While cleaning my work shop, I found a couple of DeWALT Batteries that were completely dead. They would not take a charge, and zapping them with high voltage did not work ether. Since most of my tools are DeWALT having extra batteries is helpful. So i wasn't just going to recycle them. Decided to take the surgical approach and do a transplant. I used to have a Milwaukee 18 volt drill, unfortunately it's not with us anymore. Held on to the batteries in the hopes that one day I just might buy another one. Well, never did. But now I have a new purpose for it.
Green element: Using a battery to it's full potential before recycling, I figure might creates less waste, because I'm not buying a new one, just giving old one another purpose.
By the way, just because you see me doing this, and it works for me, does not mean, that i said it was okay for you to do it, and if you blow your self up in the process don't come crying back to me. Take responsibilities for your own actions.
Step 1: Tools
To start off, you are going to have to get some tools.
Soldering Iron, screwdriver, small pliers, knife, and a multimeter.
Optional Heat gun
Step 2: Dissasambly
Lets start by removing enclosures of both batteries. Upon removal, you are going to see that both batteries contain the same "C" size cells, just arranged differently.
Our job is to rearrange them in order to make them fit in to the enclosure of the Dewalt battery.
Both batteries come with protective insulation/heat cardboard glued to top and bottom, we are going to have to remove it, in one piece. Try prying it with a knife, it should come off. If you like to make it easy on your self, use a heat gun to loosen the glue.
On Dewalt you will have to cut the metal strip and solder off the wire holding cell on top.
Now for the fun part.
Step 3: Re-arrangeing
Now that you have all cells exposed, you can see how they are connected. All of my cells and spot welded together with thin metal strip.
We need to separate the donor battery in to groups (two cells per group)
Start by prying metal strips up, then with pliers slowly peel back on the tabs, until they come off.
Now that all cells are grouped in to two, we can start arranging them to fit inside Dewalt case
You might want to refer to the pictures, in order to get it right.
Start off on one end, and work your way to the other, (Look PIC 5) Make sure everything is arranged in same way as the dead battery. You might want to tape them together, so they maintain their position.
Step 4: Re-assembly
Having everything arranged, so it fits in the case, we have to start reconnecting the top portion of the battery. There might be some of the tabs already facing the right way. but for the most part, most of them aren't even close. Pry off the ones you can't do anything with but be careful with them. You will need to reuse them.
Now all of the tabs are going to have to be reconnected, Best way to to that would be spot weld it together. Unfortunately I don't own a spot welder, so I soldered everything together.
Normally I would not advise soldering directly on to a battery, but I had to do what i had to do.
Using a wire brush start by cleaning off the surface area. Apply flux.
I set my soldering iron to about 450C, Higher temperature, means shorter time I have to hold it place to heat up the area. After all, you don't want to boil the contents of a battery.
Apply solder to surface, then attach tab. continue on to the next .
Once you have completed reattaching all cells together, test and make you have current flowing from one end to the other. You're ready to put it back together.
Step 5: Testing
Once everything is ready we can put it back in to the case, Take all of your cells and slide it in to the plastic enclosure. screw it all together, and put it on the charger. you might want to check if it's not getting too hot.
Everything worked as planned. Now I'm off to Home Depot, to drop off all the old battery cells, and
18V Ryobi batteries are about 50 bucks 2 pack, time for more transplants.
Here is info on recycling your old batteries. http://www.rbrc.org/index.php