Prado Charging System

Submitted: Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2455 Views:3313 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Folks,
I have a 8 month old Prado Diesel and it's charging system runs at about 13.2 to 13.4 VDC which is enough to keep a full charged batttery alive but not enough to top up a depleted battery after a nights camping with the Engel running.

Even a full day on the track at 3000 RPM will not replenish a depleted battery.

The only thing that is keeping me running at present is the Dual Battery system and although the car has had a new battery fitted since delivery it is now flat and requires an overnight charge to bring it back up to a fully charged state after a weekend away.

The Toyota dealer claims that it is within spec but a battery specialist tells me that 14.2 to 14.4VDC is the required level for recharging a battery, this aligns pretty much with my own (not insignificant) experience.

I have checked the drain imposed by the dual battery setup and that is not the problem as it only drags the charge voltage down by .02V when in cct.

It seems that the regulator simply regulates at a level that is too low.

The dealer is planning to replace the alternator and regulator this week but I am interested to know if this is a common problem (that is a design fault) or if I simply have a faulty regulator.

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Reply By: OziExplorer - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
The regulator could be faulty. Yes, the charging voltage should be as high as 14.7vDC. Ssounds more like a loose connection or the rectifier is partially gone.

As a matter of interest, where does your main charging lead from the alternator go to now?

What type of dual battery setup do you have?
AnswerID: 8928

Follow Up By: Gazza - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
The main charge lead goes to the battery via a fuse box but has only .02v drop so I don't beleieve that is the culprit. The dual battery setup uses a solenoid to pull in the spare battery for starting and keeps in cct whilever the motor is running. This setup worked fine on my Pajero for 8 years and I never had any drama's with it. I'm much happier with this arrangement because using it I can be sure that I will always have one good battery in the car whereas with the deep cycle arrangement if you run the fridge all nite and someone leaves a door open all you have is two flat batterie.
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FollowupID: 4440

Reply By: David - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Just checked my Turbo Diesel Prado Jan 2002 build and it is charging at 14.3V. Seems there is something not right in your set up. I have a dual set up too. Had a smart solenoid and had no problem with the batteries charging up. Have since done away with the smart solenoid as the fridge manufacturer recommends paralell wiring.
AnswerID: 8953

Follow Up By: Gazza - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
David, When the engine is cold I get about 14.2VDC but after about 5 mins it drops right down to !3.2VDC and stays there even ay hwy speeds. I had to wire in a heavy duty lead from the battery to the cabin to get an accurate picture of the situ.
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FollowupID: 4459

Follow Up By: Gazza - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
David, When the engine is cold I get about 14.2VDC but after about 5 mins it drops right down to !3.2VDC and stays there even ay hwy speeds. I had to wire in a heavy duty lead from the battery to the cabin to get an accurate picture of the situ.
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FollowupID: 4460

Reply By: Derek - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Gazza. I know you don't want to hear this, but why don't you get rid of the Engel and get a gas fridge. Your flat battery problem is common on this forum and Engels are the common denominator. Sorry!
AnswerID: 8954

Follow Up By: Gazza - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Derek, In my previous vehicle I had the same setup for most of its life (8 years) with no problems. I do have a gas fridge freezer and it is great in a camp but they are way too dangerous to use in the very confined space of a 4WD.
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FollowupID: 4461

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
I can go three days on my deep cycle battery with my evaKool fridge. I just tested it last week. To recharge in the vehicle would probably take 2 hours. I have two BP SX60 solar panels, and just wanted to test run the fridge to see how long it would go without a charge.

I had a Chescold fridge, and it performed well when stationary. They do not perform while travelling, and the heat from the system actually transfers into the cabinet. Once you get to camp and set them up level the gas fridges perform well. The Electrolux gas/electric fridges perform a little better while travelling, as the overall height of the absorbtion units are higher, and the systems do not flood.
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FollowupID: 4463

Follow Up By: Tony - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Derek, nothing wrong with the Engel in a 12 month 34,000k trip around Australia the only time a battery let me down was being killed through vibration.

Our Engel _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx 2.5amps when running, any stop longer than two days out came the Honda and on 20 lts of fuel we could spend 10 days in the one spot
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FollowupID: 4506

Reply By: Member - Bob - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Gazza, I am curious as to why a Pajero man of 8 yrs would downgrade to the copycat version ;-) How do you find the Prado? Did you look at the current Pajero?
AnswerID: 8957

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Everybody makes mistakes at times. Poor bastard. The Prado will keep him broke on fuel consumption.
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FollowupID: 4481

Reply By: Phil G - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Gazza,

I also have a Prado TD and I monitor voltage with a DMM hooked into a cig socket. As you say, normal voltage after starting is about 14.3-14.4 volts, and progressively drops to 13.3 volts after many hours. This is normal. The new regulators sense current draw from the alternator and reduce voltage so the battery is not overcharged. The idea is to make the batteries last a long time. If you run a second battery, make sure there is an earth lead going to both the engine (use the power steering reservoir bolt) and the body, so that voltage drop is kept to a minimum.

Cheers

Phil G
AnswerID: 9045

Reply By: Sapper - Saturday, Nov 30, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 30, 2002 at 01:00
Have a look a the smart regulator. Costs a little more but if you are draining your batteries this can be the answer.
AnswerID: 9148

Follow Up By: Gazza - Monday, Dec 02, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 02, 2002 at 01:00
Sapper,Can i have some more detail please?? Where do you get it?? What is it?? Thanks
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FollowupID: 4615

Reply By: Sapper - Monday, Dec 02, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 02, 2002 at 01:00
I read about it in one of the 4WD magazines earlier this year. I may still have a copy.

Moreover talk to a reputable Auto Elec and see what he has, failing that I find the marine elecs are even better.

Get back to you.

Regards
AnswerID: 9225

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