File this under “Taking Stuff Apart for No Apparent Reason”. Here’s how to take a Turnigy hardcase pack apart.
You need a little bitty screwdriver. If you want to be super-safe, take an old one and smooth all the sharp edges down so you avoid nicking the foil cells under the case. Start by pushing the seam down from the bigger side, in the middle. You’ll hear the seam pop, then just slide the tool in a bit, and back and forth to break the whole thing loose. Go as far as you can into the corners.
Once you pop the end seams, if you’ve live a Good Life and think Pure Thoughts, the case should just pop open in good condition so you can re-use it.
Now you need a Big-Ass soldering iron. D.A. O’Brien let me try his out to see if it was Big-Ass enough, and it was. It’s a 100W unit with a 750ºF tip. At his suggestion, I heated up the solder until it was one big pool, and just flung it off onto the floor. Here’s what I ended up with in pretty short order, after a little heating and prying of tabs:
This is what the tabs look like on each individual cell:
…and, the double-stick tape in between each cell:
One of the single most dangerous things about lipo packs is what happens if you puncture the foil cells. BE CAREFUL. At the very least, don’t do this anywhere you can’t just throw the burning cell safely out into the gravel.
IF YOU DO THIS, you’re doing it at YOUR OWN RISK. Capisch?
After all is said and done, I was trying this to repair a few packs that had bad cells. As it turned out, the cells were worse than I’d thought, and instead of having a few packs with a bad cell or two, I had several packs with only one good cell… for now. Rather than waste my time salvaging one or two good cells and stringing them back together into a pack that may well die, too, I decided to chalk it up to a Bad Lipo Experience and move on…