How I spent my Christmas:
We had invited my brother and sister-in-law over for dinner. My brother brought over his 4-cell Mag-light, because the batteries had leaked and corroded themselves in place, and he was hoping that I could get them out.
We started by clamping the flashlight (with a towel for padding) in the pipe clamp in the bench vise. I screwed in a 6” long deck screw in the back of the rear battery, then grabbed the screw with pliers and pulled – it just ripped out the back of the battery.
So then I got serious and screwed in 4 of the deck screws around the side of the battery to spread out the load, wired them together and pulled on all four at the same time. The rear battery came loose and out. 1 down, 3 to go.
So I used the same technique on the 2nd battery. No luck! So I hitched a come-along (winch) to the screws in the battery, with the other end of the cable hooked to a clamp on one of the deck posts and started tightening the come-along – the first two times, the tension pulled the clamp off of the 4X4 post. So we re-arranged things a bit, screwed the clamp tighter to the post and tried again. Finally, the thing came out… Just the rear metal cover that was the bottom of the battery.
Most people might have given up by that time, but I was not about to be bested by a lousy D-Cell battery. With the cover ripped off, we cleaned out the chemical innards of the battery and washed it clean using a steel wire bottle brush.
Now that I could see (Barely – it’s dark in there), we spent the next 15-20 minutes driving a narrow screwdriver between the shell of the battery and the case of the flashlight, slowly prying it away from the outside flashlight case. Once that was clear of the sides, I used my extra long needle-nose pliers to twist and turn what was left of the battery until it finally came free.
More scrubbing at the corroded leakage with the wire bottle brush and we could feel the remaining two batteries moving inside. Bouncing the back of the flashlight against a piece of wood (so as not to damage the threads), we finally got the last two batteries out. Just our of curiosity, I checked them – the battery tester showed the last two were perfectly good! All of the batteries and the gunk still went into plastic bags and into the battery recycle-bin.
Then we scrubbed until the inside of the case was clean and blew it out with compressed air, put in new batteries and it worked perfectly!
And that’s how I spent my Christmas Day (or a couple of hours of it anyway)! (It’s a good thing I made the Creamed Spinach earlier, because the rest of dinner was ready by the time we finished.)
-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living