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Old 08-29-2010, 03:20 PM
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Adding a Second Battery

I have a 93 Chevy K1500 that I want to add a second battery to. I would like to add the battery for a winch and eventually some off road lights. The reason I want the second battery is so I can't draw off the main battery for winching. I don't want to be winching the truck and draw all the power and kill the truck and not be able to start it again. I have heard of an "isolator" that will separate the two batteries so they can not draw from each other but the alternator will still charge both batteries. I have a jump kit that I carry on the vehicle already but I still want the second battery. I am looking for suggestions on how to wire this system so that everything will work correctly and will not kill anything or start any fires.

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Old 08-29-2010, 03:31 PM
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A battery isolator is the way to go. Instructions come with them . They are pretty simple.Make sure you use the recommended wire size .
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:06 PM
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If you're going to install an isolator, consider installing a Ford type solenoid between the positive posts of both batteries also. Put a pushbutton switch somewhere convenient that will cause that solenoid to energize. If your main battery were to go dead, you could start the truck off the auxiliary battery. Just like using jumper cables, only a lot more convenient. I did that with a Ford Econoline van, and used it on a couple of occasions.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldguy48
If you're going to install an isolator, consider installing a Ford type solenoid between the positive posts of both batteries also. Put a pushbutton switch somewhere convenient that will cause that solenoid to energize. If your main battery were to go dead, you could start the truck off the auxiliary battery. Just like using jumper cables, only a lot more convenient. I did that with a Ford Econoline van, and used it on a couple of occasions.
You could eliminate the isolator by wiring a solenoid in like suggested here.The only difference would be that you would want to use a continuous duty type solenoid . They are easy to identify. they look like a ford solenoid but they have a metal jacket not plastic one. you can leave them on for hours .they are used on golf carts and motorhomes . make sure you put heavy enough wire on the solenoid. enough to handle the current to start a car. like 2 awg
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:21 PM
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would I be able to charge both batteries if I used just a solenoid valve. I was looking at these isolators http://www.summitracing.com/search/P...word=isolators i am curious if this is the going price for a good isolator or if these are over priced. How many amp isolator would i need? Or would something like this one be good http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...3388_200343388 there is a hell of a price difference in the two sites. I don't mind paying 150 bucks for quality if the one from northern is going to be a piece of crap
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:33 PM
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I used a mecanical isolator on my pickup for years for the power to my camper. Never had any trouble with it. Looks like a Ford starter selenoid.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:31 PM
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The H/F one is 120 amp, the two Powermaster ones were 140, and 200 amps, respective to their prices. Kinda depends on how much winch you re installing as to which one would be good enough.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:20 AM
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All the isolator does is connect the second battery to the charging system with the key on. The winch should only be connected to the second battery and power wouldn't come from the main battery, unless the key was on and the second battery is already dead. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the isolator, no?
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:41 AM
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Well, a big winch can use a LOT of power, which will pretty well drain a battery in a fairly short time, which means the isolator is gonna see a lot of current flow charging it back up. Part of the equation is the output of your alternator. If you've got a 90~110 amp alternator, then the HF isolator should do fine, but if you've got a 140 amp or bigger alternator, then you'll probably need to step up to one of the the Powermasters.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crownver
All the isolator does is connect the second battery to the charging system with the key on. The winch should only be connected to the second battery and power wouldn't come from the main battery, unless the key was on and the second battery is already dead. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the isolator, no?
Does this make sense to anybody else? If I install an isolator and connect the winch to the second/auxillary battery there is no way the winch or anything connected to that battery could draw the main/starting battery whether the key is on or off, correct?
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:10 PM
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dual battery switch

Hey Russell, Use the KISS rule, get you one of these;http://www.amazon.com/Perko-8501DP-M.../dp/B00144B6AE olnolan
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crussell85
Does this make sense to anybody else? If I install an isolator and connect the winch to the second/auxillary battery there is no way the winch or anything connected to that battery could draw the main/starting battery whether the key is on or off, correct?
That is correct. And like rickracer said the winch motor can suck a battery down fast and push the current draw through the Isolator past the limit it can handle. Better go with the continuous duty solenoid or the big red switch olnolan showed you.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:06 PM
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Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't the isolator actuate if the ignition is on,connecting the secondary battery into the charge/discharge system along with the primary battery, charging or discharging both depending on the draw?

Isn't that the whole point of the isolator? To separate the batteries so he always has a fully charged battery to start the motor?
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:43 PM
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The stock dual battery isolator on my '75 GMC Camper Special works that way. The relay connects the 2nd battery to the charging circuit when the truck is on, and disconnects the battery from the charging circuit when the truck is off. All the camper accessories are connected to a wiring junction for the 2nd battery, so it can't draw the main battery down if the truck is turned off.

However, the charging circuit relay needs to be big enough to handle the output of the alternator when its trying to charge the 2nd battery. The stock relay doesn't really look that big, but the factory only used a 63 amp alternator in 1975.

Bruce
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:32 PM
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so there are a few different options here, i guess what I would like to know is what would be the best way to wire this and how to wire it? I don't want to be able to draw the starting battery down at all. What is the best way to do this and not set my truck on fire?
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