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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2012, 04:15 PM
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Default Battery cable size

Hi Folks,

Got a few questions about battery cable size to suit.
Seems to be lots of different suggestions from using solid, mutiwire or multi strand welding wire.
How do you work out whats needed to suit battery in the back LS in the front.
Also, i want soldered and heat shrunk sheilding to neaten them up, who does this, i asked at Battery World and the Batteries Plus in melbourne, but its like Dick Smiths these days, the nerds have gone so if its not written in a catalogue they cant tell you anything. Gee i miss the Nerds.

Also, is there any reason why you cant run a cable through a copper tube to hide...neaten up the look.

Any suggetions on whats working well would be much appreciated.

Dave
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:58 PM
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Dave - was just checking your Blog and read this in reference to your steering rack :"I didnt like the thread sticking out past the Lock Nut, so I've machined up some tapered covers and brazed them to the nut to smoothen the look."

Who do you think is going to be checking out exposed treads on your steering rack? You need help mate!

Wires - bloody thick ones (not sure what gauge but mine are about 1/2" diameter and multi strand) Needed big lugs and a special crimper for the starter end and earth - dont know if you could solder - too big? I did use heat shrink but just the regular glue lined stuff. Couple of off the shelf battery terminals. Ran from back to front in some split tube - its out of site mostly.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:32 PM
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Dave, I got the stranded ones made to order from Battery world in Lilydale. The guy there was pretty knowledgable about sizing etc and they crimped thme for me I just did some measurements on my chassis by mocking it up with some string and then gave him the measurements. Since then I put in a battery isolator switch and had to re-crimp. I borrowed a crimper and got some lugs from local auto store and some heat shrink and looks good (to me).

Regarding Solder, I personally wouldnt want to do this as you need to get a lot of heat into the cable and lug. In all my days in Power Electrical work we always used crimpers. Also I reckon stranded is much easier to work with.

Regarding putting it in a copper tube, probably offers protection but if you locate the cable properly I wouldnt think that is an issue.

Regarding size I will check my invoice to see what size I got. Given you will be doing an ECU car I wouldnt think you would be sitting there for long periods on the starter button and need bags of current and uber large cable. My LS1 starts within 1-2 secs every time even after weeks.

Rgds

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Old 02-07-2012, 06:01 PM
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Hi Dave. I wired my car last year and went through all of the options. Here's what worked for me.

I got most all of my wiring supplies from Graeme at Larpro (larpro.com.au) in Sydney. He supplies in bulk lots but will break them up if you ask nicely. Prices aren't listed but he's dirt cheap and provides good service. He's supplied a few Cobra builders in the past.

I used 0 (zero) gauge battery/starter cable which is 13mm diameter and has lots of fine strands, which is apparently what you want.

BAT0BS - Battery & Starter Cable 30 Meter

I borrowed a hydraulic crimper to press the lugs on. You don't want them coming undone and touching the chassis rails. The crimpers are pretty affordable now:

NEW-8-TONNE-HYDRAULIC-CRIMPER-TOOL-SET-4-70-mm

Grab plenty of heat shrink from Larpro, he's 1/4 the price of Jaycar. Get red and black in different sizes and remember the size you order will roughly halve in diameter once you've applied the heat gun.

I bought an $80 Bosch heat gun from Bunnings (digital readout so you know when its up to temp), a self adjusting wire stripper (like this) from Jaycar and also a ratchet crimper with removable dies - so you have one tool for insulated and non-insulated terminals of different sizes, about $70 from memory.

I soldered all wires properly instead of using those joint blocks. If you haven't soldered before the page below is a great help.

How To Make Perfect Solder Joints

It's handy to have good electrical connectors near all lights and accessories. I bought about 20x each of the 2, 4 and 6 way connectors, see below (you need male and female). Check that they come with the brass male/female terminals - mine did. Slide an inch of heat shrink down the wire before crimping, then slide back up over the end of the terminal and apply heat gun. That way you don't have any stray terminal ends accidentally exposed.

LARRIKIN PRODUCTS - Category Electrical Connectors

I used plenty of good electrical tape at 30cm intervals to keep looms together and black conduit in various sizes to protect wiring from oil, water, abrasions, etc. Cable tie the conduit to your chassis rails or you can use a hot glue gun to fix inside fibreglass panels.

No doubt there are better ways to do these things and you may already know most of that, but hopefully it helps someone. Good luck.

PS. Buy/borrow a good multimeter!
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:28 PM
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For 12volt current, you want a multi strand wire, the more strands the better,hence the welding lead cable. Just the opposite for 120/220v home use,for that, the correct application is a single strand wire.....

On my 65 coupe race car, battery is mounted in the trunk,if I remember correctly,I used about 16 to 18 feet of wire from the battery to the starter solenoid, I used a #1 or #2 welding lead,don't remember, but it is about 1/2 or a little more outside diameter,have not had any problems in 8 years!!!!!!!!
I actually ran it in a rubber garden hose so it would be somewhat protected from vibration and chaffing....

David
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:39 PM
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here's a picture.........
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the info guys, i just read a doc online that the greater the surface area of wire the lower the current loss, so more strands would suggest more surface area.
Dont understand why ? but hey.

Andrew,
Yes...i need help, serious help. Wait till you see my ball joints.......

Gregg,
Battery World guy in Pakenham is a Nuf Nuf.
I didnt think of crimping, i like this idea and can finish off myself like you did with shrink tube.

Sambo,
Thanks for all the info and links, good info.

Dave,
The CR cable length isnt that long, battery sits above the diff, cable runs down the inside of the RH rail for probably 4 or 5 feet so maybe 8 or 9 ft would be plenty.

I was thinking to run it inside a bit of tubing to match up with the fuel and brake lines.
I have some incredible soft flexible jumper leads that are the best i've ever used, looks like thousands of tiny fine wires, like welding earth lead.

Dave
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:18 PM
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Hello Dave,
I own a Automatic Rebuild shop so what I can tell you is this, to find correct cable go and see a Auto Electrician he will advise correct size, depending on what engine and transmission you are running voltage mean a lot, longer the distant the bigger the cable. A standard C/dore Gen 3/ Gen 4 with Auto needs approx 9.4 volt to excit Computer or transmission will go into fail safe, also engine will experience issue as well. Make sure you earth at battery and engine bay with same cable, so see electrician for whats best in cable size.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:21 PM
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Dave sorry when I say 9.4 volts this is cranking volts, you may have 13 plus at battery but when you crank in engine the volts will drop if they go below 9.4 issue start.
RAAPS , Craig
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:51 AM
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just use battery cable called 2 b & s or electra cable ebs2
this cable should just fit inside the battery lugs size 35
anything bigger is overkill
its normally not the cable that stops car from starting
its the joins and connections so make sure u crimp properly
dont solder the big joins as it looks fkt then heatshrink over crimp
so u get less dirt inside
and what i told all the guys who had cobra that we wired was
front left and front right and rear right and rear left weld a big bolt
maybe 8mm or 10mm bolt to the chassis in a good out of the way spot
this should be used as an earth
ive seen guys uon cobras use self tapers and **** or even rivets hehhe
so if u have a welded bolt which will be like an earthing stud u will have less problems
so u can earth yr lights and blinkers etc etc
also maybe 2 small ones under dash
just makes it nicer and u know where yr common earth are
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Last edited by sideshow; 02-08-2012 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:57 AM
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Thanks Sideshow...... great heads up on the Earth!!
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:08 AM
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yes make sure u welb bolt/stub good
im learning reprogramming immobillisers on european cars right now
took on a job that turned to poooo
and need to crack and remove immob in ecu eeprom and know nohting about it hehehe
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:12 AM
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I was welded a stainless tab onto the chassis for my earth points and then bolted strap with a stainless bolt as well. I figured it wont rust and keep a good connection.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenrocca View Post
I was welded a stainless tab onto the chassis for my earth points and then bolted strap with a stainless bolt as well. I figured it wont rust and keep a good connection.
Put some 'nevasieze' on that bolt so the two stainless bits don't gall. There may be a little electrolisis there to roughen up the thread mating surfaces and cause galling later on.
Rob.
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