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Thread: Macintosh classic battery leakage

  1. #1

    Question Macintosh classic battery leakage

    First of all I am a total noob regarding hardware etc. So I don't know anything about this.
    But i found a macintosh classic at my attic which was from my father. I tried switching it on but it didn't do anything so I opened the computer and found out that the battery had leaked. As you can see in the images it doesn't look that bad (I hope) so i decided to try and fix it. First question: Is it fixable? Second question: How? As I said i know nothing about this and about soldering etc. The thing where the battery was in is also broken (the metal thing that pushes against the battery to conduct power broke due to corrosion) so I wil need to replace that. My father placed this macintosh in our attic in working condition so the screen etc is probably still ok. How should I clean it? And how can i remove the corrosion without destroying the components. I've seen people on the internet saying to use white vinegair or isopropyl or even placing it in the dishwasher.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Blog Entries


    That's....really interesting. Normally when those batteries leak they write the whole logic board off but on yours it seems like the Ram card took the most damage, so there's hope.
    Your main priority is that all the surface mount lytics (those little silver cans) need to be changed. There is no reusing them and they go bad with age and EVERYONE's have gone bad. That is unfortunately a soldering job.
    For the corrosion on the chassis I'd go at it with compressed air and a steel brush to remove the loose material and call it good.
    Finally congrats on getting a Classic. Once it's up and running you have the only mac that can boot from ROM by holding CMD + OPTION + X + O.
    = Excellent space heater

  3. #3


    First, thanks for your answer . And about that corrosion thing it was also the first thing I noticed when I opened the Mac. The Mac was laying on his side so maybe that the liquid dripped onto the ram disk. I don't see any traces between the battery and the ram disk so it didn't flow towards it. (except if it doesn't leave traces?) About those surface mount lyrics, are it those the ones I cirkled on the picture? And where can I get those? I do have a friend who can solder so I'll ask him.
    And yeah I al pretty excited about it I hope I can get it up and running without to much trouble. It is my first vintage tech.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Austin, Texas


    I wouldn't put it in the dishwasher in that condition, it would probably do more damage than good.

    The electrolyte in those batteries is a base, so i'd recommend using vinegar and a toothbrush to scrub as much of the battery goo off as possible since it will work to neutralize it and stop the corrosion process. Try to limit the vinegar only to the portions of the board with the battery electrolyte because it will also corrode the board. After you get as much of the battery electrolyte off as you can, wash the entire board with dish soap and water using a large soft bristled brush (dustpan brushes work well) to get any remaining vinegar off.

    The board will definitely require some advanced soldering, you'll need to remove the memory board connector, the corroded IC socket and the battery holder to clean the battery electrolyte from under them. Solder braid and flux is the cheapest method, but it takes a long time to do on high pin count parts. I'd recommend a desoldering gun, as it reduces the risk of ripping traces and pads. The spring loaded type can easily cause damage to pads, especially in poor condition like on this board.

    But make sure you take lots of pictures up close of the motherboard during the cleaning process in case you rip traces or components off, so you know how they go back.


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