Battery/winch cable [Archive] - BB.BC4x4.COM

: Battery/winch cable



DaveW
May 27th, 2010, 12:22 pm
I was messing around wiring the winch on the buggy last night and realized there's a lot of weight in the cable running from the front all the way to the back. Anybody ever tried running aluminum core cable instead of copper? Do that even make it that small? We've used it here at work but in larger sizes. I usually use 1/0 welding cable cause its easier to run.

Caswell
May 28th, 2010, 09:43 am
You can cut down half the weight by grounding to the chassis instead of the battery...if you haven't already.

DaveW
May 28th, 2010, 11:32 am
Grounding to the chassis is not always as efficient as to the battery. My current winch will only run grounded to the battery not to the chassis.

zedjay95
May 28th, 2010, 11:51 am
is your ground from the chassis to the battery strong enough

rezdiver
May 28th, 2010, 09:33 pm
I know for home wiring you need nearly double the size.
I needed to use 2/0 copper for my 200amp upgrade and decided to use aluminium and now have to use 4/0 alu cable

jeeponrock
May 28th, 2010, 11:06 pm
Copper conducts electricity quite a bit better than aluminum or steel. Something like 30 times better than steel and almost double aluminum (depending on the type of tire). More info here for the geeks http://www.eddy-current.com/condres.htm

The larger the cross section of the steel frame the better it will conduct. So in a tube frame buggy you're not going to do as well as you will with a one ton truck with a fully boxed frame. Remember that the electricity flows around the outside of the metal (thats why the good wire is multi strand and multiple cores). An 1 3/4 tube doesn't have as much surface area as a 4" boxed frame.

Thats why your winch only runs properly when it's grounded to the battery Dave.

So yes Aluminum wire will work but you need good stuff and it will need to be significantly larger than the copper wire. I'd just stick with the copper and save weight somewhere else.

Caswell
May 29th, 2010, 03:40 pm
I know chassis grounds aren't as good...but when you're looking for weight savings, there is usually a trade off (dependability, cost, performance, etc). If you have a good connection (battery to chassis and winch to chassis), it should be enough for most winching. Sometimes, especially in racing, you need that extra power and the weight savings just aren't worth it.

DaveW
May 29th, 2010, 04:46 pm
Chassis ground was good. Interesting post Jon. Cause on the last buggy I had grounded to the chassis but it still had the boxed frame and the winch worked. This tube thing it doesn't.

Oh well, don't want big ass wiring running everywhere so probably just stick with copper to the battery. Just a thought.

crazycanadian
May 30th, 2010, 03:27 pm
You don't want to go to aluminum wiring.. It doesn't hold up as well to vibrations or all the changes in heat... Did you ever get the drive by wire thing sorted out?

83LB
June 1st, 2010, 10:36 pm
Remember that the electricity flows around the outside of the metal (thats why the good wire is multi strand and multiple cores).

I'd like to see the proof of this. Stranded wire is used because of it's flexability, not because it can carry more current. It's also a lot easier to work with when you get into the bigger sizes. Good luck trying to bend a piece of solid 2/0 copper, that's why they don't make it. Anything #8 and larger comes stranded.

jeeponrock
June 1st, 2010, 11:54 pm
I'd like to see the proof of this. Stranded wire is used because of it's flexability, not because it can carry more current. It's also a lot easier to work with when you get into the bigger sizes. Good luck trying to bend a piece of solid 2/0 copper, that's why they don't make it. Anything #8 and larger comes stranded.

I didn't mention flexibility because I figured that was self-evident. Of course it's the primary reason to use multi-strand wire

http://www.rowand.net/shop/tech/wirecapacitychart.htm

Stranded vs. Solid Wire

This one is a bit of a mind-boggler, but it's important. When electricity flows through a wire, it mostly flows on the surface of the wire, not through the middle. This effect is more pronounced on high frequency AC than it is on DC or low frequency AC. This means that a "wire" of a given size that made up of many smaller strands can carry more power than a solid wire - simply because the stranded wire has more surface area. This is one reason why battery cables in your car and welding cables are made up of many very fine strands of smaller wire - it allows them to safely carry more power with less of that power being dissipated as heat. However, this "skin" effect is not as pronounced in a typical 12V DC automotive application, and the wire and cable used there is stranded for flexibility reasons.

I wasn't completely accurate in my original post but the point I was trying to make holds true - steel tube frame sucks. Large multi strand copper cable is much better.

Sero
June 2nd, 2010, 10:47 pm
It's called "skin effect", but it really is irrelevant with DC current and even with houshold AC current, hence another reason (obviously doesn't need to be flexable) all houshold wire is single strand. And actually a tube is ideal for where skin effect is present.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_electricity_flow_on_the_surface_of_a_wire_or_ through_the_inside

DaveW
June 7th, 2010, 08:15 am
You don't want to go to aluminum wiring.. It doesn't hold up as well to vibrations or all the changes in heat... Did you ever get the drive by wire thing sorted out?

Yes, reflashed a trailblazer SS tune into the computer and used HP tuners to tune out a few things and she fired right up and worked. Now I have an oil pressure issue though. Computer gauge says I have nothing. Gotta put a mechanical gauge on it and check then most likely pull the motor.

craigske
July 14th, 2010, 08:11 pm
I'd like to see the proof of this. Stranded wire is used because of it's flexability, not because it can carry more current. It's also a lot easier to work with when you get into the bigger sizes. Good luck trying to bend a piece of solid 2/0 copper, that's why they don't make it. Anything #8 and larger comes stranded.

You are right about stranded wire. Think of the cost of manufacture. Cable makers would love to make single strand stuff, it's just too hard to work with. That being said 2/0 aluminum is often used in high voltage applications.

Higher voltages with lower amps travel on the outside of the conductor. High current dc voltage is the opposite. High voltage cable is solid core, and often aluminum.

Aluminum is not a great choice in vehicles because it's not heat resistant and because you do have to go up one gauge. Apart from that, use away.

http://caraudiomag.com/articles/copper-wire-vs-copper-clad-aluminum-wire-wire-warnings

steve604
July 15th, 2010, 02:13 am
fine stranded wired is used in vehicles for it's ability to resist damage due to vibrations. solid or big strand type stranded wire wether it's copper or aluminum will eventually crack and break under constant vibration.

aluminum is not a great choice in vehicles because it corrodes instantly. aluminum wire in a vehicle wouldn't make it through one winter of salted roads.

it is also nearly impossible to make a good tight connection with aluminum because it is so pliable. this would be especially bad in a vehicle with alot of vibrations. if you make a connection with aluminum wire really tight, the wire will break in the lug or whatever you are using. if you do it up not so tight, it will be loose again a week later.