Copper Clad Aluminum wire on an auxiliary battery installation

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opfor2

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I'm getting ready to install an auxiliary battery set up on my 2011 SSV, and I'm wondering if I should be concerned about using Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) primary automotive wire verses pure cooper?

 

mikez71

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I don't trust it.. but I don't know anything about it.

For smaller wires, I ordered some sxl wires from ebay. You get enough length with a selection of colors.
The insulation is less soft and can take higher heat. Probably didn't need it, but it feels better :)

Battery cables, sounds like SGX > SGT..
 
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SnowDrifter

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Nope don't touch it

Stuff isn't suited for under hood use. Copper + aluminum react via galvanic corrosion. You also can't solder it, which means you need a crimper. And, politely, a bench vice doesn't count!

Use marine grade wire - tinned copper. It'll hold up to the chemical/moisture exposure

 

Joseph Garcia

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IMO, you should use solid copper wire instead. It has a much lower internal electrical resistance and is subject to less corrosion.
 

Scrappycrow

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I would only use copper. Size the wire for the length & amperage, then consider the wire and the connectors as a system. I prefer using solder terminals that utilize solder pellets, then sealing the joint with heavy-duty adhesive-lined shrink tubing.

Some sources besides those mentioned above:


 

strutaeng

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I didn't know they had that for battery cables. I have used that copper clad for speaker wires before (in-wall).

And aluminum wire is still used in main feeders and stuff like that on buildings, just not individual branches like they used in the old days. My main panel to detached garage subpanel is aluminum, which is like a 80 A or something) that's used for welders, air compressors and tools.

You can always buy the next size up to keep the wire from getting loaded as much.
 
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j91z28d1

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whatever wire you use, please don't solder battery terminals. crimp and if you must, solder after crimp.
 

petethepug

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Good question. Good info. Aluminum was supposed to be the fix for rising copper prices. Aluminum contracts & expands from thermal loads. That loosens the connectors made of dissimilar metals. Loose connectors means arcing. Arcing started fires.

Aluminum is ok for power as long as it’s up to code and using connectors that are rated not to interact. I can’t figure why they’d make CCA for automotive use when it’s in play, live, literally moving and susceptible to damage as any vehicle is.
 

waveryd

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I'm getting ready to install an auxiliary battery set up on my 2011 SSV, and I'm wondering if I should be concerned about using Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) primary automotive wire verses pure cooper?

Yes, you should.
 
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