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The NorthStar AGM Battery + Voltage Booster Upgrade

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by crashnburn80, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Apr 14, 2019 at 11:18 PM
    #41
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Yep, a chaffed winch cable on my brothers old LX.

    With the adjustable booster you can flip the switches to do that, though that is a high premium over your solution. It could be useful after some good winch pulls that really drain the battery.
     
  2. Apr 14, 2019 at 11:20 PM
    #42
    scleaf

    scleaf Well-Known Member

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    SaBellCo's Tailgate Lock :), Cable mod
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  3. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:41 AM
    #43
    hx989

    hx989 Church of @ODNAREM - Pacific Northwest Chapter

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    The heavy battery resting on the sheet metal causes something much worse than Taco lean. With enough off-roading or pothole action it will crack your core support. Just ask @12TRDTacoma
    Bigger isn’t always better. I’d recommend to go with the lightest battery that will fit your needs
     
  4. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:57 AM
    #44
    12TRDTacoma

    12TRDTacoma Pulley Man ;)

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    It's true. Not only will you have cracking in the core support bulkhead area, but it will also structurally bend causing distortion in mounting at the grille and the headlights, which will eventually make the headlights physically difficult to mount within the fender final resting locations of the headlights.

    While I am never against running a battery with more available cold cranking amperage, the key here is to go light as possible in the front. If you want to go buckwild with batteries, be my guest, but run a huge bank of them in the bed or somewhere beneath on the frame itself, not the cab metal.

    You've been warned.
     
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  5. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:54 AM
    #45
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Good points, but I think the key here is keeping all 4 tires on the ground and not dune jumping, which will break things. :) As shown in your pic.

    [​IMG]


    In all seriousness though what was your setup that failed, and did you jump it or use at high speed off road with your high boost supercharger with the setup?

    I agree going to the largest size possible is overkill and a lot of extra weight to support for the tray and abuse could certainly lead to bad outcomes. Typically I see the reasons many are running larger batteries isn't as much for CCA as it is for RC to power winches, camping gear, fridges, ect. I want to run my 50A ARB twin compressor without having to have the truck on, as well as power my RTT lights and and other camping gear at night.
     
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  6. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:10 AM
    #46
    12TRDTacoma

    12TRDTacoma Pulley Man ;)

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    This setup was post battery relocation not pre, however, the damage has been done and will continue eating away at itself the more I keep offroading it, which is why I have pulled the truck from offroad duty, along with various other personal reasons.

    I did not jump the vehicle prior to relocating the battery, but I did see the effects of wheeling it heavily and having the battery front mounted. The radiator support bulkhead begun to get damaged at the wings within the first few times I wheeled the truck and I was taking it very easy at that.

    The high boost blower setup was installed in this picture but was one of the last times I went wheeling.
     
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  7. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:21 AM
    #47
    DVexile

    DVexile Exiled to the East

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    Even with the stock battery enough washboard will slowly crack and destroy the core support. Putting more weight there just makes things worse of course. The Death Valley thread has many examples of cracked/torn sheet metal around the core support from "overland" travels that do not include any sort of jumping, "pre-running" or any other such craziness. Just driving around the washboarded NP roads. It is just not a very robust design and one that doesn't lend itself to practical reinforcement or repair.
     
  8. Apr 15, 2019 at 1:18 PM
    #48
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Where did you relocate your battery to?
     
  9. Apr 15, 2019 at 2:09 PM
    #49
    12TRDTacoma

    12TRDTacoma Pulley Man ;)

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    The frame beneath the truck.
     
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  10. Apr 16, 2019 at 10:13 PM
    #50
    Norton

    Norton Senior Member

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    I'm no expert on this, but figured I'd share the following exchange I had with HKB Electronics:

    ---------------------
    NORTON: Both my son and I run AGM batteries in our Tacomas. My initial thought was the voltage boosters would improve charging them. Some additional reading, however, indicates AGM doesn't like being held at the full cycle charge voltage when charged. For “cycle applications,” they prefer the higher charging voltage, but a starter battery is not a “cycle application.” A starter battery is closer to a “float application” in which the battery remains near full charge and prefers a lower float voltage.

    HKB: The above is true when they are continually float charge. Most AGM manufactures state the battery can be maintained at bulk charge voltage for periods of upto 48 hours, in a car your unlikely to charge the battery for 48 hours. If you drive to work for a couple of hours then leave the car sit for a few then drive home again the gas will recombine in the battery when idle and it won't be a problem. Many here in oz are using AGM's boosters with no problems.

    A starter battery is not a “cycle application.” well actually it is as it is being slowly discharged the moment you turn of the ignition, leave the car sit for a couple of weeks and the battery will be flat, but yes it is not being deeply discharged generally over say two days.

    Starter batteries though are generally not AGM batteries they can tolerate high charge voltages for long periods of time without any real loss of electrolyte. I have been running a booster here iin my Prado with .6V for over 10 years and only added water to the each of the starter batteries fitted over that time once. Generally the battery will die of old age before adding water is required.

    Wet cells these days can be charged at 14.4V@24C which is very close to what a lot of AGM's chargers are set for. You need to also consider that Toyota lower the charge voltage considerably when the engine warms up to meet anti pollution requirements, this means the alternator only provides a real charge to the battery for the 20 minutes or so it takes to warm up then backs of considerably, if we take the batteries normal max charge rate of 14.4V@24C then factor in an ambient temperature of 24C, an under bonnet temperature of 70C.

    Recapping, charge voltage should be 14.4V@24C, and assuming he temperature of the battery is 30C.

    Factoring temperature compensation values of 3mv per cell per degree C temperature rise, we get 3x6 or 18mV per degree rise. The optimum charge voltage for the battery then is 14.3V. Your Tacoma charge voltage with hot engine and the ambient temperature around 24C would be around 13.5V or .8V less than the optimum charge rate of the battery where any significant gassing is likely to occur when the battery is fully charged.

    In the good old days, a few years back, Toyota would have had the float voltage set to around 14.2V-14.4V@24C ambient.
    ---------------------
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  11. Apr 17, 2019 at 4:52 AM
    #51
    DVexile

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    @Norton - That's excellent info. Thanks for tracking it down!
     
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  12. Apr 17, 2019 at 7:34 AM
    #52
    Norton

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    Thanks for your kind words and for allowing me to borrow/use the details you posted, without which I'm sure my conversation with HKB would not have taken place!
     
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  13. Apr 17, 2019 at 8:18 AM
    #53
    Pickeledpigsfeet

    Pickeledpigsfeet Well-Known Member

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    Voltage boosters are the only way I have been able to keep Odysseys alive in my trucks. Even with a monthly maintenance from an Odyssey approved charger. With out a voltage booster my batt would have a resting voltage of 12.6(80%) after a week on DD duties and then sit for 2 days. With a booster doing the same drive/rest it would be at 12.8 which is perfect. Without the booster, within a month I would have to do the Odyssey approved recovery procedure to try and get some capacity back.

    I have a northstar in my shop that will be going into my new Tundra, and I wont be running a booster in it till the truck is out of warranty. So I will see how it handles DD duties.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  14. Apr 17, 2019 at 10:53 AM
    #54
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Thanks for the great info @Norton

    I've reached out to NorthStar to get their take, we'll see if that gets anywhere.

    What would be really useful is for the battery to provide advanced data logging and battery charge information allowing easy diagnostics of the battery health over time. NorthStar is already launching that, integrated into their batteries and accessible via bluetooth:
    https://www.northstarbattery.com/media.ashx/northstar-ace-transportation-brochure.pdf
     
  15. Apr 17, 2019 at 11:15 AM
    #55
    skierd

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    So what other negative or positive effects would a voltage booster have? As mentioned shorter bulb life, but brighter bulbs which I’m ok with. But what about the other electrical components, especially fuel and ignition systems?
     
  16. Apr 17, 2019 at 11:47 AM
    #56
    SaphiraTaco

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    That looks interesting.
    Side note now that I finally have my Switch Pro hooked up. When viewing the app Battery voltage and ambient temperature are displayed.
     
  17. Apr 17, 2019 at 12:04 PM
    #57
    SaphiraTaco

    SaphiraTaco Well-Known Member

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    Here is my disconnect for the positive cable to the winch.
    It’s just sheet metal I drilled holes in and attached it with longer bolt through headlight tab.

    FC2EE3AB-095B-4775-907A-A261D8E7D369.jpg
    6B491EA0-0C8B-4149-9CE1-57E65C865E28.jpg
     
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  18. Apr 17, 2019 at 12:10 PM
    #58
    hx989

    hx989 Church of @ODNAREM - Pacific Northwest Chapter

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    I might have to do something like that soon. What switch is that?
    And looks you your winch hookup is also fused?? Where did you find a big enough fuse?
     
  19. Apr 17, 2019 at 12:59 PM
    #59
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Keep in mind the voltage fluctuates a reasonable amount in a vehicle. Initially after startup the alternator will put out +0.5v or more before settling down to its hot output state, and RPMs will fluctuate voltage as well so most systems are reasonably voltage tolerant for the small difference. Increasing voltage slightly will give fuel pump slightly higher output, which is beneficial for the supercharged guys.
     
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  20. Apr 17, 2019 at 1:02 PM
    #60
    Pickeledpigsfeet

    Pickeledpigsfeet Well-Known Member

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    I have almost 70k on a booster in my 2014 and havent had any bulbs burn out or any other electrical issues. The aussies have been running these for over 15 years and I havent read anything negative, but not a lot of them are on the forums.
     
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