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bo dawg

What wire choice for rewiring tractors

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I’m curious what gauge wire is used mostly to rewire your tractors? Is 18 g strand the most used? Or do you use 16 or what?

What improvements is made in the process? What connectors are use?

Edited by bo dawg

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Let me just start by saying that with wiring, 1 gauge over is always better than one gauge under.

 

statistically and electrically speaking you can use 8 gauge for almost all of our tractors on the two battery cables but almost all of us use 6 or heavier.

 

most of the rest of it you can get away with 14 gauge ... I would not go any lighter than that.

 

any circuit that has a decent draw on it like battery to ignition switch or old school incandescent lamps for example, go 12 gauge.

 

I've built my own harnesses for three different tractor now cuz I like to have things nice and neat and clean and contained. I purchased some 7 conductor flexible tractor trailer wire harness. It's 14 gauge and is made out of copper strands that are all copper. No tin coating.

 

 

.

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I use 4 gauge for start circuit especially if it is the starter /genny style. 14 for the rest

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3 minutes ago, squonk said:

I use 4 gauge for start circuit especially if it is the starter /genny style. 14 for the rest

Why is that Mike? I've never wired one with a starter / genny. Different draw?

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8 minutes ago, ebinmaine said:

Why is that Mike? I've never wired one with a starter / genny. Different draw?

I like to make sure all the available  battery amperage can get to the start coil. As the cables degrade over time more strands of wire  are still there to do the job in the bigger wire.You can have a cable with only one good strand in it and it will ohm out ok. But try to push some current through it and you'll either not crank at all or  burn up the remaining wire(wires).

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2 minutes ago, squonk said:

try to push some current through it and you'll either not crank at all

Gotcha.

 

I've had that in old cars in the past.

 

What was original guage?

 

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Garden tractors are usually 6 ga. stock. Most cars/ Trucks are 4 or 2. Now if you got a 6 volt system your looking at 2 or smaller. Less voltage takes more amps to do the same amount of work. Think of voltage as pressure in a water hose and amperage as gallons per minute. 

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3 hours ago, squonk said:

Garden tractors are usually 6 ga. stock. Most cars/ Trucks are 4 or 2. Now if you got a 6 volt system your looking at 2 or smaller. Less voltage takes more amps to do the same amount of work. Think of voltage as pressure in a water hose and amperage as gallons per minute. 

I like that thinking. Lol

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Not concerned with battery cable wire. I was just going to get regular battery type cables already crimped. But all other wiring Originally they were built with is mostly 18 gauge for like accessories and lights aren’t they? And 16 or 14 coming from battery to amp meter? 

I was thinking of using 16 but now you guys making worry now. Lol

Edited by bo dawg

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24 minutes ago, bo dawg said:

now you guys making worry

No worries.

I just like 14 for the chassis wiring.

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I usually use 1 ought for everything. .. that way when the smoke gets let out there's plenty of it! :lol:

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7 hours ago, bo dawg said:

battery to amp meter

Another thing I should mention is - I don't use ammeters. Don't like em. Don't trust em. I use a voltage guage instead.

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What type of connectors are choice preferred? Do you solder and heat shrink or just crimp and go?

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Just now, bo dawg said:

just crimp and go

Not in my neighborhood.

Too much corrosion.

 

Different people have different preferences.

 

Crimping, soldering, then heat shrinking, is probably the best way to go.

 

I don't know how to solder (yet...) so I just make sure that I have a very good crimp. Use decent heat shrink and a little extra of it and I haven't had a problem in many years.

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1 hour ago, ebinmaine said:

Not in my neighborhood.

Too much corrosion.

 

Different people have different preferences.

 

Crimping, soldering, then heat shrinking, is probably the best way to go.

 

I don't know how to solder (yet...) so I just make sure that I have a very good crimp. Use decent heat shrink and a little extra of it and I haven't had a problem in many years.

 

Yea in the past I've just crimped the connector on. Although mine are never left outside, but they do sit in the barn all winter, which still creates moisture due to the dirt floor. I drive the tractors up on pallets to get off the ground.

I want to do something better than the stock wiring they come with for kicks I guess. 

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4 hours ago, ebinmaine said:

 

 

I don't know how to solder (yet...) 

Make sure to use proper PPE! :)

 

images.jpg.4f392410d7e2d24642a954d3083c14f9.jpg

Edited by squonk
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2 hours ago, bo dawg said:

 

Yea in the past I've just crimped the connector on. Although mine are never left outside, but they do sit in the barn all winter, which still creates moisture due to the dirt floor. I drive the tractors up on pallets to get off the ground.

I want to do something better than the stock wiring they come with for kicks I guess. 

  Put sheets of 6 mil plastic under the pallets will help eliminate condensation

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3 hours ago, bo dawg said:

 

I want to do something better than the stock wiring they come with for kicks I guess. 

 

 

That's exactly why I built my own harnesses from scratch

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You can get waterproof automotive connectors for the areas where you want to be able to take things apart again. You can get them to suit most any number of wires in a bundle, and they come rather cheap too. Chinaman whoflowdung sells them for almost free.............:D

 

My rule of wirering is always to solder everything, and then glue type shrink wrap on everything that ain't getting watertight connectors. Get wires into self tightening automotive style wire sock, and do the ends with more shrink wrap. Corrosion proof the connectors inside before mating, and likewise on all the other connections. On the wire gauge side of it, only one rule applies in my shop. Smaller will hurt you, and bigger is always better. Go as big as you like, without it being ridiculous. Just don't ever under dimension wires. That's where bad stuff starts to happen.

 

Things in general tends to be made from parts that is not exactly over dimensioned, but more likely juuuuust adequate. That most often also applies to the wirering of things too. No harm in stepping up the game a notch, quite the opposite in many cases.

 

Edited by Skipper
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5 hours ago, Skipper said:

You can get waterproof automotive connectors for the areas where you want to be able to take things apart again. You can get them to suit most any number of wires in a bundle, and they come rather cheap too. Chinaman whoflowdung sells them for almost free.............:D

 

My rule of wirering is always to solder everything, and then glue type shrink wrap on everything that ain't getting watertight connectors. Get wires into self tightening automotive style wire sock, and do the ends with more shrink wrap. Corrosion proof the connectors inside before mating, and likewise on all the other connections. On the wire gauge side of it, only one rule applies in my shop. Smaller will hurt you, and bigger is always better. Go as big as you like, without it being ridiculous. Just don't ever under dimension wires. That's where bad stuff starts to happen.

 

Things in general tends to be made from parts that is not exactly over dimensioned, but more likely juuuuust adequate. That most often also applies to the wirering of things too. No harm in stepping up the game a notch, quite the opposite in many cases.

 

 

So the wiring from the factory was under sized from the start, and good reason for melt downs of like the 9 pin connector and other areas of connection?

I mean I get it that bigger wire is better but why would the engineers go small, other than saving money?

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26 minutes ago, bo dawg said:

saving money?

That's it....

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:text-yeahthat:

 

And in todays world (not just garden tractors) it is even more so than it was back in the days. Today you are faced with two just about equally big jobs as an engineer of most things.

 

1. Construct it, make it work and test it.

2. Cut cost down where possible to match projected product life span and usage. (sometimes that means removing or changing features to cheaper solutions, and compromising a lot)

 

Now you are gona say Why?

 

Well lets say that you could easily save just 10 buck in the production of a good old style complete garden tractor. That 10 buck is of no matter for the end consumer, but if you produce a million units...................................... 

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On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 6:04 PM, Skipper said:

You can get waterproof automotive connectors for the areas where you want to be able to take things apart again. You can get them to suit most any number of wires in a bundle, and they come rather cheap too. Chinaman whoflowdung sells them for almost free.............:D

 

My rule of wirering is always to solder everything, and then glue type shrink wrap on everything that ain't getting watertight connectors. Get wires into self tightening automotive style wire sock, and do the ends with more shrink wrap. Corrosion proof the connectors inside before mating, and likewise on all the other connections. On the wire gauge side of it, only one rule applies in my shop. Smaller will hurt you, and bigger is always better. Go as big as you like, without it being ridiculous. Just don't ever under dimension wires. That's where bad stuff starts to happen.

 

Things in general tends to be made from parts that is not exactly over dimensioned, but more likely juuuuust adequate. That most often also applies to the wirering of things too. No harm in stepping up the game a notch, quite the opposite in many cases.

 

 

What are self tightening wire socks? 

Solder the wire end to the crimped connector, right?

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Well I'm kind of going all the way on it, and some may feel it is overkill, but this way leaves very little room for failure, also over time. Just so you know.

 

Let me see if I can show you and explain.

 

Yes, every terminal, crimped or otherwise is soldered, then sealed with the glue type shrink wrap. Not the standard stuff. That's only good for the sock imo. Don't know if you are familiar with the glue type, but to clarify, it has an inner lining of glue, that melts when shrinking, sealing the wire end completely. Also the pins inside the connector terminals are soldered to the wire. 

 

The self tightening wire sock is the type I like to use, because it holds everything nice and tight. You may want to strengthen it with shrink wrap on rub on points. Self tightening may be a wrong word for it. It's called braided expandable wire sleeve i think. It works the way that it has a dimension in relaxed/tightened up state. then if you push it together, it will open up the diameter, and tighten around the wires when you slide it back again. It WILL come apart in the ends, so that is what the shrink wrap in the ends of the sleve does. Hold it together, and makes a nice finish. Burn the ends a bit before feeding wire to the sock. They come in many size and shapes, and they cost peanuts. All connectors, sleeve, wrap etc for an entire WH loom is max 10 buck (probably less), if you buy it the right places.

 

Here's a few pix of some of what I use on wire loom jobs. The connector rubber boots gives a nice finished look to it.

 

 

5b9e0b106776d_sleve2.jpg.f0e60cc708a475f612407ca86f23b011.jpg

 

5b9e0b0cdab05_connector2.JPG.64c15cb1c7115891198f40f9886acc70.JPG

 

5b9e0f4363cb0_2pin.jpg.45a2963696e5f0c3272b8a98756520b3.jpg

 

5b9e0a31d8814_capandconnector.jpg.333b7497491fe8c3a683b28dfc0c061f.jpg

 

sock.jpg.5383a72a1007f7206c5a624ec2daba35.jpg

 

Shoot if you have questions :-)

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                       

Edited by Skipper
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2 hours ago, Skipper said:

self tightening wire sock is the type I like to use, because it holds everything nice and tight

Great idea.

What's your source and what size?

 

 

That's why I use 7 conductor trailer wire harness.

7 different colors. All wrapped for their protection.

If I need a separate piece or pieces I disassemble a couple feet.

 

 

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