Is it possible to rebuild the batteries economically?
I’ve had this DC970 for a while after the chuck failed and I had to break a busted bit out and oil the chuck to hold up. I’ve always jokingly said my oiled chuck will last longer then the 2010 batteries and I was right. One of my 2 batteries is at the point it initially had 16.54V with 3 bad cells and all of the remaining cells held a perfect 1.3V. I recently found out that the cutoff is 5.59V, so I investigated the state of the pack so I know what it’s current state is.
As it stands the battery went down from 16.54V (respectable amps left) to 13.43V (1A left) with one charge. I opened the pack to inspect the individual cells so I know the cause of death and I noticed 4 cells are now dead (formerly 3) and 2 of the cells dropped to 1.2V (out of 15). I didn’t see this as an issue because I knew it was dying and I’d eventually lose it. The problem is the DC970 starts to slow down (but doesn’t get crippled) at 13V, which is something I overlooked until I ran it to see what it’s going to run like from now on with that pack. This battery is effectively dead because of the massive voltage cut I took. This is a problem for most of my projects I use a drill for like drilling through thicker materials :(. I still have one more battery in descent shape (16.53V/1.08A from 18V/1.2Ah) but it’s dangerously close to death as it stands but has not been rebuilt nor considered for it (but it will probably need one sooner rather then later).
Is there a way I can get it rebuilt with NiMh or Lithium cells economically? Seeing as it’s a 8 year old drill with a chuck that has been oiled, I (understandably) want to keep my costs down. NiCd is horrible and I don’t want to use it again. I know Dewalt still sells XR OEM batteries but the issue is they are still NiCd. The 18V Lithium battery appears to be discontinued and I’d need a new charger which would negate the cost savings and put me into new drill territory anyway. It uses 4/3 Sub C cells from what I can tell, so that’s what I’m dealing with.
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