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Which Dual Battery Setup?

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  • Which Dual Battery Setup?

    Next on my list of accessories for the Paj is a dual battery sytem. Having never used one before (this is my 1st real 4WD), I'm not sure what to get.

    The ARB kits are about $750 for the diesel which includes everything and installation. Piranha (and even TJM) offer similar kits but seem a lot more expensive.

    On the other hand the RedArc or similar kits only include just the isolator, wiring, fuses etc. They sound like pretty good value until you add on the extras like battery tray, battery, installation, dedicated wiring to the cargo area etc etc. You also have to get a third party (auto elec) to wire it all up for you unless your that way inclined. Then what happens with warranty? Is it a faulty isolator?, faulty installation?, faulty battery? ...

    What's the best way to go? I'm pretty much sold on the ARB kits but would welcome any input.
    2010 150 Prado GXL V6 Auto

    Accessories fitted: BFG At 275/65/R17, Rhino Platform Rack, Toyota Cargo Barrier.

  • #2
    Hi
    We have a Piranha set up. They put it on the original NM but I changed it over to NS, including the cargo area wiring. Easy to do when I had seen how it was done. After 6 years it remains trouble free.
    But a word of warning. Reliability is, in my opinion, all in the fitting. Travelling companion a couple of years ago also had a Piranha set up fitted "cheap" by an agent and not Piranha. We seemed to spend most of out time under his vehicle checking stuff to do with the aux battery. Peace of mind to me was worth the extra we paid to get Piranha to fit it and the fridge wiring etc.
    Rusty
    2012 NW Platinum 2 in cool silver. Armour tint all round. Hayman Reese heavy duty hitch. Spare wheel lift. ARB heavy duty suspension with lift. Long Range Automotive auxiliary 81 litre fuel tank. Piranha dual battery set up. Battery World second battery. GME TX 3540 UHF.
    Concept caravan, Autofridge 40L Fridge, Waeco CF18 Fridge/Freezer,
    2008 CJ Lancer VR Sportsback with a few little extras

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    • #3
      Opposite Lock did mine.

      First they put in a normal heavy duty battery instead of a deep cycle, then flatly refused to put a deep cycle in.

      Second they forgot to put in the rear ciggie socket. When I told them they put it in, but wired it up with what looked like speaker wire. Voltage drop was horrendous.

      Third they used pre-loved connectors and wiring and it wasn't a neat job at all.

      IMHO they didn't take me seriously. Suit and tie wearing nerd in an old beat up NG.

      Anyway, after a new battery, some rewiring and fiddling around by myself, has worked flawlessly for over 12 months. The kit is great.
      Cheers,
      Rob

      2007 NS VRX DID Auto - ARB Bullbar, Dual Deep Cycle Batteries, Nightstalker HID's, Family Pack, Tow Bar & Lift, Illuminated Side-Steps, Bluetooth, Neoprene Seat Covers, Mio Digiwalker C520 GPS.
      1989 NG EXE Tdi Manual - Cooper ATR's on 16x8 Sunraysia's, Tough Dog 2" Lift

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      • #4
        Q. Do you want a couple of hundred left over to buy something else?

        If yes, my advice is go and have a talk to a decent auto elec (as well as talking to the brand names). If you want to pay hundreds for a pretty sticker on top of a black plastic box that houses some simple elec components then that's up to you.... Any good auto elec can build a dual battery management system for less, it's just that most people don't know what 'magic' happens inside the box therefore don't question the $'s for the pretty sticker on top.
        Most pretty stickers also come with some type of battery monitoring device that again is pretty factor in most instances, although it can be handy if you're planning on touring and living from a 4wd for a long period though. Again, an auto elec can get these for far less if you recon you've got a need for one.

        I paid $70 for top of the line components for mine + $130 battery cradle from pirhana. Add about $100 for an excide deep cycle battery and that's a grand total of $300 + a couple of hours labour. As for the cons of going with an auto elec - I would recon it's the other way around.

        Being the devils advocate for a second: How do you know the guy who the pretty sticker mob dishes the work off too after you've dropped it of actually has an auto elec trade certificate to do the install? (see above post by Rob - raises the question!) If I were going to pay top$ I'd be asking heaps of questions and go to them knowing whats in the box!
        Last edited by Eastie; 13-08-07, 07:11 PM.
        NS oil burner shorty

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        • #5
          All good points. Thanks for the tips.

          Eastie - ARB quoted $750 including an 80AH AGM battery. When I was looking at these batteries for my previous vehicle they were around $250 - $300. This would put your kit up to around $500 + a couple of hours labour which is getting up near the ARB kit price. Please correct me if my figures are way off.

          Regardless, I will definitely speak to a couple of local auto elecs to see what they can come up with. I'm all for saving $$$ if it doesn't sacrifice quality.

          Cheers, Sam.
          2010 150 Prado GXL V6 Auto

          Accessories fitted: BFG At 275/65/R17, Rhino Platform Rack, Toyota Cargo Barrier.

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          • #6
            You've got to try and get it to an apples for apples comparison, thus talk to an auto elec about components for what you want as I'd recon it's an even odds punt that you'll come out ahead. I got mine (70AH / 20hr discharge) for $420 all up, significantly less than any off the shelf stuff that I priced. Every wire/terminal connection is soldered so there's no rattling undone and it's all in the correct size conductor for the intended loads/drop. I do get a good price of the bloke I use as he does some of our machinery, but unless he's missed billing something thats still not the sort of $'s your talking about.
            Last edited by Eastie; 13-08-07, 07:15 PM.
            NS oil burner shorty

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            • #7
              Hi all,
              I purchased the full dual battery system, (less the battery) from 4WD Systems in S.A. Delivered to me in Melb for total cost $329.00. I fitted the whole lot in 2.5 hrs and then had a Auto elec wire in a 6mm cable to a rear heavy duty cig lighter. Another $85.00. By far the most economical way to have a you beaut system.
              Regards from Big Col.
              NS TD Exceed, Long Range Fuel Tank (115 lts), 50mm lift, HD King Springs Bilstein Shockers, ARB Deluxe Bullbar colour coded with Winch, HD Towbar, ROH RTX 17" Rims, Cooper S/T Maxx 265/70/17, Dual Batteries, Safari Snorkle and Diff breathers, Tyre Dog monitoring system, Magellan XL Explorist GPS, GME Personal Locating Beacon with GPS, Uniden UHF, Prodigy Break Controller, Reversing Camera, Updated Security Alarm System. Scangauge + Chipit Chip etc and no DPF!.

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              • #8
                Got mine done by my local sparky. Used a Piranah tray, Trojan deep cycle and a Redarc isolator. $600.
                Cheers, John.
                LC200 V8 goodness

                MY12 LC200 GXL 4.5Lt V8 twin turbo, GVM upgrade, ARB bar, Warn winch, Outback Acc rear bar and dual carrier, TJM sidesteps, Bushskinz, Long Ranger 180Lt tank, Black Widow drawers, cargo barrier, Polaris Awning, +++
                Ex - NM auto, 2"Kings, Bilsteins, Buckshots, Wildcat headers, 2.75" Mandrel bent exhaust, Injected LPG, Smartbar, Scraper bar, Bushskinz, Custom steps, Dual Batteries, Breathers, Black Widow drawers, Polaris Awning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mrbitchi View Post
                  Got mine done by my local sparky. Used a Piranah tray, Trojan deep cycle and a Redarc isolator. $600.
                  G'day Mrbichi, after Eastie's good advice this is the way I've decided to go too. The RedArc SmartStart isolators get rave reviews from veryone who uses them and they're $80-$100 on Ebay. Where'd you get yours from?

                  Does the Piranha tray fit a 12" battery (Exide Extreme)? TJM quoted $140 for a tray but only fits a 10" battery (245mm long).

                  How much did you Auto Elec charge to fit it if you don't mind me asking? Did the price include a decent cable to the cargo area? Should be a couple of$100 cheaper than ARB for as good a setup.

                  Getting married in 3 weeks (yes, I've heard all the 'commiserations' coments already) but will hopefully have some time (and money) to get something sorted out after that.
                  2010 150 Prado GXL V6 Auto

                  Accessories fitted: BFG At 275/65/R17, Rhino Platform Rack, Toyota Cargo Barrier.

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                  • #10
                    The tray takes a 10" battery. Can't go bigger cause the aircon pipes are in the way. What you can do is wire up the 10" as the starter battery and then put a 12" auxcillary in the original tray. On the NM the cables are long enough to do this, don't know about yours.
                    $600 was the all up price, included $120 for the Redarc and 8mm cable to the rear socket.
                    Get them to use HEAVY gauge (starter type) cable to connect the batteries to the Redarc so you can use it as a jump start setup.

                    Cheers....
                    Cheers, John.
                    LC200 V8 goodness

                    MY12 LC200 GXL 4.5Lt V8 twin turbo, GVM upgrade, ARB bar, Warn winch, Outback Acc rear bar and dual carrier, TJM sidesteps, Bushskinz, Long Ranger 180Lt tank, Black Widow drawers, cargo barrier, Polaris Awning, +++
                    Ex - NM auto, 2"Kings, Bilsteins, Buckshots, Wildcat headers, 2.75" Mandrel bent exhaust, Injected LPG, Smartbar, Scraper bar, Bushskinz, Custom steps, Dual Batteries, Breathers, Black Widow drawers, Polaris Awning.

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