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Old 07-06-2008, 07:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Reno, NV
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Help Installing Battery Separator 2002 E350 4x4 PSD

I ordered the SMB battery separator kit and installed all but the starter switch lead. The instructions state to wire to the start signal (white with pink trace) in harness under steering column. I found the harness/wire which plug in to a junction box under steering column, but have a few questions for those who have done this before in an E350. 1) Do you need to run the wire from battery separator through fire wall, or can you connect to wire in engine compartment (I believe I can identify the wire in the thick bundle under coolant reservoir). If I do need to run to the junction box, how to do so, and how to connect to the junction box?

The instructions from SMB are not clear on these points, although they provide you with about 12' of wire for switch circuit. According to instructions from SurePower, the starter lead should be wired at the starter switch.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide - I will call SMB tomorrow for more help as well.

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Old 07-06-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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Which surepower are you installing? It sould work fine without the starter lead. I think if you read the surepower instructions you will find that the starter lead is optional. On my van I wired this up through a toggle switch so I can manually connect the batteries if needed.

Seth Hatfield
'05 EB350 6.0 4x4
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #3
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SurePower Battery Separator

I'm installing the 1315-200 model. A switch would work for me if the wiring is too time consuming (which it already is!).
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:37 AM   #4
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Locating the "start" wire under the hood is fine too. In the past, Surepower did not recommend connecting the "start" terminal to anything except the "start" circuit. I believe their concern was that the switch could be left "on" and you would discharge all your batteries, at least this is what I was told when I talked to Surepower years ago about adding a switch as Jammy has mentioned.

Using the "indicator lamp" terminal on the Battery Separator with an LED on the dash is a good idea. SMB West should be installing that as standard by now, and including it in the "kit", as this was discussed late last year.

John K.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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Battery Separator

Thanks, John. Can I just strip the start wire in harness and solder to it? John M.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:58 PM   #6
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Re: Battery Separator

Originally Posted by SMBReno
Can I just strip the start wire in harness and solder to it? John M.
You can do that. You can even remove a portion of the insulation without cutting the start wire and wrap the spliced wire around it before soldering. Be carefull not to nick or melt the insulation on adjacent wires. And carefully insulate the finished joint.

Or you can get a solderless splice that will join the two wire with no stripping, no solder. The splice will go through the insulation on both wires and insulate the finished splice. I get them from electrical supply houses.

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Old 07-08-2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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My alarm wiring recommended striping the insulation to expose the wires (you can do this without removing insulation usually) then split the wires, giving sort of an eye shape and then running your new splice wires in and splitting it and wrapping it around the halves or something like that.

Since you're messing with your starter wire I'd probably recommend something like that. And the Starter Wire just connects the batteries when voltage is present, so you can run your starter batteries dead and start killing your house batteries and never know it because it ALWAYS jumps them together. The van just keeps starting and starting.

To me it kind of masks problems- the House to Start jump is for when you have problems, not everytime you turn the key.

Good luck!
and then
everything changed
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:42 PM   #8
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Success! Thanks to all for help.

For those of you contemplating this conversion, one note. There are two wires in the largest bundle located below the coolant reservoir that are white with pinkish traces. One, about 14 ga, is actually more magenta or purple. This is live when ignition is on, not from starter. The other is 20 ga, has a more pink colored stripe than the other. This wire carries 12+ VDC only when starter engaged. I soldered the starter lead from the battery separator into this wire. All is now nominal.

Next to figure out how the previous owner's interior battery switch was wired, and replace my apparently 4DL AGM. Any reason other than lost storage space and higher center of gravity to not mount inside?

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