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#568485 - June 14th 2012 12:23 pm What Works 4 You?
vandude360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: February 05th 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 243
Loc: puyallup, washington
I have been using an Optima D34/78 battery in my van since 2003. In 2009, it began loosing capacity and I replaced it with another one even though it didn't have as much reserve capacity (120 minutes) as I desired, because the previous one worked great for everything else, lasted longer than I thought it would, tolerated an incredible amount of abuse, did it all with sub-standard, junkyard wiring, and was all the battery I could afford.



The replacement has already died, and I think I would like to try a battery (or batteries) with more RC, and a little higher budget (about $350-400).

I've thought about an Odessey PC1350, which won't fit in the stock location, but will fit in the bed pedestal (below). The spare tire, a few tools, fluids, and driver-side fenderwell take about 2/3 of the storage space provided by the pedestal (twin-size), so there is room for more batteries if required.



Later, when I have more cash, could I add a different battery (stock location) and the wiring/switching to make the Odessey an aux. unit, or do I have to get all batteries at the same time?

Anyone know of a better power source?

What works for you?
_________________________

new Junkyard Jitters Progress Report pages coming soon.
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#568493 - June 14th 2012 12:47 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
frscke1 Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: June 26th 2010 7:35 pm
Posts: 8313
Loc: San Diego California
I run Interstate Batteries....3 of them under my bed pedistal....group 29...$141 a piece...before you get another battery you need to find out what your amp per hr draw...the best person to talk to is Wrcsixeight...he has the best power setup Ive seen for a while...
_________________________
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146 WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146 WB




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#568494 - June 14th 2012 12:45 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
Mutt Offline
veteran

Registered: July 19th 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 1647
Loc: Hell Town, Va
I know some guys in the 4X4 world who have said that Optima's quality has decreased too. That Odyssey is a beast! Just make sure that you make sure that it is properly vented if you are going to mount it in the van, even if it is below the bed.
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Chuck

1988 Dodge B250 "Bloody Mary"

Shenandoah Valley Vans
Southeast Van Council



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#568497 - June 14th 2012 1:03 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
frscke1 Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: June 26th 2010 7:35 pm
Posts: 8313
Loc: San Diego California
I do know you have to keep them charged when not using them....to charge them and let them sit for months will reduce the effectiveness of the battery and you will lose capacity .... thus your batt will slowly die & not take a charge back to full capacity..
_________________________
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146 WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146 WB




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#568498 - June 14th 2012 1:06 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
Wizard78 Offline
Supreme Master

Registered: August 20th 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 17069
Loc: Virginia
I use Motorcraft BXT-65-850
_________________________
Everyday above ground is a Good Day!!!
Never Stop Vannin'


Owner & Creator of Wizard's Van-In Videos
Member of Riding High Truckers from 1982 to 1996
2nd Member of The Toopa Sinner Tribe
Member of Free Bird Vanners 1996 to Present
Member of Cape Atlantic Truckers South Jersey
Host Club of Freeze Out
Certified Nats Judge
Member of Shenandoah Valley Vans

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#568500 - June 14th 2012 1:35 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1868
Loc: San Diego
Odyssey batteries do currently have a great reputation.

Sears Die hard PLATINUM is a rebadged Odyssey and about 25% less $$$.

I am not sure the internals are 100% the same though.

In an ideal world, all batteries that connect, charge and discharge in parallel would be the same brand,design, and age. But it is not an ideal world.

Hooking batteries of different ages and make in parallel works, but one battery usually takes on more of the load and charging source than the others, and when one goes nearly dead, it drags the other down fast, then you need to buy 2 new batteries anyway.

The most important thing to battery longevity is to promptly and fully recharge them after discharge. The alternator does an OK job at bringing them to ~80% but it would take many many hours of driving to top them off to a true 100%.

Recharging to only 85% time after time will cause progressive sulfation and capacity loss. Any time a battery is sitting below 80% it is sulfating, and the lower it sits below 80% and the longer it sits there, the harder the sulfates become and the more capacity is lost.

The Batteries best friend is an automatic plug in charger that will bring the voltage up to the high 14's for an hour or 2 or more to squeeze in every last amp and dissolve the sulfates back into the electrolyte, as much as possible.

Flooded Batteries self discharge 15% a Month at 75 degrees, more at higher temps and more with age. AGM batteries like optima and odyssey are about 3 to 5%.

A Float charger is good just to keep a fully charged battery topped off. A float charger is not good at topping off a battery as they usually cannot bring the battery into the high 14's.

Keep in mind that a healthy battery that is only 30% charged will still start the engine, so thinking that the battery is fully charged cause it started the engine is folly.

Another thing to be aware of is the Marine Battery. These will also say Deep cycle on them, but the difference between a true deep cycle battery and a marine battery is significant. A marine battery is sort of like a starting battery which is slightly more tolerant of deeper discharges than a starting battery. It is not easy to find and purchase a true 12 volt deep cycle battery, and they are about 30% more $$$ and about 20% heavier.

Crown, Trojan, and Deka among others make true deep cycle 12 volt batteries, the hard part is finding them. Whether a true deep cycle battery is worth the extra 30% premium depends on how well you intend on taking care of the batteries. If you are not going to make sure to fully recharge them promptly after use, then the marine batteries might be cheaper in the long run, but if you do take care of them, true deep cycles will perform better for significantly longer.

Generally, 6 volt flooded golf cart batteries wired in series are the best bang for the buck. They have the the thickest plates, and enough room under the plates so that when they start shedding material, they take a lot longer to short out a cell.

But they are taller, and must be vented and are not good for the inside of the Van unless properly vented.

AGM batteries only offgass if extremely overcharged, but still, technically, should be vented to the exterior.

Increasing the thickness of the alternator charging circuit is vital when extra batteries are added. The stock wiring is adequate only to top up a slightly depleted starting battery. Add a deep cycle battery over another 20 feet of undersized cabling pretty much insures chronic undercharging, early sulfation and a premature death.

Also, it is good to have a plug in charger capable of at least 25 amps. The battery can accept this much and more when depleted and when it nears the 80% mark will accept only what it can take.

In my Experience, the batteries like heavy current initially when discharged under 60%, and perform better the next night when they themselves dictated how much amps they wanted, rather than an undersized charger taking longer to bring the specific gravity up above 1.275.

My 200 watts of solar (~ 12 amps) is great at negating discharge and still fully charging them during a sunny day, but if I were to hit the batteries with 25 amps for 2 hours in the morning, then let the solar take over, the batteries will hold a higher voltage the next discharge cycle.

Idling a Dodge to recharge the batteries is an extreme waste of gas. Do not bother, as little as 5 amps are making it into the batteries with a hot alternator at idle speeds.

The following charger is spoken well of over on RV.net:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-VEC1093DBD-Battery-Charger/dp/B000EJQJ1G.

If you use the batteries a lot, then the above charger will help you get the most out of them.

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#573239 - July 09th 2012 1:36 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: wrcsixeight]
vandude360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: February 05th 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 243
Loc: puyallup, washington
Thank you all for providing feedback, and thanks to wrcsixeight for sharing some of your knowlege and experience.
I now know how I killed the Optima. Since last September, it was on a charger (2 amp deep cycle setting) in my little garage, but sometime after connecting it, the circuit breaker tripped, so no charging.



After checking out as many similar batteries as I could, I narrowed my choice to one of these two.



The best deal I found for the Odyssey was about $90 cheaper than the best price for the XS, so I chose the PC-1350.
Due to off-gassing concerns, I have been trying to design a battery box to mount under the floorpan (just behind driver's seat). I found some online, including "drop-down" styles, but none were big enough for a group 49. I don't have the time, tools, or skills to build a decent box, so I was thinking of using a metal toolbox to house the battery.

I can make this one work by moving the latches to the sides, and bolting it on sideways with the front of the box against the floorpan. Anyone got a better mounting solution?
_________________________

new Junkyard Jitters Progress Report pages coming soon.
Be sure to visit then. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3842191/1977-dodge-b-series

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#573245 - July 09th 2012 1:51 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
SaabGuy Offline
old hand

Registered: April 12th 2012 8:32 pm
Posts: 725
Loc: Liberty, IN
Sounds good to me. Just make sure the battery is secure in the box and run a vent hose to the outside. Might consider something to seal the box a little tighter too. Rubber strip of something?
_________________________
When Chris Farley talked about living in a van down by the river, did anybody else think that wasn't such a bad idea?

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#573248 - July 09th 2012 1:58 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
frscke1 Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: June 26th 2010 7:35 pm
Posts: 8313
Loc: San Diego California
Mine went under the back bench seat with good ventilation, I put a small vent fan to push air ....



with battery access panels under the mattress...



_________________________
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146 WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146 WB




Top
#573249 - July 09th 2012 2:01 pm Re: What Works 4 You? [Re: vandude360]
Wizard78 Offline
Supreme Master

Registered: August 20th 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 17069
Loc: Virginia
Nice set up
_________________________
Everyday above ground is a Good Day!!!
Never Stop Vannin'


Owner & Creator of Wizard's Van-In Videos
Member of Riding High Truckers from 1982 to 1996
2nd Member of The Toopa Sinner Tribe
Member of Free Bird Vanners 1996 to Present
Member of Cape Atlantic Truckers South Jersey
Host Club of Freeze Out
Certified Nats Judge
Member of Shenandoah Valley Vans

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