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View Full Version : Can speaker Wire be used as Electrical wire?



Brent
06-22-01, 03:33 PM
maybe a weird question, but i don't know the differences

could say 18 gauge speaker wire be used as electrical wire for something small?

the reason i ask is i'm doing my first electrical mod on my car, making my driving/fog lights independent of my headlights, it required cutting one of the wires from the Relay in the panel and then connecting a long wire from that relay to one of the fuses on the driving side, i need about 6 feet of wire to go from the relay switch to the fuse on the drivers side, i'm wondering if Speaker wire would work with this, or do you just have to go to like home depot or radioshack and buy electrical wire???

AoDLiQuiD-M3tH
06-22-01, 03:35 PM
yeah it would work fine

nightowl
06-22-01, 03:37 PM
yes it can but i'd still go to radio shack and pick up a spool of wire just on the off chance that the speaker wire heats up too much and melts

AoDLiQuiD-M3tH
06-22-01, 03:39 PM
its the same stuff for low voltage applications i wouldnt waste time and money to go and purchase electical wire that would be the close to the same . I used speaker wire for my fog light relayand switch works great.

ghost
06-22-01, 03:56 PM
Electrical wire is so cheap and readily available, why even bother with speaker wire? Use a heavy-gauge wire for lighting, forget about 18-gauge. Mod right, mod once.

Brent
06-22-01, 03:58 PM
it's nothing major, like not much power on this line, the wire i'm connecting it too is very very thin and it's simply a switching thing to the relay, it will be like when i switch on my parking lights the fuse will come on and it will send a signal down this wire to the relay switch and switch the fog lights on with the parking lights

think this will be ok for it?

Brent
06-22-01, 04:01 PM
this is the procedure i'm doing btw: http://celicagts.sphosting.com/foglights.html

YARDofSTUF
06-22-01, 04:02 PM
buy the electrical wire.

ghost
06-22-01, 04:12 PM
It's probably not a big deal if it's just the wire going from the switch to the relay. It'd be a different thing if it was the wire that carried the juice to the lights. Bottom line: you can do it, but I'd spend the $2.50 and invest in some good wire that's designed for the rigors of an engine compartment and it's associated thermal cycles, plus speaker wire looks...uh....kinda amateur to serious modding.

Don't forget to solder all connections and use shrink wrap over 'em. :)

DIDS
06-22-01, 04:16 PM
Why not put the Fog Lights on a Toggle or Rocker switch? That way you have total control of when they come on. Even if you dont have the key in the ignition, you can turn them on. That's how I wired my vehicles when I use to do Mods.

ghost
06-22-01, 04:25 PM
If you look at his link, he's wiring the fogs to run independent of the hi/lo headlight circuit. Good mod. Factory configuration sucks.

DIDS
06-22-01, 04:35 PM
Yes I know he is doing it to run independent of the Hi/Lo beams. The instructions say:

You have a choice here, they can come on when:
1. You turn the key to ON (the only exterior lights that will be on are your fog lights)
or...
2. When you put the parking lights on (Fog lights will turn on when you have the tail lights on(parking lights, they will work when the headlights are on as well)


My questions is:

Why not wire it so he can turn them on whenever he wants, without having to do either option 1 or 2.

Just flip a switch and they come on whether you have the key in the ignition or turn the parking lights on.



I was never big on piggybacking a fuse off the block. :rolleyes:
Sloppy work IMHO.

TonyT
06-22-01, 04:58 PM
18G speaker wire will be just fine for that application.

You can run 110 v AC through speaker wire! It's not the volts that will kill the wire, it's the amps fluctuations.

ghost
06-22-01, 05:17 PM
I agree with your comment on piggybacking off the fuse block. What I did was to rig up a fused "power strip" with 8 connectors, so anytime I needed to wire something with 12v, voilá! Easy as pie, and looks good.

About why he's wiring it that way, perhaps he's doing it to stay within the bounds of the law. I know that in VA where I live, your auxiliary lights must be connected in such a way that they can only be used when the vehicle's lights are used. Not supposed to have it TOTALLY independent. I like your way, but that may be a reason for Brent's wiring decision. He'll prob let us know when he gets in from the driveway. :)

TonyT, sure it will work, but speaker wire isn't designed for use inside an engine compartment. The shielding is too soft and less heat-resistant than the electrical wire you can get at Advance Auto or Trak. I would only use it in a pinch. Might as well use the right stuff, IMHO. And I agree, it's current that counts. :)

DIDS
06-22-01, 05:38 PM
I believe it is illegal in NY as well to run independant. If it is illegal it is one of those laws that they dont enforce. Like headlight and taillight covers. :)

Great idea about the "power strip". I never tried it that way. I just ran off the Battery post with a inline fuse, and would sometimes steal the Lighter power, since I didn't smoke. :D

crazyman
06-22-01, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Brent
maybe a weird question, but i don't know the differences

could say 18 gauge speaker wire be used as electrical wire for something small?

the reason i ask is i'm doing my first electrical mod on my car, making my driving/fog lights independent of my headlights, it required cutting one of the wires from the Relay in the panel and then connecting a long wire from that relay to one of the fuses on the driving side, i need about 6 feet of wire to go from the relay switch to the fuse on the drivers side, i'm wondering if Speaker wire would work with this, or do you just have to go to like home depot or radioshack and buy electrical wire???

if it is for fog or driving lights you go with 16 or 18 at least,,,nothing smaller ,bigger would be better,I do 12 wiring for a living,if you want I can send you some good wire I have tons of it,and good fuse holders too,if you can wait a few days.let me know.pm me if you want.I have some 10 to 14 ga that I can send you that would be better,also I have some bosch relays that will help with the current draw.

David
06-22-01, 05:44 PM
The insulator on speaker wire was not intended for higher heat application. Though current may not be an issue, engine temperature might.

tomsykes
06-22-01, 06:51 PM
What current will be passing through the speaker wire?

Brent
06-22-01, 07:32 PM
I'M back in

i did option #1 i can totally turn the fog lights on independent of anything, but the key has to be in at least the On position

the only reason i didn't make it totally independent so i can turn them on running off the battery with the car off was because i don't know how to do the wirring for that

i was lucky just to find this method on the Internet :D

which is 10x better then it was like before, cause before i could only turn them off or on when the Headlights where on....

but now i can turn them off and on no matter what as long as the key is at least in the On position.....

The wire is on the Inside, it simply goes from the Relay switch on the passengers side to the fuse box on the drivers side..... and it only carrys a signal i'm assuming when i turn the lights off or on for the relay

m4a2t0t
06-22-01, 08:30 PM
do you want to be able to turn the fog lights on even if the key is out of the ignition
is the reason why you rewired so that you can turn them on without the headlamps on