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Old 09-09-2013, 09:38 PM   #1
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Battery Box Heads Up

While pulling out the two 6-volt batteries to store them for the winter today, I noticed that all but one of the carriage bolts holding the boxes to the frame were extremely rusted. The reason for this is that the bolts have been snugged down so tightly that they have made an impression in the plastic box bottom that is lower than the drain holes. So, I took them out, using a hammer to pound them out from the bottom, and have now replaced them with stainless ones. If you feel that someday you may want to take your battery boxes off, this is a heads up if you have outside boxes.

Doug
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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Different metals do NOT mix. That's the first hint. You should never mix stainless with mild steel... you end up with "galliing" which kinda looks like "bubbles" around the bolts. Someone explained it to me as being ... really cheap welding. Because THAT's what you end up with when mixing metal types...
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
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I didn't know that. I don't know if the frame material is mild steel or not. Maybe I should replace the rusted bolts with non-stainless ones coated with wax.

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Old 09-10-2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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How about hot dipped galvanized bolts? The zinc should be OK with the steel? Or just grease the nuts and bolts with a good water repellent grease and repeat the process every couple of years to replenish the grease.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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I didn't understand the reasons for not mixing metals, especially fasteners, until I bought SS bolts for an aluminum window frame. The very elderly and extremely knowledgable gent at the hardware store spent quite a bit of time with me explaining the problem. I think I learned far more than I needed to know and some of it went waaay over my head. Nice man. First thing he asked me was what I was attempting to do... his suggestion was to use nylon washers so the metals didn't touch. Maybe that would work for you too?
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuthatchBC View Post
........ store them for the winter today, .
But, there is still tons more camping time left. I don't even consider storage until after Thanksgiving. Heck, didn't summer just start a month ago around here?
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #7
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Yes, the dissimilar metals issue does indeed pertain to any ferrous metals (iron, steel) mixed with non-ferrous metals (aluminum, copper, brass). However, I wasn't aware that stainless steel when in contact with mild steel would be a problem. I'll have to research that one a bit further.

And Jim, after five and-a-half weeks on the road, believe me, our season is definitely over <g>. Also, at Thanksgiving, we usually have a couple of inches of snow on the ground by then and all of our campgrounds, both private and public, are closed. We would have to travel further south to continue the season. There's always next year.

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Old 09-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Corrosion Information

Battery box bolts, if you want to change them you can use galvanized steel, steel for less reaction between the frame and the bolts. You can use stainless steel but should coat them in a dielectric grease or sealant preferable a sealant if you don’t plan on removing the bolts frequently. This by my best guess would be the case with the battery box bolts.
The corrosion that occurs between two differing metals in contact with one another is called Dissimilar Metal Corrosion or Galvanic Corrosion it occurs when two different metals contact each other and then subjected to a corrosive or conductive environment it causes a small amount of current to flow between them. The current flow causes the corrosion of the least corrosion-resistant (active) metal to increase and corrosion of the more corrosion-resistant (inactive/noble) metal to decrease. If you have a boat the motors have a cathode if it is a metal hull it may even have them on the hull, your water heater in the trailer has a cathode in it also. If you look at a new one and then look at one a year or so old you will see a huge difference most of the time it does depend on the water itself. The cathodes are designed to corrode so the rest of your motor, water heater, hull does so at a reduced rate.
Galling happens when metal surfaces rub against each other. This usually happens when there is no lubricant or not enough between the metals. There are however, metals that are generally highly prone to galling, due to the structure of the crystals that make up the metal. For example, aluminum will gall very easily (Unless alloyed Hardened via heat or salt solution) , whereas annealed or mild steel is a little more resistant to galling. However, Steel that is fully hardened ie Tool Steel is very resistant to galling. Galling can occur between any metals or even the same metal being in contact with out a means of lubrication. If you look a lot of bushings and guides are made of brass, Sintered (Hardened) Bronze, Babbitt etc. do to their resistance to galling.
If you like you can really get into the whole subject here http://www.robins.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-091006-043.pdf
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I spent 23 years as a AD/Reserve USAF Aircraft Structural Repair And Corrosion Control Specialist I think there is at least another one here or over on FGRV board :} I am not an expert but do have a fair bit of experience. It is why most of my mods are metal based lol work with what you know :}
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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I have had a similar issue with the battery box. My solution was to reuse the bolts after wire brushing, priming and painting. It seems to me that this is an area that needs some TLC.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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This is a bit different. I don't want to take out the battery box, just my single battery in my Escape 19. A cross member goes right across the middle of the storage box and the battery can't be raised high enough to get it out of the battery box without hitting the cross member. I'm thinking of drilling the two rivets that hold the cross member and replacing with bolt and nut. Anyone else have this crazy set-up?
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