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MDH33
07-14-2009, 09:42 PM
Since I've been living out of my FJ60 (and a backpack) all summer I decided to finally install a fridge and dual battery setup. I have been thinking about it for awhile. I have been envious too many times of others on road trips with fridges full of cold beers and food after five days without having to deal with floating food and meat juices contaminating everything in a cooler full of melted ice. Cold :beer: :thumb:

I picked up an Engel 45 (thanks Chris!) and ran with the single battery for a month or so. I was having to rely on my cooler if I was parking for more than a night since I didn't trust my single battery and had no other rigs around most of the time in case I needed a jump. After doing much research I decided to splurge for a National Luna split charge kit and install a second deep cycle battery to power the fridge (and maybe some more extras in the future). The National Luna kit seems to do everything I need and came with everything needed for the install (although a lot of extra cable for an FJ60). It charges both batteries and also allows a jump from the second battery by just pushing a button from inside the cab. There is a battery voltage monitor inside the cab with the controls. The controls can also enable both batteries to be used for winching -- Edit: if you use larger cable than what's supplied. (Thanks for the tip Mike).

I picked up the National Luna Split charge Kit from Equipt (http://www.equipt1.com/h/component/option,com_virtuemart/page,shop.browse/category_id,152/Itemid,31/). I also ordered a couple of replacement stainless steel battery trays (http://stainlesstrays.com/). These are Niiiice. :cool: The install also required an aux fuse block and some extra 12V receptacles which I ordered from West Marine (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/DisplayPageDynamicView?page=CategoryDisplayLevel1&storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&N=377+710+1595&dispName=ELECTRICAL). I also picked up a new yellow top to run the extras, I already had a red top for starting.

On to the install. Today I installed the trays, split charge kit and aux fuse block. I hope to get the extra 12V plugs installed tomorrow. This all took me about 4 hours.

The fridge is already in my rig.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591388764_V86n4-L.jpg

I got the new stainless trays installed. They come with all the hardware and hold downs that fit the Optimas perfectly. Sooo much nicer than the corroded stock tray. The only tricky part was relocating the radiator overflow.

Here's the DS side tray and new aux battery.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591384776_bwLcE-L.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591384986_2FBUz-L.jpg

PS starting battery.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591385253_hnWsu-L.jpg

Most of the time involved in the install is assembling and routing the cables. I also soldered all the connections for my new fuse block. Here's the kit and some assembly pics.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591385535_ZenpN-L.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591385772_eKkGP-L.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591387351_hJuE3-L-1.jpg

Here's the solenoid unit mounted and a pic of the main battery with new connections in place.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591386499_R2MjN-L.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591389872_DbmYf-L.jpg

Here's the aux battery hooked up.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591389579_ujoZx-L.jpg

Once I had it all connected I fired it up to test the system. The solenoid allows the starting battery to charge for 5 minutes after start up before charging the aux battery. The in-cab monitor seemed to be working great and after the initial 5 minute warm-up I was getting consistent power to both batteries and the the new fuse block. :thumb:

Here's the in cab monitor at start up and the solenoid with positive readings.
(notice the empty hole in my dash that needs a Nakman FJ60 mic holder). ;)

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591390961_Ng76C-L-1.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591391813_cwQ2Z-L-1.jpg

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591391580_KBY3z-L-1.jpg

Once I have the 12V receptacles installed and connected to the new fuse block, I should be ready to roll.

For someone like me who dreads electrical work on their rig, this ended up being an enjoyable day of "wrenching". :hill: I think the system will prove to be worth the time and $$ in the long run and I'll have cold :beer: and no more floating food on long expeditions. :D

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591390670_p9FcX-L-1.jpg

jettaglxdriver
07-14-2009, 10:01 PM
That is freakin tight.

nakman
07-14-2009, 10:15 PM
that's awesome, Martin. Is the fridge going to stay there, or is that just temporary?

Oh yeah, 60 series mic holders.. :bolt:

CBone
07-14-2009, 10:28 PM
Martin, that looks great, really nice job. Where did you relocate the radiator overflow?

RicardoJM
07-14-2009, 10:32 PM
Wow, looks great Martin. Nice, clean and very functional.

ElliottB
07-14-2009, 10:36 PM
Good work!

Shark Bait
07-14-2009, 10:41 PM
Good looking fridge! And bottle!! :D Nice job on the setup, too, Martin.

MDH33
07-14-2009, 10:45 PM
that's awesome, Martin. Is the fridge going to stay there, or is that just temporary?

Oh yeah, 60 series mic holders.. :bolt:

Right now, I like having the fridge there and accessible from the rear passenger door. I didn't want any more weight all the way in the back with all the gear I am currently carrying with flat springs.

No hurry on the mic holders. ;) I don't have the HAM installed yet.

Martin, that looks great, really nice job. Where did you relocate the radiator overflow?

Since my AC has never worked, I removed the two lines on the PS inner fender and used the bracket to mount the overflow tank. Not perfect, but it works until I can remove all the smog stuff on the DS fender. You can see the relocated tank on the PS in this pic:

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/591391320_NJXgS-L.jpg

nuclearlemon
07-14-2009, 11:24 PM
sweet job. i'm not an electrical person either, so i know your dread there...glad you had a good time with it:thumb:

jacdaw
07-15-2009, 12:13 AM
This is but one of the kits I've been researching. Thanks for the timely write-up Martin. I wish the Hilux had that much underhood room. I'm afraid my remote battery is gonna go in back. Looks like this kits has plenty of cable for that tho. I'm this much closer to jumping in with this project.

jacdaw
07-15-2009, 12:17 AM
Oh yeah, 60 series mic holders.. :bolt:
I got some positive feedback today on my mic holders Tim.
When you do expand the line again, I'm sure they will be as great as mine turned out.:bowdown:

corsair23
07-15-2009, 12:51 AM
Hmmmm....tempting :thumb:

You make it seem easy, like even I could install such a kit :hill:

So why did you decide to go with the National Luna kit over say the Hellroaring kit? I was leaning that way until the recent fridge/freezer thread and now after seeing your install I'm leaning back...LOL

Hulk
07-15-2009, 01:24 AM
Looks really nice. I need a fridge!

Groucho
07-15-2009, 06:35 AM
I dunno why anyone would drool over your dual battery setup when you have that nice bottle of St. Lupulin on your fridge!!

I was at the keg tapping for the first day with Jethro, it is good beer. MMMMMMM, St Loopy.......:drool:

rover67
07-15-2009, 08:38 AM
Looks great Martin!

I ordered the two stainless trays earlier this week and just have to decide on what dual battery controller Im going with or if I just do a solenoid. I've been eyeing the National Luna setup as it seems to be the most user friendly.

Thanks for the write up! Hope you're enjoying yourself down there!

-Marco

LARGEONE
07-15-2009, 08:44 AM
Marco...let me know if you go the "marine switch & solenoid" route. I've got my extra tray in, my washer bottle relocated, and I'm getting ready to order the 200 amp solenoid from mechman most likely. I still need to get the welding/battery cable and then I should be ready to go.

http://www.mechman.com/order.htm

MDH33
07-15-2009, 08:55 AM
Hmmmm....tempting :thumb:

You make it seem easy, like even I could install such a kit :hill:

So why did you decide to go with the National Luna kit over say the Hellroaring kit? I was leaning that way until the recent fridge/freezer thread and now after seeing your install I'm leaning back...LOL

I liked that the National Luna kit came with everything needed and included the in cab battery monitor. I am also running a red top for starting and a yellow top deep cycle for aux. The NL kit seems to be better suited to handling the needs of the two different batteries.

MDH33
07-15-2009, 08:59 AM
I dunno why anyone would drool over your dual battery setup when you have that nice bottle of St. Lupulin on your fridge!!

I was at the keg tapping for the first day with Jethro, it is good beer. MMMMMMM, St Loopy.......:drool:

Yeah! just spotted it in the beer store and decided to try it. Glad I did, it's a good one. :thumb: :beer:

AxleIke
07-15-2009, 09:51 AM
VERY COOL!!! Nice work Martin!

MDH33
07-15-2009, 05:55 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments!

I finished the install today by adding the 12V receptacles and wiring them to the new aux fuse block. I had a couple of big holes in the side panels of my cargo area that used to hold speakers. I made a block-off plate to cover the hole and it also served as a good solid surface to mount the new receptacles.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/592257346_5AJbC-L.jpg

The fridge is now connected and powered off the new deep cycle battery. :thumb:

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/592257620_o9FHX-L.jpg

corsair23
07-15-2009, 06:30 PM
Very nicely done all around Martin :thumb:

I really need to get off the pot and get my truck "wired"...Electrical stuff "skeres" me though :)

MDH33
07-15-2009, 06:40 PM
Very nicely done all around Martin :thumb:

I really need to get off the pot and get my truck "wired"...Electrical stuff "skeres" me though :)


Me too! Electrical stuff is the my least favorite thing to tackle, but this was very easy because I was dealing with new parts and a kit that had good instructions. You can do this Jeff! :thumb:

In addition to the dual battery install, I had to put in a new EGR valve in the FJ60 Monday, while in the Forest Service Parking lot in Montrose. Kim Fed-Exed it to me after the 60 stopped running... That was a chore as I had to remove all the smog crap on the DS to get the nut off the steel flex line to the EGR...

I also swapped drive shaft slip-yoke/U-joint/flanges on the mini truck today. front to back. The rear drive shaft was out of phase and toasted a U-joint... Glad the drive shaft TC ends are the same front and rear. The mini is temporarily 2WD until I get some new U-joints. It's been a Toyota wrench-a-thon for me the past 3 days. :hill:

Back to Ouray tomorrow. ;)

treerootCO
07-15-2009, 06:52 PM
If you add a winch, the National Luma kit will need the cables upgraded and all the fancy fuses removed. Still working on mine...

Rzeppa
07-15-2009, 07:30 PM
Sweet! Thanks for sharing Martin!

Gosh, when I went dual-battery in my 76 FJ40 in 1986 I designed the whole setup from scratch. The aux system was to power the huge stereo I designed and built. This was way before the days of boom cars. I used an isolator from an RV place to charge the marine deep cycle but make sure I could start up if I ran the stereo too long. Back in "the day" I was asked about it on the LCML so I drew out a quick sketch and threw it up on my web site:

http://rzeppa.org/tech/dualbatt.jpg

Including the marine battery, the amplifiers (tri-amped system), speakers, lumber, crossover parts, aux electrical system parts etc. it cost about $400 back then.

Bighead
07-15-2009, 09:26 PM
If you add a winch, the National Luma kit will need the cables upgraded and all the fancy fuses removed. Still working on mine...

Why is that?

I'm curious since I was looking at this kit for a dual batt in my 4Runner and I already have a winch.

My other option is to get up to Golden and see if Christo can come up with something for me.

rover67
07-15-2009, 09:46 PM
no v8?!

:)

I was wondering if the National Luna wiring was up to the task of linked batts and winching applications. Maybe I'll piecemeal it together using that controller. I like the fact that it waits 5 minutes before switching to link both batteries. It gives the main a chance to come up a little bit after starting.

the National Luna kit is $375 with everything, and the Hellroaring stuff looks like about $280 with the controller, two fuses, and the switch they sell for it. they are close enough in price to make me think.

$235 if i get the two national luna parts ( controller/solenoid and battery monitor)... maybe that and some beefy wiring with no fuses?

that puts it really close to the hellroaring setup.

but the hellroaring setup looks more weatherproof (submersible perhaps).

and third.. if I were to just use a heavy duty solenoid.. that'd be the cheapest. but It wouldn't have the 5 minute delay.

Jeeze...

Largeone.. go ahead and get what you want, I still have some noodleing to do.

bh4rnnr
07-15-2009, 10:10 PM
no v8?!

:)

I was wondering if the National Luna wiring was up to the task of linked batts and winching applications. Maybe I'll piecemeal it together using that controller. I like the fact that it waits 5 minutes before switching to link both batteries. It gives the main a chance to come up a little bit after starting.

the National Luna kit is $375 with everything, and the Hellroaring stuff looks like about $280 with the controller, two fuses, and the switch they sell for it. they are close enough in price to make me think.

$235 if i get the two national luna parts ( controller/solenoid and battery monitor)... maybe that and some beefy wiring with no fuses?

that puts it really close to the hellroaring setup.

but the hellroaring setup looks more weatherproof (submersible perhaps).

and third.. if I were to just use a heavy duty solenoid.. that'd be the cheapest. but It wouldn't have the 5 minute delay.

Jeeze...

Largeone.. go ahead and get what you want, I still have some noodleing to do.


Kit should handle a V8, as it is being used in Pauls 100series... But what do I know, I dont even have one in my 4runner yet:rolleyes:...

corsair23
07-16-2009, 12:08 AM
If you add a winch, the National Luma kit will need the cables upgraded and all the fancy fuses removed. Still working on mine...

Why is that?

I'm curious since I was looking at this kit for a dual batt in my 4Runner and I already have a winch.

I was wondering if the National Luna wiring was up to the task of linked batts and winching applications. Maybe I'll piecemeal it together using that controller.


Treeroot read my mind :) - I was reading that too...

From the National Luna manual:
If a dual-battery system is fitted to a vehicle with a winch, it is recommended to use 35mm2 cable. (So 1 gauge cable?) Ensure that proper connections are made when fitting a winchbecause of the high current used while winching.

A number of people install winch cables to the auxiliary battery. This is not recommended as the alternator supplies a large portion of current to the winch, ensuring optimum winch speed and power.

Note that fuses are not appropriate for this configuration because of the high current flow expected.
So, if you have a winch you are going to have to upgrade the cables so you may as well not get the "kit", but the components (unless you can use the other parts for other stuff). But why no fuses? They make 500A ANL fuses...

Marco, according to the manual you can "link" batteries during winching ops or to do a jump start. Of course they mention during jump starting ops you should wait a few minutes otherwise the fuses may blow...

http://www.nationalluna.com/Datasheets/Split-charge%20manual.pdf

Confused as always...Martin, thanks again for starting this thread :D

Bighead
07-16-2009, 06:13 AM
Thanks Jeff. I've had that .pdf on my desktop for a few months and must have completely missed that part.

I really suck at electrical stuff.

rover67
07-16-2009, 08:52 AM
perry, the no V8 was kind of a joke I think... :)

I think getting the smart solenoid and the monitor from NL and adding appropriate cables may be the way to go. Has anybody had one of the smart solenoids underwater yet? It says they are not sealed.. that's one of the only things that has me leaning towards the hellroaring setup now... except for the fact that it doesn't do much more than a regular solenoid.

Oh, and I just walked out to the truck, looks like the warn (9000#) has #2 cable going to it. Only long winch pulls i've notices it gets kinda warm.. so 1 gauge might be good.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/STANDARD-98-INCH-1-0-GAUGE-BOAT-BATTERY-CABLE-cables_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116QQhashZitem2c49499f4dQQitemZ190208122701QQptZBoatQ5fPartsQ5fAccessoriesQ5fGear

One thing to note as well is the run between the two batteries for at least my application is only about 3 feet... probably similar for an 80.

here's something else I saw on teh mud forum. interesting part. it does not switch the two batteries to linked untill the first comes up to a full charge.


http://www.discount-marine.co.nz/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=3042&zenid=44d7a59fcb006332a411e045f7149d87

it's 300 amps and cheaper than the hellroaring thing.

jettaglxdriver
07-16-2009, 09:41 AM
So everyone is doing this huge upgrades to their battery systems with large cables and dual optimas and stuff. I just wanted to make sure you guys are also upgrading your chassis to negative(ground) cable and your alternator to battery cables.

I assume most are though. Does the big green alt come with a new heavy charge cable?

rover67
07-16-2009, 03:38 PM
So everyone is doing this huge upgrades to their battery systems with large cables and dual optimas and stuff. I just wanted to make sure you guys are also upgrading your chassis to negative(ground) cable and your alternator to battery cables.

I assume most are though. Does the big green alt come with a new heavy charge cable?


I have a nice big alternator cable now and decent ground cables thank goodnes. I'll probably be redoing it all when I install both batteries anyways though. :beer:

Anyways, I got the dual stainless trays in today and man are they super sweet. :)

Thanks again for posting your install Martin, it definitly helps to look at the way you did everything!

Jacket
07-20-2009, 12:43 PM
Why is that?

I'm curious since I was looking at this kit for a dual batt in my 4Runner and I already have a winch.

My other option is to get up to Golden and see if Christo can come up with something for me.

It's kinda been said on later posts, but given that you can "open" the system and combine the batteries, along with the fact that a heavy winch draw can exceed 300 amps, the supplied wire and fuses in the kit would be insufficient for the task.

Or you can say that you'll never combine the batteries, or take the gamble that you'll never draw that much power and wire it up with the NL wires and fuses. If you have a fairly heavy duty primary battery and alternator, this is a reasonable option.

In my case, after discussing with Paul, Kurt and others, I went ahead and upgraded the wires to 1 or 2 AWG (can't recall) and eliminated the fuses from the system.

Martin - Very nice setup. Mine has served me well thus far other than the tendency of the 12 volt plugs to loosen from the receptacles. In case you haven't noticed yet, the solenoid on the NL unit is pretty loud when it opens the system (5 minutes after starting the truck). It took me a couple months to figure out what that noise was, but further research told me it is normal to be noticeably loud.

nuclearlemon
07-22-2009, 10:15 PM
on the nl kit, not quite understanding, does it draw from one or the other battery for a while, then both? if it draws from both at the same time, there may be an issue with battery choices. i notice you've mixed yellow top and red top, both with mismatched cases, which means you'll only get the power of the lesser battery at the most, wasting the larger more expensive battery.

the original jeff z., definitely going to have to check out your option when i go duals...can't justify spending 33% more on wiring than i did on my fridge:eek:. even with copper pricing, it's maybe $10 in wiring and on the high end $100 in switches and gauges.

still cool though.

MDH33
07-23-2009, 08:12 AM
The way I have the NL kit hooked up, the red top is the main, starting battery, and the yellow top is the auxiliary battery. After start up, the red top gets all the power from the alternator for 5 minutes, then power goes to both. The yellow top gives power to the aux fuse block all the time and that's what my fridge runs off of. I should never have to start from the deep cycle, which is not what they are intended for. I have the fridge on for 4-5 days at a time. What's nice about this method is that the fridge can run the deep cycle yellow top down very low (which is fine for a deep cycle) without effecting the red top starting battery. If I had my fridge on the main battery and were continually draining it down, it would kill that starting battery faster. Keeping the fridge on the secondary deep cycle (and only starting from the main battery) will make both batteries last a lot longer.

nakman
07-27-2009, 10:57 AM
I got to take advantage of my setup this weekend- I've got a yellow top in the camper that wasn't fully charged, only had 11.5 volts before we took off. Knowing I had a backup, I just went with it to "see how it goes..." well the first night of lights on in the evening, the 12v fan on high for white noise, and the heater cycling what seemed like every 15 minutes, by 5:00 am the battery was low enough that it wouldn't ignite the heater anymore, and the fan had a much lower pitched hum to it... yup that did it.

So I just loaned the camper the fully charged backup Exide battery, put the yellow top in the 80 and then drove around for 10 hours or so that next day to charge it up. I left the Exide in the camper all night, and with the same conditions it still showed 12.5 volts the next morning, after I returned it to the 80. Was nice to have that option.. particularly if I forget to disconnect the camper battery and allow that CO2 monitor to drain it away for a couple weeks in the back yard.. I sure wish that power was on the same circuit as the rest of the stuff that gets shut off when you flip the sink down. :rant: