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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I seem to have lost the first series of pics for my Big 3. It was alternator > battery; battery > stock fuseblock B+ terminal and two grounds- one was the factory engine to battery reterminated with a better connector, and the second one was an additional ground to a nice pre-threaded bolt hole. All wiring was Streetwires 4 ga. blue. Connectors were a combo of Home Depot electrical dept. stuff and more gold plated SW I had from other projects. The battery terminals were old SW that had two allowances for screw connetors. You could fit 1 Power Ring, or maybe 3 flat rings.



In this first picture, I have cut the Kicker 0 ga. with a cutter from Harbor Freight This tool worked just fine- very clean on both ends. If you need a good cutter, buy it from HF.





The second pic shows a Scosche 0ga. connector crimped over with vice grips. That white goo is dielectric gel- I use it everywhere on my electric connections.





This pic shows the hydraulic crimpers starting to take a bite. The 0 ga. dies will NOT fit a connector unless you neck it down with vice grips first. They work great for 4 and 8 ga. connectors though; even the commercial grade 120V AC kinds.




This is the completed crimp. I pronounce it structuraly sound. Notice the depth of the bite on both sides. There is also no deformation of the ring itself. Two or three layers of heat shrink tubing and it's a wrap!




This is the "master" ground frame to battery (-). The termination on the end is a Streetwires GT 10, and I used some weaterstripping putty to seal the wire opening up.





This pic shows the wiring I'm working with and a test run of the 0 ga. The Monster Cable MPC 300's are sweet! But I can't get the cover on them because the rings aren't all lined up the same way. I don't have the power wire run to the back yet so that's why I have an open spot on the (+) terminal.




Here you can see two factory grounds freshened up. I also sanded both of the terminals as well. And I'm using a Dremel flex attachment to drill holes to mount the GT 10 block. Very little room to work with here. Measuring and accurately drilling was paramount. Pucker factor very high.




The crowning glory! Gel under each connector, primed and painted. More putty around the GT 10, and each connector also gets a couple layers of "Spray Elecrical Tape". It's kind of a clear rubbery coating. L-R is factory frame to (-), master frame to (-) and factory engine block to (-).




So did it work? Hellz yeah! I get 14.3v at startup, and a solid 14.0 most of the time. Down to 13.5 at idle and some stuff on. 13.0 at idle w/ AC and cooling fans on. 12.8 @ idle w/ AC, cooling fans, rear defroster, high beams and cabin fan on high. Is that an unrealistic load? No. It's going to work on a cool or humid morning, clearing the front and back windows and waiting at a stoplight. Overall, I gained about 3/4 to 1 volt over stock. Anything above 1500 RPM and I'm back up @ 14.0-14.2V. YAY!
 

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why would you use such a large cable with the idea of moving large current loads and then reduce the contact area by using dielectric grease?

I'm just curious does it provide anything beneficial other than insulating the areas where the grease is applied?
I am going to be doing the big 3 sometimes next week and want to know if there really is a benefit to the using the grease to seal in the connection and weather you applied it before you crimped or after?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To all:

Sorry about the late reply; the earlier server problems got me hung up in a loop as well. I add small amount of grease to the wire, then slide the terminal over that. The crimping pressure squeezes most of it out. Not sure if it acts as an insulator or not; I don't hink it does. I have a buddy who does maintenance on Navy radar units; they use that stuff on all the power connections, so I'll follow that logic. I use it for mostly to help prevent corrosion. Anywhere two metals touch- I'll give it a swipe of the DE grease.
 

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Dielectric is definately a non conductive insulator. That said, I use it on everything, after the connection is made. All my grounds in my car have been sanded down, tightened, and then smoothered in the stuff to prevent corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@ Toostubborn... YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT!

I farted around in the garage for a while. Squeezed out a glob of the DE gel. Put one probe on each end; not touching. Measured 0.L on my Radio Shack digital meter.

Smeared some on both probe tips, then wiped them off (lightly) with my fingers to simulate the compression of a crimp. When held oh so slightly apart, I got 4-4K ohms resistance. When they were in true contact, I was back down to 0.L.

So... Now what? I really don't wanna redo my crimps. I'd venture that the mechanical compression WILL affect a metal to metal contact, and the gel will guard against moisture intrusion, which I believe to be the main cause of corrosion in an automotive environment, galvanic corrosion included.

So... IMHO, crimp w/ gel > crimp with NO gel.

What sayeth the masses?
 

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@ Toostubborn... YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT!

I farted around in the garage for a while. Squeezed out a glob of the DE gel. Put one probe on each end; not touching. Measured 0.L on my Radio Shack digital meter.

Smeared some on both probe tips, then wiped them off (lightly) with my fingers to simulate the compression of a crimp. When held oh so slightly apart, I got 4-4K ohms resistance. When they were in true contact, I was back down to 0.L.

So... Now what? I really don't wanna redo my crimps. I'd venture that the mechanical compression WILL affect a metal to metal contact, and the gel will guard against moisture intrusion, which I believe to be the main cause of corrosion in an automotive environment, galvanic corrosion included.

So... IMHO, crimp w/ gel > crimp with NO gel.

What sayeth the masses?
This is where your experiment failed. A compression fitting like the one you made will squeeze the living hell out of all the grease that is between the fitting and the wire.

Same principal applies with copper pipes and brass fittings. Water is much more fluid and yet even under pressure AND from a much more dense material, it will not pass through (ie equivalent of insulating). Add to that the force difference between tons of crimping and pounds of a wrench in a water fitting.

IOW, trust the massed, the Navy knows what they are doing. ;)
 

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I am in the process of doing the big 3 upgrade and do have a few questions with regards to the factory wiring.

Do I remove the factory wiring or add the big 3 in addition to the factory wiring?

thank you.


Lee
 

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I am in the process of doing the big 3 upgrade and do have a few questions with regards to the factory wiring.

Do I remove the factory wiring or add the big 3 in addition to the factory wiring?

thank you.


Lee
Leave the factory wiring in place and add to it with your "big 3" wires- current will choose the path of lowest resistance, and voltage should improve if the factory wire represented a choke point.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've seen some people put a fuse between the alternator and the battery, but I don't see the value in that.

You DO need a fuse or circuit breaker between the battery and your amps. Competition rules state it must be within 18" of the battery, which is good advice. There are lots of different styles and ratings. It all depends on how much current you are working with.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a fusable link at the fuse/relay box under the hood. 95A alternator, 100A FL. Good enough for me! AFAIK, there's not fuseable link/meltable wire in the actual factory wiring run.
 

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My battery is in the trunk. From all the reading I gathered, it is recommended to have the ground wire as short as possible.

Would running a bigger gauge ground wire from the engine bay all the way back to the trunk be advisable?

Sorry for all the noob questions.


Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Not really- that's what the mass of metal of the car's frame is used for. If you ran a negative wire from everywhere back to the battery, you'd have twice as much wire, twice as much weight and a huge cable run as thick as your arm. Make sure you sand/grind every connection point down to shiny bare metal, use a true 4 or 0 ga. size ground, and decent crimp connectors. That should do it for ya!

Post pics if you have questions about what/where.
 
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