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Thread: Trickle Charging Battery

  1. #1
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    Default Trickle Charging Battery

    I know you can NOT charge a battery in the car with the HP EFI hooked up, but can you trickle charge the battery with the system hooked up? I'm thinking of getting a battery tender being as I don't drive the car as much as I would like. I'm guessing the answer is no, but I wanted to ask. I'm trying to avoid having to disconnect the battery terminals every time I want to jump in and go.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 347 stroker View Post
    I know you can NOT charge a battery in the car with the HP EFI hooked up...
    That's not true. The battery can be charged with the EFI ECU and battery connected.
    I've done it many times. Read the "Important Battery Charger Usage!" notice below.

    It's really not a big deal. Don't turn the key on (unless it's a low amp trickle charger) and don't start the engine while charging the vehicle.
    If you need a jump start; first charge the battery, then disconnect the charger before starting engine.

    I'm thinking of getting a battery tender being as I don't drive the car as much as I would like.
    There's nothing wrong with using a "trickle" charger (battery maintainer), and there's no need to disconnect anything.

    It's non-volatile EPROM memory storage (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). Even if the battery is disconnected,
    the ECU doesn't lose any programming. It's just not a good idea to start the engine with a battery charger 'on'.

    I'm trying to avoid having to disconnect the battery terminals every time I want to jump in and go.
    I haven't disconnected my Holley EFI ECU or my Odyssey AGM battery in years.
    I've charged the battery many times and I use a CTEK charger (for battery maintenance).

    I use a CTEK Multi US 7002 (7A max, fully automatic - $100) and I love it. It also has the desulphation function.
    I like the convenience of the plug-in CTEK connector (I don't like alligator clips) with the built-in Comfort Connect Indicator (LED battery meter). Works great!



    Originally posted by Holley EFI Warning Notice:

    Important Battery Charger Usage!

    Most battery chargers do not provide "clean" power to the vehicle and can cause voltage spikes that damage the ECU. This is especially true of most 16V battery chargers. Adhere to the following guidelines!
    • Never use the "cranking" setting on a charger to start the engine.
    Do not set a charger to a charge current over 10 amps.
    Charge the battery sufficiently, before trying to start the engine.
    • If using a 16V battery charger, do not turn on the ECU switched power, nor start the engine with the charger on.
    Make sure the charger is not charging over 18.5 volts.
    • If the battery has sat for a long time, or is known to be discharged, it's best to charge the battery with everything
    DISCONNECTED from the battery, while the battery is being charged.
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/2800 RPM converter, M4602G aluminum driveshaft, FRPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & 245/45R17 tires.

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Danny. Actually, that's good advice about not charging over 10A, in any case. The vast majority of home chargers has NO voltage regulation, NO filtering, and have a VERY dirty pulsing output. The more charge current you "crank up" the worse this gets. Using any typical home charger demands that you pay attention to "what the battery is doing" IE too warm, excessive gassing and acid bubbling, especially now that so many batteries are sealed and you cannot add water.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    northern VA
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    Thank you so much. I will check out the CTEK for sure. I saw a review once on one of the automotive shows on TV. They are supposed to be great. Thanks again.

  5. #5

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    I have a trickle charger purchased from Griot's several years ago. It did not come with connectors to allow connection without opening the hood, so I made my own. Purchased a 1/4 headphone jack and socket from Radio Shack, mounted the socket behind the grill attached to the hood latch support. Connected that to the battery terminals, put the male jack on the charger cables. Now by plugging in the jack, I can keep the battery maintained. This charger is a maintainer really, it does have the desulphation function.

  6. #6

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    How about using jumper cables? I never go anywhere without them. For instance I might have left lights on and need a jump in a parking lot, or just have a weak battery that can't be replaced at the moment.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 351C Sniper View Post
    How about using jumper cables? I never go anywhere without them.
    You can use jumper cables to recharge the battery, but I don't start an engine with them still attached.
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/2800 RPM converter, M4602G aluminum driveshaft, FRPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & 245/45R17 tires.

  8. #8

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    I didn't know about any of this, or I read it and forgot that I read it. I've started my car a bunch of times while being charged by a Craftsman wheeled charger. 15 amp setting and I might have even used the start setting in a moment of impatience. Old drag racing habits due to cars with no alternators living on the charger. I have never had a problem, but I assume I got lucky (for once in my life, LOL). I guess I will stop doing that, and make sure to use a battery tender from now on. I'm glad I saw this thread before I damaged something.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    1,952

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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 347 stroker View Post
    I know you can NOT charge a battery in the car with the HP EFI hooked up, but can you trickle charge the battery with the system hooked up? I'm thinking of getting a battery tender being as I don't drive the car as much as I would like. I'm guessing the answer is no, but I wanted to ask. I'm trying to avoid having to disconnect the battery terminals every time I want to jump in and go.
    We charge cars all the time with the Holley connected. They key is to not let them just sit on the High amperage "start" mode, as the start mode is often a Very high voltage

    The problem is, most people don't understand that start mode is made for when you have a low battery that might try to crank over, but doesn't quite have enough to get the motor spinning fast enough to start. It is not designed to charge the battery, it's is designed to give you a quick extra jolt to start the vehicle and that is all.

    The start mode's high voltage, typically as much as 16-18 volts, is a problem for a battery that is designed to hold a 12-13V charge.
    It can, and will damage the battery cells if left on for too long. The heat is the battery trying to dissipate the excess voltage. This heat can kill the battery

    Quote Originally Posted by 440roadrunner View Post
    Thanks, Danny. Actually, that's good advice about not charging over 10A, in any case. The vast majority of home chargers has NO voltage regulation, NO filtering, and have a VERY dirty pulsing output. The more charge current you "crank up" the worse this gets. Using any typical home charger demands that you pay attention to "what the battery is doing" IE too warm, excessive gassing and acid bubbling, especially now that so many batteries are sealed and you cannot add water.
    If your battery charger doesn't have multiple settings, you should not have bought it in the first place.
    Most GOOD chargers have an actual Transformer in them, not a MOSFET circuit. MOSFET circuit chargers are the pulsing type that can be bad, but MOSFET designs don't produce enough voltage to be damaging to a better.

    The MOSFET design works great for a trickle charger as it can be load sensing and can determine when a battery is charged properly, or when a battery has a problem and needs to be replaced. So the MOSFET circuit is what most consumers like to see, because it's a comfort setting, makes it so you don't have to pay attention to the battery. Plug it in and forget it.

    A higher current charger doesn't have those circuits as it uses a transformer and a constant voltage to charge your battery much like your alternator works. A good charger basically is simulating what happens to the battery while the engine is running.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff@califon View Post
    I have a trickle charger purchased from Griot's several years ago. It did not come with connectors to allow connection without opening the hood, so I made my own. Purchased a 1/4 headphone jack and socket from Radio Shack, mounted the socket behind the grill attached to the hood latch support. Connected that to the battery terminals, put the male jack on the charger cables. Now by plugging in the jack, I can keep the battery maintained. This charger is a maintainer really, it does have the desulphation function.
    The 1/4" Audio Jack is not a very smart connector to use. They make a connection with each wire as you insert it into the female end. Effectively shorting out briefly
    they are also not made or rated for any serious amperage. They are designed for the Audio Industry, and made for milliamps. That connector used as a quick connect for anything carrying amperage is a fire waiting to happen. There are MANY 2 pin connectors that would be a MUCH BETTER choice for that purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by 351C Sniper View Post
    How about using jumper cables? I never go anywhere without them. For instance I might have left lights on and need a jump in a parking lot, or just have a weak battery that can't be replaced at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    You can use jumper cables to recharge the battery, but I don't start an engine with them still attached.
    Sometimes when ordering parts, it takes a week or two for the parts to come in, and the vehicles have to sit during that time. We sometimes have customers that bring us vehicles with crap batteries in them, that when left to sit while waiting on parts, the battery goes dead. Sometimes we use jumper cables to start them, it's not an issue. It's no different than starting your car like normal.

    We usually suggest that if people need some sort of trickle charger, you go with a well known brand. We like the Deltran stuff, they make the original "Battery Tender".
    They have a 2 pin connector that makes it so you can disconnect it from your battery, and it's built in a way that you cannot accidentally plug it in the wrong way.
    http://i5.walmartimages.com/dfw/dce0...b2781eb.v1.jpg
    I have used them to recover some seriously dead batteries that should not have been able to come back to life. And you can now pick them up at Walmart in the Automotive section.
    Last edited by S2H; 05-14-2016 at 09:47 AM.
    -Scott
    Don't forget to check out progress on my Race Car:
    Project Blasphemy - 8.07 @ 171
    Low 8 Second Street Car

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2H View Post
    Sometimes when ordering parts, it takes a week or two for the parts to come in, and the vehicles have to sit during that time. We sometimes have customers that bring us vehicles with crap batteries in them, that when left to sit while waiting on parts, the battery goes dead. Sometimes we use jumper cables to start them, it's not an issue. It's no different than starting your car like normal.
    Thanks. I don't see how connecting two 12 car volt batteries in parallel could hurt anything, unless they are connected wrong or some other stupid thing is done. But I can understand that stupid things are done sometimes, and that's why Holley doesn't like it.

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