Second battery inside the vehicle?

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:22
ThreadID: 30809 Views:2706 Replies:15 FollowUps:14
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Hiya, I've got a vehicle that hasn't enough room under the bonnet for a second battery, but its a van, there's LOADS of room inside. What do I need to consider if I want to put the second (wet) battery inside the van?

I already have the second battery and isolator (from a previous car).

Will it put out toxic fumes when being charged?
If I put it in a battery box, can I block off the holes and will I need to put a breather pipe to the outside of the car?

Anything else I need to worry about?

Cheers,
Tom
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:30

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:30
Be alot safer to put a gel battrey inside the vehicle. The gas given off a normal lead acid battery is both toxic & explosive.
AnswerID: 155179

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:35

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:35
Tom,

If it's a standard wet cell battery it will generate explosive gases whilst charging and if tipped over, hydrochloric acid will spill into your vehicle.
Even inside a box, you will need to provide venting to the outside.

You aren't saving anything by trying to retain your old battery. You will end up spending as much money providing a "work-around" as you would buying a new AGM Deep Cycle battery which is not only more suitable for inside the vehicle but it will charge quicker.

Whether fixed, or portable, the only battery you should consider is an AGM type.
Bill


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AnswerID: 155181

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:19

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:19
Hey Sand Man - acid yes but H2SO4 - sulphuric acid not HCL....still bloody corrosive though!
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:55

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:55
Read more Here
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Reply By: revhead307 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:39

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:39
Gday,

As far as i know illegal to have a normal lead acid battery inside a vehicle (as it is potentially unsafe).

Do a search on here for AGM or sealed batteries and you'll get a fair few hits.

sealed batteries have internal valves and dont vent gas which makes them suitable for use inside a vehicle.

I have a 100AH AGM inside my vehicle as there was no room under the bonnet
Just make sure its secured well.

Regards
Rev

AnswerID: 155183

Follow Up By: spliney - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:36

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:36
I'll have you know my first car ('61 VW) had its battery under the back seat - never a problem with toxic gases, but have to admit it did start a fire when accidently shorted on the seat springs!

Spliney
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FollowupID: 409157

Follow Up By: Member - Mary W (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:19

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:19
G'day spliney.
Yeah great fun when the old vdub was squashed full of people.Not a very orderly evacuation.Sure brings back memories of "the good old days'
Mary
"Some people walk in the rain,others just get wet."

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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 07:42

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 07:42
I took 8 people to a dance once in one in mum's beetle. And then there was getting it to valve bounce at about 70 mph ...

My Mini van had the battery behind the driver's seat and I shorted it out once when I chucked the jack on top of it.

Cheers

Pete
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Follow Up By: spliney - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 07:47

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 07:47
HaHaHa - Great memories of back-seat action on the old VW!!

spliney
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Reply By: t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:07

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:07
Ok, well thats a pity as it was new only a few months ago. However, maybe I can get it to replace the one under the bonnet, wouldn't be a total loss then. Its a Century N70ZZH, suitable as a cranking battery?

So with an AGM Deep cycle, does that have any special requirements if its inside the vehicle? (other than the terminals being isolated from conductors etc)

AnswerID: 155188

Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:17

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:17
I have a Fullrivers AGM inside vehicle and the only thing I needed to do was to anchor it so that it did not become a missile, and have suitable wiring
I have a Redarc fitted under bonnet and it works well.

Pedro
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FollowupID: 409152

Reply By: t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:25

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:25
Could I use the AGM in an emergency to crank the engine?
I had a dodgy battery in the Challenger, it was brilliant to be able to open the bonnet and jump start from the other battery.
I know they aren't meant for it, but would it do a lot of damage to them if they were used a couple of times a year (maybe) to get started if I left the lights on or something stupid like that?
AnswerID: 155190

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:41

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:41
Should not be any problem in using an AGM battery to start your car, assuming it has sufficient "grunt" (CCA) to do it.

Bill


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AnswerID: 155203

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:59

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:59
12V Power Pack is the way to go. Fully automatic and in one compact unit, you can fit a AGM battery inside the unit as they are safe and will fast charge.

Opp Lock do one now as well as my own ABR unit.

As far as inside the vehicle goes BMW still has their battery under the rear seat and in the boot in some older models.

Regards Derek from ABR www.sidewinder.com.au
AnswerID: 155209

Follow Up By: revhead307 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:56

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:56
There goes the neighbourhood.

Would you like fries with that?

Rev
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FollowupID: 409177

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 14:56

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 14:56
Credit where credit is due there Rev........

He _is_ now an official advertiser.......PLUS he did also mention that another supplier (opposite lock) could supply a similar product.

I think Derek has his heart in the right place and should be given a fair go. He's just trying to make a quid and it has been the subject of another post that his gear and his workmanship are up to standard.....(ie: he is not some shonky, fly-by-night operator).

Disclaimer:_ I don't know the bloke, have no financial or other interest in his business etc.....just my 2 cents worth
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:10

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:10
ditto Roachie,

good on you Derek, having a respectful go, up front and not trying to please EVERYONE in doing so.
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Reply By: drivesafe - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:09

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:09
Hi t0me, there is no reason you can’t just use the battery you have.

A number of vehicles come standard from the factory with wet cell batteries fitted in the cab and they have never had a problem, VW combies are a perfect example, for many years now have been supplied with wet cell batteries so there is no reason to go to the additional expense of buying a new, more expensive battery when you have a perfectly good battery on hand.

Cheers
AnswerID: 155239

Reply By: t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:52

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:52
Arghhhhhh I'm soooo confused!!!!!!

In any of those vehicles with the battery inside the car, are they in some form of box?

If its illegal, can you give me some idea where you heard that (or a reference where I can see it online).

AnswerID: 155254

Follow Up By: drivesafe - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:58

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:58
Hi t0me, for the vehicles to be able to be registered, they have to meet ADR requirements, so as these vehicles are registered, it must be legal.

BTW Land Rover Defenders were also supplied with the battery inside the cab.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 409193

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:22

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 13:22
Access to the battery in my old Tarago was internally - lifted a flap in the carpet, then undid a wingnut thingy to open a little door to get at the battery box which was underslung.
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FollowupID: 409307

Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 23:34

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 23:34
t0me (WA)
if the truth was known, I've had one x 80 a/h Delkor DC calcium battery in the back of my vehicle, (another is underneath it, accessed through a hole & fitted lid in the floor) sitting less than two foot of my fridge and beside my bed for almost 5 years, and it will go back into the exact same position tomorrow when I pick it up.
It's in a black plastic battery box with no special venting.

If it gives off dangerous fumes well they haven’t affected me .. yet, L0L
Some may tell you different, conversely I still have all my own hair :-)

I’m not recommending the idea - just stating a fundamental fact of life!
Don’t do as I do… because it’s bad, if there was another way I may do it differently, and then thinking about it probably not!

My two DC batteries are close to the Solar regulator and to the fridge, with only about 2 foot of cable between each.
AnswerID: 155265

Reply By: t0me (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 00:33

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 00:33
I couldn't find any ADR's on the issue, but after some heavy googling (ok I admit it I asked here first hoping to find a quick answer)...

On the DOTARS website I found this to do with building streetrods...
"7.7 BATTERIES
7.7.1 Batteries are to be secured and placed in a container suitable for the purpose of
holding a battery. The battery must be positioned outside of the passenger
compartment unless it is in an enclosure that is vented to the outside of the
passenger compartment. A dry type battery may installed inside the passenger
compartment."

I found this, its to do with vehicle standards for Taxi's in Victoria.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrpdf/rdsafe/vsi31.pdf

" 24. BATTERY
The vehicle battery must be properly secured in the
design or other location. If the battery is moved to
the boot or other suitable location inside the vehicle
it must be secured in a suitable covered container,
attached to the vehicle and provided with drainage
through the base to outside the vehicle.
A suitable container must prevent leakage or
spillage of any liquid in the container inside the
vehicle and prevent electrical shorting under likely
operating conditions.
However some vehicle manufacturers have supplied
vehicles with the battery in the boot or passenger
compartment. In these vehicles the battery is
either non-vented or a special sealed battery usually
vented to the exterior of the vehicle. These vehicles
are acceptable provided the battery is of the same
type as originally supplied by the vehicle
manufacturer."
AnswerID: 155270

Follow Up By: drivesafe - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:02

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:02
Hi again t0me, I should have been a little clearer in my earlier post.

The rules governing the installation of batteries inside a vehicle have tightened up dramatically over the past few yew years, particularly for caravans and motor homes.

What I was suggest was that if you don’t want to go to the additional expense of buying a new battery right now, that fitting the existing battery to your present vehicle would pose no more of a health risc as it did when the same thing was done by the manufactures of a number vehicle that were legally excepted at the time these vehicles were introduced.

If you were doing installations as a trade then you would have to comply with the present day requirements which, if you want to know exactly what they are, are set out in the numerous Standards Australia publications, but as you are doing your own vehicle and you already have a battery, I was suggesting that, for now, that battery would be quit adequate.

Once that battery has expired then I would go for a seal battery, but as I said, just a suggestion.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 409260

Reply By: t0me (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 11:34

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 11:34
Brilliant, thankyou (and everyone) for your answers.
AnswerID: 155320

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 11:51

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 11:51
Legal liability considerations will (should) preclude a definitive reponse.

Virtually every battery maker in the world warns against housing batteries in 'sealed containers' and emphasise this includes AGM and gel cell batteries.

There is little risk in a well-ventilated vehicle as long as nothing goes wrong. If however the charging circuit goes haywire, it is possible that the battery can be seriously overcharged. If that happens gas builds up fast. The vents are thus designed to pop in such circumstances (this being considered safer than the battery exploding) - but a great deal of potentially explosive gas is suddently released. It burns at 4% concentration and explodes violently at 10%.

How probable is it that this may happen? Unlikely - but it can and does.

The only legally (and practicably) safe advice is to house it in a container that is ventilated (from both top and bottom) to atmosphere.
AnswerID: 155326

Reply By: greydemon - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:21

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:21
It seems to me that there is some confusion about what constitutes 'inside'. My old Liteace van had the underfllor battery accessed through a trapdoor under the carpet behind the driver's seat. Accessed from inside, but actually outside - hung under the floor and well ventilated.

My very old mini (1960s or early 70s) with the starter button on the floor, had the battery under the floor in the boot. This one was actually in a solid metal box set into in the floor, not outside. One day, for no apparent reason, I hit the starter button and the battery blew itself apart. I put it down to a short circuit and a build up of the explosive gases mentioned by other posters.
AnswerID: 155407

Reply By: DesC - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:55

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:55
Mastervolt has 2 volt agm batteries, maybe you could rig up six of them and be able to fit them in your engine bay. I am going to do this with my patrol for a 3rd battery.
AnswerID: 155415

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:45

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:45
six x two volt AGM batteries...... $$$$$$
one x twelve volt AGM battery... $
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FollowupID: 409396

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