Shopping for a portable jump starter - suggestions - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-20-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Shopping for a portable jump starter - suggestions

Greetings,

I have a 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 with the 2UZ-FE V8 engine. I am shopping around for a portable jump starter and am having trouble determining if this jump starter is adequate for my truck.

I am interested in the http://www.amazon.com/Allstart-555-Battery-Starter-Inverter/dp/B008FKJH9C/ which claims 1700 peak ampere, 300 cold cranking amperes for jump starting.

Is this enough? Some data points I gathered from elsewhere:
  • The Tundra starter motor is a 2kW motor, which divided by 12 volts is 166 amps.
  • Toyota's branded and recommended battery for this vehicle is rated at 710 cold cranking amps.
  • I currently have a Walmart Group 35 battery which is rated at 550 cold cranking amps.

I live in Texas, but we do travel to the Colorado backcountry and could encounter cold weather down to perhaps zero degrees F.

Any thoughts? I'm also interested in why you think this jump starter is adequate / not adequate and how I should compare all these specs to each other.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-20-2014, 11:43 PM
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I have a similar one made by Snap-on and it works like a charm. Its used at work 4-5 times a week and I bring it on trips. I jump start Tundra's all the time with it. On cold mornings the pull down is more like 250-350 amps for your starter so it should do nicely for you. Read the instructions though. Some say to charge it and leave it. Some allow a trickle charge at all times like mine so I know its always at 100%.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-30-2014, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good input. I went ahead, ordered the unit, tested it and like it. I posted this review on Amazon:

After receiving this unit and charging it fully, I tested this with my Toyota Tundra V8.

...

On a cold morning, around 30 degrees F, I deliberately drained the truck battery and was able to start the engine 5 times in a row with just the Allstart 555. This is exactly the capability I was looking for since I often travel into remote backcountry where no one may be around for a jump start.

The unit is designed well, although I have a minor quibble: It needs to stand upright. If you lay it down, you will be resting it on either the buttons on one side, or the inverter box on the other, neither of which is likely to be good for it in a bouncing truck. So I have to find some kind of deep cardboard box in which the unit can be stored in the truck while resting upright in its base and without becoming a magnet for theft. Don't throw away the packaging materials until you find a solution!

I have not tested the inverter in the field yet.

Customer service was very good, providing me with a PDF copy of the user manual which I can download to my phone. In response to my question, they also recommended against using this unit to maintain battery charge over a long period of time. Quote:

...the jump starter, in function really, only activates its peak amps under load or when the car is cranked. There is a little bit that will flow into the battery and is why some people like to have it hooked to the battery for a couple mins before trying the start, but a charger and jump starter are completely different. I would recommend a trickle charger or maintainer for your needs.
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