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I'm replacing some wiring, and noticed in the wiring diagram in the service manual that alot of the wire is 18 gauge. Was going to use 16 or 14 to replace the 18, is that ok? Thought maybe bigger was better. Hope to do a complete rewire down the road, just replacing some things I'm coming across right how. Thanks Steve
 

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Larger does equal better, up to a point. Larger wire will allow a greater amp carrying capability, and will "run" cooler at low draw than a smaller wire will, extending the life of the outer coating. There is a point of diminishing returns though, as well as space/bundle size considerations. Bumping from 18 to 14 guage will almost double the current carrying capability of that conductor.

Roger
 
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SAE wire (Society of Automotive Engineers) does have some draw backs. It's used in the Automotive industry mostly due to cost reduction. It's bare copper wire and the stranding is fairly course. If you want to make a big improvement in quality move to Marine Grade AWG wire that's been tinned. If you buy Ancor wire you will get AWG (American Wire Gauge) which is larger in diameter than the same 18 Gauge SAE wire. Plus it's tinned so it won't oxidize like bare copper wire. It has a higher current carrying capacity for the same gauge and is rated at 600 volts and 105 degree C Dry and 75 degree C wet. You can buy this wire at most all marine supply stores like West Marine, Boaters World, Boat US etc. You can also by good quality nylon crimp terminals to match the wire. You can even get heat shrink crimp terminals if you want to seal the terminations.

Good stuff and comes in lots of colors.

Dan
 

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if you are using the factory bulkhead disconnect as the supply and increasing demand somewere on some circuit you should slow down a bit and really look at the factory diagram and make sure you are not loading up a small feed wire.

for instance when folks put halogen headlamps in were there used to be simple sealed beams,sometimes the bulkhead area cooks out from the increased load in combination with 30-40 years of oxidation on those little bulkhead connectors.

another thing is when you increase size without increasing it all the way using a new proper sized connector at the fuse box or bulkhead you have done nothing to increase load capacity.

the people who did that wiring or designed it at the factory know what they are doing,best to leave thier design alone unless it has been hacked and hanging down making-out with your shoe laces as you drive,then you do what you are doing and get out the diagram and replace it and delete the junk.

i see no problem doing what you are doing going to a larger size as long as the fuse ratings that were used are used again.

for us it is best to just bring a new fused feed in to supply our new goodies.
 
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