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Old 06-16-2017, 09:36 PM
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What type of wire for DIY repairs

I apologize for my lack of knowledge on this simple subject, but what type of wire is best for Do It Yourself repairs on a Ferrari (or any automobile application). Copper, copper-coated aluminum, number of strands, etc. Where can an individual purchase such wire, and, without a crash course in electron flow and resistance, what wire is used in particular applications (radio vs ignition circuit). How do you figure out what size wire to use to handle a certain current load?
Or perhaps is there some book you can recommend that will explain all the above and more?
Thanks for your time and patience.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:08 PM
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Ynz wiring, Redlands ca. A good supplier of auto specific wiring needs.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:22 AM
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So many questions...

Wire gauge should be determined by current load and length of wire. There are plenty of online calculators to help there-- just make certain to use one for DC. Add in *at least* a 10% or margin for safety though. In other words, never run a conductor above 90% of its rated ampacity. 80% is better. Copper stranded wire with silicone insulation beats the other choices. Amazon is a good source. Stay away from aluminum conductors.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:45 AM
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Simple answer is to use stranded copper wire with the same gage as the wire being replaced. More important is that the insulation be suitable for the environment, specifically, resistance to heat and fuel/oil. Easy to find at places like Summit Racing.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:42 AM
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I have used a supplier called WayTek for their SXL or GXL cross-link automotive wire. SXL has thicker insulation but GXL is fine for nearly all applications. Unfortunately the minimum order qty is 250 feet. You can get the same wire at Delcity for a bit higher price, but the minimum order qty is less. If you search Amazon for GXL wire you will find same wire, but cost more than either DelCity or WayTek.

This wire is specific for automotive applications and withstands temps up to 257 deg F. Various gauges. Choose the same gauge as existing ... ok to use larger wire, don't go smaller. From your original post details, you would be fine with 16 gauge for most applications but as others said ... depends on current load and length of wire. Here is a rule of thumb chart that you may find helpful,

https://www.tessco.com/yts/industry/...get_wired.html

And here is link to DelCity where you get buy the wire:

https://www.delcity.net/store/Cross!Link-Wire/p_804928

Steve

Last edited by bisel; 06-17-2017 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnk... View Post
Simple answer is to use stranded copper wire with the same gage as the wire being replaced. More important is that the insulation be suitable for the environment, specifically, resistance to heat and fuel/oil. Easy to find at places like Summit Racing.
This.

The wiring diagram should indicate the wire size, in mm.
You can convert from that to US AWG gauge sizes with handy internet charts.
Wire Gauge Converter - AWG versus square mm

Much of the wiring in my 328 seems pretty thin, for the job.
But as I started out in household AC and industrial applications, I tend to "go big" on wires.

Solid wire doesn't tolerate vibration well, so use multi-strand in cars (and airplanes ).

Aluminum wire popped up when copper was expensive, in the '60s.
Several issues were found. Best to just avoid aluminum.

And yes, you have to make sure the insulation is suited to the environment.
Consider the car a "plenum". (E.g. use insulation that doesn't emit toxic gases when heated.)
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:12 PM
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Wow, thanks to all for the gobs of good info which I will sift through tonight and print out the conversion tables and other important info. Thanks also for your patience with my ignorance on these simple matters matters.
I love this forum.
One last question: What is a rifle driver and will it fit the chuck of my 3/8" impact wrench?
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBO View Post
One last question: What is a rifle driver...
This question also keeps me busy since a few days.
Over here we have that picture of those hillbillies who drive around in those pick-up trucks with a rifle hanging over the rear screen

Best from Germany
Martin
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:14 PM
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One other point on DIY wiring - COLOUR!!! USE SOME!!! At the very minimum, ensure that your DIY ground wires are the same colour as the factory ground wires in the vehicle you're working on. Second colour would be to match the colour of power wires. If you're replacing factory wiring, try to use the same colour replacement wire as the original wire.

The very worst thing is to find a vehicle where the previous owner did some DIY wiring and only used one colour of wire for all the wiring work.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GordonC View Post
One other point on DIY wiring - COLOUR!!! USE SOME!!! ...
Also, CONNECTORS!!! Use 'em.

I hate having to tear apart a stereo installation where the installer just wrapped and taped wires.

When I replaced the stereo in my 328, the previous installer had chopped off the factory six pin connector.
I found "look alike" 6.3mm (1/4 inch AMP blade) connector shells from Eagleday in FL.
Multi Connector 6.3mm with Latch
These look much like the factory connectors on the center console.

I wound up just buying the complete multi-connector kit, and put in an eight pin connector in place of the original six pin -- adding switched power and instrument (dimmed) power, so the display dims with the instruments, and the stereo shuts off with the ignition. (I used the original unswitched power for the memory.)

I also put some two pin connectors in-line with the door speakers, to make door work easier.

The same supplier carries wire in metric sizes.

(The other thing the connectors did was let me take the center console indoors, over the winter, to do the stereo mounting in comfort. I was able to run it inside off a 12V power supply and separate speakers. I only had to crawl under the dash to put the mating connector in the car.)
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:24 PM
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Don't use THHN Solid or Stranded wire for the hardware store. In a pinch you should be able to find proper wire at an automotive parts store. I mail order mine which give me a wide color selection and sizes, as well as length of wire/spool.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:51 PM
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Got it. Use connectors. With these I am familiar. Is crimping (with a real ratchet crimping tool) preferable to soldering? I have bare connectors for soldering, and recently purchased some crimp connectors with heat shrink insulation attached which seem pretty good. I have spent many hours under the disassembled dash of the 512TR lying on an asbestos blanket soldering each and every connection and then using heat shrink tubing, but maybe now I will re-think future projects.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBO View Post
... Is crimping (with a real ratchet crimping tool) preferable to soldering? ...
Therein lies a lot of internet debate.

The issue with soldering is that it converts your multi-stranded wire to a solid wire, at the connection.
So for unsupported wires, subject to vibration, that's bad.
Not an issue if the wire is supported by a connector or bundle wrap on both sides of the solder joint.

Getting crimp connections right takes practice.
It's not just a matter of pressure. Too much pressure can weaken the crimp connection.
If you look closely, there are two parts to a crimp connector lug. One folds around and into the wire itself to make the connection, and the other wraps around the wire insulation to add support. I prefer to crimp each part separately.

A *proper* crimp connection doesn't need solder. But it takes practice to get them right.
I really like the crimp tool I got with the 6.3mm multi-connector kit.
But it takes more than just squeeze and go. I find that I have to bring the ends closer together (more parallel) with the plier end before using the crimp portion. Practice a bit to find what works for you.

Some recommend crimping the connector on, then doing a good hot solder,
** making sure the solder does NOT extend beyond the crimp **.
(If it does, then you have "solid" wire past the wire support ring of the crimp -- again making it sensitive to vibration.)

The "easy" answer is to use the method you can get right.
A cold solder joint will be worse than a good crimp connection.
And a bad crimp connection will be worse than a good solder connection.

Tie-wraps to bundle the wires can help the wires support each other, although the entire bundle will still experience vibration.
But then, it's not like we're talking about an AIM-120 missile, here. ;p

Last edited by DGS; 06-18-2017 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGS View Post
Therein lies a lot of internet debate.

.....

Getting crimp connections right takes practice.
It's not just a matter of pressure. Too much pressure can weaken the crimp connection.
If you look closely, there are two parts to a crimp connector lug. One folds around and into the wire itself to make the connection, and the other wraps around the wire insulation to add support. I prefer to crimp each part separately.

A *proper* crimp connection doesn't need solder. But it takes practice to get them right.
I really like the crimp tool I got with the 6.3mm multi-connector kit.
But it takes more than just squeeze and go. I find that I have to bring the ends closer together (more parallel) with the plier end before using the crimp portion. Practice a bit to find what works for you.

..... ;p
Excellent. I agree entirely with "good crimp does not need solder". I have heard many people tell me that they solder after crimping. I tell them, do the job right the first time and you should not need solder. In almost all cases, soldering a crimp actually weakens the connection. No matter how hard you try, solder will wick up the strands. A lot of solder. This will result in breaks after a few flexes.

My advice, after crimping the wire, before crimping the insulation ... tug on the connector. If you can easily pull it off, then you either used too large a connector or did a bad crimp.

Here is a pretty decent crimp tool that I have found for a reasonable price ...
#3128 CT - OPEN BARREL CONTACT CRIMP TOOL 24-14 AWG | SARGENT Tools

This is a ratcheting crimper. You squeeze it until the ratchet releases to get consistent, quality crimps each time.

Steve
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:13 PM
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Above looks like the type of crimper on factory wiring. Folds the connector in to like a M. and the insulation at the end. Not the common parts store female tube type connector.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ago car nut View Post
Above looks like the type of crimper on factory wiring. Folds the connector in to like a M. and the insulation at the end. Not the common parts store female tube type connector.
That crimper is for connectors with male and female connectors that are commonly called pins for insertion into a shell. The common connector you refer to comes in both insulated and uninsulated male tabs and female connectors

Here is a common connector series used on Ferrari's that you would need that tool for making good crimps...

4*Way AMP 1.5 Series Superseal Wiring Connector*Kit (Wire Size Options)

Steve
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:31 AM
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Ferrari seems to have used a lot of different connectors on different models, and even different connectors on the same car.

My 328 uses a number of Bosch type connectors in the engine bay, but a lot of 6.3mm blade connectors in plastic shells all over, especially in the dash.

I was specifically shopping for the 6.3mm blade connectors, but Eagleday carries a lot of different connectors.
Electrical

The "AMP junior timer" connections look like the engine bay connectors, but I haven't tried those.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bisel View Post
That crimper is for connectors with male and female connectors that are commonly called pins for insertion into a shell. The common connector you refer to comes in both insulated and uninsulated male tabs and female connectors

Here is a common connector series used on Ferrari's that you would need that tool for making good crimps...

4*Way AMP 1.5 Series Superseal Wiring Connector*Kit (Wire Size Options)

Steve
I believe they are also called (weather-pac).
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:05 PM
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I believe they are also called (weather-pac).
Weather Pack is different company but similar design. The TE Superseal is a bit smaller than Weather Pack which are by Delphi.

Steve
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