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Old 05-29-2019, 10:32 PM   #1
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Will LiFePO batteries fit in Forester (Ford) stepwell???

Very close to buying Lithium batteries to replace the 2 group 27 believed to be Exide originals in the step-well. When checking the spec's on both the Battleborn and Renogy batteries I have concerns as to whether they will fit with my cable setup. The lenght of the stepwell compartment with the shunt for the battery monitor is 26" and the height is 10" to the bottom of the top surrounding lip. The Battleborn battery height is 9" but will need the post adapters which may make it too high and their length is 12.75" each or 25 1/2" . That 1/2" clearance should be enough. The Renogy is shorter in length by a few inches, but their height is 9.7" leaving just 1/4" clearanace. That has me concerned about cables and will there be enough room for them to attach to the battery. Will I need to make custom size cables, I think so.?
Have any of you out there installed either battery and can give me some feed back and suggestions? Thanks.
And thank you Babcock for the chat today, learned a lot.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
Very close to buying Lithium batteries to replace the 2 group 27 believed to be Exide originals in the step-well. When checking the spec's on both the Battleborn and Renogy batteries I have concerns as to whether they will fit with my cable setup. The lenght of the stepwell compartment with the shunt for the battery monitor is 26" and the height is 10" to the bottom of the top surrounding lip. The Battleborn battery height is 9" but will need the post adapters which may make it too high and their length is 12.75" each or 25 1/2" . That 1/2" clearance should be enough. The Renogy is shorter in length by a few inches, but their height is 9.7" leaving just 1/4" clearanace. That has me concerned about cables and will there be enough room for them to attach to the battery. Will I need to make custom size cables, I think so.?
Have any of you out there installed either battery and can give me some feed back and suggestions? Thanks.
And thank you Babcock for the chat today, learned a lot.
I have two LiFeBlue 150 amp lithium batteries for my solar system. One fits in the stairwell. The other is in the outside compartment next to the stairwell. I have a 2014 Solera. No cable modifications necessary.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
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Here's photos of the step well battery compartment. My next-door neighbor with a toy hauler suggested using a buss bar outside the compartment along with the negative shunt and then only have one cable off the buss bar and the parallel battery cables to deal with on the positive side and one on the negative.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:52 PM   #4
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I just measured my step well and both the Energized Outdoors 100ah and the Trojan 110ah Trillium will fit. They are both basically Group 27 size. Iíve been using the Energized Outdoors 55ah for the motor on my fishing kayak and Iím really impressed, it easily replaced two 35ah AGMís and saves 35 lbs. Now Iím really stoked to get them for my Forester, itís like getting a third battery for free and save a lot of weight.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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I'm really happy with my BattleBorn conversion, and babock was a great source of info to me, as well. Lighter, more usable energy, faster charge, 10 year warranty. They fit nicely in my Isata 3 step.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
Here's photos of the step well battery compartment. My next-door neighbor with a toy hauler suggested using a buss bar outside the compartment along with the negative shunt and then only have one cable off the buss bar and the parallel battery cables to deal with on the positive side and one on the negative.
Mine are in an Isata 3 but fit easily with room to spare. In fact I had to cut some foam pieces to keep them from moving around. Here is a picture.

Battle Born Batteries have a 3 year warranty but their Lifecycle is expected to be 10 years.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:30 PM   #7
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Mimay12, is that a shut or a buss bar in between the two batteries?
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:59 PM   #8
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Need more than just batteries...

I just finished the full upgrade, in my 2018 FR Sunseeker 2400 MBS. In addition to the batteries, I needed to change out my PD converter/charger to a Li compatible version, and replace the Battery Isolation Manager system to a Li-BIM. I highly suggest you also add the Victron BMV-712, so you KNOW what is going on with your battery system.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:43 AM   #9
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Mimay12, is that a shut or a buss bar in between the two batteries?
Its a shunt for a Victron BMV-712. I also highly recommend this monitor.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:04 PM   #10
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My solar controls are in the trash compartment in the step well. The Xantrex Battery Monitor is almost 15 years old, but still works great!. Had to return my new controller to Renogy as it was putting 15.2v to my flooded coach batteries compared to my original controller that was 13.8v. Not happy with Renogy as they paid for return shipping and they will test it. If defective I will get a new one otherwise, I have to pay for shipping back to me. I should have used Amazon for a few dollars more than going direct to Renogy. No hassle with Amazon, easy exchange, no questions asked.
I have given it much thought and I can't use the Renogy batteries as they are too tall and if I hit a bump the terminals may hit the step. So I have to go with Battleborn. My concern about cable routing I think is solved and won't be adding a buss bar. I can do some cable re-routing and shorten a few cables or swap them around.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:52 PM   #11
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Here's a better photo of battery compartment labeled. Will have to move 2 03 3 positive cables from the left battery positive to the righ battery. I know it's not the best wiring for charging, but I can leave the Solar cable, Converter charger cable and Generator cables on the left battery. You can see how the BIM cable is2 feet too long looping the compartment and the Generator cable is a little too long also. Any ideas other than a buss bar somewhere?
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:15 PM   #12
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Sage,

I installed a positive buss-bar in my battery compartment (top left) to eliminate most of the cabling across the top of the batteries. Now if I want to take the batteries out for any reason its a relatively simple task. You can also see the negative shunt for the battery manager on the top right
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:36 PM   #13
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If you used Battleborn batteries no adapter required. Just ditch the round post clamps and connect to terminals using supplied bolts. It looks like cables are just bolted to clamps. Even if cables or ends need to be changed it's worth it to get rid of extra connection in lines.

One thing about terminal Battleborn uses, you can make a TIGHT connection with no fear of stripping threads or breaking clamps

They also supply two lengths of bolts so you can make multiple connections instead of having to resort to using round post.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:45 PM   #14
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If you used Battleborn batteries no adapter required. Just ditch the round post clamps and connect to terminals using supplied bolts. It looks like cables are just bolted to clamps. Even if cables or ends need to be changed it's worth it to get rid of extra connection in lines.

One thing about terminal Battleborn uses, you can make a TIGHT connection with no fear of stripping threads or breaking clamps

They also supply two lengths of bolts so you can make multiple connections instead of having to resort to using round post.
That's what I'm thinking, thanks!
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:20 AM   #15
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Renogy came thru on the defective controller. I was able to return the 30amp Adventurer PWM and they allowed me to upgrade for the difference minus 20% holiday discount to the Rover Li MTTP 30amp. This should just fit in the trash compartment. Now it's just the BB batteries and I hope to get them later this month when I can change my credit card rewards to online purchases and get the 3% $54 cash reward. Hope to get them installed and running prior to my early July trip.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:56 PM   #16
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Received the new MTTP controller today. It is substantially larger and I'm not sure it's going to get the air flow it needs for the heat sink where it is. May ask Babcock to stop by and take a look, hint hint!
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:12 PM   #17
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Received the new MTTP controller today. It is substantially larger and I'm not sure it's going to get the air flow it needs for the heat sink where it is. May ask Babcock to stop by and take a look, hint hint!
I can do that!

If it's similar to the Victron, it lowers it's output based on temperature of the controller itself until it gets to a max temp where it turns itself off completely. May have to ask Renogy and/or look at the manual.

You will be glad you got the MPPT.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:22 PM   #18
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Thanks Babcock for all the tips, suggestions and info yesterday. During my trip next week, I will monitor the temperature in the trash cabinet, solar output and batteries. When I return home, I will start to work on the buss bar/ cable situation. Thanks again!
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:00 PM   #19
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You are welcome.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:41 PM   #20
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Done with rewiring for Lithium!

Just about finished with rewiring for Lithium batteries in my step well. There was way too many cables to properly attach to the BattleBorn batteries so I mounted a buss bar and 3 of the cables are now on one. Only thing left to do besides getting the lithium batteries and dropping them in is to install the 100amp resettable fuse/cut-off. It looked like I wouldn't be able to mount it anywhere as it is a bit too thick. But after I but the flooded batteries back in I found a place in the left back and turn it sideways.
Special thanks to Babcock and my next door neighbor advice and tools.
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