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I have 6 100watt lights and i want to set up dual batteries so the lights and accessories run of one and the starter off the other and the alternater charging both. Has anyone done that? Any hints?
 

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Use a battery isolator or use a continuous duty solenoid. The solenoid will only connect the two batteries when a "switching" 12 volt source is applied. It's the cheapest and easiest method.

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90 Sub,496BBC,d60,14b,detroits f+r, 44 boggers,th400,np205,insane ,warn15000,balls of steel
 

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Never set up dual batteries, but contemplating this for my Bronco... would running the batteries hardwired in parallel do any harm?

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Ulysse
90-YJ
69-Bronco

[This message has been edited by Ulysse (edited December 01, 2001).]
 

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No harm in it but the system will draw from both batteries until dead. The advantage with a solenoid is that in the absence of a 12 vilot switching source you will always have the starting battery in reserve.

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90 Sub,496BBC,d60,14b,detroits f+r, 44 boggers,th400,np205,insane ,warn15000,balls of steel
 

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I have dual batteries in my Ranger. I have a 950 cca Exide commercial duty battery that BARELY stuffed into the fatory holder, and the other is a 800 cca Energizer in a battery box sitting in the truck box. I was give some jumper cables that had the clamps taken off of (he needed the clamps for making some 30' long ones), but i spliced the two 6 ga wires together, and put connectors on either end. The front end I hooked up to the Ford starter relay with the POS from the front battery, and the NEG I bolted to a clean part of the frame. I would like to have both in the engine compartment, but there just wasn't enough space. I have 4 55watt driving lights on the front of my truck along with the 130watt highbeams, 70watts of backup lights, plus a 400watt sterio in the truck. Even with a weenie 65amp alternator, I can run everything (as long as I don't let the truck idle for too long).

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Formerly "Ranger Nut"...
'87 Ranger - meanest lil' 2wd around!
 

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You have to remember one thing: when your engine is running, all of your accesories are running off of the alternator, not the battery. The ideal situation is that your battery should only be used to start the vehicle. That is why batteries that get heavy use when the engine is not running fail prematurely and the alternator fails sooner than needed.

The alternator is just equipped to run the accessories and keep the battery charged. If you are constantly using the alternator to charge a dying or decharged battery, you will kill the alternator.

Prime example: my dad's work truck wasn't starting. He jumped it and worked all day. The couple of minutes that the truck was kept turned off kept just enough juice to crank the engine over, but the next day the truck wouldn't start again. He jumped it and went through the same situation for almost a week. The problem was that the battery was dead. By jumping it and making the alternator charge the dead battery all day every day he killed the alternator within a week.

Having dual batteries is useful for a few things:
If you are running accesories that are used when the engine is off. (that is why most campers have dual battery set up)

If you want a back up battery for if your primary battery dies, etc.

If running a dual system, you should have a heavy duty alternator. The thing with lone ranger about his problems at idle are because the alternator puts out at most 60% of its amps at idle, in other words he is killing the alternator.

If you just want to run more equipment that will be operating when the engine is running, figure out how many amps everything draws and then get an alternator that will be able to run all of the accessories without having to draw power from the battery.

I still have the same battery and alternator in my truck since the truck was new: 8 years and 130,000kms.

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94 Ranger
29" tires
Nice looking Herculiner bedliner.
 

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Okay, this battery thing always screws with my head, I have some questions!

First of all I understand a single battery/charging system works, it is just this solenoid stuff/sec battery that trips me up.

Okay I plunk another battery under the hood and connect it parallel to the original battery with an isolator connected to a coil right?

So with this setup, my alternator will either charge only the battery in the original location or both, is that right?

I think that is what happens because the coil/isolator should connect the second battery to the circuit if and when it needs charging, is that right?

Okay, I hope I have that down..

Now, when I park and shut the engine off am I to believe that if I ran my radio, lights, etc, they would only drain the original battery?
So if this is the case, then the auxilliary battery would only be a just in case battery right?

And finally, is there just a kit I can buy somewhere, like Can tire or a parts store(minus battery) that will have everything I need?

Maybe I do understand it, but everyone seems to say different things, meanwhile I have a paranoia about playing my radio when camping. Actually, it`s worse, I don`t even leave the dome lights on.

Thanks
 

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Just to make this easy, try Wrangler Power Products. They do dual battery kits w/solenoid, cables, instructions etc...

I ran one for years, never had a problem. If you wire up according to the instructions you will always have a fresh battery for starting the motor.

If you want to run high power accessories I would suggest a high amp alternator.

http://www.4x44u.com/pub/k2/am4x44u/truck_stop/catalogs/wrangler.htm
 

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I cant help thinking of the time i killed the battery in my grandpas truck while camping way up harrison lake. Needless to say, my chainsaw with an old alt. belt running from the clutch on the saw to the alternator didnt work. It sure screwed up my chainsaw though. It would have worked if it didnt use one of those wide flat belts. Since then ive bought a new chainsaw and i make sure i carry lots of extra belts :D .
 

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Thank ror,
I mostly want it for parked and camping use for now, but that`s a good idea for when I get more lights, etc. (the alternator, that is)


I cant help thinking of the time i killed the battery in my grandpas truck while camping way up harrison lake. Needless to say, my chainsaw with an old alt. belt running from the clutch on the saw to the alternator didnt work. It sure screwed up my chainsaw though. It would have worked if it didnt use one of those wide flat belts. Since then ive bought a new chainsaw and i make sure i carry lots of extra belts .
-You sound like grandpa Simpson!:D
 
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