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Engine detailing with electrical wire

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  • Member since
    August, 2014
Engine detailing with electrical wire
Posted by Sparkmaster75 on Tuesday, January 06, 2015 6:20 PM
I've noticed a few posts asking about what wire to use for certain wires and hoses for detailing engines. I've created a simple guide using the wire dimensions from the National Electric Code. All wire sizes are bare conductors. I'm working on getting the insulated sizes. I'm a eletrician by trade and have access to all the common wire sizes. Here is what I have so far. Remember this is bare connductor size.

28 guage wire is approximately the scale size of 8 And 9 millimeter plug wire
26 guage is scale for 3/8 fuel line
24 guage is scale for 5/8 heater hose
14 guage is scale for 1 3/4 radiator hose
12 guage is scale for 2 inch radiator hose.

These are approximate sizes. To use insulated wire you need to step down a guage. Wire guage numbers are the higher the number the smaller the wire.

I hope this helps some!
  • Member since
    December, 2014
Posted by SuperCobraJet on Tuesday, January 06, 2015 8:00 PM

Cool, thanks for for posting.

On the bench:  Kemp's IMSA Cobra Mustang II,  1:1 1970 Mustang Grandé

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by Sparkmaster75 on Thursday, January 08, 2015 7:09 AM
In my initial post I forgot to mention that even though the AWG chart lists odd sizes like 21 guage wire is usually sold in even numbers. Once I have completed this research I'll be adding the correct drill sizes for the size wire used. I'm not a stickler for exact scaling of things, but there are some wired engines that look to have had bigger wire than needed for plug wires and such.
  • Member since
    November, 2014
Posted by FerrariJack on Thursday, January 08, 2015 1:42 PM

thank you for posting this!  This is something cool I can print and tape up near my bench for reference.   I do have a question for you,  when I use a pair of wire strippers,  the number on the grrove I am using is that the size of the metal wire or the the rubber that surrounds it?  I notice you mention bare conductor size in your post

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by Sparkmaster75 on Thursday, January 08, 2015 4:47 PM
Ferrari, most wire strippers have numbers on either side of the hole. One is for stranded wire and the other is for solid. Those numders are for the actual wire not the insulation. When I said bare conductor it means the size of the wire less the insulation. I'm still working on getting the sizes with the insulation still on the wire. The "JOB" makes it a little slow for me to get all the wires measured up with my calipers.

Thanks for checking it out.
  • Member since
    February, 2013
Posted by 1940fORD on Friday, January 09, 2015 10:32 AM

Thanks.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by Sparkmaster75 on Saturday, January 17, 2015 10:09 AM
I finally got around to getting some information on insulated wire sizes and bit sizes.
30 guage wire sold by Radio Shack is 0.037 mm with the insulation. It requires a #107 bit
22 guage is between 1.20mm and 1.67 mm depending on the source. Bit size is #65 or # 61
24 guage is 1.06 mm insulated and needs a #58 bit
12 guage is 3 mm and needs a #31 bit
Note: Due to the different manufactures of wire some insulation is thicker than others. The infodmation here comes from actual caliper readings. To convert them from 1:1 sizes I used a scale calculator app downloaded to my tablet from Google.
  • Member since
    August, 2004
Posted by TOPNOTCH on Monday, January 19, 2015 9:22 AM

HI,  Radio Shack has been a source for fine wire for years, there selection is endless. Another source is old telephone cable , talk to your telephone repairman he usually has excess to old cable, it comes in a multitude of colors, you just have to separate the colors.

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • From: Charlotte, NC
Posted by ragtop63 on Monday, January 19, 2015 6:49 PM

I too get my wire from Radio Shack. Sadly they are about to go under, so get it while you can!

Ragtop is now in Charlotte! Check out my builds!

  • Member since
    December, 2014
Posted by farmallgray on Monday, February 02, 2015 3:05 PM

If you know the size in MM you don't even need to do any calculating. 1 mm is basically 1" in 1/25 scale. So your .37 wire is .37" or about 3/8" in scale and your 1.2mm is 1.2" or about  1-1/4" in scale  the 3mm would be 3"and so on.

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cape Coral Florida
Posted by BigTallDad on Monday, February 02, 2015 5:18 PM

farmallgray

If you know the size in MM you don't even need to do any calculating. 1 mm is basically 1" in 1/25 scale. So your .37 wire is .37" or about 3/8" in scale and your 1.2mm is 1.2" or about  1-1/4" in scale  the 3mm would be 3"and so on.

Or, stated in another fashion...one inch in real scale equals one millimeter in 1/25.

"In order to teach a dog, you must first be smarter than the dog" P.R. Ferguson

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Powell River, B.C.
Posted by CLASSIC770 on Monday, February 02, 2015 6:08 PM

I've been getting wire from old telephone cables, and particularly from wired computer mice.

In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin’s minstrels. And there was much rejoicing. 

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cape Coral Florida
Posted by BigTallDad on Sunday, March 01, 2015 5:52 PM

I don't believe the OP was looking for sources, he/she was defining wire sizes. What are the wire sizes from the old phone cables/wired computer mice?

"In order to teach a dog, you must first be smarter than the dog" P.R. Ferguson

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Powell River, B.C.
Posted by CLASSIC770 on Monday, March 02, 2015 12:06 AM

Thanks, BTD, I have never thought to check, since it eyeballed just fine for me.  It comes out at .020 for the mouse/USB wire, .035 approx for phone wire.  I seem to remember bell wire was thicker in the olden days, the stuff was stiffer for sure.  I wired a BBChevy in the mid-80s with it, still retains its shape, but oversize.  Checking just now reads .037.  Anything was better than thread.  I use brass wire on a spool for decorative leather lacing.  Offhand, I'd guesstimate .015, but it is bare wire, doesn't take paint well.  Maybe linkages, etc.

In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin’s minstrels. And there was much rejoicing. 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by Sparkmaster75 on Monday, March 02, 2015 3:08 PM
I was just trying to help the guy who wanted to buy wire from Radio Shack to save a buck or two. I'm not that particular when it comes to scaling, but I've seen some engines done with wire way to big to even look close to the real deal. I just was doing a little research asn I've seen some questions about it. If it looks good to you thats all that matters. Encourage a youngster our hobby depends on it!
  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by Modelsinc on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 4:52 AM
could have not said it better!

My website: http://modelsinc.yolasite.com/

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