Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie





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  1. #1
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    Default Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Hi Gentlemen (and any ladies)

    So I am hoping to get some advice on a problem with my Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie. I live in the bush in Zambia, and even in Lusaka or Livingstone it is hard to find a good auto electrician.

    Vehicle is a 2008 landcruiser bakkie with Meano double cab conversion and 1HZ engine. It is running a dual battery system with ctek controller and two victron 80 Ah AGM batteries in parallel under the back seat. There are two 100 W solar panels on top.

    So just recently the bakkie has fried a couple of batteries. The first was a sealed maintenance free battery and it got so hot it was bulging out the sides and spitting all the acid out the vents on top. There was a piece of wood on top of the battery spacing the battery holder and it got partially turned to charcoal. A similar thing happened last year and the battery was bubbling and sizzling. I was in Livingstone and get a good mechanic to check it out amongst other things and he installed a new unsealed battery. In 11 hours driving back to camp the battery was also ruined with lots of leakage out the maintenance holes. All these batteries are speced to run a diesel landcruiser. Overall it seems the batteries are getting badly overcharged, and the problem is exacerbated in high temperatures.
    Now the vehicle with this new (ruined) battery is sitting at 13.9 V when charged. If I turn the lights on it drops to about 13.7 and down to 13.5 or so with the LED lightbar turned on. I have noticed in the past but not in the last few years that the battery monitor gauges have been maxed out (>=14.2) when running

    The vehicle has been hard on batteries for at least two years. We need to replace the main battery fairly often, at least every six months. But as I say above I just had a battery ruined the first time I used it.

    The start of the problem does seem to coincide with my installation of a new LED lightbar last year. That is a fairly standard installation with relay and wired to run when switched on and high beams on. That installation has since been checked by an auto electrician in Lusaka.

    The problem comes and goes a bit. I can identify a couple of possible reasons for this:
    1. The use of the LED light bar. Of course we only use this at night, and often only on the open road
    2. Long drives. I suspect this is the main issue, as long drives really charge up the battery and then proceed to badly overcharge it and heat it up.
    3. Temperatures. Certainly the one park Sioma seems hard on the battery, and things get very hot there and engineworking hard in deep sand.

    A possible cause is something to do with the auxiliary system. Those batteries are pretty happy and do not have problems.

    Any suggested causes and diagnostic tests that you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    My first guess is that the voltage regulator on the alternator is not working.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    To fry a battery in one day seems to be some kind of fault. As a regulator for the Denso alternator is less than R300 I would go that route if someone cannot actually test to find the problem. I would also keep a hawks eye on a voltmeter to see if the voltage does at times go and stay over 14.2V. You current 13.9V is not too high to have this affect on a new battery.

    May be you can check what kind of alternator is fitted.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    I’d agree with the voltage regulator on the alternator as a place to start looking.

    With the vehicle running without any load off the alternator you should be drawing 13.7 to 14.5v depending on the vehicle.

    Then turn on radio, aircon etc and then measure the load. There shouldn’t be much difference in the reading between load and no load.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    I fried batteries as well, but it was due to the solar regulator that was overcharging. It was one of those analogue units. Changed to a digital 10 A unit and that was about 3yrs ago. No problems since.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Thanks for the quick replies. Is there any way I can test the voltage regulator on the alternator? I can look in the morning what alternator is on there.

    I agree it could be a good route to just change the regulator anyway, but requires getting one from 300 km away then if it is something else I will ruin another new battery.

    A couple of weeks ago in the bush the battery got fried so I was push starting it and leaving it running but then forgot and shut it off at a village in the sand and 10 guys couldn't push me so I had to get them to bring their oxen team around and hook them up the shackles and pull me to start the vehicle.... would be nice to get it sorted using some diagnostics if anyone can suggest.

    Are there any possible explanations apart from overcharging

    thanks again

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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Just measure the charge voltage. Should never be higher that about 14,2v. Measured on the battery.
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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    Just measure the charge voltage. Should never be higher that about 14,2v. Measured on the battery.
    yep
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    Just measure the charge voltage. Should never be higher that about 14,2v. Measured on the battery.
    Thank you. Yes it is about 13.9 V which suggests overcharging is not an issue at least not all the time?

    Is there any other thing that would cause the battery to get fried like this??

    Thanks...

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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    The second battery could have a dead cell. I'm no expert, but I understand this will cause the primary battery to try to compensate and it will be a huge load, almost like a dead short.

    So my advice: isolate the second battery completely from the primary, if possible. Measure the resting voltage on each while disconnected.
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    just a question please?
    if the regulator is kaput, will revving the engine then not also increase the charging voltage, since the regulator is now faulty?

  18. #12
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryCH View Post
    just a question please?
    if the regulator is kaput, will revving the engine then not also increase the charging voltage, since the regulator is now faulty?
    yes it will indeed
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    These LED volt gauges are cheap and easy to install. It solved a intermittent charging problem in my vehicle within a few drive cycles.
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by wiel View Post
    These LED volt gauges are cheap and easy to install. It solved a intermittent charging problem in my vehicle within a few drive cycles.
    Yep, I bought one for that exact reason and my voltage regulator was indeed murtu.........luckily the tata never revved high enough to damage the battery but my gauges are stuffed
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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    If the Battery voltage is at 13.9v without the motor running as in op then the regulator is definately overcharging . Test votage at idle and at revs, with and without load (lights , Radio etc) , voltage should be at battery between 13.9 and 14.6 volt . All symptoms described are of overcharging.
    Last edited by JWR; 2019/09/16 at 04:57 PM.

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  24. #16
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    Default Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    I have a 105 landcruiser, and after 3 sets of batteries (amongst others in the Liuwa valley, Botswana and Northern Namibia, with so- called experts all advising that it is the regulator, etc., I one day saw a Andrew st Pierre White video where two exact similar 105’s, Andrew’s and another person, one has heat isues, and one not, they pin-pointed the issue to spot lights and air flow - Since I removed my spot lights, it has neen a number of years with no issues - also search for battery issues due to heat in Ozzie - with my spot lights on my vehicle the tunnel between the front seats used to get too hot to touch, now resolved. And yes, my alternator was replaced at ons stage to try to resolve the issue, and the other clear fact was that I had a ctek dc to dc, so the ctek cannot overcharge - I had to repaint the inside of my fender due to spilled acid. Look at your airflow.
    Last edited by zpret; 2019/09/16 at 06:58 PM.

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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryCH View Post
    just a question please?
    if the regulator is kaput, will revving the engine then not also increase the charging voltage, since the regulator is now faulty?
    Yes the voltage can go up if the regulator is causing overcharging. Bear in mind a regulator can also undercharge and then the voltage will stay lower than normal.
    Revving higher than 2000revs only increases the frequency and alternator is already charging at max current.

  27. #18
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Just a question , OP states that at full charge the battery is at 13.9V , is that with the motor running or of?
    Because a fully charged battery on its own should not be at about 12.6 Volt , anything over that is overcharged.
    For more info check out https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/r/...-voltage-range

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  29. #19
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by O Ekaj View Post
    Hi Gentlemen (and any ladies)

    So I am hoping to get some advice on a problem with my Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie. I live in the bush in Zambia, and even in Lusaka or Livingstone it is hard to find a good auto electrician.

    Vehicle is a 2008 landcruiser bakkie with Meano double cab conversion and 1HZ engine. It is running a dual battery system with ctek controller and two victron 80 Ah AGM batteries in parallel under the back seat. There are two 100 W solar panels on top.

    So just recently the bakkie has fried a couple of batteries. The first was a sealed maintenance free battery and it got so hot it was bulging out the sides and spitting all the acid out the vents on top. There was a piece of wood on top of the battery spacing the battery holder and it got partially turned to charcoal. A similar thing happened last year and the battery was bubbling and sizzling. I was in Livingstone and get a good mechanic to check it out amongst other things and he installed a new unsealed battery. In 11 hours driving back to camp the battery was also ruined with lots of leakage out the maintenance holes. All these batteries are speced to run a diesel landcruiser. Overall it seems the batteries are getting badly overcharged, and the problem is exacerbated in high temperatures.
    Now the vehicle with this new (ruined) battery is sitting at 13.9 V when charged. If I turn the lights on it drops to about 13.7 and down to 13.5 or so with the LED lightbar turned on. I have noticed in the past but not in the last few years that the battery monitor gauges have been maxed out (>=14.2) when running

    The vehicle has been hard on batteries for at least two years. We need to replace the main battery fairly often, at least every six months. But as I say above I just had a battery ruined the first time I used it.

    The start of the problem does seem to coincide with my installation of a new LED lightbar last year. That is a fairly standard installation with relay and wired to run when switched on and high beams on. That installation has since been checked by an auto electrician in Lusaka.

    The problem comes and goes a bit. I can identify a couple of possible reasons for this:
    1. The use of the LED light bar. Of course we only use this at night, and often only on the open road
    2. Long drives. I suspect this is the main issue, as long drives really charge up the battery and then proceed to badly overcharge it and heat it up.
    3. Temperatures. Certainly the one park Sioma seems hard on the battery, and things get very hot there and engineworking hard in deep sand.

    A possible cause is something to do with the auxiliary system. Those batteries are pretty happy and do not have problems.

    Any suggested causes and diagnostic tests that you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!
    Suspect intermittent overcharging or maybe poor quality batteries, from you no where....
    Probably a good plan to replace the alternator or repaired by a competent sparky.

  30. #20
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    Default Re: Main battery getting fried in Toyota Landcruiser Bakkie

    Quote Originally Posted by O Ekaj View Post
    Thank you. Yes it is about 13.9 V which suggests overcharging is not an issue at least not all the time?

    ..
    Was that when the alt was charging or the solar ?

    I would chuck the CTEK and replace it with a Victron 100/30A solar controller and the Victron Energy Cyrix splitter.
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