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johnny0874 01-11-2011 06:16 PM

Starting Circuit Mod
If any of you (like me) are tired of your intake heater pulling down your battery (that's pretty hard on a lead acid battery) try this...

Here's a link

I put one of these under the hood and wired it directly to my battery (in parallel) using 1/0 wire and I don't get the "pull-down" effect anymore. I just have to remember to disconnect it from the rest of the electrical system whenever i need to unhook the batteries... other than that it's maintenance free and a great upgrade on my electrical system for $40.


Toms Blue Ram 1500 01-13-2011 10:43 PM

Pretty interesting . How did you wire it up ? Pics would be a help also .

johnny0874 01-14-2011 02:51 PM

To answer your question... I wired it in parallel (as you would normally). It makes a HUGE difference when I start my truck... the intake heater grid no longer zaps all the current from my batteries.

Now my turn for questions... Why would you need this mod if you drive a 1500??? You have neither an intake heater nor does your starter pull nearly as much current as the monster they bolt up in the Cummins engine. Was it just for S's & G's? If you're planning on bolting one up for some other reason, then you need to install it as close to the device (whatever is drawing down your batteries) as possible and use the appropriate gauge wiring. You alternate option is to add a hybrid battery as a 2nd battery in your trucks electrical system (again, wired in parallel, or you'll fry your starter by giving 24 volts). The Hybrid batteries (and caps for that matter... they're basically the same thing) are a gel cell battery and a "large" capacitor in one housing.

In the spring, I'm planning replacing my primary battery with an optima gel cell, keeping the 3.0 farad cap in place and swapping the secondary battery with a 1000amp hybrid. I should be able to say "bye-bye" to battery maintenance at that point (except for occasionally cleaning the terminals).


RAMIT222 02-11-2011 09:01 PM

Hi, I have a 2001 Diesel but I believe that the pre-heater ekement only operates if you have the key to the on position & let it do its cycle. If you just turn the key to the start position then it does not actually operate, like in the warmer months.

johnny0874 02-12-2011 11:06 AM

You are correct... the intake heaters (there are 2 grids in my truck) only operate when the sensor detects that the engine block is at a temperature lower than the preset value (I wanna say it's around 40 degrees). During months when the temps are brisk (like the last 2 and the next 2) I usually plug my truck in to keep the block temps up... but I still have to deal with the dreaded battery drain whenever I start my truck at work or at school (where it sits outside). Anyway... I had batteries that are 17 years old (they were the original batteries)... I started seeing more and more power loss from them so I installed this 3.5 farad cap on the starter circuit... it's like night and day... the truck starts EVERY TIME (I'd have to do the math but 3.5 farads is a HUGE amount of charge). Anyway... since I did this mod, I also installed a 1.5 farad cap on my stereo (to replace the 3 smaller ones I installed previously)... and I mounted 2 deep cycle batteries in the tool box with the other 1.1 farads of caps I had from before... And a switch in between the 2 circuits (one for starting with red tops and one for the stereo with blue tops) so I can isolate them when I'm at the beach or camping, etc. I also put independent power switches on each amp so I can pick which are powered and which are not... basically I have a single amp powering 8" speakers in the doors that stay on with the radio when I'm hanging at the beach... and another amp on a "truck box" that sits in the bed... so the subs and dash speakers are off and not drawing power... Basically, I can run my truck stereo with no engine power for a good 12 hours before it starts to draw down... and then flip the switch with the truck on and it recharges the batteries.

Here's a HUGE tip... you need a 3 way switch... one for connected, one for disconnected and one for charging... so you don't fry your inline fuses or your truck wiring when you reconnect a set of dead batteries and capacitors... they caps will draw a crap-load of current otherwise and you'll be looking for a new fuse for your charging circuit. LOL


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