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Simple Dual Battery Setup?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by jeremy85, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. jeremy85

    jeremy85 Member
    from nh
    Messages: 63

    I have a yard truck that never sees the road and want to hook up a second battery.
    Can I just put another one next to the original and wire them in parallel?
    Do I need a fuse in there somewhere or can I do without?
    I don't want switches and all that, just something simple and cheap.
    Thank ahead of time!! :mechanic:
  2. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Yes you can do that ideally the batteries should be identical size and age. I would add another ground and charge wire off the 2nd battery but it probably isn't necessary.
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Not necessary at all to add another ground or charge- factory batteries are dual grounded but positives are only to each other - my Pass batt is only connected to the left batt - factory install.

    Batts should be as close to identical in size, type, and age as possible to avoid issues- a bad battery will drain a good one and in turn a good one will cover the symptoms of a bad one making for other issues or trouble diagnosing.
  4. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    the batteries should be identical, it is a good idea to ground both batteries to the motor,and increasing the wire size off the output of the alternator would be a good idea.
  5. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    If your going to go through the expense of getting the exact same duplicate battery (age, size, make, model, etc.) then why not just upgrade to a better battery.

    Odyssey Batteries are some of the best Drycell batteries on the market. And with the fact these batteries are now licensed for retail under different brands (Stinger Audio, Die Hard Platinum, etc: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02850065000P) they are much cheaper then they use to be.

    The only thing I would do is upgrade the ground (block to battery and battery to chassis) and alternator to battery cable to 2ga wire. Easily one of the quickest ways to get your battery to recharge.

    Besides in dual battery setups, if one battery is bad its a 8!+CH to figure out which one as they usually drain and kill the other.
  6. jeremy85

    jeremy85 Member
    from nh
    Messages: 63

    Sweet, thanks for the advice guys!!
  7. Goldendog

    Goldendog Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 23

    I have a 95 2500 with the 360. I want to do a dual battery setup also. I looked in the junkyard and not finding a battery tray for the other side of the truck. Does anyone know where I can find one and also the best way to hook up? There is no room to put it side by side so I'm going to have to run to the passenger side of the truck. I also wanted to upgrade the alternator. Besides running the plow I have a tailgate sander that will be running off of it.

    Parts are a bit difficult to find up here so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Use a battery tray from a donnor truck RHS and move it to the LHS of the truck. You might have to drill some holes to mount it to the inner fender. A very easy install. If you get confused look at any diesel Dodge to get a better understanding of the wiring ....
  9. nicksgarage

    nicksgarage Junior Member
    Messages: 19


    Hey Jeremy, last year i put in a dual battery setup in my 2004 ram. I would highly recommend using a battery isolator between the alternator and second battery. It only allows current to flow in one direction, towards the battery. This way one battery cant drain the other, plus you get stable current flow. You can pick one up at pep boys for about 75 bucks.
  10. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    When you did that where did you mount the second battery? The right (pass) side has the air filter box, no mounting there isn't an option. I was looking today at the space between the bumper and the radiator support.
  11. nicksgarage

    nicksgarage Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    There really isn't much room between the bumper and radiator support, but it can be done. I tried that first, but you could see it between the bumper and grill (look kinda sloppy). Instead, I laid down some 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 angle steel right on top of my plow mount under the radiator support. Then i bolted an enclosed battery tray on it, and slapped the battery in it. No matter where you put in in the front of your truck, its gonna get covered in salt, so i recommend using an enclosed tray.

    http://s1113.photobucket.com/albums/k509/nicksgarage/dual battery/
  12. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Great, that was basically what I had in mind actually. I wasn't clear about the exact location, but your images are great. I've an Optima that I'll probably use for the second battery, at least for a while. Thanks for the pictures, they were most helpful.