Battery Cable Length - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 10, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Waxhaw, NC
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Battery Cable Length

Hey guys, I am going to use a side post battery and need to know the lenghth of the positive and negative cables without a lot of extra cable. I want to hide as much as I can. What is the advantage of going with a #4 over #2. I am running a mild 468 and 2000 watt stereo, if that makes any difference.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 10, 09:15 PM
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Re: Battery Cable Length

Are you wanting to run a new power and ground from a front mounted battery to the starter and the engine block ?. Since you said you want to hide as much as you can, if it was me doing it I would get some scrap wire I had laying around and use that to get a measurement and then add a little to the total just in case (and when you buy it, buy red for power and black for ground and don't go cheap and have both power and ground wires being black). You can buy bulk cable by the foot and get the appropriate cable ends that you can crimp and solder onto the wires.
If the power wire for the starter is close to the header or exhaust you might think about another route and you may think about a heat sleeving if it's close to excessive heat and the wires insulation type has a low melting point. Some wires insulation are rated better for higher underhood temps than others.
As far as wire size, 4 gauge may be enough but 2 gauge would work better but larger wire does not bend as easily and required higher dollar terminal ends so you have to weigh that out also.
As far as your 2000 watt stereo, if it requires a 4 gauge power wire, run that to the amp (along with an inline fuse right at the battery positive post) and have a 4 gauge off of the amp to a solid ground point close to where the amp gets mounted AND now add a 4 gauge wire from the firewall to the battery negative post. The reason for this is normally there is only a small chassis ground wire from the battery to the fender and this is only there to support the factory stuff and not large enough when you add big amplifiers and such and have them grounded to the car's body. What goes out of the battery has to get back to the battery.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 10, 09:57 PM
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Re: Battery Cable Length

Get some string and lay out your route then go buy the closest length at AutoZone or Advance.

There is no advantage of #4 over #2 except maybe cost. It's the other way around. The higher the gauge (lower numerically), the lower the voltage drop and higher the current capacity although insulation class also plays a factor in maximum current.

Add up all of the fuses on your amplifiers and size your feed cable going from the battery to the amps appropriately. There's no set value for rating cable for stereo wattage as different class amplifiers have different efficiencies. Size the alternator-to-battery lead for the maximum output of your alternator. Your battery ground lead should be at least the same size as your largest positive cable.

Size - Max current
0 - 150
1 - 119
2 - 94
4 - 60

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 10, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Cable Length

Thanks guy for your detailed input. I will follow your advice and get that rascal wired up. Hope to get it started in the next 2 weeks. Have a great day.
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