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theksmith

Custom Dual Battery Setup (AGM & Lithium) in a 4-Door Jeep JK

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Posted (edited)

got everything put together with the custom bracket.

 

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the only place i had to modify the parts thus far was trimming the lower outside corner of the ACM panel. the Jeep's tub curved more than i realized there. i think that's not too shabby for having measured everything with a tape measure and just visualizing how the 2D pieces would fit together in my head.

 

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now i just need to take it back out and paint the raw aluminum. i'll also start mounting all the fuses, renogy controller, disconnect, etc. to the ACM panel as soon as i have more free time.

 

Edited by theksmith
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That turned out very nice!

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X2, that looks great, K!

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Posted (edited)

a little early morning rattle can action:

 

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and the house bank distribution panel is coming together, time to start making cables!

 

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Edited by theksmith
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Posted (edited)

making good progress...

 

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i didn't purchase a shunt/monitoring system yet, but otherwise the power distribution panel is done (pic below). i'll still need to connect several wires into the Jeep after it's mounted.

 

everything is packed together pretty tight, which was unavoidable but does make the panel wiring a little messier looking than i'd like.

 

i put an aluminum & fiberglass heat shield between that 120v charger (blue thing) and the battery since they are almost touching. the Renogy has cooling fins on the back and is supposed to be mounted vertically like this for passive cooling. the slots cut in the panel behind there are just to give it even more breathing room.

 

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after we get back from the Dusy-Ershim trip, i'll run the large gauge wire from the main battery back to the above contraption and do a little rewiring so that most accessories are powered from this instead of the main. then hopefully everything just works!

Edited by theksmith
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i finally had some time to run two large wires from the engine bay to the rear (2 AWG power wire). one feeds the DC-DC charger in the back from the alternator and the other will be power coming back from the house battery to my existing aftermarket fuse/relay box.

 

i chose a spot on the driver side of the firewall to drill the big hole.

 

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this is the second one of these Daystar rubber firewall boots that i've used. i add some RTV on the metal edges to help it seal water-tight.

 

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i've been using this generic version of Techflex F6 split braided sleeving instead of split corrugated loom lately. 3/4" diameter worked well to cover the double 2-AWG cables.

 

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after hooking up these cables to the rear power panel, i could finally finish the other big connections and install the battery.

 

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i'll want to make some sort of cover for the panel i think.

 

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so far, in terms of loads, i've only re-wired my rear power ports and fridge to run off the new lithium house battery.

 

i made this little breakout/switch box for the cargo area out of a plastic project enclosure, 12v locking socket, rocker switches, and a 3D printed dual Anderson PowerPole (PP45) port from eBay.

 

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the reason the fridge is on it's own switch is the Dometic only has a soft power button instead of a true mechanical switch, and so even when "off" it's electronic control panel draws a bit more current than i think it should to leave connected all the time. the second switch isn't used yet, but might be for a cell booster or other "at-camp" accessory one day.

 

i still need to do some additional rewiring to have the rest of my accessories fed from the house battery.

 

with all this done i could test out the 120V 17A BT Victron Charger and my new Victron 500A Smart Shunt that you might have noticed got added to the main house distribution panel in one of the above photos.

 

the single Victron Bluetooth app showing both devices:

 

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here's the 120v shore-power charger's main screen:

 

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and the SmartShunt's main screen:

 

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in the screenshot above, only the fridge is connected to the house battery and so the current through the shunt is a negative number (i.e. power is being drawn). it was just cycling off, hence the very low amp draw.

 

finally i was able to also crank up the rig and see the Renogy 50A DC-DC charger do it's thing. here's another screenshot from the SmartShunt's app, this time the Renogy charger is supplying more power to the battery than the fridge is drawing, hence the positive current number.

 

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i also took a brief run down a nearby wash to make sure the mounting platform and battery hold-down are going to be secure. i have a slight vibration/rattle, but i think just adding one more mounting point at the top of the distro panel will calm that down.

 

you can just barely see the house battery hiding beside the fridge when looking from the rear:

 

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so all the core elements seem to work as intended!

 

now i just need to do that additional accessory rewiring and i want to clean up some cables going to the starting battery's fuse panel too. then hopefully this project is complete.

 

i'll get to fully test at least the fridge and my 12v oven running off the new system on the Rug Road trip i'm leading next month!

 

Edited by theksmith
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Nice job Kris.  Very clean build.

 

I like your breakout box and good job picking up the “vampire” loads on your fridge.

I did a build once at work where the constant current  draw drove me nuts until I realized that off didn’t really mean off on a particular piece of instrumentation I installed

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a fairly quick project this morning to rewire the PowerPole port and cigarette lighter style outlet that i'd added to the center console so they are both powered by the house battery now.

 

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Clean install for sure Kris.   Well done...  ;)

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