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  • Electrical: battery cable size

    Hot starts sometimes struggle on the 63 Avanti as if battery is weak; but it's OK. Friend says that cable size, condition and overheated starter could be factor but they are new and clean. Perhaps cables are under size but can not find size reference in manuals. What size size should they be? Ken, Deltaville, Va

  • #2
    Big enough, with clean solid connections so voltage drop while cranking is less than 0.3 volts.
    http://www.freeasestudyguides.com/gr...-drop-test.gif

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    • #3
      Minimum of 2 gauge IIRC. Check the ground wire to the frame, it's just as important.
      Chip
      '63 Cruiser
      '57 Packard wagon
      '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
      '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

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      • #4
        Nice cables are available from Tractor Supply. cheers jimmijim
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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        • #5
          Only one actual answer...

          Some of the size depends on the actual cable, the length, the compression ratio, ignition timing. Age..? Older cables can have corrosion within seemingly fine insulation that will mess with the power transmission

          As Raoul said, in most cases where the cable is no more than 2ft. long, 02 is fine for the positive and an 01 for the ground.
          The ground should go from the battery to engine, and back to the frame on a plastic car. Five or more grounds on any fiberglass car is a good thing. Grounding is more important thAn many realize. Things working and things working properly are two different things.

          The longer the cable run, the larger the cable needs to be.
          Clean, tight, no corrosion...

          Mike

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          • #6
            Some have found improvement by running an extra ground wire directly to the starter body - Sometimes the ground connection between starter/engine is poor due to corrosion, paint and oil. Not a "solve-all" solution, merely an extra aid.
            Paul TK

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            • #7
              For 12 volt a #4 will work, or a bigger #2 would be better.
              Factory was probably a #6. Big enough, barely. Factory always used the smallest size to do the job.
              For 6 volt a #1/0 [0] will be good.
              #2/0 [00] is bigger and better.
              Last edited by 55 56 PREZ 4D; 05-25-2014, 12:21 AM.
              South Lompoc Studebaker

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              • #8
                Go to West Marine and use Ancor tinned marine wire. They have a crimp tool for your free use. The Ancor lug fittings are there as well.

                http://www.ancorproducts.com/en

                This is the best wire made, I used it in all my boats and now my 62 GT Hawk. Size of wire needed is aformentioned.
                Studebaker1962

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
                  For 12 volt a #4 will work, or a bigger #2 would be better.
                  Factory was probably a #6. Big enough, barely. Factory always used the smallest size to do the job.
                  For 6 volt a #1/0 [0] will be good.
                  #2/0 [00] is bigger and better.
                  I had 00 cables on my '54 Champ, never had a starting problem even in sub zero temperatures.
                  Chip
                  '63 Cruiser
                  '57 Packard wagon
                  '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
                  '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As alluded to, length x diameter is what matters. If the battery is in the original location, the recommended gauges will work fine.

                    All my Studes have the battery in the rear and thus a new 00 cable running forward. Last one I made for my pickup project, I found a great deal at a welding supply house. They make custom welding leads and had an area for leftover random lengths. The cost was less than half of regular retail. The per-foot retail price for good cable is guaranteed to cause apoplexy in CASOs. The aforementioned Anchor 2/0 is about $12 a foot.

                    jack vines
                    PackardV8

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                    • #11
                      I submit that a voltage drop test while cranking will clearly show which of the existing cables AND connections are adequate,and which need atttention and also would reveal any of the hidden defects described by others when cables of "proper" size are invisibly compromized by internal corrosion or physical damage, and the necessity and effect of adding secondary ground straps. Also, it will determine with certainty if the quality of a new freshly installed cable is suspect (which most new parts these days are).

                      Not bad for 4 minutes work with a $10 multimeter and a helper.

                      http://cdn.ironwomanintraining.com/w...a-strategy.png

                      reards,

                      Dan T

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