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Old June 15th, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Andrew Clarke
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Relocating batteries to the back, and box options

I'm considering relocating my dual batteries to behind the second row passengers, at the front of the right fender of my 110. I have a few reasons for this:

- Right now, with me and two batteries on the LHD side, it makes my front springs sag.

- With my aftermarket Saab seats without a removable seat bottom, it's a hassle to get to the batteries on the rare occasion when I need to do this.

- I can no longer fit my nice Optima Yellow Top battery in there after moving to a National Luna split charge system as there isn't room.

- Being tall (6'4) and having seats that are a bit higher than stock, I'm getting sick of not being able to see any of the scenery when I look out the window. Cutting down my seat boxes would make the drive a lot more pleasant for me.

Each one of these issues can be resolved a number of ways, and I've been living with this configuration until now. I think though what I'd like to do is put a full-length box along the right fender in the rear. I'd put the dual batteries, split charge system, and my compressor in there. The back part would leave enough room for a tool kit so that isn't sitting around in the open with a virtual "steal me" sign on it. My batteries are all sealed, so I'm not worried about venting (should I be?).

Are there any considerations I need to make, other than just buying some #1/0 welding cable and relocating the batteries?

Has anyone found any good boxes that fit the area back there? I could have one made ($$$), but I figured I'd ask around in case anyone's found a product that works really well.

Thanks,
- Andrew.
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  #2  
Old June 15th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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That's a lot of work ... How about change the seats for something more functional and put a quick release mechanism on the seat bolt ...
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  #3  
Old June 15th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
That's a lot of work ... How about change the seats for something more functional and put a quick release mechanism on the seat bolt ...
I really like my seats. I find the stock ones uncomfortable. They're also unsafe as the "headrest" only comes up to the bottom of my neck. New Exmoor trim seats might be great, but we're talking $2000. I can spend all day comfortably in my Saab seats.

Yes, I could re-mount them to have them swing forward or backward. That was the original "next step" in terms of my intent, but I never got around to it. I also have Wright off-road acoustic matting over the whole seat box, and I'd have to cut a section of that off if I wanted to easily access the batteries that way.

Again, all that could be done, but I'd still be left with seats that are higher than I'd like (same point goes for the stock ones, BTW, although not as bad), and bad weight distribution.

- Andrew.
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  #4  
Old June 15th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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If you run a winch 1/0 probably isn't large enough. But to know for sure you need to know the max winch draw and length of cable.
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  #5  
Old June 15th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antichrist View Post
If you run a winch 1/0 probably isn't large enough. But to know for sure you need to know the max winch draw and length of cable.
You're probably right. According to http://www.titanwinches.com/index.ph...iewDoc&docId=7 , my winch's max draw is 450 amps. According to http://www.pacificcabling.com/Specia...rage_chart.htm , 2/0 gauge is recommended for 450 amps up to 100' in length. I figured since my total circuit length is way less than 100', 1/0 would be appropriate. But it doesn't hurt (other than the wallet) to up the spec a bit, especially after looking into the amperage draw a bit more. I think I'm using 1/0 from my current battery box up to the winch, but I can't remember now.

- Andrew.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Welding and 12v motors have different needs. Yes, you can weld up to 100' using 2/0, but you have to crank up the welder higher at 100' than you would at 10'.
You really need to figure out how far the run is, then size the cable so you get less than 0.5v drop.

For instance, if the run is 15' and you want to figure for max winch draw (which I always do, but I tend towards OCD) then you'd need larger than 2/0, probably 3/0. My spreadsheet doesn't go to 3/0 but 2/0 gives a volt drop of .6v.
But if you hardly ever use it at max load then maybe you could rate the cable for 300amps in which case 2/0 would be ok at .4v drop.
Again, this is figuring a 15' run. Yours might be shorter or longer which would change the figures.

Another option, if you have the batteries isolated, would be to move your starting battery (which doesn't have to support as heavy a load as a winch battery) to the back and keep the winch battery closer to the winch. Then smaller cables would meet the volt drop requirements.
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  #7  
Old June 16th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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You are just trading one set of problems for another. Besides, having the batteries in the back is going to suck. Trust me. What's under the passenger side seat box?
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Old June 16th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
You are just trading one set of problems for another. Besides, having the batteries in the back is going to suck. Trust me. What's under the passenger side seat box?
I'm assuming you went with the Saab seats because they were cheap and you didn't want to spend extra money on Exmoor seats. Now you've got another problem due to that desire to not spend money that is going to involve moving things around and fabricating new bits. This will sound like a jab, cheaping out on seats will cost you in the form of an unnecessary solution. I'm 6'2" and the Exmoor modular or elite are the way to go.
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Old June 18th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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You are just trading one set of problems for another. Besides, having the batteries in the back is going to suck. Trust me. What's under the passenger side seat box?
What's the other set of problems? Why is having the batteries back there going to suck? Nothing's under the passenger seat.
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Old June 18th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
I'm assuming you went with the Saab seats because they were cheap and you didn't want to spend extra money on Exmoor seats. Now you've got another problem due to that desire to not spend money that is going to involve moving things around and fabricating new bits. This will sound like a jab, cheaping out on seats will cost you in the form of an unnecessary solution. I'm 6'2" and the Exmoor modular or elite are the way to go.
I haven't been able to actually sit on a set of Exmoor Elite seats. I know a guy with a set, but every time I go there they're in pieces all over his workshop. I haven't seen a measurement of the seat back, and haven't taken the time to email Exmoor and ask them for that. I'm more sensitive to the height issue than most because I've already had two vertebrae in my neck surgically fused together. I can't afford a catastrophic accident with subpar seats.

I know what you're saying aout the Saab seats. Yes, I did put them in originally because they were cheap (and also very comfortable). IIRC at the time, Exmoor didn't have any seats I was interested in anyway, as the Elite seats came later. I could be wrong about that, as it's been a few years. I was sitting too high for my comfort even with the saggy stock seats, although it was better than it is now. Because of this, I don't really see that spending $2000 on a new set of seats is going to completely give me what I want anyway. They would make the underseat boxes more accessible, though.

I'm not averse to spending money on the vehicle. I just purchased and had installed a new rear crossmember, have a set of suspension bushings and damper waiting to be installed, am either rebuilding my rear brakes or installing disc brakes, I'm getting the rear rhino-lined, have a bulkhead sitting in my shed that I picked up on Saturday that I'm going to get galvanized and install, and am planning a custom roll cage and roof rack for later on in the summer. Oh yeah, and I just had my turbo rebuilt. It all adds up. I'm a firm believer in "doing things right", but I'm also happy to save money where I can. I don't plan on selling the vehicle, so I want a setup that works for me. For me, I really like the Saab seats. They're known. Until I can actually measure and sit on Exmoor Elite seats, they're an unknown. Maybe better, maybe worse. I guess I should have spent more time looking at those Elite seats when I had a chance a couple weeks ago.
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  #11  
Old August 18th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Hello Andrew
What did you end up doing? My battery is in the back & it's just fine. It's inside the fender on the left side, behind the left rear wheel.
Jack
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Old August 18th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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I ended up leaving the batteries where they are. I decided I didn't want to cut down the seat box. It seemed like more work to get it out than I originally thought. I did build a box to go over the right rear fender, but once I got the compressor in there, a fuse panel, and a couple tools, there was a lot less room in there than I thought.

Running the secondary battery in a different location than the primary would have also meant a lot of 0/0 gauge welding cable strung all over the vehicle. In the end, I'm just going with what I have. I can always install a spacer under the spring if the sag on the left starts to annoy me too much. I'll probably also at some point replace my seats, now that there are more Puma seats and other options coming into the market at better prices.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Was thinking about this today. If I were you, given your design constraints, what I would do is use a portable power pack like this new Ozzie Ark as your 2nd aux battery, with straps to hold in the rear and an anderson connector to easily connect/disconnect it, and leave your starter battery with winch cable in place in the underseat spot. I would modify your battery box under the driver seat, by cutting a large access hole in the vertical face you see on the side of the battery box when you open the door, add a marine or fabbed hatch to it, and if your optima doesn't have side mount terminals, replace with that.

This way, you can add an aux battery to your system only when you need it, you can remove it for camp sites and such, and you can easily access your starter battery connections through the side hatch.

http://www.arkcorporation.com/
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  #14  
Old August 18th, 2013, 03:54 PM
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I've thought about doing something similar, but with a third battery. I still have my Optima Yellow Top (not the optimal deep-cycle battery), and I've thought about putting that in the back, but that's overkill most of the time. I'm better off, for instance, buying a solar panel or a more efficient fridge.

In the end, I'm happy with what I have. I've come around to the point of view that a better solution is to buy better seats and maybe cut in a sunroof.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 03:56 PM
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First thing you need to do it get rid of that POS Optima battery.
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