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Heater Hose and Spark Plug Wires/Boots wire sizes?


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I know this has been asked a million times, but I figured I'd ask this question. I have searched a lot, but have not found the exact answer I am looking for.

I am wanting to run heater hoses and battery cables on the 69 Nova I am working on, as well as all of my future projects.  I'm just wondering what is the best size to use for 1/24 1/25 scale.  I also want to do plug wires and boots on this as well as my future projects.

 

I had previously bought a Detail Master distributor kit with the wires and boots. I measured them with my calipers and it seems that the plug wires themselves measured 0.014" or 36mm which gauges to 27 gauge wire, and this is a solid core black colored wire.

The boot measured 0.038" or 0.92mm, which is 19 gauge wire, and is a stranded wire with insulation. This size looks pretty good to me for stock wires.

20161109_212319.jpg

20161109_212302.jpg

 

I found some 30 gauge wrapping wire on Ebay in multiple colors that I have ordered for my future builds, plug wires, electrical wiring, etc. But I can't find the small wire to make the boots out of, can anyone help me out?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/152141964681?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

What should I use for heater hoses and battery cables? As in, what is the best gauge wire to use for them?

 

Thanks in advance,

Scott

Edited by lghtngyello03
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I like using telephone wire for heater hoses. I don't know what gauge it is, I would guess 24. I use 32 gauge wire for stock plug wires, 30 gauge looks a little big to me. Bear in mind that the gauge of the wire is for the wire only, it does not include the insulation. Insulated 32 gauge wire is about the same size as bare 30 gauge. I have used 30 gauge insulated wire for battery cables, it looks OK to me. Hope that helps.

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What should I use for heater hoses and battery cables? As in, what is the best gauge wire to use for them?

Real heater hose is very often 3/4" or 5/8" ID. A 3/4" ID hose will have an OD of about one inch or a little more. Divide one inch by 25. You get .040", so that would be a reasonable hose diameter in 1/24 or 1/25 scale. That's also about 1mm. in case you find something that has metric dimensions on the package.

Real battery cables are usually a smaller OD than heater hoses, but obviously larger than plug wires. So...what's between your  .014" plug wires and your .040" hoses? It's about .027".

Wire "gauge" is ALWAYS listed by the diameter of the CONDUCTOR, inside the insulation. Insulation is NOT always the same thickness from wire to wire, so you won't always get correct-looking wire if you buy it by the "gauge".

Do yourself a favor and buy a cheap digital-readout caliper (about $15) and measure the stuff you find in craft or electronics stores to see if it will work and look right.

And remember...all you have to do to know the right size for a scale ANYTHING is to measure the real one and divide by the scale you're working in. Open the hood on your car, measure the diameter of the heater hoses, and divide by 25 (if you're working in 1/25 scale).

You'll get the RIGHT answer every time if you just go by this simple rule.   :D

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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I like using telephone wire for heater hoses. I don't know what gauge it is, I would guess 24. I use 32 gauge wire for stock plug wires, 30 gauge looks a little big to me. Bear in mind that the gauge of the wire is for the wire only, it does not include the insulation. Insulated 32 gauge wire is about the same size as bare 30 gauge. I have used 30 gauge insulated wire for battery cables, it looks OK to me. Hope that helps.

the wire I have for plugs is solid core non insulated that came with the detail master kit. 

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Real heater hose is very often 3/4" or 5/8" ID. A 3/4" ID hose will have an OD of about one inch or a little more. Divide one inch by 25. You get .040", so that would be a reasonable hose diameter in 1/24 or 1/25 scale. That's also about 1mm. in case you find something that has metric dimensions on the package.

Real battery cables are usually a smaller OD than heater hoses, but obviously larger than plug wires. So...what's between your  .014" plug wires and your .040" hoses? It's about .027".

Wire "gauge" is ALWAYS listed by the diameter of the CONDUCTOR, inside the insulation. Insulation is NOT always the same thickness from wire to wire, so you won't always get correct-looking wire if you buy it by the "gauge".

Do yourself a favor and buy a cheap digital-readout caliper (about $15) and measure the stuff you find in craft or electronics stores to see if it will work and look right.

And remember...all you have to do to know the right size for a scale ANYTHING is to measure the real one and divide by the scale you're working in. Open the hood on your car, measure the diameter of the heater hoses, and divide by 25 (if you're working in 1/25 scale).

You'll get the RIGHT answer every time if you just go by this simple rule.   :D

thanks for the tips..I have a mitutoyo caliper that got from work when we took it out of calibration...work in a CMM lab. Lol. I knew about the calculation tip..just was wondering what people were using first hand for heater hoses that looked the best.

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Another tip- don't use anything with a glossy sheen for plug wires, boots, heater hoses, nor vacuum lines. Battery cable insulation has a slight hint of gloss to their finish, but not a glossy shine.

Detail Master offers lengths of scale heater hose, too: http://www.detailmaster.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=detailmaster&Product_Code=DM-1420

Edited by Casey
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-I myself? I use 30 gauge wire for the plug wires, whatever "boot" insulation to fit that snugly, and then battery cables to be a big bigger in diameter say 26-28 gauge wire, and heater hoses to be even bigger, say 16 gauge, or 18 gauge wire (around 1/16th inch diameter) -HTH

 

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Another tip- don't use anything with a glossy sheen for plug wires, boots, heater hoses, nor vacuum lines. Battery cable insulation has a slight hint of gloss to their finish, but not a glossy shine.

Detail Master offers lengths of scale heater hose, too: http://www.detailmaster.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=detailmaster&Product_Code=DM-1420

Thanks Casey. I didn't think to look through Detail Masters Website to see if they listed sizes. Figured they wouldn't, lol...I'm going to buy a roll of it now and come out cheaper

-I myself? I use 30 gauge wire for the plug wires, whatever "boot" insulation to fit that snugly, and then battery cables to be a big bigger in diameter say 26-28 gauge wire, and heater hoses to be even bigger, say 16 gauge, or 18 gauge wire (around 1/16th inch diameter) -HTH

 

Thanks John!

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The caliper is an overlooked tool, but it's a great investment.  Having that lets you check scrap wire you turn up, to see if you can use any of it for what you want.  When you use the caliper, you won't be relying on the gauge of the wire; that's the measurement of the conductor, and isn't of any help unless you plan to remove the insulation.

The 30 AWG "wire wrap" wire that a lot of people use for plug wires can be found on eBay.  From what I have seen there, the gamers use it to repair their stuff.  I used to get that at Radio Shack, but there aren't so many of those stores around anymore.  In my area, the only color they carried was red.  I used to paint it black with Polly S acrylic, but the wire I bought on eBay is black so I don't have to mess with that now.

Don't overlook scraps; if you are recycling anything electronic, try to get what wire you can from it.  You want to avoid using the same gauge wire for more than one thing on the same project.  The plug wires aren't the same gauge as the battery cables, and they certainly aren't the same diameter as the heater hoses! 

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Here's my go-t chart for wire sizes: American Wire Gauge (AWG) chart. http://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wire/wire-gauge-chart.htm

 Note that this chart has not only the wire gauges listed, but their diamerters in thousandths of n inch.  I refer to this pretty regularly.  And, as Bill Engwer said--GET a Digital Caliper--WELL worth the inexpensive price!

Art

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The caliper is an overlooked tool, but it's a great investment.  Having that lets you check scrap wire you turn up, to see if you can use any of it for what you want.  When you use the caliper, you won't be relying on the gauge of the wire; that's the measurement of the conductor, and isn't of any help unless you plan to remove the insulation.

The 30 AWG "wire wrap" wire that a lot of people use for plug wires can be found on eBay.  From what I have seen there, the gamers use it to repair their stuff.  I used to get that at Radio Shack, but there aren't so many of those stores around anymore.  In my area, the only color they carried was red.  I used to paint it black with Polly S acrylic, but the wire I bought on eBay is black so I don't have to mess with that now.

Don't overlook scraps; if you are recycling anything electronic, try to get what wire you can from it.  You want to avoid using the same gauge wire for more than one thing on the same project.  The plug wires aren't the same gauge as the battery cables, and they certainly aren't the same diameter as the heater hoses! 

Thanks, I love my calipers...just as stated before. They are very handy when you get into scratch building exhaust or suspension parts, as well as wiring. The Mitutoyo digital calipers that I have are in the top drawer of my modeling supplies, and my vernier ones stay in my tool box for my automotive needs. 

I haven't thrown away any electronics recently, but I will keep that in mind.

I found some black 26awg (measures 0.026" OD for heater hoses), black and red 28awg (measures 0.024" OD maybe for Battery Cables?), and 30awg (measures 0.0195" OD for spark plug wires)  Kynar Wrapping wire in 8 different colors, on Ebay for my plug wires, and all other small electronic needs. The 26awg and 28awg are 100' rolls, and the 30awg is 1000'....I'll never run out now, lol.

s-l1600.jpg

Here's my go-t chart for wire sizes: American Wire Gauge (AWG) chart. http://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wire/wire-gauge-chart.htm

 Note that this chart has not only the wire gauges listed, but their diamerters in thousandths of n inch.  I refer to this pretty regularly.  And, as Bill Engwer said--GET a Digital Caliper--WELL worth the inexpensive price!

Art

Thanks Art!

I use the Detail Master products.  For the amount of wire I use, it's just not worth messing with finding "near right" alternatives.  I use their heater hose for plug boots. 

Tom, that's the kit that I bought for my distributor. They all look very correct in sizes. I just wanted to buy bulk of the wires for cheaper than I'd buy 2 or 3 Detail Master kits.

I'll keep that in mind for the Heater hose for plug boots. Thanks!

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No worries Scott.  I am always looking out for different size wires to replicate different  things.  I started replacing molded in engine compartment wire with the real thing.  No matter what you do you never get the molded in ones to look right.  Sanding it off and  adding real wire is actually easier!

 

IMG 1769 - Copy

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No worries Scott.  I am always looking out for different size wires to replicate different  things.  I started replacing molded in engine compartment wire with the real thing.  No matter what you do you never get the molded in ones to look right.  Sanding it off and  adding real wire is actually easier!

 

IMG 1769 - Copy

You are absolutely correct Tom. The molded in lines/wires look really bad, lol. I may try that on this build I am doing now. ^^ The above build looks awesome..great detail work man! What do you use to secure the wire on the opposite side of the body/chassis? Superglue, or the clear glue for clear plastic? I always have an issue with the chalky residue coming from my Testors superglue when I use even tiny amounts.

Edited by lghtngyello03
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Here's a tip: Not to disparage the aftermarket companies, but their wiring/plumbing products on a per foot basis are crazy expensive. Go to Hobby Lobby and check out the jewelry making aisle. You will see so many different diameters/types of wire your head will spin... many sold in rolls for 99 cents or a buck or two.

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Here's a tip: Not to disparage the aftermarket companies, but their wiring/plumbing products on a per foot basis are crazy expensive. Go to Hobby Lobby and check out the jewelry making aisle. You will see so many different diameters/types of wire your head will spin... many sold in rolls for 99 cents or a buck or two.

Or for that matter, the beading wire found in any Michael's or Hobby Lobby!   Fine copper wire, for mere fractions of a penny per sparkplug lead--cut to length, install, and paint it the color you want!  I've been doing that for decades now.

Art

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 What do you use to secure the wire on the opposite side of the body/chassis? Superglue, or the clear glue for clear plastic? I always have an issue with the chalky residue coming from my Testors superglue when I use even tiny amounts.

I've always used Zap-A-Gap and other available super glues.  I like the thicker formula because you can control it and it stays put.  Some super glues are like water.

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Harry & Art,

I've checked EVERY WERE local to me thats a craft store, Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, A.C. Moore, you name it, NO PLACE I've found yet has black, non-super shiny wire thats 30 gauge! -Best I found was 26 gauge chemically blackened (shiny) wire.... not easily formed (I bought some so unhappy with it, I now use it for exhaust pipe hanger!!!! LOL BUT bending it, if you grab it with any sort of pliers, even those with soft grips, it mars the chemical blackened finish.... 

Sadly, black, is whats used most! And all I have found was red & Blue wire from Radio Shack thats in a 50 foot roll, for about $400!!!! a buck less then Hobby shop "Detail Masters" prices, work and look just as good, and 10 times the amount per spool! -NOW if I could just find that in black I'd be all set!

Edited by 426-Hemi
I can't type! -Really I can it seems at times!
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Harry & Art,

I've checked EVERY WERE local to me thats a craft store, Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, A.C. Moore, you name it, NO PLACE I've found yet has black, non-super shiny wire thats 30 gauge! -Best I found was 26 gauge chemically blackened (shiny) wire.... not easily formed (I bought some so unhappy with it, I now use it for exhaust pipe hanger!!!! LOL BUT bending it, if you grab it with any sort of pliers, even those with soft grips, it mars the chemical blackened finish.... 

Sadly, black, is whats used most! And all I have found was red & Blue wire from Radio Shack thats in a 50 foot roll, for about $400!!!! a buck less then Hobby shop "Detail Masters" prices, work and look just as good, and 10 times the amount per spool! -NOW if I could just find that in black I'd be all set!

same here at my Michaels...that shiny black beadwork looks hideous and will not shape without the finish screwing up.

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same here at my Michaels...that shiny black beadwork looks hideous and will not shape without the finish screwing up.

Wire can be painted. Ironically enough, this was black wire that I painted a flat, dull yellow to look like the cloth-covered ignition wires used around the time...

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There are literally DOZENS of types and colors and diameters of "beading wire". This is .013", marked on the package as such. Appropriate for '50s secondary (spark plug) wire.

I got this stuff at Hobby Lobby. They also had black. It holds its shape quite nicely, but also bends easily with fingers and holds permanently. It's just about perfect (and the light color is easily changed to any flat color with Sharpies). 12 foot roll, $3.

I guess I must live on a different planet from some of you.

FEB%2028%202015%20Ardun%20Caddy%20029_zp

FEB%2028%202015%20Ardun%20Caddy%20050_zp

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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I want to repeat what has already been stated few times, yet the gauge is mentioned again as a valid diameter measurement.

WIRE GAUGE (AWG) IS THE SPECIFICATION FOR THE DIAMETER OF THE METAL CONDUCTOR. It does not include the insulation diameter (which is what we really need for our use in models).  Insulation thickness is not standardized or universal.  It will vary depending on the manufacturer, type of plastic used and on the voltage rating of the wire.  The overall diameter of the wire and insulation is usually not specified by the manufacturers (or extremely hard to find).  So while knowing the gauge of the wire only gives a rough idea about the relative thickness of the  overall diameter.

Then by the same token when using non-insulated or enameled craft wire then the AWG size is a useful measurement. But in my experience I very seldom use that type of wire for modeling rubber tubing, hoses or insulated wires.

Edited by peteski
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