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BlindSquirrel

Battery cable gauge

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BlindSquirrel

I'm going to run all new battery cables in my VLX as my old stuff looks pretty nasty. What is the correct gauge cable I should be using? I have a 2 battery set up going into a perko switch, not that that should make a difference. 

Thanks.

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shawndoggy

depends... where are your batteries located now?  I think they were in the rear locker of your boat when new, but most folks have relocated them to the observer's compartment.  You can get away with small gauge if the batteries are still next to the starter, but if you are in the observer's compartment, I'd go zero gauge minimum, and ideally 00 gauge  (it's a 15-18' run depending how you route the cables).  If the batteries are in the rear locker, 2 awg is probably more than enough.

Also remember that that's x 2 because you also need to run a ground wire to the engine block.

Edited by shawndoggy

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oldjeep

If  you are going new, might as well overdo it and use 00

Stock stuff connected to my batteries is 2 gauge on one battery and 4 gauge on the other into the perko.  No Idea why they decided to do that.

 

One note on the wiring.  Get yourself some fine wire welding cable.  There are a lot of different types of battery cable and the difference is the number of strands per gauge.  The more strands the better and the more flexible it is (and more expensive).   I always bought my jeep winch wire from a welding shop online

Edited by oldjeep

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BlindSquirrel
9 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

depends... where are your batteries located now?  I think they were in the rear locker of your boat when new, but most folks have relocated them to the observer's compartment.  You can get away with small gauge if the batteries are still next to the starter, but if you are in the observer's compartment, I'd go zero gauge minimum, and ideally 00 gauge  (it's a 15-18' run depending how you route the cables).  If the batteries are in the rear locker, 2 awg is probably more than enough.

Also remember that that's x 2 because you also need to run a ground wire to the engine block.

Thanks. I was going to keep the batteries in the rear locker, and put the switch under the observe's seat. Currently the switch is in the port side rear on the ledge by the transmission. Doesn't look like an ideal spot to be right under a seat that wet people walk over. I'm open to putting it somewhere else if there is a better spot than my planned location. The observe's compartment is prime real estate for life jackets and such is my reasoning for not putting the batteries there. 

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shawndoggy
28 minutes ago, BlindSquirrel said:

Thanks. I was going to keep the batteries in the rear locker, and put the switch under the observe's seat. Currently the switch is in the port side rear on the ledge by the transmission. Doesn't look like an ideal spot to be right under a seat that wet people walk over. I'm open to putting it somewhere else if there is a better spot than my planned location. The observe's compartment is prime real estate for life jackets and such is my reasoning for not putting the batteries there. 

You'll need three long runs of B+ cable -- one from the starter to the switch; two from the switch to the batteries.  Your ground run will be comparatively short.  I'd do 00 awg for sure.  But you'd definitely be better off with the batteries closer to the switch.

You are also going to need to plan for re-routing the B+ run from the switch to the breaker / helm bus if that run is currently originating from the batteries in the rear locker.  And if you are doing that you might as well do a new ground (B-) run too.

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BlindSquirrel
21 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

You'll need three long runs of B+ cable -- one from the starter to the switch; two from the switch to the batteries.  Your ground run will be comparatively short.  I'd do 00 awg for sure.  But you'd definitely be better off with the batteries closer to the switch.

You are also going to need to plan for re-routing the B+ run from the switch to the breaker / helm bus if that run is currently originating from the batteries in the rear locker.  And if you are doing that you might as well do a new ground (B-) run too.

Okay, I'll find a better place to put the switch so it's closer to the batteries and out of water danger. Forgive my ignorance on the subject... will this cable work? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-0-AWG-00-Gauge-Battery-Cable-Red-Premium-Pure-Copper-Power-Wire-Made-in-USA/142075489281?hash=item21145bec01:g:uUUAAOSwARZXo12z

 

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shawndoggy

it would, but it's not tinned, which is generally preferred in marine installs to resist corrosion.

despite the hokey name, genuinedealz is a pretty good source for marine wire.  https://www.genuinedealz.com/

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BlindSquirrel

Funny, I called Basspro to see if they would crimp the new lugs on the 1/0 cable I got and they politely declined. The service manager asked why I was using such "major" cables that typically they use 6 gauge wire. If he were to crimp the lugs he would want to do the install as well. Guess I get to add a crimper to my tool box now. I bought this guy.

https://www.amazon.com/Forney-57637-Lug-Crimping-Tool/dp/B003X51S00 

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shawndoggy

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oldjeep
32 minutes ago, BlindSquirrel said:

Funny, I called Basspro to see if they would crimp the new lugs on the 1/0 cable I got and they politely declined. The service manager asked why I was using such "major" cables that typically they use 6 gauge wire. If he were to crimp the lugs he would want to do the install as well. Guess I get to add a crimper to my tool box now. I bought this guy.

https://www.amazon.com/Forney-57637-Lug-Crimping-Tool/dp/B003X51S00 

I've got one of those and it works fine if you solder pot your lugs and then just use the crimper to tighten them up.  Doesn't hold very well with only the crimp regardless of how hard you smack it.

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OLDGUY
22 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

This kind of crimper is sooooo much better than that hammer kind... and not that much more expensive (especially considering how expensive the wire is that you are buying.  The crimps come out perfect every time.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XR8BY65/ref=sxts_kp_bs_lp_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=4330520827143747311&pd_rd_wg=1ndsd&pf_rd_r=KTVTB9XRTZ7KA0TTX21P&pf_rd_s=desktop-sx-top-slot&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B06XR8BY65&pd_rd_w=ptsNo&pf_rd_i=hydraulic+crimper&pd_rd_r=6baaa57b-8645-4f8d-90ab-caef5f9348e6&ie=UTF8&qid=1531500652&sr=1

This is the crimper I bought when I put an "Add a battery" in my boat. Works great.

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