TIP - good back up to prevent getting locked out if the key no longer works in your door locks and your battery dies | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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TIP - good back up to prevent getting locked out if the key no longer works in your door locks and your battery dies

sehaare

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So as these cars get older and most of us just use our fobs to unlock the doors, the door lock cylinders tend to freeze up due to not being used. And having a teenager that absentmindedly drained the battery led to us being locked out.

The first thing that I'd recommend is that everyone lube up your locks and cycle them periodically with the key so that you don't have this issue. (I've been able to free up the previously frozen passenger side lock and hatch lock this way, driver's side is still DOA). Second I'd learn how to open the hood from outside the vehicle and practice it before you need it (you don't want to have to learn how when it is pouring down rain or freezing cold).

How to: Open hood without cable - Help! Hood won't open!

But if you have about $25, a good insurance policy is to install a permanently mounted trickle charger. I had put one in initially to keep the battery charged when no one was driving the car regularly. Then when my daughter started to use it to commute to school, I would plug it in when the car had to set out overnight in the Chicagoland winter and it would keep the battery warm and able to start the car easier in the morning. And then it really paid for itself when my daughter drained down the battery and got locked out.

All we had to do was plug in the trickle charger long enough to charge the battery to the point that the doors would unlock using the fobs again.

So for $25 bucks, you will never get locked out again (unless your battery is so old it won't take a charge).
 
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J_C

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I thought about doing it a little different. You can get rare earth magnets for cheap on ebay/etc, so I thought about placing a couple somewhere, like on the grill, with wires soldered on that lead back to the battery, then the charge cable to it has 15V (allows for some droop from the distance, length of the cable) and also, rare earth magnets soldered on and embedded into a puck that just magnetically sticks to the area, and the polarity of the magnets are opposites (one rotated 180' relative to the other) so the charge cable won't go on with reversed polarity to the battery.

Then again, that's a lot more to bother with doing than just using a weatherproof connector with a cover flap, even the trailer connector that came with mine, then if it isn't live when the vehicle is off, tap into another circuit, and add a switch for its intended trailer use. That might work better than on the grill because with my '98 parked outside, the grill tends to build up ice and snow in winter a lot more than the underside of the rear bumper does.
 
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Mbrooks420

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For the price of an Anderson connector I wouldn’t even consider the magnet route. I’d just tuck it into the bumper, and connect it right to the battery through an online fuse.

You could even get a cheaper set of jumper cables and add an Anderson connector in the middle, and then two ring terminals in place of the battery side connections. That way you could charge, or jump the truck depending on your time frame.
 
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J_C

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^ I'd set it up so multiple vehicles could use it, including my mower in the off-season. Suitably sized magnets are about 15 to 25 cents each, could be embedded into the plastic and epoxied on the rear to where it looked pretty slick, and if I forgot to disconnect it when driving off, or a person or animal tripped over it, the magnets would release without damage to wire or connectors. I'm thinking way lighter weight cables than jumper cables, around 18ga, or maybe as low as 14ga just to be able to use some extension cord I already have lying around.

I don't intend for it to be able to jump start vehicles, just slow charge or maintain a battery, plus a similar magnet setup has worked well for me in the past for various widgets that otherwise required taking the batteries out to charge them. The main thing with the rare earth magnets is not to overheat them when soldering wires on or else they may be demagnetized. To clarify I mean the nickel plated type, something small like a 12mm x 3mm disc shape should be plenty strong enough, and being round it's easier to drill the perfect sized hole.

 
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Mbrooks420

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Seems way simpler to just use the accessory connectors that you can get with a battery tender or the like, buy however many premade ends you need and be done.

18awg is smaller than 14. I always run 12 or 14 minimum simply for the extra wire durability.
 
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sehaare

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My first thoughts when we were locked out was that I wished I had put in some cables like you guys are suggesting, then I realized that I could use the installed trickle charger.

one issue with doing what you are suggesting is that the wire to the positive terminal will be always be hot and you would have to make sure that it is not rubbing up against anything that could wear through the insulation or you could turn your battery into a welder as you were driving down the road.

With the installed trickle charger, with mounting the charger right next to the batter, if anything were to wear though the insulation, it would be on the AC cable to the trickle charger and that would only be an issue when you plugged it and blew you house circuit breaker. I've also got a heating pad on the oil pan (a 25 year old suv needs all the help it can get sitting outside in a Chicagoland winter) and I have both plugs sitting in the bumper and I can plug both in at the same time in the winter.

The trickle charger would be the more expensive route, but at about $25 bucks I'm sure we've all spent a lot more than that to keep this things running all these years (in my case just a drop in the bucket).
 
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J_C

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^ Do whatever you're comfortable with, but the factory wiring itself has live wires running everywhere, so main thing is to secure the wire, keep away from hot areas (primarily exhaust), and prevent vibration/abrasion against sharp corners. Split loom tubing should work on abrasion prone areas, but any time you add a circuit to a vehicle, if it doesn't tap into a non-critical existing circuit (so it's already fused) with current to spare, rather a direct run to the battery, then I advocate adding an inline fuse near the battery so if anything does go wrong, the fuse does its job.

Putting a trickle charger in the vehicle, you should still use a fuse between it and the battery. A fault in it could short or at least slowly drain the battery without any wiring issues.
 
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Mbrooks420

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Agreed. All you need is a fuse.
 
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sehaare

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Agreed. All you need is a fuse.
A big one. and I'd suggest running the battery down and then test it out. If it were too small, while it would protect shorting the battery to ground, it could also blow the first time you tried to charge a drained battery.
 
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Mbrooks420

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You would size the fusing to the wire. No need to run your battery down, that’s a good way to reduce its life.
 
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J_C

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If you use a slow blow fuse, you should be able to pick a fuse current value that's 150% of the charger's peak rated output and be fine.

Sizing the fuse to the wire can be tricky, for example in the case of a built in (engine compartment) trickle charger to battery, that would fall under chassis wiring more than distance conduction and then even a mere 14ga wire has 20A+ capacity. I wouldn't want a fault to be able to drain the battery anywhere near 20A.
 
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donalds

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i always factor Length of wire is it copper stranded or solid

But that's probably to much
Anyway I get all my info here
My book is from the 90s lol
Must have imo
Amazon product
 
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