How to charge batteries for hydraulics on lowriders

Written by russell wood
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A hydraulic suspension system uses hydraulic pumps that lift the suspension up and down. The pumps are powered by multiple batteries, because the more batteries in the system, the faster the car will lift. These setups are typically found in low-rider vehicles, and the batteries have no way to charge other than using a battery charger. If you've never done this before, it can seem daunting, but it's not a very complicated process.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Automatic 12/24/36-volt battery charger
  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Pop the boot of the car and locate the batteries for the hydraulic set-up. Count the number of batteries in the system and multiply that number by 12. This is the amount of voltage available in the hydraulic system.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the wiring between the batteries by either removing the wingnuts on the terminals or using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Pull the battery cables to the side.

  3. 3

    Connect the positive terminal from the first battery in the chain to the negative terminal on the second battery using the ratchet or a wingnut. Do this again for the next battery in the chain until you have three batteries connected.

  4. 4

    Connect the negative clamp on the battery charger to the negative post on the first battery, then the positive clamp on the charger on the positive post on the third battery. Adjust the knobs on the battery charger to read 36 volts, then turn it on to automatically charge the batteries. Repeat this process for every bank of three batteries that you have. If you have less than three, adjust for either 12 or 24 volts on the charger if you have one or two batteries.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can't find or don't have access to 24- or 36-volt chargers, then you can charge each battery individually with a 12-volt battery charger. Disconnect the connections on all the batteries as Step 2 says, then connect each battery to the charger one at a time.

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