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Starter Battery Stuff #747107
April 07th 2019 5:16 pm
April 07th 2019 5:16 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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Curious do any of you know the Cranking Amp draw for our 1988 dodge b250 5.9 with original starter. I am having a hard time pinning it down anywhere.

Also, what starter battery are you all using? Brand, size. Not too worried about CCA


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747117
April 07th 2019 9:53 pm
April 07th 2019 9:53 pm
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Got mine from NAPA. Wasn't sure about size, CCA and such, so I asked them.
They used their magic machines and it popped out the needed information.
Got a 1985 B350 5.9 and somewhere around 750ish or 800ish CCA.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747124
April 08th 2019 1:44 am
April 08th 2019 1:44 am
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wrcsixeight Offline
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The older starter up to about 88 or so. Is rated at 1.3 kw. Or 130 amps at 10 volts.
The newer starter from about 89 is rated at 1.4kw.
Look at the differences on rockauto. In pics and specs.


I measured closer to 1800 watts when I started my two week cold 1989 318 on a single 18 amp hour Chinese 35$ atm battery one can find inside many larger lead acid jumper packs. Granted it spun slowly and just barely started in 80f ambient. If this 18 ah agm battery were rated in CCA. I would suspect it would be around 170.

My starting battery is also my house battery. A single group 27 North star AGM. it's almost 5.5 years old and has over 1000 deep cycles. 92 amp hour and 930CCA. I treat it properly. Meaning full recharges and occasional very high amperage recharges to full.

I have shoehorned a group 31 marine battery in original battery tray with almost no modification.it can easily fit a group 27. Wal-Mart sells a group 29marine battery which is basically same size as a 31. I think it is about 725CCA.

I thought my owners manual said I required a battery of no less than 550CCA. I'll see if I can find it.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747323
April 14th 2019 5:08 pm
April 14th 2019 5:08 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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Thanks, ya'll.

68... I thought maybe 140 amps or so was what the starter would pull. Since we are so rarely in temperatures where cold cranking is an issue we were wondering if we could get away with a lower CCA.

All sites say we require a group 34 battery but we've been using a 24 since we got her because that is what was in her and we never checked until now.

Current battery is dropping slowly overnight which is not a problem if we start her every day like we've been during this round of travel. Already checked for draw and there isn't any so guess it just can't hold charge well anymore. We're on year 6 of the 5 year battery.


Not replacing it right now but have been shopping around and thinking about what we will use if / when we do. Sort of a mute point on one hand because anytime we have sun we can start the van from the solar panel power but at some point we probably ought to put a new battery in there.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747340
April 15th 2019 1:10 am
April 15th 2019 1:10 am
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I asked over on the allpar forum whether my 1.4KW starter drawing 1.8KW was an indication my starter was near end of days.

Apparently the 1.4KW rating is the output, not the input draw, so 1800 watts in for 1400 watts out, is about 77% efficient or so.

If you can notice that the engine battery, without any significant parasitic draw, is self discharging that much where a few days without driving is enought to make starting questionable, then I would guess the battery is not long for the world.

You can always jumpstart assist from the house battery. I no longer bother with dedicated house battery, so got the 35$ 18Ah AGM battery for self jumpstarting for when my battery can't do the job by itself

I believe your 88 has the 1.3KW starter and likely requires more time before it catches. The longer the starter runs and the lower toe voltage it receives from a worn battery, the harder it likely has to work. So while the battery might still be able to do the job, it could be aging your starter faster, to some unknown degree.

Apparently the newer starter can install in the same place as the older starter and is generally considered an upgrade.

I've had group 24, 27 and group 31 batteries in the original location. The group 31 battery just barely fit and the hood was basically in contact with the plastic edge of battery, and if the handle design were slightly different it would not have fit. The handles on this specific 31 folded flat along the sides, and I had to fold one of these handles up and over to close the hood.

Does not look like you will be trying to showhorn in the biggest possible battery though. I moved that specific 31 there as I neded to easily check the Specific gravity, and the flooded house battery box under my van behind drivers seat made it too difficult to see when the specific gravity when charging at 14.7v actually reached 1.275+ on each cell, so I moved it to the engine compartment to dial in the correct absorption voltage and duration as I used it.
That battery was a bit crazy. I settled on 14.9v absorption voltage for 2.5 hours then set float vltage to 15.3v. this was the only way to achieve full charge, 1.275+ specific gravity, by late afternoon, and I would still need to perform EQ charges of 16.2v every 15 deep cycles.

When that battery wore out at the ~550 deep cycle mark, I removed it. I have not had a battery in engine compartment since june 2015. My Northstar AGM group 27 battery has accumulated 1100 deep cycles, hundred+ of those cycles discharged well below 50%, since june 2015, and has also been starting the engine since 2013.

Some people are claiming to be getting good sevice from the wallyworld 55$ valuepower battery, which I believe comes in a group 35 and a group 24. I've No personal experience with them.

If you are trying to get the maximum possible life from the old battery as it approaches that cliff dive, let your solar feed it 14.7v a few hours a day. Old batteries are not happy with sub 14 volts when driving. Do you know what your voltage regulator allows once everything is hot? My stock voltage regulator would coose 14.9v or 13.7v. 13.7v when the battery was still less than fully charged infuriated me, as did 14.9v when it was already fully charged.

I modified my Van and now twist a dial to choose system voltage, and laugh like a maniac every time I do so.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747349
April 15th 2019 12:24 pm
April 15th 2019 12:24 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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I had not thought about not having a starting battery in place under the hood if you used one battery for all. Interesting. Seems to make sense considering our uses. We'll have to consider that more later.

As for our alternator / regulator output we get a solid 14.9 maybe 14.8 unless we load it down in the rain with lights and wipers and all. We've never seen it much below 14.8 since we usually don't drive at night or in heavy rain.

We charge our house battery at 14.8 via a setting on our Morningstar Controller.

Since our alternator and our solar controller put out around 14.8 I had thought that an all day drive at 14.8 with the alternator would be sufficient for the starter battery to get 'right'. But it hasn't seemed to do the trick.

We'll settle for five days in a bit and then I'll go for a full day from the solar controller on it and see if perhaps the amp push is different and does the trick.

After we try that we'll decide if we want to replace it or not.

If we start her every day the starter pull is very short. I've always thought too short because the darn thing turns over almost before you even get the key into the right position. The only time there is a long pull on our starting is when she's in that 1/2 hour to 4 hour after running window and it is especially heated out and she likes to flood herself. But we've corrected that with a half pedal push which usually starts her faster.

We've got a new LED voltage reader instead of the 12 volt plug one that was bouncing around too much. I'll hook it up in a bit and see what she does more regularly when driving but the 12 volt plug in one has always stayed around 14.8 avg from alternator / regulator.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747352
April 15th 2019 3:30 pm
April 15th 2019 3:30 pm
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wrcsixeight Offline
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I removed the engine compartment battery when one of the cells on the bottom of the battery was heating excessively when charging. I was modifying the tray to fit in a GC-15 size group 12v Deep cycle battery, when I realized that the group27 AGM battery in my extra battery box could not only power my overnight needs but also still easily start the engine when depleted. I also have an amp hour counting battery monitor and know well the state of charge of my battery. I'd have much less confidence in my system if I did not fairly accurately know the state of charge and the state of health of my battery, and state of health is basically determined by voltage retention as it is discharged/ under load and having a 'when new' data, for comparison.

65Lbs of less weight and more simplicity were other bonuses, and in the nearly 4 years since, I have not wished for more battery capacity.

That said, if your VR is always holding 14.9v, that it too much. It will overcharge and cause water loss and positive plate shedding. The VRs should usually lower voltage once they heat up. A battery at 14.9v always will be bubbling furiously, emitting lots of hydrogen, oxygen and a corrosive sulfuric acid mist that escapes with those gasses

But 5 years is a respectable lifespan for a battery. It does not owe you anything at this point. Adding water if it is low will kill what ability it still has. most people that notice a battery issue, find th water low, refill it, usually are getting a new battrey the next day as the now heavily diluted sulfuric acid can no longer perform the electrical reaction which turns starters.

I once had a wally world battery go 7 years as an engine starting battery. but at year 7, when I still had one Ciggy plug receptacle, which was connected to the engine battery and not house. It could not fully charge a flip phone, and then still start the engine.

This shows how little battery capacity is actually required to start an engine.

Another test I have done is starting with an absolutely stuffed full AGm battery. When totally and stuffed full, when it was newer, the amps it would accept at 14.7 volts, would be less than 0.05 amps. If I were to deplete the battery, then when recharging it, when amps tapered again to less tan 0.05 amps, the battery could again be considered fully charged.

So I start my engine on this absolutely fully charged battery. Boom. ~140 amp load for a second or less. Voltage regulator seeks 14.7v, 65 amps initially taper very quickly to single digits. within 30 seconds it is less than 1 amp, 15 seconds later is is back down to 0.05 amps indicating all teh electricity used to start the engine had been returned to the battery..

So it takes ~45 seconds for my alternator to return that which the starter used to start the engine. One often hears from old timers that it take 5 minutes, or 20 minutes and that short trip driving will always have the battery in a defecit, but This is not true with a vehicle which starts quickly via fuel injection or a well tuned carb. Granted lower voltages will take longer to return what was used, but 5 minutes worth, perhaps if one had to crank the engine for 15 seconds, only then does that figure makes sense.

How batteries charge is largely completely misunderstood even by the best most experienced mechanics, and they often parrott what they learned 30+ years earlier, and this incorrect info then tends to harden and get even more 'true' in their minds, negatively influencing the younger trying to learn with incorrect 'old wives tales' repeated as verbatim and absolute unassailable truth.

The Only difference of your solar panels 14.8v, vs your alternator 14.8v will be the duration at which the solar can silently hold the battery at 14.8v.

There is not going to be any magical restoration of your 5 year old battery. It is likely on its last legs and it might short a cell anytime now and become a 10.5v battery, which surprisingly still might even start your engine.

Regarding the wacky readings of your voltmeter, I recently had some issues with one of my hardwired voltmeters. It was for the engine battery, which is no longer there, but I put the voltage sense line into an ATC fuse holder nearby, and somewhere in Texas, driving west, I was noticing it was fluctuating 0.4v. I pulled out the fuse cut the wire a bit shorter, stuffed it back into the connector with fuse holding it in place, and no behavioral change. When I got to california a few days later and it was reading 4.5 volts and fluctuating nearly 10 volts. I assumed the voltmeter itself was at issue, but I had my Can of Deoxit d5 spray handy, pulled the fuse, sprayed the receptacles and wire end, stuffed the fuse home and now it readys as it should with no wavering.

Caig DeOxit D5 and D100 is magic electrical juice. Any Suspected electrical connection needs this first before any further diagnosis should resume.

As far as what battery size youshould get, well I have started my engine on a single 35$ 12 pound 18AH chinese AGM battery I suspect would be rated at 170CCA, if it were rated.

Anything bigger than this should start your engine in mild ambient temperatures, but of course there is less reserve available should it be one of those times when your engine is finicky in the warm restart department.

Newbs to vans, and living from 12vDC, I usually recommend that they stuff the biggest possible marine battery which can fit in the original space without excessive modification to accommodate it. MArine batteries are just slightly enhanced starting batteries, even though they say deep cycle on them. Their internals are much closer in design to a starter battery than a true deep cycle, but marine batteries are more resilient in deeper cycle applications than starter batteries Just do not assume they are true deep cycle batteries despite their marketing. Ther eis only one 12v flooded battery which is true deep cycle, that is the GC-15 size group, which has a slightly bigger footprint than a group 31 and is about 1.5 inches taller. AGm batteries can muddy the line between dual purpose and true deep cycle, but flooded i pretty well demarcated. A true 12v flooded deep cycle battery would have hideously low CCA figures because of thicker less numerous denser less porous plates for the chemical reaction to occur.

Marine battery's warranty is usually less, their price a bit more, and they have both automotive posts and threaded studs to hook ring terminals to. Their CCA is also a bit less than the starter battery, but this is usually inconsequential, unless you are in the far north on year 4 of the battery life.

Also keep in mind your '5 year' battery, is likely 2 years free replacement and then prorated after than. They get you on the prorating and at year 4 the price of a new prorated battery would be little different, or even more than purchasing a new battery. As always, Beware of marketing.

Almost no battery, free of manufacturing defects, which is treated correctly, will ever require the warranty, and often batteries with longer warranties are internally no different than those with shorter warranties, the price difference is the warranty which they might (will) screw you over for when that time comes, if they can, or want to, which they usually will. Basically false confidence the whole ownership of it.

basically you can stuff anything group 27 size or smaller into the battery tray, some 31's will just barely fit. Anything smaller in mild ambinet temps will still have enough juice to start you engine in mild temperatures, but a bigger capacity battrey obviously has a whole bunch of reserve, and can decline in capacity a lot more over a longer time frame until it can no longer do the job.

The capacity decline of the battery is directly related to the voltages the voltage regulator allows, and how much the battery is discharged between uses. A quick return to full charge can have starter batteries last a decade before their capacity declines to a level it can no longer start the engine. But a battery that is never fully charged and lives under the hood of a car at lower elevations in Arizona might only last 2 years.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747356
April 15th 2019 6:47 pm
April 15th 2019 6:47 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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I mis-spoke. Our VR does not hold 14.9 all of the time. I checked it again as it had been a while and actually it starts off at 14.9 but quickly goes to 14.8 or 14.7 at idle and as we drove today was more at 14.3. That is with my whacky 12 volt plug reader so when I get the other one hooked up directly to the battery I'll know more but it isn't holding at 14.8 as I had said.

So far we have gotten 6 years out of this 5 year battery and since starting it every morning is a breeze we'll continue to run with it for a bit.

I was thinking as you mentioned that the amp load for the starter is all up front and for a short time meaning you aren't truly drawing that amperage out of the battery 'bank'. I appreciate the input on the short time to return the amperage to your battery after starting. Definitely gives a different perspective on things.

So, are you only using the alternator to charge your house battery? We don't drive often enough usually so the solar is our primary means of recharging our house.

"The Only difference of your solar panels 14.8v, vs your alternator 14.8v will be the duration at which the solar can silently hold the battery at 14.8v." Yes, this is what I am seeing.

"Caig DeOxit D5 and D100 is magic electrical juice. Any Suspected electrical connection needs this first before any further diagnosis should resume." I will look into this!


Amp hours are an interesting thing. We recently ran our meter in series with our system and plugged in various items we normally charge to see what the draw was. Most of the time it was way less than what we thought we were pulling. We have only one 105 amp hour battery which provides us with around 42 amp hours of available power for the night time and is way more than what we ever need and easy for our solar to replace the next day. I can see now where we could probably also use it as our starter battery so this is an interesting thought to consider.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747372
April 16th 2019 1:00 am
April 16th 2019 1:00 am
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wrcsixeight Offline
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I thought 14.9v would be of shorter duration, If it were always 14.9v when driving, I I suspect it would have needed water many times in your 6 year ownership. I'd actually expect it to fail sooner than that if it was always held at 14.9v the whole time as it would be overcharging often.

A lot of people check voltage right after starting, and see a high voltage when alternator and wiring and voltage regulator itself are still cold, and assume that is always the charging voltage, which is of course incorrect.

Here's how much of a nerd I am in these matters, I have a temp sensor on the additional heatsink I added to my external adjustable voltage regulator( transpo 540HD) If it is sending full field current to the alternator, so th alternator it makes its maximum possible output, it was getting up in the 165f range pre extra heatsink, and 135f with the heatsink. I then added a 60Mm computer fan to blow over the heatsink and now it struggles to get over 119f. Cool electronics are happy electronics.

I also have alternator stator temp data at different output and different driving speeds. Basically the data revelaed the maxed out alternator would get too hot idling or driving under 25MPH. Speeds over this and it remained pretty cool so don't idle for more than 10 minutes or so to recharge a well depleted battery, and low speeds are not much better heat wise. Highways speeds and it would be difficult to get alternator up above 160F maxed out, but that will temp will happen in about 10 minutes if idling and maxed out or maxed out and driving under 25mph.

The single battery for both house and engine works for me, as the high $$ Northstar AGM battery can still provide pretty high CCA figures when it is well depleted. i have not tried to do so with a single flooded marine battery. I'd not have nearly as much confidence to draw 65AH from my 90Ah battery if it were flooded, and still expect it to easily start my engine. Doubt I would have achieved 1100 deep cycles over the last 5.5 years if it were flooded too.

Regarding my chargng sources, I have 200 watts of solar on my roof, and will occassionaly set out an additional portable 100 watt panel in the morning to reach absorption voltage earlier. The 120 amp alternator allows upto 108 amps for battery charging at the voltaeg i choose, assuming 2400+ engine rpm and no loads other than the fuel pump and ignition running. All DC loads eat into that 108 amp figure available for battery charging.

My PLug in charger is an adjustable voltage power supply which can attain any voltage I choose between 13.12 and 19.23 with 40 amps available to achieve those voltages. I have modified it with a better voltage dial, and ventilation, and heatsinking, so it has no issues providing 40 amps continuously when I have access to the grid. It is not automatic, and needs user imput to stop charging or lower to float voltage when the battery is fully charged, but autpomatic chargers are pretty much guaranteed to undercharge the battery, no matter how much faith has in thieir products marketing literature and claims.

I also have the amp hour counting battery monitor which, if recently rezeroed and programmed correctly, can tell me with about 95% accuracy the state of charge of my Battery. Seeing how much amperage the battery is accepting at the voltage reaching the battery terminals is very enlightening, as is seeing how much voltage the battery can maintain providing X amount of amps powering those loads for X amount of time. It saying I am 19Ah from full powering 4.5 amps of load and maintaining 12.56v, is pretty good. Happy healthy battery. If that were down in the 12.2v range I'd be much less happy, if it were maintaining only 11.8 volts powering that same load and depleted 19AH of its 90 AH total (when new) capacity, I would be battery shopping.

I also view each engine start as a mini load test, as I can watch voltage drop during that 140 to 160 amp load when cranking the engine. When it regularly drops into the 8's, when close to fully charged, it will be battery shopping time. Right now is more like mid to high 11s when close to fully charged. When new it would stay over 12.2v and crank the starter violently fast. Unless it decides to short a cell, i am highly unlikely to be unaware the end is near.

The Ciggy plug styled voltmeters, if plugged into the stock recepacle on the dash, well that port/receptacle is powered through 18AWg wire coming from the fuse block in glove box, which shares most of its input wiring through just a few wires, themselves not very thick and in a convoluted longer path than expected, through the firewall to the battery. My point being that if one turns on the the lights or Hvac blower motor, the voltage on the shared wiring can cause more indicated voltage drop than is actually occurring at the battery terminals, should one compare it to voltage taken at the battery terminals themselves.

So even if your new ciggy voltmeter is not as irratic as the previous one, the actual voltage reaching that receptacle can be drawn down by other larger loads on the system(lights and blower motor) , which can also drag down the battery voltage even if the engine is running. More likely for this to occur at idle speed though when the alternator can only make 50 amps or so. My blower motor can draw 18 amps on high, lights are about 15 amps, and my engine requires 8.2 amps at idle to run ignition and fuel pump, 12.2amps at 2000 rpm. Basically at hot idle( 525 rpm) at night with blower motor on high, I have only about 8 amps left over for battery charging. if it requires more than 8 amps to maintani teh abttery at 14.7v in such a situation, then voltage drops. The voltage regulator would be fully fielding thealternator, but the alternator rpm is just not there to produce enough aperage to maintain that 14.7v.

If a reader really wanted to better know battery voltage when driving, I would recommend a 3 wire voltmeter, the red and black are as usual, but the yellow is a voltage sense line. Have the red wire switched on with the ignition and the yellow and black wires right to the battery terminals, and then one can see actual battery voltage terminal voltage, an put stock in that number. If they cared to.

I have two of these on my Dash, and they can be calibrated. They are too bright and 2 layers of window tint make them tolerable at night.

https://www.amazon.com/bayite-Digit...&hvtargid=pla-569099431185&psc=1

Those fit in the little windows where the 'check engine light' is.

I also have this device's display in same place, that uses a ring sensor (3/4 inch inner diameter) over a single battery cable, to show amperage into or out of the battery, or amp flow through any single wire one desires to measure the current of. it also will display voltage but has no separate voltage sense lead, and mine was 0.2v off on the voltage, but amperage was 95% accurate, resolution to only 0.2 amps though.

https://www.amazon.com/bayite-Digit...amp;s=gateway&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1

One voltmeter I really like, is not able to be calibrated. but does have 3 wires and 3 decimal places.

Turning on a single 0.06 amp LED light, one can watch the battery voltage go from 12.764 to 12.761. Turn off light and voltage rebounds to 12.764. Bigger loads drop the voltage more, more depleted and the voltage will read lower. One can pretty easily keep from overdischarging the battery with such a voltmeter in someplace visible when discharging.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DR9YY58/ref=twister_B00Y2HAO3K?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

One other thing of note is that many people overtorque the battery post clamps, this can break the seal around the posts and allows charging gasses to escape not only at the caps as intended, but right at the battery posts too, which causes them to grow white and green fuzz quickly, which can then cause all sorts of issues. So do not overtighten battery post clamps or ring terminal nuts, and if you suspect that you did crack that seal on tigtening( that plastic creaking sound what?), one should likely smear some adhesive sealant around the base of the post, let it cure then use grease impregeated felt washers under the post clamps and grease on teh exterior of the post clamps.
Exide batteries were known for exessive corrosion at battery terminals which was likely caused by insufficient case strength supporting the posts. Their reptuation still suffers from this.

If corrosion at some point has already wicked under the battery cable insulation, and weird electrical things start happening, suspect the battery cables first.















Last edited by wrcsixeight; April 16th 2019 1:39 am.
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747382
April 16th 2019 10:28 am
April 16th 2019 10:28 am
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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Hey, 68.

We're getting ready to drive this morning so just a quick note ... we figured the 12 volt plug meter was just running through too much interference as it jumped around all over the place. Our new voltage display is similar to the one you showed only two wires not three. It will be wired directly to battery with small on/ off switch between. We've put one on the house battery already and it is reading just as well as our multimeter so pretty pleased with it.

More later.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #747389
April 16th 2019 2:17 pm
April 16th 2019 2:17 pm
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Excellent. Did you fuse the wiring to the voltmeter? While small gauge wiring needed for such a light load is unlikely to start a fire if shorted, it is still wise to have it fused. If shorted it will become a parasitic draw and likely smell of burning plastic, but the non op voltmeter should be the red flag.

On such things I use the regular 1/4 inch insulated quick connect crimp terminals clasping the tangs of an ATC fuse. The fuse is 'supposed' to be within 7 inches of the battery terminals, which could then expose it to the corrosive mist when it is charging. So one should likely fill the quick connectors with dielectrc grease.

I've really been digging the 3 decimal place voltmeter. Right now it is on my dashboard 5v cluster sent to the gauges, as sometimes the temp gauge was reading abnormally high, and I have a solid state bucker in there feeding 5v instead of the stock contraption. The voltmeter does indicate that sometimes it is reading 0.297 high when the gauge is also reading high, indicating my voltage bucker is not perfectly keeping 5.000v.

What was weird is the stock vltag bucker contraption was able to be influenced by my old flip phone when it was pinging towers in 2g, my gauges would raise and fall dramatically the same time that weird interference noise would come through my speakers.

I have other temp sensors on my intake just below t-stat housing and on the radiator inlet which kept me from freaking out when the gauge would read high, but the reading would not always read high, and I wanted to know why, or more like confirm my suspicions thant my solid state voltage bucker was drifting. If it were just a single digit voltmeter it would never have drifted off of 5.0v and I would not have known, but 5.297v when the gauge is reading high is an 'AH HAAAA!"

I used a connector from a 3 wire computer fan to make this 3 decimal voltmeter more portable.

I once got a 2 decimal voltmeter that had 3 wires, but it was not able to be calibrated, and was 0.17v off, making it near useless for telling me what I wanted to know.

Safe driving.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #748452
May 16th 2019 2:01 pm
May 16th 2019 2:01 pm
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USA
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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nikothenomad  Offline OP
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Finally had a moment to respond....


"Did you fuse the wiring to the voltmeter?"

No. Didn't fuse. As you said, it is such a tiny wire gauge and completely visible to us at all times when on and off when we aren't in the van that figured it was not a big deal at this point. In the future, when I finalize installment instead of this temporary placement I may make it a better / fused set up but for now.... temporary.

"I've really been digging the 3 decimal place voltmeter."

I'm starting to get your 3 decimal place voltmeter appreciation. In the future I may go that route. For now we'll use the two we already purchased but I can see that it would be nice to see the extra digits.

Been playing with reading amp draw with my multimeter. Given that we never put a meter of any kind on our solar set-up, after five years, it has been neat to see that what we thought about various items and their draw was pretty accurate. Now we have more exact readings of what each items draws a various times though. So, that was fun.

Well, back down the road. Just finished climbing several 10 - 11,000 foot summits. Good times!


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #748462
May 16th 2019 3:58 pm
May 16th 2019 3:58 pm
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Suffolk County NY
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DontComeKnocken Offline
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I ran my volt meter from the cigarette lighter and tapped off the wires behind it. That way its fused and I don't have to run wires or anything. Was simple and quick. The fuse for the cigarette lighter should be 10 or 15 amps and the volt meter i have uses less than 30 milliamps I think.

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #748887
May 25th 2019 3:57 pm
May 25th 2019 3:57 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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DontComeKnocken... Interesting. I wonder though if the wires to the cig lighter run through anything other than the fuse? I am looking for a full on direct connection to the battery since we already have a plug in 12 volt meter that goes into the lighter socket.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #748898
May 26th 2019 2:11 am
May 26th 2019 2:11 am
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San Diego
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wrcsixeight Offline
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On my '89 B250,

Fuse #7 is for:

-Stop lamps(~ 5- 6 amps with 1157 incandescents).Brightness and Amp draw increase with higher voltage reaching light 1157 socket.
-Cigar lighter( I have no data on actual cigar lighter amp draw)
-Key and HeadLamp buzzer.(ripped this device out on day one of ownership, no data on amp draw)
-Aux AC and Htr.( no data)

So anytime the brakes are depressed, ` 5-6amps of load is presented to the circuit that also powers the cigar lighter causing more voltage drop and a lower than actual battery terminal voltage. How much voltage drop depends on teh length of the circuit, the wire gauge, the total amp load, and the number and conditions of the connections between the plug and the path to ground terminal back to battery. Lots of variables.

These potantial shared loads on the circuit is enough to depress the voltage reading significantly ay cigar plug, from actual battery voltage. These shared circuits for above list are just from the fuse block, and do not represent shared loads of other electrics feeding from the circuits between battery and fuse block iin glove box.

So the ciggy plug voltage on a Dodge can be much lower than actual battery termial voltage, and likely reads lower than actual on most makes and models when the shareds loads are also on the cigar plug fuse circuit.

Step on the brakes and I guess voltage drops 0.1 to 0.2v at the cigar plug, and the 5-6 amp load of the 1157's brighter filament, is unlikely to be overloading the alternator. The battery voltage likely remains steady when brakes are depressed. Door buzzer still work? bet the open door lowers the voltage reading taken at the cigar plug too.

It can be proven with a multimeter, if one cares to take readings and record results.

Bypassing the spring loaded crappy connections of a cigar plug voltmeter is better, but true battery terminal vlotage will be higher when the brakes are depressed

Re: Starter Battery Stuff [Re: nikothenomad] #748908
May 26th 2019 2:51 pm
May 26th 2019 2:51 pm
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USA
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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68. Thanks. Interesting about the brake pedals and voltage. We knew our cig plug was reading a tad lower but had already measured the difference at battery terminals and knew what to add back in. However, after years of that we are ready for a direct battery terminal reading on our volt meter. We'll head out to our summer position in a day or so and I look forward to getting this hooked up and seeing a more direct measure each time I turn it on.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
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