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Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761690
May 31st 2020 9:51 pm
May 31st 2020 9:51 pm
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Slartidbartfast Offline OP
newbie
Slartidbartfast  Offline OP
newbie
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Rainy day on Friday - so the spare wheel cover got some love:
[Linked Image]

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761691
May 31st 2020 10:38 pm
May 31st 2020 10:38 pm
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 14,557
Lake City Florida, United Stat...
lukester Offline
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lukester  Offline
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Lake City Florida, United Stat...
That spare tire cover is awesome. Is it painted or wrapped ?


[Linked Image]

Arianrhod:2003 Chevy Astro
Black Magic: 1985 Dodge B-250
Serenity:1985 Chevy G-20
The Outcast:1983 Ford club wagon
Luna 1974 VW bay window transporter
Freedom:1990 Ford E-150(parts van)
Outcast Vanners van club
Support your local 2%
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761732
June 01st 2020 9:48 am
June 01st 2020 9:48 am
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,047
Staunton, VA
kursed Offline
old hand
kursed  Offline
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Staunton, VA
Looks like you guys are having a blast. Thanks for sharing.


[Linked Image]
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761733
June 01st 2020 10:37 am
June 01st 2020 10:37 am
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,338
Maryland
Lee7673 Offline
pooh-bah
Lee7673  Offline
pooh-bah
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Posts: 5,338
Maryland
Great progress. This will be a fun build to watch


Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: lukester] #761810
June 03rd 2020 1:52 am
June 03rd 2020 1:52 am
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Slartidbartfast Offline OP
newbie
Slartidbartfast  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Spare tyre cover is hand painted. Daughter is not a natural artist so it took her all day - but she knew what she wanted and it turned out exactly as she planned.

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761811
June 03rd 2020 2:11 am
June 03rd 2020 2:11 am
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Slartidbartfast Offline OP
newbie
Slartidbartfast  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Got some electrical bits and pieces done:

I got the new radio wired up and made a wooden spacer to get it far enough out that the fold-up screen works properly. Rather surprisingly, all the speakers work well. The big screen doubles as a back-up camera. Will be placing camera and an extra LED reversing "floodlight" high up on the back of the roof.

Disconnected the rear heater fan as the heater will be under the bed so useless and the hoses are already disconnected and will be removed along with the heater core itself. Will also remove the electronic trailer brake device.

Purchased a 110V charger and DC-DC charger for the house battery. Have yet to decide the optimal location and run suitable wiring.

The NOS front turn signal came in. No mistaking it's 30+ years old but it looks great. Making an inventory of all the bulbs I want to swap out with LED.

AC was removed from the roof and we are replacing the gasket to stop a leak. Scraped a ton of old caulk off the roof. Daughter scrubbed the whole roof today and has painted it with a high quality silicone material. Looks a lot better than the scabby paint with missing patches of clearcoat.
[Linked Image]

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761817
June 03rd 2020 7:37 am
June 03rd 2020 7:37 am
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,726
San Diego
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wrcsixeight Offline
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Regarding the alternator and house battery.

The dc to dc charger is a good product, but one needs to know why it is necessary.

The short version is, a depleted battery sucks up as much amperage, from a charging source, as it wants, up to the amperage limits of that charging source, at the voltage( electrical pressure) reaching the battery terminals.

So its all about voltage, and that is controlled by the voltage regulator which is sending field current to the alternators rotor in order to tell it to make more or less amperage to reach a target voltage.

So the voltage regulator is pretty dumb, in that it is only ever intended to keep a nearly fully charged battery, nearly fully charged, and more importantly, to never overcharge.

As such the voltage regulator might initially allow 14.4v after engine starting, but as it and the altnerator heats up lower down to 13.8 or 13.6v. this is fine for a starting battery at high states of charge, but a depleted house battery is basically starving when allowed only 13.6v.

Enter the DC to DC charger. it takes whatever voltaeg allowed by the vehicles voltage regulator, and steps it up to 14.4ish, allows that for a period of time then will lower it and then again for its third 'float stage'.

This can indeed charge the battery better and perhaps faster, depending on the voltaeg the voltaeg regulator actually allows.

Because 20 amps is not all that much into a depleted battery. A well depleted yet healthy group 27 marine battery can easily accept 60 amps, for about 15 to 20 minutes before its voltage hits 14.7v at which point amperage required to maintain that much voltage begins to taper. When it tapers to ~0.5 to 1 amp, at 14.7v the battery will be close to full.

This can indeed be hard on the alternator, and the worst thing one can do to it is park and idle. I have alternator temperature data and idling to park with a heavily loaded alternator will heat it up to and past 220f in about 12 to 15 minutes. At 65mph I can't get my 120 amp alternator's casing over 140f even near maxed out at 106 amps @1950 rpm. Low rpm low speed driving also heats it up greatly.

I have both a 50/120 amp chrysler bosch alternator and a new Nippondenso 50/120 alternator. The Chrysler Bosch has an external fan, it sucks air in the backside and exhausts it at the pulley. The Nippondenso has two internal fans, they pull air in from the ends with bearings and exhaust it in the middle. I was told the ND would perform better and stay cooler. I was told wrong, but the difference is not all that much, except at hot idle, the Chrysler bosch design can do a solid 50 amps total, the ND about 38.

I can't say for sure, but just because your model year lists only a few different alternators, it does not necessarily mean those are the only alternators which will more or less bolt in place just the potential options rockauto has for that model year. Either of my alternators might drop into yours and bolt up, but the wiring might require some massaging.

AND if one is stepping to a higher rated alternator and does not upgrade the main wire between it and the battery, there will be issues, likely a blown fusible link. Also upgrade battery to engine ground

The DC to DC charger is good, but if it limits you to 20 amps, well that can greatly slow recharging of a depleted house battery, and while some will say slow charging is always best, It is not. Not when the battery begins another discharge cycle from a lower state of charge compared to had it been recharged faster at a higher rate int eh time available to charge it. Also while the 'trickle charge it overnight' crowd is everpresent and loud, an older battery partially sulfated stands a much better chance of reverting that sulfation into usable battery capacity when deep;ly discharged and recharged at a higher amperage rate. The heat generated via high amperage , along with the time it takes to bring the depleted battery to 14.7v will better be able to restore lost capacity by dissolving the plate occluding sulfation.

I basically live on battery power. I have all the tools and tons of experience in this area. I've bypassed my voltage regulator, internal to my 1989 b250's engine computer, and use an adjustable external voltage regulator. I modified this VR so the adjustment dial is on my dashboard, next to my digital voltmeter and digital ammeter.I can spin the dial for different voltages and watch the amperager respond accordingly and take way too much pleasure in doing this, after 15 years of being at the mercy of the engine computers bipolar, bat crap crazy voltage regulator

Basically anytime I drive, except at low rpms, i can charge the battery as fast as possible, if I choose to, which I usually do.

Low and slow trickle charging is fine, when one has all the time in the world to recharge a still healthy battery, as long as the trickle charger is capable of attaining voltages in the mid 14's( many are not).

While one does not want to high amperage recharge just any lead acid battery as fast as possible every time, Here and there is not going to be bad for it, except in very high ambient temperatures, and if you are driving 1 hour from A to B and need as much battery power that night and starting out at point A with a dead battery, 50+ amps is not only going to give you more energy to work with that night but also help prevent overdischarging the battery that night.

All lead acid batteries want to be fully charged and kept cool, in an ideal situation. The deeper the discharge, the more important the recharging becomes.

Getting an 80% charged healthy battery back to 100% charged takes no less than 3.5 hours. This is fact. There is no way around it. The more charged the battery is the slower it recharges.
The less healthy the battery, the longer it takes.
This 3.5 hours also assumes voltages in the mid 14's are held that entire time. what takes 3.5 hours at 14.7v takes 9.5 to 12 hours at 13.7v, if at all, as an unhealthy battery will not be able to be fully charged at less than 14.7v and perhaps not even then.

So the DC to DC charger shines in this department as it can hold 14.5v when the vehicle's voltage regulator says 13.6 is fine and dandy.
but say you have a 120 amp alternator, and it is told to maintain 14.7v, on your 85. @65 mph only 5 to 8 amps are required to run ignition so at 2000+ engine rpm the alternator could deliver 112 to 115 amps to the battery. You could get to 80% charged in a short period of time, but then 80% to 100% is still 3.5 hours, minimum. But the 20 amps DC to DC charger would require 2 hours or more to get to 80%, then 3.5 hours more to reach 100%.

So you can see why having a plug in charger is wise, once you return home and can plug in as unless you drive for many many hours there is no way the well depleted battery is charged by the time you get home..

Now regarding the House battery necessity, well there's more than one way to do everything.

Its great powering all loads from a dedicated house battery and always having a fully charged starting battery. Warm and fuzzies and peace of mind.

My electrical system has evolved greatly along with my understanding and experience of living primarily from 12v dc.
Right now, I use one group 31 battery for both house loads and engine starting. It is a high $$ AGM battery, a Northstar, which is sold as X2power by batteries+. It has 103 amp hours of capacity and 1150 CCA. It easily starts my engine when depleted 75 of those 103 amps hours. It absolutely loves high charge currents from a well depleted state in deep cycle duty. I carry a 22 amp hour cheapo chinese AGM(UB12220), in case I need to jumpstart myself, but I've only ever used it to jumpstart others.

I thiink a lot of people who do not want to go to the trouble of setting up a dedicated house battery and charging system, can get away with replacing their engine starting battery with teh largest marine flooded battery which will fit in their engine compartment, and carry a healthy fully charged jumper battery should one deplete that battery too much. The HIgh $$ AGMS when deeply depleted or very cold will outperform a flooded marine battery, the less$$ AGMS are not much better if any than a flooded marine battery in these regards.

I also have an 18Ah AGM battery, a bit older. This battery by itself, has started my 2 week cold 318 engine, in warm ambient temperatures.

I can add 2 more house batteries, easily. I've got everything already wired up. I use tons of electricity nightly. I found out 5 years ago I could easily get away with just one battery. I got over 1200 deep cycles from my previous Northstar group 27 AGM battery over 6 years , and never needed a Jumpstart. but I also have an amp hour counter so I know how much of the battery capacity I am using and how much I am returning.

If you find the whole setting up a house battery thing to be too complex and expensive, just replace the engine starting battery, when it fails, with the biggest marine battery you can fit in the engine compartment and carry a healthy fully charged jumper pack/ battery.

My89 B250 a group 27 fits the stock location easily. I have fit a group 31 there, but it was a shoehorn fit and if the handle did not fold up and out of the way it would not have. A wal mart group 29 marine is basically the same as a group 31 and is a pretty good 12v flooded marine battery for the price and warranty

The UB12180 battery is a 35$ Asian made AGM battery, this size battery comes inside many of the lead acid jumper packs. The newer lithium jumper packs seem to beboth loved and hated by their owners, I've no experience with them so not going to share my opinion. The UB12220 is the same exact size as the ub12180, but 3.5 lbs heavier and 22 amp hours capacity instead of 18.

If you are interested, there are adjustable voltage plug and play voltage regulators available for your Dodge. They have a little potentiometer on the backside one turns with a jewelers screwdriver to change the target voltage. Very important they are well grounded to firewall or directly to battery (-) directly.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adjustable-External-Voltage-Regulator-Kit-Mopar-Dodge-Plymouth-1970-87-LOT-of-2/264540191122?hash=item3d97d2f992:g:-hQAAOSw6NVd1eNY


I use a different model ( transpo540hd) and I removed the little adjustment potentiometer, attached wires to its legs and ran it to a potentiometer on my dashboard and can choose any target voltage between 12 and 15.5v at the flick of a wrist.

Anyway, keep the simpler option in mind. I went full on psycho with battery capacity, at one point, only to found I used a fraction of it and was carrying around 120 plus pounds of unneeded weight and 200$+ of unneeded battery which I also was not charging properly as I believed the GD MFing smart charger marketing.

A dedicated house battery system can be expensive complicated, and unnecessary. Do get yourself a good plug in 12+ amp charger for when you get home. Sorry no product recommendations, I think they all suck donkey balls.
Turn on the headlights for a minute or three while hooking it up, turn it on, then turn off headlights. You might have to repeat the headlight trick a few times after the charger flashes the green light to get it fully charged. Do not trust the green light, especially if hooking the charger up right after driving as surface charge voltage will trick it into thinking it was hooked to a fully charged battery.

Smart chargers generally stop in the 92 to 95% charged range. The battery wants to be taken back to 100% and will live longer and perform significantly better when it regularly is. Achieving 100% charged is twice as good as 98% charged, in terms of battery capacity retainment.

I've given up on so called 'smart' chargers and use adjustable voltage power supplies and an ammeter, and when I still cycled flooded batteries, a hydrometer, to determine full charge. These confirmation tools showed just how poorly so called smart chargers did their job on a hard working deep cycling battery.

Good enough to start the engine, no where near good enough to prevent premature capacity loss when cycling deeper.










Last edited by wrcsixeight; June 03rd 2020 7:42 am. Reason: overwhelmed with typos, sorry.
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761822
June 03rd 2020 11:21 am
June 03rd 2020 11:21 am
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Slartidbartfast Offline OP
newbie
Slartidbartfast  Offline OP
newbie
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Wow! A tremendous amount of fascinating and useful data. Thank you very much for sharing. I will pass on to Daughter for her education. She is taking the whole project very seriously so will probably be most interested.

I'm very interested in your suggestion to simply use a single high quality battery for everything. I'm a great believer in KISS and this would certainly fit the bill. Daughter seems to have already made up her mind that the "conventional wisdom" of separate vehicle and house batteries is the way to go and we have purchased a high capacity smart AC charger for the house battery as well as a 20A DC-DC charger already. We could always sell some of this stuff on again of course.

Current travel plans would have two people using 12V lighting, laptops, cameras, phones, TV, etc, and electronic musical instruments while parked. Possibly short bursts of higher current use for hair appliances through an inverter (probably not hair dryers as that would seem to be pushing the limits too far.) Some places may well have 120V hook-ups which they will definitely seek out in warmer areas as the van has a 120V A/C installed. They don't anticipate staying in one place more than a couple of nights at a time (although who knows for sure?) and as they are wanting to see a large part of the USA in a few short weeks, they will probably have a lot of driving time between stops. I will provide a warning about the pitfalls of idling with battery-charger connected. If they find they are mostly staying off-grid, not getting the house battery fully charged between stops and/or staying in one place for long enough to need power over a longer period, the DC-DC also has solar input capability and they will pick up a 100W foldable panel that can be placed near the vehicle. I will add a suitable connection port in readiness. As long as they can make it through the Summer, if the battery care is somewhat sub-optimal, it will not be critical. If we hang on to the vehicle for a long time and need to replace the battery, it will not be a huge burden, although finding a way to maintain the 12V system for longevity and reliability is obviously preferable.

I have a lithium jump-start pack that has easily started a dead V8 before. It will probably go with them in emergency kit, along with tyre repair stuff, other tools, flares, etc.


Last edited by Slartidbartfast; June 03rd 2020 11:38 am.
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #761860
June 04th 2020 3:00 am
June 04th 2020 3:00 am
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,726
San Diego
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wrcsixeight Offline
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Glad to help. I've got nearly 20 years experience living on battery power, and enjoy helping others to avoid the mistakes I made.

The intended electrical loads are very helpful into how much battery she can get away with, and for how long the battery needs to be viable.

Number one, is the Laptops usage. This is the single biggest electrical consumer in my rig. If you look at the AC/DC power brick it will say something like output 19.5vDC and 4.5 amps. volts times amperage equals wattage.

So in this example the acdc power supply Is capable of supplying 87.75 watts. This however does not mean the laptop when it is on, wil be consuming that much. I have a 90 watt power supply, but typoing this the actual wattage consumed jumps between 26 and 42 watts, say an average of 35 watts, just online with one window open. insert a dvd and this is 55 to 60 watts. Streaming 1080i video, is 55 to 70 watts. But this is a 2010 dell laptop running windows 7. What yoyur daughter's and her friends laptops actually consume in use depends on teh laptop and the task it is doing, and the state of charge of its internal battery.

Actual amperage/ wattage consumed is great data to have. On Ac power a tool called a Kill a watt is abou 25$ and will give a wattage figure. But batteries are not rated in watt hours, but in amp hours. So one must do a little math, say the battery is at 12.4v amnd the load is 35 watts, how many amps is this? 35 watts divided by 12.4 watts is 2.8 amps of load.

Ok so a group 27 marine battery is about 100 amps hours. This means when it is new, and helathy, and fully charged, it can power a 5 amp load for 20 hours before voltage falls to 10.5v, which is considered 100% discharged. However this does not mean it can power a 20 amp load for 5 hours. The larger the load, the less actual capacity the battery has. This is called the Peukert effect.

Often newbs to living on battery power have no Idea how much battery they are using, how much is left, and actual amp hour counting meters, the good ones, are expensive, require some modification of the vehicles ground cables to pass through a shunt, and then need to be programmed correctly, zeroed when it is know the battery is truly full, and regularly reset when the battery is known to be full and the amp hour counter is not agreeing with the other tools which say it is.

Obviously not something for a couple week long road trip. So what to do, is the simple voltmeter. Get one which reads at least a hundredth of a volt. 12.34v is much more informative than 12.3. Voltage can be extremely misleading though. But parked, discharging powering only 2 laptops and a light or 2, if the battery reads 11.93v that can be a sign one is in the 50% charged range. If they turn off the laptops and in 5 minutes voltage rebounds to 12.4v, then it is more a sign the battery is in the 60 to 65% charged range. The bigger the electrical load the more the battery voltage will fall. How much it rebounds and how quickly it rebounds when the loads are removed, hep one to estimate the state of charge of the battery.

In general the 'rule' which I skoff at a bit, is to not let the battery go below 50% charged. I do not fear this threshold, as long as the nect day I can insure the battery is going to get fully charged or nearly so, but I do not like to really go below 25% charged as that is like a kick in the balls to it. It is not going to be happy especially if the next day it is not recharged to a true 100% state of charge.

One other factor is how many partial state of charge cycles have accumulated inbetween true full charges. Say one discharges to 50% and only gets to 87% before the next discharge cycle begines, that 100 amp hour battery will not have 87 amps hours to give, but each day will walk down a bit farther in capacity and take even longer to reach the same state of charge when recharged. After a week the battery will be at a fraction of its ability and is craving a true full charge, and when it was new and well depleted this might take 6.5 hours, but when PSOC cycled for a week to 10 days this will take 10 to 15 hours, or more. if it does not get this then it is likely that 100Ah battery now only will have 90Ah total available, and recharge a bit slower forever after, which then in turn insures reaching lower states of charge when recharging, which then accellerates capacity loss.

So they might start out the trip with more than enough battery capacity, but by week 6 they can only run their laptops or half as long before voltage drops below 11.9 and does not rebound above 12.0 when they shut it off.

Progressive capacity loss from chronic undercharging in partial state of charge deep cycle duty is a primary battery killer, and the only real way to stave it off is to insure regular true full charges, or at least getting close to that ideal.

But an alternatoive strategy is to simply accept the battery had been kicked in the balls too much to keep being useful, and return it to walmart where hopefully they just hand you a new one and one resets the battery clock.

Keeping a battery super healthy can be taken to ridiculous extremes, and for a few week cross country trip, one can view it as disposable. It is no big deal, unless one is way out in the sticks far from any outlet where the battery can be replaced.

Another factor is flooded batteries offgass when charging. They have to offgass to reach full charge. This electrolysis releases oxygen and hydrogen, and these gasses taks a sulfuric acid mist along with them, which smells like rotten eggs. Sulfuric acid mist is a known carcinogen. The tolernace of any specific human to the smell varies widely, but the mist can also destory ones ability to smell it.

One can read reports all over the web about how person X has been sleeping atop charging batteries for x years without any issue, and person Y breaks out in hives anfd coughing fits in the same situation.

A lot of people avoid the offgassing with an AGM battery in the passenger compartment. I have an underbody battery box, that for years held 2 flooded batteries, but even with a sealed hatch I could still smell them when they were charging at higher voltages/states of charge. I despise the smell.

If you put a battery inside the van body, please make sure it is securely attached to the floor. If it is a flooded battery it is wise to insure there is plenty of ventilation when the battery is charging quickly or at higher states of charge.


The Hair drier on an inverter is a battery murderer. A 1600 watt hair drier, trough an inverter, will draw 1800 watts minimum from the battery. A single healthy group 27 flooded fully charged marine battery, under a 1800 watt load, will instantly fall into the mid to low 11 volt range. lets say 11.4. 1800 divided by 11.4, is a 158 amp load.

This peukert calculator says a 100 amp hour battery can power a 158 amp load for 0.15 hours before falling to 50% charged. Under a 158 amp load the 100Ah battery is no longer 100Ah, but only 36.3 amp hours of capacity. That is also with a likely highly generous peukert number of 1.2. Flooded batteries dont often state their peukert number, and the best AGMS like Odyssey use a 1.15. I suspect flooded marine batteries are more like 1.22 to 1.30 when they are still healthy. Anyway the following calculator can give a good idea how long a healthy fully charged battery can power a load. Keep in mind that it always is assuming a healthy fully charged battery, and that almost never happens in real life.

http://www.csgnetwork.com/batterylifecalc.html

It is easier to use less electricity than add more charging sources. If your dodge is like mine all the light fixtures use a incandescent bulb with a t10 wedge base bulb. but even if it uses an Ba15s bulb, like an 1156 used in your reverse lamps,. all of these have drop in replacement LEDS, which will be brighter and use significantly less energy than incandescent. Switching from incandescent bulbs to LED lighting is pretty much a no brainer. Some LEDs can be so obscenely bright that they do not use all that much less energy though. Anyway remove some interior bulbs, if you have not already, and do some searches. there are a couple caveats with leds, in that incandescent does not care which side is + and which is -, but many LEDs do and the fixture might need its wires swapped if an 1156 bulb base, or with a t10 just flip it 180 degrees.

Another way to save energy it to use a DC to DC laptop 'car adapter' to power the laptops, instead of using an inverter to power the AC/DC power brick the laptop came with. Check Ebay and amazon . Plug in laptop make and model and add 'car adapter'

these will come with a 12v ciggy plug connector. If the laptop's power brick cannot draw more than 60 watts these horrible connectors should be OK for a few week excursion before the4 plug melts internally and hopefully blows the fuse only. Ciggy plugs and receptacles are horrible electrical connections. Ubiquitous and convenient, but a problem waiting to happen, its only a matter of time and current. the more current the less time one has before the inevitable failure.

I Use Anderson powerpoles. This is a whole different topic but in short Anderson powerpoles come in 15/30 and 45 amp versions. All have the same plastic housings, a 45 will mate with a 15, but a 15 amp is for thinner wire gauges, the 45 amp versions use 10 to 12 gauge wire. the 15 and 30 amps versions one does not necessarily require the special crimping tool they sell, and a person good at soldering can skip the crimping of they want. However the 45 amp contacts are quite difficult even for an experienced crimper to crimp properly without the special crimp dies.

I pretty much exclusively use 45 amp powerpoles everywhere. and use them as charging inputs or 12vDC outputs.

They are not an inexpensive connector and are a bit fragile if stepped on.

XT60 connectors are much cheaper, but require good soldering skills.

There are OK versions of ciggy receptacles, but one is pretty much at the mercy of the laptop car adapter's provided ciggy plug.

Since the ciggy plugs are so problem proine when asked to pass more than 60 watts regularly, many peolpe decide instead to just use the original powerbrick plugged into an inverter. This certainly works, but is less efficient.

My DC to DC laptop adapter averages 8 to 12 watts less consumption than using the inverter to power the original power brick provided with the laptop. That is a significant savings, an average of 35 watts, compared to 47.

Generally the inverter is often seen as the solution to powering every household appliance by battery power, but in my opinion it is the single best way to quickly overdeplete the battery. I have one. I use it, as little as possible.

many 12v DC tvs exist. Mine is several years old, has a 13.3 inch flat screen, draws about 1.1 to 1.3 amps watching broadcast Tv stations and about 1.8 amps spinning a DVD. Swithcing on my laptops dc to dc power brick, watching certain tv stations, knocks those tv stations out. but so does the inverter powering the AC to DC power brick. I can turn on my inverter, have it power nothing( it consumes 0.61 amps turned on powering nothing), and actual tv channels 8 and 10, which are very strong in San Diego, disappear. The inverter might or mioght no be a factor in being able to acquire and watch certain TV stations, but its nice to not have to use the inverter to power the tv..

Home depot is carrying a thin frame 100 watt 12v solar panel for 75$. One of these in the center of the roof will keep the bateryt much happier and can take significant loads off the alternator. My 50/120 amp nippondenso alternator was 156 delivered, from Autozone. it might not be a drop in replacement in your 85. it will likely bolt in and align properly, but the wiring could be a bit different. I understand this can be intimidating. if you wish to upgrade the alternator, I can help.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/dodge,1985,b250,5.2l+318cid+v8,1073269,electrical,alternator+/+generator,2412

looking at the photos, I am less sure, my alternator appears significantly thicker. Do you have a lot of room behind it?.. A dual V belt pulley can easily handle turning a 120 amp alternator, I only use one V belt though I have a dual V belt pulley. Perhaps you can have an autoparts store pull out the one designated for your 85 and one for an 89 and compare the mounting feet distance from tabletop when placed on the pulley face. Mines located on the passenger side just in front of the manifold.

i think its likely an old 60 amp alternator is not going to be happy having to regularly recharge a depleted house battery. Upgrading to a higher capacity alternator before they leave can save them a few days of headaches.

If your daughter is keen to learn some basics of living on Dc electricity, here are a few links that are well written:

https://marinehowto.com/automotive-alternators-vs-deep-cycle-batteries/

https://marinehowto.com/what-is-a-deep-cycle-battery/

He has plenty more helpful links, but the marine guys take things several steps further than really necessary in a Van. He states the proper and best way to do certain things, he does not say you can get away with this...by doing this.

The 'what is a deep cycle battery' link can be summed up as 'beware of the sticker'

Most marine batteries which say deep cycle, are no more durable than a starting battery in deep cycle duty, they just cost more, have less/no warranty but have threaded studs in addition to automotive posts for connections.

A couple week excursion a true deep cycle battery and a proper charging system to insure it can achieve 1000+ deep cycles, is not really required.

But it is entirely possible to kill a marine battery in a few weeks by using it hard nightly, and then chronically undercharging it.

I try to outline what Ideal would be, but then stress that one can spend ridiculous sums and spend way too much time truing to achieve it. its often much easier and less stressful to view the battery as more disposable. the gola then is to not be surprised when it is done, but to know the warning signs. Like voltage falling much more rapidly when not using it nearly as much, and a long extended recharge not positively affecting this.

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project [Re: Slartidbartfast] #762082
June 08th 2020 9:44 am
June 08th 2020 9:44 am
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Slartidbartfast Offline OP
newbie
Slartidbartfast  Offline OP
newbie
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 39
S. Louisiana
Found a set of turbine/cyclone wheels at the scrapyard while picking up a replacement AC/Vent control and some seatbelt parts. They look great and period-correct (think A-team van) but unfortunately one is warped and won't balance correctly. Found a set of correct hub caps for a great price so will be taking the one alloy wheel to a local wheel shop to see if they can do anything with it but the back-up plan is to stick with the original steel wheels.

Driver's seat pivot was a little more challenging than anticipated as the chair initially hit the steering wheel so would not swing around. Moved the pivot point back and to the right an inch or so, which might upset some people's OCD but it still supports the seat securely and now pivots nicely.

Tropical Storm Cristobal blew through yesterday and the new A/C gasket didn't let a drop in so that's also good news.

There's a big box in the garage with engine and transmission oil and filters, belts, brake pads and a few other bits. Plugs, wires and distributor cap are all on the way (no issues I am aware of with the currently installed items but for forty years I have replaced all these items right away on every old car I ever purchased and NEVER had an ignition-related issue.)

Have not yet got to wiring up the battery and associated chargers, etc. but my daughter and her road-trip buddy are busy replacing all the interior panels and haven't figured out where they want 12V lights and outlets yet. They are getting the battery today - most likely a 100Ah sealed AGM so no issues with venting it.

Will get some more photos up soon.

Last edited by Slartidbartfast; June 08th 2020 9:45 am.
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