*Old-Style Mag-Lite Salvage*
By: Sasquatch
2 October 2008

If you've had a Mag-Lite leak batteries, you've seen the articles online about disassembling from the switch, and pounding out the batteries. Problem: that only works on the newer style. My first Mag-Lite, bought in 1992, a 3-D, finally leaked a set of batteries. I searched online, read the articles, and removed the head of the Mag-Lite. Guess what? Instead of a screw-in retainer, the switch assembly is held in place by a snap ring, without the "ears" for removal.

So the thing sat for a few years.

Figured I'd have another go at it. Filled an empty juice-concentrate can with vinegar, then slowly lowered the body of the Mag-Lite in upright, with tailcap removed.

I let it soak 24 hours.

Now for the fun.

Drained the vinegar. Screwed in the tailcap. Went out on the deck and slammed the tailcap on the deck rail. It's 11:30 PM. (That's why there are no pictures.) Removing the tailcap, I found the batteries had moved as low as possible in the body. Holding the open body upright, I proceeded to smack the open end of the Mag-Lite (from below) with a #2 rubber mallet. This moved the batteries to the mouth of the body. Only the bottom cell was actually jammed so I shook the whole thing, using the other 2 cells as a piledriver. Got them all out that way. Scraped and scrubbed out the corrosion.

Works fine now.

Sure, I could have replaced the thing for under $20, but it was my first really reliable big light, and besides, I now have the knowledge that I CAN do it again, if need be.


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