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HomeTips & GuidesCustom battery cables: A detailed guide about battery cable assemblies

Custom battery cables: A detailed guide about battery cable assemblies

About Custom battery cables, Battery cables are integral to any vehicle. One has to choose wisely because any cable fault can lead to issues like poor performance, damaged parts, or battery breakage.

The market is flooded with innumerable battery cable options, and nowadays, you can also find custom battery cables to fit into any vehicle type.

Let’s dig deeper into the details of custom battery cables.

Table of Contents

What are battery cable assemblies?

Battery cables comprise two heavy-gauge cables. The positive one is a wire in red casing, while the negative battery cable, also called ground cable/ground strap, comes in black. 

You can find battery cables at the front and center of your automobile’s electrical system. 

The positive battery cable connects directly to the starter. On the other hand, a negative battery cable connects to the vehicle’s chassis so that the starter and other parts complete their circuits on activation of switches. Battery cables and terminals together form a closed loop between the battery and the starter, allowing continuous power transmissions.

As the battery cables connect to different parts through sharp turns, they need to be strong and durable. 

This cable has a rating of up to 60 volts DC and various gauge sizes. Depending on their installation in cars, buses, trucks, RVs, or tractors, you can choose different battery cables.

Battery cables

Battery cables

Custom cattery cable assemblies considerations:

Let’s read about the different specifications required to manufacture a battery cable.

Battery Cable:

Gauge:

The wire gauge is the most important thing to consider during battery cable manufacturing. If you choose a heavier gauge than required, it may not distribute current effectively. 

On the contrary, an extra thin gauge wire may lead to short circuits, ultimately leading to engine fire.

AWG gaugeApplication
10Suitable for low-power alternators, accessory cable leads and starter wires.
8Suitable for low-power alternators and accessory cables.
6Suitable for accessory cables, stock alternators and golf cart wiring. They are also useful as battery cables for small engines like light utility vehicles. 
4Used as battery cables in some cars. Works best as accessory cable leads and alternator wires, automobile booster cables, used as battery banks in some electric all-terrain vehicles.
2Suitable for four-cylinder and 6-cylinder (small) automobile engines, alternators over 160 amperes and high-power accessories. Also good as a battery bank in golf carts. Performs well as heavy-duty jumper cables.
1Suitable for six-cylinder (large engines) and eight-cylinder (small) engines.And also for small stock V8 engines. Also suitable for high-output alternators in the 200A range.
1/0 Highly suitable as battery cable for high-performing six-cylinder and stock V8 engines.
2/0Suitable for all sorts of high-crank engines like diesel, big blocks or high compression. EV battery banks and RV converter batteries.
3/0Suitable for large diesel and marine engines and for high-power battery banks with alternative energy.
4/0Suitable for large diesel and marine engines and for high-power battery banks with alternative energy.

Stranding:

The wire stranding is responsible for its flexibility. In automobile applications, you don’t need battery cables with too much flexibility as, more or less, they will remain at a fixed position, lying from the battery to the alternator/starter.

However, some automobile applications need flexible battery cables as connected equipment moves frequently. In such cases, you must pick the high strand count cables.

Also, note that current always flows towards the outer side of the wire; thus, higher strand wire shows higher conductivity as there is a wider surface area. 

This point also becomes essential in choosing wires with higher strands.

Conductor material:

For battery cables, you need a standard wire with at least 99.9% pure copper. 

OFC with 99-95% pure copper looks good, but you must pay twice for OFC as compared to standard copper wires. 

The price wouldn’t matter if it would have brought a considerable difference in the electrical performance, but that’s not the case.

Also, never opt for CCA or copper-clad aluminum. As aluminum has only 60% conductivity as copper, you will have to buy a wire with two sizes larger for the same conductivity. 

So, if you are using a copper wire of 6 gauge, you will have to use an aluminum wire of 2 gauge for the same application. 

Insulation:

Battery cables in automobile applications have to bear high-temperature conditions and get continuously exposed to chemicals and oils.

 This makes it necessary to have strong and durable insulation that can withstand all these adverse situations. 

Generally, battery cables used are SGX and SAE-type SGT for automobile applications. 

SGT battery cables have polyvinyl chloride insulation, which can withstand temperatures up to 105 degrees Celsius. 

On the contrary, SGX battery cables have cross insulation and thus can survive in temperatures above 125 degrees Celsius. Also, they are resistant to abrasion.

Battery cable terminals:

You can choose from the innumerable connector types; the common one is the standard battery terminal. 

They are available in right-angle and straight configurations and fit with different wire gauges. Mostly, they are made of copper and are found in bare and plated variations.

Wire length:

How long a battery cable should be largely depends on the voltage lost or the voltage drop along the length of the cable. 

As the wire length increases, the resistance increases, leading to a voltage drop below a certain level. 

Voltage drop = Current (in amps) * Resistance (in ohms)

A high gauge or thin wire has a higher voltage drop than a smaller gauge or thick wire, as the cross-sectional area of a wire is inversely proportional to the wire resistance.

The following table shows the wire lengths (in feet) for different DC systems at different amps and wire gauges.

12 volts DC

  AMPS
GaugeLengths (in feet)100300500700900
630106
44816107
276251511
19732191411
1/012241241714
2/015451312217
3/019465392822
4/024582493527

24 volts DC

AMPS                                             
GaugeLengths (in feet)100300500700900
6602012
496321914
215251302217
119465392822
1/024481493527
2/0308103624434
3/0388129785543
4/0490163987054

36 volts DC

AMPS
GaugeLengths (in feet)100300500700900
6903018
4144482921
222876463325
129197584232
1/0366122735241
2/0462154926651
3/05821941168365
4/073524514710582

48 volts DC

  Amps
GaugeLengths (in feet)100300500700900
61204024
4192643827
23041016143
1388129785543
1/0488163987054
2/06162051238868
3/077625915511186
4/0980327196140109

60 volts DC

                        Amps
GaugeLengths (in feet)100300500700900
61505030
4240804834
23801277654
1485162976954
1/06102031228768
2/077025715411086
3/0970323194139108
4/01225408245175136

Custom battery cable assembly solutions at Cloom:

You can look for custom battery cable assembly solutions for your automobile applications.

Marine rating battery cable:

The marine rating refers to the Coast Guard specifications for marine applications.

 You can find varieties of “marine” wires, but they must withstand high temperatures and wet conditions.

 Also, the wires should have a self-extinguishing nature.

The fuse link, looking like a wire, is a slow-acting fuse. Generally, a fuse link is a 6-9 inch wire four sizes smaller than the wire intended to protect. 

For example, if you are using a 16-gauge wire, it will use a 12-gauge wire as a fuse link. 

The high-temperature insulation around the link doesn’t burn in extreme conditions,  protecting the wire from overload and reducing hazards when the battery cable melts.

  • IP67 sealed fuse link in the battery cable
  • Fusible Link sizes ranging from 10 AWG to 20 AWG
  • Custom fuse link options are available due to separate cables and sub-assemblies for easy splicing into the existing products.
  • Different form factors available for Maxi, INMEGA and INMIDI
  • Available in two temperature options, i.e. 105 and 125 degrees Celsius

Tapered post battery cable:

  • You can find its terminals in forged bronze, stamped brass and lead
  • Can find Lead castings with/without steel rings for reinforcement
  • Tin-plated terminals with brass stamping for wires ranging from gauges 6-2
  • Heat shrink covering and other options available to meet the needs of the final products
  • Multiple hardware options for plating, double-headed nuts, and multiple lengths
  • Different configurations for different wires like 90-degree flags, side leads, etc.
  • For wires from gauge 8 to gauge 4/0, lead cast heads are available

Ring-to-ring battery cable:

  • Options available in copper and brass with different plating combinations
  • For wire gauges 8-2, open barrel terminals are available
  • For wire gauges 8-4/0, closed barrel terminals available
  • Heavy duty pull test passed
  • Different options for connector overmolding
  • Can crimp more than one wire in one terminal

Custom battery cables: Flat or ground straps:

  • Round/flat wires for ground straps
  • When connecting to the chassis, launch lug terminals help remove paint
  • Terminal options include lug, lead cast, open barrel, stamped thimble
  • Braided copper strand without insulation, allowing easy routing and lesser occupied space.

Custom battery cables: Booster cable:

  • Co-extruded cables in different wire gauges of 2, 4, 6 and 8.
  • Options are available for molded or printed stripes for conductor differentiation.
  • Unique part design and special cutting equipment for slitting circuits.
  • Suitable for tight spaces where you must transfer battery power through a vehicle.

Custom battery cables: Battery cable repair splices:

Most vehicles come with an entire battery harness assembly. If any damage occurs, replacing the whole assembly is difficult and expensive. Thus, you can only replace the corroded and damaged portion with repair splices.

The process involves the following steps-

  • Cut the damaged cable terminal
  • Strip off the cable insulation
  • Insert the repair splice in between
  • Connect the splice again to the battery.

Using repair splices is an easy and practical solution, where you replace the damaged part but still get the OEM-style fitting.

Booster cables

Booster cables

Conclusion:

Still have any doubts about custom battery cable assemblies? Contact Cloom, as we will provide customized solutions catering to your specific needs.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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