Colorado Springs guy looking for Prolong reconditioning help

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by ColoradoCrow, Feb 9, 2022.

  1. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    Hi All. I have 2 Prii both 08's. 112K and 116K, no RTOD and no error but it is starting to show signs of aging....like red bars one or 2 and hesitation when starting up a hill near our house after battery has been sitting all night. I need to keep both for 4 more years. I'd like to try reconditioning them. Would anyone near me in Colorado Springs be willing to educate me/ borrow your unit and help me out? I understand I need to buy a harness to fit on my cars.
     
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  2. alftoy

    alftoy Active Member

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    #2 alftoy, Feb 10, 2022
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2022
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    As someone who has owned a Prolong Kit for years (first generation actually) and bought my 07 car new and went through all the stages of the oem battery failing before I bought a NPB system I can say with pretty good certainty that you waited way to long to think about prolonging. There's not much meat left on that bone.There's a sweet spot to start prolonging and you missed it. The red bars made sure of that.

    Its no magic bullet. I know about the sweet spot as I have been on this site for 15 years.

    Prolong only works well with a recoverable battery that's getting soft mileage which is getting worse and goes to purple bars fairly quick with poor recovery. The fact that your seeing red bars is bad. And you 4 year mission is ludicrous. Your pretty close to the RTOD I'm afraid.

    At the very least the battery interconnect is rotten and needs some attention. Take it out and look at it.

    I am giving you this bad news because I don't want you to waste your time on a $$$ prolong as a fix. Its not. A battery rebuild/ or new battery is in order.

    Prolong is nice to balance the pack but now the prices are crazy. Take the battery out and dig into it cause one way or the other that's coming...

    I will stand back now put on my tin foil jacket and duck all the incoming flames....
     
  4. alftoy

    alftoy Active Member

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    Kudos @edthefox5, I commend you for taking a stand.
     
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  5. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    So. Ed thanks for being honest no BS. I appreciate that. I live less than 2 miles from NPB and plan on buying a new battery when it's time. I can drive my Prius to the factory and pick it up. I'm trying to prolong that. But I guess if we have to spend $719 on a Prolong system thats a lot of money towards a $1,600.00 battery. I'm very DIY inclined and I'm not worried about the install. Should I rent a Prolong for $100 and try and recondition a 14 year old battery? I'm still debating this issue...but I appreciate the input. Please keep it coming.
     
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  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I would take the battery out and give it a good look over. Maybe very corroded and need a good cleanup. See if you have any leaking modules check the battery ecu plugs and sockets for corrosion check the voltage on all modules look for any soft modules.

    The modules in the center of the pack suffer the most as they get the hottest.
    This must be addressed before any Prolonging.
    You can Prolong it till the cows come home but won’t matter if it’s all corroded.

    Clean the battery fan.

    Hundreds of posts about both subjects using the search forums link and also many youtubes.

    I pulled the battery out myself and I’m in my 60s. I built a little 2x4 ramp in the trunk and just slid it up and out. Pretty easy. I built a little rolling 2x4 wood cart that matched the lip height of the Prius trunk and just slid it out onto that cart.
    Really handy to have that battery on a rolling cart very easy to work on.
    Easy reinstall too.

    I later sold that cart on Craig’s list and advertised it as a Prius battery rebuild cart. Got alot of calls lol. Sold fast.

    Installed A NPB. Worked perfect.

    Take pictures of everything. The passenger side of the battery when it’s in the car the side that interfaces with the vent system the box reassembly of that threw me for a loop for a while. Pay attention to that.
    Lots of pictures of the battery assembly pre tear down.

    Good luck.
     
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  7. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    Thanks Ed. Yes I have removed and cleaned the hybrid fan completely, disassembly and cleaned with alcohol, q tips, etc. You can eat off of them. When I removed the interior I did not see any signs of corrosion but then I understand that the middle batteries can leak from underneath where you wont see it until you take the pack apart. I'm now leaning on just saving money and installing a NPB this summer.
    Where can I sell my old modules? I'd like them to have some use to somebody.
     
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  8. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    Seems like there is a place in Denver that might buy the old battery cells. I just down want to pitch them. SOMEBODY Somewhere. Will need them and IT will keep another Gen 2 Prius on the road. ILl reach out to them and inquire about selling them.
     
  9. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    Is there a way once the battery modules have been removed you can just keep them alive? I know NiMH drains over time and that after 3 months of no use they can be toast. I'm thinking about replacing my modules with new...but the wife would like to keep the others just in case. I know that on the shelf they drain. with 28 of them can you top them off in a way that is safe and easy? I dont need yet another project for me to do. Maybe just sell them while they have value? What would you all do? Has anyone done this?
     
  10. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    I travel for work and dont have much time anymore. Anybody willing to build and sell me a charger/discharging unit? I'm not sold on the prolong system only due to price compared to buying a whole new battery and being done with it? My wife wants to try reconditioning first.
     
  11. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    The voltages I will use below are BLOCK voltages, so that is a pair of modules wired together in series.
    The simplest way would be to charge them periodically, which to me means every 6 months. But see below.
    They shouldn't self-discharge to under 7.2 V in only 3 months, but if they do, it more than likely means they are junk anyway. So sell these on (with full disclosure—someone will buy them as junk for the right price) and if you're interested in still having a full complement of modules buy replacements from a reputable seller who can sell you modules that will match your remaining modules.

    What I would do is buy a four-channel RC hobby charger and wire the modules into 14 blocks. Charge each block (four at a time; 1 block per channel) up to 16.8 V at 325 mA. With a four-channel charger, you should be able to do all seven blocks in seven to eight days. Then leave them. Measure the static voltage regularly (every week/every two weeks) as fits in with your schedule and record all measurements for all blocks. You should notice a steady drop to about ~15.8 V then it should slow right down until it gets to ~13.8 V at which point the rate of voltage drop will increase. The rate will increase and get quicker and quicker as the voltage gets lower. The time frame to get to ~13.8 V should be a long time 6–12 months, I'd expect but for storage, you shouldn't let it get below 14.4 V before charging up again.

    For better and more consistent results, a temperature-controlled environment is best—20ºC/68ºF. Do not do any charging work above 38ºC/100ºF. Be aware that the max voltage will go up the warmer the ambient temp, so for good data, it is important to keep the ambient temperature as consistent as possible.

    If you want to recondition the blocks, do the following steps on each block:
    1. Charge up (@325 mA) until the block voltage stabilizes (at ~16.8–17.4) then charge for a further 4–6 hours;
    2. Discharge at 325 mA until the voltage reaches 9.6 V;
    3. Charge back up to 16.8–17.4 V;
    4. Discharge at 325 mA until the voltage reaches 7.2 V;
    5. Charge back up to 16.88 V;
    6. Discharge at 325 mA until the voltage reaches 6.0 V
    7. Charge up (@325 mA) until the block voltage stabilizes (at ~16.8–17.4) then charge for a further 4–6 hours.
    Notes:
    1. The 16.8–17.4 V range will vary in relation to the ambient temp and age; this voltage should be the same across all charges so long as the ambient temp is consistent. Voltage well in excess of 17.4 V indicates one or both modules in the block are more than likely suspect. The individual module should not exceed 8.7 V.
    2. If the max voltage will not go above 16.8, this is a good sign. It means that is very new and does not warrant reconditioning. You should really only see this on new batteries, which don't need reconditioning.
    3. The modules should have active cooling circulating the ambient air across the modules while charging.
    I do not have any recommendation for a brand or model of charger but there are people here who can advise as well as threads you could search up.

    I hope that helps somewhat.
     
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  12. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Ok there it is: " I don't have much time anymore"

    Bingo.

    Completely understand so if you don't have much time anymore last thing you want to get involved with is Dolj's post.

    Nothing wrong with it but it takes time. Alot of time agonizing over data charging/discharging on and on and on and then even though it may all look good on the bench you put it back together and a month later a module fails cause its 14 YEARS OLD! Back out it comes....
    Its not a savings account lol.

    Buy a NPR battery they work great its a very nicely engineered kit I put one in my car it was perfect. Comes with all the interconnect you need. And if your close maybe you can pick it up save some shipping $$. And get on with your life.

    Good Luck.
     

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  13. Another

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    Or buy an OEM or refurbished new cell battery, installed. Any of those options will work and save you time.
     
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  14. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    This does help. Thank you. Still figuring out a lot of life decisions before I can tackle/revisit this. But thank you for the valuable info. I research and store info for several projects at a time so I will for sure file this away.
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Yes OEM battery prices are much lower but have not seen many who actually scored one at the dealer at the cheap price.Check around as the OEM battery is superior to anything out there.

    But both the oem and npr still require some wrenching and module swapping etc but not anywhere near time consuming as a full diagnostic I don't have a life so I will spend hours after hours messing with this rebuild...
     
  16. luis perez

    luis perez New Member

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    Hello!

    A quick question outside the battery topic, the question is related to red line oil: I am thinking of using the professional series (white or red bottle), so far so good with your experience with it?

    In San Antonio Texas the Toyota dealer allowed me to buy two for $1,200.00 each (core exchange of course) and I did the swap at home. One was for me the other was for my brother. I had to spend an afternoon calling all dealerships until one said said yes.

    Usually the batteries in the center of the pack wear out faster, I have contemplated the idea of doing a "module rotation" every two years. I may start doing that. Teachstream always shows the modules in the center with low voltage, the ends are always "high".
     
  17. alftoy

    alftoy Active Member

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    Is it possible to charge the blocks using a Meanwell APC-8E.350. The Meanwell is $7 from Digikey.com, so less than $30 for a 4 channel setup. The Meanwell is rated at .350 amps and voltage output 11 VDC to 23 VDC.

    A video on Youtube shows charging a block using a 16v IBM laptop supply.

     

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    #17 alftoy, Apr 5, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Redline Oil is all I use. It works really well in the G2 motor you can feel the difference in the engine and it’s ZDP Pack really quiets down the solid lifter valve train racket.
    I sold my G2at around 170,000 miles and the car ran like new motor did not eat any oil and I use Redline D6 in the trans and the trans loved it.
    Redline 10-30 which is actually a 40 weight oil at op temp and Redline D6 in the trans.
    Since new really.
    Google Redline reviews.
    Oh and put a little redline oil between your fingers and tell me what it feels like lol.
    It’s liquid plastic. High quality ester.
     
  19. luis perez

    luis perez New Member

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    Is the SKU 15304? I see professional and High-Performance, and euro-formula, I definitely do not need racing lol
     
  20. luis perez

    luis perez New Member

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    A quick comment: Modules need to be under side compression when charging, that's how they work in the pack.
     
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