Automotive wiring - or general electrical cable ??

Submitted: Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 20:30
ThreadID: 89490 Views:3329 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Greetings guys - My question is in regards to cable - I have to change some wiring in the camper van - ( and also my excavator ) - might even upgrade some wires from front to back ( for fridge connector )

I have access to large lengths of previous used 4 core cable used in industrial situations( 3 phase 3 core + earth ) - is this cable ok to use ( certainly meets amp requirements) have to make up a number or wiring harnesses and after seeing the price of automotive cable - its a little cost prohibitive - yes i know the industrial stuff is heavier wire and less chance of bending but that's not an issue for me as its readily available and free

your thoughts ? or issues ?

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 20:35

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 20:35
Should be no issue BB

I'd like to know that its temperature rating is higher though.

Usually it is as auto cable is usually pretty low spec.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 467287

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 20:55

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 20:55
it will be an issue down the track, the insulation tends to be harder and less resistant to abrasion and flexxing ....
It also it NOT suited to movement as in viabrations, rock n rolls of trailers and flexxing in any real movement, simply put the cores of automotive wiring has a lot finer cores allowing it to flex more and not break ....
Ever read about caravans that have wiring problems, the std houshold cable is not designed to move or flex at all, ever unless you live in NZ Christchurch and it shakes everyso often .....
The "flex" cords from things like vacume cleaners are fine as are welding cables or any other bit of electricial equipment that requires a cable to move freely ....
I had to buy some longer "flexable" cable to extend the leads to our container freezers, cost me something like $800 for 20M (3 phase, 60 amp) ..
Excavator ..... i never would do it, a lot of jarring and flexxing ....
Camper Van or Caravan .... if you run it in conjuit or fasten it very firmly, maybe, just maybe ..
Good luck
AnswerID: 467290

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:55

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:55
Agree 100%, most issues we see with DIY installations is people using the wrong stuff for the wrong application.

Automotive cable in general has a different design criteria then high voltage fixed cable.

And remember multiple wires in a loom have have less current carrying capabilities and more voltage drop then a single wire.
FollowupID: 741427

Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 21:04

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 21:04
If the 3-phase cable is meant for flexible rather than fixed use; ie, has lots of strands, rather than a few thick strands, and it has the required square mils cross-section, then it should be fine.
Depending on the thickness of the insulation, consider adding extra sheath where the cable passes by sharp bits of bodywork and/or use cable ties to prevent the cable flexing against those sharp edges.

AnswerID: 467291

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 11:12

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 11:12
Auto cable? Yuck. There are no standards for auto cable so I try to use cable that is to ASA standards. Some maufacturers use the OD of the plastic sheath others use the copper dia. but don't be confused with cable marked with amperage.
AnswerID: 467327

Follow Up By: Polaris - Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 10:52

Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 10:52
ASA standards for any relocatable home, boat, caravan, camper-trailer are that multi strand cable MUST be used. Switches also need to be double pole.

The reason for the multi strand is that conventional wire used in buildings is generally single strand. Once installed there is no need for flex or vibration resistance.
In automotive use there is a different requirement - as vibration is always present. The more strands in any particular wire will dictate just how flexible the wire is likely to be - and its resistance to fracture due to vibration.

Domestic wire just doesn't do the job.
FollowupID: 741994

Reply By: Begaboy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 16:55

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 16:55
Thanks for replies guys - i ditched the typical non flex 4 core orange cable and found flex cable in the scrap bin that also has braided hose outer then plastic over top - designed for applications of movement - found 30 meters yay

thanks for your input guys - much appreciated

AnswerID: 467354

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