ARB dual batteries...setup???

Submitted: Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 23:44
ThreadID: 6104 Views:4254 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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I'll be getting an ARB dual battery set up in a few weeks. (In 3.0lt GU)

Can someone with knowledge in this area tell me what size battery and fittings ie wiring size etc I should make sure I get. Maybe the standard ARB setup will be fine, but I just want to know when I ask the sales bloke (or women) if the equipment supplied is good enough or just a 'market place' product.

I'll be getting a hot wire to the rear plug to run lighting in the camper van too. I am told to make sure I get a fuse installed close the battery for this???

The dual battery will be used run an engel 40lt too. I know I should run a continuous piece of wiring from the battery from what I have read in other posts. Does this also need a fuse close the battery???

Appreciate the advise, as always.

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 00:23

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 00:23
I got the Piranha system from Piranha in Bayswater, happy with it, comes with everything you need. ARB system should be the same.

Run GOOD wire down the back, its worth doing once and doing right.

Is it only going to run the Engel?
AnswerID: 25562

Reply By: BajaTaco - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 03:58

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 03:58
I cannot answer all of your questions at the moment, because there is some calculation necessary. You should post the equipment you'll be running off of the aux. battery, and the amps they require. Also, how long you want to run things whith the engine off (camping).

Regarding the fuses, keep this in mind: Any wire that is connected to the battery's + terminal, and runs out to an appliance or piece of equipment, is vulnerable to "shorting" out. This happens when the wire's insulation is compromised, or the connector comes loose and the bare wire (conductor) comes in contact with any metal from the vehicle. The electricty will now find a "short"er path and try to return to the battery via the frame or body of the car. This will cause the wire to become overloaded with current and it can get hot and start a fire. So, to protect any wires you have traveling along your vehicle, you should install a fuse as close as possible to where that wire is getting it's power from.

To organize your wires and connections, and fuses, you can run one big wire from the aux. battery to a fuse block (or "distribution block") and the block will have many terminal connectors for you to connect accessory wires to. This way you do not have to connect a whole bunch of wires directly to your battery post. In this case, you would want a fuse on the big wire that feeds the distribution block, as close to the connection to the battery as possible.
AnswerID: 25567

Reply By: Member - Andrew O - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 10:57

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 10:57
I've had the ARB setup in my 3.0 GU for 2yrs now. I bought the battery tray, smart separator & wiring looms, and installed it myself (ARB sell it as a kit). Pleased I did this as the installation is a breeze, with well documented instructions. I bought an n70ex (exide extreme) battery. I ran a cable (fat wire, used in industrial switchboards with double insulation) through the firewall on the passenger side, along the "cable tray" under the kick plates on the doors, to three separate power points located on the panel adjacent to the smaller rear barn door.

This has served me well, ensuring a ready supply of cold beers (45lt waeco), sound for the kids, powers an inverter for lighting, and recharges various AA sized batteries.So much to see, too little time ...
AnswerID: 25578

Reply By: Member - Andrew (Bris) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 12:47

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 12:47
I had ARB install their standard dual battery system in my 3.0TD GU as soon as I got the vehicle last November. Had power points installed in the dash and two in the rear. 40l Engel has run continuously since then.

Don't know the technical stuff 'bout 'lectricity, so wasn't game to do it myself. No problems with their system or the way they installed it. Hasn't let me down yet.
AnswerID: 25597

Follow Up By: Andrew - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 16:35

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 16:35
Looks like everyone called 'Andrew' buys a GU 3.0TD

Anyway, what do you use the dash points for??

FollowupID: 17364

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (Bris) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 19:36

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 19:36
Phone hands free / charger is always plugged into one. Another is used to power a spotlight or anything else the handbrake deems useful.
FollowupID: 17379

Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 21:27

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 21:27
Just a note about batteries
Don't forget that you cannot run a deep cycle battery below about half of its stated AH rating without risking some decrease in longevity. A cranking battery can only be drawn down to about 3/4 of its capacity but I have been told (not by a "pro" however) that the gel-cell type can be run nearly flat. That is why a 45AH gell cell will perform as well as about an 85 AH wet cell but is much smaller in size. But I may be proven wrong about this.
Something for you to check out.
AnswerID: 25848

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 22:59

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 22:59
Thanks Oskar

I've seen the new gel batteries around, wondered what the diff was. Now I know. I will sus it all out before getting the battery.

FollowupID: 17551

Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 12:55

Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 12:55
I checked some details regarding gel-cells vs wet-plate batteries with a friend of mine who designs and builds circuits for power generating companies around Australia. (He's the specialist they get in when the experts can't solve the problem)
He threw some extra light on the subject.
You may already be aware of this information (or some of it) but here is what I have found out of late
1) Gell-cells should not be charged beyong about 14.1 volts or damage can occur.
2) Wet-plate batteries need around 15.1 - 15.5 V to be fully charged and to ensure their longevity (Most manufacturer alternators peak at about 14.1 V I believe)
3) In hot weather (summer/tropics) wet plate batteries charging over about 14.4V will probably boil the electrolyte away. This doesn't conflict with point #2 neccessarily. Some shielding of the battery from engine bay heat is desireable.
4) If using a wet plate main and a gell aux you need to make sure the charging system is compatible with both batteries due the different needs of each.
5) Existing alternators can be modified with an external regulator and a charging diode to "up" the output voltage to 15.1 - 15.5V.
6) Wet-plates which do not get fully charged will always fail sooner than those which are.
7) Wet plate batteries should be "brought to the boil", for a period of time, overnight perhaps, (fizzing/bubbling) to allow full-charge to be achieved. (It removes the sulphation or something like that) That doesn't mean that you boil it on the stove or anything like that, but that the charging system must have enough kick to do the job.
I hope this adds something useful to your knowledge of the topic
AnswerID: 26081

Follow Up By: Andrew(WA) - Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 14:05

Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 14:05
Are you trying to help me??? that confused the sh** out of me! LOL

That does help OSKAR, sounds like you have a handy friend there.

Just not sure about the 'boiling the wet cell batteries' as mentioned in item 7 ?? What's that all about and how do you it?

FollowupID: 17723

Follow Up By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Monday, Jul 28, 2003 at 14:04

Monday, Jul 28, 2003 at 14:04
I know that was a lot of info .... sorry.
Re: #7 "boiling"
That's just the term he used.
It just means that you need to supply the battery with sufficient charging voltage (up to 15.5V) to make the electrolyte "fizz, bubble, boil" or whatever term for the bubbling effect of a higher charging voltage is. It has to do with removing sulphation.
Not all chargers will get to this level and I doubt that any standard vehicle alternator will achieve this. I have a heavy duty 15.5 V / 18 AMP charger that "boils" the battery nicely.
Technically there are 3 distinct steps to an effective charging process and usually only very expensive chargers will carry these out (around $700 I have been told).
Everything else is a compromise.
That about uses up my store of wisdom (or otherwise) on the topic.
If you do want any further info like circuits etc You can get me at: If you don't want to .. that's OK too.

Being a newcomer I'm not in the circle yet (if ever) what does LOL & BTW mean ..... or aren't you supposed to tell the dumb ones.

FollowupID: 17774

Follow Up By: Andrew(WA) - Monday, Jul 28, 2003 at 22:52

Monday, Jul 28, 2003 at 22:52

LOL = Laughing out loud

BTW = By the way.

Do a Search using the word 'abbreviations'. This question has been asked before and you can all the answers you need to this one by just doing the mentioned search.

FollowupID: 17832

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