Anything I should be worried about?

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Callum Andrews, Oct 12, 2017 at 2:45 AM.

  1. Callum Andrews

    Callum Andrews Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hey everyone,

    I'm about to do a external lighting upgrade consting of :

    - a large 50inch light bar (do a fair amount of night driving off-road tracks)
    - two spot lights up front, used for both driving and camping
    - side lights to be used when camping
    - extra reverse light mounted to my rack

    Is there anything I should change/do? Will my stock alternator hold up? Should I wire all non driving lights off a second battery?

    Any help would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Wiring off a 2nd battery won't help as it is / should pull from alternator while driving.

    That said a 2nd battery would help with the stationary lights.
    Personally I would keep them seperate.
    I just don't like stationary draw items draining my start battery no matter how small

    Make sure all your lights are LED as they are a fraction or the draw.

    Also get one of those lithium jump start things for under $100
    Essential for ant camper
     
    Callum Andrews likes this.
  3. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    newcastle
    I can pretty much mirror what Barry said,

    Camping items off camping battery and driving items off driving battery (simple right ?:p)

    How big is your alternator? I think the late waterboxers have a reasonibly decent 90amps?

    On the subject of light bars, I know they are a dime a dozen now but quality still costs money. Hunt out the lights with a IP68 rating and leave the 67s where they are. Also ask the question as the whether the plastic front lens is UV stabilized, 40000 lumens is not helping you much being pushed though a yellow haze.
     
  4. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Anything you use while stationary should run from the second battery. Move interior lights, radio etc to the second battery. Use LED globes.
     
  5. peter915

    peter915 Active Member

    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    Sunshine coast
    Callum
    Hi there,
    I can supply replacement LED bulbs for every bulb in your VW, including both headlights.
    Grab yourself a bargain as I have just start marking down the prices - basically cost prices.
    AS for wiring and batteries, etc - Redarc do some really good gear, like DC/DC battery chargers and their forum is really good too.
    https://www.redarc.com.au/
    My website below
    Peter
     
  6. Callum Andrews

    Callum Andrews Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hey Nils,

    Yeah I was planning on running all the camping, interior etc off a second battery. My main concern was the draw on the alternator with a light bar, spot light and an extra reverse light. My alternator is stock so i'll have to look further into it.
     
  7. Callum Andrews

    Callum Andrews Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hi there Peter,

    Thanks for your assistance, redarc look like they have some great products I could utilise when I work out my solar set up. I was I knew you had lights sooner :( I have already replaced all of my interior and exterior lights, including headlights with the campervanculture kit.

    Thanks,

    Callum
     
  8. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    The DC/DC is a waste of time on a Kombi. They are designed for long cable runs where you get a voltage drop. eg to a caravan.
     
  9. kleinersyncro

    kleinersyncro Active Member

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Melbourne VIC
    Don't agree Phil, they are not a waste of Time on a Kombi.
    DC/DC charger do act as a Isolation Diode and also keeps both batteries totally separate! So with just a relay to connect both battery, if one is empty there is a lot of energy going from the full one to the empty one. If the draw is too high, it may burn the relay or damage the battery.
    Also does a DC/DC charger allow you to operate two different types of batteries and also of different ages. So you can go for a deep cycle battery which will get the right voltage to become fully charged - just with the alternator you may damage those deep cycle batteries as they need a certain charging voltage and curve.

    My favourite DC/DC charger is the Projecta IDC25, compact and also ready to hook up solar panels.

    As you see, many pros for the DC/DC ;)

    Cheers Arne
     
  10. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Agree that you will need to isolate the batteries, but a DC/DC is useless. You can charge two batteries of different types from your alternator. If one is flat it will draw more current than the charged one but it doesn't matter. A lot of cars are factory made to take dual batteries (VW included) and they work OK without a DC/DC.

    I have worked with many thousands of batteries for over 40 years and done training courses at ABMAL (Australia's largest lead acid battery manufacturer.)

    Deep cycle batteries will charge the same as starting batteries. Deep cycle batteries have been around for a hundred years working perfectly without DC/DC converters. There is a lot of myths about batteries mainly started by a journalist.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 5:02 PM
  11. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    Agree about the DC/DC. Since 1998 I have used a Redarc isolator as per https://www.redarc.com.au/smart-start-sbi-12v-100a . I use an AGM battery as the house battery and solar when camped in the kombi, though these days I have a MB Sprinter van that does most of our camping. The Redarc isolator meant the starter battery was charged first then would automatically switch the second battery in parallel to charge during travel. It never failed. It also has a switch that could be used to put both batteries in parallel for a winch etc. I never had a need for using the switch and never bothered to connect it up.

    Ian
     
  12. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
  13. kleinersyncro

    kleinersyncro Active Member

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Melbourne VIC
    But why do battery manufacturers recommend different charging votages as well for their different types?
    The alternator in a Kombi is dumb and doesn't control the current flow/voltage - in modern cars this is all microprocessor controlled (e.g. set up for AGM batteries as with start/stop system cars).

    So the voltage of the altenator is set to get a lead-acid battery full, but dosen't get high enough to fill up a AGM battery.
    Or is this all a myth and customers are just gerting bulls...ed?
     
  14. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Yes.
    BTW AGMs are still lead acid batteries.
     
  15. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    That's just an optimum continuous charge voltage. If the voltage is too high for too long you can overcharge the battery. A battery will fully charge as long as the charging voltage is higher than the battery voltage.


    No alternators control current flow. Smart alternators just adjust the voltage to suit either the perceived use or the state of charge of the battery. Some of them do not do it very well.

    With a smart alternator it may be beneficial to have a DC/DC converter for your auxiliary battery.
     
  16. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,607
    Location:
    Eastlakes, NSW
  17. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,508
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    I think I am running the same kits as Kai.

    Works well for me and isolates the main battery from any draw if it gets below a certain level.

    Hasn't failed me yet.
     

Share This Page