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Old 09-08-2008, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Dual Batteries

It was requested under another thread I start a new thread and post picutures of my due battery installation.

This was built about 9 years ago before the 'kits' came out. So this was a custom job. However, the cost to replicate this would still be less then most kits available today.

1) Fabicated a second battery tray placed where OE airbox was.
2) Used a battery manager/isolator purchased from WranglerNW.
http://www.wranglernw.com/
3) Used 1 gauge fine strand cable.
4) Replaced OE airbox with a cone filter.

The only changes have been adding the Optima terminal covers which created a cleaner look and eliminate dangers of exposed terminals. I also fabricated a cover for the isolator itself, shown in the first photo and removed for the second.

Engine

Click the image to open in full size.

Main isolator

Click the image to open in full size.

Interior switch providing 3 modes of operation.

1) Green - Charge both batteries, drawing solely from main battery (red top)

2) Off - Remove second battery totally from system. This emulates a standard single battery installation

3) Red - Charge and draw from both batteries

Click the image to open in full size.

Hope this helps,
Kent
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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By chance would you have some wiring diagrams to add to this.

I had requested you start this thread. Thank you for all the details.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Kent just what I wanted to see. Few questions here still. Did you have to cut the fenderwell to fit the box for the yellow top Optima? Is that a Rustys airtube? Where did you find the labels for your cables? Where did you attach the positive cable from your isolator to the PDC at? (pic would help) Do you have any issues with mismatched batteries? Red/Yellow optimas.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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what is the benefit of running a second battery?
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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A couple of benefits.

1. IF you use a winch, you can isolate the 2nd battery and use the winch solely off the 2nd battery. Thus saving your starting/running battery for driving.

2. You can use 2 batteries at the same time to provide longer winching time.

3. You have the option to put high powered lights on the 2nd battery to avoid draining the 1st.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouncy View Post
A couple of benefits.

1. IF you use a winch, you can isolate the 2nd battery and use the winch solely off the 2nd battery. Thus saving your starting/running battery for driving.

2. You can use 2 batteries at the same time to provide longer winching time.

3. You have the option to put high powered lights on the 2nd battery to avoid draining the 1st.
All of which are my goals for my Jeep.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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Nice Write up- Added!!!
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:03 AM   #8
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It's been so many years since I installed this I don't recall the specific wiring setup. But there really isn't much to it .

The switch in the cabin is wired to the solenoid which switches the various battery modes. The solenoid has the two positive leads to the batteries which supply incoming and outgoing current depending on mode.

Look under the Dual battery and/or Battery managers sub catelogs on WranglerNW. They provide a full description. If you email them I'd bet they would provide the wiring diagram for the manager. They were very helpful when I was building my system. I don't recall the exact price of the manager, but I believe it was in the ball park of $175.

http://www.wranglernw.com/

I fabricated my own cable to legth using a hack saw, connetors and soder pellets. The hardest part was building the second battery tray. I've seen XJ second trays available from larger retailers such as Quadratec, etc.

I would strongly advise some kind of a manager. While you can simply add in series, the batteries will always be completing with each other to try to equalize. This reduces overall battery life.

Another (quicker) option is a HO alternater. The downside to this is they don't provide reserve. Winching was really the reason I went the dual route as a full pull can require a staggering 500 amps.

There are a few vendors on Ebay that have been offering some nice higher output alternators for years. I went with a Mean Green 200 continous duty alternatore myself. This did require major trimming to both brackets and even minor shaving of the engine block to fit.

Hope this helps ,
Kent
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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BlueXJ - Hope I can answer everything

1) Did you have to cut the fenderwell to fit the box for the yellow top Optima?

Nope not at all.. No cutting anywhere. I recall relocating the PCM, but I think that was to make room for my ARB compressor. I don't believe it was needed for the battery.

2) Is that a Rustys airtube?

You have a sharp eye , 100% correct.

3) Where did you find the labels for your cables?

I think at the time they also came from WranglerNW. But I've seen them on serveral electrical wiring retailer sites.

4)Where did you attach the positive cable from your isolator to the PDC at? (pic would help)

Good eye again. I believe the OE wire to the PDC was 10 gauge. It's entrance to the PDC is in the front of the box. I recall some minor challenges with this, but I believe it was a straight replacement to the OE mounting point. I'll try to remember to look tonight to verfiy this.

5) Do you have any issues with mismatched batteries? Red/Yellow optimas

Nope, I always keep the battery manager off the 'red' (combined) setting unless I truly need both batteries. This keeps both batteries separated all the time, so they don't compete to equalize, etc.

The only down side I've seen with this system, is there isn't an option to solely use the second battery. Since the second always feeds through the primary, you can never get a feel for the condition of the second battery. As a result, the second battery could die (and has) and you wouldn't know it until you go to use it. I just connect the secondary to a battery charger that shows voltage rates a few times a year to get a rough idea of the condition.

Hope this helps,
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:14 PM   #10
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I need this!
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:10 PM   #11
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If the V8 was not so big I would try it. lol. But I will figure something out when I have a winch and extra cash.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xj4fun View Post

The only down side I've seen with this system, is there isn't an option to solely use the second battery. Since the second always feeds through the primary, you can never get a feel for the condition of the second battery. As a result, the second battery could die (and has) and you wouldn't know it until you go to use it. I just connect the secondary to a battery charger that shows voltage rates a few times a year to get a rough idea of the condition.

Hope this helps,
Test switch
http://www.boatersworld.com/product/198260036.htm
Fancy version http://www.boatersworld.com/product/196901425.htm

Battery switch 1-2 or both used for a winch on 4x4
http://www.boatersworld.com/product/196978241.htm

Same used on ambulance
http://www.boatersworld.com/product/197260094.htm
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:45 AM   #13
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Need two earn some extra cash to have dual battery on my jeep...
This is a very useful idea and a nice write up as well...
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:47 AM   #14
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I give you credit man. You did a awesome job sir
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:19 AM   #15
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Looks awesome - but why all the switches? This might sound naive, but couldn't you just connect the batteries in parallel to increase the amperage?
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:19 AM
 
 
 
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