4 x 4 Australia
OUR ISUZU MU-X GETS AN UPRATED BATTERY FROM AUSTRALIA’S CENTURY BATTERIES, TO BETTER COPE WITH THE EXTRA DEMANDS OF RUNNING A MODERN 4X4 IN TOUGH ENVIRONMENTS
WHEN we took delivery of our MU-X at the start of June, we were raring to fit accessories and equipment from day one, but to our surprise there wasn’t the gear available for the Isuzu we wanted. Despite being on the market for more than a year, a lot of companies are still in the development stages of their products for the ‘new’ MU-X.
There are many reasons for this, including production and staff shortages that are currently affecting the industry, and the fact the MU-X probably isn’t high on the R&D list of aftermarket equipment manufacturers. This is despite it being the second bestselling mid-size 4x4 wagon in Australia, behind the trend-defying Toyota Prado.
One thing we could update on the MU-X straight away was the vehicle’s main battery. We’re not sure if we’ll be fitting a dual-battery system to this car, so we wanted to upgrade the main battery to one with some more grunt and longevity. This includes the ability to better withstand discharge and recharge cycles.
Fitting the bill for this upgrade is the Dual Force+ from Australia’s Century Batteries. The Dual Force+ is an N70sized battery with quoted outputs of 90amp/h and 750CCA at 18°C. That’s up from the 69amp/h and 490CCA of the OE battery.
While not a substitute for a dualbattery system that isolates the vehicle’s starting battery from the auxiliary accessories battery, the Dual Force’s advanced Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) construction is designed to better cope with the loads and charging cycles of a vehicle in a 4x4 that’s used to run accessories like fridges, winches and extra lighting. Think of it as a hybrid starter/deep cycle battery.
In an AGM battery the glass matting absorbs the electrolyte liquid around the lead plates. In the Dual Force+ battery these lead plates are 20 per cent thicker than in regular batteries and this, along with the use of highdensity active paste around the plates, combine to increase the durability of the battery over a longer time and better cope with charge/discharge cycles.
The high-porosity envelope AGM separators improve electrolyte dispersion, also increasing cycle life plus resisting vibration, which is extra important in 4x4 applications used on rough roads. The use of rounded-edge X-frames also improve strength and reduce the risk of internal punctures or short circuits.
Century Batteries packages all this in a reinforced and sealed polycarbonate case that further reduces the effect of vibration and heat, making the Dual Force+ suitable for most under-bonnet installations. Being a sealed case, the battery can be mounted on its side if needed, but not upside down. The N70 Dual Force+ is available in C or D type polarity to suit your mounting location. There is also a pair of threaded
auxiliary terminals for tidy and secure connection of accessories or power cables.
Fitting the Dual Force+ in to our MU-X was relatively simple. Thankfully, Isuzu makes the battery tray bigger than the battery it fits, so it accommodates the N70 once you remove the plastic under-tray. The DualForce+ is around 20mm taller than the standard battery, so we had to get some longer bolts to secure it under the original clamp. Then it was just a matter of hooking up the terminals and kicking it in the guts.
As we said earlier, this battery is no substitute for a dedicated dual-battery system and if you totally drain this battery, you won’t be able to start the car without some assistance. We won’t be looking to run fridges overnight or inverters to charge electrical tools, but we will be secure in the knowledge that this battery will be more durable under the loads of running those accessories than the standard battery. The Dual Force+ battery is covered by Century’s 24-month Starting / 12-month Deep Cycle warranty.
For further peace of mind on the condition of our battery, we’ve fitted Century’s BM12V Bluetooth battery monitor. As the name suggests, the BM12V allows you to monitor the state of your battery remotely from your mobile phone using an app. It sends the information of current voltage, discharge rates and the condition of the battery to the app and allows you to set up notifications to warn you about low battery voltage and take action to properly maintain the battery and protect its longevity. You can also conduct cranking and charging tests via the app.
Installation of the monitor is easy; simply hook the two leads to the respective positive and negative terminals and affix the unit using the supplied double-sided tape. The BM12V has an internal replaceable fuse to protect it against damage should you install it incorrectly, and it comes with a two-year warranty.