4 x 4 Australia




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.

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 ?? ?? KEEP WATCH For peace of mind, the BM12V Bluetooth monitor sends battery status direct to a phone app.
KEEP WATCH For peace of mind, the BM12V Bluetooth monitor sends battery status direct to a phone app.

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