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Battery Weak??? Deep Cycle???

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by mydland89, September 25, 2002.

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  1. mydland89

    mydland89 Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
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    I was up in central New york at a four day concert festival this summer followed by a week long camping/bear hunting trip in the adirondack mountains and noticed that when I am hanging out drinking an Ice cold bud - Light, I love to listen to some good tunes.... what I didn't expect from a new explorer (new to me 99) was a battery life of about 30-45 mins without starting the engine MAX.! now, I previously owned a 1993 X sport and I could listen to music on my JVC 12 disc changer for roughly 2 hours or more!!!!! I have in my new X the stock combo cd player and cassette player in the dash (I know, first mistake). my battery gauge is very low even when the engine is running it is in the bottom 1/3 of the spectrum.... I am wondering because I do a lot of travelling and camping (I have a mattress that fits in the back of the X perfectly so I sleep in it, I really love my X) should I or rather could I put a Deep cycle battery in the truck without damaging the electronics by overloading the amperage.... therefore giving me lots more hours to play music without having to start the truck every 1/2 hour, or should I just go out and buy a normal battery and hope for the best?? the battery that is in there is very clean and should be rather new. I had to buy a set of jumper cables (which everyone should have anyway) so I could come home from the mountains, so, I am pissed off at the battery that is in there now and I am sick of it!!! it is down the road........ please feel free to chime in with any and all solutions you may have... thanks murph

    1999 explorer four door color= blue
    completely stock....:(
     
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  3. rhyno

    rhyno Active Member

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    I am not trying to make you sound dumb with this question, but are you sure that you turned the key backwards instead of forward?
     
  4. jimbo74

    jimbo74 Elite Exploder

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    even at high draw, batteries were only meant to be run for a couple hours.... i have an optima yellow top deep cycle, and it has a 124 minute reserve capacity.....
     
  5. mydland89

    mydland89 Member

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    I am NOT dumb and I turned the key backwards, and I also know how long my other battery lasted so....... wtf!
     
  6. MrShorty

    MrShorty Explorer Addict

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    Your battery sounds a lot like mine did since I first got my Explorer. I'd leave the doors open while working on/around the Explorer for what seemed like a short time (~1 hour running only the interior lights) and the battery would be unable to start the truck. It has suddenly progressed to where the battery seems to lose it's charge for no reason (I've got a thread going on this title "battery drain" or something). Someone suggested to me that it's OK to put a deep cycle battery in, at least temporarily.
    I'm no battery expert, but, FWIW, amperage/current draw for a given circuit is still determined by ohm's law (E=IR). Resistance doesn't change with a new battery and the voltage should still be ~12-14 V (the alternator is supposed to put out a little higher voltage than the battery in order to charge the battery. I don't see why a deep cycle battery should create any problems as far as that goes. On the other hand, someone once suggested (I doubt I believe him, but this is what he told me) that a deep cycle battery can be damaged by connecting it to a trucks alternator. How that is I don't know, and if anyone wants to refute him, do so.
    Again, I'm no battery expert, so do a little more research before you decide for sure, but I don't see why a deep cycle wouldn't work.
     
  7. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

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    I'm not a battery expert either, but I have read some articles and have a basic understanding how they work. I also have a trailer with a deep cycle battery, so I have read about those too.

    Regular automotive batteries are slightly different than deep cycle batteries. The differences have to do with the application that the battery is expected to be used for.

    A regular automotive battery is designed to have a high output in response to the demands placed on it, mainly when used to start the engine. It is designed to deliver a lot of power in a short period of time. It isn't designed to be drained for long periods of time, because it is normal for it to be charged back up again by the alternator while the engine is running.

    A deep cycle (or marine) battery is designed to be deliver lower outputs but for longer periods of time. A deep cycle battery is able to withstand being discharged to low voltage levels without permanent damage (hence the name deep cycle).

    The problem that I would forsee by using a deep cycle in place of a normal battery is that you would be taxing its ability to provide short bursts of high output which it isn't designed for. Some of the newer designs (spiral cell or Optima) may be able to do both, but I don't know whether this is true or not.

    Edit: I just looked at other thread; if he can start an Aerostar with a deep cycle in the winter in Yorkshire (my girlfriend is from Arcade NY) then it will probably work for you. It's fricken cold there!

    The best solution (used in RV's) is to have two batteries which both get charged but are isolated from each other. Then you use the regular battery for starting and the deep cycle for camping. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of room under the hood for the second battery or even the isolator. At one time, I was considering adding an isolator for charging my trailer battery while driving, but I couldn't find enough room under the hood for it.
     
    Last edited: September 25, 2002






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