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Old 09-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
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Help with Lights, wiring, suggestions please

I just went light crazy! and ordered tons of lights!

Heres what I got

KC HiLiTES SlimLite 130W Super White Long Range Pair Pack
Mounting both of these right under the windsheild Each side

KC Driving Lights Black 6" Round 130w
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/lights-...w-kch-634.html
5 of these on a light bar above the window

Kc HILites 26 series long range light 55w
KC HiLiTES 1762 - KC HiLiTES 26 Series Long Range Light - Quadratec
4 of these on a bar on the hood

KC Fog Light Black 6" 100w
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/light-f...-kch-1687.html
2 of these on front bumper


Even though im not going to drive everywhere with all the lights on I want it hooked up to where I could if i wanted to. My battery looks pretty nasty has battery acid building up all over the posts and just looks old so I think im getting a new one but should I have 2? Would my stock alternator charge both batteries or would one just eventually drain or would that be hard on a battery? Do I need a beefier alternator?

What is the best healthy way from someone with experince in supplying power to this amount of lights?

Ive hooked up car stereos never done lights, any suggestions, thoughts, comments appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 09-12-2011, 01:20 PM   #2
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Man, thats alot of lights, I would upgrade your alternator to a higher output one for sure. Do you plan to run a winch, amps or other power demanding accessories besides the lights?

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #3
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I'm thinking just lights for now
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Absolutely upgrade the Alternator. Sounds like you may need to spring for a new battery regardless.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Depending on how you want to switch them....that's going to be one large project box from radioshack! I would suggest with that many lights you make some sort of enclosure for all your relays/fuses that you can mount under the hood. I have a simple 4 light set up above my windshield. I used three relays for it, one for the left light, one for the right, and one for the two middle's. I have them in a 8"x4"x2" project box(tight fit!) under the hood, strapped on top of the fuse box that sits in front of the battery, I then ran the lines through the firewall to the three switches which I put into a 4"x2"x1" project box mounted on my dash. However you do it, you're going to get your soldering practice in! Please post pics of this project!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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deffinently will post pics, any ideas on what alternator would be a good canidate...there looks to be a mount on top of my old one...is that to add an alternator to the existing one?
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #7
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deffinently will post pics, any ideas on what alternator would be a good canidate...there looks to be a mount on top of my old one...is that to add an alternator to the existing one?
I'm guessing you have the 2.5L I4? If so, and you do not have A/C, that's the mount for the compressor you're talking about. I've always wondered myself if you could just throw a second alternator on there.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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I have the 4.0L no ac, looks like thats what its for but ive never seen that before ?
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davers87
I have the 4.0L no ac, looks like thats what its for but ive never seen that before ?
That mounting bracket is for an ac compressor. But I assume you can fabricate a mount for an alternator. I'll give you a link when I get home of 300+ amp alternators that should be overkill.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:21 AM   #10
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awsome! im all about overkill, haha
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:09 AM   #11
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This is the battery I would run Optima Batteries 950(SC34DU - Optima 12 Volt Yellow Top Deep Cycle Battery - Quadratec for major over kill get a double battery tray and run two!
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:39 AM   #12
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I'd suggest the Diehard Platinum over the Optima. I've been told the Optima quality went down the tubes when the changed manufacturing locations. Of course I heard this after I'd bought a yellow and red top for my dual battery setup. grrr... I'd definitely suggest dual batteries with something like a Hellroaring BIC isolator running isolated starting battery and a high output alternator. 250A would not be overkill.

You've got over 1300W of lights there. Your total draw is going to be 90-100A when all the lights are on. You trying to vaporize the rocks instead of driving over them? I went the 136A alternator upgrade route, but that isn't going to suffice for your setup.

Assuming you're going to run each set of lights off their own switch, you will likely need to run 2-3 relays to the lights on the overhead bar. Draw there is 650W (45-50A). A pair of 30A relays will handle the load, but you may want to break it up more. A single switch can control multiple relays.

A few thoughts right off the bat:

1 - Safety, safety, safety. You're dealing with currents that can weld and start a fire.

2 - Invest in a good pair of crimpers, some Anchor Marine lugs, adhesive line heatshrink tubing, and wire loom.

3 - Verify ampacity of all cabling. Main feed to added fuse block should be 2ga. 10ga up to 20A, 8ga up to 30a, and 6ga up to 50A. Those are rough numbers.

4 - Fuse and switch and close to the power source as possible. I recommend the relays be directly after the fuse block and in the same enclosure is possible. Definitely feed the 100-150A main feed at or right next to the battery.

5 - Did I mention safety, safety, safety?


-Brian
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdheaton
I'd suggest the Diehard Platinum over the Optima. I've been told the Optima quality went down the tubes when the changed manufacturing locations. Of course I heard this after I'd bought a yellow and red top for my dual battery setup. grrr... I'd definitely suggest dual batteries with something like a Hellroaring BIC isolator running isolated starting battery and a high output alternator. 250A would not be overkill.

You've got over 1300W of lights there. Your total draw is going to be 90-100A when all the lights are on. You trying to vaporize the rocks instead of driving over them? I went the 136A alternator upgrade route, but that isn't going to suffice for your setup.

Assuming you're going to run each set of lights off their own switch, you will likely need to run 2-3 relays to the lights on the overhead bar. Draw there is 650W (45-50A). A pair of 30A relays will handle the load, but you may want to break it up more. A single switch can control multiple relays.

A few thoughts right off the bat:

1 - Safety, safety, safety. You're dealing with currents that can weld and start a fire.

2 - Invest in a good pair of crimpers, some Anchor Marine lugs, adhesive line heatshrink tubing, and wire loom.

3 - Verify ampacity of all cabling. Main feed to added fuse block should be 2ga. 10ga up to 20A, 8ga up to 30a, and 6ga up to 50A. Those are rough numbers.

4 - Fuse and switch and close to the power source as possible. I recommend the relays be directly after the fuse block and in the same enclosure is possible. Definitely feed the 100-150A main feed at or right next to the battery.

5 - Did I mention safety, safety, safety?

-Brian
Those wire approximations are good thumb rules. That's way on the safe side. I've seen some (dumb) people running 1,500 watt amp systems off 8 awg. Not smart. Run either 2, 0 or 00 awg from battery to relay. I'd personally run a single relay per light. As Brian said, you can have one switch turn on more than one light.

I haven't been on a real computer. I will be in a few hours, ill send you the link then. Definitely upgrade your alt & battery. You can get an oversized marine battery. They're pricey, but worth it. If you do that, you're going to have to make a custom battery tray, though.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:16 AM   #14
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Those wire approximations are good thumb rules. That's way on the safe side. I've seen some (dumb) people running 1,500 watt amp systems off 8 awg. Not smart. Run either 2, 0 or 00 awg from battery to relay. I'd personally run a single relay per light. As Brian said, you can have one switch turn on more than one light.

I haven't been on a real computer. I will be in a few hours, ill send you the link then. Definitely upgrade your alt & battery. You can get an oversized marine battery. They're pricey, but worth it. If you do that, you're going to have to make a custom battery tray, though.
I prefer to stay way on the safe side where wiring is concerned. It keeps me way on the safe side.

I went with a dual battery tray in my Jeep. A pair of the Diehard platinums (P-1 size 34 or P-4 34/78DT) should fit. I'm stuck with my Optimas until they fail. For isolation I'm using a Hellroaring BIC-95150B Hellroaring Battery Isolator Combiner, BIC-75150A . The isolator is wiring in "starting battery isolation" mode. My upgraded 136A alternator is directly connected to the aux battery. When the alternator is charging, the BIC closes the circuit to charge the starting and main vehicle load battery. It is working great! Over time, I'll be moving some of the higher amperage loads from the starting battery and OE fuse block over to the aux battery. I prefer a dual battery setup over a single larger battery as that give me a warm fuzzy for isolation and redundancy.

A similar setup should work for this mega-light application with a 250A+ alternator. Given the draw of the lights, I think you'd be well served with a setup that prevents the lights and other aux loads from touching your starting battery. By connecting the alternator feed to the aux battery, you don't pass the current required by the aux loads through the BIC.

-Brian
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
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Good info, two battery setup one for starter and other for auxillary, hook them up with isolator. The isolator will charge both batteries then? Or would it be possible to run the auxillary battery dead with my lights?

Also each light kit comes with a pair of lights and one relay for the pair, whats the advantage of hooking up each light to its own relay? Also is there any kind of auxillary fuse box I could buy to mount all the relays in to keep them upright and not all over?

thanks for the help I really appreciate it
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #16
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I prefer to stay way on the safe side where wiring is concerned. It keeps me way on the safe side.

I went with a dual battery tray in my Jeep. A pair of the Diehard platinums (P-1 size 34 or P-4 34/78DT) should fit. I'm stuck with my Optimas until they fail. For isolation I'm using a Hellroaring BIC-95150B Hellroaring Battery Isolator Combiner, BIC-75150A . The isolator is wiring in "starting battery isolation" mode. My upgraded 136A alternator is directly connected to the aux battery. When the alternator is charging, the BIC closes the circuit to charge the starting and main vehicle load battery. It is working great! Over time, I'll be moving some of the higher amperage loads from the starting battery and OE fuse block over to the aux battery. I prefer a dual battery setup over a single larger battery as that give me a warm fuzzy for isolation and redundancy.

A similar setup should work for this mega-light application with a 250A+ alternator. Given the draw of the lights, I think you'd be well served with a setup that prevents the lights and other aux loads from touching your starting battery. By connecting the alternator feed to the aux battery, you don't pass the current required by the aux loads through the BIC.

-Brian
I completely agree. Better safe than sorry. I'm using 2 AWG for 1k watts. It's just how I roll. And in the car audio world: Those Optima's are still premium. At least they were when I last checked like 6 months ago. But a lot changes since then.

As for dual battery: I'm a huge fan of that. I always thought they should put in a small batcap for starting and a regular 24 series or something for just running. My battery's died listening to the radio far too many times. Or leaving the lights on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davers87 View Post
Good info, two battery setup one for starter and other for auxillary, hook them up with isolator. The isolator will charge both batteries then? Or would it be possible to run the auxillary battery dead with my lights?

Also each light kit comes with a pair of lights and one relay for the pair, whats the advantage of hooking up each light to its own relay? Also is there any kind of auxillary fuse box I could buy to mount all the relays in to keep them upright and not all over?

thanks for the help I really appreciate it

What happens with dual batteries is that your power for lights and others (depending on how you set it up) will be drained from the second battery, while the isolator "isolates" the second battery and keeps it available for cranking / other things. (Again, dependant on how you wire it.) Once current is flowing from the alternator, it will charge both batteries simulatenously.
The pros of this: You have a battery strictly for starting, meaning you won't have to worry about leaving your lights on, on accident. If one battery goes bad, you still have a backup battery. Also it creates a bigger "pool" to get energy from.

The cons: more weight.

But while the car is on, the alt will charge both batteries, so you won't kill the battery with the aux lights.

The pros of runnning a relay for each pair is so there's less strain on each relay. Each one is probably rated at 30 Amps, which is 360 watts per relay. As long as you're under that, you're fine. What can also be a pro is that, if a relay goes bad, only one pair of lights turn off, instead of all of them.

And I'm sure there's fuse / relay boxes you can buy. I just don't know of any.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #17
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PS:

www.mechman.com

or

www.dcpowerinc.com

That's the websites that all the "Car Audio" kids go to for their High-Output alternators. They'll run you a pretty penny. But they create an unreasonable amount of power.

(And my $.02, out of the two, I'd chooes Mechman. I've heard only good things about their products and staff.)
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:14 AM   #18
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There are 2 very general ways to wire the BIC. The difference is whether the alternator is attached directly to the AUX battery or the START battery. Of course it also changes which BIC terminals goes to which battery.

Isolated AUX - Alternator goes to the START battery. Any current pulled by loads connected to the AUX battery has to go through the BIC. The START battery still supplies the OEM vehicle loads and has priority for charging.

Isolated START - Alternator goes to the AUX battery. Any current pulled by loads on the AUX battery - your 1.21 jigawatts in this case - does NOT go through the BIC. AUX battery has priority for charging, but cannot drain the starting battery. OEM vehicle loads pull current from the alternator through the BIC. Since your stock alternator was 90A, you're well within the current limits on the BIC. If you move your headlights over to the AUX battery via a relay setup, you'll pull even less via the BIC.

When your biggest loads are on the AUX side, using the BIC in "starting battery isolation" mode makes sense. That is how I wired mine. That way my big currents to AUX side loads don't have to go through the BIC. If I draw more current than the alternator can supply from the charging system, the BIC isolates that starting battery so you can't drain it.

Fuse Blocks - There have been a couple recent threads on fuse blocks. Blue Sea Systems makes some blocks meant for boats that work well. In general, you mount the fuse block and your relays inside a big project box from Radio Shack. You could probably also use a large electrical box - 8x8 or so. If you've got a hi-lift jack, the spot where the OEM jack was mounted is just begging to become and electrical mounting location. I saved my location on top of the alternator for an eventual onboard air installation.

Relays - As IDSKot pointed out, the average auto relay is rated for 30A on the NO contacts. 30A or 360W is the max limit. A good rule of thumb is to stay under 75-80% of rated load. That would give you 270-280W per relay as a target. Since you got a relay with each pair of lights, you'll have some spares. A pair of the 130W lights would be just about right for a single 30A relay. All 4 of your hood lights can go on a single relay, as can your 2 bumper lights. On the overhead light bar, you'll end up with one relay that only has 1 light on it and a pair on the other two. A split like that will keep you under 80% loading on each relay.

Make sure you put some snubber diodes on the relay coil connections. They are diodes connected such that they are reverse biased in normal operation. When you turn the switch off and the magnetic field in the relay coil collapses, it will dump a small power spike. The snubber diode will conduct and dump that spike to ground right at the relay coil.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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Whoa, definitely need night shots of this sucker. You will be getting 747's wanting to land on the road your are illuminating.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:51 PM   #20
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I'm looking To add a winch and some lights above the window eventually and the idea of using the space under the hood where the jack was is awesome! I'm going to start making a schematic for my jeep, I may use google sketchup or eagle for it
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I'm looking To add a winch and some lights above the window eventually and the idea of using the space under the hood where the jack was is awesome! I'm going to start making a schematic for my jeep, I may use google sketchup or eagle for it
Make sure to start a build thread. I love seeing projects come to fruition.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:36 PM   #22
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I will also probably use it for my audio system as well. I will definitely take lots of pics and I'll post my schematic once I have it done. I wanted to rewire the entire but one thing at a time
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:08 PM   #23
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Tore down the jeep last weekend. At a standstill right now the mount for the light bar thats going above the window is interferring with the brackets for the lights under the windsheild. Hopefully Ill have it sorted out this weekend : ) .

Im wondering, for now im thinking I might just get one battery and a 250a alternator and Im wondering if I have this high output alternator and im not using any of my lights if this could cause any damage to my battery?

I dont drive the jeep everyday and im probobly not going to have all the lights on all the time so im thinking maybe I can get by with that without going thorouh the hassel of getting a double battery tray, isolator connectors, 2 new batteries?

Thanks
Dave




put some green LED's in while I had the dash all apart

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:10 PM   #24
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It will only produce amperage when you need it. Other than that, the regulator will make sure you maintain proper voltage regardless of the load.

Aka no.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #25
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Are you trying to use an above windshield light bar that attatches to the side of the windshield hinge and use the front hinge light bracket as well? Try using a Carr or similar light bar that attatches near the top of the windshield frame.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:26 PM   #26
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Holy shit are you trying to melt the landscape flat???
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:53 PM   #27
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I saw the carr ones that attach to the top of the frame...just not a big fan of the look haha. 4wd probly wont be nessisary in the winter my lights will probly just melt the snow : P
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #28
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #29
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Light bar for the hood is on the way : ) got pretty much everything mounted been collecting wiring supplies probobly start some tonight and work on it next weekend. Its getting closer to being done.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:03 AM   #30
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Very very nice!!!

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