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|250-Amp Dual Battery Current Control System;|
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Painless Wiring 40102 Battery Isolators Easy Installation:
A few things you must know to start off. 1st, the ease of installation could be a 5 star if you don't have to upgrade all your stock battery cables.
I'm personally running a 200 Amp high output alternator, dual optima yellow tops, a stereo (3600 watts), about 2600 watts in lights, and a winch (Jeep Wrangler).
Thus, I had to buy 8 feet each of black & red (+ & -) 2 guage cable, remove all the stock battery cables, and fabricate my own.
Now, on the the actual product (battery cables don't come standard).
I'll start with the only bad things I noticed. First, the directions can get a little fuzzy with the wording. The brown wire to opposite post as in step 4 was a little confusing because I wanted to be sure I attached it to the right post. The picture they give you makes sense as you go along and helps to make sure your wires are attached to the right part of the solenoid.
The second thing has to do with your batteries. The manual suggest you hook up the first battery as instructed, then at a later point mount the second battery for connection. My batteries have been in the car for years and are side by side in a kilby dual battery tray. Thus, I kind of had trouble finding a suitable inline location for the solenoid and how I was going to mount all the wires. To make this easier, you should look at your engine bay and scope out where you want everything and mark it (especially if your batteries are already installed).
Now the good stuff, extra stuff, and some stuff you may not know.
The good part is, after you mount the solenoid, it's easy to set up. The hard part is running your wires (especially if you don't have a hole in your firewall to run the switch wires from to the solenoid, but they give you a grommet to plug a hole if you have to drill one).
Everything is step by step, mostly easy to follow, and explains well what functions as what.
The only thing that caught me off guard at first was when I tried to start my Jeep. It clicked as if the starter was toast or it had no power. After 10 minutes and rechecking my wires, I realized what it was. The directions have you run the starter cable to the solenoid. When you read the instructions, they tell you that your primary battery will be used to operate everything (along with the alternator), and the secondary battery is simply for starting (the main purpose of a battery).
Thus, when you start your car, you will need to flick the switch on your dash (or where ever you place it) to either the 1 or 3 position (up/down or left/right or red/green depending on how you mount your switch). Basically, anywhere but in the middle (position 2).
This sends power to the solenoid (and the second battery), allowing you to start your car. In a way its kind of a built in security feature as well. If someone doesn't know where your switch is and tries to start your car, they'll be S.O.L. unless they find it and switch it to one of the on positions.
To bypass this, simply attach your starter cable to the main battery directly so it has power all the time.
They give you plenty of wire to run from the switch to the solenoid (and lots of extra for the switch / red/green light connections you will need to make), but some people may find the ground wire is a little short (around 1.5' in length, give or take).
They also give you enough loom to cover the wires to prevent them from exposure. This is great if you run it once you get through the firewall as you'll have extra for some other project you may have.
Seeing as how I just installed this kit yesterday after having it for 2 months or so, the best part, although annoying until you get use to it, is having the starter relayed to the solenoid, preventing it from starting unless the switch is engaged. It's a great theft deterrent.
The worst part would have to be replacing all the stock cables with what they suggest is a minumum of 2 guage wire. The best thing to do would be to measure your wires out, give them some slack (because 2 guage can be a little hard to bend), solder the wire to the connectors your using, and then bend them in the shape your looking for to connect them.
(If you have a fuse box that has a T-shaped dual post connector with a battery power wire and alternator wire soldered to it, cut the wires off and solder your new power wire to that and include the alternator cable if you can. Itf not, solder the atlernator cable to its own connector and mount it on top of the plate onto one of the posts if you have a dual post set-up)
In my Jeep, I used around 7' each of + & - 2 guage wire. I have both batteries ground to the firewall in the same spot, and another ground from the engine to the main battery although in a different spot (leave slack for engine mount movement). I then had + 2 guage wire routed from the main battery to the fuse box & the soldenoid. Then 2 guage + wire from the alternator to the fuse box, and from the starter to the solenoid. Lastly, I had 2 guage + wire going from the second post on the solenoid to the positive side post of my secondary (start the car) battery.
Having to upgrade to 2 gauge was needed anyway in my case, but unless your running a decent sized stereo, a lot of lighting, or even a nice big winch (or all of these), you shouldn't need to upgrade. The larger grade cables just insure that enough juice is going where it needs to go.
The last thing the instructions tell you is that every other kit attaches any accessories to the secondary battery and not the main battery. This means that the 2nd battery is running everything, not the main battery or the alternator (unless you wire the alternator off the 2nd batteries power supply).
I like this kit because the main battery and alternator power all your accessories, leaving the second battery to start your car if the 1st one should die, fail, or not be properly recharged after extended use (lighting/winching).
Overall, a great 5 star kit. You don't really need the waterproof version if you have the tools to waterproof the kit yourself (heat shrink tubing/connectors mostly) to prevent water damage.
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$9.95 Per Wheel/$25 Per Tire
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Oversized parts will incur a $129 truck freight charge that FedEx cannot provide standard ground shipping on.