Wire gauge size for power windows?

Electrical and Ignition

  1. Rudy`s Ride

    Rudy`s Ride Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, I am looking for recommendations on what gauge wire to use for my power windows. The motors I am using are from a 88 Ram and are the small Delco motors. The leads coming off the motors seem to be 16 gauge at most. I will be using relays inside the doors to take the load off the switches. Do you think 12 gauge wire to the relays is good or is it overkill.
    Thanks Mike
     
  2. bbeep71

    bbeep71 Well-Known Member

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    I think 14 gauge would be find for that application and easier to work with.
     

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  3. KitCarlson

    KitCarlson Well-Known Member

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    There are too many unknowns to give you a good answer. DC motors tend to pull the current to drive the load. More load, more current. If the supply voltage is low due to voltage drop, the current increases, resulting in more voltage drop... voltage drop increases both with wire gauge number and length. At some point the motor will stall, and brushes and windings burn. Modern motors have protection circuits, to limit current.

    The Ram was designed for power windows, so the track friction, window weight and gearing were likely designed for that. If you are using to rig up for an a-body, the electrical load may be much higher.

    One way to get an estimate of the current is to measure it, then the wire can be sized for length of run. Or use the #12 and see what happens.
     
  4. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The wire size going to the motors now is a heck of a good indication. "Whatever they are" if you upgrade it one size, I'm sure you will be "fine."
     
  5. crackedback

    crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    In the power window relay kits I build, 12ga is used for all power carrying circuits.
     
  6. Rudy`s Ride

    Rudy`s Ride Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I think that I will use #12 going to relays to be safe. Can never have too much power.
     
  7. straightlinespeed

    straightlinespeed Sometimes I pretend to be normal Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    The wires I've seen on the wire kits (Painless, EZ, etc...) are 12ga for the power windows and power locks.
     
  8. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    12 awg seems over-kill, but seems to be what my M-B cars use. Why not check the wiring schematic for the RAM you pulled it from (web search)? More important is to use the right type of wire. It flexes every time you open the door. Those wires broke in one of my M-B. You want twisted wire with many fine strands. Multimeter lead wire is designed for that. The toughest environment is robotics. You might check ebay for small quantities.
     
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