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PRIORITY START



Introduction Installation Function and testing Final Comments

I'd recommend the Optima Yellow Top battery and a Battery Bug, but the PS module just did not seem to help me.

PRIORITY START

Priority Start installed
botachtactical.com
$59 - click on image

Priority Start owner's manual - download

INTRODUCTION

The PS module sits between the auto's hot cable and the battery, so it can either connect the battery to the auto's electrical system (and thereby power all the Corvette's gadgets), or disconnect the battery from the Vette (thereby eliminating any power drain).

The internal circuitry of the unit will monitor your battery. If there is some current drain, like with headlights left on, or radio on, it will eventually drain the battery. When the PS module detects that the remaining voltage in your battery is 11.7 Volts or less, it disconnects the battery. Thereby, the current drain is stopped, and you're left with a battery that still has plenty of voltage left to start the car and get you home.

Without PS, the drain would continue without warning, your first discovery would be a completely dead battery.

This product is an important consideration for many Vette owners, because the Vettes are notorious for running their batteries down, so much so that we have a name for it: DBS. Just say DBS to any Vette owner and he'll know what you mean: "Dead Battery Syndrome". Sometimes DBS is unexplained. On the '05 Manual 6, DBS is often due to leaving the car in a gear OTHER than reverse. If the car is not parked in reverse, the battery will drain. This was a poor design, just ASKING for DBS, and so with lots of complaints, GM fixed this in the '06 Vettes - well, at least they've eliminated the need to park in reverse. However, this has not prevented lots of '06 and'07 Vette owners from getting stranded with DBS.

So this should be a piece of insurance so that you'll always be able to get home again. It is inexpensive - click on the picture above to order. Though often sold for up to $80, I got mine at Botach Tactical for $59.

For whatever reason, however, this did not prevent me from having a dead battery several times. Meanwhile, it took up a lot of space under the hood, and seemed to make it very difficult for me to jump start the car. When all was done, I eventually took it out and threw it away. I found that it was just far better to have a Battery Bug installed, than to have this large box under my hood. I don't know if it was my fault, or the device, but the PS module did not give reliable protection for me. On the other hand, since installing the battery bug, I've never had a dead battery again.

So the PS module is shown here for installation photos, but I would not recommend it personally. Instead get a Battery Bug for the most reliable protection from DBS.

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INSTALLATION PHOTOS

VERY SIMPLE

Where to find batteryLocation of battery and original battery cables.
10 mm wrench neededYou'll need a 10mm wrench to take the C6 +12V and GND cables off the battery. It's a good idea always to disconnect the ground cable first when doing any electrical work. After you get both cables disconnected, wrap the rubber band around the battery. You'll need it later (it is supplied with Priority Start).
where to slide tabHold the C6 black cable up. You'll want to mount the "grounding tab" supplied with the Priority Start module in the thin space between A and B. You'll find that you cannot just put it underneath the bolt, as you might want to. It will not be secure in that location, even when bolted down all the way, and it will fall off.
Pry A and B apart just a little and put the tab in between them.
tab in positionHere's what the "grounding tab" looks like, slid into it's location. Now re-mount the black cable on the battery negative terminal, now with the extra tab sticking out.
tab mountedHere's the appearance when re-mounted. Notice the tab sticking out.
PS hot cable connected to battery first.Now take the big red cable from the Priority Start module, and bolt it down to the +12V terminal on the car battery.
PS hot cable connected to battery.You may have to use a rubber mallet to get the PS red cable all the way down onto the battery terminal.
Mount the positive cable from C6 onto PS.Then slide the original C6 battery cable over the PS contact and secure with a 1/2" wrench.
Connect PS ground wire. Now take the small black wire from the Priority Start module, and connect to the tab you installed on the battery negative cable. It just slides into place, providing the ground necessary so that the module can be powered.

**Note that without this attachment, Priority Start is turned off - it will not protect you from a dead battery. The battery will still be connected to the car's electrical system, however, so this would be a good way to "remove" Priority Start quickly if you ever wanted to : just pop off that tiny black wire.

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PS connections.
Summary of all Priority Start connections
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Function and testing

Then test it - leave the headlights on, or if you have a 2005 manual 6 speed, like me, just leave it in neutral instead of reverse. The power of the battery will slowly drain, and eventually you'll hear the gears in the module start turning and then it will disconnect the battery.

To get back in the car and drive away, you'll have to:

  1. Use the KEY to enter the car - use it in the keyhole above the license plate.
  2. This key only opens the trunk. Look in the trunk for the pull cable that opens the driver's door. Pull gently - I've already broken this cable once.
  3. Now the door is open - get in and press the cigarette lighter IN - this will cause Priority Start to re-connect your battery.
  4. Now you can start the car and drive away.

I have had a little trouble getting the car started. I'll continue to experiment, but for now, I'd recommend:

  1. Make sure car is in reverse.
  2. Clutch in.
  3. Make sure "accessory mode" is off.
  4. Make sure headlights off
  5. Make sure all inside lights are off, the same way the car would look if you had parked it and walked away.

Ive been unable to restart the car when

  1. The hood was open
  2. The car was in neutral instead of reverse.
  3. Accessory mode was on.

I don't know if these things are in my imagination or not, but if you can't get your car started after a drain, you may want to check these things.

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Final Comment

Given the C6's unending propensity to have DBS, the PS module really should be standard equipment. Even if you've never had DBS yet, you will one day. Consider the PS module - but my recommendation is to buy a Battery Bug instead.

Also, it is absolutely true that if you have discharged your battery just once, that you have permanently damaged it. Experts claim that after one discharge, your battery loses 30% of it's ability to hold a charge. That means that you'll take it to the dealer, and they'll tell you that you're battery is "fine", and if you drive it every day, the battery will be fine. But if you leave the car un-driven for 3 or 4 days, the battery will be dead. The PS module will not protect you from a dead battery if the problem is just a weak battery itself. So if you have discharged your current battery due to a prior bout of DBS, believe me, cut your losses and order your Optima Yellow Top battery now.

In my opinion, there is little point to having the PS module unless you have a good uninjured battery as well, preferably an Optima Yellow Top

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