getting more aux lights... what to power them with? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 10-20-2004
UnkeysMunkle's Avatar
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ok, so i have 2 aux lights wired to the stock battery... but i'm planning on getting more... a lot more (hopefully 8 more within the next year).

So would i have to get a different battery, like the yellow top?
Or is there some kinda of capacitor?

Any help would be great.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2004
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get 2 battery's an a 200 amp alt and your set!
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2004
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And make sure you upgrade your battery and alternator wiring.

Rand
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Old 10-21-2004
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so whats a rough estimate of the cost for new wiring, new batteries, and alternator?
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Old 10-22-2004
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You need a battery isolator if you want to run two batteries.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2004
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First things first, remove the word "capacitor" from any thoughts you have about this. It will accomplish nothing but taking up space and money. :p

Lets break down how your electrical system handles loads.

Engine off:

Normal batteries
The battery is the only source of power. The primary function of a standard car battery is for starting the engine. They are designed for quick, high current draws from the starter, and then getting re-charged by the alternator once the engine is running. They can handle a limited amount of constant draw from accessories turned on while the engine is not running. We all know what happens when you leave your headlights on or stereo thumping for too long. The battery dies. Once you deep discharge a starting battery, they never come back the same. They don't take kindly to it.


Dual Batteries

Having DUAL BATTERIES permanently connected in parallel without an isolator increases the current available. The same devices will last longer and you'll have more juice for starting a cold engine in the dead of winter.

You can get a deep cycle battery that will handle a constant load MUCH better than a normal battery. The yellow top is an example. These are much the opposite of a normal car battery. They don't like being slammed with a 200 amp draw of the starter for starting the engine. They will do it, but it can sometimes shorten the life. This is where isolators are used in dual battery systems. You have a starting battery and a deep cycle battery. The alternator will charge both batteries. The starter will use the normal battery. When the engine is off, all the accessories you leave on are powered by the deep cycle battery. You get the best of both worlds.


ENGINE RUNNING

When your engine is running, your batteries should not be powering anything, EVER. The alternator is generating power and should be sized to generate all the power you need plus some. If your alernator can not handle the load, the slack will be drawn from the batteries. Guess what is NOT happening if this is taking place? You batteries will be continuing to discharge rather than charge. Two things will result depending on how long you do this. One, you won't be able to start the engine after you shut it off because you drew the batteries down instead of charging them. Or two, if gone on for long enough, the batteries will be drained so far down, that there won't be anything left and your engine stalls. No electricity, no spark, no vroom. Dead in the water.


Now, with all that said, you need to decide WHEN you are going to use these lights. If you have no intention of using them if the engine is not running, then don't waste your money on fancy batteries! Remember, that's all batteries should be for... when the engine is off!! Put your money into a high quality ALTERNATOR that is sized to meet the additional current load of all these lights AT IDLE. Lots of place advertise 250 amp alternators, they just don't tell you it only can handle 50 amps at idle, you need to be going 100mph for 200 amps. RESEARCH THIS BEFORE YOU BUY!!

A 100 watt light draws about 7 amps. Your talking about having TEN lights. That's an additional 70 AMPS1.

I figure stock lighting is about 20 amps worth. Then you have big loads such as the blower, windshield wipers, stereo system, and the engine's ignition system. I can't remember what the stock alternator capacity is, but sure isn't going to be enough. I believe the Tremor package rangers have a 200 amp alternator. Find out what that and do at IDLE and go from there. If it can't handle it at idle, start looking for aftermarket.


Your going to want to upgrade the ground and wire from the battery to the chassis an engine block with a nice big one to accomodate the additional load. You'll also want to make sure the alternator-to-battery (power box under the hood) is significantly sized. A cheap *** wire will burn off many usefull amps as heat rather than for your lights.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Lots of place advertise 250 amp alternators, they just don't tell you it only can handle 50 amps at idle, you need to be going 100mph for 200 amps.
Or ~80 in 4th..
Or ~65 in 3rd..
Or ~50 in 2nd..
Or ~35 in 1st..
Or have your foot on the accelerator in neutral..

Loosing the alternator is good fun: your headlights get dim, engine power goes in the toilet and the stereo gets quiet.. ..Don't ask me how I know! ;-)

Just messing around of course. Well written man! Sounds like good info tah-me!
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
engine off... dual batterys.... ect ect ect
nicely written! A+!
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