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What did you do to your Ranger today? (Part Deux!)


19Walt93

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I pulled the instrument bezel off and cleaned some dust out of my gauges, which required disconnecting my Alpine radio, then spent more time resettting the Alpine unit than I did cleaning the gauges. While it was apart I used a tiny drop of super glue to resecure the decals for my Vintage Air controls and tweaked the controls so the knobs all lined up. A lot of work to fix little dubbing problems but I hated looking at them. I also dropped the timing back 2 degrees until I use up last fall's gasoline.
 


Rick W

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4.0 & 2.9
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Manual
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97 stock, 3” on 87
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@ben_2_go
@rubydist
@scotts90ranger
& everybody else….

Gentlemen. A few thoughts.

First, I never knew about a dual battery isolator thing. It looks great, but I still have a couple questions. I’m doing my research.

Second, I’m suspecting I have a good battery and a bad battery, and I think that’s really my problem. When I was looking at them again, I know the marine battery is a couple years old, but it was basically never used, except to jump a car every now and then. The 65 that’s under the hood has a “5/18” sticker on the side. If I recall correctly, I got that battery from the Pull-A-Part when I got the truck in 2022. I have only had those two together in this truck since last fall. I can’t say why, but I can understand how a “broken” battery might mess up charging & trickle charger.

As far as just having two mismatched batteries, the engineer in me says that the very smart battery charger is just reading the voltage of the circuit, and will keep putting charge in until it reaches the target, something like 13.8. In my mind, whether you have two batteries in parallel or 200 batteries in parallel, the charger/trickle should just keep them topped off. Like cups, keep the flow up until the last cup is full. Having said that, I’m a chemical engineer, not an electrical engineer, although we had to study some of everything.

And just another thought on the F250 with the 7.3. I’ve never had the problem with that truck. When I was injured and sick, the truck sat dead more than it sat charged. I couldn’t drive it mostly because with my legs messed up, I literally could not climb into it. As I got more healthy, I cleaned it up, but I still only drive it occasionally. Where I’m going with all this is that when I started leaving the trickle charger on it, I never had a problem with it maintaining a charge in both batteries. And when it was dead, and sometimes it was really dead, I never had a problem having both batteries charge with just connecting the charger to one side.

On the Road Ranger, I have both batteries charging independently right now. My plan is to swap out the front battery with a brandy new 65, and then just continue to use a trickle charger when I’m not using it. I haven’t driven it since before Christmas, and even now I just plan on moving it around in the driveway to take the trailer loose, and finish up some things I did after last year’s nationals for this year‘s nationals.

We’ll see what happens before I jump in to that $25 for the battery isolator…

BTW, i’ve done this before a couple times, a while ago, and I don’t remember having any issues. But I’m at that stage of life where I pretty much can’t remember what I did two days ago….
 

1984RESTOMOD

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IMG_0298.jpeg

Fabbed and painted my front cab mounts. Fuel filler neck shows up today and I’ve got the bed on standby to be set soon after filler neck is installed. Just need to get a case of beer and a few buddy’s to help set it in place. Aiming to be driving test trials by Labor Day.
 

ericbphoto

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Ordered ball joints for it. Also organized my ratchet straps and found a good hiding place for them.

At the Moore Expo, I found these little pouches called Ratchet Ranglers. They keep your ratchet straps from becoming a tangled mess in the vehicle. I bought some at the Expo and ordered a bunch more later. Still need a few to finish all my straps. The pictures should explain it pretty well. But I think there's a video on their website. $20 for a set of 3. I ordered the plastic label tags from Amazon so I could label them since I'm using some to contain rollercam straps and I also have some pouches designated for motorcycle tie-down stuff.

20240520_111650.jpg


One complete ratchet strap assembly fits in a pouch.
20240520_111746.jpg


The hook for the strap can poke through a hole at the top. This helps maintain control of the hook.
20240520_111754.jpg
 
Last edited:

Rick W

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Make / Model
Ranger XLT x2
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Engine Size
4.0 & 2.9
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
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97 stock, 3” on 87
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N/A
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An afterthought. Let me apologize for being long-winded, but I’m not simply replying to some comments and suggestions. On weird issues like this, I try to write it up, so it will be a resource for anyone later who comes to the site. A hard habit to shake after you run a bunch of companies and people. If that’s out of line, somebody in charge, let me know.

I mentioned the really good diehard gold battery charger I bought a few years ago. It’s really great, but it’s also $200 out the door.

I have a Sears style 2/12/jump starter that I’ve had for 40 years. It still works great, but it shuts down once the battery is topped off, and if you leave it alone, the battery may go dead again. You have to disconnected and reconnected and then it will charge again. It’s not really smart, and won’t maintain a trickle. But when I have to do a quick charge, and I set it on the 12 amp setting, it really does a great job in a few hours.

IMG_1925.jpeg


Day to day I use these two for trickle chargers

IMG_1923.jpeg
IMG_1924.jpeg


The black one is only six or seven dollars, and I’ve never had it fail maintaining charge on a decent battery. I’ve had four or five of them, and I’m using two or three all the time. It’s a maintainer, not a charger.

The yellow one is like 10 or $12, but it shows you the voltage of the battery, the voltage of the charge when it’s connected, and also shows you the percent charged. It will actually charge a dead battery, but it takes twice as long as a “real” battery charger. I have three of these right now that I use regularly.

The only issue with the two of them is they work great until they don’t work. They die out of the blue, but I’ve never had one die in less than a year or two.

I highly recommend both for a trickle charging duty. You can also buy both in sets of four or five, and get an even better price. I got mine off eBay.

One last thought, after I check them out for a few days, I clip the clamps off and put one of these connectors in the middle

IMG_1928.jpeg


I put the matching connector on the clamps, but all my vehicles have one of these hanging off the battery as a pigtail, underneath the grill or somewhere easy to get at. So, when I park something, I don’t even have to pop the hood to put it on the trickle.

As always, hope it helps

EDIT: when I clip the clamps off and put the two pin connector on, I also add six or 8 feet of length. That way I can easily connect it, but I can put the charger as software. It’s easy to see and/or out of the weather.
 
Last edited:

ben_2_go

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@Rick W you may be onto something if you suspect one battery is bad. A smart combiner can usually prevent one battery from killing the other and help prevent one battery from over charging while charging. I prefer to use a disconnect switch and charge/trickle each battery separately.
 

Rick W

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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
97 stock, 3” on 87
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N/A
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My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
@Rick W you may be onto something if you suspect one battery is bad. A smart combiner can usually prevent one battery from killing the other and help prevent one battery from over charging while charging. I prefer to use a disconnect switch and charge/trickle each battery separately.
I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing because I’m so cheap and I already have some trickle chargers that I’m thinking of just adding a pigtail to the second battery and putting a trickle on them separately when I’m not using it!

But a serious question: why doesn’t it charge goofy when it’s charging from the alternator when I’m driving it around?
 
Last edited:

ericbphoto

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In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
why doesn’t a charge goofy when it’s charging from the alternator I’m driving it around?
That is not a serious, intelligible question. What are you drinking?
 

Rick W

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Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
That is not a serious, intelligible question. What are you drinking?
The problem is probably that I haven’t been drinking anything for a change.

The question was (I edited it) why doesn’t it charge goofy when it’s charging off the alternator when I’m driving around? It only seems to mess up when it’s on the trickle charger.

And an update, the Walmart battery got delivered an hour ago. I had the two batteries isolated, and on separate chargers overnight. When I turned the key, the 65 under the hood barely cranked. It was still reading fully charged on the Battery Tender Jr., but less than 5 V on the battery tester. I swapped the batteries and it cranked right up.

After the marine battery in the toolbox is charged, I’m going to connect them again and put them on a single trickle charger and see what happens. I want to have it figured out one way or the other before I head to Nationals.

Let me also shoot some kudos to Walmart. I’m not the biggest Walmart fan, but you can’t beat the prices. I don’t understand it, but I ordered the battery online, and delivered straight to my house with free shipping, because it was the cheapest option. $109 price, 130 walking out the door, and I get $12 back if I bring the old one to wherever. Again, I ordered it on a Sunday evening, and it was in my driveway less than 24 hours later, and the lowest price. That’s pretty good.

I’ve got a couple calls out to battery companies. I’m going to try to find an expert and ask them what they think about putting a marine battery and a car battery in parallel. How it effects charging, etc.
 

Rick W

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97 stock, 3” on 87
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My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Update. I just got off the phone with the regional tech guy with Interstate Batteries. Great guy. I pretty much went through all these postings in our discussion, and he was suspicious of the marine battery coupled with the car battery, but he thinks the main problem was simply that the group 65 under the hood was a bad battery.

He said if you have a bad battery, it will definitely cap the charging of the good battery if they’re wired in parallel. He also had the thought, but wouldn’t guarantee it, that if both batteries were good, both should charge and maintain pretty evenly. That was with the thought that the lower power battery would still limit the total charge, but if the lower power battery would charge to the mid 13s, you’d never see a problem. Again, that was speculation. He was very polite, and never said what idiot would parallel a marine battery with a car battery…

He further said that if both batteries are good, they will probably charge off the alternator, charge off the charger, and maintain off the battery maintainer without any issue. I’m going to try that.

And we ended with, if that doesn’t work right, the battery isolator is probably the best bet when I’m driving and charging off the alternator, and having them maintain off separate pigtails in the driveway. I think that’s what I’m heading for.

The next question would be does that isolator still function if I’m charging the battery under the hood from a battery charger? Will it still charge the group 65 first, and then flipped to the marine battery even if the truck is not running…

If my head hurts, I’m going to try to make everybody’s head hurt…
 

Rick W

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My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
More info. A battery isolator “opens“ (enables circuit) to the second battery when the first battery is charged enough, typically 13.3. When the voltage drops to 12.8, the battery isolator “closes” (disables electrical circuit), cutting off charging to the second battery. This is independent of what is charging the battery.

Soooo, does that mean if I use a smart charger on the main battery, it will fully charge the main battery and then charge the secondary battery, just as if I was driving?

From the reading I’ve done, one issue may be that a “battery maintainer” may not have the amperage to charge the batteries and energize the isolator, so you just have to use a smart charger/maintainer instead of a simple maintainer

Anybody know? Does that make sense?
 

2011Supercab

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Soooo, does that mean if I use a smart charger on the main battery, it will fully charge the main battery and then charge the secondary battery, just as if I was driving?
NO,

The isolator has diodes in it to prevent voltage from going back through it to the other battery.
 

ben_2_go

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@Rick W Isolators have diodes and power isn't supposed to back feed. Combiners can allow the flow of power both ways.
 

1984RESTOMOD

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IMG_0323.jpeg

Set my bed. Using a 3” body lift to clear my trans resulting in fuel filler neck being short of the gas door by 2”. Any solutions for this? I can make a drop flange if need be
 
Last edited:

pjtoledo

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pulled the cap off my 2005 to enable a large purchase tomorrow.
running solo, I constructed a frame to hang from the engine hoist.
helpful hint: fiberglass slides real easy on smooth wood, put some friction stuff between the two.
 

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