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Stuck Battery removal (particularly flashlights)

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KeepItSimpleStupid

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I'm sure everyone has experienced the batteries that won't budge from a flashlight. In particular, I have had problems with Maglite that use the AA cells. Not all AA batteries are alike and neither are the Maglites. Some, actually don't have the tolerances to support easy removal. Battery insertion is from the non-light side (negative contact) only. Access to the negative contact is judged to be easier.

The 3 cell AA Maglites are not made anymore and they are "harder to loose".

I'd like to enlist ideas, before I present an idea that shows potential and it was easy to do for the first cell. I can't expand what I have for batteries deeper in the tube. The hardest to remove cell is located about 4" in the barrel.

Last night, I was extremely successful in removing one cell. I have on order parts for an extractor. It won't be cheap, but I think it will be worthwhile investment.

Thoughts?
 

jpanhalt

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I'd screw a sheet metal screw into it and pull it out -- just like dent pullers on cars.
 

alec_t

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Bradawl?
 

ci139

Active Member
most of the battery cases are from magnetic steel
in case you have a strong magnet with the "right nozzle" it might do the trick
as about #2 i speculate the LP transparencies might also do the trick lubricated with (soap)water and/or clycerol -- from attachment front end
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
They often leak and chemically "rust" on to the inside of the torch.

You can use a long drill bit and drill the majority of the core of the battery out then "peel" out the thin outer metal casing of the battery from the inside of the torch.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

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The sheet metal screw will work for battery #1, but not for #2 and #3.

The AA battery is 13.5-14.5 mm diameter by 49.2-50.5mm long, so a 10 cm reach (2 battery lengths
in ~1.5cm hole is tough)

They often leak and chemically "rust" on to the inside of the torch.
The Maglite has an Aluminum case.

One particular Maglite I had, I could not get the threaded cap off, so it looks like some sort of preventative grease on those threads is in order.

I did try some graphite lubercant and see if the remaining two batteries would shake out. No luck.

In a few days, I should have "my idea" to try out.
 

jpanhalt

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The sheet metal screw will work for battery #1, but not for #2 and #3.

The AA battery is 13.5-14.5 mm diameter by 49.2-50.5mm long, so a 10 cm reach (2 battery lengths
in ~1.5cm hole is tough)
Actually, I have welded/brazed lots of things, including screws to the end of rods 12" or so long.

As another option, since the mowing season is pretty much over, you could use Gorilla tape to attached your opened flashlight to the blade of your mower -- open end pointed out. Stand on top the mower, yell "fore," and start it. :D
 

jpanhalt

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Hi Kiss,

Don't need to do that. Just get a hex head SMS (sometimes called Tek). Put a wrap of steel wire under its head (I would use SS safety wire or baling wire because I have it. Picture wire might work). Twist the tail. Then install the screw with a long extension on your socket set. Even for 1/4" drive sockets, I can go well over a foot. Pull it out with the wire. I can't imagine a battery that is so stuck that twisted 0.031 stainless safety wire can't pull it out. Bailing wire is a little larger diameter but might be more available
 

alec_t

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How about a good old-fashioned gimlet?
 

ci139

Active Member
install the screw
it likely takes filing two opposing wire guides to screw head first -- so it wouldn't skew the battery when the force is applied
. . .
from which it remembers if using liquid solvents or lubricants they need to be poured off or they might acts as tightener and cause a vacum
(blaah,blaah,...)
 

vtech

Active Member
In my experience, the stuck battery syndrome has always been due to electrolyte leakage with ensuing corrosion. At work, occasionally we come across a rather old aircraft device where it used an aluminum grid holding several standard D cells. It's main purpose is to back up memory banks and if/when the batteries leak, it is a huge mess. Using chemistry, introducing an acidic environment such as vinegar is very effective in loosening the corrosion and even better is to dip it in ultrasound cleaner. As far as using lubricants, I have also had good luck soaking it in Deoxit.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

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Most Helpful Member
OK. It's time for me to reveal what I used. It was only partially successful.

1. I was able to remove the first battery with an drill, easyout, tap wrench and a pair of vise grips.

2. Battery number 2 is STILL a challenge. I did use an 5/64" aircraft bit (flutes on the first 1.5" or so). I did manage to drill a hole (Off-center) and place the easy-out. I used a tap extension and was able to get the easyout to stick. Since the tap-extension uses 3-48 set screws to set the tap, they are a weak pull link. Might be able to grind the tap and make the extension grip the easyout better for better pull-out resistance. All is not lost, because you don't lose the easyout in the deep hole. It can be removed.

But it's probably the first time I saw a 3-48 screw. The local hardware store has "gun screws" which I think will contain a 3-48 screw of some sort. It's like brystol spline head screws http://bristolwrench.com/bristol-wrench-spline-drive-advantages/ . Rare.

I did not accurately mark a piece of Delrin rod to help center the hole. i.e. Make a drilling guide.

Drilling out the battery does seem like an option. I'll try a more centered hole first.
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hobby shops are another source for 3-48 screws, but you will not get the Bristol spline there, just Allen head. They come in small packages with brands like DuBro and Sullivan.
 
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