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offroad lighting and power supply


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6 replies to this topic

#1 chazmataz

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:47 PM

here is what i would like to do: 2-3 sets of lights( offroad ), atleast one blue top optima battery where the original spare tire went ( already have a red top for starting/power purposes ), a battery isolator, cb radio + stereo and possibly an inverter for 110 voltage for accesories while camping. some of this stuff is not going to happen right away but some day, i'm starting to put lights on now for wheeling at night. i said one blue top optima but thinking of 2 to power my readywelder ( that i will be carrying with me ) for in field repairs. ok so now you know what i would like to do. i need suggestion on what to go with or what kind of combination you have on your rigs as far as power and alternators . right now i only have a new/rebuilt stock alternator and the one above mentioned battery and i just installed 2 cheap 55watt offroad lights and i'm converting my headlights from the GL to the 4 sealed beam DL system and some backup lights but i do have some KC Daylighters waiting to go on when i get my rack built.

#2 Snowman

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 08:05 PM

First off, mixing types of batteries in a dual-battery system is bad juju. Usually, one battery will take most of load and get worn out quickly, and the other will just sit there and get sulfated. It's usually not even considered acceptable to run two batteries of the same type if one is old and one is new. I would go with either two red-tops or two blue-tops or something like that. I'm going to be running two red-tops in my soob because I'm looking for cranking capacity more than reserve capacity, but if you're going to be running an inverter with the engine off, the deep cycle blue-tops would be a better choice.

Upgrading to a 100-amp GM alternator would be a very good idea. I've found that the stock alternator will run all those lights at cruising speed, but usually just the stock lights plus one pair of extra lights at idle.

Make sure you upgrade your battery cables as well. The stock ones are pathetic.

#3 chazmataz

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 08:16 PM

well i'm planning on the blue tops to be running all the auxillary equipments offroad lights, inverter, radios, gps, welder and whatever alse i install. they will be isolated from the starting system ( red top ) but charged from the alternator like on a motorhome. atleast thats what the idea is that i have in my head thats why i'm asking for suggestions, comments or ideas, thanks for your response. chaz

First off, mixing types of batteries in a dual-battery system is bad juju. Usually, one battery will take most of load and get worn out quickly, and the other will just sit there and get sulfated. It's usually not even considered acceptable to run two batteries of the same type if one is old and one is new. I would go with either two red-tops or two blue-tops or something like that. I'm going to be running two red-tops in my soob because I'm looking for cranking capacity more than reserve capacity, but if you're going to be running an inverter with the engine off, the deep cycle blue-tops would be a better choice.

Upgrading to a 100-amp GM alternator would be a very good idea. I've found that the stock alternator will run all those lights at cruising speed, but usually just the stock lights plus one pair of extra lights at idle.

Make sure you upgrade your battery cables as well. The stock ones are pathetic.



#4 subestyle18

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:40 PM

Sounds pretty close to what i had in the 83 wagon. Now most of it is swapped into the legacy. Go with the group 31 blues. 75 ah instead of 55 in the group 27's. If you have a good marine supply store go their they will have everything you need cause boats all have killer battery systems. A big gm alt. would sure help too. You can fit one blue top in the spare location easy two might require a little adjusting. (BFH) The best thing about the optimas is that they are sealed like a gel but work and react just like a lead acid. I put in a battery charger so i can top them off at home or run the lights and stereo when im parked (you never know when you might need to have a little impromt to party.) I also added a blues seas ACR (automatic charging relay) This allow the alt. and battery charger to charge both the start and deep cycle. And then disconnects the two banks when the car is off and then the accesseries just draw from the deep cycle. It has a remote switch so you can override it and start from the deep cycle if for some reason your start battery goes out. PM me if ya want to know any more.
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#5 subestyle18

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:44 PM

Just thinking, i dont know the draw of your welder usaly quite a lot, but once you start looking at inverters over 1000w expecialy if you want a true sine( needed to run most electronics and more sensitive electric motors ie compressors friges. It is usaly cheeper to actualy to go buy a little gas generator like a honda i series.

David

#6 chazmataz

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:14 PM

the readywelder is designed to run off 2-3 automotive batteries no less then two from group24 deep cycle on up, the bigger the better. it fits in a plastic suit case style black plastic box and can run with or without gas.

thanks for the info if i do have anymore question i will PM you, thanks again.

#7 zyewdall

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 12:36 PM

Just thinking, i dont know the draw of your welder usaly quite a lot, but once you start looking at inverters over 1000w expecialy if you want a true sine( needed to run most electronics and more sensitive electric motors ie compressors friges. It is usaly cheeper to actualy to go buy a little gas generator like a honda i series.

David


From reading other posts, it sounds like you have a DC welder? So this may be a moot point. But I just added a 1500 watt inverter to my truck to run power tools. $85 at Costco. I've only trouble with a few things on modified sinewave (some tool chargers, but Dewalts are okay), but I haven't tried the wire feed welder yet... It supposedly draws about 1700 watts on full power so we'll see if it'll work. I would never recommend a non-sinewave for a house any more, but for work trucks or cabins, I still use the cheap mod-sine inverters.




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