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Brass

Volvo Remote Battery Disconnect Switch

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Sorry if this has been addressed already elsewhere in the forum, I did do a search that didn't return any results but will be the first to admit my forum search skills are not the greatest.

 

In my truck I have a remote battery disconnect switch located at the base of driver's seat, right near the pull ring for the jockey box. It is supposed to kill power to the truck when parked. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be working since I came out to a set of dead batteries recently. 

So my questions, does anyone have any experience with these? Were should I focus my search for the cause of the fault? Are these worth the effort of repairing or is there a better solution for parking?

Thanks for replies!

Brass.

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If you feel the need to have a cutoff switch, check out West Marine (I know, trucks don't float). They have a pretty decent selection of switches and most of that is high quality. Just pay attention to your wire/cable sizes and you should be fine.

Edited by adept99

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It’s possible the cut off switch isn’t killing all take offs from the batteries.  You will need to look at how they wired in the switch.  

There are several connections to the batteries some factory some by others. 

If you can cut off all loads you should have better luck keeping the batteries up. 

Setting up a powered charger is good idea. Solar panel also. 

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Don’t know the year of your truck, but the computers are typically wired separate from the disconnect switch. These separate feeds are the most likely to drain your battery. The big cables on the disconnect are more likely to burn the truck to the ground than cause a discharge.

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On my 2000 Volvo 770, disconnecting all of the small gauge positive wires from the batteries reduces the current draw, but some parasitic draw remains.  

My truck's stock radio and electric door locks still work when all of the small wires are disconnected.  So those components, and I suspect several others, take their power from the battery to starter circuit.  I decided not to bother tracing any other loads.  

My plan is to consolidate all of the positive wires going to my batteries on to a single power post.  And run a single wire from it, through a high amperage switch, to the positive post of the battery nearest to the starter.  

I chose this switch:

https://www.bluesea.com/products/3000/HD-Series_Heavy_Duty_On-Off_Battery_Switch

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22 hours ago, Moresmoke said:

Don’t know the year of your truck, but the computers are typically wired separate from the disconnect switch. These separate feeds are the most likely to drain your battery. The big cables on the disconnect are more likely to burn the truck to the ground than cause a discharge.

Moresmoke has given a good answer.  A total battery disconnect switch must be capable of handling the thru-current of spinning the starter on a cold engine which can easily be 1,500 or more amps.  Lesser total battery switches will offer too much resistance at this high of a load and melt or weld the the contacts of the switch not to mention the drop voltage to the starter.  Keep the BIG cables to the starter alone and and disconnect the circuit to the EECM.

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Wise advice from Moresmoke and RandyA.  Better to be safe than sorry.

However, if your truck sits for a month or more, without any convenient power source, just disconnecting the ECM may not be sufficient to save your batteries.  That is the case with my 2000 Volvo 770.

The simplest solution, is to disconnect ALL of the positive wires, including the thick one, from all of your positive battery posts. But over time, you may tire of doing that.  I have.

A solution, for longer term storage, is a proper switch for the task.  Like the starter solenoid, that all of our trucks have.  The switch I linked to above, was specifically designed for this task: "Cranking Rating 30 sec 1750A".  It's also from a trusted source.  It cost a bit less than $100 from Amazon.

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Further research into these remote style switches has told me that they are prone to failure. I plan to replace it with a manual version. Sourcing one for an HDT seems like the only option with all the available current from the battery bank.

Unfortunately, we don't get to drive it as often as I would like to so the residual draw all these trucks seem to have is a concern. Along with the between trip concern and to help with keeping the fridge running when we do get out in it, we will also add a 100 watt flexible solar panel to the top of the sleeper. I'm not sure if that would make the switch unnecessary or not? We don't leave the fridge on between trips. All the same, even with a good charge controller, we don't want to end up overcharging the batteries while the truck sits. So perhaps I just answered my own question there. 

BTW, the truck is a very young 2014 VNL670 D13 with 120,000 miles on the clock and a 10 speed, I never learned how to drive an automatic!

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Definitely don't want to rewire the charge and start on a 2014.  It's a MIL light and/or frozen DEF lines waiting to happen.  Probably best just to fix/replace what's there.

 

So, question for all, if you have a troublesome truck with an inverter and want to put a small-ish maintenance panel on the roof or top of the drom, does it have to go back to the batteries?  Or can it go to the power studs of the inverter?  Inverter's right there in the sleeper toolbox next to the charge controller, has a couple of big fat fused 2/0 cables, and saved me a crap ton of time.  I argued against one of the solar system mfgrs help guys [actually my intern doing it had to argue between me and him ;)] and still did it my way.  Anyone tried it that way?  Truck ain't burned down yet, but it's only been a month.......

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Scrap,

It can go directly to the power studs on the inverter, and IMO should.  You're basically using the solar panel as a trickle charger/maintainer. The low current generated by the panel isn't going to be affected much by a few more feet of wire (especially fat ones).

The solar system mfgrs help guy either didn't know what he was talking about or was trying to sell you something.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Scrap said:

Definitely don't want to rewire the charge and start on a 2014.  It's a MIL light and/or frozen DEF lines waiting to happen.  Probably best just to fix/replace what's there.

 

So, question for all, if you have a troublesome truck with an inverter and want to put a small-ish maintenance panel on the roof or top of the drom, does it have to go back to the batteries?  Or can it go to the power studs of the inverter?  Inverter's right there in the sleeper toolbox next to the charge controller, has a couple of big fat fused 2/0 cables, and saved me a crap ton of time.  I argued against one of the solar system mfgrs help guys [actually my intern doing it had to argue between me and him ;)] and still did it my way.  Anyone tried it that way?  Truck ain't burned down yet, but it's only been a month.......

Scrap - You done good!  It's like "All roads lead to Rome".  The system is a closed web and attaching to the inverter studs is perfectly OK.  BTW - I have a 25 watt solar panel on my '04 VNL670 with a cheap but "smart" PWM controller connected to 4 batteries.  I stay away from snow and migrate to sunny climates as the weather changes and as such have never had a dead battery issue.

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Back to the battery dis-connect.....  Why do you have to disconnect the positive side, with all those little cables?  Why not just remove the ground side?  One big wire.........

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4 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

Back to the battery dis-connect.....  Why do you have to disconnect the positive side, with all those little cables?  Why not just remove the ground side?  One big wire.........

I disconnect the ground cables on my analog KW.

And then I reconnect them later.

And then I get out the manual for the JVC sound system complete with hands free phone and Bluetoot and hunt around to figure out how to get rid of the default swirling cycling color display designed by a LSD researcher and also set the date/time. Takes longer than disconnect reconnect of the battries.

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"Why do you have to disconnect the positive side, with all those little cables?  Why not just remove the ground side?  One big wire........."

Hmmm.  At first I thought - why didn't I at least try that?  Yeah, there may be connections to the negative grounded frame, instead of the battery,  but it's also possible there aren't.  So I walked out to my truck to check.  Alas, there are also two small white wires connected to the negative side of the battery bank. So removing either side requires a fat cable and a few wires.  And the difficulty of adding a heavy duty switch, to either side, is also about the same.

BTW, several(6?) years ago, I bought a solar panel and charger and it didn't work for me.  The panel was rigid, about 4 foot long and a foot wide.  I, and my Volvo are in Connecticut, and my back yard has trees on all sides but does get some full sun.  The panel/charger wasn't able to keep my batteries topped up in the winter or summer.  I have no doubt a reasonably sized panel would work for folks without trees, especially in locations closer to the equator.  But the one I bought didn't work for me.

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https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332201_200332201?cm_mmc=Google-pla&utm_source=Google_PLA&utm_medium=Automotive > Batteries %26 Chargers %2B Jump Starters > Battery Maintainers&utm_campaign=BatteryMINDer&utm_content=167981&gclid=Cj0KCQjwz8bsBRC6ARIsAEyNnvpaGzPHWbsW_nGWOi7chrSqZiO-y4HtlNftv8QBUqdClpVxdIov8JAaAg7NEALw_wcB

 

Works to keep the batteries topped off, I have three of these.

I purchase them when they go on sale at Northern tool for $25.

Keep the batteries up in my separate inverter setup in the camper, and the lawn tractor in the barn.

 

 

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