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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 9:27 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
reddingnative wrote:
Blue-Go-

I do not have a diesel, but that Ford service document suggested that gasoline engines follow the same wiring gauge as for diesel. I have 7.5 L 460 engine CA emissions.


If that's the case then I would be extremely surprised if the 800 amp figure wasn't the "inrush" current. That's not something you fuse or "wire" for, as it's extremely brief (if you were going to wire for it, you'd have wires the size of tree trunks). So likely yours is somewhere in the neighborhood of my V-10 gas. It might even be the same starter.

reddingnative wrote:
I have 4 wires connected to the positive terminal of my house battery:

1- Primary 4ga. wire connected to the engine emergency start solenoid. (The circle)

1- 8ga wire with two in line 50amp self reset fuses connected to the house solenoid. (Part of the circle?)

1- Wire connected to the Store/In Use switch inside the cab mounted next to the momentary switch for combining both batteries. This wire provides power to turn the house solenoid on and off for use or for charging the house battery.

1- Wire from the solar control panel.


Okay, I looked at that second diagram again, and I do see that you have a 4 gauge "circle" of main wires (plus the chassis). Sorry I misunderstood that. 4 AWG can be fused to 136 amps in an engine space (presuming 105ºC rated wire). Fusing 50% over the wire's rating would be 204 amps. My buddy (also with V10) did try a 200 amp fuse at first, but that didn't work as it blew when jump starting. He moved to a 225 amp fuse and didn't have any problem (but he ran 2 gauge wire, so he could do that).

This is very likely why the wire was never fused to begin with (even though it really should be). If wire is too small to be fused, then you have to run it un-fused. As I mentioned above, for me, I may choose to leave something and cross my fingers a bit if I'm not delving into it; but if I'm going to work on it, then I want to bring it up to standards. But everyone can make their own choice on that. I only review it just because it's one thing to make a choice to leave something, but another if it's just unknown that it might not be as it should be.

reddingnative wrote:
In regards to the power draw of the old school house solenoid, I'm thinking I might, at some point add a Blue Sea battery switch in place of this solenoid if it is more efficient.


I like a switch myself. The reason for a remote switch/solenoid was likely just because with a switch, you have to have it close to the battery (because you don't want those big cables to be *any* longer than they have to be). With a relay and remote switch, it can be anywhere one wants to run a small wire and put it. Blue Sea does make a remote powered battery switch (for big boats where the engine room might be "miles" away). It may draw power too (I'm sure they have specs), but perhaps not as much as an older solenoid.

I prefer just plain switches if possible. They are pretty darned robust, not too expensive, and don't lend themselves to "mysteries" as they are really straightforward. But some installations or owners favor a remote operation.

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 7:36 am 
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Blue-Go-

My plan is to add the 7622 w/remote and replace my circle of wiring with the wiring/fuses you have suggested. I won't be able to do it for a couple of weeks, but I can get the fuses ordered.

So, in regards to my house solenoid, your suggesting just a switch. Blue Sea?

Thanks again-

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 9:34 pm 
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Well, I'm in favor of a basic, robust on/off switch if it can do the job well. Meaning mostly, can you put in right next to the house battery, and still get to it conveniently when you need to (which may not mean it has to be all that convenient, if you rarely use it).

The main reason for a remotely operated switch is because the switch itself should always be really close to the battery, but sometimes the human wants to be able to switch it somewhere else (or the RV company wants to put in a panel with a bunch of switches in one place).

If you are putting in a simple switch (that's what I have), then you can re-evaluate how Chinook left some loads on and some off, even when the switch is off (at least on mine and later generations). I like ALL my loads to go off with the switch, except for my battery monitors. Chinook, on the other hand (again, on my generation) left the propane alarm, and maybe the CO alarm (I forget now) "live" when the switch is off, and on later models, also left the electric step live (I don't have one of those). You may like it just as it is, or you may decide to change things. You may also want some or all charging sources un-switched by the main switch (solar is a common example). Oftentimes those things have their own other ways to switch them off. Sometimes you may want loads off but charging on.

The Blue Sea switches come in red and black. I like red for primary battery switches, and then I use black for things like solar input switch, combiner switch (mine is manual), etc.

Presuming you don't want any little warning lights, and that you want a red switch, you could use either the Blue Sea M-series switch (a little smaller, but not a lot) part number 6006*, or the regular sized E-series switch, part number 9003e. *Note that Blue Sea is in the middle of slightly re-designing the M-series switch - this is the "old" part number, but I don't think the new ones are out yet. No real difference that I know of except very slightly different styling. The E-series aren't changing that I know of.

The part numbers are different if you want black (in the M-series). You can also get them with removable "key" handles instead of normal switch handles (different part number again), or with a field disconnect which you can easily use to wire indicator lights. Not saying you need or want those though. But, for example, I used indicator lights for my manual combiner switch. There is a steady green LED in the cab when I'm combined, and a flashing red in the living room. That way I can't forget and leave them combined. (I rarely combine is why I went for a manual switch for that function.)

All the switches and part numbers are shown on www.bluesea.com in case you want to have a look-see. They are often available on Amazon, or at marine places such as defender.com, fisheries.com, etc.

I'm glad you're going to get things spiffed up :D

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PostPosted: September 16th, 2017, 1:27 pm 
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Blue-Go-

The 7622 arrived and I'm working on the install of the unit itself, no wiring yet.

So, the wiring instructions include:

"NOTE: Use circuit protection only if ACR is not used for emergency cross connect." There are arrows pointing to the fuses at the positive terminals of the house and start batteries.

Elsewhere in the instructions, page 2, "If the ACR is not used for cross connect, install fuses to prevent a hazard if there is damage to the wires connecting the batteries to the ACR. The fuses should be placed as close as possible to the batteries so that most of the wire is protected".

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, I'm fusing my "circle" to protect the 7622 and each battery from an electrical overload/failure of some kind while starting the engine or any other component failure in the "circle". So is cross connect the same as combining?

Also, I think my starter is rated at 1.5kw draw, so that would be 125 amps

Thanks

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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 3:57 pm 
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Just wanted to let you know I saw this (have been offline) and will respond in a bit. Computer battery dying now...

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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 7:24 pm 
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Hi Reddingnative,

Okay, I'm back. So, the thing is that Blue Sea is focussed on boating (which is one reason they make great products!). There is a traditional guideline in boating that being able to start your engine takes precedence over EVERYTHING else, maybe even wires melting. I think that's partially because maybe you're drifting toward the rocks, or a waterfall, and even heating up a wire might be preferable (shudder) to the alternative. So even though the ABYC guidelines for electrical are pretty "strict" and super safety oriented, there is still that caveat that starting the engine takes precedence (although even in boating circles, there is starting to be differing opinions on that).

Also, although this is not my area of experience, I think that some very large diesel boat engines may draw so much that it's not practical (or possible?) to fuse them. But that doesn't apply to smaller boat engines or engines like in our Chinooks (I've had my Chinook starting circuit - not just the self jump start but the starting circuit that is used every time I drive - fused for years now and have never blown the fuse).

But, you are not on a boat, and you aren't going to be drifting over a waterfall. Likely, if you do need to self-jump start, you'll be sitting in a campsite somewhere, and precious seconds won't be as important as not burning down or melting. And your starter draw is not too large to fuse

Even on my boat, I have the starting circuit fused (i.e. circuit protection/OCP/breaker/etc.). I don't want any circuits unprotected. But too, I have made sure to use heavy enough gauge wire that I don't have to fuse right down to the bone with no margin. I sized the wire such that the ampacity is ample and thus I am able to fuse well enough "above" the anticipated demands, that it is very unlikely that any of my circuit protection will trip when I'm starting the engine.

So, long post short, I would choose to use circuit protection.

1) You aren't going to be going over a waterfall if something does blow.

2) Your starter draw (not the inrush current, but the draw which is likely something similar to the V10) is not too large to fuse.

3) If you give yourself enough ampacity "headroom" in the wire your fuse won't be on the verge of tripping under any normal circumstances.

4) You'll have the good feeling that you are protected against short circuits (probably more likely than the other scenarios in a moving vehicle).

But all that said, I believe ABYC's (American Boat and Yacht Council) position is still that it is not required to fuse starting circuits, so that is what Blue Sea is talking about (but I would not be surprised if that recommendation changes, at least for smaller engines). Also, these days even people with smaller boats or RV's may easily have huge short-circuit discharge amps stored in their batteries. Most people no longer have one tiny flooded battery for their house bank.

If you want to read a bit more, you might find this interesting. Look especially at the photo of the burnt skiff down near the bottom of the page (that's where he talks about smaller engines).

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_fusing

Does this all help?

BG

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PostPosted: September 20th, 2017, 7:50 am 
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Blue-Go
That helps a lot and makes sense to me. With that said, here is where I'm at:

Before I explain my progress, I made an embarrassing discovery. In my first post on this topic, I detailed that I was not charging both batteries with the engine running. In my troubleshooting, I discovered a blown 60 amp fuse in a fuse box mounted under the master cylinder for the brakes, left side of the start battery. That fuse was for the aux. battery relay and so I replaced the fuse and checked the voltages of both batteries with the engine running. There was no change, the house battery was still not getting charged from the alternator.

Well, I was checking my voltages again prior to beginning the installation of the 7622 relay and discovered that the house battery is now getting charged with the engine running. So I traced out the wiring harness again and I do in fact have a Ford Factory installed wiring harness connected to the house battery. Not sure why it started working, but there is no turning back. I'm proceeding with the installation of the 7622 relay.

I think the new 60 amp fuse woke up some electrical components that had not been working in a long time. The previous owner never dry camped and always went to a full-hook up facility, he had no idea that the house battery was only partially charged most of the time.

So, I removed the Ford Factory harness connection from the positive terminal of the house battery, covered it up and tucked it out of the way.

I installed the 7622, the remote and replaced all of my cables with size 1/0 . The Interstate Battery dealer here where I live and purchased my batteries made up the cables with heavy duty connectors. The 250 amp terminal fuses will arrive in a couple of days. The only cable yet to be replace is the negative cable on the engine battery. It disappears down into the engine compartment and is 72 inches long according to the Ford OEM part number. The shop manual I have makes no reference as to what it is connected to or how to get to it.

Installing the remote was challenging. I originally intended to install it next to the existing house and emergency power switchs. After removing the plastic trim piece below the steering wheel. I discovered a heavy duty corrugated steel brace with limited options for placement of the switch. The spot where Chinook installed the existing switches required that they drill a good sized round hole in the steel to make room for the switches/wiring. The only other option was to drill a hole on the opposite side of steering column or make a bracket and attach it to the bottom of the dash.

So, I located a spot on the dash to the right of the headlight switch. There is a 2" square indentation in the plastic which must be intended for a gauge of some type. I felt around with my hand and there was a lot of room behind that spot for wiring. So, had to make a decision, I'm not a big fan of making a hole in a perfectly nice looking dash board. As soon as you drill that first hole, don't mess it up.
The switch comes with a template, but at this point you have to make another important decision. Once that hole is cut, you connect the wires and snap the switch into place, how are you going to remove it again? There is no room for your hand behind the dash to squeeze the tabs on the switch to push it out. If you follow Chinook's idea and use a switch panel that fastens with screws, then that solves the problem. I have an old aluminum sign that I could use to fabricate a switch plate, but I wanted to see what's available.

Ok, so Blue Sea has a panel for one "Contura" switch, but the panel snaps in and has limited depth. So, if you look at the switch itself, it's actually made by Carling Technologies which has, IMO, much better mounting options for the "Contura" switches including a painted aluminum switch plate that fastens with screws. I like that idea, similar to Chinook. I could not find a switch panel that I liked so I decided to fabricate one that fastens with 2 screws.

I'll post some pictures of this project. Thanks to Blue-Go and everyone who helped me out with ideas.

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1995 Ford E350 Chassis, 7.5L 460


Last edited by reddingnative on September 20th, 2017, 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 20th, 2017, 8:06 am 
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Pics of Blue Sea 7622 Remote Switch installation.


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2017, 8:37 am 
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More Pics of Blue Sea 7622 remote switch. I have not pushed the switch housing all the way in as I'm testing everything. Also, how do I post the pics so they are oriented correctly?


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2017, 8:49 am 
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Last ones....


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