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Old 01-06-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: SturdiVan
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 IDI Navistar diesel
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Source of cheap THICK wire

Just thought I'd share a little money saving tip

If you're on a pretty tight conversion budget like me, and need a bunch of really think cables for your power system, check out E30 BMW's ( which includes all 1982-1994 3 series) in your local junk yard. They're pretty common, and they all had their battery mounted in the trunk. This makes them a great source of loooong 0 gauge cables that can be used for wiring up battery banks, inverters, etc. Plus most places charge a flat rate for battery cables, so when I went today, I got 22 feet of 0 gauge cable (two cars worth) for under 8 bucks before tax. Not bad at all! 3-series of different vintages and some 5-series also have trunk mounted batteries, but I find that the routing makes it a bit more difficult to get them out.

Here's a picture comparing the cable I pulled to a piece of 4 gauge "welding grade" wire I scavenged from a jumper box.


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Old 01-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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Re: Source of cheap THICK wire

Thanks for the tip. I'll keep an eye out for those years of '3' series beemers.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:57 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 34
Year: 1992
Coachwork: SturdiVan
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 IDI Navistar diesel
Rated Cap: 8
Re: Source of cheap THICK wire

Its pretty easy in the 3-series. The end of the wire in the front terminates at a power distribution sort of thing under the hood on the passenger side. It unbolts simply with 10mm bolts. From there it's routed behind the glove box, then runs along below the front and rear doors, then into the trunk via an opening in the frame where the horizontal and vertical portions of the rear seat meet. I would suggest starting at the front of the car and working your way back. If my memory serves me, there's a grommet at the point where the wire leaves the engine compartment, and a couple zip ties behind the glove box. Just cut these. From there, all you really need to do is yank at it a bunch until you can get the whole thing out by pulling it from the trunk.
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