HV Battery Almost fire and replacement :'(

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Hybridtoys, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Hybridtoys

    Hybridtoys New Member

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    Hi all, I am working on a 2003 with 150k from California, first it was an oll timers car then given to the grand son then drove up here to Oregon and got the Red Triangle of death. I traded some work on another car for this one because I am a mechanic and I was just going to swap the HV batt... Normally, I try to stay away from these because I simply didn't want to learn about HV system and all the stuff that goes along with them.. but here I am.
    I had a (P3030 Snapped detective line) and thought... ohh, I could actually fix that fairly easy (famous last words), so I pulled the battery and bought a Tenergy 180 charger (because I saw a guy on YouTube using one and I know I could use it for other things in the shop and my hobbies) I pulled the cover and was totally amazed at the carnage! I couldn't believe this car didn't burn to the ground. The whole computer area was fried under the cover, and like most they had a ton of blue corrosion. At this point I thought well I'm in this far I will check all the voltages and see if I can salvage some modules. Only a few had even 7 volts but the car sat long enough to have moss on it so I thought I could bring these back to life. Before I pulled the battery I used my Autel scanner to scroll through the scan results. The voltages read as Blocks, with an (over all state of charge at 34.5%) with all Modules at .20 ohms.
    When I numbered I made it as most, closest to the computer as #1; but from what I've seen this is not how they are? Can anyone confirm? I've seen people list them both ways.
    I started charging with this set up:

    Capacity 6500 Mah
    CHG Current 4.8A
    DCHG Current 4.5A
    DCHG End Volt 6.20
    5 cycles, at 4 minute rests

    On the ones that had 0.0 I had trouble, when I went to charge them it wouldn't start because it showed as a (short) so I had to daisy chain the one I just charged to it, charge it for a minute or two then disconnect it and then I could start the cycling process.
    After I had cycled them all they were only like 700-900 MAH (other than those first 4) but all showed 7-ish volts. So Could this entire battery other than those 4 or 6 be bad? What happens when they naturally discharge to 0 over time?

    I Have another on from a wrecked one that was running and driving but it also only has the first 6 or so modules with good MAH / voltage's. How could it have been going with these types of readings? I plan to make 1 out of 2 but it seems like only a few modules are any good out of either batteries.... I'm just wondering if I'm missing something in my tests? I expected them to cycle and recover but almost none are, I'm guessing letting them run to 0.0 killed the cells or are they in fact recoverable?

    Also side note, the battery I just bought as a core clearly also ran hot, all the orange holder were melted, but oddly enough the one that burned didn't have any melted terminals...

    Any help would rock, Thanks!
     

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  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    On the bright side, the orange plastic is not melted. Gen 1 modules had an electrolyte leakage issue, so Toyota had a procedure to fix it by adding the nastiest sealant in the universe to the module terminals to try to stop the leaks. You have one battery that has the 'fix' performed and one that doesn't.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Not all Prius generations have put #1 at the same end ... that's probably why you've seen both ways mentioned. Have to be careful which things you read are for which generation.
     
  4. Hybridtoys

    Hybridtoys New Member

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    OH, I see well your right about the sealant, I have 1 battery in the hallway and it doesn't smell at all, and one next to my couch.. The one that has the "fix" STIIIIIIIIIINKS like burnt wires and is sticky as hell and of course its the one next to the couch lol. The brown goo is all over the place on the fixed one.... I will say I also noticed the Computer on this battery also shows excessive heat at the connection from the sensors. (heat scorching and deformed plastic lock tab)
    So far my original battery is all charged up but doesnt have very many MAH... I guess I will start pulling the good ones out. after 5 cycles many are only 800 MAH... I guess I just write those off as bad? Or should I cycle them more? or is this just a waste of time?
     
  5. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    Generally any rechargeable battery that goes to/near zero volts is toast. You might recover it some, but capacity and reliability will be poor. IF you can salvage the battery ecu and source a harness for it, then you could consider finding a set of Gen2 modules and making that into a functional pack.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  6. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    Based on all the signs of overheating, I'd say none of modules are salvageable, especially if they're the original Gen1 modules.

    A single bad cell in one of the modules will prevent the banks from having an even voltage and set the dreaded 3006 engine code. When this happened on my '01, I could still drive it, but the unbalanced battery caused excessive current and heat. I could hear the cooling fan running at high speed if I drove the car even a short distance. I tried swapping out the bad modules, but this was only a temporary fix which lasted a few months before another cell failed.

    If all the other parts are good, old OEM battery packs are still quite valuable as a core exchange for a new Toyota battery. Normally this is done at the dealership, since a certified hybrid mechanic needs to take the ECM and relays out of the old battery and put them in the new pack, but some dealers will sell the battery to the end user if you're able to do this kind of work yourself.

    Another option is to use the old pack as a core exchange for an after market battery pack which comes with all the parts, but not likely to last as long as a new Toyota battery.

    You could also buy a complete set of gen2 modules off Ebay and install them, but there's no guarantee they will last.
     
  7. OBJUAN

    OBJUAN Member

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    I have a pack that came out of a gen 3. All of them leak electrolyte out the negative post (gen 2 too). Add some condensation/humidity, it leaks accross bus bar and down the sense wires. I've found it in the main GND cable as well. (The battery with the main GND is #1.) Eventually the electrolyte gets to the orange connector and starts to short the pins together. There is no current limiting on the sense wires, so burn baby burn. In the ECU there are 1k resistors in series to the sense wires, lot of good they do there. Could be the vents get stuck and cannot release the pressure, so the batt-post seals over-pressure and begin to leak. So we have the green mess and fires. Thanks panasonic...
     
  8. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Your theory is that electrolyte experiences capillary action along the stranded wires and causes corrosion at the ecu?
     
  9. nimblemotors

    nimblemotors Re Member

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    If you plan to keep the car rather than just drive it for a year or two, or you plan to sell it, I highly recommend you spend the cash to get a brand new battery from Toyota. You need the old one as a core, the new one doesn't come with the sense wires or the ecu or anything,
    so you need a good one for that. Unforunately for us all, but good for some,with stolen cats an epidemic for the prius, you can buy cars really cheap that have good batteries these days. Still a brand new one will last 100k miles, not 1k miles..
     
  10. OBJUAN

    OBJUAN Member

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    Yes, I cut off the terminal and stripped the sense wires back to where there was clean copper. It seeped a good distance into the wire. Even the ground wire was heavily oxidized(black) along the length. Would not be a stretch for the electrolyte to travel outside the sense wire jacket into the harness with any condensation that may develop.

    The 24S active balancer arrived yesterday. The balance wires are only 1' long. I'm still waiting on the silicone wire I ordered to extend these wires and also make a new sense wire harness with new pins in the orange connector. I keep getting a full green bar display randomly dropping to one violet bar. I've already replaced the ground ref pin in the connector thinking if it was intermittent, that would show a single bar if it went open. That did not correct the issue and I get the same thing with my spare ECU. I'm sure this is not good for the pack if the car thinks a near full battery is low and proceeds to recharge...the fight continues. Thankfully the weather is warming up here.
     
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