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Old 12-06-2010, 02:43 PM
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Default Burning up the grid heater?

The way I have everything set up on my Dodge Cummins, my grids are not tied into the regular batteries, it uses it's own. The battery it uses is on a relay that ties it into the regular batteries to charge, but every time the grids turn on, the relay trips and takes it out of the system so it drains that battery down and doesn't touch my alternator.

Now what I am wondering is how long can the grid heater stay on before it kills itself? I know people have the grids stuck on all the time and don't really seem to have a problem. I am just thinking of putting a push button with 12v in parallel to the regular grid relays so that I can turn the key and it will cycle for 20 seconds or whatever but then I can hold the button down for another 40 and get a full minute out of it, and continue holding as I am starting it, then let off and have it cycle the grids as normal. When I did a grid heater temp test it was at 500F and just stopped and held at that temp, so I don't think it really would be a problem. I don't want to have to cycle it twice or stuff like that when it gets really cold. I know it will be hard on the battery but it is a dry cell so I am not too worried about it, and even then we will see if the red tops are all they are cracked up to be. If it kills it too quick I will just get a deep cycle.
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1997-12V-NV4500-Dana 80/3.54/2wd-350k---21-27mpg
Removed AFC--No Plate--13.5* timing--BHAF--5" Exhaust--Valair Clutch
1994-Jeep Cherokee-5spd-3.07-4wd-202k---16-19mpg

Last edited by stodg73; 09-15-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:31 PM
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That's a good question. I guess it would depend on whether or not the grids are in good shape without any deterioration or corrosion. I would guess that they can run 45 seconds at a time without adverse affects, but again that is a guess. Shoot at a temp of 0* all I do is cycle the heaters twice and start my truck. 0* is where I plug it in. In other words, if the low for the night is above 0* I don't plug it in. Even then I have a timer for my truck and only have it run for three to four hours.
My truck had Optima batteries in it when I bought it in 2001 (truck is a '96 Dodge Cummins) and they just finally crapped out last year (2009). I don't believe the Optima is going to give you much trouble if it is big enough to run the grids.
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1996 RAM "Custom Ground" 100 plate 3/4 forward, 300 injectors, 16.5 timing, Goerends Auto = 365HP, 833TQ Third Gen Rims, Aluminum Headache Rack
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Last edited by stodg73; 09-15-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:23 PM
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I'll wire it up tomorrow and see if I can get the intake horn to melt. I might hook all 5 batteries up and just let it run for 2 minutes and see if anything blows up.
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1997-12V-NV4500-Dana 80/3.54/2wd-350k---21-27mpg
Removed AFC--No Plate--13.5* timing--BHAF--5" Exhaust--Valair Clutch
1994-Jeep Cherokee-5spd-3.07-4wd-202k---16-19mpg
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:32 PM
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Make sure you use heavy enough wire!!
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1996 RAM "Custom Ground" 100 plate 3/4 forward, 300 injectors, 16.5 timing, Goerends Auto = 365HP, 833TQ Third Gen Rims, Aluminum Headache Rack
Duct Tape can't fix stupid, BUT it can muffle the sound
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:32 PM
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The wire was fine. It gets warm, but more like 80F warm, not meltdown warm. Anyhow here is how it went. So much for it stopping at 500F, oh well. Now if I could just have each battery warm 1/5 of the engine.

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1997-12V-NV4500-Dana 80/3.54/2wd-350k---21-27mpg
Removed AFC--No Plate--13.5* timing--BHAF--5" Exhaust--Valair Clutch
1994-Jeep Cherokee-5spd-3.07-4wd-202k---16-19mpg

Last edited by ISX; 12-07-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:32 PM
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Good lord ISX...

You should of broke out the marshmellows and had a few over the grid heater geez.. I could cook a big ol' hamburger on that thing...
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:34 PM
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Impressive! I would have thought it would drop the battery voltage down more than that. You must have been reading my mind about that test. I was thinking about doing something like that.
Oh, BTW, YOU have an accent there son.......
Hey, how was the embedding of the video? I have something different here for that and was wondering.
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1996 RAM "Custom Ground" 100 plate 3/4 forward, 300 injectors, 16.5 timing, Goerends Auto = 365HP, 833TQ Third Gen Rims, Aluminum Headache Rack
Duct Tape can't fix stupid, BUT it can muffle the sound
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:47 PM
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Man that damn youtube! I put brackets around it with video, with youtube, everything. Then I just said wthhhh and read your thing and said hmm. So I erased everything and just pasted the link. Worked flawlessly.

Yeah I couldn't believe the battery just went down to 9.2 and stayed there. That was just one redtop with both grids. The thing I thought was really neat is I did that test and never started the truck, I came back an hour later and the other 4 had equalized everything out to 12.45V, so that should help the red battery stay alive for a long time. I heard something about a fast discharge needs to be followed by a fast recharge, so that did the trick. I never really figured it would turn red though. Added bonus lol
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1997-12V-NV4500-Dana 80/3.54/2wd-350k---21-27mpg
Removed AFC--No Plate--13.5* timing--BHAF--5" Exhaust--Valair Clutch
1994-Jeep Cherokee-5spd-3.07-4wd-202k---16-19mpg
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:52 PM
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Cool video! I didn't know if they would glow or not, but how do you think the same test would go for those that use glowplugs?
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1996 RAM "Custom Ground" 100 plate 3/4 forward, 300 injectors, 16.5 timing, Goerends Auto = 365HP, 833TQ Third Gen Rims, Aluminum Headache Rack
Duct Tape can't fix stupid, BUT it can muffle the sound
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:02 PM
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Well I own something with glowplugs lol. They get red hot pretty quick and are meant to. The only issue there is if they do it too long, they become brittle and break off in the chamber and make wonderful noises when the engine runs.
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1997-12V-NV4500-Dana 80/3.54/2wd-350k---21-27mpg
Removed AFC--No Plate--13.5* timing--BHAF--5" Exhaust--Valair Clutch
1994-Jeep Cherokee-5spd-3.07-4wd-202k---16-19mpg
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