Ford ranger px2 charging problems.

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 13:48
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Have a friend who has the latest model ranger. Just checked his starting battery voltage and it was 12.18 or basically flat .The car has had normal everyday use. The other day after the car had sat for a couple of days it was completely flat and the car would not start . He also has an auxiliary battery setup with a red ark 1240 lv smart charger.The voltage on the auxiliary battery was 12.40 or to me basically flat. There is no solar at this stage. He has been back to ford and the clown in charge told him to buy a battery charger. No comments on my friends reply. The net is full of comments re the smart charge system on these cars re not working to fully charge batteries. Anyone no of a solution for this issue.
I am actually looking to buy a new truck and personally would not touch one unless there was a permanent fix .The mazda presumably has the same alternator but not the same issues.
Cheers Graeme.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 14:30

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 14:30
What is the vehicle charging at when running? If the vehicle is charging OKn then I'd disconnect the Aux battery and see what happens. I would also put both batteries on a decent charger before doing anything else.
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:31

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:31
Both batteries charging at 14.2 when the engine is at idle.I checked that far.Also suggested that he charge both batteries before they die.
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 08:04

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 08:04
Just because a voltmeter says the alternator is producing 14.2volts doesn't mean it is developing a full amperage.
There may be 14.2v., but only at 2.5a? which wont go very far towards a full SOC
A clamp meter may tell a truer story.
Mike
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:45

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:45
Oh for god sakes.The regulator on alternators is a voltage regulator not current. Learn about what you are talking about before you type. Particularly ohms law. Go google search what happens to voltage when you increase current draw! The only time your answer will be correct is if the system is only drawing 2.5A
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 12:05

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 12:05
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Yes, as Ivan says, the alternator is 'voltage-regulated' not 'current regulated'.
The only alternator control over current is as a 'current limiter' a single fixed value as determined by the alternator design and intended to protect against alternator overload. There is a difference between "regulation" and "limiting".
The current actually delivered by the alternator (beneath that limit) is as determined by the load demand which is equipment requirements plus battery charge current. And battery draw is determined by its state of charge and battery condition.

I would also caution against putting too much reliance on the accuracy of meter readings unless the meter accuracy has been verified.
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 18:01

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 18:01
Yes Ivan, I = e/r
So why not check the resistance of the battery or the connections to it?
M
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Reply By: blue one - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:27

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:27
Dunno if this will help with a Ranger, though I have seen a similar issue where the fix was to lock the car when it's parked up for the night. This turns off all unnecessary electrics.
Good Luck
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:32

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:32
Car is locked all the time except when driving.
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Follow Up By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 21:15

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 21:15
ranger i agree keep vehicle locked,also keep the keys out of the ignition when not using and do not leave doors open,after doing all these things have not had any more flat battery problems
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:50

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:50
What Barry said.

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:37

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:37
Graeme,
All your friend needs to do is take the car to a Ford dealer and have the smart charge system turned off. It takes only a few minutes with the diagnostic computer. I'm sure the increased voltage will not adversely affect the lv (for low voltage) version of the Redarc, but it might pay to check.

Also, OEM accessory sockets are live all the time. Anything plugged into them will draw current until the battery goes flat, even if the car is locked.

Rangers and BT50s are renowned for flattening the crank battery due to the low charge supplied by the supposedly smart charge system in the Ranger (my 2014 BT doesn't have it, thankfully) and also in both of them, how they manage lights and entertainment systems depending on whether the key is off, or on Acc or whether or not a door is open, etc,etc. Over engineered to bu99ery, but that's the way it is.

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:59

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 15:59
Hi Frank.
Ford don't want to know about and are saying it cant be turned off. As I said I have an interest as looking for a new truck myself , which is looking like a Toyota at this stage..I actually rang a dealer asking if it could be turned off if I did buy one and he did not even bother to ring back.
cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:26

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:26
Hi Graeme,

I think you have a dealer issue. It's well documented on the Ranger and BT forums - the dealer can turn it off. It is also referred to as "second battery mode" or something like that. Try another dealer if you can, even if it's by phone - sounds like the one you're talking to is a dud.

I suppose the PX2 could be different in that maybe it can't be turned off. But I monitor the Ranger and BT forums and have heard nothing about that - the PX2 has been around for a while now - so continue to believe it is an option there for the asking.

EDIT: Posted before I read Eagle's reply below.

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Follow Up By: tazbaz - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:03

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:03
Bull twang! I have a 2014 PX Ranger and have retained the smart charge function, have an auxiliary battery charged via a Redarc low voltage BC DC charger. No issues. I suspect the aux battery is incorrectly wired.
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:29

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:29
Hi Tazbaz. Have you used the starting batteries negative when wiring the redarc. I did read somewhere that the earth needs to come off the body somewhere. His wiring was done by an experienced auto sparky , does not mean its right though.
cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 18:01

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 18:01
That is correct Graeme. On the Ranger all negatives should be to body/chassis, not to the neg post on the battery. As you imply, you would expect an auto sparky to know that, but many DIYers have been caught out.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 18:05

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 18:05
Tazbaz wrote
"I have a 2014 PX Ranger and have retained the smart charge function, have an auxiliary battery charged via a Redarc low voltage BC DC charger. No issues. I suspect the aux battery is incorrectly wired."

I suspect you're right in regard to the second battery being charged via a low voltage dc-dc charger.

But I fail to see how the life of the crank battery can be enhanced by the continual low SOC provided by the smart charge system. As is evidenced by the opening post.
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:07

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:07
You cannot disable SmartCharge in current Rangers. Ford has locked this function at the factory. Frank has already stated that the vehicle is charging at 14.2 so there isn't a charging fault. The fault is either the batteries not holding charge or something is discharging them
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:22

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:22
Hi Frank checked and the wiring is correct, given the number of conflicting replies and living in a country area makes it all the more difficult. We are in bunbury and the ford dearerships in busselton ,bunbury and mandurah are all owned by the same group. You would think that ford motor company would have a standard policy for issues like this , but it seems they dont. I will ring the ford head office on monday if i can get through to a human . Ive waited till now to look at trucks as toyota bring out the auto in their extra cab in september. Like a lot of forum members i put a lot of time and effort into tring to get it right when buying a new one. My truck is 13 years old this year and with my battery and solar setup i never get below about 12.7 running two trailblazer fridge freezers and i want the new one to do the same.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:54

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:54
Graeme,

The Ranger and its Mazda stablemate, the BT50 are highly rated 4WD utes. Owners are enthusiastic about them (though not always about dealerships and service departments) and the Ranger is chasing the Hilux in sales with a good chance of knocking it off the top of the pedestal. So I guess if you can resolve this electrical issue to your satisfaction the Ranger would be a worthy contender for your dollars.

Ford has developed the Ranger more than Mazda has the BT. When I bought mine, Mazda had a significant pricing edge and I think still does, but I like where Ford has gone with the Ranger. If price was not an issue, then out of the two I'd now go for the Ranger.

The 3.2 litre engine matched to the 6R80 6 speed auto transmission is a proven workhorse, particularly for towing. Manual is available if you prefer. There are rumours of a V6 diesel and an 8 speed transmission for the Ranger - might pay to investigate that because it's mouthwatering to say the least. Even if that doesn't eventuate, I like the idea of a less stressed larger engine in a Ranger than a highly tuned smaller one that you might find elsewhere. Putting aside Toyota's V8 79s, of course. I'd have one of those in a flash, but Mrs P outvoted me one to one :-(

If it turns out you can no longer have dual battery mode enabled or Smart Charge turned off, whatever the terminology, then a low voltage variant of a dc-dc charger will address charging the second battery. Yes, more complexity, but that's the way it is. I have done it by choice in my BT and it's fabulous.

That leaves the often short-lived OEM crank battery. My BT doesn't have the smart charge system, but as I said in another post in this thread, it has other power management quirks (which are the ssame as in the Ranger) that do the crank battery no favours. I nursed my cranker to last 2 years. It was really ready to go at 18 months, mayber earlier. I replaced it with a stop-start battery which is designed to cope with frequent re-starting of the engine in vehicles with auto engine stop-start in traffic, etc. Absolutely no problems in 12 months, but my BT will give the battery a conventional charging algorithm, not the starvation diet that the Ranger's Smart Charge delivers.

A bit off topic, but you did mention changing vehicles in your opening post :-)

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 15:54

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 15:54
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Hi Frank,

I perceive a commercial opportunity for a 'Plug-and-Play' device to be inserted in the connection of the control cable to the alternator which will modify the OEM signal that limits the alternator charge.

If I owned a Ranger I'm sure that it would not be too hard to fool the installed system but a P&P device would be convenient for non-savvy owners wishing to revert to conventional charging.

I rather expected to find a device being offered on the internet but my search did not reveal one.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:23

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:23
What a top idea, Allan!

Perhaps no one has done it yet is because the inability to switch off smart charge/enable dual battery mode is so new.

I see an off-travelling-season opportunity for a retired engineer :-)

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:32

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:32
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Frank, if anyone cares to park their Ranger in my driveway for a month I'll have a shot at it.
What's in it for them?...... They'll get a free dongle. lol

Could even be almost as much profit in this as in 'Booster Diodes'.... but probably not!
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 19:56

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 19:56
The problem is tricking the computer into thinking that it's still in charge of the alternator. It's been tried but the vehicle goes into limp mode once the alternator is disconnected.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 20:11

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 20:11
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That's not a problem Ivan. Quite basic actually.
Simply a matter of presenting a proxy signal to the 'computer'.
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 20:42

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 20:42
If it's that easy then I wonder why nobody in the whole world has done it yet?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 21:38

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 21:38
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Did you not read Frank's Followup just above?
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 22:30

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 22:30
Cheers Frank.
Since looking into buying a new truck I have been put off by quite a few things , this topic the biggest but other little things like being able to leave the door open and listen to the radio when camping (mates radio shuts off after 30 seconds in the ranger) , auto on off lights, door chimes and seat belt alarms (which drive you mad on private property with lots of gates) , the latter may be able to be turned off under the seat with a plug if they are like my 2005 Toyota. Going to take some time researching that's for sure. Will make a call to ford HQ tomorrow re the smart charge as I like the motor in the ranger. Mazda are probably off my list as they are going into partnership with someone else so I presume the bt50 will be no longer.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 09:47

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 09:47
Graeme,
These are the kinds of things that I was referring to earlier "that do no favours to the crank battery".

Many are controllable by the user but are not well documented in the user manual. Eg the radio. In the BT, turn the key to Off. The radio will go off. Leave the key off and turn the radio on. It will run for 30 min (on the BT). When it stops just turn it on again. That is not documented. (If you do it the ordinary way by leaving the key on Acc to run the radio some computers stay active and draw much more current than just the radio, resulting in an early flat battery.)

Lights that go on when you open the door to get out then stay on for 10 mjnutes unless you lock the car - why they do that I don't know. One minute is enough to walk away from the car at night. And those lights stay on in daylight, too. Anyway, you can turn them off by flashing the headlights twice. Again, not documented. Or lock the car (documented)

Seat belt chimes. You can turn those off by switching the key a few times then latching and unlatching the driver's seatbelt a number of times within a certain period, or some similar procedure. Again, not documented but reported on the Newranger forum.

You can do something about door chimes too and some things are controlled by whether you open the door before you turn the key off, or after.

So if you like the vehicle but not the little quirks you've mentioned, there is hope because many are controllable, just not adequately documented for the user. Well not in the BT owner's manual. Perhaps the Ranger manual is better but maybe people don't read it well enough. The Newranger forum is an excellent source of info. Worth a read and asking some questions, IMO.

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:09

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:09
Geez Frank!

I thought the Masons and Scientologists had the monopoly on secret codes and hand shakes.

What I really want to know though is - what was the person doing when they discovered that if you turn the key on and off a certain number of times and latch and unlatch the drivers seatbelt at the same time the seatbelt chime goes off?

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Anthony
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:56

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:56
LOL, Anthony!! I hadn't though about secret handshakes, but it's pretty much the truth, isn't it. :-)

A couple of people on Newranger are in the Ford system, so there's a bit of inside info coming out.

Also, there's a guy, saeb, who's a computer whizz. Has his own website - someone posted that in this thread. He's delving into all the coding in the various modules and coming up with all sorts of things to make the Ranger do or display what the Aussie version doesn't. It's deep geek and not for the faint-hearted.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 15:41

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 15:41
On a lot of vehicles, if you purchase a new remote, you need to go through a multiple-stage process of shutting every door, switching the key on and off, turning lights on and off, opening doors, pressing the remote button a certain number of times, and chanting a secret verse known only to those who are in the Inner Circle.

O.K., so I made up the last bit about secret verses and Inner Circle - but it's pretty amazing the hidden programming in modern items of equipment.

Remote instructions

I can recall, back in 1990, I had a new Fairmont Ghia wagon and the Climate Control packed up.
The service manager excitedly showed me how, by pressing the right CC buttons in the correct magic sequence, the CC microprocessor split the electrical circuit into 10 separate sections, self-tested each section, and then provided a fault-finding report on the CC screen!

He promptly did all this, and the screen read out "no error found".
I told him, "that couldn't be right, because the CC had stopped working!"

Crestfallen, he admitted they'd have to do a lot more testing and fault-finding in the workshop, with other diagnostic equipment.
When I returned to collect it, the SM advised me the problem was the microprocessor had packed up, so it couldn't do anything! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 23:50

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 23:50
Hi Frank or Allen.
Another question relating to the smart charge. If I were to buy the ford and have it turned off would not that then negate the need for a dc dc charger, just use a redarc isolator and run the solar panels through a mppt regulator. If so I would probably use two separate systems this time one for each panel and battery .Keeps it simple.
cheers Graeme
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 00:24

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 00:24
Hi Graeme,

I suspect that's what Ford had in mind with "dual battery mode" - alternator output via an isolator direct to second battery.

There's no room under the bonnet. Second battery has to go in the tub, tray or canopy, so cabling has to be big to accommodate the long cable run. Because of my experience with the crank battery going flat too easily, I cabled mine so I could start off the second battery if needed and also use it to assist the cranker and alternator for winching. I used 0 gauge.

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 00:28

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 00:28
Hi Frank. Would 6b@s be to small. That's given that most of the time the auxiliaries would be charged by panels.
Cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 10:22

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 10:22
Graeme,

Allan B is probably the best person to answer that, so I'll give you my opinion and welcome any follow-up he and others may care to write, bearing in mind that 12 volt discussions generally turn into outright verbal warfare :-).

If you accept a maximum 3% voltage drop (which I think is acceptable in a 12V battery charging scenario. Less is better) and an estimated cable run of 5m (4m of positive to the battery, 1m of negative to a chassis earth, then with a charging current of 20 amps, 6B&S is just adequate. Higher current or longer cable run or lower %age loss will require a larger cable. The calculator I used suggests 5 gauge which I think is an odd size (Narva doesn't list it), so the next would be 4 gauge.

If it were me, in a simple system such as the one you suggest, I would go for the 4 gauge.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 11:52

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 11:52
.
Frank is right...... 12v and battery discussions can get rough.
So donning my armoured suit (the force-shield kit has a flat battery), I'll make comment.

Frank's cable sizing suggestions look OK to me, but I'll take it a bit further......

I would never use chassis or body return as the negative connection for anything much more than a tail-light. There can be too much resistance and unreliable junctions in this path. I use only twin cable.

For a simple system with a solenoid isolator, 6B&S (13mm2) would be OK if the aux battery cable is no more than 2metres from the alternator. If the aux battery is at the rear of the vehicle then I would use 4B&S (20mm2)

The issue is not simply the current-carrying capacity of the cable, it is the need to have sufficient voltage available to the aux battery to correctly perform the charge process. This is to ensure that sufficient charge is delivered and just as importantly, to properly fully charge the battery for a healthy life.
Skimping on cable size may save a couple of dollars but could be a reason to need to replace the battery prematurely.

I do appreciate "simple" electrical systems, but having said the above, I gave up using simple solenoid isolators after getting short life from my batteries. With the advent of dc-dc chargers I fed my two auxiliary AGM batteries via two Redarc BCDC-1220 chargers. These batteries are still going strong after 6 years of service. This arrangement ensures that the batteries are charged at no more than 20A, the manufacturer's recommendation, and also are charged to the correct top-off voltage.
Using dc-dc charging does allow somewhat smaller cables as any volt-drop in the feed is corrected by the charger. The cable cost saving will not pay for a charger but the real benefit is in performance and battery life.
The use of dc-dc charging is especially beneficial in vehicles with voltage-controlled alternators as their output voltages are often insufficient to adequately charge an auxiliary battery. But you need to employ the correct model of charger.

Until recently, I did have a blog on EO with diagrams of aux battery charging systems but it was mysteriously deleted during an 'assault' on my computer. I will not put the blog back up but will post an appropriate diagram below. It is for a trailer aux battery but applies also where the aux battery is at the rear of the vehicle. Especially note that it is important for correct operation of the vehicle's OEM charging system, that the negative return cable must be connected at the point on the body where the cranking battery strap is attached and not directly to the negative terminal of the cranking battery.








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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 13:32

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 13:32
I agree about the chassis earth, Allan, but recommended it because the Ranger requires it.

The Ranger monitors load on the electrical system through a device on the battery neg-to-chassis strap and alters alternator output accordingly. Connecting ancillary negatives direct to the battery neg defeats that and causes the crank battery to be undercharged. This may not occur in the Ranger's dual battery mode, I'm not sure. But the Ford instruction and all the info on the forums says chassis earth for the Ranger.

I chose a short neg cable run for obvious reasons - to keep the total cable run as short as possible. The cable run back to the battery's chassis earth point (adjacent to the battery) adds at least another 3 metres, so the total cable run would be 8 metres. The calculator I used says that 4 gauge would still be acceptable, so I guess my recommendation should have been to run a 4m negative back to the battery earth point.

Graeme, I too use a dc-dc charger for my second battery for exactly the reasons Allan does, and to be honest, I'd recommend that's what you should do. If you chose an appropriate product with solar input as well you would not need an isolator. Eg a BCDC1225-LV or BCDC1225D or an Enerdrive DC2DCC. Each has advantages, but I like the Enerdrive because it is programmable to exactly suit your target battery.

Your 6 gauge cabling would then be perfectly adequate.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:04

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:04
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Frank, let me clarify my position on the "chassis earth" as a negative return.

I specified that the "negative return cable must be connected at the point on the body where the cranking battery strap is attached and not directly to the negative terminal of the cranking battery." for the very reason of "monitoring" that you described. The diagram that I posted above shows that connection.

On the subject of "cable return" versus "chassis or body return", I believe that the electrical resistance of the steel chassis, together with the resistances of its metallic junctions, is likely to be significantly higher than that of a matched return cable made of copper. I have not actually measured a chassis or bodywork resistance but my experience (gut feeling) suggests that it would be significant.

Of equal concern is the likelihood of unreliable junctions in the current path.
And there is another concern. Some sections of bodywork have OEM earth connections and if a heavy current (20A or so) is returning to the alternator via the bodywork and a less-than-perfect junction of body metal is in its path, then any OEM earth on that panel will be raised above 0V (zero volts). This could play Merry Hell with the vehicle instrumentation. Yes, a long-shot I know, but it can happen and be one helluva difficult fault to diagnose and create a huge problem in a remote location.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:22

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:22
"I specified that the "negative return cable must be connected at the point on the body where the cranking battery strap is attached and not directly to the negative terminal of the cranking battery." for the very reason of "monitoring" that you described. The diagram that I posted above shows that connection."

Thanks Allan. I realise that I had missed that and was editing my post. When I clicked Submit I was cut off at the pass because you beat me to it and my edit was barred.

All good.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:39

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 14:39
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Frank, I thought that I was the slowest typist on earth!!!!!!

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 19:23

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 19:23
Alan, we are talking about one piece of steel that runs from the front of the vehicle to the back. No joints and no rivets.

What I ask is why it wouldn't be suitable as negative return seeing there are normally threaded areas in the chassis and if you clean the chassis for a liug connection what is the problem.
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FollowupID: 882332

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 19:48

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017 at 19:48
.
Eagle,

The problem is that steel has an electrical conductance only one third of copper.
Compound that by the thinness of the steel and it is not nearly as good as a conductor as a copper cable.
Also, it is not exactly "one piece of steel" from front to back. It is actually a number of separate sections joined by mostly spot-welding. This means that the electrical current has to pass from one section to another at the points of the spot welds which is even less cross-section and thus more electrical resistance.

Chassis/body return will work but it is inferior to a copper negative return cable.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 05:43

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 05:43
Alan, my inner chassis rail is one piece front to back and the outer rail is fully welded down it's length. The outer rail is welded to the inner but with substantial welds, not spots. It is just like one big steel busbar.

I know it is not as good a conductor but it does work ok.
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FollowupID: 882354

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 07:41

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 07:41
.
Agreed Eagle. I was talking about the body panels in terms of cross section and spot welding. The chassis is another matter but not so readily accessible to connect the multitude of sub-circuits. And you may observe that the battery negative cable is connected to the bodywork, not chassis, although there may be exceptions of course.
One day I must measure the resistance of my chassis, but in the meantime I prefer the certainty of copper cable for the negative return. Perhaps it comes from a lifetime of wiring practises.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 10:00
"And you may observe that the battery negative cable is connected to the bodywork, not chassis, although there may be exceptions of course."

Allan, I think there's quite a few exceptions to that design - many of the vehicles I have worked on, have the battery negative cable connected to the engine head or block.

In addition, there is always an earth strap connecting the engine block to the chassis (or the unit body if the vehicle is chassis-less), to ensure continuity.

In quite a modest number of cases (over more than 50 years, of course), I have encountered vehicles suffering peculiar electrical problems, or faulty connectivity problems - and the problem was traced to the engine-to-body earth strap missing, loose, or having corroded connections.

The engine-to-body earth strap is a pretty important little item that often gets overlooked, and if someone has re-assembled the vehicle (as in engine overhaul) and forgotten to replace the engine-to-body earth strap, then a new owner is often unaware that it is supposed to be there, and unaware of its exact location, so they don't even know where to look.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 10:49

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 10:49
Alan, you may get a kick out of this and I am sure many welders did. A larger semi trailer manufacturer that are still making them today used steel flat bar to extend their welding negatives around the floor of the the building. Instead of running negative cables they would just weld the flat bar on and extend it to the job.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:00

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:00
9900Eagle, that's got to be a very cheap welding cable extension option!

I've got a 500 amp Lincoln Vantage, Cummins-powered welder with 17 metres of 500 amp copper cable on the earth, and 27 metres of 600 amp copper cable on the work lead - and 500 amp copper cable is $50 a metre to buy new, and 600 amp copper cable is $65 a metre!
That's $2600 replacement worth of welding cables, right there!

Is it any wonder that thieves target copper cable on a regular basis? Clean copper is still bringing around $6 a kg at the scrappies.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:03

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:03
.

Ron, This is getting off-course. Yes of course there is usually a heavy negative cable from the battery to the engine block or starter casing. This is of course to carry the starter current. But this is not the cable I was referring to. This thread was about using the body or chassis as a negative return from a rear-mounted auxiliary battery and I pointed out some problems in regard to that.

In modern vehicles, many OEM negative returns are via the body panels of the vehicle which is convenient for the vehicle manufacturer who always then provides a solid conductor from the battery negative post to a nearby termination on the bodywork -- no exceptions. A substantial cable also goes from the negative battery post directly to the engine to provide starter current. In regard to passenger vehicles (including 4WDs) the various vehicle electrics connect to convenient points on the bodywork and sometimes on the chassis if under-vehicle, although a few higher-current items will have a cable return. The current from these electrics find there way back to the battery via the conductor from the body earth point to the battery negative post. This path is in fact essential for those vehicles with controlled alternators as the controlling current measurement is made in that conductor.

Now you may be able to instance where alternate arrangements applied to trucks and machines and to earlier vehicles..... there have been some weird arrangements at times, especially by The Prince of Darkness, but what I described applies to current (no pun) vehicles. Caveat: except Landrover..... never sure what they do! lol

So Ron, I don't disagree with you, in fact I agree, but it simply does not relate to what I was saying or to the thread.

I'll say it again for clarity..... "I would never use chassis or body return as the negative connection for anything much more than a tail-light. There can be too much resistance and unreliable junctions in this path. I use only twin cable." But that is my preference based on experience... others can do as they please.


And I will also add..... I am a great believer in "Whatever works, works"'


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:21

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:21
.
Eagle,
I have seen that steel bar return path used on many construction sites. It works (to a point) if the steel bar cross-sectional area is 3 times greater than the appropriate copper cable and because the welding machine can be simply turned up to compensate for the resistance. Not something that is so easy on a vehicle 12v electrics though!

But I struggle to see what it has to do with the subject of this thread.
I agree that the steel chassis can be used for a return negative path but it can have its negative issues (pun intended). If it works for you then fine, it saves coin, but it is not as efficient electrically as a properly-sized copper cable.
It is not my preference and I'll leave it at that.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:27

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:27
Thanks to both Frank and Allen B regarding cable size. I will be running at least two 150 watt panels and using two auxiliary batteries as big as possible so probably 130 amp each.The batteries will more than likely be at the back so the longest distance from the crank battery. Because of the cost of running a dc-dc charger I will run it as a single system and use the 6b@s for that . I will use 8b@s to run from the panels and also to run the two fridges. Just received my new trailblazer that has a 50bd compressor and two thermostats so I can use it as a dedicated freezer. Which dc-dc charger would be best in this situation?.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 12:58

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 12:58
Graeme,

2 x 130Ah batteries = 260Ah. I presume deep cycle which usually have a preferred max charging current of about 10%, = 26A

The dc-dc chargers that I am familiar with that accept alternator AND solar and have adequate output are the Redarc BCDC1240D and the Enerdrive 30A DC2DC

There are undoubtedly others but I am not familiar with them.

The Redarc integrates solar input and alternator. It uses solar first then tops up to 40 amps with the alternator. This saves load on the alternator but only works if your panels are deployed while driving. Will that be the case?

Also it is a 40 amp unit with output current not controllable. 40 amp charge rate is 15% of battery capacity which is probably ok - you would have to check with the battery manufacturer if you don't already know.

You say you will use AT LEAST 2 x 150 watt panels, implying you may use more solar than that. The Redarc website does not specify the max solar input the BCDC1240D will accept. You will have to check with Redarc on that.

The Enerdrive will not use solar and alternator simultaneously, just one at a time. This is of no consequence if your panels are not deployed when driving.

It's output is 30A, very close to the desirable rule of thumb 10% for deep cycle batteries.

It will also accept up to 600 watts of solar.

If you can establish to your satisfaction that the batteries are ok with a 40 amp charge rate and that the Redarc can accept 300 watts of solar (more if you want to expand) then I'd go for the Redarc.

Otherwise it would be the Enerdrive.

As I said earlier, there may be other options.

Cheers

FrankP

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:18

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:18
Hi Frank. Thanks for the reply , i am also sure that a lot of people will use this info for their own setups. I presume that while driving with either of the recommended chargers that the alternator is charging (thats what happens with my setup now) and when parked up the solar takes over. I presume the charger senses this somehow.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:51

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:51
You're welcome, Graeme.

Presumption correct! Both units will detect when the alternator is running and commence charging. Likewise when the engine is off and you deploy your solar panels the units will detect the solar input and become efficient MPPT solar regulators.

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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:04

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:04
Frankp is correct, although with the PX11 the call it enable dual battery system. It will stop all his problems and Ford dealers normally do it for free.

My smart charge disable on the PX1 has been done since it was nearly new and I have never had a flat battery.

I would touch one as it is such a simple permanent fix.
AnswerID: 612113

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:08

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:08
You cannot disable SmartCharge in current Rangers. Ford has locked this function at the factory
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FollowupID: 882172

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:08

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:08
G'day Ivan


"You cannot disable SmartCharge in current Rangers. Ford has locked this function at the factory"


You might need to do a bit more research on this as there are a few thousand very happy current model Ranger owners on NEWRANGERforum that have had this done and no problems since ! Most dealers do it for free


Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 882177

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:24

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:24
I am an auto elec and we have been advised by Ford that they can no longer disable Smart Charge. This was from Ford 2 weeks ago not a forum. I have just messaged a mate who is a Ford Service managed to double check
.
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:28

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:28
This from a Ford service manager.

"Smartcharge.? They have eliminated the need to disable it and taken away any access to disable it. You can now turn off the door chime that drives everyone nuts"
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FollowupID: 882181

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:49

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 20:49
Ivan

In this very thread there are owners of current model PX11 Rangers that have had the smart charge disabled - now called " enabling dual battery mode "

If you want to know anything and everything about ECU's & BCM's etc of Rangers and all other electronic wizardry then check here..http://www.saeb.net .. as this guy knows more than any Ford technician in Australia about current model Rangers !!

Cheers

Gazz

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 23:14

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 23:14
This must drive people nuts, yes you can no you cant, and ringing a ford dealer and they just say never heard of a problem, obviously lying but thats how it is. The dealer i rang said he had never heard of a problem but would look into and ring back. he never did of course and i knew he wouldnt. Put me off buying one thats for sure but i doubt any dealer gives a toss.
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FollowupID: 882188

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 23:48

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 23:48
Find a better dealer. I purchased a DMax because of the earlier issues with the Rangers.
2
FollowupID: 882189

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 05:09

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 05:09
It is just a check box that needs to be ticked and it is called "enable dual battery mode". It can be done either using Ford dealers or FORscan program.

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FollowupID: 882191

Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:09

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:09
Eagle, do you know who has the forscan software apart from ford. We are in bunbury and thats where my mates ranger is.
cheers Graeme.
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FollowupID: 882201

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:02

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:02
Go to either the Australian ford forum or the newranger forum and ask here. On the newranger forum on the electrical stuff page there is a short thread called "engine data scan" some info there so just ask a question. Don't bother going to the repeated flat battery post as it will just do your head in. Because of the early problem with smart charge there were heaps of posts and many aren't relevant. I think the last post was about March this year as owners and buyers now know how to solve the problem.

I would also approach the other dealers as they have different service people. I would just be saying I have a dual battery setup and require the dual battery to be enabled.

With the 14.2 volts and smart charge. It will charge the battery but when it gets to around 80% charged it will sop charging and not resume until the battery voltage has gone down to 12.2 volts or the vehicle is coasting or on very light load.

Once enabled it will charge anywhere between around 14.5 volts down to around 13.5 volts depending on how hot the day is. Mine was charging at 14.4 volts yesterday and dropped to 14.1 volts later in the day as the temp rose. Most vehicles are now fitted with temp compensated alternators so they don't stuff the batteries at higher temps. I just went and checked my battery voltages, the vehicle has been sitting since yesterday and the cranker is 12.8 volts, the agm is 13.9 volts.

It would also be advisable to load test the batteries.
1
FollowupID: 882212

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:19

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 13:19
hi Graeme W
my neighbour has a ford ranger PX 2 and it was fitted with a ford bullbar that is so close to the bonnet it is extremely difficult to get the end of one finger in under the top bar to trip the latch he took it back to the Bunbury dealer and discussed with the service manager who claimed all bullbars are like that and fobbed him off personelly
I would go to consumer affairs but my neighbour has excepted nothing can be done because this bloke has bluffed him with his babble
that bloke is hard to get on with so beware and is a law unto himself if you get what i,m saying
good luck if you buy a ford there personely I would go to perth not mandurah as you stated busselton /bunbury/ mandurah are all owned by 1 company or as mentioned buy a mazda
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 22:16

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 22:16
Hi Mazcan. Cheers for that, already new they were the same dealership and he is probably the bloke that told my mate to get a battery charger.
0
FollowupID: 882244

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:35

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 16:35
Graeme,

"I am actually looking to buy a new truck and personally would not touch one unless there was a permanent fix .The mazda presumably has the same alternator but not the same issues."

I have the BT50 Mk1 (2014), very similar to the Ranger PX1, but a bit different to the PX2. In their Mk2, Mazda didn't follow on with Ford's PX2 changes.

However they are similar. If you like to chat about an evaluation of my BT pm me.

Cheers
FrankP

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AnswerID: 612114

Reply By: Outback Epicurean - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:51

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 17:51
Hi
Have a PX 2 Ranger. Dealer turned off Smartcharge for free. Been travelling for a month with Engel fridge plugged into aux plug in tub with no problems. Bought a $20 plug in volt meter to keep a check on voltage and give the motor a burst if needed. Also use the Ranger to power the DC:DC charger in the van with no problems. Answer, talk to another dealer!
AnswerID: 612118

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:55

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 19:55
G`day Greame,

To begin I will state that I am not a Ford man, 68 years driving and have never owned a ford, so I am not qualified to comment on their quality or otherwise.

I was interested in your post and the issues some people are having with the Ranger.

A good friend was telling me recently that his new Ranger would not start so he rang the dealer, they sent out a tilt-tray and back at the dealers they immediately replaced the Battery apparently it had no name or brand markings of any description on it. He asked for a known quality brand battery to be fitted, he has had no problems since.

I have seen him since and the subject regarding the battery problem was mentioned again.
He said that he had discussed it with several other owners of a new Ranger and three of them have had exactly the same problem, one of them was on the third new battery in just a few months.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into another friend who was getting out of his new Ranger so I asked him how it was going etc, he said "great I love it" he had owned it five months and had not a problem, I asked if had any battery issues he said,
"oh yes,I forgot, the original lasted less than a week"

Apparently changing the battery to a better brand solves the problem but it must be done by a ford dealer or you may have warranty problems.

Scrubby.

I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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AnswerID: 612122

Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 18:46

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 18:46
Geeez it`s a problem getting old. .."68 years driving" ... I meant 56 years driving,sorry.

Scrubby
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Reply By: Member - nick b boab - Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 20:12

Monday, Jun 26, 2017 at 20:12
g,day Graeme
got an early px ranger had a flat battery few time when i got it second hand put then put the larger battery in it few mods ..... not more flats since
there is a redarc thing for duel battery's set ups for these vehicles so 2nd battery gets full charge ...but expensive $$$$
I have noticed that mine when 1st starts with go up to 14 + volt but after some time comes down to 13.5 apox normal driving around .... why i do not known ....but ok
I think this smart charge thing very much over played !!!!
for a good forum i use " NEW RANGER" forum .....excellent
& I to find some of the dealers less than help full in Adelaide if you can get then even to answer calls & then just say to book it in :((( ....this has been my experience
Note : fantastic car IMO .... nice to drive , just done trip over the desert A/S birdsville etc can not fault it ....
Cheers Nick b
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AnswerID: 612173

Follow Up By: Longreach - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 15:14

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 15:14
Hi Nick,
A bit off topic but have you found a good Ranger (service) dealer in Adelaide yet ?
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FollowupID: 882386

Follow Up By: Member - nick b boab - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 16:17

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 16:17
NO,,,, Longreach ....I use our regular mechanic here in V/Harbor , that has a ranger so that help a little & has done a good job on our other cars in the past .
But when i have been tiring to find out stuff about things with the ranger i have found adelaide dealer bloody hopeless at times cant ever get though to them ..... Not to say they are all like this .....
a lot more help from " GOOD " forums ....
Cheers Nick b
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 18:13

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 18:13
Just wondering if Ivan the terrible has found out yet that the "smart charge" can be turned off and let his Ford Service mate know about it ??


Cheers


Gazz
AnswerID: 612228

Reply By: Cyberess - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 00:46

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 00:46
Hi Graeme,

May I suggest that you mates Ranger may of incorrectly wired for it's accessories, as I do own a PX2 Ranger, and run a Waco 60Ltr Fridge, DC to DC charger and have towed a 24ft caravan across Australia with all it's own auxiliary batteries etc -- I have used my installed 12000lb winch without any issue, my solar charging works fine and all of this has been working without disabling the Battery Motioning system (BMS). I have just now had the BMS disabled by the Ford dealer, for my 15000km service, but really it was all working fine, I just had it disabled just to give it a bit extra.

O.K. why did all this work O.K. for my PX Ranger? The reason is I read the “Ford Ranger Body and Equipment Mounting Manual”, it’s available for anyone to download https://www.ford.com.au/content/dam/Ford/website-assets/ap/au/owner/vehicle-support/body-equipment-manuals/Ranger_BEMM_09022017.pdf and it’s on page 47 Section “Auxiliary Battery fitted to vehicles with a Battery Monitor System (BMS)” it’s talks about using a DC to DC charger, and most important it says “Auxiliary loads must always be connected to the vehicle ground and not to the battery negative terminal.”

I have documented my electrical setup at http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/my-mk2-ford-ranger-2016.40913/#post-533055 with photos and a circuit diagram.

Cheers
AnswerID: 612234

Follow Up By: tazbaz - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:27

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:27
Well said Cyberess. I said the same several posts ago in this thread but not as thoroughly as you. That should be the end of it then!
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FollowupID: 882445

Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 00:46

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 00:46
Hi Cyberess. Thanks for the manual. His ranger is correctly wired. I also rang our local dealer on Friday and spoke to both the head tech guy and the service manager. This is where the difficulty lies, neither of them admitted that this issue had ever given problems and neither new if the so called smart charge could be turned off or not. The tech guy thought it may be able to be altered.He agreed to look into the matter further . Tazbaz is correct, the matter should be finished but you can see what we are dealing with. . I am guessing that my mate will end up having to go to perth if he can get someone to turn it off up there. All the dealerships between here and perth are owned by one company . I will only buy one if its turned off before any money changes hands , as simple as that.
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FollowupID: 882502

Follow Up By: Cyberess - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 11:52

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 11:52
Hi Graeme,

I have just read right through this thread to try and work out what's really going on, you know I really didn't read the whole thread thoroughly, when I did my reply before.

After reading this thread thoroughly.
1/ I believe that your mates Ranger is correctly cabled
2/ I reckon finding out how and why you mates charging system is behaving like it is was lost, when you referenced Ford’s Smart Charging system, and that in fact you were evaluating the purchase of a Ford Ranger.

This is what I think is really going on.
I have surmised that your mates vehicle in question had been shutdown for a few hours before you took the readings of 12.18V and the auxiliary battery 12.40V. I do think what you are seeing is the expected and was the “correct” behaviour of the BCDC Redarc 1240LV DC to DC charging system when in operation, and should be the expected readings.

Here is why –
With the Redarc 1240LV DC to DC charging system it’s designed to keep charging the auxiliary battery after the vehicle has been shutdown, and according to the BCDC Redarc 1240LV manual and it will stop charging the auxiliary when the main battery has dropped to 11.9V. The link to download the manual https://www.redarc.com.au/Content/Images/uploaded/Manuals/BCDC%20Instruction%20Manual.pdf . It will start charging again when the main vehicle battery is above 12.0V and there is power on the blue cable which should be powered from the vehicle’s ignition.

Looking at the readings from the first post and what’s happened, is that the charger may stopped charging at 11.9V and the charger had switched off, and the main battery voltage may of gone back to 12.18V, that’s reading you have obtained, and the auxiliary battery only made it to 12.40V before the BCDC charger had shut down, hence the reading of 12.40V from the auxiliary battery.

BTW: It might be worth checking the blue cable on the Redarc unit, as it’s meant to no power when the vehicle’s ignition is switch off – anyway it would be worthwhile to check it as if it's wrong it could all end in tears.

Now this is a totally different topic:
About getting the Ford’s Smart Charging System disabled, don’t approach it as a fault, just go into the Ford Dealer and ask to have Smart Charging System disabled, but just in case be armed with the necessary pages printed out of the “PX2 Ford Ranger Body and Equipment Mounting Manual” and have the reference highlighted with a highlight pen and you will have no problems.
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FollowupID: 882515

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 22:10

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 22:10
.
Cyberess,

It is not correct to say that the Redarc BCDC-1240-LV is "designed to keep charging the auxiliary battery after the vehicle has been shutdown".

To the contrary, -LV chargers must be connected to the ignition circuit via their 'Blue wire' which ensures that they do not continue passing current to the auxiliary battery when the engine is not running.

And you seem to acknowledge that further down in your post.
Cheers
Allan

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FollowupID: 882541

Follow Up By: Cyberess - Tuesday, Jul 04, 2017 at 00:23

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2017 at 00:23
I would certainly be checking the blue cable with a multi meter and confirm operation, as picking up the ignition feed off a CAMBUS PX2 Ranger is rather tricky, and a auto electrician doesn’t make much money if they take a lot of time on a job, and it’s so easy just cabling the blue cable to permanent power – the customer will not notice as the power will cut out at 11.9V on the Redarc DC to DC charger – and it would all appear to be working OK. Looking at this, it does appear to match the situation that’s happening.

I run a Thunder DC to DC charger for my own Rangerhttp://aithunder.azurewebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ThunderDC-DCChargerA5Booklet.pdf and it has no blue cable, for the Thunder DC to DC charger it’s just designed to cut out at 11.9V, as a part of it’s normal operation.

Anyway I can only surmise or guess what's going on, as I can't do any of the actual analysing, it will be rather interesting when Graeme gets to be bottom of what’s going on.
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FollowupID: 882548

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:56

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 22:56
I wouldn't entertain a system that deliberately discharges the crank battery to 11.9 before turning off. That would mean that for most of its life the battery will be sitting in a low state of charge. Even if it gets fully charged from a long drive, a dc-dc charger rigged like that will soon pull it down every time the key is switched off. That is asking for rapid sulphation and early death of the battery.

Better ways have been discussed earlier in this thread.

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jul 08, 2017 at 10:41

Saturday, Jul 08, 2017 at 10:41
As soon as I have had a reply back from ford here I will let everyone know. I will be taking a printed copy of the hand book into them as well.I am sure that lots of ford ranger owners have read this post. So far I have also come across two other owners who have had to replace batteries , one of them 3 batteries in 3 years. They were unaware of the smart charge system.
cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 612421

Reply By: Stewart B2 - Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 21:26

Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 21:26
Possibly a little late but the PX2 smart charge is never disable in single or dual battery mode.

All it does is change the SOC. Single battery SOC is 12 volts and Dual battery enabled is 16 volts.

It is fully adjustable between these ranges and I will be fine tuning later to find a more optimal setting.

saeb
AnswerID: 613553

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