Cordless electric drill manufacturers have made great strides in the improvement of these tools. Since the 1980s they have continued to introduce more powerful models at affordable prices. The consumer is the beneficiary of this evolution, but they do have to contend with the fact that battery packs for these drills have a limited lifespan and replacement packs are very expensive when compared against the cost of the drill itself. Since the packs need replacing after about 18 to 24 months, and you may even see decreased performance before that, rebuilding the packs yourself might be the best solution.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Screw driver
- Soldering iron with chisel tip
- Dremmel tool with wire brush attachment
- Replacement Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh batteries
- Epoxy adhesive
Remove the battery pack from the drill and place it on a workbench or other solid, flat surface.
Inspect the pack and see if it has small screws that can be removed. These will allow you to open the pack. If not, and your pack is a solid one piece unit, you will need to use the soldering gun.
Cut an outline along the top of the base of the pack with the soldering iron and chisel tip. Separate the two pieces of the pack. You will see a group of "C" sized rechargeable batteries in a cardboard casing.
Remove the old cells, taking note of the way in which they are arranged and connected. You may need the soldering iron to heat up the connections so that you can disconnect the batteries.
Use a Dremmel tool and wire brush attachment to clean off any oxidation on the contacts or connections. Arrange the new batteries in the pack and solder the new connections.
Put the two pieces of the pack together and attach with the screws. For packs that had to be cut open, mix the epoxy, apply it to the surfaces on that pack that were cut open, and reattach the top and bottom pieces. Add more epoxy as needed. Charge the batteries as normal, and you are ready to go.
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