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Unread 06-29-2008, 07:27 PM   #1
Duc Hunter
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Default Duc's Dual Battery Install

So I finally got my dual battery install complete and decided to take some info I put in other threads discussing it and some pictures and put them here for future reference of the members.

Some things I learned while doing this;
  1. The hardest part is making a mount for the second battery. No matter where you put it this is the toughest part. The way I have mine mounted right now is the easiest to build, I believe. It is also pretty cheap and yet still clean.
  2. Choosing which battery to use as a main and which as a second is very tough. There are many choices, and a lot depends on your battery isolation unit.
  3. Choosing your battery isolation unit/method was a little tough. Again there are lots of options, all good ones. Obviously I think the one I choose is the best for my needs, or would would not have chosen it, right?
  4. TAKE YOUR TIME RUNNING THE WIRES SO THEY ARE NEAT! This comes from experience of running wires in other vehicles. It is time consuming but looks SO much better when you are careful and thoughtful.

I chose the Hellroaring System. I learned that the stock battery size permitted me to run a VERY high capacity (CCA and Amp Hour both) battery that should meet all of my needs for starting and deep cycle. This meant the Hellroarings setup with one battery as your main for everything and a second as a backup if the main dies, to get your engine started, was ideal. If the main battery had to be smaller, to where it would loose capacity (esp Amp Hour) I would have run a different system with essentially 2 deep cycles and run accessories off of both. I also liked the no moving parts idea. Lastly, the folks at Hellroaring were WONDERFUL every-time I called them before I bought and as I was installing. We even had a lengthy discussion about choosing battery's etc, which they made not a penny off of.

I chose an Optima Yellow Top as my second or back-up battery. I had a brand new one in the garage as I was originally planning on running 2 of them, both mounted where the stock battery is, before I learned more and found the main battery I used in the end. YT's have proven themselves bullet proof to me in past use. I did learn that for the size/$ you can now get more powerful battery's. I am not sure they are as bullet proof as the YT's have been for me, time will tell.

For my main battery I chose a Die-Hard Platinum Group 31 Marine Battery. I was considering an Odyssey after reading about them and then learned that the DH Plat's are re-badged Odyssey's and are cheaper. I also learned this battery is much more powerful than the standard Group 24 size optima, and even more powerful than the Group 31 Optima. The AGM battery's are in most ways a better design than the gel's. Interestingly enough the Odyssey 1700 everyone seems to use is smaller than our stock battery, the PC2150 is the correct size. This means I would get even more capacity than the guys running 1700's, and they all seem to feel that battery has more than enough capacity. Now for the wiring, and sorry for a lack of pictures. I ran the wires from the Hellroaring switch, which I hid in the bottom drivers side of the glove box, through the wire bundles on the passenger side of the vehicle where they go through the firewall. I snaked them inside the stock grommet and did NOT cut a hole in it. I simply separated it where the factory taped the upper and lower part together in the engine compartment, snaked them out and re-taped taped it. Side note, I also ran my rear full time power outlet's power wire the same way. It is the orange wire you see in some of the pictures. Back to our story, I also hid the wires, in the end, in wire loom for protection and a stock look. I DID have to make a new ground cable from the main battery to the body. This was easy, used a short piece of wire and soldered eyelet ends on and it was done. You can see it in the pictures going from the secondary terminal of the main battery to the body ground point. Soldering is the key, IMHO, to making good wires. I used a MAP Torch (think Burnsomatic but hotter) and it made life easy. All of my main wire is 2 AWG. Over kill a bit but better safe than sorry. I chose to ground the backup battery to the main battery. This means when I need it (main is dead) it will ground the car through the main's grounds, which are the factory grounds. Much easier than grounding it to the engine and body on its own, which really is the best way to do it but far more complicated. Grounding the back-up to the main made wiring easy too, one long black and one long read wire, run along the same path.
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http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2156
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Unread 06-29-2008, 07:28 PM   #2
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To mount the Hellroaring unit I simply cut a piece of sheet metal to fit the HR box, plus a tab to permit me to attach it to the body through 2 existing holes with nuts welded into the body from the factory. I used Hammerite paint that was close to factory color, but will mean no rust. I put the unit, as you can see, in front of the brake master cylinder.

Now for the back-up battery mounting setup. This was the toughest part. I wanted to try to be as simple and easy as I could. I did drill 2 holes in the fender, painted with Hammerite to prevent rust of course, to mount the box. I bought a battery box that snugly fit my battery, then threw the top out and cut down the sides to permit the strap to really hold the battery down well. Because the fender is sloped and there is a brake line in the way that you do not want the battery resting on, I had to space the back side of the tray up a little. I used a thick piece of Starboard (plastic used to make things on boats, great stuff, check it out). My Starboard spacer sits right next to the brake-line and runs the entire length of the rear of the battery box, so there is NO WAY it will ever touch the brake line. For added protection I pop-riveted aluminum 1"x1" angle iron around the back and both sides of the battery box. This gave the box added rigidity. I simply used 3 stainless bolts to hold the box down, one in the front that was through a stock hole and the 2 rears through the back (firewall side) of the battery box, and the Starboard spacer. It does not move AT ALL now. Yes, if I was going to REALLY do it right I would weld up angle iron to make a tray for the box to sit in, mount that tray to the fender and go from there. Again sorry for the lack of pictures, especially on this part. I was trying to get it in and then later thought Oh crap!

I like my setup very much. I have let my car sit for 2 days with my Fridge running here in the Florida summer heat (95 during the day, 50%+ humidity, car outside and it is Dark Grey!) and the engine started on the main battery like a champ! Ask questions please. I do love this setup!

Now pictures.

This is my main battery. It fits, does not touch the fender or the radiator hose, BARELY. But it does fit.





Above is my Hellroaring Unit. You can see the backing plate I made and painted to mount it and where I mounted it to the fender. Also note the dark black wire loom in the back left, trying to be neat. That houses the wires to the switch and the power outlet wire.


Above is a different angle of the HR unit. This was pre-looming the wires.


Sorry for the blurry picture. See how I ran the wires here? Yes, I will change the white Zip Ties to black, I ran out of black.


Another wire routing view. See that large factory wire loom that goes behind the battery? That is the one I opened up, it is taped right behind the battery. As I said above, cut the factory tape, snake your wire though, I used a coat hanger CAREFULLY, then re-tape.


Here is my back-up battery mounted. again sorry for not taking pics as I made the box. You can see how much I cut it down. now the strap grabs the battery so it wont be sloshing around!
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http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2156
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Unread 06-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #3
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Great Write Up! Thanks for taking the time to write up you installation so well.
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Unread 06-29-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
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My pleasure. I learn so much from everyone on the board, I just like to give back where I can and hope that someone benefits a little from my experience.
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Unread 06-29-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Nice write-up! Thanks.
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Unread 06-29-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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Cool stuff, what isolator are you using and do you feed the fridge from the main or the yellow top?
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Unread 06-30-2008, 12:13 AM   #7
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Great job! Dual batteries is my next to-do, I appreciate you sharing.
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Unread 06-30-2008, 08:11 AM   #8
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nice job. I like both batteries you chose. However, I've been told numerous times that you should use 2 batteries of the same type and similar age. I was thinking of adding a yellow top but I wasn't sure about mixing a gel battery with a conventional. ...did you get any different info on this?
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Unread 06-30-2008, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Cool stuff, what isolator are you using and do you feed the fridge from the main or the yellow top?
Using the Hellroaring unit and love it. I am feeding EVERYTHING from the main battery, the backup battery is for just that, back-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crozhawk View Post
nice job. I like both batteries you chose. However, I've been told numerous times that you should use 2 batteries of the same type and similar age. I was thinking of adding a yellow top but I wasn't sure about mixing a gel battery with a conventional. ...did you get any different info on this?
I heard the same thing and realized that is a bit of old tech. When you have multi battery systems like in a boat or RV, then it is very important. Battery's that are connected together try to equalize each other and if they are of different size and capacity this causes issues. In my system though the 2 battery's cannot try to equalize each other unless they are in combine mode, which would be VERY rare.
In my system the only time they are both doing anything is when the alternator providing more charge than the car needs, and is charging them both. At that point though they cannot try to equalize each other though. In talking to the Hellroaring folks they were pretty clear that this is not an issue with a backup system, but can be in systems like in my fathers boat, where he has a back of 2 battery's wired together to run the accessories on the boat and another stand alone to start the engines.
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Unread 06-30-2008, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crozhawk View Post
nice job. I like both batteries you chose. However, I've been told numerous times that you should use 2 batteries of the same type and similar age. I was thinking of adding a yellow top but I wasn't sure about mixing a gel battery with a conventional. ...did you get any different info on this?
This is not needed if you have a seperator or isolator between the 2 batteries. If the 2 batteries are directly connected in parallel with no seperation, it is still best practice to keep both of them the same.
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Unread 06-30-2008, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
This is not needed if you have a separator or isolator between the 2 batteries. If the 2 batteries are directly connected in parallel with no separation, it is still best practice to keep both of them the same.
True. Some systems though will permit battery's to equalize each other though (more charged battery flows current to less charged battery until they match). This can also cause a bit of an issue with different battery's. Bottom line for me was that the Hellroaring system does not have this issue. Also, do not forget, there is not much room for a large battery as a spare, without some significant work.
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Unread 08-07-2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc Hunter View Post

Interestingly enough the Odyssey 1700 everyone seems to use is smaller than our stock battery,
Small update.

The Odyssey 1700 has in fact got more capacity than the OEM batteries. OEM is 55 A/H (or 64 A/H for Canada/Option for cold climates). 1700 has 68A/H. Details posted here

http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showp...8&postcount=63
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Unread 08-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #13
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Having dual batteries is a great way to go! Buying some covers for the exposed metal of the terminals would be nice too. Also consider thermal breakers and additional fusing for protection.



This manufacturer's products are found at many boating stores.

http://www.vteworld.com/content/termins/term_ins.php
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