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Battery Relocation cable kits by Synthesis
Started on: 12-30-2009 07:30 PM
Replies: 45
Last post by: Synthesis on 12-27-2010 12:11 PM
Synthesis
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Report this Post12-30-2009 07:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
I lucked out and came across a little bit of cash when I finally sold some of my spare PC hardware, I decided to invest it into a new project/product.

I have a battery relocation tray mounted in the front of my Fiero, but due to the lack of a ready-made kit with OE grade connections, I have not actually moved the battery.

I decided to remedy this situation by building OE grade cables using only the highest quality parts.

As you know, the headlight harnesses I build are considered top quality, and other than some shipping and production delays, they are in the community and receiving rave reviews.

Now that I am caught up on the paid harnesses, I will be producing a bulk pack of them to ship. Along with these battery cables.

All connections are crimped with battery lug crimpers. The terminals I use are tin-plated copper, and I am using 4 Gauge SGX battery cable. Acid/oil/gas/abrasion resistant with a very thick outer sheath.

When you crimp copper wire in a copper terminal properly, the metals actually fuse together into one piece. This means that for all intents and purposes, the lug and the cable are now one piece on a molecular level.

Below are several pictures showing one of my "proof of concept" cables. An 18" ground cable with two identical eyelets. 3/8" eye, and polyolefin heavy duty triple wall heatshrink with adhesive for a water tight connection.

The side post terminals I have ordered are crimp fittings. They do not have a boot, but I am looking for one that will work.

The Kit:

Will consist of two 4 gauge battery cables, both designed to run from the spare tire mounting tray to the starter and engine block. One black, one red.
One tin plated solid copper side post terminal per cable. One tin plated solid copper eyelet lug per cable. The positive cable will go to the starter terminal, and the ground cable will mount to the bell housing bolt.

One 8 gauge starter terminal to power block wire (up near the C500) with two ring terminals. This will route through the same path as the existing battery cable runs.

All connections will be crimped with a lug crimper, and then heat shrink applied. This will seal the connections.

I have figured my costs out on the kit, and am thinking that the overall kit price when done will be around 100 bucks plus shipping.

Photos are below of the terminals and the crimps.

Here is one end crimped, with a non-crimped terminal next to it. The copper strands go all the way into the flat end inside.


Here is a CD for a size comparison. This is heavy gauge wire. I have done the calculations with the cable lengths and the gauge, and this will start a V8 high compression motor with no issues or load problems. The screw visible in the top right fits into the crimp in the terminal, to give you an idea of how solid the crimp is.


Here is a terminal end with the heat shrink. You can see the "shine" where the heat shrink covers the cable. That is the adhesive providing a weather tight seal.


Here is a photo showing the "raw" heat shrink segment next to the cable. You can see how far down it pulls.



Would there be any interest in a kit like this? Literally a "bolt in" kit with no custom wiring needed on your part. I am willing to send 1-2 kits out at cost plus shipping to someone who can IMMEDIATELY install and document/provide reviews. I will be installing kit #1 in my car first, of course.

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 12-30-2009).]

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Report this Post12-30-2009 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
I am making a positive cable right now, and decided to post a photo showing how much copper is actually inserted into the terminal, and how solid and tight the compression is in the crimp.

Approximately 3/4" copper, stripped back.


Inserted and crimped. The crimp thickness at the "V" is approximately 3/16" thick. That is a lot of metal compressed into such a small area. These things are solid. I am able to hang 120 lbs from the cable with the eyelet attached. I know this cause I actually did it.


Heat shrink in place, and sealed.
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Report this Post12-30-2009 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mrjohnishomeClick Here to Email mrjohnishomeSend a Private Message to mrjohnishomeDirect Link to This Post
How much do yo think these kits will cost? I would be glad to buy the first kit, as long as money permits, so please, put me first in line for one of the "cost" kits. I can install it immediately as well.

Nick
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Report this Post12-30-2009 09:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for eajohnsoClick Here to Email eajohnsoSend a Private Message to eajohnsoDirect Link to This Post
I've got a couple of questions about your cable set. How do you plan to route the cables? If you are supplying specific lengths you must have chosen where to connect the ground and a routing from the battery to the starter. Are the cables water resistant? What is the temperature rating? Is this for a battery with side terminals or will you be supplying adapters?

The crimps look impressive. $100 sounds reasonable to me.
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Report this Post12-30-2009 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by eajohnso:

I've got a couple of questions about your cable set. How do you plan to route the cables? If you are supplying specific lengths you must have chosen where to connect the ground and a routing from the battery to the starter. Are the cables water resistant? What is the temperature rating? Is this for a battery with side terminals or will you be supplying adapters?

The crimps look impressive. $100 sounds reasonable to me.


The cable sets are going to be designed to run under the vehicle alongside the fuel tank. Both wires on one side, or one per side, your call. On the front of the engine/transmission, one of the bell housing bolts has a threaded stud for a harness ground. This is the ground point for the battery connection. The wires will run up and over the top of the heat shield attached to the front firewall at the lower frame crossmember that is welded to the firewall. This will clear the stock exhaust system, and should clear most custom systems, unless something extreme was done.

Correct, the battery cables will be side post. I am able to do top post, but in the interest of simplifying construction and making sure I can build and ship as fast as possible, I would prefer to make one specific model. The cables will be long enough to use a top post to side post threaded adapter (where the top post attaches, and has a threaded hole for the side post terminal and bolt to thread onto the end). I will not be providing said adapters.
There will be a reasonable amount of slack that can be "taken in" at the front crossmember or inside the battery tray to route the cable better and allow for minor variances in starter and grounding positions on various engine swaps. If your starter does not fit within the same general 12x12x12" cubic area in the engine bay, then this kit may not work for you.

This is SGX rated cable, complying with SAE standard J1127. It is abrasion/acid/oil/gasoline resistant, and all but water proof. Since the ends will be heat shrink sealed with a glue inside of it (integral to the heat shrink) there is no way for water to get into the ends, the only open spots on the wire sheath and cause corrosion. Only severe bending at the heat shrink and crimp end could break the seal, and only if a LOT of force was put into it.

I am debating about tossing a split loom on the positive side for the hell of it, but have not made that decision yet, as I have been testing the cable abrasion. It is very durable.

The temperature rating is -40C to 125C (257F). It is true automotive battery cable designed to withstand aging, moisture and automotive chemicals, as well as contact abrasions.

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 12-30-2009).]

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$Rich$
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Report this Post12-30-2009 11:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for $Rich$Click Here to Email $Rich$Send a Private Message to $Rich$Direct Link to This Post
if you need some heat shrink let me know i think we have a bunch of extra red and black in sizes that will work great for you, i can check tomorrow
pm me if your intrested
also at work we sell crimpers for cable (wire rope) not sure if you need a good one or not

if your intrested in some heat shrink, or need a crimpers let me know via PM
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Synthesis
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Report this Post12-31-2009 08:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Rich, thanks!

I may check in with you about a bench top crimper, as these are the "Bolt cutter" crimpers.

I may be a fat man, but I still have a considerable amount of upper body strength.. These crimpers take it all out of me... I have to put my weight down on them in order to really get a solid crimp. And these have the 24" handles. LOL

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Report this Post12-31-2009 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROFLYERSend a Private Message to FIEROFLYERDirect Link to This Post
I reccomend running the positive cable inside the car through the front wall between the gas pedal and the main electrical connector where it is plastic then inside the console and out through the firewall using one of the grommets already there.
Then run the ground under the car as mentioned by you.
This way there is less chance of the positive cable shorting out against something. Dan

------------------




[URL=http://www.photosled.com/showgallery.php/cat/631]www.photosled.com/showgallery.php/cat/631

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Report this Post12-31-2009 09:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FIEROFLYER:

I reccomend running the positive cable inside the car through the front wall between the gas pedal and the main electrical connector where it is plastic then inside the console and out through the firewall using one of the grommets already there.
Then run the ground under the car as mentioned by you.
This way there is less chance of the positive cable shorting out against something. Dan



That is an alternative solution, yes.

These will be designed to run underneath. Not everyone can afford to take their car down long enough to dissect the interior of the vehicle, drill holes and run wire that way.

Also, I want these kits to be very simple to install. Trust me when I say the sheath on these is very very tough, and when you run the positive cable properly, there is very little chance of abrading the cable enough to cause a short of any kind. This stuff is very durable, and holds up very well.

Think of it this way. The stock battery cable routing on the 4 and V6 runs past the belt, between the exhaust manifold and the block to the starter. How many positive cable shorts have you heard of in such a harsh environment?

Running said cable under the car is no worse, and when mounted properly, actually better.

My goal is to make a kit that is very simple to install, and likely to outlast the car.
I want someone with basic tool experience to be able to safely install the cables. If they want to route the cables through, that is up to them, but this will be set up to go underneath.
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Report this Post12-31-2009 10:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTDirect Link to This Post
Synthesis i would also suggest as well as having a ground up front have one at the rear and use a large cable. I just moved my battery up front about 2 months ago. I used the kit from norms fiberglass, and it worked fine but due to the specifics of my car I had to re do the cable and grounds due to very hard starting after a month or so. The positive cable wasn't large enough and the single ground although tightly bolted to clean metal and properly protected it managed to still cause problems. I wound up making a ground cable out of a heavy duty automotive/ambulance wiring type cable, I forgot the exact brand and type I'd have to crawl under the car to see the name but it was larger the the 2 gauge welders cable that came with the kit. I ran a ground to the front chassis and then one to the block at the starter bolt, and used a larger positive cable all heat shrunk and tight. I did use an optima red battery with top posts which the positive and ground bolt to and your tier 3 quad headlight harness is bolted the the side mount terminal.
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Report this Post12-31-2009 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Macs86GT:

Synthesis i would also suggest as well as having a ground up front have one at the rear and use a large cable. I just moved my battery up front about 2 months ago. I used the kit from norms fiberglass, and it worked fine but due to the specifics of my car I had to re do the cable and grounds due to very hard starting after a month or so. The positive cable wasn't large enough and the single ground although tightly bolted to clean metal and properly protected it managed to still cause problems. I wound up making a ground cable out of a heavy duty automotive/ambulance wiring type cable, I forgot the exact brand and type I'd have to crawl under the car to see the name but it was larger the the 2 gauge welders cable that came with the kit. I ran a ground to the front chassis and then one to the block at the starter bolt, and used a larger positive cable all heat shrunk and tight. I did use an optima red battery with top posts which the positive and ground bolt to and your tier 3 quad headlight harness is bolted the the side mount terminal.


I thought about using 2 gauge cable for the battery runs, but after careful consideration, determined it may be overkill for most installs. I will most likely make a 2 gauge cable kit available to those who insist after I have recouped my costs on the materials for these. The materials here set me back nearly 500 bucks just for the cable, crimpers and terminal lugs.

As for the ground, it won't be up front, it will run straight to the engine, the same way that the stock cable runs from the battery to the engine.

Then, if your engine is properly grounded to the chassis, there won't be any ground issues. I also have a few new braided ground strap cables, 18 inches in length. I am looking into what it would take cost-wise to include one of these as part of the kit, to be used by the client if they need it.

The engine should receive the ground directly, then ground the chassis from there. That is the proper method for a ground.
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Report this Post12-31-2009 12:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTDirect Link to This Post
That's how mine is set up i just kept the front ground after you've had a few hard cranks and the car wont start until it cools down a bit you really don't want to deal with it again. I also went with larger cables to make sure i have no problems with a planned engine swap. I have no doubt you cable kit will be as topnotch as you headlight harnesses. I just wanted to comment on what i did it may help others if they have a problem. I know its expensive to do my cables and the ends crimps and other miscellaneous parts ran me about 350.00 dollars but like i said you get temporarily stranded once or twice overkill looks really appealing
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Report this Post12-31-2009 03:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROFLYERSend a Private Message to FIEROFLYERDirect Link to This Post
Definetely agree on grounding up front to the cross member or frame as well as running atleast 2 gauge wire all the way back for both positive and negative.
I usually get cables from newer Rivierras and Auroras that had the battery mounted in the car under the rear seat they are long enough to reach from under the front head light to the starter. Get two and you are set. Dan
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Report this Post12-31-2009 03:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for $Rich$Click Here to Email $Rich$Send a Private Message to $Rich$Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

Rich, thanks!

I may check in with you about a bench top crimper, as these are the "Bolt cutter" crimpers.

I may be a fat man, but I still have a considerable amount of upper body strength.. These crimpers take it all out of me... I have to put my weight down on them in order to really get a solid crimp. And these have the 24" handles. LOL


Put one end on the ground and push against that, its 100 times easier
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Report this Post01-03-2010 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Made a cross section cut on the edge of one of the lug crimps I made.

Remember what I said about Copper crimps fusing metals together?

I did my best to get a macro shot here. This lug was crimped, and then heat shrink was fit over it, hence the "boogers" on the outside.

The cut was made using a bandsaw, and then the end was polished on a wheel to smooth it. It was then rinsed with electrical cleaner to make sure no particles were filling any holes or grooves.

As you can tell, the individual strands have disappeared. These are solid connections, no need for solder, and stronger than many of the OE cables and even many store bought cables.




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Report this Post02-01-2010 04:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Well, this is a big bump...

I am still waiting on the remainder of harness materials to come in for headlight harnesses, and have several ready to go. I was hoping to ship all of them in one shot, but may need to just get the first few out, then finish the rest. It doesn't fit well with my QA testing plans and procedure, but oh well...

As for battery cables..

I have decided that I am going to sell the first 7 or 8 kits, possibly as many as 12 at an introductory price...

This is to get them out in public, get them in cars and reviewed, and put them to work.

The tire well front battery tray is only about 7 feet from the starter. Running the battery cable is about 9 feet, which provides slack and some wiggle room.

9 feet of 4g battery cable with crimped and heat shrink connectors is more than strong enough for a car. I know this, because it is Minnesota, and I have been running my 4g cables for the last 2.5 weeks in cold weather. The car starts easy and runs with no issues.

Soooo... With that said and done..

The kits I will be selling to clear out stock are 4g cable kits. The positive cable runs out of the battery tray, around the passenger side of the spare tire well above the suspension crossmember, down the center of the car next to the passenger side of the fuel tank, and then up behind the heat shield mounted to the firewall down at the lower rigid beam. It comes out over the top of this, and comes down into a 3/8" tin plated copper eyelet that attaches to the starter lug. An 8g wire with a 3/8" eyelet is attached to the starter lug, and follows the OEM positive cable routing up alongside the engine, through the front, and over to the power block located next to the C500. A 1/4" ring terminal is affixed to this end, and this provides the battery to main vehicle power jump. Note that this wire is THICKER than the OEM positive post to power block wire.

The ground cable does the same as the positive cable, except on the driver's side. It runs up behind the heat shield, and then attaches to the bellhousing bolt/stud near the starter on the front of the transmission. A 4g cable with 3/8" eyelets on either end attach from either this ground point to a spot chosen on the chassis, or from the OEM ground cable location on the head/block to the lower passenger side hinge stud for the rear decklid. This is where I have mine.

In almost three weeks of testing in cold weather, the car starts all the time every time with no power issues. My alternator gauge is solid, with no more than the usual power draw fluctuations caused by kicking the blower fan on full or the radiator fan kicking on.

All kits are identical, all kits use the same connectors and wire lengths. All kits use only the highest quality automotive grade cable and wire.
YES, the Positive Cable will have corrugated loom to protect.

If you are worried about damaging these wires by abrasion due to routing under the car, then I have this to say...
I had my car on a lift when I installed my cables. When properly routed, there is no risk of abrasion from normal every day long term road use.

If you DO damage the cables due to abrasion, then you hit something in the road and have a LOT more to worry about than just cables.

I will be selling these for 85 per kit plus shipping to get them out the door.

Purple Reign watched me as I built these cables, he has seen the connectors I used, and knows that my cables are top notch.

First come first serve (I have two sets ready, and parts will be in within the week for the rest.).

Let me know.

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 02-01-2010).]

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Synthesis
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Report this Post02-01-2010 08:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Any interest?
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Report this Post02-01-2010 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katore8105Click Here to visit katore8105's HomePageSend a Private Message to katore8105Direct Link to This Post
I am but I will have to wait till I get my taxes back before I can get another one. If they are still around by then, i will scoop one.
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Report this Post02-01-2010 11:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for joshh44Send a Private Message to joshh44Direct Link to This Post
how much?
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Report this Post02-02-2010 01:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by joshh44:

how much?


... details, man.

 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

I will be selling these for 85 per kit plus shipping to get them out the door.


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Report this Post02-02-2010 02:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for timchaClick Here to Email timchaSend a Private Message to timchaDirect Link to This Post
I really want to do this, but I haven't bought a battery relocation tray yet. My question is, who's tray is best built, or is there any significant difference in them? I know Archie makes one, but I'm sure there are others, too.......any suggestions? I just don't want to end up driving over (as a speed bump) my battery!
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Report this Post02-02-2010 05:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AustralianClick Here to visit Australian's HomePageClick Here to Email AustralianSend a Private Message to AustralianDirect Link to This Post
I see dual battery isolaters on special for around $99 in Australia so i wouldnt pay that much in States.
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Report this Post02-02-2010 07:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rolling ThunderClick Here to Email Rolling ThunderSend a Private Message to Rolling ThunderDirect Link to This Post
V8 Archie recommended 2 gauge welding cable to me when I bought a battery tray from him. If you need a local place to get this, O'Reilly's can help you out. They sell the stuff for big rigs and it comes out to about $2.50-3.50/foot.

I have yet to build my own cables, but I'd rather pay a few more bucks for 2 gauge cables than possibly have trouble with 4 gauge cables.

Anyone know the gauge of the cables on Corvettes, BMWs, etc. with the battery in the rear?
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Report this Post02-02-2010 09:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Ang84IndySend a Private Message to Ang84IndyDirect Link to This Post
Hey everyone, 4 gauge wire is plenty large enough for this application. We're talking anywhere from 125 amps to 140 amps @86F ambient temp. Synthesis, I could not find SGX on my table, so thinking it's similar to THWN, SA, SIS ?
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Report this Post02-02-2010 09:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for revinSend a Private Message to revinDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FIEROFLYER:

I usually get cables from newer Rivierras and Auroras that had the battery mounted in the car under the rear seat they are long enough to reach from under the front head light to the starter. Get two and you are set. Dan


There ya go ! why fight it?
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Report this Post02-02-2010 09:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Ang84Indy:

Hey everyone, 4 gauge wire is plenty large enough for this application. We're talking anywhere from 125 amps to 140 amps @86F ambient temp. Synthesis, I could not find SGX on my table, so thinking it's similar to THWN, SA, SIS ?


TYPE SGX (STARTER OR GROUND) CABLE - 50 Volt, XLP Insulation, Stranded Conductor, 125°C

Type SGX (starter or ground) cable is constructed with soft-annealed, flexible, stranded copper and insulated with high-quality cross-linked polyethylene (XLP). The SGX standard is for battery, starter and ground cable intended for use at 50 volts or less in surface vehicle electrical systems of automobiles, boats, buses, RVs, trailers and trucks where resistance to abrasion, heat and aging is desirable per SAE J1127.

# Resistant to abrasion, heat and aging
# Meets Ford QVM standards
# Conforms to SAE specification J1127
# Maximum continuous conductor temperature: 125°C

I understand there is some concern over the wire size... So... I will make a one time shot here...

I will send one complete cable set out to one person, ready to install, for the cost of shipping.
In exchange, I ask that you inspect, install and review the cables following my installation instructions and post here. Installation must be completed within 1 week of receipt of the cables. Photos of the install process, connection points and cable routing are required.
Of course, I would prefer someone local, such as Minnesota or Wisconsin to test these, but that may not be possible.

Shipping is 12 bucks in the US.

Part of the issue I have here, is that I am sitting on top of a lot of automotive grade battery cable. This stuff isn't cheap, not to mention the ends, the tools to crimp and the like. I either need to sell these to recoup my costs on them and then get out of the battery cables entirely, or sell them to rave reviews, make a little something, and offer them as a ready to bolt in product for the community.

My goal is to make a high quality product at a very reasonable price to help the community. If you price a battery relocation kit through other vendors, they start at 175+ and work their way up. My goal is to bring in a standardized kit for less than 125.
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Report this Post02-02-2010 12:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for normsfClick Here to visit normsf's HomePageClick Here to Email normsfSend a Private Message to normsfDirect Link to This Post
Wow
------------------
Norms

[This message has been edited by normsf (edited 02-02-2010).]

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Brastic
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Report this Post02-02-2010 12:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BrasticClick Here to visit Brastic's HomePageClick Here to Email BrasticSend a Private Message to BrasticDirect Link to This Post
Can you please measure the voltage drop at the starter?
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Ang84Indy
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Report this Post02-02-2010 04:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Ang84IndySend a Private Message to Ang84IndyDirect Link to This Post
There shouldn't be any measurable voltage drop in seven feet of 4 gauge.
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Rolling Thunder
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Report this Post02-04-2010 11:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rolling ThunderClick Here to Email Rolling ThunderSend a Private Message to Rolling ThunderDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Ang84Indy:

There shouldn't be any measurable voltage drop in seven feet of 4 gauge.


I work at O'Reillys and I personally test starters and know that they can pull some serious amps. Seeing how there are some V8 guys here, we should think about their 200-300 amp high torque starters.

4 gauge cable has 0.2485 Ohms per 1000 feet.

0.2485 * (9/1000) = 0.0022635 Ohms total. (9 feet)

Voltage (drop) = Amperage * Resistance

100A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.226 Volt drop
200A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.447 Volt drop
300A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.671 Volt drop
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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post02-05-2010 01:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
I'm genuinely surprised that this hasn't gotten more interest. Its kind of sad, really.

I mean, come on - really?
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TrackMagicWS6
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Report this Post02-05-2010 01:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TrackMagicWS6Click Here to Email TrackMagicWS6Send a Private Message to TrackMagicWS6Direct Link to This Post
I'd be down for a set aslong as the price is right, around 80?
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Marvin McInnis
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Report this Post02-05-2010 11:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rolling Thunder:

4 gauge cable has 0.2485 Ohms per 1000 feet.

0.2485 * (9/1000) = 0.0022635 Ohms total. (9 feet)

Voltage (drop) = Amperage * Resistance

100A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.226 Volt drop
200A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.447 Volt drop
300A * 0.0022635 Ohms = 0.671 Volt drop



Excellent analysis, except that the total cable length should be 18 feet ... 9 feet for the positive cable and 9 feet for the negative cable which Synthesis plans to use. Even using the chassis for the ground return there would still be some voltage drop on the negative side, but it is impossible to estimate accurately. FWIW, I agree with Synthesis that using a separate negative battery cable is a better long-term engineering choice than using the chassis for the ground return, even though it almost doubles the material costs.

Also be aware that not all "4 gauge" cable is the same. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) cable gauges are about 10% smaller (i.e. ~10% less metal => ~10% higher resistance) than AWG (American Wire Gauge) gauges, so you need to verify the resistance of the actual cables you use. One manufacturer specifies a resistance of 0.29 Ohms per thousand feet (at a temperature of 20C/68F) for 4 gauge SGX cable with 133/25 stranding (i.e. cable comprising 133 strands of 25 gauge bare copper wire).

To restate, the voltage drops for 18 feet of 4 gauge cable (assuming 0.29 Ohms per 1000 feet) would be:

100A => 0.52 Volt drop
200A => 1.04 Volt drop
300A => 1.57 Volt drop

Using standard automotive and aircraft design criteria (i.e. maximum allowable voltage drop = 10%), 4 gauge wire shouild be adequate for 18 feet total cable length at up to 240 amps.

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 02-05-2010).]

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Xerces_Blackthorne
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Report this Post02-05-2010 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Xerces_BlackthorneClick Here to Email Xerces_BlackthorneSend a Private Message to Xerces_BlackthorneDirect Link to This Post
Chris, YGPM. This may work for me with my VR4 as well I've been pondering making my own cables for it...
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Rolling Thunder
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Report this Post02-05-2010 12:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rolling ThunderClick Here to Email Rolling ThunderSend a Private Message to Rolling ThunderDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:

100A => 0.52 Volt drop
200A => 1.04 Volt drop
300A => 1.57 Volt drop



I'd double take when I look at a whole volt in losses. I wonder what kind of heat this will put off.
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Marvin McInnis
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Report this Post02-05-2010 01:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisDirect Link to This Post
In standard aircraft practice (per FAA Publication EA-AC 43.13-1A), the current limit due to wire heating (regardless of length) for a single 4 gauge wire in free air is 135 amps continuous, and the current limit for intermittent (less than 10 seconds) loads such as motors is generally twice that.

My personal opinion is that 4 gauge cable is probably adequate in this application, but it is the smallest gauge that should be considered.

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 02-05-2010).]

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Synthesis
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Report this Post02-05-2010 01:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rolling Thunder:


I'd double take when I look at a whole volt in losses. I wonder what kind of heat this will put off.


I pulled the fuse on my fuel pump yesterday on my Fiero. I have a 2.8 with a gear reduction starter.

Had a friend crank it over for 10 seconds, with 5 second pauses between each 10 second run. Total of 30 seconds of run time.

The cable on my car did not get warm enough to detect with a bare hand. That is with 4g.

The car turned over smoothly and consistently the entire time with no noticeable "lag" on the starter, even after 30 seconds of run.

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 02-05-2010).]

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FIEROFLYER
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Report this Post02-05-2010 01:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROFLYERSend a Private Message to FIEROFLYERDirect Link to This Post
Under ideal conditions with a well tuned healthy engine that is not too hot from driving 4 gauge is about the smallest I would consider using.
Add a few years, a little out of tune or a really hot day and that 4 gauge is now very borderline for starting the engine.
Install 2 gauge and any problems from that point starting are not from the cable and the starter is guaranteed to not be trying to work with the current restricted through small wires possibly causing starter problems down the road.
Or my basic attitude is don't be scrimp or be cheap and do it right the first time, I have had a few swaps I did for people who already had front mounted batteries running too small a wire that had starter problems with hot engines where the cables were replaced with 2 gauge and the problems went away. Dan
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Synthesis
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Report this Post02-05-2010 03:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
K. I will build 2g cables as soon as my stock of 4g is gone. I just can't afford to do 2g after investing in this.

If anyone wants Amp cable in bulk, or 4g for something, let me know.
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Macs86GT
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Report this Post02-05-2010 03:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTDirect Link to This Post
Fieroflyer hit it right on the head. I had the exact issues he described above and it didn't start to happen until a few weeks later when things have time to corrode just that little bit. The hotter the day was the more noticeable the problem was, although my starter was old it didn't start to go into failure until i did the battery relocation, and then about Three weeks later the above problems started. Changing the starter helped a bit but i only lessened the frequency slightly. I went to 2 gauge cable and dual grounds one to the front chassis and one to the block not even a hint of a problem now. The heat issue is not with the cable getting hot from cranking but when the engine is the increased load on the starter means it needs to draw more current and with too small of a cable your boned until the car cools off enough. Just trying to help you avoid headaches down the road pun intended.

[This message has been edited by Macs86GT (edited 02-05-2010).]

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