Cranking Battery - Opinions please

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Hymie, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Hymie

    Hymie Funster

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    I have just lost my 2nd cranking battery in a year due to being left for long periods with a constant bleed.

    I have been forced to leave Harriet at the secure site for extended periods due to illness over the last 9 months, each time convinced I had decoupled the battery, each time wrong.:swear2:

    Should I spend £120 on a brand name or £60 on a no mark battery? Is there a quality difference?

    I have just bought a Battery Master from Eddie V B and disconnected the Pioneer in-dash radio/MP3 player that may have been the cause.

    Ashley at VB told me that whenever they fit a Pioneer radio they always fit a fixed on/off switch so I may well refit the radio with the switch once I am sure the bleed has been sorted.

    I have a solar panel on the roof (not sure if it is 80 or 100 watt) feeding 2 x 110amp leisure batteries.

    All (sensible :whistle2:) opinions welcomed.

    Hymie
     
  2. steevie

    steevie Funster

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    The classic problem with solar panels is to make sure your engine battery is connected to it aswell. But the easiest and cheapest way is to put an isolator on the engine battery, about £7 ebay, and then a split charge relay to your solar/house batteries. this will allow a charge in, but not back out again. You could also then fit a switch to a relay to allow you to join your house batteries to your cranking battery if the cranking battery was a bit down. Another alternative is to fit a 20 or 30w solar panel just for the cranking battery, and isolate it from everything else till needed.
     
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  3. Hymie

    Hymie Funster

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    Hi Stevie, thanks for the suggestions.

    I forgot to mention I have bought the isolator from eBay but was worried that isolating the negative terminal would cause the battery master to not function properly.

    I have decent diy skills but know little about electrical circuits, although I am fine if working from a diagram.

    Hymie
     
  4. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    i would assume you already have a split charge relay somewhere all you need is a link across it when your leaving the van standing its best to put a low amp fuse in the link then it will blow if you try to start with the link still in this would incorperate your vehicle battery as part of your battery bank and would keep charged from your solar
    once you've found the relay its a ten minute job as previously said you could also incorperate a switch for ease of use but do fit the sacrificial fuse as a temporary fix just link the batterys with a fused wire from + to +you could even use croc clips for now
     
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  5. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    The Battery Master will take care of topping up the starter battery.

    Now that problem is solved (I assume Harriet is stored outside, so the solar works) & the battery won't get ruined again by being flattened, there is more point to buying a better quality starter battery.

    What constitutes the correct price/value point for a starter battery could produce a thread almost as long as a leisure battery thread. :rolleyes:

    Because it will now be kept topped up, there isn't quite the same need for a high quality battery with a low self-discharge rate. I would go for a mid-range price point from a supplier you would trust in the event of early failure.
     
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  6. Moodybrook

    Moodybrook Funster

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    I installed this and veh batt problem solved via my solar. (y)
    Put the fuses somewhere handy and make up a sign to hang on steering wheel to remind you to do the necessary.
    http://www.motts.dsl.pipex.com/BRIDGING FUSE.htm

    Standby for all the reasons why not ;)
     
  7. Hymie

    Hymie Funster

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    Thanks for these useful replies all.

    I have found a wiring diagram and there is a split charge relay but I have so far failed to locate it, although I have only had a quick look.

    I climbed underneath the rear last weekend to see if I could find why the grey water level indicators were not working and found that one of the rather frail looking junction boxes housing the connector blocks for the rear light clusters had its lid missing and the other was half full of water, and the connector blocks were rusted solid.

    A good shufty at the chassis while was down there showed that a new coat of waxoyl was overdue so I replaced the con-blocks and got the rear part of the chassis coated.

    I have ordered two new boxes and glands and will replace these at the weekend, and hope to finish off the waxoyl also, but must get the battery master fitted before we go back to France early October, so I will do a battery to battery hook up until I get time to trace the whereabouts of the split charge relay.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Hymie.
     
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