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Thread: Batteries and electrics for 4wding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Batteries and electrics for 4wding

    Some notes from 20+ odd years of buying batteries for 4wds and cars.

    a) If you are going a long way from nowhere off road in a 4wd get a battery with a hydrometer indicator in it. Of the green = good, black = needs a charge and white = replace type. Check it 2 or 3 days before leaving and before leaving.

    b) get an oversized battery, I like to fit 3yr warrantee batteries and ones that are the biggest I can fit on the battery tray, usually this means the next size or 2 up. My experience with doing this is it costs maybe $20 or $30 more for the cars and 4wds I have done this on but I find the batteries seem to last x2 as long.

    c) get your starter motor overhauled at about 10 years, ie new brushes and a "head" Often you might get a wee warning on the starter sticking as a sign the head is jamming. (Nissan Safari's).

    d) Change the belts but keep the old ones as spare that way you know 100% the belt you have fits. Its not unknown for some moron to put the wrong belt back in the packaging and you go to fit it and it doesnt.

    e) Never ever do a service less than a month from when you intend to take it a long way off road. I did a service once and the new points seperated from the base plate while someway from home., but I'd kept the old ones.
    308 likes this.
    "I do not wish to be a pawn or canon fodder on the whims of MY Government"

  2. #2
    Member JoshC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Dual battery system = no worries. Came back from two days in the hills, mate had parked my truck and left lights on (without me seeing) and battery was dead on arrival.

    So I made him feel REAL shit about extra walk out, he got all grumpy, then I flicked the switch and cranked the engine up....haha!

    Good advice though. Definitely don't skimp on batteries!
    Toby likes this.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and the bush, it's where life is clear, where the world makes the most sense.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Western BoP
    Those hydrometer jobbies can be very misleading. It is possible to have a turned cell and a dead battery with the cell that the hydro gauge is in reading in the green - making you think all is well.

    I prefer maintainable-type open top batteries - I can see in each cell (with the appropriate PPE of course) and make an assessment of the states of each cell in the battery from there using a hydrometer and a capacity meter over the entire battery. Every four years you should be looking to chuck the bat and replace if you go a long way off the beaten track - OR always park on a hill with a manual - or fit a dual battery system or carry a portable jump pack (the little USB charger/jumper type are worth their weight in gold...).
    gadgetman likes this.



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