Battery Exploded

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by mentor, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. mentor

    mentor New Member

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    Posted this question on another HD website and no help, maybe here. 1982 FXLR with a two month old Ultima Thunderbolt (sealed) direct replacement battery. While riding the bike it backfired and quit with lots of smoke and/or vaporized battery acid coming from the bike and at the time too busy trying to get the bike to the shoulder to notice where the smoke was coming from and I notice the oil in my tach was boiling. Once home I found that the battery had exploded, battery was dry and the sides were expanded. Have done some troubleshooting with a volt/ohm meter and a visual inspection and nothing so far. It would seem to me a massive discharge that would cause the battery to explode there would be a component that would look like toast, but nothing so far OR maybe the battery internally shorted out, I have not seen or heard of that happening but maybe it is possible.
    Any suggestion as to what happend or where to look would be appreciated.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Two causes I can think of for something like this is a bad battery or a grounded battery POS cable between the battery and the starter. Check the entire length for any rub thru areas.

    Be sure to neutralize the acid with a baking soda and water wash or you will have massive damage to the paint and anywhere the acid got on.
     
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    If battery was not the proper size and secured in bike properly, might battery have shorted against frame while riding???????
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    In addition to the above, two other possibilities would be Zero voltage regulation coming out of the regulator. Uncontrolled or unregulated DC output could charge the battery with 20+ volts. (Really more so an issue with 3 phase systems but something else I would check)

    The other would be non rectification of the AC coming off the stator. That would result in charging the battery with AC instead of DC. The battery would not like that at all. Hard to say if the stator would just burn up and act like a fuse or if the battery would explode. Check your stator. If it's toast, it could have been this.

    Man, let me tell you. Your lucky you did not get hurt.
     
  5. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

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    Nice list of symptoms. In either case, I would expect significant damage to many systems connected to system power (ECM, security system, speedo/tach, cruise control, lamps, etc.) as well as system power supply components (stator, voltage regulator).

    Good luck,
    Rich P
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    ECM? It's a 1982 bike. Those were still Vacuum tube days.
     
  7. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

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    Statement was intended for future reference by others. Honestly, I did not even look at the bike definition. My hair lit on fire when I saw the list of symptoms and the thread title. I just wanted to list whatever I could think of, that could be damaged by the indicated issue. Sorry for any confusion.

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
  8. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

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    Sorry I cant help you,but I do wish you the very best in the resolution of the problem,and hopefully very little or no collatoral damage.
     
  9. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    With enough voltage to destroy the battery I would guess that the cables are probably shot too. If the battery was the correct size and CCA then the culprit has to be the charging system. Remove the inspection plate on the primary and see if it smells burnt. I think you have gotten some great advice and places to start looking. If it were me I would be checking all the circuit breakers and fuzes plus I would be replacing the voltage reg and the stator. Take a close look at the rotor and see if the magnets have come loose. You also need to heed the advice on neutralizing the effects of battery acid with baking soda and lots of water.
     
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Wow, with a dead short like that I would be looking at all the wires and switches, you are very lucky sitting on a bomb like that