Go Back OFN Forums > Fabrication > Fabrication 101

Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.


Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-02-2014, 09:44 PM
2Xtreme's Avatar
2Xtreme 2Xtreme is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 189
Big box home improvement store wire...

I've noticed at the major auto parts stores you can only get wire up to 20' or so in length.

Walking through one of the big box home improvement stores today, I noticed 25', 50', 100' rolls of 'THHN' (??) stranded wire.

Is this suitable for 12v automotive use?

Thanks in advance!

2X
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-03-2014, 03:04 PM
Brian1's Avatar
Brian1 Brian1 is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 642
No for a few reasons. The outer coating is usually not oil and other automotive chemical resistant, it is not heat resistant and it is usually thinner which means it could chafe much easier and arc to the metal it is in contact with. The individual wire strands are also thicker than automotive type wire which means they will break quicker from vibrations and bends/movement

I buy 100' spools of automotive wire from Waytekwire, the pricing is usually much better than the shorter wires you can find at auto parts stores.
__________________
Brian
1942 Flatfender Crawler/1991 Explorer Overlander/1991 Explorer Trail Truck
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:42 PM
2Xtreme's Avatar
2Xtreme 2Xtreme is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 189
That's what I assumed.

I just hate having an extra splice, just to get the length I need.

And since most of my work is repairs (sigh), I'm not usually able to plan ahead and order in advance....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:58 PM
TheBandit's Avatar
TheBandit TheBandit is offline
Instagram @chevyhotrodder
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ventura County CA
Posts: 4,330
You need TXL at a minimum. SXL or GXL can also be used - they have thicker insulation. THHN is not rated for oil and heat.

You can buy black and red TXL by the roll. Cheapest source I found for different color or multi-packs of colored wiring was motorsportswiring.com

David Gilbert Motorsports Wiring 360-624-1955

I think Waytech may still be cheaper for longer lengths but they have minimums.
__________________
Clint

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.

Last edited by TheBandit; 08-03-2014 at 06:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-04-2014, 01:26 AM
wyoming9's Avatar
wyoming9 wyoming9 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Tripoli Pa. out in the woods
Posts: 2,198
Red face

If you know your going to be doing electrical repairs why don`t you have the wire before you need it.

I most often buy in 250' or 500' rolls what ever I get the best price.

I am lucky we have a factory a few miles away that makes automotive wire.
__________________
Some days it takes longer to pick which welder

then to do the welding
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-04-2014, 07:25 AM
Graham08's Avatar
Graham08 Graham08 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 1,723
Learned something here. I wired my trailer with THHN, no issues so far, but that's a little different than the typical "automotive" application. It's good to know what the right materials are to do a job, because the time and effort involved are the same either way, and they double when you have to do it over with the right stuff.

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-04-2014, 01:25 PM
2Xtreme's Avatar
2Xtreme 2Xtreme is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoming9 View Post
If you know your going to be doing electrical repairs why don`t you have the wire before you need it.

I most often buy in 250' or 500' rolls what ever I get the best price.

I am lucky we have a factory a few miles away that makes automotive wire.
That's a good point. But the possible combinations of gages/ colors is pretty long.

What do you keep on hand?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 03:07 PM
TheBandit's Avatar
TheBandit TheBandit is offline
Instagram @chevyhotrodder
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ventura County CA
Posts: 4,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham08 View Post
Learned something here. I wired my trailer with THHN, no issues so far, but that's a little different than the typical "automotive" application. It's good to know what the right materials are to do a job, because the time and effort involved are the same either way, and they double when you have to do it over with the right stuff.

I used THHN for my teardrop trailer wiring. There is no engine heat or oil nearby, so I wasn't too concerned. The only additional concern is vibration/rubbing, but the insulation on THHN seemed sufficient with looming. I think the bigger concern there is on connectors/terminals. I used crimp plus solder on those; wish I had a wire welding machine.
__________________
Clint

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-04-2014, 03:52 PM
Graham08's Avatar
Graham08 Graham08 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 1,723
I used heat shrink + glue crimp connectors from Del City on my trailer. Plus lots of grommets, clamps every 12" and tape in between the clamps so the wiring couldn't move around much. The only issue I've had is the loom I got from Summit Racing to bundle the wires together where they go into the trailer connector is not resistant to UV light. It has started to disappear in the two years since I rewired the trailer. Should've used heat shrink...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2014, 04:41 PM
TheBandit's Avatar
TheBandit TheBandit is offline
Instagram @chevyhotrodder
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ventura County CA
Posts: 4,330
Just to add info to the thread. TXL, SXL and GXl use cross-linked polyethylene insulation. THHN uses PVC + nylon. They both tend to use bare stranded copper conductor, but THHN can technically also be aluminum.

Temperature rating and thickness/weight are the main differences:
TXL -40 to 125C, 0.078in dia (18awg)
THHN -105 to 80C, 0.090in dia (18awg)
__________________
Clint

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-05-2014, 07:14 AM
Graham08's Avatar
Graham08 Graham08 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 1,723
I don't think you will find much THHN wire that's aluminum in the sizes you would want for a car. Aluminum wiring in small gauges is against code in most places so it's not made anymore. Big stuff still can be aluminum (think main feed into a house), and is in a lot of cases because of the outrageous cost of copper these days.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-20-2014, 11:37 AM
RogueFab's Avatar
RogueFab RogueFab is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 154
I usually hit Ebay for 12v wire. Just make sure you buy from a seller that knows what they are doing. Lots of jerks selling speaker wire for auto use. Obviously a no-no.
__________________
Air/Hydraulic tube benders- $650 with 180 degree die set
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:26 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Template-Modifications by TMS
Copyright 2012, Offroad Fabrication Network