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Old 20th December 2007, 12:42 AM   #1
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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Default Looking for some Power Wire Gauge advice

Hey guys...Just finished up installing my new HU and that thing is awesome!!! I especially loved the hitting from the subs when I went from 60hz to 50hz on the HU Didn't have the 50hz for a low pass option on my other Kenwood.

Anyways, the point of this thread is this. I was looking on a site that had calculations for amp draw and wire size and all of that like Perry's. I figured give it a shot and when I put int my JL Audio'a RMS which is 500 into 1 on a 2ohm load and my wire size I have right now which is 8 gauge, it said I needed to go higher to 4 gauge. If it's not one thing it's another, just when I think I'm about done I might have to rewire my amp and spend more money but if it is needed then it is needed. I called Crutchfield and one of their guys suggested to defiantly upgrade to 4 gauge cause he didn't think I would be able to get by with the 8 gauge I would have on the A1400. He said I would have too much heat from the electrical flow and could be damaging. I told him I'm running the Alpine MRP-M450 on 8 gauge and he said that I was just probably able to get by on that amp but the JL draws more current. I don't want to start a fire inside my car or melt something So If I have to it would only cost me about 35-40 dollars to get the cable I need and stuff. I just didn't really want to go through all this but I'd rather have the JL than the Alpine. Sorry to open up any old wounds for anyone around here as I know their have been heated discussions about Power Wire gauge and I'm just looking to see if anyone thinks I need to go to 4 gauge wire?
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Old 20th December 2007, 04:14 AM   #2
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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I bought a kit at walmart for $34 I think, for two amps. It is 5ga and supposedly good for 1,000watts but depends on who you ask. Anyway the amp is 700 and max is 920. I'm not sure about heating, you usually just lose voltage and your amp will not perform as well. I don't know how much draw 8ga takes before heating, but I ran a 300 and a 80 all wrms on 8ga for a while (out of the fuse box too) and had no problems. I hardly ever crank it wot for long anyway so I don't care that much if I lose a tiny bit of max bass with my 5ga, if it even does. But the kit had trigger wire, two nice RCAs, ground wire, and some other stuff including a block to spit it and the fuse block/fuse plus some 8ga for the short split to amps wire. I only have a 5ch in there but used most of it...but soon I'll have different amps. They will be rated at less wattage, but I fully expect it to go louder.
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Old 20th December 2007, 12:21 PM   #3
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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I think I'm just going to get it over with...I won't have to worry about the wire gauge ever again as this is as high amp wattage as I will ever go and after the next few years, I'm going to be too old for this stuff and will just have a stock deck...So this is my last chance to really have a enjoyable system so might as well do it right and not have to worry about it later. Hardest part is going to be to find out where Circuit City stuck my 8 gauge power wire through the front of the car. Once I find that I can just go back through it from the outside and pull it through. I will then have to find somewhere to ground it. Didn't really want to put anymore holes in the floor boad but will have to now. So, I will have 4 gauge power and ground wire with 12 gauge speaker wire and should be good to go.
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Old 20th December 2007, 04:34 PM   #4
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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What kind of car do you have? Usually we run the power wire down the driver's side somewhere near the brake booster. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a grommet to run the wire through. I have two 4 gauge wires in my car, it was easier to hide instead of having one huge wire.



Quote:
Originally posted by Flyin11
I think I'm just going to get it over with...I won't have to worry about the wire gauge ever again as this is as high amp wattage as I will ever go and after the next few years, I'm going to be too old for this stuff and will just have a stock deck...So this is my last chance to really have a enjoyable system so might as well do it right and not have to worry about it later. Hardest part is going to be to find out where Circuit City stuck my 8 gauge power wire through the front of the car. Once I find that I can just go back through it from the outside and pull it through. I will then have to find somewhere to ground it. Didn't really want to put anymore holes in the floor boad but will have to now. So, I will have 4 gauge power and ground wire with 12 gauge speaker wire and should be good to go.
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Old 20th December 2007, 05:33 PM   #5
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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Well, they didn't have any 4 gauge wire left and after talking with them, they were saying I should just be fine with 8 gauge. They said it's always a great idea and defiantly doesn't hurt to go higher up in wire and they complimented me for thinking like that but they said it's just more of a safety measure than anything else and that amp is only running 500w in a 2ohm load and might not even hit that high half the time. More like 480. So they said if anything happens, my fuse would blow and that is true...I do have a 40amp fuse under the hood like I'm suppose to. It's all about trying stuff...I'll try the amp out and if it doesn't sound to my liking then I will resell it on Ebay and keep the Alpine. They said that I'm in a position that people are rarely in...I have 2 great sounding amps now and can choose between them. The Alpine sounds great with my HU now, don't get me wrong, but I would love to have a JL Audio amp cause they are the top of the line, to compliment my JL subs. I also just want a little room in my gain settings...I don't want to turn it all the way up but I still want it to hit. The Alpine is 1 line away from Max and I don't want it drawing too much power. So will give this a go...

Quote:
What kind of car do you have? Usually we run the power wire down the driver's side somewhere near the brake booster. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a grommet to run the wire through. I have two 4 gauge wires in my car, it was easier to hide instead of having one huge wire.
Well, I had a huge issue in the beginning ppia...I have a 2003 Honda Civic EX Coupe and I tried to go through a gromet in the floorboard on the passenger side like a lot of people were illustrating and when I pushed it through it caught a wire and broke it. This was not good cause those were like 100 little wires going to the computer. After a lot of fighting with it and stuff, my dad and I got it spliced and jumped back together and I decided to let someone else do it cause I almost didn't either have my car running at all or cost myself $2,000 to have to get the electrical system fixed. I see they went behind the glove compartment and came out a gromet on the upper left side under the hood, right inline with the battery. Like I said above though...I think I will be just fine...
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Old 20th December 2007, 06:01 PM   #6
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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I think those guys are totally clueless and/or blowing smoke....someplace. Rarely two amps? I have over a dozen 100-1,000rms sitting here I can think of, many people I know into music do. I always have that many at my disposal in case I need X type/size amp.

If you have any notion of learning to do anything mechanical, you don't learn while not doing it. But that is up to you. I save too much money not to....well not save so much as use that money for all the other cool stuff I have. It is a matter of priorities for me. I could pay someone to do something for me, or buy a cool amp/PC part/vehicle accessory/home improvement/etc, etc.

8ga is pushing it for 500wrms, but that is a short car so I'd have to look it up and know the rms wattage of the amp. I think there is a page on Perry's site that calculates the loss for you.
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Old 20th December 2007, 06:15 PM   #7
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by jol50
8ga is pushing it for 500wrms, but that is a short car so I'd have to look it up and know the rms wattage of the amp. I think there is a page on Perry's site that calculates the loss for you.
I just looked on his site...This is what is under the wire gauge part for 8 gauge:


8 awg 52 amps 430 watts A/B 537 watts D Class

This is another D Class amp so, all good...
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Old 21st December 2007, 06:25 AM   #8
crs1 is offline crs1  United States
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i have been installing car audio for the better part of 28 years now +i am an auto mechanic and have a degree in electronics engineering technology what you need to look at also is what is the amperage of your alternator alot of cars only have @ a 60 amp now with the smaller gage wire when you are running your head lights ,parking lights this time of year you blower motor for you heater that is a hell of a strain on the alt. with a bigger gage wire the current is able to flow easier with less strain on the amp & the alt. and also giving you a cleaner sound . i know this is over kill but in my 2000 chevy silverado i am running "00" then four gage off of my fuse block to my amps my amps are infinity 1600A & a 7541A with a total of 1044W RMS when i was running 4GA into 8GA my sound wasn't as clean the larger wire is much better
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Old 21st December 2007, 07:31 AM   #9
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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I would go with the 4 gauge. I've seen people run super thin wire and never have problems.. but I try to advise others to do it like I'd have it in my car. Yeah, it's kind of a pita, but I think the grommet on the right side near the battery is a good place. Otherwise drill your own hole but yeah, watch out for a/c and wires - ouch! And yes, your alternator is probably around 60 amps so you might want to upgrade that if you plan on going any higher than your current level.
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Old 21st December 2007, 12:06 PM   #10
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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Yeah...I'm still thinking about it...Being as they were out of 4 gauge wire, and most the car places around here are as well, I'm probably going to be stuck with getting a stupid amp kit with half of stuff I don't need for $61-80 dollars when all I needed was about $40.00 worth of equipment. It's stupid now n days. You can't just get a amount of cable that you need anymore, you have to double your money on amp kits. How they make their money Anywho...My biggest problem was trying to find out where they ran the power wire and I figured out how to drop the glove compartment down and saw where it went out at. So I don't think it will be a problem at all to push it through from the outside in and pull the new wire in there. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do yet as it sounds awesome right now and I would just hate to have to resell that JL Audio amp.

So, my alternator is 60amps....I get what you are saying and all...so if I do this with the wiring and all I should be ok? Also, you say if I go bigger I might need to upgrade the alternator...Everyone is telling me to get a 4 channel amplifier...If I did that later next year, would that make me have to upgrade the alternator? I mean...There is no onboard fuses with this JL amp unlike the Alpine which has 40amps on it and I have another fuse between the battery and amp at 40amps. So I think the JL would help me out on my electrical system being as it only needs a external 40amp fuse to run it. The Alpine has like double that right (40amps on the amp and the inline 40amp fuse)? Is that how it works?

Thanks....
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