Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6 - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


HCH II-Specific Discussions Model Years 2006-2011

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Old 08-16-2011, 05:09 AM
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Default Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Hi all.

First post. I purchased a 2006 Civic Hybrid spring of this year. Shortly after, I noticed the constant re-calibration of the battery. Started my research and well... here I am.

The car has about 126k miles on it. The dealer saw me comming and I feel like I was sold a lemon. But I got it for $7K and that's a pretty sweet deal... if I can get the IMA battery back into shape.

So... I purchased a used battery for $480. The guy said it came from a 2006 with 36k miles on it. Sure.

Anyway I measured all of 75 volts with my Fluke volt meter before putting it on a trickle charger (home built).

There is really no way of knowing the value of a battery without testing it under a load condition. It can be junk and still put out 158 volts on a meter.

Anyway, I have one IMAX B6 currently with nine more on order. I took the battery apart and have started charging one of the sticks. It took me several days to get the charge settings right. I think I'm good now.

For those interested I'll post some pictures later. When I get the other nine chargers, I figure it will take me a minimum of three days to cycle all of the batteries in one IMA assembly.

Once I've done that, I'll take the IMA assembly out of my Civic and start on that. When I have enough good sticks to assemble one good IMA assembly, I'll put it back into the car and share the results.

Happy trails!

Ross
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Sounds like a very interesting project! You must be a electrical type person be doing this work ,are you? We certainly would be interested in a any up-dates and pics. Keep us posted. H
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Thank you Harold,

I have more than a few hobbies... one includes piddling with pic processors and electrical tid bits. I know which end of the soldering pencil to hold and the difference between AC and DC. If you're ever curious I'll splain it to ya.

:-)

There's bits and pieces out there where others have gone before me and a couple of outfits that make a living at same. I choose to save a bit more and do it myself if I can. I always enjoy learning something new and knowing that if something goes wrong later, that I have the knowledge to maybe fix that too.

I'll get some pictures when I can. Right now I don't have much to really look at. Just a charger and a couple of sticks on the kitchen table. But I'll get something on here. I have always gotten a lot from pictures others have posted.

More soon!

Thanks again,

Ross
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Gotta commend you on the initiative here. I admire the DIY stuff especially concerning the battery. Definitely need some record of your progress. How are things going? Any news?
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Hi Guzz,

Things are slow but steady. I am still using only one battery charger / conditioner. The other nine are between here and China. Bother!

I have some pics but they don't meet the size requirement. I'll shrink them down a bit later and post them.

I have the battery apart and several pair of "sticks" out to charge. I've done six sticks so far and starting a seventh tonight. It takes about 30 hours per stick. With ten chargers It can be done in a few days.

I also purchased some alligator clips and banana plugs to make some longer charging wires. I'll solder all of that together this weekend.

I'll get some pics uploaded in the next couple of days.

Regards,

Ross
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Have you determined how many of the sticks were not pulling their weight? If you can determine which are bad ,just replace them and install the pack back in the car for charging? Sounds as if you are progressing along however. H
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Hi Harold,

Yes, things are progressing. Life keeps getting in the way. Bought a new fridge over the weekend and had to bust out a wall and rebuild it three inches to the left to get the fridge in. So much for progress last weekend.

The pairs of sticks stack like cord wood in the battery case. This is different from the earlier model civics and Honda hybrids. The sticks are permanently attached on one end with a heavy welded tab. For this reason, the sticks are color coded so that they can be arranged properly in their cage.

If I find a bad stick, I plan to cut the metal tab with a dremel, find another (same color) stick and dremel that one, then silver solder them back together with a thick piece of copper. (I could actually use a penny!) Ha! that might do very nicely! Because of the shape of the welded tabs on the ends, I think I can do this without heat damaging the battery.

I haven't yet found any bad sticks. I found one that was a bit less on capacity but I wouldn't throw it out. I'm filling out a chart to track the power charge and discharge. Nothing fancy but it tells the story well enough to choose good over bad.

Currently I am working on the junkyard battery I purchased. The guy said it was from a 2006 civic with 36k miles on it. I thought, "36k miles, right." But so far, I'm six for six. I haven't pulled my civic battery. I'll finish this group of cells and determine how many bad ones I need to replace and then pull the civic battery and start looking for good cells. Once I pull the civic pack, the car is down for the duration. Oh where oh where are my Chinese chargers?

Pics soon.

Ross
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Personally I would have installed the one you purchased and them worked
on the one you knew for sure was defective, But sounds like an interesting
project, So how do you figure out the capacity of an individual cell?

Last edited by subdewd; 08-25-2011 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Hi Subdewd,

I've was cautioned not to take a junkyard battery and just install it in the car. You really have no history on the donor car or battery, how long the battery has been sitting, etc. Nimh batteries self-discharge over time (more so than most other battery chemistries). With the expense in your car, and the second-hand battery, a little caution here is a might good thing. :-)

The car still runs fine. I just miss the pep. Too many re-cals per day. It's taking time but worth the effort. When I'm done, I'll know which batteries are bad, which are good, and how to go about this again in the future.

Ross

Last edited by rossfree; 08-25-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Battery refurbish in process - IMAX B6

Thank you for helping dispel the myth that Hybrids will be too costly to maintain for long periods. Several metro areas have hybrid battery "rebuild shops" in operation currently and the price to exchange a battery pack will be much lower in the future.

It ain't rocket surgery - just have to know how to do it safely.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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2004, b6, battery, build, calibrate, civic, diy, honda, hybrid, ima, imax, menu, pack, rebuild, refurbished, remanufactured

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