Suzuki Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Picked up the Waeco in mid January and still not running. Couple of reasons.

1. Luckily, I found out before too late that I can't run a wet cell battery inside the cab unless fully ventilated due to the nature of the gasses emitted whilst charging. No big problem but had to settle for a fully sealed AGM which pretty much doubled the battery cost.

2. Again lucky I found this one out and hope it might helps others. My 2011 GV (type 6) and in fact all diesel GVs from a type 5 onwards run a variable voltage/temperature compensating type alternator. Without going into too much detail, once the controlling heatsink reaches 120degC and (not sure if the ECM controls the next bit) rpms stabilise, the output can drop from a high of 14.6V - 15.2V to as low as 13.3V. I believe this is a green initiative and not just one taken up by Suzuki.

So when you're cruising on the highway to your favorite camping spot, at best your second battery will be topped up to only 13.3V rather than at least 14.5V which you would get on pre type 5s. Worst case scenario is that if you have a voltage drop through your starting battery to solenoid cable of around 1V, you could render the solenoid inoperative (the one I was looking at had a low volatge cutout of 12.3V) and arrive with warm beer :eek:

All is not lost. I've opted to go for a DC charger. The one I've picked will charge at 20amps so not as quick a charge rate as most solenoids but will step up to 14.5V regardless of alternator output.

Only downside is that these will draw direct from starter battery until it falls to 9V which may give some issues starting a cold motor so needs to be wired in via an ignition circuit. Anyone know where might be a good (read as easy) place to pick up an ignition signal from? Is it easy to break into the hot side of a window motor circuit? Might I be better off using a low volatge (12v) cutout to protect starter battery and not worry about picking up an ignition signal? Any ideas appreciated.

Cheers
Wes
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
19,092 Posts
Worst case scenario is that if you have a voltage drop through your starting battery to solenoid cable of around 1V
If you have a voltage drop of around 1V, the cable is either too small for the current you're drawing through it, or you have a loose/bad connection somewhere and warm beer is going to be the least of your problems - that's how fires start.

Depending on what you're trying to achieve - and in your case it sounds like a second battery to run a fridge, I'd say the DC charger is your best bet, you'll still need to ensure the cables are adequately sized and properly connected.

What is it you're wiring to the ignition feed - the charger supply or a control circuit? If it's the charger supply I would suggest a relay, fed directly off the starting battery and controlled by either the ignition or the accessory line - both will go off when the key is turned to off, but the accessory line stays on if the key is in the accessory position.

You can find either line in the fuse panel, or in the harness coming off the ignition switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Fordem.

The ignition supply on these is used simply as a signal wire and carries very little amperage. If the DC charger detects +9V on this cable it activates.

Interesting point on voltage loss. The instructions say to use a cable that will handle 28.5 amps with a maximum voltage drop of 2V as if they're expecting it. These chargers are recommended to be located as close as possible to the auxillary battery which in many cases is in the rear of the vehicle or in a caravan, trailer etc. Possibly the voltage drop is more related to length of cable rather than sizing.

Thinking a bit more about it today and I'm tempted to go for a low amp, 12V cutout installed on the signal, rather than supply cable. I might then pick up accessories for the signal rather than ignition with easy access to behind the rear power socket. Thinking cutout would drop signal wire at 12V switching off the charger and ensure the starting battery still has 12V.

Best regards
Wes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
First question is what model DC to DC convertor are you running,

I run the CTek Dual 250 which works on voltage sensing .

I think the signal wire needs to be connected to the ignition signal so it is only on with the engine.
so you have a link to the user manual or scan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,100 Posts
All the info you need seems to be in that manual - including wires size recommendations for given lengths and a wiring diagram. You might need to get an auto electrician to help with terminating the wires to your battery terminals (ie. with a decent crimping tool, get it done properly the first time ;).) Don't forget the three fuses.

Don't be concerned by it only being 20 Amps - your battery is unlikely to draw that much current when it's charging. If it does, it will only be for a short time period and the charge current will quickly drop off.

PS: AGM batteries can still vent gases- so you still do need to exercise some caution. I've had a couple of older AGM's in my solar system start venting and overheating (I think from a cell internally shorting.) The fumes are very overpowering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
if your battery and charger is in the back the just pick up of the cigarette lighter in the back.

my Ctek pick up on only when the ignition is running and stops charging no longer than a minute after I stop the car.

a think a voltage sensing relay would be a waste of money now that you already have the charger. Just find the right ignition cable to tap into. many on this site will point you in right direction with service manuals and diagrams.

PAUL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
don't use cheap blade style fuses, get midi fuses and a midi fuse holder or the equivalent . When your aux battery is down to 5 or 6 volts the charger will draw lots of amps after start up and a good bolt on fuse will be able to handle the amps, circuit breakers are a waste of time as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,100 Posts
When your aux battery is down to 5 or 6 volts the charger will draw lots of amps after start up and a good bolt on fuse will be able to handle the amps, circuit breakers are a waste of time as well.
:eek: Never take a battery to that low a voltage - you'll kill it in no time!

Have a read of this page Help with Absorbed Power absorbed glass mat battery

10.5V is considered completely discharged - which is bad for battery life.

For maximum battery life in deep cycle applications, do not discharge the battery bank below 50%. Continually discharging the battery bank below 50% will shorten the battery life. The open circuit voltages listed below approximate the various States of Charge.
State Of Charge
100% SOC 12.80 volts or greater
75% SOC 12.55 volts
50% SOC 12.20 volts
25% SOC 11.75 volts
0% SOC 10.50 volts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Don't stress, I wasn't advising people to discharge a battery that low on a regular basis, but just saying that if it does happen cheap blade type fuses and circuit breakers wont handle it to well. My optima has been down to 6 volts on a couple of occasions but usually try stick to around the 10 v mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Many thanks everyone.

I've run the looms today and just waiting on a midi fuse for the input cable before I finish off. I've decided to wire as per the installation instructions, the only exception being an override switch on the signal wire (just gives me the option to shut down the charger if I ever need to ..... probably wont ..... maybe it's just a control thing in me :( ?

Have put a dual socket on the driver's side (1 taken up by the waeco) and a single on the passengers. Gives me an option either side to plug in the LED strip light.

Murcod - thanks for the heads up and I'm lucky that with just a 20A charger I can use 8ag cable so the crimping tool I have had no worries and a bit of solder and heat shrink finished it off nicely. Good info on the AGM discharge and I'm hoping I'll be OK. The waeco is the only accessory running full time off the auxillary and even in it's low/low setting, cuts out at 10.5V.

GVQLD - I was thinking that an ANL or similar might be a better option to a relay or glass fuse and googled the midis after your post. Liked what I saw and have ordered a midi which hopefully will arrive this week.

Paul - Yep convinced me that I would waste my money on a LV cutout relay (didn't look too hard but couldn't find one less than 40A and $50).

Only thing still chasing is where to pick up an ignition feed and which wire color.

I've wired in hundreds of accessories into my, family and friends cars over the last 30 years (including a few solenoid type DBS) but this DC charger is a first for me so many thanks for your positive feedback and support.

Cheers
Wes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Wes,

Did you consider one of these?
ABD Alternator Booster Diode
They're available in most fuse configurations.
It's far simpler and a lot cheaper than the dc-dc charger route and probably more reliable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
There's thousands in use all over Aus. Even some dealers are fitting them.
But, each to there own. I was just pointing out an option.
I don't need or use the diode solution, however, a dc-dc unit would be the last resort for me. Expensive, more complicated and slower than the alternator for charging 2nd batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Only thing still chasing is where to pick up an ignition feed and which wire color.
Where are you looking to pick this up, Ie under bonnet, Under steering wheel, in back, in center console, behind clove box. once you tell me I will have a look for you.

But, each to there own. I was just pointing out an option.
I don't need or use the diode solution, however, a dc-dc unit would be the last resort for me. Expensive, more complicated and slower than the alternator for charging 2nd batteries.
agreed each to there own, but with an AGM battery they are a must or you are just shortening the life of the battery, battery last longer if they are charged fully and the DC to DC chargers are better at doing this than the alternator and solenoids.

Diode work but drop the volts by 0.6 meaning the best charge you will get is 13.4 a half charge by some calculations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Diode work but drop the volts by 0.6 meaning the best charge you will get is 13.4 a half charge by some calculations.
The diode increase the voltage, not decrease. The purpose of the diode is to increase the voltage by .6 to overcome the "smart" alternator reducing voltage.

It's also a furfy that the dc-dc will give a full charge and the alternator not. The dc-dc takes longer so if your battery is completely flat i.e. 50% soc and you only drive for 2 or 3 hrs, the alternator will have the battery at 90%+ while the dc-dc won't have. No body has ever explained why an agm won't be charged fully by an alternator. Thats the very purpose of an alternator.
Also, one must be careful not to confuse agm batteries with gel batteries. An agm is exactly the same chemistry and operation as a wet cell and should be charged as such.

BatteryStuff Articles | Compare and Contrast Between AGM and Gel Batteries
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
firstly appoligies about the diodes i assume you mean one of of these ABD Alternator Booster Diode

agreed to disagree, you run your setup and I will run my setup, this was started by wes for some help, lets help him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sorry guys and probably my fault. I should have mentioned that I had already purchased the DC20 and wasn't looking for other options. I understand that my choice has made this setup pretty complex but I'm hoping that it will be a good fit for my needs. I'm rarely in the same spot for more than a night (maximum 2) and driving 4 to 6 hours between camp sites so I'm hoping that with the Waeco drawing around (supposedly) 1 to 1.5AH, recharge times shouldn't be too big of an issue.

If I was planning to be spending a few nights camped in the same place regularly or travelling shorter distances, I'd be looking for a quicker recharge cycle and the solenoid option with a booster diode might be well worth considering.

Many thanks Paul for your offer. Choice 1 would be somewhere around the rear cargo area but I'm not confident of finding too many ignition circuits thereabouts. Choice 2 would be around the steering column, 3 centre console and failing that, engine bay if I had too.

I think at the end of the day, there is no right or wrong on a forum and we just give the best advice we can based on our own experiences. The winners are those (like me on this occasion) who can match there current situation with other members collective experiences.

So again to all, many thanks for your support.

Cheers
Wes
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
19,092 Posts
No body has ever explained why an agm won't be charged fully by an alternator. Thats the very purpose of an alternator.
Also, one must be careful not to confuse agm batteries with gel batteries. An agm is exactly the same chemistry and operation as a wet cell and should be charged as such.

BatteryStuff Articles | Compare and Contrast Between AGM and Gel Batteries
First - consider the alternator as a power source, recharging the battery is only one of the things it does, and in my opinion that's not it's primary purpose - the reason behind that opinion is that the alternator will recharge the starting battery within the first 10~15 minutes of engine operation (you can put an ampere meter in the circuit if you want proof of this).

The primary purpose of the alternator is to supply the electrical energy needed to run the engine and the vehicle accessories.

Second - whilst the AGM may use exactly the same chemistry as a lead acid wet cell battery, the construction is different, and the charge voltage required to bring it to a full charge is higher than that of a conventional or flooded wet cell, which is what the alternator regulator profile is designed to do.

Additionally when charging a pair of dissimilar batteries the alternator regulator is going to see the batteries as a "joint" load, it will adjust it's output based on the system voltage, which in this case is going to be determined by the terminal voltage on the flooded wet cell lead acid starting battery, as that battery approaches full charge, the system voltage will stabilize and the alternator output will taper off, and because the AGM battery requires a higher voltage to bring it to a full charge, that will not happen.

If both batteries are AGM, or both batteries are flooded wet cell, you'll stand a better chance of getting equal charge on them.

The alternator booster diode works by changing the voltage that the alternator sees as the system voltage, reducing it by 0.6v, so that the alternator holds it's output higher in an attempt to charge the starting battery - the end result is some degree of overcharge on the starting battery - this is unlikely to be anything more significant than sustained during an "equalizing" charge and the worst case scenario is the same as if the battery is left on a full time equalize, you end up boiling the electrolyte away.

I trust that I have now explained why an alternator designed to charge a flooded lead acid battery will do a poor job at charging an AGM battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Many thanks Paul for your offer. Choice 1 would be somewhere around the rear cargo area but I'm not confident of finding too many ignition circuits thereabouts. Choice 2 would be around the steering column, 3 centre console and failing that, engine bay if I had too.
all right here goes
Fuse 32 15A "IG2 SIG" is located under the steering column it supplies Radiator fan relay #1, Radiator fan relay #2, Radiator fan relay #3, A/C compressor relay, Seat heater switch (Driver side), Seat heater switch (Passenger side), Sliding roof unit, Heater motor relay.

On the load side of the fuse the wire color is YEL/GRN (yellow and green)

This wire should be found in around the fuse box some where

An easy place to find it is under the center console where the seat heater buttons would be.
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/2g-2006-grand-vitara/54952-seat-heater-dummy-buttons-pre-wired.html

test it before you connect by striping a small amount of the insulation off and use a muilti meter to ground check that it is on and off when you want it to. if it is the right the connect it, if it is not then just tape it back up no damage done.

Paul
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top