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Die Hard Platinum (Odyssey PC1750) Aux Battery under seat
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IrideWheelies
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Die Hard Platinum (Odyssey PC1750) Aux Battery under seat Reply with quote

Another aux battery thread Rolling Eyes

I wanted the biggest, most robust, cheapest aux battery I could find. It had to fit under the driver seat and I didn't want to do anything drastic, like cutting and welding the battery box.

After many exhausting The Samba and Expedition Portal searches I decided to go for an Odyssey, either the PC1700 or PC1500. There are a few threads on Odyssey batteries and the consensus is that they are awesome. The price is also awesome. I was looking at somewhere around $350 for a PC1700 after shipping + tax + whatever.

My research into Odyssey batteries let me to the Sears Die Hard Platinum series. A couple years ago Sears made a deal with Odyssey to private label a few of their batteries. It's the exact same battery in a different color case with a better warranty and much cheaper!

Here are the specs:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I was interested in the Odyssey PC1700 but there was no equivelent Die Hard size. There was a "PC1500" size Die Hard so I paid a visit to my local Sears with a tape measure to investigate.

After measuring all of the Die Hard Platinums available I dicovered the Die Hard Platinum P-2 would fit in my battery box on it's side. It's a Group 65 battery and the same as the Odyssey PC1750, a battery I hadn't even considered. I could't find mention of anyone ever putting this battery in a Vanagon. I laid down my cash and brought it home.

This is it: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02850065000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

I tried it standing up but it's too tall for the battery cover to close
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Compare to my Interstate Group 41
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It fits great on it's side
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Here it is wired up
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The cover closes on it, barely.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

If you decide to install an Odyssey or Sears Die Hard Platinum battery you'll also need to bump up the voltage from your alternator if you have a WBX. My alternator was only putting out 13v or so and that won't charge the Odyssey. I installed an Adjustable Voltage regulator and pumped the voltage up to 14.5v. You can get one here: http://www.davebarton.com/AdjustableVoltage.html scroll down to the "Internal Adjustable Voltage Regulator"
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Iride! great post. very thorough. Great pics Applause

An aux battery is next on my list for things to do and your post is now at the top of my bookmarks list.

Very nice.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good!

I'm not sure that will fit with the swivel seat bases like the Westy has, when I get a chance I'll check take a few measurements.

Do you have some kind of hold down for the battery? If your van rolls over in a crash it would be bad if it were shorting out or loose in the interior.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nicely done.

I have the odyssey 1750 great battery. Odyssey I think is one of the best batteries.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presslab, good point. I should have mentioned that I don't have a swivel on my driver side so this might not work in a real Westy. It may still fit with the swivel but it would be risky getting it in and out of there. I'd hate to short this battery out on the swivel!

I don't have a hold down yet. I'm working on it. It's in there pretty tight and my seat covers the battery door so I don't' think it would be able to come out of there easily. I have a few ideas of how to secure it but I'm open to suggestions.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two questions:

1. How does cranking up the voltage from the alternator effect starting battery? Does it create an overcharge issue?

2. Would love to know if this will fit a westy, so when someone figured it out, please repost.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Die Hard Platinum (Odyssey PC1750) Aux Battery under sea Reply with quote

IrideWheelies wrote:
Another aux battery thread Rolling Eyes

My research into Odyssey batteries let me to the Sears Die Hard Platinum series. A couple years ago Sears made a deal with Odyssey to private label a few of their batteries. It's the exact same battery in a different color case with a better warranty and much cheaper!

This is it: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02850065000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

You can get one here: http://www.davebarton.com/AdjustableVoltage.html scroll down to the "Internal Adjustable Voltage Regulator"


Iride -

This is awesome info - great price for an AGM that fits Wink

I might be in for 2 this summer... one under the driver, one under my Wolfsburg jumpseat (shortest cable run possible), and if I'm reading right, 150 amp hours with both installed.

Please let us know how this works in real life for you!

Regards,
Joe
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:50 pm    Post subject: house battery Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus Did this set up in my van, and yes it will not fit in a westfalia, battery box not big enough ! It's nice to have all this power, and you need to kick up your voltage ! Very Happy When I laid it on it's side it was like a light bulb went off, cool!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something I should mention to anyone thinking about buying one of these batteries is that you'll need an Odyssey compatibale battery charger. Odyssey batteries like a specific charge profile to perform best and last a long time.

Luckily, Sears has a pretty good charger that's made specifically for their Die Hard Platinum batteries. This is the one I got: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02871227000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

I used it once just to make sure it worked and it brought my battery up to 100% overnight. I'm going to make it a habit to put the charger on every time I draw the battery down while camping or running my fridge for an extended period. From what I've read, the alternator will not keep the battery at 100% on it's own because it doesn't have a 3 stage charge profile.

I also ordered a 100w solar panel and a 10a controller. All the parts will be here by the weekend.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summers420us wrote:
Two questions:

1. How does cranking up the voltage from the alternator effect starting battery? Does it create an overcharge issue?


This is a very good question. Does anyone know?

From what I understand, standard voltage regulators are set to 14.1V.

This standard voltage regulator limits the voltage delivered to a battery to a maximum of 14.1 volts protecting the battery from overcharging. When the voltage reaches 14.1 volts the charging voltage drops to a lower value and then cycles back to 14.1.

Does setting the value up to 14.5 damage anything?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert, but if an alternator is only putting out 13v, there's an issue with the alternator or its internal voltage regulator. Mine puts out 14+ and is the stock original Bosch recently rebuilt.

DougM
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,

Your charging system is working well, good for you. I've read that vanagons and other european cars with the same Bosch alternator suffer from low alternator voltage because of the internal regulator. My alternator is a rebuilt Bosch that's about 5 years old. I don't know if it put out a higher voltage when it was new or not but I don't think I ever saw 14+ at the battery. I never thought much about it until I put the Volt Minder on my dash, now I can't stop looking at it. Maybe I had a bad regulator, maybe I need to put in a larger alternator charge cable like this one, http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_780_235/alternator_cable_upgrade.html, I'm not sure. It's great now and I like having an option to adjust the voltage.

My starting battery seems to be happier with 14.5v. I don't see it being a problem as long as it stays under 15 volts.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just installed this battery - thanks for the info Wheelies!


I do have a question on the charging voltage. A bit of confusion, as my Yandina has a controller wire that limits the applied voltage to 14.2v ("for AGM" batteries as the yandina documentation says) but I read here that if should be >14.5v (maybe thats at the alt, not at the battery).

Should I use the yandina voltage limiting feature, or run just whatever it sees from the alt?


I don't know what voltage is at the battery yet (haven't started it up, transmission in rebuild - vehicle torn apart). This would probably be a starting point.

I run a Subaru 2.2l with an alternator that should be putting out >14v.



I guess the question is: what voltage is best for the AGM?? is it 14.5v or <14.2v? (I can go from there once I know what my system is doing)
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed under the drivers seat the Sears Platinum deep cycle PC31, group size 31, similar in size to Odyssey PC 2150. This battery has 205 Reserve Capacity, unlike the group size 65 / PC1750 batteries, which have more like 135 reserve capacity. The group size 31 also beats the group size 65 with 100amp hours vs. 68 amp hours for the Group 65. The front seat still swivels. The battery sticks up higher than it normally would, but is hidden behind the grey rug. In order to do this installation, you have to trim the corner of the seat swivel (which doesn't look bad) and also trim some metal from the area under the driver's seat. Would I do it again? Yes.

The battery under the drivers seat is Sears Item# 02850131000 Model# PM-1.

Under the passenger seat, I am using the Sears group 65 size, the same one discussed in this thread, but I did not lay it on its side.

And yes, you ideally should to upgrade your voltage regulator, preferably to a 3-stage regulator, not a simple fixed voltage type. For the actual specs to use, see the technical documentation for the Odyssey even if you are using a Sears battery since the charging voltages called for at various stages are very specific. I was able to program the exact 3-stage charging algorythim into my onboard Prosine 2.0 Inverter/Charger, but have not yet determined how to upgrade the alternator/regulator of my subaru 3.0L engine.

All of the batteries discussed here utterly destroy the capacity of the group 41 batteries that were original to these locations.

Because of the demands of the Inverter and the winch and warnings in the inverter instruction manual, I decided to use 250MCM size wires, (roughly 5/0 ["five aught"] size wire).

The factory OEM wire showed black discoloration corrosion inside the jacket, so for the new wire I got marine grade tinned wire so I would not have to worry about corrosion in that thick wire ever in the future. The more wiring I do, I feel that bare copper wire has no place in the vanagon, so if your wires are copper color, start thinking about changing them over to "tinned" marine grade type, which is more silverish in color (thought the strands themselves in the inside are still copper.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you shouldn't limit the voltage with the Yadina. This is from the Odyssey tech manual;

Standard internal combustion engine alternators with an output voltage of 14.2V can also charge these batteries. The inrush current does not need to be limited under constant voltage charge. However, because the typical alternator voltage is only 14.2V instead of 14.7V, the charge times will be longer than those shown in Table 5.

You can read the entire manual here:
http://www.odysseybattery.com/literature.html

Somewhere in there it also warns you to keep the charge voltage under 15v.

A three stage charge profile is best. I plan to use my 3 stage charger to bring the battery up to 100% before and after a camping trip. I also recently installed a 100w solar panel with Morningstar charge controller. The controller is a Gen 2 version. If you get the older Gen 1 charger it does not have the 3 stage charger feature.

Derek, do you have a picture of the P1 under your driver seat? I had no idea it would fit without major mods.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And yes, you ideally should to upgrade your voltage regulator, preferably to a 3-stage regulator, not a simple fixed voltage type


Derek,
Would this work instead of replacing the voltage regulator? Its a 12V 3 level charger with 12v DC input that I saw in another thread and thought might serve this purpose:

http://www.powerstream.com/lead-acid-charger-Catalog.htm

I guess at $154 there maybe cheaper options, or maybe not?
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

derekdrew wrote:
I installed under the drivers seat the Sears Platinum deep cycle PC31, group size 31, similar in size to Odyssey PC 2150. This battery has 205 Reserve Capacity, unlike the group size 65 / PC1750 batteries, which have more like 135 reserve capacity. The group size 31 also beats the group size 65 with 100amp hours vs. 68 amp hours for the Group 65. The front seat still swivels. The battery sticks up higher than it normally would, but is hidden behind the grey rug. In order to do this installation, you have to trim the corner of the seat swivel (which doesn't look bad) and also trim some metal from the area under the driver's seat. Would I do it again? Yes.

The battery under the drivers seat is Sears Item# 02850131000 Model# PM-1.



Derek, a couple questions and thoughts:

This battery is listed as 13" long. Vanagon battery boxes are 12" long. If it fits with no use of a sledge hammer on the sheetmetal, then Sears has miss-stated the BCI number - it would be a group 27 if it measures 12" long. 'Fits' would mean in would be totally enclosed in the factory box and not protrude. It appears that it would protrude 2.5", as it is listed at 9.5" tall.

I have a pair of Lifeline group 27 deep cycle batteries ready to install in my 'big trip' rig - one of the industry's leading brands, cost was $270 each (local distributor) and are 100 a/h. These measure in at 9.25", but can get away with 9" if you remove the bolts in the posts - has posts with threaded centers. I will be modifying the boxes to keep them totally covered and away from the seat swivels. My second choice would be Trojan.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody should fix the bad photos at the top of this read so you don't have to scroll sideways to read this.

Group 27 is a great size to go under the driver's seat. That's the size I always used in the past. The only thing is that according to my tests, the Odyssey AGM batteries really are better than regular batteries, and the Sears licensed Odysseys may just be the best batteries in the world of their type. My tests were heavy load tests using load testers and were later coorborated by other tests I found on the Internet. The NC-27 size is normally available in a configuration that fits well under the front driver's seat best if it is a normal vented lead acid battery. But I found that this yields too much problems with battery acid coming out of the NC-27 vents, at least with the lead acid version. The AGM version of the NC-27 is less desirable because it sticks up a little higher in the key area where it might hit the driver's seat swivel so I avoided that. If the NC-27 AGM Odyssey has the same amount of amp hours and reserve capacity as the PM-1 battery I used, in an AGM version, then I wouldn't be surprised if the NC-27 would be an easier fit and preferable to the PM-1 battery I used. But that's a lot of ifs. I might have got stuck because I did not find a quality AGM version of the NC-27 in a deep cycle design. I did not want a lead acid traditional venting version of the NC-27. The PM-1 Sears battery is indeed longer than will fit by dropping the battery into the Vanagon driver's side stock battery tray. In order to drop it in there, you must remove some metal from the area to the right (passenger's side) of the battery tray under the driver's seat. I found that I could remove enough metal, but leave plenty enough there, to fit the PM-1 battery without having to do any welding so this is a metal cutting operation only. I then reinforced the area with bent metal bolted back in, though I doubt the reinforcement was really needed. In order to fit the PM-1, you have to approach the problem by saying that you will widen the battery tray on the passenger side of the tray and have a demonicly inspired destructive intent as you hold a sawzall or other cutting tool. After you have widened the battery tray, you will discover that it was a relatively trivial operation, and "major" only in terms of the mental gymnastics required to realize that it is possible. The PM-1 battery lists fo rthe same cost as the Lifeline group 27 batteries that you bought. If the Lifeline NC-27 batteries have the same specs in reserve capacity and amp hours as the Sears PM-1 battery, then I recommend the NC-27 batteries (in an AGM deep cycle version) instead of the PM-1 battery I got. If the PM-1 has better specs in amp hours and reserve capcity, then I'd do the PM-1 again. After checking about 10 times in a detailed manner, I determined that AGM batteries do not need to be in a sealed box, and in fact, are safer without one, especially if you are tuning your charge regulator from the automotive alternator to have the recommended charge voltages as Odyssey recommends for their AGMs. I did not use a sledge hammer. The PM-1 battery protrudes upwards, as does an NC-27 battery, higher than a group 41 battery. But because no special battery box is needed, and rugs with covering wood or metal structuring of the lid may be configured to hide the battery entirely, I felt that on the driver's side the horror of having a battery stick up is mostly psychological before the job is done, because after the job is done you cannot tell, and the westfalia seat swivel can still be made to function as normal by trimming of the metal along the rear edge and/or right rear corner as neccessary in order to allow the swivel to function as normally. I cannot think of any better use of the space behind the driver's seat than to have a battery protrude up there (and then be cosmetically covered) so long as the seat swivel can still function to 90 degrees, so i am a big fan of using either of these two batteries at that location. The one thing you would NOT want to do is to put either of these AGM batteries into a sealed box at that location..... they do have *some* venting even if it is minimal. Instead, just mount them to have air ventiliation, and then make sure that the voltage regulator is doing what it is supposed to do. In this case, there will not be sufficient hydrogen buildup inside the vehcile to be material to humans and their stuff, yet the small amount of hydrogen buildup that does occurr will have someplace to go rather than be trapped in a sealed box where it could turn malevalent. I advocate the use of AGM batteries for Westfalia, so custom tuning of any 3-stage regulator to AGM charging specs would be what the doctor orders unless the 3-stage charger is already set for Odyssey AGM specs. I did not immediately see which charger at http://www.powerstream.com/lead-acid-charger-Catalog.htm was the candidate one for Vanagon/Westfalia use. The idea of a 3-stage charger which would take a 12V input and then output 12 volts 3-stage certainly sounds elegant and interesting so I'd like to see which unit does that. But still, the most efficient method would be to have the voltage regulator do the 3 stage charging at the vehicle alternator rather than have a secondary voltage transformation operation being undertaken. As I said earlier, with respect to battery fitting, what seems like "major mods" before you fit a battery may not seem like "major mods" after the job is done. I don't feel like my method involved major mods now. Among the keys to the operation was grinding all areas to bare metal, and then the use of Eastwood's best and most advanced Extreme Chassis Black chassis primer and paint. I used the very best of the Eastwood's topcoat paint (comes in a paint can and says Epoxy or something similar) rather than the rattle can Extreme Chassis Black spray paint that is listed as almost as good, and I was very pleased with the results and would do that paint again. If your NC-27s have 100 amp hours, Karl, then just check the other specs such as reserve capacity to make sure that these other specs measure up to the PM-1. If they do, then proceed with your NC-27s. If they don't, then you can upgrade yet again if you like to the PM-1.

One thing I would add is to check the overall height because what you want to use is the least tall battery you can in comparing the group 27 size and the PM-1. When I say "least tall" I mean, generally, that the critical measurement is the height of the battery *without* the power posts which is going to be situated *forward* and thus near the seat swivel and seat. That's the part that hits. The posts themselves generally do not hit the seat, so the height of the posts is not very material in looking at battery height at that location and what will fit. According to specifications, the Group 27 battery will be slightly taller than Group 31, but since battery heights are not exact by Group, you have to measure individual batteries to know their true dimensions.

I am glad we are not talking about Optima batteries here since I think these AGM batteries generally will blow the Optimas away in terms of capacity.

Note that the PM-1 seemed to fit slightly better than the Odyssey equivalent battery which they call their "Trolling Thunder" so if I had to do it again, I'd go for the Sears PM-1 over the Odyssey Trolling Thunder even though they are supposed to be the same Group 31 size.


Last edited by derekdrew on Wed May 02, 2012 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/rvdeepcyclebatteries.php

Lifeline is perhaps the first step down from what most consider the best available - the Rolls Surrette batteries - followed by Trojan. Reserve capacity and cranking amps are mostly immaterial in choosing a true deep cycle battery. The GPL-27T I am using is 100 a/h and will fit, length and width wise, in the stock, unmodified box. Deepening or lengthening the box to retain a stock appearance is important to me. The 'NC-27' battery you refer to is an inexpensive Exide product and 'dual-purpose', i.e. not a true HD deep cycle.

Regarding charging: the link provided above seems to relate to small-amperage chargers designed primarily to charge small batteries.
Xantrex makes several charge regulators for alternators:
http://xantrex.com/power-products/power-accessories/alternator-regulator.aspx
I plan to add one of these to my rig, since I'll be using two identical GPL-27 batteries for storage (200a/h). Connecting this is a little more difficult with a Bosch alternator but can be done. Also, there will be an on-board charger (most likely an Iota) for the times when I have access to 110V power and want to top off the batteries.
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Xantrex regulator you just linked to at http://xantrex.com/power-products/power-accessories/alternator-regulator.aspx looks fantastic. I wonder what the limitation is to "P-type" alternators. If I knew that that regulator would work with my subaru alternator, I'd order it today. Also, there is an odd spec of saying it outputs up to 6 amps. Alternators typically put out 75 to 175 amps. I never wondered to ask what the amp output of my regulator was before (frazzled).

In looking at the choice of batteries, take a look at the difference between the Group 27 and Group 31 (XT) batteries at Lifeline. If you could fit the 31 the way I did, you would jump up a massive 25% or so in battery capacity (e.g., from 100 to 125 amp hours) and similarly on all the other metrics of battery power. A 25% increase in battery capacity is nothing to sneeze at and makes a little metal trimming seem worthwhile if you have the time, obviously not if you don't. None of the metal trimming you have to do to fit a 31 size shows!!! A separate detailed comparison between the PM-1 and the Lifeline 31XT would be of benefit to decide between the two batteries, but based on a quick scan of the specs, it looks like the Lifeline 31XT has power characteristics that make it look superior for camping, and the PM-1 has power characteristics that make it superior for vehicle starting. If these parameters are true, then the 31XT might be the best battery choice possible for Westfalia under the drivers seat since all of these batteries have enough CCA for the sorts of engines we install anyway. Maybe the PM-1 would be better when you have the stereo cranked up to 10,000 watts while you are winching though.
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