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Old 04-02-2019, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Marine deep cycle battery recommendations

This summer I plan on removing my IMA (by choice, not from any major IMA degradation) but keep the stock DC-DC converter due to it's ruggedness, higher current output, and proven reliability over the Meanwell PSU.

The plan is to remove the aluminum IMA compartment cover, relocate the tools area in the back to where the IMA battery was, open up the back behind the battery for storage space, and then build a cover to go over it all with sections removable to access the DC-DC, new tools area, and the expanded rear storage area.

Post IMA delete, idle RPMs will be back down to around 900 vs the 1200-ish that they are currently with the dummy lights on. To compensate for this my plan is to replace the 12V battery with a marine deep cycle battery.

I've seen deep cycle batteries that can sustain a 25A draw for over 6 hours, but they weigh over 60 lbs. One with a couple hours should probably suffice, I'm thinking. Enough for me to do extensive engine off coasting at night with headlights on without draining the 12V down too low.

Are any of you currently running deep cycle batteries in your Insights? Which brands and capacities work best for you? How long is the typical lifespan of a deep cycle battery compared to a typical 12V battery? Costwise I'd like to keep this under $200 if possible, but I'll go up to $300 if a more optimal capacity battery costs more and if their lifespan is long enough to justify the expense.
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| When purchased, Nov '18: 254K mi, LMPG 62.5
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Post IMA delete, idle RPMs will be back down to around 900 vs the 1200-ish that they are currently with the dummy lights on. To compensate for this my plan is to replace the 12V battery with a marine deep cycle battery....
I don't think there's much if any difference in output at 900 RPM vs. 1200. Probably the first, main thing you'd want to do is clip the wire responsible for putting the DC-DC into 'low power mode' (~12.2V output vs. ~13.8V). Here's a link to a post with a graphic mudder made about which wires to cut. There's two wires that do slightly different things, can't remember which one to cut to simply disable 'low power mode' vs. preventing the DC-DC from turning off completely: https://www.insightcentral.net/forum...ml#post1278738

I think it'd probably be a good idea to use a deep cycle marine in your circumstances regardless, at least it'd be more appropriate than a normal starting lead acid...

edit: ^Actually, I forgot that, without the IMA you'll be using the 12V to start - so I don't know if a deep cycle marine would be more appropriate or not. Probably, a lot of them still have good cold cranking power and the Insight doesn't need much.
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Isn't 1200-ish RPM the lowest engine speed where the DC-DC converter will run? I always presumed that <1200 RPMs triggered the dummy lights, just like >4000 does.

Will cutting those wires allow the DC-DC to charge better at lower RPMs or does it just ensure that the battery is always at 13.8v?

CCA doesn't seem to be an issue unless you live in the far north from what I've read. Some of the deep cycle batteries I've looked at have higher CCAs than my current 12V (500 or 550 CCA).
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2006 Insight MT, New Formula Red
| When purchased, Nov '18: 254K mi, LMPG 62.5
| Now: 263K mi, 81.7 MPG avg (LMPG 62.9, not reset), best 126.6 MPG
| Full IMA delete, 15V Meanwell pseudo-alternator, increased tire pressure, grille block, WAI, underbody panels, Scott's pan, other aeromods
| 6th gen Civic console, 8th gen Civic shift knob, Polk DB652 speakers, all LED lighting except interior and signals
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ANY lead acid battery with the proposed > 120 minute reserve capacity (25A for 2 hours) will have ZERO issue with any load the Insight starter can impose.

"Deep cycle" is frequently mis-used and misleading. You need to find batteries that have cycle lives in excess of 300 with 80% depth of discharge. If you can't find that information for a battery, don't buy it. AGM will cost more but give you better results/life.

Bigger is better. When you start looking at depths of discharge of only 40%, cycle lives can push into the 2000s.

Buy the biggest, highest capacity, best cycle life battery you can find, and count on replacing it every 3 years for a cost of ownership analysis.

I don't have any specific recommendations, but avoid anything made by Johnson Controls (including Optima) and anything else made in Mexico.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Isn't 1200-ish RPM the lowest engine speed where the DC-DC converter will run? I always presumed that <1200 RPMs triggered the dummy lights, just like >4000 does.
In general it's always running, just that it doesn't put out much if any power at low RPM. My comments were mainly based on my experience when I started experimenting with a NiMH stick-based 12V battery, and I had the IMA disabled. Idle speed was bumped up automatically - to around 1200 - but as I recall it still wasn't fast enough to charge the 12V. I had to bump it up more I think to something like 1400... As I recall I was watching the 12V parameter on the OBDIIC&C and that's how I determined whether it was charging or not...

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Will cutting those wires allow the DC-DC to charge better at lower RPMs or does it just ensure that the battery is always at 13.8v?.
Cutting one of the two wires, not sure which, will just ensure that the DCDC doesn't drop into low power mode, where it only maintains a voltage at the battery of about 12.2V. So yeah, it will usually be at 13.8V-14V...
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How much idle do you plan to do?

Why not install a voltmeter?

I've been running IMAless and cheap 12v battery and no issue here.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
"Deep cycle" is frequently mis-used and misleading. You need to find batteries that have cycle lives in excess of 300 with 80% depth of discharge. If you can't find that information for a battery, don't buy it. AGM will cost more but give you better results/life.
I must've had bad luck tonight; the only AGM deep cycle batteries I found with such information listed had 600 cycle lives with 50% depth of discharge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eq1 View Post
In general it's always running, just that it doesn't put out much if any power at low RPM. My comments were mainly based on my experience when I started experimenting with a NiMH stick-based 12V battery, and I had the IMA disabled. Idle speed was bumped up automatically - to around 1200 - but as I recall it still wasn't fast enough to charge the 12V. I had to bump it up more I think to something like 1400... As I recall I was watching the 12V parameter on the OBDIIC&C and that's how I determined whether it was charging or not...

...

Cutting one of the two wires, not sure which, will just ensure that the DCDC doesn't drop into low power mode, where it only maintains a voltage at the battery of about 12.2V. So yeah, it will usually be at 13.8V-14V...
The comment about the modes on the DC-DC makes sense. Regardless of whether I am driving in 5th gear at 1200 RPM around town or 2000 RPM on the highway the voltage cycles between 12.5 and 14.2, so I figured that the DC-DC's lower limit was around that 1200.

I think I will try cutting that GREEN/WHITE wire when I remove the IMA and see if that helps. I haven't had any issues with the 12V staying charged during EOC, except on longer coasts at night with the headlights on, and even then only sometimes. I am led to believe that the cause for that is the DC-DC being on the "low power mode" before I began my coast, and thus the 12V was already low before shutting the engine off, rather than a lack of capacity of my 12V. We shall see.

Quote:
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How much idle do you plan to do?
I only idle on short coasts, when making non-stop turns at intersections, and whenever I'm with a passenger who is paranoid about my hypermiling. Any extensive coasting is engine off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingbe View Post
Why not install a voltmeter?
I've been monitoring voltage with a Scangauge.
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2006 Insight MT, New Formula Red
| When purchased, Nov '18: 254K mi, LMPG 62.5
| Now: 263K mi, 81.7 MPG avg (LMPG 62.9, not reset), best 126.6 MPG
| Full IMA delete, 15V Meanwell pseudo-alternator, increased tire pressure, grille block, WAI, underbody panels, Scott's pan, other aeromods
| 6th gen Civic console, 8th gen Civic shift knob, Polk DB652 speakers, all LED lighting except interior and signals
| Details:
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
I haven't had any issues with the 12V staying charged during EOC, except on longer coasts at night with the headlights on, and even then only sometimes. I am led to believe that the cause for that is the DC-DC being on the "low power mode" before I began my coast, and thus the 12V was already low before shutting the engine off, rather than a lack of capacity of my 12V. We shall see.
I saw earlier in a random chart that 12.2V on a lead acid is about 50% charged. So, I don't know, if that voltage can be treated like a float voltage (i.e. DCDC maintains at least 12.2V at the battery), and the float voltage is more or less the same as the resting voltage, then the battery is being maintained at about 50% - which doesn't seem too low... If you have say a 28Ah regular car battery, and it's at 50%, you should have 14Ah in it. Engine-off coasting with headlights and some stuff, maybe 300 W load? (Do you actually turn the key OFF?). 300W/12.2V=26 amps, 14Ah/26A=32 minutes... Factor-in some slop and, yeah, you really don't have a ton of energy at your disposal...

Normally, the DCDC can go into low power mode for quite long durations. I've never seen it do it with headlights ON...
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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50% charged in a LA is in effect flat! You have in reality only the top 50% of an LA to use, also for it to have a long life it want to be at 100% as often as possible. If you can set the voltage on the DV to DC converter a Lithium drop in would be the best bet
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you driven it around with the IMA shut off? I can't imagine removing a healthy IMA from one of these cars.
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