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  #1  
Old November 28th, 2006, 08:42 PM
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chris snell
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Chris Snell
87 Ex-MOD 110
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Battery Charging

Hey guys...I really should know the answer to this...

I bought a little 1 amp battery trickle charger at Wal-Mart. Can I charge my battery while it is still in the truck and connected to the leads? Will I fry my electrical system? The charger comes with a little cigarette lighter adapter, too. Can I charge the battery through this safely?

Chris
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  #2  
Old November 29th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Flagg
1995 Defender 90 NAS
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I have a trickle charger for my old Porsche 911 that is a sunday driver. It sits in my garage. The car always starts STRONG. This is a trickle made by Porsche - so I am not sure if the amps are the same. My guess is that it is the same - but just cost 5 times as much as the one from Walmart It also connects through the cirgerette lighter, and I pass the wire in through a crack I leave in the side window.......

The way I understand it is that you can not CHARGE the battery with this device if the battery is dead. The way it works is that you leave it plugged in and whenever the trickle charger senses that the battery has crept below 12 volts, it will pump it up a bit over 12 (like you had driven it).

I have used mine for years (on the 911), and loved it.............Hope this helps a bit.

Flagg
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  #3  
Old November 29th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Scott T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrapin
Hey guys...I really should know the answer to this...

I bought a little 1 amp battery trickle charger at Wal-Mart. Can I charge my battery while it is still in the truck and connected to the leads? Will I fry my electrical system? The charger comes with a little cigarette lighter adapter, too. Can I charge the battery through this safely?

Chris
Hey Chris,

You can leave the battery connected to the truck with the battery charger connected, it will not hurt the truck. If you leave the truck stored for extended periods though, you may damage the battery leaving it constantly connected to a 1 amp trickle charger though, as you will be overcharging it as some point in time. The Cigarette lighter would probably be okay to use for a 1 amp charger, but be mindful that most (post 80's) vehicle's cigarette lighters are not "live" with the ignition off, and it would be best to attach directly to the battery anyway. Sadly, I can't remember at the moment if the Defender's is or not, as I don't think I have ever used the lighter for anything..LOL!

If you are looking for a storage charger, check out the Battery Tender line from Deltran (http://batterytender.com/product_inf...48172c4566f16b) I'm sure it is a little bit pricier than the Wal Mart charger, but it is designed to maintain the battery by cycling on and off as needed, so it doesn't overcharge. I've used these on Motorcycles, ATV's and cars for years and recommend them to everyone who asks me about a charger. They even made a version designed to be mounted on board the vehicle if you want, but I can't seem to find a link for it anymore, so they may have discontinued this (But look at the ChargeTek below if you want an onboard charger)

Since their introduction into the market their basic technology has been copied by many different companies, many claim to do it even better. Point is, don't store your truck for long periods on a trickle charger, as you are likely to damage the battery from overcharging it.

P.S. This is a nice onboard charger that has two seperate circuits to maintain two batteries that are isolated when the vehcile is in storage... http://www.chargetek.com/ct500.html
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  #4  
Old November 29th, 2006, 12:20 PM
artm
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Arthur Maravelis
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The trickle charge is not a constant 1-amp, it's whatever is required. I have a Sears 20A/2A charger and often leave it on 2A for the whole winter. It always goes down to almost nothing if the battery doesn't need any juice.

Of course if the charger fails then you may have a problem. The battery will then get warm/hot and that's a sign to pull the plug. I once left a charger on 20A for a LONG time and started smelling something in the driveway. Never occured to me that it was an overcharged battery. When I realized it it was quite hot to the touch. Battery was still good but a close call.

You can also plug the charger to a wall timer so it only operates on trickle for an hour or two or three a day. Much cheaper than a $60 "dedicated" unit and no chance of any overcharging.
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