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Watch that battery acid

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by AcidTrip, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Just needed a rant. Not sure if this is in the right area but oh well ...

    So an interesting thing happened to my little Monster yesterday ... The battery has been playing up the last few weeks so I bought a new one and was just waiting to find some time to replace it since it's pretty time consuming to access the battery.

    Long story short, I may have left it a little too long! Went out to the bike this morning and somehow the vertical cylinder head and the engine cover have been doused in battery acid. Must have happened sometime over night me thinks... Pulled it all apart. Get out the bicarb and wash it away but sadly the paint has taken an absolute battering. The strangest thing is that for the life of me I cannot figure out where the acid has come from. There isn't a single mark on the stock Yuasa battery. Nothing leaking out from the vents, no trail down the battery box, nothing.

    Anyways, called QBE today and they've said that the battery won't be covered under the insurance policy but the resulting damage will be. The guys at Ducati City say that it will be a case of removing the engine, sand blast, and respray. The side cover will be removed and two pack epoxied. It's only cosmetic but still, if I were looking at buying a bike and I saw this crap, I'd walk away. $500 excess vs zero resale. No brainer really ...

    And that's my rant done. Laugh away :)

    P1020681.JPG P1020682.JPG P1020683.JPG P1020684.JPG P1020685.JPG
  2. if there's no marks on the battery, are you sure it was acid?
    did it bubble and react with the bicarb?
  3. I have no idea if it was acid to be honest, but there's nothing else in that area. Just the battery box and the fuel tank.

    Before I cleaned it away the marks was big black dollops of goo. It did bubble with the bicarb and then when I washed it away with the hose the end product is what you see above. I have taken the battery out, put it on a few white sheets of paper and put it on trickle charge. There's no indication at all that the battery is leaking. Still holds a stead 12.3V off the bike, so now it's back in and off to Ducati to figure out tomorrow.

    Can't imagine how much repairing this would cost without insurance ...
  4. Your username makes this thread that much funnier haha
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 2
  5. Though I am sorry to hear about the acid, AcidTripAcidTrip.
  6. Haha Sage91Sage91 you know that only just occurred to me haha.

    The username was because my last car, an XR6 turbo was in a gold colour called Acid Rush. Guess that came back to bite me!
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Can you tell which end of the battery it came from ?
    Possibly your battery has been overcharging, and expanding, and has developed a hairline crack somewhere.
    It would normally leave marks / residue in the battery box though.

    Has it possibly been collecting acid at the terminals, or further down the starter wire, which somehow liquified with condensation ?

    There has to be a visible trace somewhere that will give you a clue.
  8. Steve's Overcharging idea is a good one to check. Get a multimeter and measure the voltage across the battery when revving the engine to cruise revs. If it is much above 14.5 volts then your regulator may be stuffed.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. My first thought was overcharging, since the Duck's of 08/09 have a habit of the voltage regulators going nutto. In this case, the voltage when off is around 12.7 and when on barely moves from 13.5, rising perhaps to 13.8 under load.

    When I'm at Ducati in the morning I'll see if they can do any better in finding it. It's like a phantom poo. You know for sure it came out, you just can't prove it ...
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Absolute bummer. Probably worth the $500 excess to get such a nice bike back to lookin good. Is a known issue with these poor bikes for years, not just the Monster. I bet the people at Ducati City didn't pause before telling you what the fix was.

    Do you have an automatic charge then float/maintain type charger? One with a "bike" rate is good as bike batteries are smaller than cars and a car rate can be a bit high for the poor little suckers. The battery in my little 150cc is absolutely tiny. Apologies if I'm teachin' your Gran to suck eggs.

    Lead Acid batteries out-gas when charging, the higher the charge rate the more gassing. In the days of yore when all you got was a high amperage ram-it-in type charger, the test for fully charged was "freely bubbling" - like lemonade. Now a days batteries are or "re-com" for horizontal mounting:
    batt horiz.
    - or "Valve Regulated" with a pressure reflief valve to try and keep the gas in there for later. If your new battery was overfilled from new then with pressure from charging and with gas in the liquid it may have expanded enough to push the exess acid out the valves.

    Just a suggestion, but maybe while the battery is out try putting a load like headlight on it for a while to discharge it so you can then put it on a decent charge to make sure it's not going to over flow again.

    Did you check the wires on the battery connectors for contamination too?

    Attached Files:

    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. From my experience I would want to crunch the numbers before making a claim for something like this. Most insurance companies will pay ( minus your excess) but then they will raise your premium ( because you made a claim ) and that could cost a lot of money over the next few years. I would ask them how it will affect your future premiums.
  12. Al_CamAl_Cam I actually removed the trickle charger a long time ago, since I ride every day I wasn't using it. From the initial look of it there is no reason at all for the battery acid to be there. Hopefully they can figure it out though.

    fruechtelfruechtel yeah I've looked at the options. The correct fix is to remove the engine and all fluids, then sandblast and respray to get it back to stock. That will cost a few gorillas in labour alone I imagine.

    However, there's a chance the insurance claim could be rejected. No doubt there will be a clause somewhere or it'll be labelled "normal wear and tear." In which case I'd take it to Melb Motorcycle Fairings to get a smart cash quote that doesn't involve removing the engine. See how it pans out!
  13. I had a car battery do something similar. It was a low maintenance type (so not sealed but without visible vents). It appears that one cell was faulty. It would charge fine and after a day still read 12.4 volts. On charging from the alternator, it would go right up to 14.6 volts which is on the extreme high side of the normal range from a basic regulator. The inside of the engine bay was covered with the blue foamy stuff and the steel was being eaten away. Bicarb would violently fizz with poured on top.

    Yet the battery tested fine under a load and held its charge, and started the car without complaint all through winter. The only two hints of a problem were the high voltage under charge [which caused the] heavy outgassing. We even replaced the regulator as we thought it was responsible for the high voltage.

    I had to spend hours sanding the interior of the engine bay and painting it with cold gal.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. wokwonwokwon and that is exactly why I'm doing the insurance job if I can. I don't think there's a cheap way around it...