Adding Second battery or get 150 amp Alternator - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Adding Second battery or get 150 amp Alternator

Currently I am running an aftermarket HID kit that uses a pair of 35 watt Slim Denso Ballasts driving 4500k D2S bulbs. I have the kit connected straight to the battery using a relay harness. I also have a pioneer AVIC NEX 6200 head unit amplified by a JL xd400/4 amp. Nothing too serious in terms of power draw.....I would think. My issue that I have been having is with my HIDs. With the car off and/or in the 2nd key position both the HIDs and radio will turn on and operate just fine. However, with the engine running, turning on my HIDs causes a few strange issues. Such issues include only one of the HIDs will turn on (turning on/off several times usually gets both turned on), the windshield wiper blades will momentarily twitch, and the horn going off (not loudly though). I am aware that the initial ignition of any HID draws a quite a bit amount power but then once running it draws less power than your standard 55 watt H7 bulb. So i am guessing those symptoms are from excessive power draw?

What I was thinking was to do the following.

1) Add a second AGM battery with an isolator and directly connect the HID ballasts to the AGM

or

2) Find a used 150 amp alternator from a junked ML 430/55 and replace the current 115 alternator

I will post some voltage and amp readings as soon as I get my multimeter back from my friend.

Last edited by LegendaryATM; 06-03-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 05:23 PM
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Legendary:

You may be correct. It would take someone with great electrical theory skills AND detailed knowledge of the w163 scheme to advise you well.

I just know that my 2nd Gen 1997 Dodge Ram Cummins truck has 2 large batteries under the hood, and I never seem to run out of power !

Now, I did swap them to same oem size of "Marine / Starting Battery" which is a lead acid deep cycle hybrid, like an RV might run.

Waaaay better than 2 starting batteries.

Best Regards,

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1984 190E 2.3 - Cute, reliable & slow
1983 300SD - Great highway tourer, 28mpg

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendaryATM View Post
I will post some voltage and amp readings as soon as I get my multimeter back from my friend.
Until you do that 400A alternator is not going to fix your problem. Check all grounding points. Two behind headlights and one at battery negative cable junction.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:30 PM
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100% with Witek. My first W163, an ML320 with 115 Amp alternator, had the same HID kit. Never experienced those issues. Your problem must be installation or faulty components.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by LegendaryATM View Post
Currently I am running an aftermarket HID kit that uses a pair of 35 watt Slim Denso Ballasts driving 4500k D2S bulbs. I have the kit connected straight to the battery using a relay harness. I also have a pioneer AVIC NEX 6200 head unit amplified by a JL xd400/4 amp. Nothing too serious in terms of power draw.....I would think. My issue that I have been having is with my HIDs. With the car off and/or in the 2nd key position both the HIDs and radio will turn on and operate just fine. However, with the engine running, turning on my HIDs causes a few strange issues. Such issues include only one of the HIDs will turn on (turning on/off several times usually gets both turned on), the windshield wiper blades will momentarily twitch, and the horn going off (not loudly though). I am aware that the initial ignition of any HID draws a quite a bit amount power but then once running it draws less power than your standard 55 watt H7 bulb. So i am guessing those symptoms are from excessive power draw?

What I was thinking was to do the following.

1) Add a second AGM battery with an isolator and directly connect the HID ballasts to the AGM

or

2) Find a used 150 amp alternator from a junked ML 430/55 and replace the current 115 alternator

I will post some voltage and amp readings as soon as I get my multimeter back from my friend.
It almost sounds like your alternator isn't switching fast enough.. With the car running (14.2v) and you turn on the big power draws (lets say 500 watts at the most).. The 14.2v might be dropping down to the battery voltage (12 something) causing a voltage spike that the CPUs are picking up.. Unfortunately, a digital multi-meter won't pick up a fast voltage spike.. You need a scope or an old fashion analog meter (Simpson 260) to pick-up, one time, fast spikes.. If all else fails and you are at the end of your rope.. Try a in-line noise suppressor on the head light supply line (right before your relay).. 10,000mfd cap to a choke coil, to a 10,000mfd cap.. This old school noise suppressor should dampen any voltage spikes that your HID lamps might be causing..
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ok got some readings


Picture 1) Ignition off (no key), headlights off, and stereo off.

Picture 2) Ignition off (no key), headlights ON, and stereo off. (couldn't take picture fast enough but voltage dipped down to 11.95)

Picture 3) Ignition ON (car running), headlights ON, and stereo ON.

Picture 4) Ignition ON (car running), headlights off, and stereo ON.

*my radio always stays on when car is running and/ or if key is in position 2
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Last edited by LegendaryATM; 06-04-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 02:57 PM
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Your alternator is doing just fine. Run through all your connections and earths as suggested. Swap the bulbs from one side to the other and see if the problem changes sides. Do the same with the ballasts if no change.
If you have a bad earth somewhere power will always take the shortest path so it may run through something it shouldn’t be.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 03:15 PM
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Your alternator is doing just fine. Run through all your connections and earths as suggested. Swap the bulbs from one side to the other and see if the problem changes sides. Do the same with the ballasts if no change.
If you have a bad earth somewhere power will always take the shortest path so it may run through something it shouldn’t be.


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Ya,.... your battery and alternator look to be good.. but your VOM is too slow to register a voltage spike.. The only thing you might see, is the meter flash a blank read out, and then display the previous reading.. Try this,... ign. on, car running.. Observe your meter.. It's reading 14.2v.. Now, (don't take your eyes off your meter)..turn your lights on.. Does the meter displace "blank out" for a split second then goes back to a 14.2 reading?... If so, your looking at a voltage spike..that's inducing some kind of crazy stuff with the CPUs.. Wipers turn on, horns honking.. That's all micro possessors going wild.. Could be bad grounds.. Could be line spike.. Could be a lot of stuff... One thing for sure, your HID lamp install is causing it...
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 05:01 PM
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After checking for bad grounds and good B+ connections.. And you are still having a problem... Adding an isolated battery might work.. Installing a new alternator might be able to deal with a line spike.. but if you want to do it on the cheap, some caps, diodes, resisters.. might be your solution .. Making a "soft start" relay might take out a lot of the spike.. When you flip your lights on and off.. to get them to work.. That's like kind of doing a "soft start".. By the way.. what ampere relay are you using?.. Here's an easy one to try.. Place a 0.1uf 600v ceramic cap across the power terminals , so when the relay closes.. you don't get a big arc across the relay contacts..
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendaryATM View Post
Ok got some readings


Picture 1) Ignition off (no key), headlights off, and stereo off.

Picture 2) Ignition off (no key), headlights ON, and stereo off. (couldn't take picture fast enough but voltage dipped down to 11.95)

Picture 3) Ignition ON (car running), headlights ON, and stereo ON.

Picture 4) Ignition ON (car running), headlights off, and stereo ON.

*my radio always stays on when car is running and/ or if key is in position 2
Hate to say it but your voltage checks are worthless. You need to connect meter to component that is giving you trouble.

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