Upgrading Battery Cables - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Upgrading Battery Cables

Most people on other platforms perform "Big 3" upgrades to power large accessories. Obviously the LMM doesn't need any alternator upgrade or anything due to already running 2 batteries. Im just wondering if anybody has upgraded their grounds and power cables throughout the system?

Plan on adding a blue seas auxiliary box to neatly wire all of my accessories to, also have an upgraded audio system so figured while I'm at it I can replace all the grounds and majority of the cables running between the batteries. Wondering if anyone else has done this and made their own cables and want to share their experience.

Planning on running 2 Gauge most likely then covering each with respective PET Sleeving, Heat Shrink, and Soldered lugs.

Michael

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellassaiw10 View Post
Most people on other platforms perform "Big 3" upgrades to power large accessories. Obviously the LMM doesn't need any alternator upgrade or anything due to already running 2 batteries. Im just wondering if anybody has upgraded their grounds and power cables throughout the system?

Plan on adding a blue seas auxiliary box to neatly wire all of my accessories to, also have an upgraded audio system so figured while I'm at it I can replace all the grounds and majority of the cables running between the batteries. Wondering if anyone else has done this and made their own cables and want to share their experience.

Planning on running 2 Gauge most likely then covering each with respective PET Sleeving, Heat Shrink, and Soldered lugs.
Sort of. I bonded my two alternators together with 0000 welding cable, which is the same stuff I used to wire my 3kw inverter. The details are in the link in my signature. Works great but not the easiest stuff to work with and probably overkill for normal starting and charging duties, especially since it's about five bucks per foot. But the cable construction stuff may be relevant to your situation.

2017 Silverado 3500 LTZ (Summit White) | CC SB SRW | Z71 | Duramax L5P | Undercover Ultra Flex bed cover | Draw-Tite front receiver | AIMS 3kw inverter-charger | Titan Travel Trekker 50-gallon auxiliary fuel tank
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 12:54 PM
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Lofty goal, but after my recent venture into replacing all of the 13 yo crumbling flex wrap on everything, I'm not sure you have much extra room for a larger diameter running thru some of the narrow passageways I encountered, crossing over from one side to the other.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellassaiw10 View Post
Most people on other platforms perform "Big 3" upgrades to power large accessories. Obviously the LMM doesn't need any alternator upgrade or anything due to already running 2 batteries. Im just wondering if anybody has upgraded their grounds and power cables throughout the system?

Plan on adding a blue seas auxiliary box to neatly wire all of my accessories to, also have an upgraded audio system so figured while I'm at it I can replace all the grounds and majority of the cables running between the batteries. Wondering if anyone else has done this and made their own cables and want to share their experience.

Planning on running 2 Gauge most likely then covering each with respective PET Sleeving, Heat Shrink, and Soldered lugs.

not sure how this is obvious.... i would highly recommend upgrading the grounds and charging cables. The number of batteries has no bearing on the ability of the alternator to produce power, you have 2 batteries for cold weather starting, and the alternator is there to recharge them, and run the trucks electronics. While you should not test this on modern vehicles, a car or truck once running, will stay running if the battery is disconnected providing the alternator is working as designed. The battery serves a roll though in filtering AC ripple from the alternator, so for this reason you should not try this on modern transistor based vehicles.


I run 0 gauge OFC audio power wire for my grounds and power. There is 1 run that conencts both battery grounds to each other to prevent floating grounds between the two batteries, and 1 cable from each battery - to the frame. The run that connects battery to battery also connects the the firewall stud to ground the cab at the same potential, and from that lug there is a ground cable to the engine block.

For power there is a 0 gague OFC run from the alternator lug to each battery +.

So 7 cables in total, all with crimped then soldered lugs and split loom. 2 gauge would be fine, but its not a very common size wire in the car world, if your using 2G welding wire, i would recommend you dont, and instead use audio power wire, it is significantly more flexible and the jacket is designed for the environment. If you want even better cable, use marine grade, as its rated for higher exposure. when buying cable, ALWAYS buy OFC (oxygen free copper) and not CCA (copper clad aluminum). Make sure the cable is #AGW, so in your instance 2AWG, or in mine 0AWG. AWG is american wire gauge and is a actual standard. If you just buy 2G or 0G then the diameter of the conductor is not standardized and is up to the manufacturer to determine what there flavor of gauge means. This is how you get 0G wire on amazon for 30 cents a foot, because its 80% jacket and has a 1/4" of wire in the center.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook'em_Horns! View Post
Lofty goal, but after my recent venture into replacing all of the 13 yo crumbling flex wrap on everything, I'm not sure you have much extra room for a larger diameter running thru some of the narrow passageways I encountered, crossing over from one side to the other.
I promises there is room. Your looking at ~200 in cable and lugs and an hour or two of your time to get this done. Its really no where near as daunting as it appears.

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Last edited by J83; 11-20-2019 at 01:08 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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not sure how this is obvious.... i would highly recommend upgrading the grounds and charging cables. The number of batteries has no bearing on the ability of the alternator to produce power, you have 2 batteries for cold weather starting, and the alternator is there to recharge them, and run the trucks electronics. While you should not test this on modern vehicles, a car or truck once running, will stay running if the battery is disconnected providing the alternator is working as designed. The battery serves a roll though in filtering AC ripple from the alternator, so for this reason you should not try this on modern transistor based vehicles.


I run 0 gauge OFC audio power wire for my grounds and power. There is 1 run that conencts both battery grounds to each other to prevent floating grounds between the two batteries, and 1 cable from each battery - to the frame. The run that connects battery to battery also connects the the firewall stud to ground the cab at the same potential, and from that lug there is a ground cable to the engine block.

For power there is a 0 gague OFC run from the alternator lug to each battery +.

So 7 cables in total, all with crimped then soldered lugs and split loom. 2 gauge would be fine, but its not a very common size wire in the car world, if your using 2G welding wire, i would recommend you dont, and instead use audio power wire, it is significantly more flexible and the jacket is designed for the environment. If you want even better cable, use marine grade, as its rated for higher exposure. when buying cable, ALWAYS buy OFC (oxygen free copper) and not CCA (copper clad aluminum). Make sure the cable is #AGW, so in your instance 2AWG, or in mine 0AWG. AWG is american wire gauge and is a actual standard. If you just buy 2G or 0G then the diameter of the conductor is not standardized and is up to the manufacturer to determine what there flavor of gauge means. This is how you get 0G wire on amazon for 30 cents a foot, because its 80% jacket and has a 1/4" of wire in the center.




I promises there is room. Your looking at ~200 in cable and lugs and an hour or two of your time to get this done. Its really no where near as daunting as it appears.
2AWG was just what I was throwing out there, haven't actually got under the hood to see whats there or researched which size would be best yet. I only typed "gauge" instead of AWG because I was lazy making the post LOL.

Do you remember about how much you used length wise? Also where did you end up sourcing your wire from? Amazon has a ton of options so will take a little bit to view the specs and order decent wiring. 0AWG fit pretty well for you?

Another reason Im doing this is because I want to clean up the engine bay and get my OCD under control. Also will probably tackle re-wrapping the 11 year old looms that have disintegrated.

Michael

09 LMM
Leveled, Deleted, and Tinted, 5" Flo-Pro SS, EFI by Kory Willis, PCV Re-route, Fass 150.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook'em_Horns! View Post
Lofty goal, but after my recent venture into replacing all of the 13 yo crumbling flex wrap on everything, I'm not sure you have much extra room for a larger diameter running thru some of the narrow passageways I encountered, crossing over from one side to the other.
What method did you go with during the flex wrap? Also on my list of things to tackle.

Michael

09 LMM
Leveled, Deleted, and Tinted, 5" Flo-Pro SS, EFI by Kory Willis, PCV Re-route, Fass 150.
US Army Military Police
East Carolina Pirate Alumni
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 02:58 PM
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I didn't do it all in one swoop...it was a little here and there, when I was into something else.
All at once would greatly exceed my daily masochistic needs.

I think it started when I swapped in a new air filter (4/29/19) and the tiny MAF wires needed some love.
https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/a..._142640-1-.jpg

Grille replaced (hail), exposed all of the wiring up front.
Fender liners out reveals a huge trove of fun on both sides.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 04:12 PM
J83
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Originally Posted by bellassaiw10 View Post
2AWG was just what I was throwing out there, haven't actually got under the hood to see whats there or researched which size would be best yet. I only typed "gauge" instead of AWG because I was lazy making the post LOL.

Do you remember about how much you used length wise? Also where did you end up sourcing your wire from? Amazon has a ton of options so will take a little bit to view the specs and order decent wiring. 0AWG fit pretty well for you?

Another reason Im doing this is because I want to clean up the engine bay and get my OCD under control. Also will probably tackle re-wrapping the 11 year old looms that have disintegrated.
I had no issue with 0 gauge wire under the hood for the connections i mentioned above. I got my cable by the foot from

Kolossus Fleks Kable

IIRC i ordered 10' of red for the 2 alternator cables and 20' or so of black for the grounds. I ordered more just to be safe, i think you would be good with 6 and 15 if you wanted to save a few bucks. The wires $3.50 per foot.

This is marine rated 0G 99.99% OFC cable. It does not advertise to be 0AWG, however i have personally used it, and it is true 0AWG cable despite not specifically stating that. This is the best cable i have found quality to cost. It is really some good quality stuff at about half the cost of what the name brands would sell you.


Precut color coded heatshrink if you like:
Heat Shrink Tubing

Ring terminal ends:
Crimp Terminals

Personally i sourced those from amazon, as the ones on amazon were a little wider.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 04:16 PM
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What method did you go with during the flex wrap? Also on my list of things to tackle.
Split loom and or TechFlex can be bought in bulk rolls on amazon in common fraction sizes. Its also not real expensive and you have color options should you want to color code things like the power cables. I used green split loom to cover my fuel lines on my filter relocation so they dont accidentally get confused with the engine harnesses or something else.

Split loom is what is shown above in hooks picture, and is the same stuff that comes on the harnesses from the factory.

Tech Flex is braided plastic sleeve that you can put over wires. Im not a huge fan of tech flex but some people like it. It does look good over loom if you get a colored tech flex but its a pain in the butt to use on long cables.

Tesa tape is another option, there is an exterior tesa tape that is used to wrap engine harnesses on European cars. Its cut and abrasion resistant as well. When installing high power audio equipment i would put loom around the wires, then seal the loom in tesa tape. If you wear through that cable at that point, you did something very wrong.



Tesa:



Split Loom:



Tech Flex:
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Last edited by J83; 11-20-2019 at 04:24 PM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies and links, pretty much got it all figured out in my head now just need to order it all and get to work! I will go with color matched Tech Flex for the battery cables, and then harness tape to repair my corroded plastic looms, may even try some of the split sleeving tech flex with a combo of harness tape for the larger bundles of wire.

Michael

09 LMM
Leveled, Deleted, and Tinted, 5" Flo-Pro SS, EFI by Kory Willis, PCV Re-route, Fass 150.
US Army Military Police
East Carolina Pirate Alumni
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