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Hello all, I am a Search and Rescue Volunteer as well as an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer. I have recently mounted some amber warning lights on my 2007 GMC Acadia SLT2. After the thousands of problems I have had and a complete transmission replacement on it, with it being only 2 years old, it has been a challenge but I decided to install them anyways. Now I am looking to install a second batter and Isolator to run the lights off of. Does anyone with more electrical experience have any advice on what equipment to use, where to put the battery and isolator, or how to do it?

Id really appreciate any advice since my specialty is Search and Rescue, not vehicle installation.

Thanks!
SARTech3
 

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SARTech3 said:
Hello all, I am a Search and Rescue Volunteer as well as an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer. I have recently mounted some amber warning lights on my 2007 GMC Acadia SLT2. After the thousands of problems I have had and a complete transmission replacement on it, with it being only 2 years old, it has been a challenge but I decided to install them anyways. Now I am looking to install a second batter and Isolator to run the lights off of. Does anyone with more electrical experience have any advice on what equipment to use, where to put the battery and isolator, or how to do it?

Id really appreciate any advice since my specialty is Search and Rescue, not vehicle installation.

Thanks!
SARTech3
First off :welcome:
Second; thank you for the work you do; it is appreciated :thumb:

Third; I don't think anyone has ever wired in another battery and isolator. I wouldn't even know where to start; there aren't many places to load the battery unless you have room in the storage area behind the third row seats. Interesting topic and I look forward to seeing what the other members have to say. If you move forward with this project; please keep the forum updated with pics if possible. Good luck and thanks again :thumb:
 

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SARTech3 said:
Hello all, I am a Search and Rescue Volunteer as well as an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer. I have recently mounted some amber warning lights on my 2007 GMC Acadia SLT2. After the thousands of problems I have had and a complete transmission replacement on it, with it being only 2 years old, it has been a challenge but I decided to install them anyways. Now I am looking to install a second batter and Isolator to run the lights off of. Does anyone with more electrical experience have any advice on what equipment to use, where to put the battery and isolator, or how to do it?

Id really appreciate any advice since my specialty is Search and Rescue, not vehicle installation.

Thanks!
SARTech3
As AA said, thanks for what you do.

I am not well versed in this area, but have a question and idea.

First what kinda of Warning lights have you purchased? LED, strobe, Halogen. Obviously the power drawn from the LED is significantly less then the other styles.

I wonder if you would be able to power these lights with a small Lawn tractor, or small childs riding car toy battery?

I assume that these lights would not be left on for extended periods of time and that you may get a decent amount of power out of them sufficient enough to operate them for some time. You would need to charge the battery after use, but that wouldn't to hard, especialy if you used the childs riding toy battery. The one that my son has in his ride on has a 4 pin flat connector like a trailer hitch wire that connects to a wall outlet to recharge.
My thought would be to mount this battery under the hood, in the rear storage area or even under the front seat somewhere. Heck if you have an Acadia with a household outlet on the back of the front console, you might be able to plug it in there, and recharge it..

These are just thoughts and Ideas, whether they are any good or even feasible, is beyond me. Someone else might be able to answer that.

Good luck, as AA said, let us know how it works out.
 

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SARTech3, my thanks as well!

Have you been in contact with your local FD or PD and asked who they use for vehicle mods? That could be a place to start. If you get a name for the company that adds Em. equipment to all kinds of vehicles, they might be able to give you good info on what can be done to resolve your questions regarding the Acadia mod. JMO, for what it's worth.
 

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There are several solutions, but first you need to evaluate & define the problem. Some simple questions might start with, are you: concerned only about lights drawing down the battery?; want a second to be able to start the car if primary fails? There are battery boxes available, it could easily be installed in the rear cargo. It would just take a big honk'n cable for a connection to the alternator. The isolation device itself can be done several ways, just depends on how you want it to operate. (As in from the answers to the questions above.)

Adding to the electrical isn't had, but it can be dangerous. An add-on will need to be done as to not interfere with the operation of the original. Off roaders/ 4-wheelers use a multitude of 2nd battery combinations to run welders, winches, lights, refrigerators etc. You might want to inquire with a well respected local off road shop. Be prepared, however, for a bit of attitude. Seems that many of these shops have a thing if you ain't driving a jeep, or a big-old ford or chevy. But they have skills to not mess up your Acadia.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok everyone, Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. :cheers:

So heres some info. I spoke with the :confused: dealership :confused: I know how silly of me right, and they suggested that I get a second battery and isolator to power the lights. I will post some pictures tomorrow of the lights that are installed so you can see them.

I have LED lights installed, an arrow bar in the rear window, two small LEDS on the back, and a light on the front windshield. They do not draw crazy amounts of power, but they do drain the battery if left on for about 1 hour. I have had issues starting my car before. I do not need to start my car off the second battery, because I plan on connecting only the lights to that second battery so they may be run off of that battery and leave my starting battery alive.

I have spoken with an install tech from a local PD but the prices he wanted to charge were through the roof, and working as a volunteer organization, number one, i have to provide all my own equipment which = LOTS OF MONEY :-X and number two I am a student right now which means I don't have money to begin with. this is why I am trying to do this myself if at all possible, or do some tasks to get the price of professional install down.

To the small battery idea, I'm not sure, that does sound interesting and something to investigate, but we will have to see I guess, if that will be feasible.

I am trying to find a location for the battery to be placed that won't impede my space in the car significantly, I have the rear organizer in the back set up as my command station with all my supplies and a basic desk setup. But no battery that I could find would fit there yet, so if you see any please let me know. :help:

Thank you all again for your support, I really hope that I will be able to complete this project, as I said, pictures will be posted this weekend or tomorrow when I have time to take them.

Thanks folks!

SARTech3

"So that others may live..."
 

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well I do know-- that on the Lambdas that come with the factory tow package--- pressing the tow/haul button--
changes the way the alternator charges.... so that it charges the battery of an item youre towing.

this leads me to believe that theres already a hot wire- that would recharge a connected battery..
You may be able to tap into this and go from there.. make sense?
 

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rbarrios said:
well I do know-- that on the Lambdas that come with the factory tow package--- pressing the tow/haul button--
changes the way the alternator charges.... so that it charges the battery of an item youre towing.

this leads me to believe that theres already a hot wire- that would recharge a connected battery..
You may be able to tap into this and go from there.. make sense?
Makes sense to me, but would that wire be hot after the vehicle is turned off; sounds good while you are driving; you could charge a second battery on the fly~~nice thinking rbarrios :thumb:
 

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you know-- I dont know if the wire is hot after vehicle shutdown.....
 

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rbarrios said:
you know-- I dont know if the wire is hot after vehicle shutdown.....
I would venture to say that it isn't hot; why would you draw power from the tow vehicle battery to charge a trailer battery if the vehicle is off; in theory the trailer battery received plenty of power while the tow vehicle was running :-\
 

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AA/78U-Blue Gold said:
I would venture to say that it isn't hot; why would you draw power from the tow vehicle battery to charge a trailer battery if the vehicle is off; in theory the trailer battery received plenty of power while the tow vehicle was running :-\
You're not going to charge a car-sized battery off that wire anyway! There's a great discussion about this in another thread.
 

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AA/78U-Blue Gold said:
I would venture to say that it isn't hot; why would you draw power from the tow vehicle battery to charge a trailer battery if the vehicle is off; in theory the trailer battery received plenty of power while the tow vehicle was running :-\

you know--- I dont know for sure-- but im certain Ive read post on the Trailblazer forum--- where a few guys charged their trailer batterys this way-- but got to the camp site-- and didnt disconnect--- and in the AM-- the Trailblazers batt was dead....
 

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rbarrios said:
you know--- I dont know for sure-- but im certain Ive read post on the Trailblazer forum--- where a few guys charged their trailer batterys this way-- but got to the camp site-- and didnt disconnect--- and in the AM-- the Trailblazers batt was dead....
OK; someone bust out their schematics; we need a ruling/clarification
 

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rbarrios said:
you know--- I dont know for sure-- but im certain Ive read post on the Trailblazer forum--- where a few guys charged their trailer batterys this way-- but got to the camp site-- and didnt disconnect--- and in the AM-- the Trailblazers batt was dead....
that's because they were stupid! :eek:hno:
 

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or in all the hoopla of getting to the camp site-- they forgot...

But I do wonder if the Lambda is smart enough to cut power to that 'hot wire' when power is shut off to the vehicle..
 

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First off. Welcome.. And thanks for volunteering alot of your time to S&R. I've always wanted to do this, but I just don't have the time right now. Mayber later.


Second. Why do you want a second battery? More importantly why are you shutting off your vehicle. Here's the way I see it, if you are in such a location that you need to use the lights while parked near (or on) the road/trail, I wouldn't want any chance that the second battery would die. Therefore leaving your unlit vehicle (and you) as a danger now.

Cops don't turn their vehicles off when they are at a scene.. Why should you. Now I know you're gonna say idling, gas, etc.

If the lights are being used, chances are you or someone is going to be close to your vehicle. so I'd just spend the money on a better battery to replace the Acadia one, yellow top ultima maybe, and get a second set of keys for your truck so you can lock it running.

That's what I would. Safer for everyone involved.

BTW, you'll have to figure out a way to vent the 2nd battery outside.
 

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You have a dead simple means of plugging in and charging your secondary battery. Simply wire up a plug connect it your 12V accessory socket at the back of your vehicle. Keep your auxiliary battery in an RV/marine weather case to protect the terminals from accidental contact (these cases often have a tie down strap to keep the weather case lid on tight during travel. Your existing vehicle electronics are adequate to charge this secondary battery while you travel, provided you are travelling for a long enough period of time.

If you run down your battery significantly during use, and you only travel short distances (i.e. not significant re-charging time), you can charge your auxiliary battery at home by using a smart/intelligent charger that plugs into a 120V household outlet.

Route your wiring to your lights such that the pigtail/connector that goes to the auxiliary battery comes out through your vent/access opening to the wheel jack area or air intake for the rear heat on the opposite side, or snake out through the rear hatch or side door. Maybe use some quick disconnect plugs to enable you to quickly unhook the battery and wiring so you can leave the battery out of the vehicle when not required and leaves you more room for other items.

You won't need any isolator if you just simply plug in to the 12V accessory power socket when you only go to charging the battery before you pull away to drive. All of the parts you need for this wiring project can be found at your local automotive parts store (UAP/NAPA/PEP BOYS).

You can use a sealed spiral cell battery (Optima or other competing brand). The benefit being you won't need to vent a fully sealed battery. Standard flooded lead-acid batteries have vent caps to let the gasses escape (thus you'd want that kind of battery to vent to the outside and not the interior of your vehicle where the acidic effects can ruin your interior and the possibility of explosive gas buildup can occur). Go with a sealed spiral cell batt and you won't have to bother with venting.

Keep in mind some safety as well. A battery sitting loose in the back of your vehicle will become a MASSIVE projectile with significant weight behind it should (heaven forbid) you get into an accident. Put some thought into a means of tying down your battery case or enclosing it in something that is secure. There just simply isn't any room in the engine compartment of your vehicle for a second battery. Small motorcycle batteries or perhaps a battery used for emergency "break away" braking systems on camping trailers may work for you. These specialty batteries are smaller sized and lighter weight.

Good luck and keep up the great volunteer work!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you guys for the advice. I think I may look into BigTallVandy's suggestion of the second battery in the back at the outlet, or maybe a smaller battery. I just worry about stepping away from my car with the keys in it locked or otherwise, especially because i operate in Los Angeles, and my car doesn't look like a cop car. lol. Obviously, it is more tempting to have someone steal a car than a cop car, so thats why i cant leave it running usually.

And to add to it, today someone just stole one of the two grille lights i had on my acadia. Of course. :angryfire:

Well. I guess I will have to try a few things to see what will work best.

Thanks for the advice.

:cheers:
 

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You have a dead simple means of plugging in and charging your secondary battery. Simply wire up a plug connect it your 12V accessory hellsocket at the back of your vehicle. Keep your auxiliary battery in an RV/marine weather case to protect the terminals from accidental contact (these cases often have a tie down strap to keep the weather case lid on tight during travel. Your existing vehicle electronics are adequate to charge this secondary battery while you travel, provided you are travelling for a long enough period of time.

If you run down your battery significantly during use, and you only travel short distances (i.e. not significant re-charging time), you can charge your auxiliary battery at home by using a smart/intelligent charger that plugs into a 120V household outlet.

Route your wiring to your lights such that the pigtail/connector that goes to the auxiliary battery comes out through your vent/access opening to the wheel jack area or air intake for the rear heat on the opposite side, or snake out through the rear hatch or side door. Maybe use some quick disconnect plugs to enable you to quickly unhook the battery and wiring so you can leave the battery out of the vehicle when not required and leaves you more room for other items.

You won't need any isolator if you just simply plug in to the 12V accessory power socket when you only go to charging the battery before you pull away to drive. All of the parts you need for this wiring project can be found at your local automotive parts store (UAP/NAPA/PEP BOYS).

You can use a sealed spiral cell battery (Optima or other competing brand). The benefit being you won't need to vent a fully sealed battery. Standard flooded lead-acid batteries have vent caps to let the gasses escape (thus you'd want that kind of battery to vent to the outside and not the interior of your vehicle where the acidic effects can ruin your interior and the possibility of explosive gas buildup can occur). Go with a sealed spiral cell batt and you won't have to bother with venting.

Keep in mind some safety as well. A battery sitting loose in the back of your vehicle will become a MASSIVE projectile with significant weight behind it should (heaven forbid) you get into an accident. Put some thought into a means of tying down your battery case or enclosing it in something that is secure. There just simply isn't any room in the engine compartment of your vehicle for a second battery. Small motorcycle batteries or perhaps a battery used for emergency "break away" braking systems on camping trailers may work for you. These specialty batteries are smaller sized and lighter weight.

Good luck and keep up the great volunteer work!
hello,that's good info one question I have a 2019 accadia I am sure It has a a smart altenator which would not charge 2nd battery ?I have a battery box ready with a 110 ah sealed gel battery with a auto cut off voltage detector ready attached , run a fridge off, to plug in to the rear power source of the accadia, I am still not sure about reliability, any thoughts, regards Csteve.
 

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hello,that's good info one question I have a 2019 accadia I am sure It has a a smart altenator which would not charge 2nd battery ?I have a battery box ready with a 110 ah sealed gel battery with a auto cut off voltage detector ready attached , run a fridge off, to plug in to the rear power source of the accadia, I am still not sure about reliability, any thoughts, regards Csteve.
It's very likely you won't get an answer. The last comment in this thread is over 10 years old. Members involved with the initial project haven't been on the forum for 6 years. It might be best to start your own thread and ask members who own the new platform (C1XX) Acadia about what they recommend to do.
 
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