Bonehead question about starting batteries in old Ford van

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Yo!

I've been sidetracked. The group 64 battery died in my 1987 Ford van and I can get a replacement at a prorated price. My question is, should I install two and wire them in parallel?

There are mounting spots for two batteries under the hood, but ye old Ford manual says that the second battery was isolated (factory installation) when not charging and provided power for the trailer connector...or something.

The van does sit for quite a bit of time and I try to run it once each month. There is a security system and I'm sure that's the parasitic drain that nuked the last battery. No matter if I put one or two batteries in this time, I will be installing a NOCO 2-back maintenance charger (or whatever type of built-in charger that you folks recommend).

If I can benefit from two lead-acid starting batteries and want them to be the same make and age...this is the time to do it.

So, good idea or waste of money? The coach batteries (to be added later) for the camping gear will be a separate system.

Thanks.

Edit: Oh yeah...it's a 7.5 liter (460 ci) gas engine that doesn't seem to be too cold-blooded.
 
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hour

Observer
I don't understand what you hope to gain from this? If it's allowing it to sit for longer durations without the parasitic drain getting to it, it seems like you're preventing that with the NOCO maintenance charger. And it doesn't seem like you need more capacity otherwise from the starter battery if you're talking about an isolated camping system to come.

I'd just get a single battery, a $10 tiny 5 amp or less charge controller, and a 10 watt panel... $30 with free shipping for both on Amazon. Wire up a 2.1x5.5mm female panel mount plug drilled through your grill (or dangling, zip tied somewhere) with a rubber cap. Wire a male 2.1x5.5mm to the panel. Plug panel in and lay on hood when you're leaving the van parked for these extended periods of time. If you street park the van for those long periods this probably isn't the best idea though.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I don't understand what you hope to gain from this? If it's allowing it to sit for longer durations without the parasitic drain getting to it, it seems like you're preventing that with the NOCO maintenance charger. And it doesn't seem like you need more capacity otherwise from the starter battery if you're talking about an isolated camping system to come.

I'd just get a single battery, a $10 tiny 5 amp or less charge controller, and a 10 watt panel... $30 with free shipping for both on Amazon. Wire up a 2.1x5.5mm female panel mount plug drilled through your grill (or dangling, zip tied somewhere) with a rubber cap. Wire a male 2.1x5.5mm to the panel. Plug panel in and lay on hood when you're leaving the van parked for these extended periods of time. If you street park the van for those long periods this probably isn't the best idea though.
Well, I'm not sure that there is anything to be gained from dual starting batteries and thought it best to ask. The fact that there are two factory battery locations got me to thinking about it.

If I do not install two batteries, then I can put the noco in the 2nd factory battery location. But, I'm not sure if the heat of the engine compartment would be the best place for the charger.

Thanks for the info!
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
Any vehicle just needs one starting battery, if you want when you do your house batteries you can install a selector switch that combines both banks so you can jump start the vehicle if you manage to kill the starter battery.. Engine dont run off the battery, its just used for starting and then alternator takes over from there.. its an easy life compared to house batteries.

In the meantime keep a maintenance charge on the battery, or you can install a battery terminal cut off switch like: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Master-Disconnect-Switch-Doctor/dp/B078973R19 and that should take care of that parasitic load as long as you start it up from time to time to overcome the self-discharge.
 
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jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Any vehicle just needs one starting battery, if you want when you do your house batteries you can install a selector switch that combines both banks so you can jump start the vehicle if you manage to kill the starter battery..

In the meantime keep a maintenance charge on the battery, or you can install a battery terminal cut off switch like: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Master-Disconnect-Switch-Doctor/dp/B078973R19 and that should take care of that parasitic load as long as you start it up from time to time to overcome the self-discharge.
I'll go with one start battery + maintainer then. I'm pretty sure that when I finally get around to the coach batteries I will give the dual 6V GC battery setup a try (that you mentioned in a different thread). I have all the space I need for them in the van and can afford the weight too. With my meager needs, 200-ish of usable AH should last me for at least 4 days with no battery worries.

Thanks.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
You could use both locations for house batteries if the'll fit, and then use a small racing battery for just the starter like a lil Deka motorcycle battery.. thats how I did it in my bus, shoved a big battery on each side of engine bay then tucked away a deka ETX-30L on the firewall that did nothing but fire the starter.. this let me keep batteries in engine compartment which was nice on a rear engine vehicle.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Do you fellows think a 4-amp NOCO charger would be sufficient for this setup...or should I spring for the 10-amp?
 

hour

Observer
Do you fellows think a 4-amp NOCO charger would be sufficient for this setup...or should I spring for the 10-amp?
For just maintaining a starter battery? I guess you'd have to know the specifics of your parasitic load. If you don't have to start the vehicle every day then it can't be crazy. The 4A noco onboard battery charger/maintainer says it's good for up to 120ah batteries. I suspect it can maintain a much larger battery. I maintained my popup camper battery - 110ah deep cycle, with a 2a black and decker cheap charger. In a below freezing garage all winter with a parasitic load in the form of a co monitor. I wish I had remembered to do that this winter :cautious:
 
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