This would tend to support the idea of using welding cable
(stranded-strand construction) instead of nominal battery cables (stranded
construction) if, in the range of lengths and gauge sizes used in
automotive cables, the effect were significant or even practicably
measurable. It is neither, though.
I think you guys are mixing methaphors and rewriting
electrical engineering rules.
I am not an electrical engineer, although I do sit with one.
According to the rules as I understand them,
1) For DC currents, the skin effect is trival, so solid
wires carry as much current as stranded wires
2) For DC currents, it is the crosssectional area that
matters, so two wires with with the same cross sectional
area as a single wire will not carry more current - unless
you are worried about the wires heating up. Two independent
wires do have more surface area, for dispating heat, than
the single wire. However, for most situations, the
difference should be trivial and this won't apply to
stranded cables anyhow, since the effective surface area is
the same as the solid wire.
The arguements about welding versus battery cables has been
interesting. I have the following idea based on this
- Welding cables may or may not have insulation suitable for
- The biggest problem with using welding cables as battery
cables is the lack of suitable teminals, although I am not
sure that this is actually true. I do comprehend the idea
that the thinner strans of welding cable are more easily
damaged by typical crimp type battery terminals, but I
suspect that better terminal are available and that careful
application of commonly avialble terminals can overcome this
limitation. Several jumper cable manufacturers actually
advertise that they use welding cable.
- Welding cable is not a specification. There are a large
number of cables of different gauges and construction styles
(stranding, insulation) that are called welding cable. Some
are more suitable for automotive use than others.
- Good quality welding cable is likely to be more expensive
than similar gauge battery cable.
- Persoanlly, I can see any reason not to use welding cable
instead of battery cable as long as you are careful about
how you handle the terminals (a crimp terminal reenforces by
soldering and shrink tubing to stiffen the connector cable
interface seems like a good idea). The increased flexibility
of the welding cable would be a plus.
Here are a couple of interesting references:
http://www.eagle-access.net/solar/debate.pdf1.pdf - an
interestiong article on the use of welding cable in home
http://www.colemancable.com/catalog/Portable23b.htm - this
company claims their welding cable is suitable for battery
Thanks for the info.
Which means that welding cables are more flexible, nothing more. Wire
strand size doesn't make ANY difference with DC current, only the total
cross-section of all strands added together. If you were talking 500
megahertz radio signals, then there might be a difference.
Don't believe everything you read online, though. There are some people
who believe in "uni-directional" cables for stereo gear... nevermind the
fact that the signals carried are AC!
I don't believe every thing I read on-line, or off-line. On line you
will find all sorts of people who post info regardless of facts.
Yet on the topic I was talking about the information on it should be
on-line, and easy to locate.
I have not heard of people using uni-direction wiring in audio
systems. Although I could see where Feedback from one item such as
inputs for multiple amplifiers could be an issue. As for control signals,
it should not be an issue. Most Uni-directional audio stuff I have seen is
where a unit has different output and input jacks, instead of a combined
On Mon, 16 Aug 2004 23:44:37 GMT, "Charles Bendig"
In audio, as it concerns speaker cable or any analog signal cabling,
the current path is alternating. So any claim that a cable is
optimized for the single direction that current flows is, well, flat
out bogus. You should see the religion some people have on this stuff
though. It's a real ugly scene.
Thankfully the only Audio systems I deal with are for my own
personal usage. Nothing super impressive, just stuff that work. Beaters
usually get used equipment.Something like my T/A only gets good quality
stuff. I'm not big on Home Audio, heck I haven't even hooked my tuner
up since I moved.
On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 05:43:45 GMT, "Charles Bendig"
Yeah, I hear ya. Even though I have the nice (for OEM) 500 Watt
Monsoon system in my Z28, sometimes it's just more pleasing to take
the Ts off and listen to the sounds of the LS1.
On a side note though, I did buy a OEM Delco 12 disc changer on Ebay
and installed it myself, for about 1/3 the cost of the price the
dealer gets just for the unit. It's funny, GM gets $700 for this OEM
changer. For the Corvette I think it costs $1200 (even though I think
it is completely functionally equivalent, perhaps even same part as
used on F-bodys and probably a lot of other GM vehicles). I saw the
things sell on Ebay for like $80 to $100, but I paid $250 for mine
because the guy says he took it out of his 1998 Camaro and I wanted to
be sure the control signals from the head unit were right on the
money. I still bet I could have bought one of the ones that went
Maybe Ian knows what works with what. Hell, my car even had the
signal/control cable already run back to the rear changer mount area
from the head. I guess GM does this at the factory even if they end
up not putting in the changer. I suppose easier to route before
everything is carpeted etc.
Yeah, like that. I've been there and read a lot. There is another
site devoted to truth in audio, but I forget the url right now. Let
me check my faves... Okay it's www.audioholics.com granted, it's not
gospel either, but it is much more truth oriented than some.
Charles is badly misinformed or perhaps deluded. There is *zero* reason
not to use welding cable as battery cable. Gauge size for gauge size,
current capacity is practically identical (difference so tiny it takes
extremely precise instrumentation to measure it), welding cable is more
flexible over a wider range of temperatures, welding cable is more
resistant to internal breakage, welding cable is frequently better
insulated -- all due to welding cable's much harsher working environment
than automotive battery cable. Welding cable gets handled, sparks and hot
bits of molten metal dropped on it, stuff dropped on it, pulled,
stretched, kinked, knotted, etc, EVERY day. Battery cables get installed
and then practically never touched again until the battery is next
And the reason they don't use welding cable for car batteries?
I'd be willing to bet it's $$$$. Last time I checked, welding cable was
about $1 per foot (or more for the really big stuff.) That doesn't
Stranded cable insulated with a single layer of PVC or vinyl ("battery
cable") is *vastly* cheaper than stranded-strand cable with a foil wrap
and hypalon and/or silicone insulation ("welding cable").
I butchered that part of the post - I blew up the 305 and went to a 350.
Had to reuse the starter because the 350 had the small flywheel and I
have an automatic and a large flexplate. The 350 has both types of bolt
then - since they very often use Japanese mini starters put together by
Tilton or the like - based on a Hitachi starter motor. Although I like the
Nippondenso better for my application, I know for a fact that those "cheep"
Japanese starter motors have won the 24 hours of Daytona more than once.
Mind you, Tilton does a very nice tune-up n them before they sell them with
their sticker on the side.
You did not read what was written. I said "Cheep" as in $150 US
and under. I'm not talking about name brand builders that are using
new parts, that will work together. I'm talking about idiots that take
apart a Used 4AGEZ starter and make it in to a mini-starter for a small
block Chevy. That is a used starter motor intended for a super charged 4
Cylinder that displaces 98 CI. Now where near the resistance when hot as
Nor are these cheep units gear reduced. Which is what is used in high
end race cars. Not to mention they are made from all new parts.
Personally I would rather use a conventional High Torque Chevy
Starter over a gear reduced mini-starter. The only time I install them, is
when doing engine conversions where regular starters will not work.
As time goes on, the rebuilt High Torque starters become
more of a crapshoot...the cast aluminum starter drive
housing you get on a rebuild could be 20+ years old and has
a high chance of cracking and ruining your weekend.
I'd go with a decent reduction gear starter; some of these allow
you to rotate where the starter-motor is mounted which helps for
I believe the truck starter mentioned ('97 3/4 ton pickup) is a reduction
gear "mini" starter; not to sure about the drive housing construction
Ken R. Dye '67 Bonneville ragtop "Juan": suncar
Chicago, Illinois '01 Z28 ragtop "???": funcar
seems in the 3/4 ton world, some are regular, some are hd. I got the
right part # - go with a 1 ton big block. Now I just hope I don't have
the wrong flywheel on there. (I can't remember if it's the 153 or 168.)
Race car night tonight, I'll let you know the results tomorrow. :)
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