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torchmonkey
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: What is THIS? Reply with quote

I noticed that my dual battery wiring looked all rigged, so I started poking around the van to try and figure it out before installing the missing under seat relay. I found this in the cabinet, any ideas?
EDIT: OK it's a battery isolator?
The tag at the bottom reads: Leisure Components Cerritos, CA
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Last edited by torchmonkey on Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A battery isolator
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torchmonkey
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing it works the same as a relay?
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torchmonkey
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally confused. Elec. is not my strong suit.
As the van is wired now I can disconnect either battery and am still able to start the vehicle and run all elec. lights, water pump, radio. I'd like to be able to run the stereo, sink, lights, etc... off the aux batt. Should I just ditch the isolator and replace with the dual batt. relay? I searched and all the isolators i saw for Vanagons had four posts, starting to get the feeling this isolator install was a hack job.
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specialev
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon the blue wire is the trigger wire. It's going to detect current from the alternator (or from the ignition key-on circuit) making the solenoid switch over so both batteries are connected.

If the car will start with either one you might due a continutity check across the two poles (with red wires) on the isolator with key on and key off. Isolators are sometimes wired to isolate batteries only with key off in lieu of with the motor not-running (sounds like you have the former set up). If you have continuity key on (motor off) you will confirm that.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you have the manufacturer you may be able to Google up the instructions, else contact them directly.

I use a battery isolator -- sort of old school and probably not the most efficient way but I put it in 20+ years ago and have no trouble with it through the years.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a diode isolator, nothing like a relay. I would normally remove it, smash it to bits with a hammer, and install a charging relay instead. Since it appears to be installed in a cabinet I would want to figure out how it is setup before doing anything. I suspect it is installed incorrectly. They are normally installed in the engine compartment, between the alternator and the main starting battery. They have been around a long time. I've used them, they have issues and complications and are usually far from the right device for the job these days.

Mark

torchmonkey wrote:
Totally confused. Elec. is not my strong suit.
As the van is wired now I can disconnect either battery and am still able to start the vehicle and run all elec. lights, water pump, radio. I'd like to be able to run the stereo, sink, lights, etc... off the aux batt. Should I just ditch the isolator and replace with the dual batt. relay? I searched and all the isolators i saw for Vanagons had four posts, starting to get the feeling this isolator install was a hack job.
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^ This +1. Those were designed for big RVs, with huge, multiple batteries, and it's not an efficient device, that's why it has those big cooling fins, you're using a lot of electricity to heat up a large set of diodes (electric one-way valves) to keep the batteries isolated from each other.

A better device is a battery separator, which is a microprocessor-conrtrolled relay; it closes the relay to charge both batteries when the alternator charging voltage kicks in, then opens the relay when you shut the engine off.

The Sure-Power #1314

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http://www.rvpartscenter.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=31106&SID=20&DID=131&CID=395
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncroincity wrote:
^^ This +1. Those were designed for big RVs, with huge, multiple batteries, and it's not an efficient device, that's why it has those big cooling fins, you're using a lot of electricity to heat up a large set of diodes (electric one-way valves) to keep the batteries isolated from each other.

A better device is a battery separator, which is a microprocessor-conrtrolled relay; it closes the relay to charge both batteries when the alternator charging voltage kicks in, then opens the relay when you shut the engine off.

The Sure-Power #1314

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


http://www.rvpartscenter.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=31106&SID=20&DID=131&CID=395


My '86 Weekender (Basic Camper) had the Aux Battery installed at the factory for the electric Dometic fridge. The isolator was a small cube like thing, about 1" cubed, that failed somewhere along the line. I replaced it with a battery isolator that never worked well, similar to the OP's. I just ripped it out. Is this battery separator better than a big silver relay or a Yandina? I'm wondering what to do next. Right now the two batteries are just hooked together in parallel.
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love My Westy wrote:
My '86 Weekender (Basic Camper) had the Aux Battery installed at the factory for the electric Dometic fridge. The isolator was a small cube like thing, about 1" cubed, that failed somewhere along the line. I replaced it with a battery isolator that never worked well, similar to the OP's. I just ripped it out. Is this battery separator better than a big silver relay or a Yandina? I'm wondering what to do next. Right now the two batteries are just hooked together in parallel.



Your original stock separator was just a regular Bosch relay, triggered by the alternator charge light wire. Same basic principle with the Sure Power, except it has a little lizard brain that watches voltage levels, and it also provides connectors for a button you can hook up to do an emergency jump-start with both batteries if your start battery is low.

Or you can just re-install a relay, it gets the job done.
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riceye
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yandina 100, and the #3 fuse mod.
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torchmonkey
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, this isolator has me concerned. I measured continuity with both key on and key off. I have continuity in both positions. I'm over it and want it gone, although somehow both batteries are being charged. I do have a wiring harness coming from the dash (pictured below, located under the seat). I'm guessing this is for the relay that was once there? I'd like to reinstall one of these relays and just want to make sure that is what this harness is for. Comments? Is this the battery cut out relay harness? Looks like I'd need to add a wire to the starter battery for charging, Bentley is not clear on this.
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