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Old 12-02-2011, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default '96 Delta "88", constant corrosion on + battery terminal

Hello,
I've had this '96 Delta for over 4 years now, and in that time frame, I've had to clean the positive battery terminal connection every 5 or 6 months.

I didn't think to check the connections the last time the oil was changed in September, because a new battery had been installed in July. And sure enough, the positive terminal had become so corroded, the engine wouldn't start when the wife went to leave work tonight.
Now... I can see a terminal getting corroded if not attended to for a couple of years, but every 6 months is a little ridiculous. I have applied several different types of "terminal protection" throughout the years, but none have made a difference.

I have several other vehicles, and a couple of those are '96 year model GM'* with the side terminal battery connections. And none of those vehicles comes even close too needing the amount of maintenance the battery in the 88 requires. I can honestly say that I have never seen battery terminals that corrode this fast.

Am I missing something here? Any ideas of why the terminals are corroding so fast?
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:04 AM   #2
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once it starts it seems it just gets worse sometimes, i usually clean it up good and put dielectric grease on it. if that dont do it i put conformal coating on it. we normally use it to cover circuit boards that are going outside. but i used it on my atv'* computer and fuses and all the connections so i can dunk the whole thing under water up to the air intake, and have a bunch of times. you spray the stuff after you put the connection together to protect it from getting anything in.

http://www.newark.com/techspray/2102...2oz/dp/10J6915
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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X2 on using a good dielectric grease after you have cleaned it up.
IMO nothing beats boiling water for shifting terminal corrosion.

Roger.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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X2 on using a good dielectric grease after you have cleaned it up.
IMO nothing beats boiling water for shifting terminal corrosion.

Roger.
Dielectric grease was the first product applied.

I'm sorry, but what do you mean by "nothing beats boiling water for shifting terminal corrosion"?
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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Do you have one of those red plastic covers that typically covers the positive terminal? Packed with dielectric grease and with one of those red caps I can't see the terminal corroding.

Two thoughts come to mind. Check your battery with the engine running at idle to see if it is at 14.4 volts. If it is higher, it could be overcharging which would cause the battery to have excessive outgassing, which might cause your corrosion problem. Also, make sure the connection of the cable to the terminal is tight and a good fit. Loose connections also could lead to excessive corrosion.

If none of that improves things, trying blending some baking soda into the dielectric grease you pack around the terminal. It may neutralize whatever corrosive elements are there.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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I cleaned the terminals, again, and while doing so...I think I may have figured this out.

The positive terminal actually has 2 wires sandwiched together. Both are encased in their own plastic housing that when connected together make a sealed terminal. I'm sure that anyone that has been around this model car knows this type of connection.

While cleaning the terminals I noticed that the terminals do not make a solid contact with each other, or to the terminal of the battery because of the 2mm barbs that are on the wire terminals. I think that the air gap the barbs are creating between the terminal surfaces is what'* allowing the corrosion to form. I understand the theory behind the barbs, but I don't think the barbs are functioning as intended.
Air is an enemy in any terminal, and not only is there an air gap in this connection, but the tips of the barbs make up the entire contact surface of the connection. So all of the currant is going through 4 small contact points, instead of being spread across the entire surface of the terminal.

For the time being I've just cleaned the terminals, but when I have more time on my hands, I'm going to eliminate the barbs so there'* an airtight, flat connection between the terminals. If this cures the problem, great, if not, well, I'm not out anything.

Does this make any sense, or am I way off track?
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #7
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I'm sorry, but what do you mean by "nothing beats boiling water for shifting terminal corrosion"?
Back when battery corrosion was a commonplace I used to clean batteries by boiling some water and pouring it over the affected termials, the crud came straight off.
Of course because this was in England I usuall made some tea at the same time.

Roger.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:06 AM   #8
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Back when battery corrosion was a commonplace I used to clean batteries by boiling some water and pouring it over the affected termials, the crud came straight off.
Of course because this was in England I usuall made some tea at the same time.

Roger.
Rog,
I hope that you didn't use the water for the brew after it passed over the terminals.
If so...you're a tougher man than I.

Good idea, but the cleaning isn't the problem, its keep them clean.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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Rog,
I hope that you didn't use the water for the brew after it passed over the terminals.
If so...you're a tougher man than I.
You mean I shouldn't have?, I always drained some coolant from the car and brewed up with that after I'd cleaned the terminals with it. The dipstick was useful for stirring it too.

Roger.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:27 AM   #10
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The corrosion may be inside of the cable. My last attempt at cleaning involved baking soda, vinegar and the kitchen sink. Then a lot of dielectric grease. Replacement is an easier option though. Just make sure you get the original cable instead of the two pieces that some stores will try to sell you
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