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Discussion Starter #1
I need some help understanding dual battery setups. I have seen the Dirty Parts kit and there are actually several kits available online. I guess I am wondering if anyone can tell me why one kit is better than another. The prices vary greatly and the most expensive is actually the dirty parts version. They have no plans for another group buy so I am shopping around.

DX engineering (I just found their website this morning) has a kit for $119. The battery box from Bluetorch fabworks (found their website this morning) is on $38.

So I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions?
 

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I need some help understanding dual battery setups. I have seen the Dirty Parts kit and there are actually several kits available online. I guess I am wondering if anyone can tell me why one kit is better than another. The prices vary greatly and the most expensive is actually the dirty parts version. They have no plans for another group buy so I am shopping around.

DX engineering (I just found their website this morning) has a kit for $119. The battery box from Bluetorch fabworks (found their website this morning) is on $38.

So I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions?
For the different kits, you are paying for the cableing and all the goodies to make a more simple installation. I used WranglerNW and they were excellent for over the phone help. They even custom made, for length, cables for me as my installation was different than their stock setup.

Unless you have a very good understanding of auto electrics, the kits are best. You may pay more up front costs, but you get installation instructions that make it easier. Have the kit manufacturer e-mail their instructions to you before you buy, that way if you don't understand their instructions, you haven't paid good money for extra grief.

Good luck on your purchase.

BTW, remember, you get what you pay for. I would be very wary about the $38 kit. ....... Just reread and that price is for the battery box.
 

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agree that the kit is overpriced as many other things for the FJ seem to be. far better to piece your own kit together for way less imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can actually build your own system fairly cheap. You need the cables, an isolator, the switch the battery and the tray . That's about it.
Amazon.com: PAC PAC-500 500-Amp Battery Isolator Relay: Automotive
Amazon.com: Illuminating Rocker Switch Dpdt On/Off/On Illum Rocker Switch: Sports & Outdoors

dual battery 002 by cnckart, on Flickr

dual battery 001 by cnckart, on Flickr

Hope that helps! :cheers:


Was this your build? It looks very good. So I see a solenoid in your pic, is this the isolator? (sorry, might be a dumb question).

Everyone has good advice here. What wiring do I need if I piece it together. I think I might buy the kit 250 Amp Dual Battery Current Control System 2nd Battery Auxiliary Battery

I dont want any suprises, so if I get this kit, a battery box, and a battery I should be all set right??
 

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^^^ Yes that is my build. Thank you! :cheers: The isolator is pretty much just a big solenoid. This PAC that I linked to is over kill for this application, but isn't that much more $ The kit you linked to doesn't appear to have the battery cables so you will need those as well. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, I have another question after looking at your build. How did you know where to mount the tray and isolator? Was it hard? Did you drill through the FJ (I dont mind drilling since the FJ will be mine till it dies)? I just wonder about possible issues encountered.

I recently installed a winch mount and the instructions were horrible and what was supposed to take 2-4hrs took 3days. How long should this dual battery project take?

I have winch, I just ordered an ARB fridge, and plan on getting lights (I like your light install BTW)
 

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Mounting the tray there were a couple of existing holes. I drilled two more holes to have 4 mounts. I drilled two holes to mount the isolator. There is a pre threaded hole in the fender I thought about using it to mount the isolator, but used it as my ground instead. I wasn't terribly hard, but I didn't do it all in one shot. I built my own tray, and the whole system really, so it's hard to give you a time frame for install.The hardest part is running the wires to the switch. :cheers:
 

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After looking over the other options I am still satisfied with the Dirty Parts kit because it had everything in the box and an excellent set of instructions. The switch is funny looking, but seems durable. The large gauge cables, cut to length and terminated, along with a decent tray/mount made the deal for me. The expensive part comes after you add the battery and fuse block. I suggest a 12 circuit block, my 6 fuse Blue Sea was full in no time.
 

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Definitely wondering what so many guys are running that requires the 2nd battery.... You must be living in your FJ's with fridges running and stereos blasting and computers charging all while you have the engine switched off? ROFL... I mean, the FJ engine is made to idle forever, so it's not like you can't just start it up once and awhile.

I like the Dirty Parts kit's appeal, but for $500 or whatever -- you've got to be insane. You are paying hundreds of dollars for some wires and a solenoid!?!

Haha, right... :clap:

- Hakrjak
 

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Definitely wondering what so many guys are running that requires the 2nd battery.... You must be living in your FJ's with fridges running and stereos blasting and computers charging all while you have the engine switched off? ROFL... I mean, the FJ engine is made to idle forever, so it's not like you can't just start it up once and awhile.

I like the Dirty Parts kit's appeal, but for $500 or whatever -- you've got to be insane. You are paying hundreds of dollars for some wires and a solenoid!?!

Haha, right... :clap:

- Hakrjak
Winch, lights, stereo, fridge, etc... all of these things suck power. Plus I realize you're being facetious, but the FJ cannot idol forever. Somebody figured it out once, and if you were to fill it up it can idle for something like 30hours. But it won't make it that long, for other reasons. There are a few but the only one I can remember is, at idle the FJ does not create enough power to adequately spin the alternator. So your battery/fj will die before your gas will run out.
 

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Hakrjak makes a good point about the economy of installing a dual battery setup. My motivation was primarily about the safety of being able to jump start the truck when out in the boonies without a second vehicle. Also, I have installed enough electrical accessories and usually have at least a couple gizmos' batteries charging to be concerned about running down the primary. It is nice to have the accessories running off the aux battery with the motor off. The aux also allows me to use the primary until it actually dies, so I can delay the cost of replacement. The kit was $400 and the battery $200 and it was kind of fun to install. I am pleased with the cost/reward ratio on this investment and would recommend a dual setup to anyone who goes into 'God's Country' solo. :bigthumb:
 
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