Meltdown

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Howaya Lads - and lassies
Was down in the wilds of the south west of Ireland at the weekend -
Ventry Harbour - CO Kerry.
Part of the journey involved a trip across the River Shannon by
ferry.
On the last ferry at 10 pm last night the cruiser wouldn't start when
we landed on the other side. Got towed off the ferry by a friendly
landrover 110.
Popped the hood and guess what.
The dual battery tray hold down bracket had come loose, touched off
both terminals, created an arch between the two battery terminals,
turned the bracket into a welding rod and burn't through the housing of
the batteries it was holding down.
Acid all over the place - was lucky there was no other damage or a
fire/explosion.
On closer inspection I also noticed that the bracket did not have
spreadder plates - a little angle plate should be put on the point where
the bracket is in connection with the corner of the battery - otherwise
when you tighten it down you can bust the battery housing.
Overland Spec?? - I think not.
Got home at 1am with a battery from a farmers tractor....
Anyway - you might want to check your own beast. Make sure you have
spreadder plates & that the batteries are tight and secure.
Am off to get a few new batteries.
Anybody remember what cold cranking ampage is best and how to tell if
the batterie has the correct one?
Niall
 
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Hi Niall,
Bad luck - must be somethiing to do with the 'luck of the Irish'?
Where was this from? Is this one of the Frogs Island DIY ones or an
off the shelf solution?
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Julian
Bad luck? - Mabey.
Poor installation - More likely.
Was a Frog DIY job
Niall
 
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Hi Niall,
Sorry to hear about your batteries. I was going to reply to your
previous post about your engine, fuel tank and other work you had
done, but I got distracted and didn't finish it. However I'm now
prompted to finish typing the draft to your previous post plus add a
bit more regarding batteries, here goes:
What kind of auxiliary fuel tank did you get fitted? Do you have a
transfer pump to re-fill the primary from the reserve, or is it the
OEM solution where you can drive using fuel from either tank?
I'm interested in your experiences with Frogs. A couple of months ago
I got them to perform a number of smallish jobs including auxiliary
fuel tank and battery management system. They did cost each item up
front which as you say is an advantage.
However they screwed up arranging when the work would be done and
initially rescheduled my appointment at short notice due to not having
certain parts in stock (which they had previously told me where in
stock).
I had some problems re-organising the appointment due to living in
Holland and an unexpected broken arm (my problem this time), but
finally got the vehicle in for the work in March.
When I picked the LC up there was confusion over the fuel tank as I
had expected the OEM solution. Looking back on emails Frogs had indeed
quoted me for the transfer pump arrangement but I had discussed the
OEM solution on the phone with them as I have an interest in using
alternative fuels. Indeed, I wouldn't have known about the OEM
solution if they hadn't told me. So I was expecting an OEM but got
what they had originally quoted for.
In addition when I picked the vehicle up there was minor confusion
over a few things as the person who had done the work was not
available, they'd mislaid the invoice, they hadn't fitted new tyres
I'd asked for etc etc.
Being rather miffed about that (and short of time) I drove away
without checking the rest of the work thoroughly, and it was only when
I got back to Holland that I realised they had forgotten to install
the monitor on the battery management system. They had however charged
me for it and it was on the invoice.
I phoned to discuss the fuel tank and monitor issues. The tank I have
to reluctantly accept as my mistake, I should have confirmed what was
being done when I dropped the LC off. The monitor they offered to mail
to me but I have no garage facilities and resent having to pay anyone
else to do it, so I asked if they could make a quote for fitting the
OEM tank solution and I would get the monitor fitted at the same time.
They never got back to me and I have pretty much given up now and so
still don't have the monitor.
I have also just taken a look at how my batteries are held in place,
and it is indeed a sub-optimal solution! The strap that goes across
the top is metal, very close to a positive terminal on one side and a
negative terminal on the other, and doesn't have anything in the way
of "spring" in it to guard against vibration. It is straight onto the
plastic of the battery. This means if you over tighten you are liable
to crack the battery, under tighten and risk the strap coming loose
and shorting as yours did. The nuts to tighten it are are just a
couple of wingnuts.
The batteries I have are Optima Red tops for the vehicle and a yellow
top for auxiliary power supply. My original Toyota fitted battery died
just before I took the LC to Frogs, so I bought the batteries myself.
I couldn't find a local retailer with the batteries in stock, and so
the Dutch importer supplied them to me direct, delivered to my door
and at a very, very, good price (trade I guess). I'm not sure if
they'd do that again, but if anyone is interested I can dig out the
contact details of the importers. Their service was fantastic.
Unfortunately that's more than I can say for Frogs, which partly
prompted my previous post regarding suppliers lists.
Regarding my experience with the long range tank, it is a very useful
addition for me as I can buy fuel in cheaper countries when driving
around Europe. I can get about 900 miles between re-fuels which is
great.
However I think that the OEM solution is the one to go for subject to
price (..I'm still waiting for the quote :). Someone previously
mentioned the OEM advantage re getting a batch of dirty fuel for
example. If your primary tank gets full of crap you are OK with the
OEM solution but not with the transfer tank system. The corollary is
that if you stick a hole in the second tank with a transfer pump you
at least get a chance to try to pump as much as possible into the
primary. However how practical this is I'm not sure as it takes about
45 minutes to pump an empty primary tank full again. You're probably
better off sticking a bucket under the hole.
Also I guess the OEM solution is also the only option if you want to
run alternative fuels alongside regular diesel.
Cheers,
--
Andy Haxby
1994 HDJ81
Den Haag NL
Macclesfield UK
 
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Andy
Let me just dsay I sympathise with you....
My experience summarised as follows:
26/03/07 - Price agreed and Vehicle booked in for 05/04/07
05/04/07 - Vehicle dropped over. Pick-up date agreed for 16/06/07
21/05/07 - Contacted the boyz for update - no problems. Everything on
track.
28/05/07 - Contacted the boyz for update - no problems. Everything on
track.
05/06/07 - Contacted the boyz for update - no problems. Everything on
track.
15/06/07 - Parts problems. Vehicle not ready. Flights & ferries changed
at 1 days notice.
16/06/07 - Original pick-up date -missed.
23/06/07 - Agreed second pick-up date
22/06/07 - Vehicle blows up on test run. Flights & ferries changed at 1
days notice.
30/06/07 - Actual Pick-up.
Re LRFT - Have the same as yours - I just told them to put in whatever
system they had the most experience with - less likely to feck it up
that way. No problems with it so far.
In light of the messing about I got them to forward the invoices in
advance and we agreed costs - so there was no issues when picking up
vehicle.
Apart from blowing up the original engine, frying 2 batteries, pouring
acid all over the place, leaving me stranded on a ferry till 1am, I have
no problems with the work done.
Re level of service -
1. Good in so far as I was kept informed and they compensated me for
their messing about.
2. Bad in relation to their own planning and execution which resulted
in the problems.
Normally I would have gone mental with the amount of feckups but
....... as i'm prepping for an overland trip 1st quater next year - I
saw this as good training in keeping the cool against insurrmountable
odds and all that. I just kept telling myself its only a vehicle. Not
worth stressing out about. Things will be 10 times worse in Africa etc.
So what the heck - vehicle back and running. Karma intact. Have learnt
a lot. Driving on!
Thanks
Niall
 
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Niall,
The battery size is 80 or 85 Ah, not sure which. It really does
not matter, if the batteries fit then the larger the better. Always
replace both because of the balance.
Regards,
Clive Marks
Home: +44 1293 514600
Mobile: +44 7821 491897
Skype: Cobminor
Crawley, West Sussex, UK.
 
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Cheers Clive
If the batteries are only a week old do you still need to replace
both?
Is the 85 AH the cold cranking thingy
Niall
 
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Andy wrote...
Looking back on emails Frogs had indeed
quoted me for the transfer pump arrangement but I had discussed the
OEM solution on the phone with them as I have an interest in using
alternative fuels. Indeed, I wouldn't have known about the OEM
solution if they hadn't told me. So I was expecting an OEM but got
what they had originally quoted for.
SNIP
Andy, you are poorly informed. Toy did it both ways. In an office
fleet of 80's I used to drive, they had a transfer pump from the sub
tank to main in the range of 80's we had, made from 92 to 96 at
least. The handbook read that the transfer pump should be used in
time before running the main dry as the pump transferred at a rate of
1-2 litres per minute. These were not military spec models. The gauge
and switch by the way were in an overhead console above the mirror,
together with the altimeter.
I then swapped my then ex UN 4Runner for the 80 in 2001 and my first
trip was across Europe. I switched the sub tank on expecting it to
transfer and it didn't. I had taken the precaution of photo-copying a
handbook from an office 80 and at one roadside stop I re-read the
passage on fuel transfer. It was there right enough, but it didn't
happen on mine. I kept the sub tank switched on and it just seemed to
'fill' at about the rate of use as I went along. (Some will remember
that I posted a question on Lcool about this phenomenon, and some of
the Ozzies wrote back that they did not all have transfer but a
switch valve between the two tanks).
There are so many variations on this model for so many markets and
purposes it is dangerous to generalise about specification ! By the
way, since then I have always kept fuel in the sub and used it every
week or so to keep the tank and fuel sweet just by topping it up with
maybe 10 litres when the gauge is low - I always keep it well primed
with a condensation dissolving additive too.
Battery straps - I am confused here. There is nothing wrong with a
steel strap as long as it is fitted correctly and kept tight. When I
got my 80 the skilled UN fitters had left the battery in freefall
bouncing around the tray. I immediately held it down with a
replacement from Halfords. You know, the old fashioned mini type. A
plastic dipped steel bar in a 90degree angle section across the
leading edge of the battery held down by two 6mm threaded rods
terminating in hooks that locate in a slot near the bottom of the
tray at the rear. When fitting I took the precaution of pushing some
plastic fuel pipe over the 'J' hooked ends, so that there was a small
degree of 'give' in the mounting. Since that day its never come loose
and I have been over a lot of Balkan mountain roads all day every day
without mishap. (My Pajero has a steel strap that goes straight
across the centre of the battery and has never given any problems -
even swimming on Salisbury Plain !)
Naturally I have no knowledge of the frog's arrangement. But I do
seem to remember that in the early days of this forum a prominent
member mentioned how unimpressed he was at the management of the
company and some of its idiosyncratic ideas on wiring etc. (you know
who you are !). Later the owner of the company came on the forum all
full of thrust and sales talk - he kept just telling us what he had
in stock as a response to posts regarding problems to which he had an
answer - and his delivery suggested the working style of his company.
He soon disappeared. Funny that...............
Cheers
Jon
Linslade,Beds
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus
 
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Niall,
No, 85Ah is the amp hour capacity of the batteries. If the other
one is new then only replace the one.
Regards,
Clive Marks
Home: +44 1293 514600
Mobile: +44 7821 491897
Skype: Cobminor
Crawley, West Sussex, UK.
 
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Hi Niall,
Although no-one wants things to go wrong, neither for themselves nor
others, it is strangely satisfying to know that I am not the only one
who has had a few hiccups....(or loud burps...)
I'm lucky here, my problems were minimal compared with yours....
However maybe mine were worse here. I was kept waiting for ages for
the boss to get back from holiday, and then he didn't do anything
anyway. As yet no compensation for the messing around, which is kind
of dumb of them as I want a lot of work doing over the next year or so
- they've missed out on the opportunity for the business now though.
Likewise.
A very Zen approach but you could have had the same experience by
buying a Landrover and you wouldn't have had to leave the comfort of
home :)
Indeed,
Cheers,
--
Andy Haxby
1994 HDJ81
Den Haag NL
Macclesfield UK
 
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Hi Jon,
Indeed, thanks for the info. Anyone got any idea where I could get the
second option "drive straight off the second tank" solution fitted?
True,
Works fine,
Straight across is perhaps less good than across the edge because if
it starts to come loose it will flap about, whereas across the edge it
won't come completely loose until the nuts have unwound quite a long
way.
Still OK though,
It's rather hard to explain without photos, but basically the
arrangement is a rubber coated steel strap across the top of two
side-by-side batteries.
This is kind of OK, but could be done better since there are only two
wingnuts to hold it down, and no lock-nuts, and little "spring" to
ward off the effects of vibration. It runs right next to two opposite
poles of the two batteries. The batteries are not electrically
isolated from each other, so if the strap comes loose it won't take
long for the rubber to wear through and you just made yourself a
welding kit.
I've got a Morgan +8 that did that even though there were lock nuts on
the rods, but then you expect bits to fall off a Morgan.
If you get paranoid about it and over tighten then you could crack the battery.
It's a bit nit-picking really, but it would be better if there were a
frame around the edge of the batteries rather than a strap across the
top, and it definitely needs lock-nuts which will get fitted to mine
this weekend.
Cheers,
--
Andy Haxby
1994 HDJ81
Den Haag NL
Macclesfield UK
 
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Hi Andy,
Any competent 4x4 company should be able to help.
I would try Maarten at All American (http://www.all-american.nl) - they
are a bit closer to you.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Andy,
I've been away for a while and am catching up with the list.
Here are the OEM parts you will need to switch between two fuel tanks:
3W valve - Supply (spray) line ........ 77710-60030 - UKP 63.11
3W valve - Return line ..... 77720-60020 - UKP 63.11
Dashboard switch ................ 84560-60010 - UKP 22.25
Apparently, there's also a bracket to hold the switches to the
chassis, but I've never managed to find it. You will also have to make
your own wiring.
--
Rgds,
Roman (London, UK)
'92 HDJ80 (auto)
 
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Hi Roman,
Fantastic, many thanks for your help!
Cheers,
--
Andy Haxby
1994 HDJ81
Den Haag NL
Macclesfield UK
 
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