.

                Going, going...

                49800199027_5a09dbf0fe_b.jpg

                ...gone!

                49799344193_fc24c6f730_b.jpg

                49800198527_1ed4a58681_b.jpg

                What's left are the huge lugs that all the plates tie into, then connect to the next cell. Don't ask me how I'm getting those out, because I have NO IDEA.
                Last edited by DynoDave; April 20th, 2020, 08:41 PM.
                DynoDave
                POCI # 72200



                1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

                Comment


                • Air hammer!

                  *This may blow the case apart. But it'll look cool.
                  Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                  "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                  Comment


                  • During a short break away from the desk (and work), I walked out to see if I have access for a pair of side cutters (wire cutters) inside the case. Up to now, I've attacked everything from above. Now I need to come in the form the side, and it's quite tight in there. I tried 3 pairs of them until I came up with an OLD (like 1930s/1940s?) pair by Proto that are short enough to get inside there. I think I'll start by seeing if I can snip away any of the plate remnants on top of the lugs, before I start trying to split the lugs themselves. I'm goign to have to be sure careful with the one that is part of the negative post, and the case top was already split there before I even started.

                    I can always resort to a Dremel tool, but the lead dust that will create is not appealing at all. As a dense metal, the lead itself may not create that much dust (?), but the sulfation that coats them certainly will.
                    DynoDave
                    POCI # 72200



                    1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

                    Comment


                    • Took yesterday off, but got back at it today for an hour +.

                      So I'm left with these spots...lead tie plate, with the remaining ends of the lead battery plates attached. You can see in the cells marked 1 and 3, the ends of the lead battery plates have all but fallen apart, with little remaining to be removed.

                      49807175653_30fc27244f_b.jpg

                      In cell 2, I have taken a Dremel, and cut about 2/3 of the way through them horizontally (that's as far as the cut-off wheel would reach), and using pliers I have started to twist them off, working right to left.

                      Cell 4 is what most started out looking like. To get a "clean" stack of plates to cut as in cell 2, I had to use a small screwdriver to scrape the debis from behind one plate, fold it over, clean the next gap, go to the next, all the way across.

                      Here's the "finished" product. The lugs in the upper left and upper right corners are the underside of the posts on the top of the battery. Here I have trimmed them down to be round posts on the inside, more or less. And I think this is about as far as I'm going to go. Working to cut away more of the remaining tie plates is difficult, and stressing the plastic case pretty severally. The corner posts are not going to live, as there's nothing tied to them on the underside. And the small battery I'm going to place in here will come no where near the remaining lead pieces. Tomorrow I'll give it a bath.

                      49808035997_b8973b6c80_b.jpg

                      The good news...an inspection of the exterior of the case, sides and top, showed no more damage than what we had already seen. The crack around the positive post on the top of the battery has not changed since I removed the battery from the car. With some repairs, I think the case is entirely salvageable.
                      DynoDave
                      POCI # 72200



                      1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

                      Comment


                      • Man. That is a lot of work. Way to go!
                        Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                        "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                        Comment


                        • Well, the NFL draft is close enough to over for me to get back to work!

                          Cleaned up the mess I made gutting the battery, and cleaned and oiled the tools. I'll start in on cleaning the case later tonight. Was going to call it a morning, then started looking at the mess the engine compartment is. Where to start? EVERYTHING needs cleaning, replacing, work work work.

                          I thought if I was going to start to work in here, then cleaning up around where the radiator mounts would be the place, before the radiator is re-installed. There were quite a few bent over fins on the condenser (I think the radiator has been in and out once before), so straightening that out and cleaning that area was the thing to do, it seemed.

                          A few "before" photos of the damaged areas.

                          49818075268_ce2288f0ee_b.jpg

                          49818922177_20808c4dd1_b.jpg

                          The magic radiator comb!

                          49818922097_a181c70a5d_b.jpg

                          Some of those areas are too bent up for the comb to get through, so I did a little pre-work in spots with a small screwdriver.

                          49818609986_848af27bfe_b.jpg

                          49818074728_294e64940a_b.jpg

                          Those same two spots "after". Worked pretty darned good, I must say.

                          49818074578_608eb0b7bd_b.jpg

                          49818074423_f2cee2ff60_b.jpg

                          After working my way the rest of the way across, blowing it out with compressed air, then brushing it off, it turned out pretty nice. Not bad for 43 years old.

                          49818609436_39415055b3_b.jpg
                          DynoDave
                          POCI # 72200



                          1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

                          Comment


                          • Much better!
                            Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                            "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                            Comment


                            • Enjoying your progress
                              When in doubt, Whip it out !

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by farmington View Post
                                Enjoying your progress
                                There's been quite a lot of it!

                                I'm almost tempted to split it off into its own project thread (if that's what Dave wants, of course) haha - just because organization.
                                Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                                "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                                Comment

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