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High Quality Automotive Wire Sources?? 
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:14 pm
Posts: 160
Does anybody know of a source for a wide variety of Cross-Linked Polyethelyne availible in small quantities. Preferably in the states I guess.

I'm looking for about 30 unique combinations of stripes/solids. TXL, GXL, SXL. 14-22ga 125*c minimum.

If everybody elses search has come up as empty as mine, I'm going to bite the bullet and buy some bulk (err, a LOT of bulk as it turns out). And then nobody will have any more problems finding a good selection of wire at an affordable price ;)

Also looking for some automotive rated sheilded two-conductor + drain, or better yet twisted pair + drain!


Background: Helping a friend with an Audi 5000 turned twin turbo V8 beast. His 10vt was 'squirted and the electrical side was lacking. This time around he's doing it right. Since the future is limitless I'm making him run individual wires for the injectors and coils, even though it will most likely be batch fire wasted spark at the beginning. His car may be the first to run a prototype board of mine. Wish me luck :mrgreen:


Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:51 am
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Good luck :-) But do put up a thread about what you are up to, it will at least be interesting to the rest of us, if not helpful :-)

Have you considered appliance wire? The best stuff I could find around the place when I looked was the stuff designed for use in ovens etc. High temp, and fairly nice overall. Not ideal, but pretty good. They only had about 10 colours though, but, you can always test and label them. Just use 8 green ones for fuel and 8 yellow for ignition etc. Tracing them is a once off thing anyway, and if you are using the xdp512, the s19 that came on mine is available for download in the early releases. You can use that to toggle the pins arbitrarily.

Hope that helps.

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Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:59 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:14 pm
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I've pretty much looked at everything I could imagine! Different names, spellings, digging through spec books to find something that would match.

All the oven wire I've seen personally has been pretty thick and lots of it was solid core. May not really know what you're talking about though.

Two things that always annoyed me about off the shelf wire. The melting point is low, and I've seen too many of them melt away on engine parts and start right on fire as well. That's why I'm spec'ing automotive engine compartment grade stuff here. Not because it's an excuse to be sloppy, but because if it's going to happen to anybody it's going to happen to this guy! (my friend, not me) :mrgreen:

The other thing is the diameter. Finding 20-22ga wire that is stranded and not melty is hard enough, finding it in any significant colors is nearly impossible. When you have a rig with 8 injectors, 8 4-wire coils with dedicated signal grounds, a couple boost solenoids and water injection, etc etc. If you had to do that with all 16ga wire not only would the bundle be unnecessarily huge but also a pain in the bottom to solder to a DB-37 since 16ga doesn't fit without trimming. (though I haven't committed to the DB-37 yet)

But I'm still keeping my eyes peeled and appreciate the heads up on the over wire. I've played the test and label game myself before, many times, and I'm just sick of it. When/if I put this order in, I'll be set for many generations of harnessed cars for me, my friends, and you guys - who aren't my friends yet ;)


Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:14 am
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It was flex (multicore), but it wasn't all that thin, I did have to trim a few cores out of each to put it into a db37, but having the extra current capacity and lower resistance is IMO worth it. We are dealing with a hobby here :-) i.e. how many cars do you own? how many do you work on at a time, do you only do a standalone and nothing else? My project (so far) took 5.5 months of long evenings and weekends from sohc 79hp carby POS to dohc turbo injected with a different box etc etc. Installing MS took about 3 days including a basic WOT tune and all non-ms wiring too. Also included in that 3 days was final assembly of all the engine accessories etc. 1 day might have been a more honest number if not for the other things. Hence, percentage wise, its a small one : 2% and by the time I'm done with the brakes etc, more like 1%.

I guess my point is, if you are doing it as a hobby, it's not too bad, and if you aren't, you need to pull out the cheque book and get serious :-)

Let me see if I can find a picture of my db37.

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Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:59 am
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The wire I got was V90 stuff rated to continuous 90*C temperature operation with flame retardant etc. Most common stuff is not rated or rated to V75.

Image

I forget the sq mm and gauge of it, but here is my loom :

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff26 ... ngLoom.jpg

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff26 ... B37Clo.jpg

The cable stuff is from this document :

http://www.fandi.com.au/OlexHandbook.pdf

Something to think about anyway :-)

Admin.

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Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:19 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:51 pm
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I just used 2- and 3-conductor shielded stranded 18-gauge FT4 communications wire to wire up my brother-in-law's JAW. It's good to 90C and free from work :D As long as it doesn't have to to a lot of flexing and it is kept away from really hot things it holds up really well.

From experience, 18-gauge wire is the nicest to work with, especially when inserting into terminals or crimp connectors. Anything smaller tends to be too flexible and breaks/frays easily when stripped. Anything bigger is pretty bulky.

It's also good for 7 amps continuous.

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Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:01 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:25 pm
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One word, tefzel (or PTFE for the non-branded variety). This is the only wire that i would use if i was doing a professional harness for any car. Its tinned multi-strand wire with a teflon coating which is good in a number of different ways. Firstly its temperature resistant to more than you care about (you can solder it without any insulation meltage like you always get with PVC), because its teflon its very abrasion resistant, the insulation layer is incredibly thin compared to PVC so you can fit many more wires of the same gauge in the same cross-sectional area and its resistant to nasty shit (petrol, oil, etc). Its pretty much the bees knees when it comes to automotive cabling.

Ive used it extensively throughout my Formula SAE career and its a pleasure to use. Last year we used only white for the entire loom and labelled each run with small bands of heatshrink. This makes for a very good looking loom and you don't have to have a huge number of wire rolls in your workshop. Most runs are fine in 22awg with 20 and 18 awg runs for fuel pumps etc.

Here in NZ i was paying $80NZ for a 100m roll of 22awg. RS has similar stuff for ~3x the price so i think this is pretty reasonable. If you cant find a local supplier at a reasonable price then i can get the details for my supplier here (cant remember the name off the top of my head sorry). Maybe try some motorsport wiring places near you and ask where they buy their cable from.

Cam


Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:15 am
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Why didn't you ever tell me about that stuff!! lol, good to know for the future anyway. I like your coloured bands idea. Being white you could do a similar thing with coloured dots of marker pen instead.

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FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:27 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:51 pm
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walkercam wrote:
One word, tefzel (or PTFE for the non-branded variety). This is the only wire that i would use if i was doing a professional harness for any car. Its tinned multi-strand wire with a teflon coating which is good in a number of different ways. Firstly its temperature resistant to more than you care about (you can solder it without any insulation meltage like you always get with PVC), because its teflon its very abrasion resistant, the insulation layer is incredibly thin compared to PVC so you can fit many more wires of the same gauge in the same cross-sectional area and its resistant to nasty shit (petrol, oil, etc). Its pretty much the bees knees when it comes to automotive cabling.

Ive used it extensively throughout my Formula SAE career and its a pleasure to use. Last year we used only white for the entire loom and labelled each run with small bands of heatshrink. This makes for a very good looking loom and you don't have to have a huge number of wire rolls in your workshop. Most runs are fine in 22awg with 20 and 18 awg runs for fuel pumps etc.

Here in NZ i was paying $80NZ for a 100m roll of 22awg. RS has similar stuff for ~3x the price so i think this is pretty reasonable. If you cant find a local supplier at a reasonable price then i can get the details for my supplier here (cant remember the name off the top of my head sorry). Maybe try some motorsport wiring places near you and ask where they buy their cable from.

Cam


Props for the coloured band ID. I did just that on the JAW install!

I think it is Freightliner trucks that does all their interior wiring in one colour, yellow, and prints numbers on them every 6 inches. Drives service techs nuts when they are trying to find a wire in a loom, but I bet it's a lot cheaper for the factory :D

Speaking of tefzel, is that not what they use in aircraft as well? Check it http://aircraftspruce.com/menus/el/wire.html

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Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:57 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:25 pm
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thebigmacd wrote:
Speaking of tefzel, is that not what they use in aircraft as well?


Yep it sure is, thats how good the stuff is ;)

It would be great to be able to print on the cable what its is for but you start talking big $$ when you need that, not to mention I couldnt even find anyone in NZ with the equipment. Pen would work ok, but what happens when you need to cut a wire shorter? With the heatshrink you can just slide it further down the wire and re-shrink it. The biggest problem is finding a good range of heatshrink colours to use. I used a system where the first band denotes wire types (power/ground/signal/trigger), the second band denotes sub-system (datalogger/ecu/cooling/fuel/etc) and the next two bands denote the specific run. That worked really well as even if you dont have the wiring list you can almost always figure out which wire is which (especially when you basically live at the workshop :) ).

Ill see if i can dig up some pictures at some stage...


Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:55 pm
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