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1997 MM 5.0 excessive outgassing at battery

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by allmyEXes, October 4, 2018.

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  1. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    I have had so much outgassing going on with the battery that is corroding the terminals and causing issues. It is kind of a round/circle issue. Acid corrodes terminals causing bad connections that have to be cleaned in order for the alternator to charge properly. I installed the alternator 14 months ago and my first thought is a regulator issue but after a meter test showing 14.4 to 14.5 I feel good about how the alternator is performing. I usually purchase and install large Marine/RV batteries with anything with a "high output" alternator however when I was getting this vehicle operational over a year ago the "investment budget" ran low and at the end of working on it and buying parts I was forced to "cheap out" on the battery. I don't know the specs of this battery however it is the cheap $55- Walmart battery that weighs I know half of what their good RV batteries weigh so that right there will tell you it is a halfazz battery compared to the Big RV honker. I'm assuming that my little battery just doesn't have the available capacity to handle what the alternator is putting out and these PCM controlled engines consume a lot of power too. Anyone having similar issues or do you think I am theorizing this correctly ?
     
    Last edited: October 4, 2018
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  3. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I have owned vehicles that will build up white or green powdery corrosion on the positive battery terminal rather quickly. I though perhaps this was caused by the battery case not sealing well to the post, but the vehicles continued to produce this corrosion even after replacing the battery.

    Currently my '01 ST does this, but none of my other vehicles do. I removed the ST's positive terminal from the battery, cleaned it well with baking soda/water and reinstalled it (I've heard you can also use Coke Cola, but that seems messy). Then I sprayed the terminal with battery terminal protectant (I believe CRC makes it). It's a red sticky substance. It's been about 3 months with no corrosion. I have no idea why some vehicles do this and some don't, neither do I know how the red sticky protectant prevents this from happening. Perhaps it's just sealing the terminal off from air.
     
    Last edited: October 4, 2018
  4. fastpakr

    fastpakr Elite Explorer

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    Which terminal, or both, are building up corrosion?
     
  5. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    They are both turning black. The next time that I clean them
    i will put protectant on them. Thanks for the input guys.
     
  6. Ford_Racing_Guy

    Ford_Racing_Guy Well-Known Member

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    I've never done this with my vehicles but I've heard of others doing it, they glue a couple pennies on the top of the battery and the corrosion goes to the pennies before the battery posts.

    might be something to try, I haven't had a big issue with corrosion on my vehicles.

    i generally use some kind of spray like a red-grease thats sprays out of can.

    Or i just apply dilectric grease on the terminal and cable
     
  7. Dono

    Dono 347 V8 Limited turbo Elite Explorer

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    Iv'e often wondered if the alternator is putting out a slightly higher voltage contributing to this.
    I like the solutions above as a inexpensive fix.

    When my battery died, I wen't to an AGM battery. More money, but there are charge benefits, and the terminal corrosion issue goes away.
    Big down side....substantially more money.
     
  8. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I believe it is due to the copper content of the brass terminals, combined with the dis-similar metal ( lead to copper) contact corrosion that is to blame.

    Against my better judgement and prior on line advice, I finally gave in last week and applied dielectric grease to the posts and terminals hoping for some good.

    Usually greasing the posts results in a "click no crank" in a month or 2, I am hoping dielectric grease will perform better. Tired of the sky blue powder.
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Dielectric grease is non-conductive, so IDK if it will perform any better than regular grease. I've used regular grease (axle and white) on battery terminals w/out a problem, though I don't think it ever prevented battery corrosion. Neither have those red & green felt washers AutoZone loves to try and sell you with a new battery.

    As far as dissimilar metals causing corrosion, that's absolutely true and is known as electrolysis. On boats (and other things which are submersed in salt water) sacrificial pieces of zinc are used to prevent corrosion on other metal parts (aluminum and steel). I suppose that's the thinking with sticking pennies on a battery, but IDK if that actually works.

    Even when using lead terminals on lead battery posts I've experienced the white/green powdery corrosion build-up, which I attributed to acid leaking from a bad case-to-post seal. I'd never used the red battery protectant spray-on stuff until a few months ago and I only tried it because a used vehicle I purchased had a can of the stuff in the truck. I'd never tried the red spray as It goes on sticky and I figured it would just attract dirt. As I said earlier I used it 3 months ago and have had no re-occurrence of the corrosion and the stickiness eventually dried.
     
  10. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    Maybe consider switching your terminals to 100% solid brass ones, and using treated battery terminal felt washers. I did that on mine. That should reduce/eliminate your corrosion buildup issues. I had to file the insides where the post go since they were way rough from casting. One of them fits great, the other one was tight and had to be knocked down a bit with a dead blow hammer.

    Something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I’ve had luck with a spray specifically used for this. It was an aerosol and was sprayed over the terminals after everything was connected. It sealed them like a paint. It was dielectric in nature, but seemed to work well even with heavy winch use, and heavy stereo load.
     
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  12. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    I use the red goo spray then wipe it neat
     
  13. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I've also had the odd vehicle develop corrosion quickly around one terminal. My Lincolns have always done it more, but my 95 Crown Vic and the 99 Explorer have been the worst. My CV I have a bolt on replacement terminal, and I blamed it on that, but a better cable did the same thing.

    My 99 Explorer I had a new ground cable made from welding wire, it's very robust, but it does it too. That has never caused a no start issue, but I worry it might eventually.

    This is interesting to hear possible solutions. I've tried most of those things too.

    Projectthread081.JPG
     
  14. delexploder

    delexploder Well-Known Member

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    I've always just cleaned them , the posts and terminals, with a wire brush and coated them with brown grease , cosmoline gun grease , never have any problems after , i also look very close at the battery cables , they tend to corrode inside if you are are having alot of terminal /post corrosion and that to me seems to cause more starting issues
     
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  15. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    In the past I had an issue with a battery cable/terminal on a fairly new vehicle. I hit the brakes and the car just went dead. No power anywhere. The battery terminals appeared clean and tight, but once I removed the terminals a saw that one appeared black inside, instead of grey or shinny as I would have expected. I cleaned the terminal and battery post with a battery post cleaning brush and then it was fine. I've never seen this happen again.

    Nowadays I just remove and clean the battery cables/terminals as part of regular annual maintenance. If you have replacement terminals it's also a good idea to check the bolts from time to time as they tend to loosen up. I also replace batteries after they're 5 years old, as that seems to be they're typical life expectancy.
     
  16. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Back when I got my 99 it had slight corrosion on the terminal s
    I got the factory type cable clamps

    Cut the old ones off checked all the wires for corrosion inside

    Then soldered the new ones on
    Little shrink tube to make it look good

    Little battery terminal spray only on the terminal not all over the place it dries in a week or to

    This was 3 years ago still looks new
     

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