Anyone who has ever killed their battery while winching or welding can attest to the fact that a single battery setup just doesn't cut it in a regular use 4x4. Though it may keep the tunes churning out of the stereo and maintain its regular engine-igniting duties, it feels the added draw when burdened by a winch or underhood welder. We've even seen a single battery drain from repeated starting attempts due to faulted fuel injection systems and carburetor deficiencies. Each of these predicaments is easily remedied through the use of a dual battery setup. Until lately, this wasn't an underhood option for Jeep TJ owners because of a crowded engine compartment. MG Industries, however, has now made it possible.
Using a dual stacking tray setup, the Jeep TJ Dual Battery Tray from MG Industries enables the use of two Optima Yellow Top or Red Top dual-post batteries. The team at Mean Green and co-designers Larry Davis and Matt Martin of Mad4wd.com achieved this by placing the batteries on their sides, one on top of another. The extra posts are still available for additional electric connections and the batteries fit neatly in the allotted area. The tray and brackets are constructed from stainless steel, have a powdercoated finish, and use factory bolt locations for a simple installation. Along with the dual battery kit, we also installed a Mean Green High Output alternator, said to offer as much as 300 percent more charging power.
Because the batteries are stacked atop each other, a non-spillable, deep-cycle battery was needed to design the kit. The Optima brand was selected because of its proven off-road ability and wide availability. In addition to being fully sealed and maintenance free, Optima batteries offer a higher and more consistent voltage under load, rapid recharge capability, and an increased vibration resistance. We had Kilby Enterprises in Burbank, California, carry out the installation of the Mean Green Dual Battery Tray and High Output alternator in our Project PMO TJ; now we benefit from a superior charging system. Your TJ can reap the same rewards. Check out the captions to find out how.