Maximize Charging with a Ford Transit Van with Factory Secondary Alternator

Many of our customers have been asking us about options to maximize the charging capability from a Transit van that came with a factory, secondary alternator using the “customer connection point 2” (CCP2). This video dives into some cost-effective, high-current charging options.

Update October 2023: we’ve discovered that newer versions of the Smart BMS CL 12/100 may not work correctly unless you add 56k resistors (3 watt) onto each of the three conductors/wires inside the M8 battery cable. The photo below shows how we cut the M8 battery cable in half and then used butt-splice connectors to add the resistors onto each conductor/wire. After these splices, we used heat shrink around the resistors.

Also, since this post was written originally, the newer, Orion XS DC-DC charger from Victron Energy has been released which has a lot of great new features including the ability to charge up to 50 amps per unit. Thus, in many cases, just using two of these – one on each “customer connection point” (CCP) is going to be the simple path.

Guidance from the BEM – Acronym Soup

Another thing to consider is the information in the so-called “Body and Equipment Mounting Manual” (BEM) for Transits on pages 77-78 where they discuss “Smart Regenerative Charging” (SRC) which is a sort of fuel efficiency mechanism that limits the output of the alternator(s) in Transit. Most installers are disabling this to switch to “Conventional Charging” as described in that manual. It basically involves finding a wiring harness that you might have on a Transit Trail, etc. or purchasing the right adapter harness and grounding out one of the wires or running that wire through a switch to ground if you want to be able to enable/disable “Conventional Charging”. I guess Ford really likes their acronyms.

A couple of videos about this:

Upgrade to a Purpose-Built Secondary Alternator

At the risk of adding more mud to this water, if you have two factory alternators, you might also consider removing the secondary and replacing it with a Nations/Wakespeed combo that is going to charge at higher current much more reliably and has all the advantages we discuss in this post. By reusing that factory location/bracket, this kit is “only” $1,200 which is actually a great deal, in our opinion, considering how substantial an upgrade it is. To get the most benefits from this system you need to use a Wakespeed-approved battery and, ideally a CAN-data-enabled battery bank like Victron Smart batteries. Also, if you do this, you’ll need to take the vehicle to a Ford dealership with an FDRS scan tool so that they can change the van’s configuration from “dual alternator” to “single alternator” mode.

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