IBS-DBS: Interesting malfunction and solution

Discussion in 'Power Systems' started by Hugh Heifer, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Hugh Heifer

    Hugh Heifer In Tenneginia!

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    About four years ago I installed an IBS-DBS from Sierra Expeditions. (As some have pointed out this particular system is far more expensive than other systems out there but I pulled the trigger on it anyway. That is not what this thread is about.) I installed it in my UZJ-100 without issue. It went in easily and worked very well - for a while. When I bought the system I added the RBM (Relay Booster Module) which is supposed to help in protecting the system in the event you need to jump your own starter battery with your accessory battery. "RBM Relay Booster Module: designed to improve the functionality of the IBS-DBS Dual Battery System (IBS-DBS and DBi-DBS) in the event that the starter battery is empty or fails totally." I was running an Optima blue top as my accessory battery and a Sears Platinum Group 31 as my primary starter battery.

    Fast forward about three years. The first thing that happened is while on a long hot drive in the Philippines the controller began to beep and the green link light illuminated. I played with the controller a bit to see if I could make this stop and I found linking and unlinking the batteries manually would make the condition revert to regular operation.

    I read this in the IBS-DBS trouble shooting "manual" which there really is not much to:
    "Link failure alarm: The monitor monitors the charge on both batteries. When fitting charge (from alternator, solar, charger) no charge to the other battery is detected, the link error alarm with flashing green LED "linked" and the "beep" sounds. If this error occurs, check immediately the wiring of the power cables to (relay, battery terminals, crimp contacts, control relays). After bug fixes, the alarm will automatically reset."

    I inspected all my connections and found nothing wrong. I do not drive the truck much here in the Philippines and often only drive short distances. The problem did not present again for a while and then my Sears G31 battery started failing. When I drove more than about 45 minutes, the error started to present again. Eventually, after about 6 months or so, the G31 battery was garbage and I replaced it with an Optima blue top G31 (which are about 2 times the price here as in the states. Ouch. But other batteries here are junk.)

    Problem not solved. And as a matter of fact, it was getting worse. It started to happen after 20 minutes. Ten even 10 minutes of driving. Eventually I recognized that the accessory battery was only being charged for about the first ten minutes of driving. After that, a malfunction caused the system to ignore the accessory battery. It showed on the controller in the cab and I watched as it would drain when using my fridge.

    I contacted Wil and Sierra Expeditions and he thought it could be a bad main 200amp relay. I also did some searching and found someone in another forum having a very similar problem his solution was to remove the RBM (which is an option) completely. He also was driving in harsh hot conditions. But because I do not pay attention to what I read, and it was going to be easier to replace the main relay than remove the RBM, I went ahead an got a new main relay from Wil. It was far cheaper than the RBM as well so I figured it was worth a shot. (In retrospect I should have just removed the RBM and kept my $30 but I bought a Trasharoo at the same time but I digress.)

    Once installed there was no change to the system. It continued to fail. This Thursday I finally got around to getting in the 120 Fahrenheit basement to remove the RBM. Problem solved. Like the guy in the other forum, my RBM had failed and was preventing my system from operating. Closer inspection also revealed that the sealant on the RBM was no longer intact. I am guessing the heat and humidity of the Philippines destroyed the internals.

    Wil was quick to respond to my emails and I appreciate that. There was no way for him to have known the true problem. Unfortunately, because I installed the system myself, it only has a three year warranty, if someone else had done it for me, I would have a five year. Go figure.

    In summary, if you have a IBS-DBS with an RBM and start getting a flashing linked light and alarm after a short time, remove the RBM from the system first. It is likely the culprit and the easiest thing to do - even easier than inspecting all your connections and wires, as a troubleshooting step.
     
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  2. RFB

    RFB 97 FZJ80 LIFTED SC DUAL BATTERIES,37s GOLD Star

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    really good to know as I just "upgraded" my IBS setup with the RBM
     
  3. 9780LC

    9780LC

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    I too had an RBM fail from the heat under the hood. I replaced it and relocated it. If it fails again, I'll be removing it.

    Operating temperatures are published for the modules. I do feel I was pushing it. OP, Thanks for posting.
     
  4. Lordulthan

    Lordulthan

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    Funny thing.... I had the same damn problem that started maybe about 6-months ago-ish.... It wasn't until 2-weeks ago that the "blinking" green light and alarm started blaring every 5-minutes after. I tested and noticed that the charge going into the 200a relay from my primary battery was registering at 14v (normal) and the output of the relay was doing 14v also for the first 5minutes, then dropped to 12.4v.

    This had me suspect that the 200a relay started to malfunction. Fortunately, I had another brand new IBS 200a relay lying around for another project that I never did (one of many it seems). Threw that in to test it.... problem persisted.

    Finally did what the OP said, RBM goes out... problem solved. What a pain in the neck.

    I will be ordering another 2 RBM's. I will also wire it up so that I there is quick connectors. I'm expecting this to fail after 3+ years also. While I'm sad that this WILL fail considering the cost of the system versus other systems, it's good to be prepared in that event.
     
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  5. RFB

    RFB 97 FZJ80 LIFTED SC DUAL BATTERIES,37s GOLD Star

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    Im doing same thing, I just installed a RBM and new IBS realy, so I want the jumping from battery to the other feature what will you use for a quik connect. TY
     
  6. Lordulthan

    Lordulthan

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    I'm actually just using something simple for the RBM ONLY. There's no going around making the main positive power cables from each battery a "quick disconnect" as they pull too much amperage. Although you could probably use Anderson 700a connectors... but that would just be ridiculously large.

    Getting back to discussion, I would just use simple Ancor male and female insulated blade terminals. The reason for Ancor is because it is a marine electronic component company so that the corrosion resistance is higher than your average terminal.

    Here's a link to their disconnects I'm using.

    Disconnects | Marinco | ancor

    For the 86 terminal on the 200a IBS relay, I already made a Y-Adapter on it using the disconnect terminals. I'll probably print and laminate a copy of the wiring diagrams and leave it with my "spare parts" in my spare-parts box in the truck. This way if I have a problem, I can easily swap RBM's on the road, or remove it completely without thinking too hard.
     
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  7. Hugh Heifer

    Hugh Heifer In Tenneginia!

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    @9780LC Can you post the temps?
     
  8. 9780LC

    9780LC

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    RBM Operating Temperature Rage is -49 to 257 degrees or -45 to 125 Celsius
     
  9. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    I had this same failure in my IBS system. It was in my 100 for 5 years and the last 2.5 in my 200 series. I ordered a relcament RBM and it was simple to swap out and problem is solved

    Thanks for this thread it saved me a lot of time trying to figure it out
     
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  10. renago

    renago

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    nice story ,
    I had a similar problem , but IBS was not blinking or beeping ,
    I just discovered the problem because the second battery was never really full .
    still have the RMB module , but wire disconnected .
    Happy to know the reason .

    thanks

    Renago
     
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