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Got my custom dual battery setup working! ***Updated***

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Sep 24, 2001.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I finally got my custom dual battery setup installed. It really was quite simple. I built custom 4GA battery cables for both batteries. Bought a marine deep cycle battery from Wal-Mart. Used a simple ON-OFF-ON switch from Radio Shack and a 200A continuous duty solenoid from a local parts store. All in all I think it cost me about $90 for the aux battery tray, solenoid, wire and all the connectors plus another $75 for the battery. And I think it looks great and works pretty darn well. Tried it last night by disconnecting the main battery, flipping the switch, and the engine fired right up. (Could have used that LAST weekend!)

    Anyway, I will be taking some pics and doing a write-up about it on my website in the next few days. Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you a link once it's finished.

    Brian
    <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a>
     
  2. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    that sounds cool.
    I'll take some more info when you get it ready.

    <font color=green> Too bad ignorance isn't painful </font color=green>
     
  3. Mreetz

    Mreetz 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    Sounds like a great setup!! Can hardly wait for pix!!

    1984 K-5
    4" lift
    35x12.5 MTs
    buildin a 400 for it, any info greatly appreciated
     
  4. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    that's my next project. i got all the part #s, all i have to do is get them.

    how much did you get your solenoid for. I'm looking at one for ~40 from napa?? my next biggest expense was my battery(optima) but i guess i'll go walmart :-)

    ARQ.

    offroad baja!!!
    1-72 4x4 CST Blazer
    2-71 4x4 CST Blazer
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/ArqDennis>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/ArqDennis</a>
     
  5. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    My solenoid was about $35 or 40 from a local parts shop. Rated at 200A continuous. Basically the same as you get from Hellroaring, Wrangler or whereever. That was my single biggest expense not including the battery.

    Brian
    A new day.... May God be with us all.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Tribute</a>
     
  6. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    Soumds great......cann't wait to see it....

    C'moe

    Kill Roy was here!
     
  7. sluggo45acp

    sluggo45acp 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    Cool, looking forward to checking it out this weekend.
    Later
    Butch

    [​IMG]<font color=blue>Just because im paranoid doesnt mean there not out to get me<font color=blue>[​IMG]
     
  8. K5Jimmy

    K5Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    Just so happens that GF is outta town this comin' weekend, and I have 2 fairly new deep cycle marine batteries layin' around......I even have a set of jumper cables with one end messed up.....seems like a solenoid and a switch and pcitures of your rig is all I need for a great weekend........JD

    Stuck?...Hell no..I still got some gas left..
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    I've already got the battery tray. I was thinking of doing the same thing you've done. Can you post a diagram of how you make it work? Are there any disadvantages to the way you did it? (alternator going goofy, one battery discharging the other, etc.)

    I was thinking of just putting two together in parallel. Anyone had a bad experience that way?

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  10. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    How about that info? I am thinking of doing this soon, like by Fri. It will be an if I have time deal. Otherwise, I will just mount my second batt and use the jumper cables if needed.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Tread Lightly!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com>www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  11. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Got my custom dual battery setup working!

    I will get the write-up done and posted tonight. Sorry for the delay, I had to get my lights wired and went wheelin' this weekend. Spent the last two days fixing the rig from that! But I will get the write-up done and uploaded tonight. PROMISE!!

    Brian
    A new day.... May God be with us all.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Tribute</a>
     
  12. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Check out the link to my website for the write-up. Go under My Jimmy Project to see the write-ups. Hope this helps all!

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  13. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Cool, that is what I was looking for. Do you mind if I PM you if I have any questions when I do mine? TIA.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Body by Tellico
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com>www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  14. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    You're finished. When the batteries are connected and the engine is running, the alternator will charge each battery based on its need.

    <hr></blockquote>

    i was under the understanding that the alt will charge the lower battery to 12v and overcharge the other, or the 2 batteries will swap power back n forth and kill themselves.
    that is why usually an isolator is used?
    i would like a dual battery regulator. started the search for one but never followed through. i have spotted such a device in a sound off car made by Orion. also search led me to a Richmond based truck electric shop but i never followed through.
     
  15. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    An isolator will isolate the batteries when needed, but connect them when flipped "on" so to speak. Unless you had your alternator connected to bothe batteries independently, you would never be able to charge both of them if they weren't.

    As far as over charging, eletricity will follow the path of least resistance. If battery A is lower than battery B, battery A will receive all of the charge from the alternator. If you have a battery sensing alternator (which most are these days, I believe), it will not overcharge a battery. When one needs a charge, the alternator will allow current to flow to it. When that battery is higher charged than the other, the flow will go to the lower of the two. When they are both fully charged, the alternator will allow its current to flow to the engine or whatever other circuits need the flow. If nothing, then it will simply quit flowing. That is how a battery-sensing alternator works. Otherwise, you would always be overcharging your main battery in a single battery setup.

    If both batteries are connected together and the alternator is not functioning (broken or engine off), yes, the lower charged battery will drain the higher charged battery until they have an equal charge. Again, path of least resistance. If both batteries are equally charged, they won't do anything, but current for the engines circuits will flow from both batteries equally (think of it like water in two containers). That is why you typically only have them connected when the engine is running. That way the alternator is recharging them both and supplying current to your engine/accessories.

    I keep mine connected off an ignition circuit 90% of the time. This means that the solenoid (or isolator) connectes the batteries (and the alternator) only when the engine running. If the engine is off (ignition off), the solenoid disconnects the two batteries. The only time I manually flip the switch to disconnect the two batteries is when I am running something with high current draw (my offroad lights) directly from my aux battery circuits when I am at very low RPM (like idle). The erason for this is that when the batteries are connected, so are their circuits. With my batteries connected, my offroad loights (which are on a circuit block attcahed directly to teh POS of the aux battery) are drawing their current from alternator. If it is not turning fast enough to put out the needed current, the remaining current necessary for the lights is drawn from both batteries. If I am at idel, this could cause me to eventually drain both batteries. By disconnecting the two, the lights are no longer drawing from the main battery or the alternator, only the aux battery directly. When I get back up to speed (engine RPM), I reconnect them (with the switch so that current is drawn from the alternator for the lights and any additional amperage available flows to recharge the aux battery.

    That is one reason why it is important for me to have an alternator that can (a) support my amperage draw for my aux needs and (b) have some left over to recharge the batteries at the same time. If your alternator is underpowered for your draw, then you will always be draining your batteries with your aux circuits being powered. You will eventually drain everything.

    Sorry this was so long, but I hope it explains it. But a battery isolator is nothing more than a specialized solenoid (or giant relay). Naming it something else just allows them to market it and price it differently. Do not let the name fool you.

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  16. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have. I check it frequently throughout the day and I try on weekends. I am slower on weekends and evenings, though, as I am frequently working on the rig, the house, out of town, dealing with the kids, working out, and/or everything else! LOL

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  17. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    i thought the isolators were just a pair of diodes buried in a block of ceramic...
     

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