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Old 07-29-2014, 04:59 PM   #1
BigWes
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Default How to tell the gauge of my wires

Hi folks! 1st allow me to introduce myself. I just got my 1st golf cart, a 1996 Ezgo. It's mostly stock except a lift, larger tires and batteries that are about a year old (according to the guy I purchased from). When I bought it, I didn't really know enough to even be asking this question, but I've been searching online to learn about my cart which led me here. I've been just browsing for about a week now and have learned that I think I know enough to get myself in trouble.

Anyway, my cart will be used as a hunting buggy and running around my neighborhood. So I'm looking for more torque. I've seen many folks point people to Scotty B's website for controller and solenoid upgrades so I've been there, haven't purchased yet, but will.

I'm trying to figure out if I need to upgrade the wires. How do I tell what gauge of wire I have? They all appear to be the same size except what goes to the batteries from the charger port. Should they say on the wire insulation somewhere that I am just missing?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:10 PM   #2
teecro
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

6 gauge will be roughly as big around as a pencil, 4 a little bigger and 2 will be about as big around as a Sharpie... Depending on brand 6 is .31" around, 4 is .36" around and 2 is .44" around...
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:33 PM   #3
crash test dummy
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

most carts came with 6 gauge wire some times its 4 gauge

if you go above 400amp controller (and you will ) you need 2 gauge wire



wire from charger port will not need to be upgraded
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
rib33024
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Here's a chart

http://www.dave-cushman.net/elect/wiregauge.html
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

The cables should be marked with the gauge (AWG) somewhere on the insulation. See attached reference images.



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Old 07-29-2014, 06:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Even if you have the "right" size cables, it's rare that you will have the "correct" terminal ends and heat shrink to protect them. There is a non ending debate over crimped vs. soldered ends, but either should be protected by "gooey" heat shrink. Batteries discharge acid vapors when charging and discharging, so the cable ends should be protected.

If your cables are the right size, but less than perfect, keep them clean and protected. Be careful to not over torque them.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Thanks folks. So here's what I have figured out so far.

Sportcoupe, I've looked all over every inch of wire I can see and there are no markings.

Yurtle, the terminals are crimped onto the wires but there are no heat shrink coverings. I'm familiar with those as that is what I use on my boat and boat trailer wires. I'll make sure to keep them clean.

Teecro and Rib, thanks for the info. I didn't want to cut any wires to do a diameter measurement so I measured the circumference which included the insulation to be 1.25". The conversion gives me a diameter of gives me .3978" diameter including insulation. So the best I can tell I have 4 gauge wires if the measurements you gave and the chart include insulation. I'm 2nd guessing if insulation should be included in the measurement, if not, I'd assume I have 6 gauge. Can anyone clarify if I should take insulation into the measurement?
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportcoupe View Post
The cables should be marked with the gauge (AWG) somewhere on the insulation. See attached reference images.



never seen it marked on battery cables ..when i sober up i'm gonna go look
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWes View Post
Teecro and Rib, thanks for the info. I didn't want to cut any wires to do a diameter measurement so I measured the circumference which included the insulation to be 1.25". The conversion gives me a diameter of gives me .3978" diameter including insulation. So the best I can tell I have 4 gauge wires if the measurements you gave and the chart include insulation. I'm 2nd guessing if insulation should be included in the measurement, if not, I'd assume I have 6 gauge. Can anyone clarify if I should take insulation into the measurement?
The sizing I listed include the insulation and CAN vary somewhat manf to manf...
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to tell the gauge of my wires

Welcome to the Wonderful World of What Do I Have
and What Can I Do With It (or To It).

This was not your primary question but thought I'd pass on some info.
Your batteries should have a date code on them,
usually stamped on the Neg terminal.
Might say 'K1', that means Nov 2011.

The letter is the month A-Jan, B-Feb, etc.
The number is the year, 1-1991, 2001, 2011, etc.
Most batteries don't last 10 years so not much chance for confusion,
unless the batteries look really, really old, then maybe...

Hope this helps.
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