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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
JColee
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Logansport, IN
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I am planning on implementing dual batteries in my zj. My alternator just went out and I'm upgrading to the Durango 160 amp alternator.

Firstly I'll be tackling the alternator. I plan on getting the wiring pig tail from a junkyard this weekend. From what I've read I need an alternator from a 2001-2003 Durango with a magnum engine? I plan on buying the alternator brand new. is there anything else I need to know?

As for the dual batteries, I plan on running an optima red or yellow top along side my non deep cycle starting battery as a house battery. Has anyone done a dual battery setup in their ZJ before? How did you fit the second battery in the engine compartment? Or elsewhere?

Originally I thought about running them sideways on the stock battery tray as in the pictures.




I thought about rotating the (I assume or guess) cruise control vacuum line thing sideways and moving the fuse box over, but I don't think that another battery will fit without a custom battery tray.


Any ideas or demonstrations?

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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
gearheadnick
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You could keep one battery in the stock location and put one in the back with a battery relocation kit (essentially a long, large gauge wire).
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
tucsonzj
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i thought you didnt' need a new pig tail for the during alternator? just had to splice and cut a few wires together? As for location, you could always modify your intake and put one under there?
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
dnuccio
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yeah you could relocate the intake to the cowl and mount a battery where the airbox is
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
JColee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadnick View Post
You could keep one battery in the stock location and put one in the back with a battery relocation kit (essentially a long, large gauge wire).
I thought about doing that, but I still keep the spare tire in the back of the Jeep and am planning on building more of an overlanding style rig for camping and exploration. Unless I build a custom platform or battery box, it may be kind of awkward.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
JColee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonzj View Post
i thought you didnt' need a new pig tail for the during alternator? just had to splice and cut a few wires together? As for location, you could always modify your intake and put one under there?
For this swap, I believe he needed the correct connector for the Durango alternator.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/w...-swap-1330999/

What does it take to relocate the intake to the cowl? I was just searching in the forums and stumbled across RatMonkey's dual battery set up. He had used another stock battery tray in place for the intake.

**Edit**
By cowl, do you mean the area below the windshield? Right behind/above the hood?
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #7
Mickey_D
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Don't forget about the battery isolator. Charging two different batteries (especially different types) off one source is only going to bring you very bad things.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
JColee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_D View Post
Don't forget about the battery isolator. Charging two different batteries (especially different types) off one source is only going to bring you very bad things.
I planned on using this write up over on the expedition portal.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...y-setup-for-50

As for the cowl intake, it seems to be a pretty good idea. I was browsing the forums and came across this:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/a...77/index2.html

The Jeep will be sitting all week, until pay day, and the trip to the junkyard, so I may have some time to tinker a bit.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
Mickey_D
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Do what you like, it's your Jeep. But any instructions that tell you to go get a beer as one of the top 5 doesn't instil a lot of confidence in me.

That system is really no different than just wiring them together, except you have the solenoid to disconnect them. That alternator will still over charge the battery that has the highest charge. The voltage regulator will read the lowest voltage on the system and charge accordingly. That means it will continue to dump charging power into the fully charged battery until the lower charged battery finally gets topped up. And if one of the batteries has a little corrosion under the clamps (where have we heard this before on our ZJ's?) the voltage regulator will continuously see that something still needs charged.

A good battery isolator really isn't all that expensive. Plus it's fully automatic.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:45 PM   #10
JColee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_D View Post
Do what you like, it's your Jeep. But any instructions that tell you to go get a beer as one of the top 5 doesn't instil a lot of confidence in me.

That system is really no different than just wiring them together, except you have the solenoid to disconnect them. That alternator will still over charge the battery that has the highest charge. The voltage regulator will read the lowest voltage on the system and charge accordingly. That means it will continue to dump charging power into the fully charged battery until the lower charged battery finally gets topped up. And if one of the batteries has a little corrosion under the clamps (where have we heard this before on our ZJ's?) the voltage regulator will continuously see that something still needs charged.

A good battery isolator really isn't all that expensive. Plus it's fully automatic.
Honestly, any advice is heeded. I truly do not want to burn up any batteries or create a problem down the road. What would you recommend for an isolator?
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
Mickey_D
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Any brand is good. You just need it rated for the alternator - in your case 160A.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #12
PolkaPower
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Lightweight and smaller http://www.jegs.com/v/Braille+Auto/1...06180000029744

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