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Old 08-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #2146
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Anyone know where I can find source #4 in an NCV3 Sprinter in the diagram below

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #2147
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Originally Posted by Geek View Post
Anyone know where I can find source #4 in an NCV3 Sprinter in the diagram below

Could be a challenge since there is no wire for this I suspect. Turning the key to start just sends a signal on the CAN bus. I would recommend looking at the "upfitters guide" manual (I believe that is what they call it, might be "body builders manual"). I downloaded a copy from www.sprinter-engineeringcompliance.com a while back. Lots of good info there.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #2148
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Yes I suspect you are right - the canbus (i.e. LIN) as per
Alternator-Info-23April2007.pdf

I've written Sterling asking them what the charger actually uses that signal for and if I can just leave it disconnected.


Question for those who might be in the know:

As you can see in the diagram above, I'm supposed to put this charger in the circuit between the alternator and the battery banks. I do have the remote kit as per the diagram so I have the 200amp shunts to put in the circuit.

What I was physically planning on doing is using the existing positive battery cable that is already run into the van... putting that to the shunt and then the other side of the shunt to the sterling charger (which will be in the back of the van)... then running a cable forward to the starter battery (which is under the drivers feet).

I'm assuming the positive cable on the van's battery indeed comes from the alternator directly and meets these requirements.

I was also going to do the same with the existing negative cable that goes to the existing battery.. basically join that to all the negatives - both battery banks and the charger's negative since all negatives should be conjoined.

Anyone see a flaw in my plan? It sure would make my life easier to use the existing cables and not having to run cabling through the firewall.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #2149
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
without knowing the loads and the cable sizes it's impossible to say if the current wires / cables are big enough for the new projected use.

I'm thinking they want you to bring every device load neg to one side of a shunt so the Sterling brain box can do it's amps in / amps out calcs. which leads to how are you isolating the starting battery from the house bank, and do you can to monitor the starting battery at all or do you just want monitor the house bank?

at some point you'll have to account for all the devices that use the vehicle chassis as ground as many devices won't have a second DC wire run all the way back to the battery.
re: loads.
220amp alternator
The sterling will basically hand off the alternator's charge to the house battery automatically so the existing wiring should be good... I'll likely use 2/0 from the charger to the house battery to make sure it is covered.

I'm using AGMs for house batteries so I'll configure it to never charge them at more than 50amps (because I don't want to gas them). I'm using 2 gauge wire in the back which is overkill for 50 amps so shouldn't be an issue (and a 100 amp circuit breaker in case of accident and a wire grounds to avoid fire).

The sterling isolates the house bank and starting bank automatically.
It always priorities the starting bank and keeps it full, then uses excess energy available to charge the house bank.

more info here if you are bored: http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/li...%20AB12130.pdf

The remote for the sterling will allow me to monitor the starting bank (hence the shunts) but that said, I also have a xantrex on board for monitoring.

"at some point you'll have to account for all the devices that use the vehicle chassis as ground" - help me understand what this means? Isn't a ground is a ground is a ground... and as long as they're all connected and go into the chassis ground I'm good? There is a chassis ground right under the driver's seat.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me figure this out
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #2150
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Yup .. thanks for the refresher

I had to do the math because my cables are pretty long to the back... hence why I went with 2 gauge for only 50amps.

If anything I "over fused" in that I put a circuit breaker on each circuit (being paranoid about fire in case of accident) on top of the fuses already built into the sterling, etc.

The van itself has a 300amp inline fuse between the alternator and the starter (?) and starter battery - I'm not sure why mercedes put it at the alternator/starter end of the cable and not next to the battery.. but that's what they did. My rule of thumb has always been to have the fuses as close to the battery (power source) as possible.

Someone on Sprinter forum made a good suggestion - I'm going to put a selector switch at the main battery so I can turn off the sterling and just drop straight alternator to starter battery (i.e. stock) if I want to in case of issues with the sterling.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:17 PM   #2151
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
over fusing?

as in putting in a 100 amp fuse on a 50 amp circuit?

if the cable from Sterling to house battery is going to have 50 amp load, then you want a 75 amp protection device at each end so any minor spikes pass through but a serious "short to ground" gets de-powered quickly.
Yes, you won't want to over-fuse, 'cause that defeats the purpose of having a fuse in the first place.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #2152
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"fuse for the wire" size.. not the device right?
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:51 AM   #2153
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"fuse for the wire" size.. not the device right?
Yes. Pretty much you fuse to the weakest link.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:58 AM   #2154
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I got an email back from Sterling regarding the function of wire#4... it is actually for the vehicle not the charger:

"this fires up the alt if you have a alt which needs 12 v to work, if you alt works without this then its not required."


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Old 08-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #2155
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but only some of them? the answer was IF you have an alt that needs 12v
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #2156
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So I'm guessing this wire sends a signal to the Sterling to put 12V to the alternator via the main connection?

i.e. the key turning on hands off the signal.

If my alternator needs 12v... and I have to send the signal to the Sterling.. and i want to avoid touching the starting system (damn canbus)....

I guess I could add one of these to my stratup procedure



...and just run 12 volts from the switch to the sterling (remembering I have to throw the switch before i start the engine)
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #2157
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The Sprinter has to control the alt... it is part of the LIN (canbus)

I want to keep the Sterling as isolated as I can...
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #2158
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I haven't read all of this thread but I have lots of experience with sprinters, especially T1N - managed a fleet of more than 50. we bought every one of them we could find.

all beat up by our drivers daily. and I mean BEAT UP. they have their issues and quirks, but golly. they run and run and run and run and run while getting retarded fuel economy. you couldn't run a tank out in 12 hours even if you tried. and believe me, i've tried lol


my question really is: as someone building an "adventure" van, why did you choose a platform with no 4wd? with that amount of weight and skinny tires, it's gonna sink in most any softer ground. there's no LSD as it's just a traction control with brake application..
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #2159
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nwdub: The 4wd sprinters are not available in the US... otherwise that's what I'd be driving.

There were rumors they were going to bring them in in 2014 but my Dealer has since said that they've cancelled those plans. I hope he's wrong.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #2160
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nwdub: The 4wd sprinters are not available in the US... otherwise that's what I'd be driving.

There were rumors they were going to bring them in in 2014 but my Dealer has since said that they've cancelled those plans. I hope he's wrong.
but for an adventure van that is heavy with 2wd and no LSD do you have any concerns with ability offroad without getting stuck?

I'm just curious, as I'm starting to do more and more overland stuff

Edit: have you thought about importing parts and doing something custom? or do you not think you're gonna need it. you said early that you didn't want to go with the 170" because of high centering..
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