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Umatilla Matt

Battery cable too small causing low/dead battery symptoms?

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Umatilla Matt

Is it possible that using slightly smaller battery cable could cause the starter on the engine to act like the battery is going dead?

I added a second battery using a Blue Sea Systems switch and Automatic Charging Relay. Now, my engine is slow to turn over, as if the starting battery is low on charge.

I know the battery is fully charged. I had it hooked to a charger/maintainer for 2 days and the voltmeter I believe is showing like 13 volts.

The only thing I can think of is this: I used 4 gauge wire to run from the starting battery to the switch (about a foot long). I then connected the original/existing power wire that runs to the engine (I think it is 2 gauge or 0 gauge wire) to the switch.

Could that little section of 4 gauge wire be restricting the juice to my starter?

Any ideas?

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Bobby Light

Is it possible that using slightly smaller battery cable could cause the starter on the engine to act like the battery is going dead?

I added a second battery using a Blue Sea Systems switch and Automatic Charging Relay. Now, my engine is slow to turn over, as if the starting battery is low on charge.

I know the battery is fully charged. I had it hooked to a charger/maintainer for 2 days and the voltmeter I believe is showing like 13 volts.

The only thing I can think of is this: I used 4 gauge wire to run from the starting battery to the switch (about a foot long). I then connected the original/existing power wire that runs to the engine (I think it is 2 gauge or 0 gauge wire) to the switch.

Could that little section of 4 gauge wire be restricting the juice to my starter?

Any ideas?

It shouldn't be that much of an issue, check to make sure all your connectins are tight. I never use anything less than 2 awg for connecting batteries to the switches, or paralleling batteries. 4 awg from the switch to the ACR is fine.

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Umatilla Matt

It shouldn't be that much of an issue, check to make sure all your connectins are tight.

Well, now that I think about it, I ran out of the ring connectors for the wire and on some of the connections I redneck rigged them by splitting the wires and tightening the nut down on them :crazy:

I wonder if that could be the issue? I'm not sure if the starting battery connections where the ones I ran out of ring connectors on or not...

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Bobby Light

Well, now that I think about it, I ran out of the ring connectors for the wire and on some of the connections I redneck rigged them by splitting the wires and tightening the nut down on them :crazy:

I wonder if that could be the issue? I'm not sure if the starting battery connections where the ones I ran out of ring connectors on or not...

I'd say that's your issue and I wouldn't be trying to start the boat until you get it fixed. Battery wiring isn't something you can redneck, well unless you want to burn your boat down.

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Umatilla Matt

I'd say that's your issue and I wouldn't be trying to start the boat until you get it fixed. Battery wiring isn't something you can redneck, well unless you want to burn your boat down.

I just went out and checked. The path from the starting battery to the switch to the starter is all done the right way. I only ran out of ring connectors on the wires that connect the batteries through the Automatic Charging Relay.

FYI, I wasn't planning on leaving them redneck rigged. I was just too lazy to go back to the store! :whistle:

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DONTW8

The amperage a wire can carry is limited by the weakest wire in the link.

In practical terms if you run an 2 guage wire for 20 feet of the run but splice in a 8 guage wire the total current carried can be no more than what travels through the 8 guage wire (45 amps).

I am rusty but 2 guage is 100 amp, 4 guage is 80, 6 guage is 60, 8 guage is 45 and 10 guage is 30.

That is why you want to buy the expensive big jumper cables too, at least 4 guage.

Impedance is the issue. The longer the run the more you need big wire because the resistance is effected by the distance as well.

Tight connections are paramount. House fires caused by electrical problems are 99% caused by loose or improper connections in a box that is not sealed properly.

Think of it as pipe. In effect it is a funtion of the radius squared.

1/2" pipe; .5 x .5 = .25 square inches

3/4" .75 x .75 = .5625 square inches, so a 3/4" pipe carries 2.25 times as much as a 1/2" pipe.

Edited by DONTW8

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