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Can battery cable be too big?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Trapperr, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Sep 23, 2017 at 10:26 AM
    #1
    Trapperr

    Trapperr [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My stock battery cables are looking a little corroded and I ordered up some 2ga welding cable for both the positive and negative cables. I plan to add some aux lighting so I figured I'd do the GM alternator swap when it's time to replace the alternator.

    Is the 2ga cable too large for the stock electrical set up I'll have on until I do the alternator? I was also wondering if I need to use the 2ga cable for the white wire going to the fuse block under the hood?

    Keep in mind I'm an wiring noob but I did manage to get my marine band radio installed and wired (directly to the battery)

    Thanks for any advice/help
     
  2. Sep 23, 2017 at 10:31 AM
    #2
    cory02taco

    cory02taco Well-Known Member

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    Larger wire has less resistance, and greater current carrying capabilities. Bigger wire can be harder to work with, but it won't damage any electrical components.
     
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  3. Sep 23, 2017 at 11:18 AM
    #3
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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  4. Sep 23, 2017 at 3:58 PM
    #4
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    That is a little small compared to what I use 1/0 welding cable
     
  5. Sep 23, 2017 at 4:29 PM
    #5
    CodeSeven

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    A battery cable can be too long, but not too big.
     
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  6. Sep 23, 2017 at 6:08 PM
    #6
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    As long as it can be secured it wont hurt anything.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2017 at 3:09 AM
    #7
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Just what is to long for a battery cable ??

    In my misguided Youth The battery was in the Trunk of the drag car does not get much longer .

    Unless you put it in a trailer and Tow it behind.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2017 at 3:21 AM
    #8
    Rackness

    Rackness Well-Known Member

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    Resistance. A longer run of wire should be thicker to compensate for voltage drop. In your case you used a heavy enough wire for the load required of it and did not have an electrical fire. By design or dumb luck is for you to decide.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2017 at 3:55 AM
    #9
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    It depends on the load on the wires. Voltage drop increases with distance, if the cable is long enough the battery won't do its job, and when it is working the wires will generate more heat.

    However, a cars battery is only moving a lot of amps during start up. Once the car is running the draw is usually pretty low. That gives a lot of leeway for smaller cables as the heat generated will be momentary. Take marginal cables and extended crank times and you might have some iasues.
     
  10. Sep 24, 2017 at 6:11 AM
    #10
    Trapperr

    Trapperr [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. After reading that link it looks like I'll have to upgrade the alt fuse for the higher output alternator.
     
  11. Sep 24, 2017 at 6:15 AM
    #11
    Trapperr

    Trapperr [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that 2ga cable can safely handle the 140a alternator?
     
  12. Sep 24, 2017 at 6:52 AM
    #12
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    Yes it's only a foot long.
     
  13. Sep 24, 2017 at 8:46 AM
    #13
    CodeSeven

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  14. Sep 24, 2017 at 10:03 AM
    #14
    twblanset

    twblanset Well-Known Member

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    There was a tsb on the early first gens that called for a larger battery cable to the starter to cure a slow crank problem. Bigger is better.
     

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