Traction battery reconditioning

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by AM1, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. AM1

    AM1 Junior Member

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    I have an 08 Prius that I got from a mail carrier in 2017. It’s got 360k miles and I am constantly working on it, I like working on old stuff. In the past when I get the P0A80 I take the entire HV battery apart and switch them with some cells I got from donor batteries then charge the 28 cells in parallel with a air soft charger. When all 28 are at about 7.4 volts I take it apart and then reassemble it and reinstall it. That has always worked before but this time I get the wack a mole P3013 or another code that says one of the blocks get weak. I’ve never actually reconditioned a cell because my way used to work. Now I want to try it the right way and I want to know if the prolong charger is still the best way or is the charger that is in the Prius shop better? Thanks for your advice
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Can you give us some details about your air soft charger?

    Also do you have a link to the charger in Prius shop?

    In general, the Prolong charger is better than other grid chargers because it has a more sophisticated pulse charge that's combined with NiMH charge algorithm so reconditioning is more efficient.

    However, the entire discharge and recharge with Prolong system is happening at super low amp levels so it takes several days to do 3 rounds of reconditioning.

    To speed things up and to be able to better identify bad modules you can use 12v 50w bulbs to discharge a module and iMAX B6 V2 Changer to charge a module...

    As for your air soft charger, it's likely not powerful enough to do a complete charge balance in parallel
     
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    PS: How are the brakes? I've heard the Prius brakes are problematic for mail carrier routes because the all mechanical aspect of the brakes under 6 mph is not heavy duty enough to handle that near constant level of use?
     
  4. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I could be wrong, but it would seem to me that the "best" charger would be an individual 7.2V charger for each module. Note that 7.2V is not 100% charge voltage, but nominal, or about 50% charge.
     
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  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    According to Hybrid Automotive / Prolong in a 28 module NiMH pack full charge occurs at approximately 240v and if you divide that by 28 = 8.57v per module. And the actual balancing process that gets all modules to same voltage occurs between 240-245v, which is known as balancing from the top... Lithium packs however are not done this way and are balanced from the bottom, so that's likely when your reasoning would apply, but I haven't worked with Lithium yet so am not certain.
     
  6. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    My idea was if any module has a cell that's weak it's less likely to affect the whole battery if you charge each module individually and also could be easier to notice if you charge each module individually.

    For an example, using the Torque Pro app I see that not all the modules are charging the same. Some have higher voltages than others. You could charge to 8.54V x 28 modules, but one module might be 8.45 and another 8.63 and another 8.51, etc.

    Also, if you have a way of doing it you could also measure the capacity of each module giving you a better idea of what ones are going to give out sooner.

    And while you're doing that, you could even test each module's resistance to get an even better idea.

    But then again, maybe all that's overkill.

    Still, I'm waiting on my capacity tester to come in and will start charging and testing all modules individually. I'm just curious to see what results I get. It will also be helpful to replace bad modules with ones of similar capacity to the rest of the battery.
     
    #6 Isaac Zachary, Aug 21, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  7. AM1

    AM1 Junior Member

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    The charger I use is the super brain 959. I set it at 1.0 amp and then it takes a few hours to get all the cells to 7.2. I was thinking that if I could the volts high enough to start the car then the car would charge it the rest. The car was in pretty bad shape but now it’s pretty good. The catalytic converter was so clogged with burnt oil that the car would stall. The I don’t remember the breaks being that big of a problem. The drum shoe contact points had big grooves in them. I just dressed it with a grinder and it was fine.

    I was blocked for posting the link the the Prius shop grid charger because I’m so junior
     
  8. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Again, 7.2V per module is not a full charge. You need a lot more to get a full charge. Still I guess balancing all at 7.2V might help. It just seems like it would be better to charge all up to something like 8.4V.

    Oil burning problems could be related to gummed up oil control rings. Try:
    1. Changing your oil more often, the more the merrier. ;)
    2. Use a "high detergent" oil. At least for some time.
    3. Maybe try some "oil flush" when changing your oil. You put it in and warm up the engine before dumping the oil. (y)
    4. Last but not least it that doesn't work, take out pistons and oil control rings and clean them and put them back in with lots of clean oil and new quality gaskets. This would a be a good opportunitied to clean out all the carbon build up too with WD-40 and lent free rags or blue shop paper towels.
    A fouled up catalytic converter might be able to be restored.
    1. You could try lacker thinner in the fuel.
    2. Another trick is to take the catalytic converters off, plug one side and fill the rest with water and laundry soap and let it soak overnight. Then drain it out and put back on car. Not easy though to get the exhaust bolts to turn without snapping them.
    I do not recommend using a grinder to "dress" your brakes! :eek: Grooved drums should be inspected to see if they are within spec and if reusable should be turned on an appropriate lathe or replaced.
     
  9. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Charging to 7.2 V will not do any cell balancing. Maybe you were thinking of equalizing.
    Agreed, although 8.2 V would be the voltage I would charge each module up to.
     
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  10. AM1

    AM1 Junior Member

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    Thanks again. I’ll try 8.2 next time. I didn’t mean to say that I ground the drum. I should have said that the spots that the shoes slide on have a deep grove in it, keeping the shoe from moving. I ground it flat again and then the shoe could move again. You guys have been a great help.
     
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