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Largest Capacity Auxiliary Battery in stock location
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1621
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Largest Capacity Auxiliary Battery in stock location Reply with quote

What's the largest deep cycle auxiliary battery (in Amp Hours) that other folks have found that fit in the stock box under the driver's seat. I've done some research and use the Odyssey with 44 Ah. Anything larger that fits the box?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of people like the Optima, which is a pretty nice battery with higher capacity but will only fit by modding the body or cutting the top posts off the battery. Neither is a good solution in my opinion, as I want something that fits right, not a kluge, but it works for those who don't mind.

I'm using the Werker 44Ah from Batteries Plus which appears to be a knock-off of the Odyssey for a lot less money. Even GoWesty is selling another Odyssey knock-off now as a low-price alternative, because the Odyssey is so expensive. Problem is GW's markup is still huge. This battery can be had for $100, but not from GW:

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=4295&category_id=337&category_parent_id=

As you know the 44Ah doesn't completely fill the cavity. You could get more Ah in there by using some smaller lower-capacity batts in series/parallel to fill the space. I looked at various combos but opted for the single, simple solution. We don't use the thing that heavily, with no fridge.
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Last edited by tencentlife on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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82WestyMan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just my two cents...

I used this from batterymart.. http://www.batterymart.com/p-Mega-Crank-Dual-Terminal-AGM-Battery.html
55 Ah
750 CCA
Reserve Capacity: 120 Minutes
Length: 10.25"
Width: 6.5"
Height: 7" (8" Top of Terminal)

fit in the cavity under the drivers seat perfectly (once I cut off the top terminals ... that did void the warranty though...)
I like the side terminal connections...

use it with a Combiner 100 and a dedicated 10 amp charger... all my interior lights, frig, sink, stereo and power amp go to it, the rest of the van to the original battery
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In one van, I use a std. heavy-duty starting battery: Interstate MTP-91. 80 a/h. Yes, not deep cycle, but if it fails before the warranty expires (six years) you get a new one pro-rated. I've been using the setup for 8 years this way and only gone through two, running a diesel furnace and interior lights, etc from it. A couple years ago I then added a third battery, a SLA 100 a/h deep cycle, under the rear seat. This to power the electric fridge and furnace for up to a week in winter expeditions. So far, both are working great this way.

That said...in my new project I am installing groups of four Universal Battery UB12220's. These are commonly called 'wheelchair' batteries by some folks, but are used in many other applications as well. Each is 22 a/h. I am sticking the four together with 1/32" double-sided tape, making custom bus bars to connect in parallel all four negative and all four positive posts, this way I can drop it in place as a single (albeit heavy) unit. The only mod necessary is where the stock battery box has a slight bevel at the outer lower corner (Syncros only have this, not 2WD); it is necessary to push out about 1/2" of that bevel to fit the 4-battery length (12-1/4"). So, deep-cycle AGM's at 88 a/h is the result. And since this van is a factory TD, the starting battery is in the engine compartment, allowing me to have two banks of these, totaling 176 a/h. Very Happy

Oh, a photo here of these: (edit) see below, setup I installed in a customer's van.

I also have heard Odyssey makes a 70 a/h model that will fit, barely.


Last edited by westyventures on Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bruce Wayne
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two of these hooked in paralell under the drivers seat. no mods to make them fit. they were only $20 each from a local auto electric repairman.

http://www.gotbatteries.com/items.asp?params=batteries/SLA/1/Hawker/Enersys/SBS40/SL203/36L203S1
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Wayne wrote:
I have two of these hooked in paralell under the drivers seat. no mods to make them fit. they were only $20 each from a local auto electric repairman.

http://www.gotbatteries.com/items.asp?params=batteries/SLA/1/Hawker/Enersys/SBS40/SL203/36L203S1


These appear to be 8" tall--how did you fir them under the driver's seat?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laid on their side they would make a pack 7.4" deep. Oughta fit.

Nice installations on those, both of you guys. This was the approach I was referring to in my earlier post, cramming as many smaller batts into the space to build up to maximum Ah for the volume.

Syncrowestytd (Eric?), I like that aux tank setup. I gotta take a closer look at that. Could you specify the transfer pump you used?
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Laid on their side they would make a pack 7.4" deep. Oughta fit.

Nice installations on those, both of you guys. This was the approach I was referring to in my earlier post, cramming as many smaller batts into the space to build up to maximum Ah for the volume.

Syncrowestytd (Eric?), I like that aux tank setup. I gotta take a closer look at that. Could you specify the transfer pump you used?


Nope, at 8" tall, 9" long, won't fit on the side either.

I'm not Eric. Eric's van has a custom made tank, he has a guy in Florida build them at around $400. It has a coolant loop inside in case you need to heat your fuel (biodiesel, veggie). Not sure what he uses as the transfer pump, but a std. Vanagon pump would do the task just fine.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, right, the 8" gets you on the width.

A regular FI pump won't do the job for what I have in mind. I need several times that volume per minute. I was just wondering what you used and if it was higher-output. There are some avilable that would meet my specs, but they're not too cheap.

Checked out the rest of your site, not-Eric. Beautiful work.
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Yeah, right, the 8" gets you on the width.

A regular FI pump won't do the job for what I have in mind. I need several times that volume per minute. I was just wondering what you used and if it was higher-output. There are some avilable that would meet my specs, but they're not too cheap.

Checked out the rest of your site, not-Eric. Beautiful work.


No, really, I am not Eric, but Karl, my site is www.westyventures.com.
Eric's rig was done by Tom Sinclair, at www.minkcreeksyncros.com.
Maybe he could tell you what he uses.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I laid them back at an angle and they both fit great. at $20 each the price could not be beat.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the optima 750U. I think it is 54 ah. I just cut two big circles in the battery cover and replaced the short (-) cable with a 20 inch from kragen. not very pretty, but once covered with the carpet and seat slid back not really noticeable. Unless you always had something using that whole flat space behind your seat, you wouldn't notice. I had a little tray back there and now it sits at an angle. I am using a battery relay cutoff I also got off the rack at Kragen. It has the same 85, 86, 87 and 30 as the stock one, cept the stock one had an extra male terminal in the middle... anyway the one in my just purchased 86 poptop weekender didnt' send a charge, so I was surprised to find an almost exact same relay at kragen. They didn't know they had it, the guy just said 'if we have anything like that it might be....over there' Anyway, just went to Yosemite and it seemed to be working fine. Ran an inverter connected to an ipod speaker and charger all day along with charging cell phones etc while van was not running during the day and over 3 days little green inverter light was always on. I was gonna check it with my tester and monitor, but forgot ab0ut it. if you need to know where cables get connected on the relay.... I think 87 is your (+) in and 30 your trickle charge out to the aux.... 85 and 86 go to starter and some other circuit and are what basicallly tell it, OK, charge now the alternator is running.... i wonder if it detects voltage too, i.e. full alternator charge going to a dead primary battery. If you go to the auxiliary battery sticky there is the relay diagram. Finally, should I replace that relay with the gowesty solenoid, is it that dramatic of a charge difference. I was gonna also put a switch on there bypassing the relay for a direct connect for quick charging, but decided to go a while with the relay and see how that works.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't at all happy with anything that fit in the stock location. I put a 110 AH Trojan Deep Cycle in the bottom back of the sink cabinet. It still gives me plenty of room for storage and a ton of electrical capacity.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just installed a set of the UB12220 batteries in a customer's 1984 Westy. They totally use every bit of the battery area under the driver's seat! Since he had already installed a Vitrifrigo electric fridge, I used the existing fridge relay trigger wires to activate a larger 70A relay with fused socket, taken from a junkyard '86 Vanagon, the rad fan relay under the dash. I spliced in 8-gauge wire to connect the relay both directions to the main battery and auxiliary. The bus bars are std. 3/4" aluminum angle, cut and drilled to fit the batteries when placed together. In this installation, I used 1/32" double-side tape to stick the batteries together as one unit, and then added a cheap strap around them for easy removal if needed. It fits snugly and clears the lid, perfectly! 88a/h of deep-cycle storage.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a slick set up. Do you cover the positive bus bar with something non-conductive so that it doesn't get grounded? It wouldn't be cool if the lid got bent down and touched it.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FNGRUVN wrote:
That's a slick set up. Do you cover the positive bus bar with something non-conductive so that it doesn't get grounded? It wouldn't be cool if the lid got bent down and touched it.


Thanks. The metal lid on the aux battery area is a short in width, so doesn't get anywhere close to the positive side of the batteries (the side closest to the seat). One could add a plastic full cover sheet/lid if desired, but it's covered by just carpet in this case.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

westyventures wrote:
I just installed a set of the UB12220 batteries in a customer's 1984 Westy. They totally use every bit of the battery area under the driver's seat! Since he had already installed a Vitrifrigo electric fridge, I used the existing fridge relay trigger wires to activate a larger 70A relay with fused socket, taken from a junkyard '86 Vanagon, the rad fan relay under the dash. I spliced in 8-gauge wire to connect the relay both directions to the main battery and auxiliary. The bus bars are std. 3/4" aluminum angle, cut and drilled to fit the batteries when placed together. In this installation, I used 1/32" double-side tape to stick the batteries together as one unit, and then added a cheap strap around them for easy removal if needed. It fits snugly and clears the lid, perfectly! 88a/h of deep-cycle storage.



Karl,

How are you recharging these wheelchair batteries. I read that you couldn't just charge these as a normal auxiliary battery with the alternator.....but needed an intelligent, low-amperage charger to charge them up, ...something like a separate charging system running from an inverter....while driving.

Is this not necessary??? and the alternator charge works

If so, what amp output is your alternator for this setup

Warren C.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren C wrote:
westyventures wrote:
I just installed a set of the UB12220 batteries in a customer's 1984 Westy. They totally use every bit of the battery area under the driver's seat! Since he had already installed a Vitrifrigo electric fridge, I used the existing fridge relay trigger wires to activate a larger 70A relay with fused socket, taken from a junkyard '86 Vanagon, the rad fan relay under the dash. I spliced in 8-gauge wire to connect the relay both directions to the main battery and auxiliary. The bus bars are std. 3/4" aluminum angle, cut and drilled to fit the batteries when placed together. In this installation, I used 1/32" double-side tape to stick the batteries together as one unit, and then added a cheap strap around them for easy removal if needed. It fits snugly and clears the lid, perfectly! 88a/h of deep-cycle storage.



Karl,

How are you recharging these wheelchair batteries. I read that you couldn't just charge these as a normal auxiliary battery with the alternator.....but needed an intelligent, low-amperage charger to charge them up, ...something like a separate charging system running from an inverter....while driving.

Is this not necessary??? and the alternator charge works

If so, what amp output is your alternator for this setup

Warren C.



I'm using two batteries identical to those that I took out of a UPS,
Why wouldn't the alternater charge them? it charges mine just fine.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been combing the web for alternatives and I still can't find a better alternative. I think the westyventures setup is da s$*t. There is one other bat. combo that would boost the Ah a little, but the cost is a lot more, and I'm guessing that 88Ah is more than enough.
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