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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2012, 07:33 AM
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Question Battery Cable

Has anyone worked out what the correct size battery cable would be?
I have been told bigger is best, but that's not always true I understand that the larger cable has a less likly chance of voltage drop but how far can you go before it's overkill?
From what I have found I think I would need to be using something around ether 2 B&S up to 00 B&S? ( big difference??) the engine is a 6ltr Chev and the Battery will be put in the boot with a cable length of aprox 3.5mtrs.
What would max amperage of the cable need to be?
Do I need to use automotive cable or could industrial cable be used?

Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:01 AM
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Based on an online voltage drop calculator, and an assumed 300 amp draw from your starter, size 0 cable would yield about a half volt drop along the length of the cable. Smaller size 2 cable would increase the drop to more than three volts. .. I mounted my battery in the trunk and found the most affordable cable in size 0 was welding cable. I don't see why any well insulated cable of sufficient size with enough flexibility to be routed the way you want to do it would not work.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:43 AM
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I, too, use the "0" welding cable, from the battery, "in the boot" and it has worked out just fine. If you weren't so far away, I'd hook you up, for cheap, with my left over cable. I had to buy a 25' length and used barely half of it.
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Last edited by Karl Bebout; 01-16-2012 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:11 AM
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I used #1 welding cable. Obviously it can carry the current, but it is too thick and inflexible...very unwieldy. Use 0.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:39 PM
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Go to a welding supply store and look at the various sizes and flexibilities. I used 2 AWG cable for the battery to the starter and 4 AWG cable for the alternator back to the battery. If you think it's too bulky, I know a website where you can order some copper-clad aluminum cable which is super flexible but very costly.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:01 PM
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Lie everything else, there are plusses and minuses to using welding cable. Size for size, it carries the same volts as battery cable.

Welding cable is designed to be flexible; that is obtained by using finer wires and a differant covering. But, in a high vibration environment, the finer wires can break.

The covering is also differant. It's pretty tough stuff and should resist heat and chemicals just as well. But when it burns it can release toxic fumes - that's why it's not DoT approved. I'm not sure that's a big deal.

Life's full of trade offs.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:21 AM
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Hi, Thanks to all for the advice I think I have found some cable that is around the "O" B&S mark and for around $12 pr mtr about half the cost the auto leckys want and way cheaper than the welding cable @ $175 for a 5mtr length.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:31 AM
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Welding cable is the best for many reasons,first and foremost is it's current carrying capacity,then it's flexibilty.You can get cable solder cable ends at parts stores plus the colored shrink wraps to finish them off.It's a great look done right.
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