Mazda BT 50, Ford Ranger electrical set up

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:01
ThreadID: 96796 Views:25037 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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I have just purchased a new 2012 Mazda BT 50. Great truck so far!
I am soon going to deck it out with many extras such as:
UHF radio, Scanner, Spotties, Fridge, GPS, interior map lights, phone charger, inverter etc etc etc... I will be installing a dual battery system in the near future to run the heavy duty stuff like the fridge, but for now, I will be running most of it off the cars system.
There has been plenty of talk about the electrical BUS systems in these cars, and some horror stories if you tap into the existing wiring to run radios etc...
My question is, has anyone properly wired one of these to supply decent loads to accessories?
I am thinking I need a main heavy duty cable (fused of course) directly to the battery. This will feed 2 fuse boxes inside the cab. 1 of these boxes being relay triggered by accessories power.
Can anyone tell me if this will affect the system?
Also, is there a good place I can take accessory power from? There are plenty of 'spare' slots in the main fuse box under the hood. Would these suit?
Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Phillipn - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:11

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:11
Mazda will tell you that connecting extras to a BT50 will inter fear with the computers.

I had an auto sparky install the duel battery system, electric brakes and a wire from the ignition,which activates a relay to turn the fridge in the van [ three way]
on only when the motor is operating.

Mazda told me that the latter could not be done. The auto sparky said it could.

All are operating OK.
AnswerID: 490610

Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:13

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:13
I don't know about the bt 50 but when I had electrcal stuff done by my auto sparkie , who has outfitted all my 4x4 before, came to the pathfinder and the work he did was to blow, the fuses at a later date, I had to take it back to Nissan and get it redone. now days you can't just plug into the fuse boxes without upsetting the computer settings, so to me I would go and talk to Mazda first to find out the lay of the electrical system
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AnswerID: 490611

Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:43

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:43
spotties should not be a problem as high beam i dont think is linked to the bus system
be very careful where other accessories have power scourced , most ign and accessory power will have to be tapped into directly behind the fuse box
make sure of adequate fused and relay protection
AnswerID: 490615

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 09:05

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 09:05
The BT50's aren't any worse then any other modern vehicle but there are a few things you need to follow.

The dual battery isolator has to have a switching ignition feed wire to control the on and off function and it would pay to use one of the DC-DC chargers as the battery charge rates on them are very low and lower then most...... as low as 12.5v

The positive and earth feeds down to the second battery has to come of the starter battery terminals them selves and no where else.

As for Can-Bus.... the Can-Bus is made up of low, medium and high speed communications and the faster the communications the more critical it is, there are about 15 different types of Can-Bus and protocols used in a modern vehicle, a body control module will run at high speed as it needs big bandwidth and speed.... a fan control will run at a lower speed as the communications is very basic is not as important.

Not every thing in vehicles run on the Can-Bus, Can-Bus is used to communicate between nodes, ecu's and bcm's..... the main light feed to the lights are still done conventionally but the communications to the light control module that controls the lights may be on the Can-Bus.

The best place for accessory power is from the cigarette feed.

Always check power and earth with a multimeter and not a test light and try to obtain a wiring diagram.

When using relays make sure they are a low resistance (140 ohm coil vs 340 ohm coil) one as to not overload a circuit.
AnswerID: 490630

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:56

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:56
Gday Richard,
Someone on another BT50 forum has said that power to the two accessory sockets is on permanently - not just when the IGN key is in. If that is the case, it's worth knowing if one is relying on power from the ACC circuit to switch relays or isolators.
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FollowupID: 765984

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 14:17

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 14:17
Phil.... not the power sockets, cigarette socket.
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FollowupID: 766004

Follow Up By: JP25 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:31

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:31
Yes I noticed this the other night. I had a lead light plugged into one of the sockets & when I roomed the key, the light stayed on. I didn't leave it long enough however to see if it is on a timer. (like a lot of things in the BT, interior lights, radio etc)
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FollowupID: 766071

Follow Up By: V8 Troopie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 23:20

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 23:20
olcoolone wrote: "When using relays make sure they are a low resistance (140 ohm coil vs 340 ohm coil) one as to not overload a circuit."

That's the wrong way round, the relay with the highest coil resistance requires the lowest power (amps) to turn on. I would favour the 340 Ohm coil in the quoted example.
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FollowupID: 766075

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 08:40

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 08:40
Yep should of been the other way round.....
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FollowupID: 766080

Reply By: JP25 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:28

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:28
Wow. Thanks everyone for their reply. Im guessing there is no problem taking power directly from the battery though? I have heard that if you take power from here the car doesn't 'know' about it and therefore doesn't charge the battery correctly.
Is there any truth to this?
Thanks
AnswerID: 490695

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:12

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:12
JP25,

There's been a couple of threads on this subject over the past month or two, and each time at least one of the posters had achieved a satisfactory outcome. Might pay to check back, and some of your queries may be answered.

Connecting to battery would be same as doing as olcoolone suggested, taking it off the starter motor. A drop in battery power, whether through the "system" or otherwise, should result in battery being re-charged. Either I'm not with it, or they have very "dumb" regulators.

Good luck with it,
Bob.
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FollowupID: 766088

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:19

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:19
JP,

check out these 2 threads: 92527 & 95461,

Bob.

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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:45

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:45
The new BT50 has a current sensor on the negative feed from the battery (not a shunt) that runs on a low speed Can-Bus to determined when the alternator needs to charge..... if you take the positive feed for the back battery of the starter and a earth off the body the alternator will not see it.

Charge rates are now map driven from the ECU.

Most new vehicles are going this way and many have a specific power and earth pick up point.

The hardest thing is trying to obtain informations from the vehicle manufacturer at a engineering level.
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FollowupID: 766135

Follow Up By: JP25 - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:47

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:47
Thanks olcoolone.
So I take the main feed for all the accessories from the positive on the back of the starter motor? and the ground just from the vehicle chassis? Is this correct?
Thanks
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FollowupID: 766158

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