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Old 03-19-2005, 02:34 AM
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Battery cable 4 gauge ok?

I finished relocating my battery to the trunk on a '73 Chevelle (blown sb) and am now thinking that the 4 gauge cable I used is too thin. I was going to use 2 gauge but the stereo store I was at didn't carry it only the 4 gauge. The sales person assured me it would be ok and said that he has run his race cars with 4 gauge. I'm using a mini-starter if this makes a difference and also it is a very low compression blower motor.

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Last edited by Marcus; 03-19-2005 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:12 PM
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battery cable

i think i would be going with the heavier cable, less voltage drop.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:19 PM
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battery cable

Your local parts store should carry bulk cable. Any length you want.
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:58 AM
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Yes, #4 AWG is too thin for the distance you need to run. Go with minimum #1 or #1/0 AWG.

Vince
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:46 PM
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Check with your welding or electrical supply stores for welding cable, stay far far away from stereo shops unless you want to pay 4x for the same gauge cabling. I'd go with 0 AWG
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:33 PM
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Short car: 1 Guage, longer car: 0 guage. You are solving two problems, hi amp draw on battery during starts and recharging the battery. You also have to run the ground to one of the starter bolts. Don't use the frame as ground for the battery or you will run yourself nuts with undependable starting.

Trees
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:18 AM
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I was afraid of this conclusion...I guess I'm going to have to replace the expensive cable I just purchased. Seems such a waste but it's got to be done right I quess. Thanks all.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:28 AM
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Wire

Doc here,

0 or 0/0 (ought or double ought) wire is what you want to run for BOTH cables...Remember, your running somewhere between 250 and 600 CCA the length of the car, What, 25 Feet in total? every time you start it! This can HEAT smaller gauge wire.

Heat loss translates To lost power (energy used to heat can't do potential work) It can also melt or Weaken the insulation over time (making it brittle).

You Can score This wire At your local Home Depot for about $1.50 to $2.00 a foot (It's used to install Electrical service drops) in bulk.

You can get a set of Bolt on Battery Clamps, But the down shot is the other ends where you need to install the ring terminals. You need a nicopress to install these. If you know a commercial electrician, he should have one, or maybe home depot can do it for you. You Can not Solder these...They will just melt under high current heat.

The rest you probably know, Route your cables through the trunk area through Rubber grommets, down to the frame rail on the right side.

Use Rubber Coated Metal Adel Clamps about every 2 feet to secure it to the frame.
Any place it may chafe, wrap it with two or three wraps of Teflon tape and a little black tape on the ends to keep the Teflon from unraveling.
Keep it well away from Exhaust, Fuel and brake lines and rotating parts.
Separate The power and ground Cables by about 2 inches if you have the room (Don't bundle them together)
Run your power Direct to the Solenoid.
Run the Ground Direct to any bolt on or near the starter that is handy.
Then get a standard Battery Cable with ring terminals on both ends (any auto parts store about 6 bucks for about 3 feet) From that bolt with the main ground to a frame rail.
From that same main ground bolt run two 10 ga black wires to any spot on the firewall and ground it. The other 10 ga will go to the Alternator Mount or alternator Bolt.
Use Star washers at Each bolted ground point, and burnish all the paint from the area.

If you do this, You will have a system that will perform trouble free for many years.

You can get all the stuff except the Battery Clamps And Double ring end ground cable, at home depot, one stop shopping.

Your Shopping list:

0 or 0/0 wire (whatever length you measure for your runs) and 2 ring terminals for the cables

2 rubber grommets The size of the cables

1 bag of rubber coated metal Adel Clamps (at least 25)

Enough Tech screws to hang the clamps (self drilling screws, you will still need to drill a small pilot hole)

1 roll of Teflon tape

1 roll of black tape

About 30 feet black 10 ga wire

A bag of 3/8 & star washers for your 10 gauge ring terminals , probably 1/4 for your tech Screws that you'll probably use for firewall ground) for all your ground bolts.

Ring terminals For 10 ga wire.

On the way home , Stop at the auto parts store, and get :

1 ~3 foot ground battery cable with ring terminals on each end

1 battery cable clamp (pos)

1 battery cable clamp (Neg)

That should do it! If you can't get Home depot to nicopress the rings on the cables, and you don't know an electrician, call around to local electrical shops, I sure one of them will do it for you.

Let us know how it turns out!
Doc
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:24 AM
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I used the ring terminals shown at the bottom of this page http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/1-0.shtml .
First drill a hole where the cable goes in, trim back the outer layer of the cable to expose wire enough to enter ring terminal.
The ring terminal can be punched with a small diameter bolt to hold the cable.
The ring terminal must be held on either side or it will spread out, I put mine in a vise and placed a block of wood underneath.
When punched the end can be soldered, heat from the end away from the cable and when hot enough feed solder into the hole you drilled earlier.
You cannot solder first then punch.
A short piece of shrink wrap finishes the job.
I pop riveted my cable clamps under the car and used heat wrap near the exhaust, subframe connectors came in handy to tie too.
I did mine this way several years ago and they are still good.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:37 PM
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Thanks both for the very detailed instructions...I think this clarifies things considerably. Doc, I know you suggested the same heavy gauge cable for the ground - is it ok if I use the 4 gauge cable I already have in place for the ground and the thicker stuff for the power?
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:49 AM
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4 gauge cable

Doc here,

Unless you want to attach and use Both together as a single ground, I'd avoid it.

Load heat is going to show up at the weakest link in the chain, ergo, the ground 4 ga. It's best to have both 0 or 0/0 cable.

But what you can use the 4 gauge for is, If you want, making your grounds from the main ground at the starter, to the firewall, Main bolt to the alternator mount, and main bolt to frame...A bit overkill, but what the heck, you already bought it, why not use it?...I mean (except for frame to main bolt ground) 10 ga would work, but you already have the 4 ga.

You may want to make any other grounds (and power) that you think may be a problem in the future with the extra 4 ga...and install it there, since it will support any other system (power or ground) in the car other than a long starter run.

Especially if you have a large wattage power amp, You can use the extra for that.

Or leave it in place and run it to a single terminal block with a fusible link for power under the hood that you can tap into For future electrical additions.(also handy for hooking up a timing light, or 12 volt trouble light)

Nothing is EVER wasted!
just figure out What you want to use it for..

Doc
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:19 AM
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Thanks Doc, I'm off to Home Depot.
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