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dual battery installation

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by delta9blazer, Jan 8, 2001.

  1. delta9blazer

    delta9blazer 1/2 ton status

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    we use the blaze for camping alot, and i've been meaning to install another battery. i'm going to be sleeping in my truck this weekend, so i want to get this project started and finished.
    i would like to utilize one battery for all power accessories, then flip a switch to use the other one to start the truck. if this is too involved or complicated, i would just run the two batteries in parallel, and try not to drain the system.
    anyone do this before? i need to have something done before friday. an electric blanket and playstation will make the experience much more pleasant.

    <font color=purple>delta9blazer</font color=purple>
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Hey dude the first step would be to ask yourself what do you want the battery for? Do you want the spare batt to be there to start your rig incase you drain the main one? If so then you need to isolate it with a power on demand type of switch! OR.
    do you want it for more power to operate all your add ons? Then you would need to combine your batts!
    Hmm check out this site it has allot of GREAT info on duall batts! http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  3. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    I run a starting battery on the passenger side and a deep cycle on the drivers side. The batteries are isolated from eachother using a continous duty solenoid, like the ones used on trucks with camper packages. The starting battery is hooked to the starter, computer, ignition coil, fuel pump, and winch. Any thing not required to start and run the truck is hooked to the deep cycle. I can run the stereo and the lights all night, and even if the battery dies it will still start in the morning. Depending on the year of the truck, to set it up this way can reqire a fair amount of work to the wiring. I also modified the ignition switch in mine. Wiring two batteries in parallel is a much simpler solution, but I really like the way mine is set up. I've also seen guys with dual batteries disconnect one of them when they get to camp, so they know it will be good in the morning.\

    Pete


    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), Dana 60/14 bolt, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     
  4. delta9blazer

    delta9blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I took a look at the Hellroaring site, i think i'll get one of those soon. but for this trip, i'm just going to use two batteries, either in parallel, or just a spare battery on the side.
    could anyone whip me up a diagram for a parallel hook-up? or do i just run the black to the black, and the red to the red, badd-bing, badda-boom?
    (i don't like the sound of badda-boom, though.)

    <font color=purple>delta9blazer</font color=purple>
     
  5. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    lol.

    --matt
    shaggyk5: 85 Blazer, 6" lift coming soon!

    aint nuthin in the world like a heavy chevy!!
     
  6. greybeard

    greybeard Registered Member

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    Pete,
    What are you using for a battery tray on the drivers side? I was looking at mine this weekend with the idea of adding a second battery and obviously the first thing I need is a tray to put it on! Any ideas or thoughts?
     
  7. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    If you want them just in parallel then just run the black on each one to the block and connect the red to the red. If you wanted this to be your final hook up you can take a switch and install it in the red cable between the two batteries and when you are concerned about draining at night time just turn the switch off and on battery will stay charged while you use the other one. In the morning you can just throw the switch and basically give yourself a jump start.

    I thought I was wrong once,
    but I was mistaken
     
  8. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    I use the factory battery trays. Dual batteries were optional on some gas trucks and standard on all diesels. Mine originally had a 6.2.

    Pete

    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), Dana 60/14 bolt, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     
  9. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Here is how mine is set up...Diesel 6.2

    Black Ground to block to Neg on Drivers
    Positve SIDE POST on drivers to positive SIDE POST on passenger
    Positive TOP post on passenger to starter
    Neg on passenger to block right next to the alt.
    Note that I use the top and side posts on one battery.
    DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT HOOK POSITIVE UP TO NEGATIVE!!!! You will turn your system from a 12v system to a 24v system....hrm...what would happen? You need all new wires....EVERYWHERE...you fry the whole system!!!! Go to your local NAPA and tell em what you want. I would also suggest ditching the standard terminals and going to a 9/16 bolt and nut.....I can send you the page if you would like.....sk-15@home.com


    SK-15
    J**P...it's whats for dinner!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://SK-15.coloradok5.com>http://SK-15.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  10. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    All these guys gave you very good advise. Since you want to be up and running by this weekend, you really don't have time to set it up right, so here's what I suggest.
    For what you want to accomplish, you will want a deep cycle battery, like the Optima Yellow Top. Deep cycle batteries are used in motor homes for the House Battery. The deep cycle allows you to discharge it to zero and recharge without damaging the battery. (You can't do this with a "starting" battery or you can do permanent damage to it. ) So get a Yellow Top Optima, or equivalent deep cycle, and install it in the normal place as your only battery for now. It will work like normal. Take your weekend trip and use your accessories without any worry that you will damage your battery. Take the battery you removed, put it in a box or something to keep any acid residue on it away from your stuff, and bring it and a set of jumper cables with you on your trip. In the morning, try the starter, and if it doesn't have enough juice to start your K5, then bring out the spare battery and jumper cables and you can jump yourself to get started. Then use the alternator to recharge the deep cycle battery for the next night. (If you have a volt meter, check the voltage of the deep cycle when you know it is fully charged. It will read something like 12.4 volts or so. This will be your reference point. Then when you recharge the battery, you can check it to know when it's fully charged again. This check should be done no sooner than 15 or 20 minutes after you shut the engine off.)
    Then, when you get back from your trip, you can take your time to set up a great system using everyone's suggestions. I'm also planning to set up my K5 with a duel battery system. I bought an Optima Red Top for my starting battery and will be using a Yellow Top for the deep cycle battery, a driverside battery tray from GM, and I plan on using the Hellroaring Isolator since I only hear good things about them.
    I'm going to contact you next week about setting up another "Wheelin Day". Have a great weekend camping with your family.

    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  11. delta9blazer

    delta9blazer 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for all the help, guys.
    actually, we're not camping this weekend. the oakland raiders are hosting the ravens for the AFC conference championship, and we have tickets. so i'm going down to the coliseum on saturday evening to make sure i'm in line to tailgate on sunday! what a party!!!
    so yeah, i was thinking about an extra battery and jumper cables for this trip. good thinking. and thanks for the heads-up on Optima. i'll probably go with that one.
    i was looking at the space available on the driver's side engine compartment, and it looks like i'll need to do just a little bit of re-routing of a few things. a nice weekend project, just not this weekend.
    again, much appreciation for all the input. this site rocks!!!

    <font color=purple>delta9blazer</font color=purple>
     
  12. BlazerBoy

    BlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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    O.k. now I am really confused.. I went to the hellroaring page and began reading... What is the point of the isolator/combiner.... Wont you get the same effect from wiring your batteries in parallel?? Then you could put a switch in between them if you wanted to shut the back up battery off. The only diiferance I see is that if you have your back up shut off for a long period of time it will dischage... Are there any other benifits of the isolator/combiner that I am missing..


    BlazerBoy
    http://generalblueballs.coloradok5.com
     
  13. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    As I understand it, the purpose of the isolator/combiner is to isolate the batteries from each other but combine them to be charged by the same alternator. If you just hook up two batteries in parallel, both of them must be the same battery type and rating, same age and kept at the same state of charge, or one can do damage to the other. So in parallel, they are essentially like one battery and must be used as one battery. If you put in a switch you can use one at a time and charge one at a time, but if you combine them in parallel and they are at an uneven state of charge, damage to one or both will occur and your batteries will have early failure rates. When they are isolated, such as when you have one starting battery and one deep cycle battery, you can draw power from the deep cycle for lights, winches, snow plows, billion watt stereo systems, electric blankets, or playstations, and still have the starting battery on standby, ready for starting with a full charge. With the Hellroaring Isolator, when you start the vehicle, the alternator will maintain the charge in the starting battery while recharging the deep cycle battery, and it's all done automatically. There is no switching or manual battery management necessary. BTW, starting batteries are designed to give a full voltage power surge of electricity for a short time duration like what is needed for for starter motors. Draining any starting battery until it's dead will most likely damage the battery permanently. (A starting battery that is down to 10 volts or less is considered dead if I remember right) Deep cycle batteries are designed to deliver power slow and steady over long periods of time and are designed to withstand being drained completely and then recharged, without any damage. Does this help?
    If anyone has something to add, or thinks I'm wrong, please comment. I'm still learning about this subject.


    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  14. BlazerBoy

    BlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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    o.k last few questions I swear, I was told that inorder to connect 2 batteries in parallel they should be the exact same batteries, even bought at the same time??? Does anyone have the part number for the drivers side battery tray?? or where I can get one? and the last question is when hooking up parallel..... Why cant you run the neg to the neg and the pos to the pos??? why do the neg have to both be grounded to the block???

    BlazerBoy
    http://generalblueballs.coloradok5.com
     
  15. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    You can get them from LMC or the dealer <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.lmctruck.com>http://www.lmctruck.com</A>

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    The reason you want 2 batteries that are the same is so they charge and hold the charge at the same rate. Same with age. An old battery and new battery will not charge and hold the charge at the same rate, thus creating an imbalance resulting in damage to one or both batteries.

    I think you do want to run pos to pos and neg to neg. If you connect pos to neg you should have some marshmellows and a stick ready. Just kidding. Pos to neg will result in 24 volts and you will blow fuses if you are lucky but most likely will melt some wires and possibly start a fire. Re-read SK-15's post on this.
    If you are going the parallel route, the batteries will be around 4 feet apart so you should use heavy duty cables. All wire has resistance and the resistence is lower with heavier guage wire. Also the shorter, the better since resistance increases with distance. (Have you ever used cheapo jumper cables with thin cables and had them up? I've seen them get red hot with lots of cranking and they were hooked up correctly) Use at least 2 gauge or 0 gauge if you can get it. (the smaller the number, the thicker the wire) I agree you should ground the new addition battery to the block so that the ground for that battery travels a shorter distance. I would also run a neg to neg on the batteries to keep the batteries in balance in case your block grounds get dirty and don't maintain equal resistance connections. Always keep the connections clean. I would clean all connections frequently, like every 2-3 months.

    I am going to the Chevy dealer for the driver side battery tray. I would expect them to be able to find the parts without looking anything up. It's a common request. (or try LMC like BlazerGuy said)

    Why don't you want to use an isolator? It's such a superior way to run 2 batteries. Personally, I wouldn't connect 2 batteries in parallel. But please satisfy my curiosity with an answer. Like I said earlier, I'm learning too.


    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  17. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I use 2 around..it worked good until I melted that starter cable from the passenger side to the starter...wow...what a stinking plastic fire mess. Yes..I am learning too...I have some small electrical problems...might be my neg to block gound on a battery....I never thought about running a neg to neg to keep em in balance. I second Gandolfs idea about the same batteries...before I melted the first one there was one good battery and one that didn't look so good..I wonder why it fried!??!? One thing to suggest...cranking...not too hard on it. Don't crank for very long with just 2 guage cables...you will end up with a mess...can you imagine having 2000 going though a 2 guage cable for 30 seconds!?!?! FIRE IN THE HOLE!!! Thats why I got 0 guage all the way around.

    SK-15
    J**P...it's whats for dinner!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://SK-15.coloradok5.com>http://SK-15.coloradok5.com</A>
    Roads? Where we're going, we don't need any roads!
     
  18. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    SK-15, How about adding a Pos to Starter from the second battery. That way 2 cables share the load going to the starter. That would probably eliminate the melting problem. I agree with "not too hard on cranking". Long term cranking is a sure way to fry the starter.

    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  19. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Ya know all of this can be avoided by using the Hellroaring isolator/combiner. It allows the alt to charge eather battery regarless what the other one is doing, It knows what each batts voltage level is and when one gets below a certain point the alt kicks in and does its job supplying a charge to that same batt! So the old and new batt thing doesn't apply. Also you can combine them with a flick of a switch when that extra bost of power is needed!
    With the use of the remote modual you can also monitor your charging system from your cab via LED.
    All I know is it was WAY worth the $$ I spent on it and my Dual Optimas are allways charged and redy for the trail!!!

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com>http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  20. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    Winches should be run with a starting battery, not a deep cycle.

    There is no need to run a wire from neg. to neg., just ground both to the block.

    Factory dual setups (diesel) run 2 gauge wire, one from drivers side pos to pass. side pos., and one from pass side pos. to starter.

    Unless you are running a top fuel motor, 2 gauge should be perfectly adequate for starter cable.

    Pete

    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), Dana 60/14 bolt, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     

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