NITECORE -- Keep Innovating        
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    1

    Broke Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Years ago I bought a 7 C cell Maglight. Some time ago I bought what I thought were "quality" cells. However they all appeared to leak and 6 are firmly stuck inside the tube.
    Tried driving the batteries out. No luck.

    Don't wnt to send the light to Maglight because they would just replace it with a current production similar light. I really like the 7 cell light.

    Don't have a work shop. Have removed all the internal parts and head. Tried WD40 and even hot water.

    Suggestions, Please

    first post on CPF

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Welcome to CPF! Can we assume since you said you removed all internal parts that you really took out the switch/body assembly? So all you have left is the aluminum tube?

    I advise some caution, as the battery alkali is caustic and even soaking it in water could remove some of the outer anodize (which has happened to me). I would destructively drill the batteries out with a throwaway (Harbor Freight) long bit. Then some combination of homemade cylinder hone and rinses of plenty of water and dilute vinegar. I've made cylinder hones with a dowel, rags, sandpaper and duct tape - it doesn't have to be pretty. You will lose all of the internal anodize, but so what. Finally, consider adapters for AA NIMH to C. NIMH have no reputation for leaking like alkalines. If it's a traditional old Mag, also consider changing the bulb for an LED.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Interested in this thread, I have like two(maybe three) old Maglights that have batteries stuck in them that I set aside for a day to try to repair, or throw away unless...

    So, if you managed to get the switch/parts out through the top, can you tell me how you did it? I figured I would try to get them off, and the bottom cap, then put the body in a vise and hammer out the batteries with a wood dowel or piece of old broom stick handle and a mallet and then clean out the inside like louie suggested.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    I threw away a minimag that was ruined by alkalines leaking (and stuck) in it. If you are going to use alkalines in anything better check them for leaks often to hopefully avoid irreversible damage otherwise figure out how to power the light with another chemistry that is not prone to ruin things. I tried pulling the batteries out by screwing a long screw into one and grabbing it with vice grips and hammering on the vice grips like a slide hammer to yank out the battery and ended up just pulling the bottom off the battery. I tried using a flat blade screwdriver to bend the side of the battery wall and then grab it with needle nose pliers with no luck. I spent about 2.5 hours trying to remove the batteries and gave up tossing the light in the trash. Unless like others said you can hammer the batteries out from one end through the other you may be better suited to get a good paying job and work the time you would spend on the light and take that money and buy another light without the batteries stuck in it.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Welcome to the site Jim.

    You probably know that the cells have expanded beyond their original size enough to be jammed. But if say the 3rd and 4th cell away from your driving point there could be enough give of the closest cells to your driving point to act like trying to drive a nail into the end of a piece of lumber not firmly braced. ie lots of bounce so the energy from each whack is absorbed by the bounce.

    If you brace the barrel onto something firm it will likely bend enough to no longer allow things to screw back onto the end.

    That all pretty much means you need to destroy each cell from the inside out. A very daunting task but can be done with patience and persistance.

    Some say try vinegar since it can break down the alkaline residue. But if the pressure is so 'viced' in the barrel that likely won't relieve enough tension to push or pull out all six batteries. You have to free up each battery one at a time. Sigh.

    Being it is so long finding a tool to carve out the core of each battery would also pose a problem. Drill bits for the first two or three should work. But 4-6 will require imagination. "Hammer drill" bits might be long enough.

    I'm staring at a metal fence post right now wondering if that would work once extra length is needed.


    This kind.
    Tap and twist like they used to do in rock to plant dynamite before hammer drills were invented.

    Best regards on your quest.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 05-15-2019 at 10:08 AM.
    John 3:16

  6. #6

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    I used vinegar on the cell that I pulled the bottom off of and it didn't help at all but I'm not sure if there were alkalines or heavy duty cells in this minimag the residue was dark grey. I think that when the cells leak and expand they both are wedged and glued to the battery tube.
    Even with the pressure relieved with the bottom off the battery I couldn't get it out by grabbing the side of the battery with pliers.
    In other words don't expect vinegar to help much. It may help if you catch a leak early enough but once the batteries have expanded and the residue has dried most likely the vinegar can't get get to the residue that has it sort of glued to the walls of the tube when the battery also expands
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    seems like drilling them out is your only option, cells are swollen and fused to the tube, no vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will do the trick,

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Quote Originally Posted by internet View Post
    Interested in this thread, I have like two(maybe three) old Maglights that have batteries stuck in them that I set aside for a day to try to repair, or throw away unless...

    So, if you managed to get the switch/parts out through the top, can you tell me how you did it? I figured I would try to get them off, and the bottom cap, then put the body in a vise and hammer out the batteries with a wood dowel or piece of old broom stick handle and a mallet and then clean out the inside like louie suggested.
    I'm no Mag expert, but I recall that it depends on vintage as well as model. On original C/D lights, you remove the head and tailcap, the pry out the rubber switch cover. There is a hole in the middle of the plastic button, where you insert a hex key to undo a locking setscrew. Then the whole lamp/switch module comes out.

    Newer lights, they changed the setscrew head and you need a different tool. Other models, I don't know. Search for one of several old threads on this.

    Stuck batteries have swelled and/or chemically welded themselves to the tube. My feeling is that you will have to destructively drill/chip them out, then clean up the tube and neutralize it with rinses and vinegar.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic YAK-28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    akron, ohio
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    telecom drill bits are easily long enough. auger pole bits 18" x 5/8 or installer bits 24" x 3/8 to drill one battery at a time might work.
    it's just different on my planet..

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* LiftdT4R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    NJ / PA
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Maglight repair, not replacemnt

    Ohh my gosh, wish I saw this sooner!!

    I've restored and repaired a ton of these lights and have only lost 2 or 3. I have a ton of articles on my blog if you're interested: http://maglitehistory.blogspot.com/2...batteries.html

    Like the other posters have said depending on how bad the batteries are you may have to remove them piece by piece. How long have they been in there for?

    I've removed them piece by piece before and let me tell ya it's not fun especially on the longer lights. Even after drilling them the steel shell has likely yielded is jammed up pretty good. I've used some smaller type chisels to help remove them with considerable effort not to damage the light. I would not try to forcefully hammer or smash them out as it will likely bugger the threads or mushroom the barrel which really isn't fixable. I've seen folks try to use a hydraulic press or vice as well and the results are not pretty due to how tight the batteries could be. Finesse and patience is your best bet.

    Here's the last one I did, a Gold first run Panther 2D which is extremely rare:







    If you're interested I do repair lights and while I can't guarantee it is fixable I very rarely come upon one I can't fix. I've done a bunch of restorations since Mag closed up their service centers and quite repairing lights a few years ago. Of course they are always fun to place around with yourself as well! Whatever you do don't chuck it! Even with the stuck batteries 7Cs are worth a pretty penny, enough to buy you a new Maglite at least.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •