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Old 01-05-2017, 09:26 AM   #1
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Running wires though the cab

I need to run some 4 ga. wires/cables from my battery back through the engine compartment and into the cab for an inverter.

Is there an optimal area in the engine compartment to do this? Where is the best access with the most room?
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
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I need to run some 4 ga. wires/cables from my battery back through the engine compartment and into the cab for an inverter.

Is there an optimal area in the engine compartment to do this? Where is the best access with the most room?
I ran mine through the firewall on the driver's side just above the wheel well. On the gas engine vans, unbolting the cooling system tank and moving it aside provides enough room. I used a step drill on an extension and it worked great.

Scott
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:13 PM   #3
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Funny story (maybe).

I stopped by the shop of my alarm guy to see if he had any of the battery terminals that allow multiple connections to the battery.



We were talking about running a wire underneath the van along the frame and popping it back up through the floorboard in the rear of the van.

He told me to pop the hood to see what setup I had so he could make a good recommendation. We looked at the terminal and noticed two large, red cables (0 gauge and 4 gauge). already connected, one was the battery cable, the other was unknown.

He asked my where the 2nd cable went and I didn't know but I did remember seeing a similar red cable under my passenger swivel seat that had been terminated.

Long story short, the cable was already in place. We hooked up the inverter in 20 minutes and I now have 1000W of power in the interior of my van.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:59 AM   #4
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I ran mine through the firewall on the driver's side just above the wheel well. On the gas engine vans, unbolting the cooling system tank and moving it aside provides enough room. I used a step drill on an extension and it worked great.

Scott
This is exactly what I've done. There's plenty of room for a drill to get in there from the engine side and you can go just to the left of the factory wiring harness, just in front of the parking brake. I dropped my 4 gauge wire alongside the factory wiring harness through the channel under the driver's step-well. If you pop your trim off the step (just pull on it) you'll see just what I mean. For my aux battery I went right through the back wall of the step-well to outside to a frame mounted battery. You can just as easily go up into the cabin at the back of the step-well, right beside the seat belt lower mounting point. Let me know if you need pics. This is a tidy way to run wires from the engine bay to inside the back of the van, and probably why Ford chose it too.

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Old 01-06-2017, 10:01 AM   #5
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I like to use the grommets shown below since they are mostly waterproof and easy to deal with.

I also like to use the higher quality Military style battery terminal connections rather than the car audio style above. They last a lot longer and are far more secure. Just my observations...

Scott
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:36 AM   #6
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Sweet, I just order a set of those military style ones with covers!! Gotta add the run to the House battery and rework the factory cables from the alt and starter etc and add a bigger frame ground to match the 1/0. Routing the 1/0 is gonna be good times, but I got a smoking deal on it, Ancor for about 2 bucks a ft.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:39 AM   #7
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Sweet, I just order a set of those military style ones with covers!! Gotta add the run to the House battery and rework the factory cables from the alt and starter etc and add a bigger frame ground to match the 1/0. Routing the 1/0 is gonna be good times, but I got a smoking deal on it, Ancor for about 2 bucks a ft.
Pro tip for large stranded cable....leave it in the sun for a little bit before installing. Helps a lot with manipulating into tight spots.

What are you using to crimp the terminals onto the wire? Are you planning to use adhesive-lined heat shrink over the joints? Just curious

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Old 01-06-2017, 10:49 AM   #8
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Bought a hydraulic crimping tool

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And yes, I have adhesive lined shrink tube from Ancor.

I have a dozen connections to make at least, so the crimping tool is a good buy.

What I learned about crimps is to make sure there are no gaps in the lug except for the cable entry and then use the adhesive shrink tube to completely seal it. Some lugs can have a gap on the front, but the tinned lugs typically do not, especially those that are marine grade.

Mouser has a good selection of the Heyco cord grips and nuts to go through the panels. they get big for the larger battery cables.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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Bought a hydraulic crimping tool

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And yes, I have adhesive lined shrink tube from Ancor.

I have a dozen connections to make at least, so the crimping tool is a good buy.

What I learned about crimps is to make sure there are no gaps in the lug except for the cable entry and then use the adhesive shrink tube to completely seal it. Some lugs can have a gap on the front, but the tinned lugs typically do not, especially those that are marine grade.

Mouser has a good selection of the Heyco cord grips and nuts to go through the panels. they get big for the larger battery cables.
Agreed completely, open ended lugs are not good for adverse conditions.

From experience, try multiple crimps on spare wire before doing an actual connection. I used a high end TemCo hydraulic unit and their cable sizing recommendations were completely wrong and left the terminal about 50% crimped. I now use a manual TemCo hammer style unit that has been fault-free and offers a very solid and reliable crimp. Below are pics of a recent house battery job with 2/0 cable. Came out really clean and nice looking.
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20151123_111736.jpg   20151123_110231.jpg   20151123_095855.jpg   2015-11-22 20.48.05.jpg  
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Good stuff Scott and Flux. Thanks for the link on that crimper. Talk about a lifetime tool! I think I can justify it these days. Making do with my light duty crimping techniques is not good.
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