I am in the process of restoring my 72 Pantera and no longer have the large black cable used to connect to the BAT terminal on the OEM 65 amp alternator.  What size should this cable be?  Also, if I upgrade my alternator to 100 amps, what size cable is recommended?

Thanks!

Original Post

  I made that upgrade a number of years ago.  I chose a Ford 3d generation alt.

  I could have gone to the salvage yard or the parts counter but went with a alt from Paperformance model 1614E.  It has 2 ratings they call it 95 amp and else were in the specs they say120 amp at 6000 alternator RPM. (not crankshaft RPM)

https://www.paperformance.com/...3g-alternator-1614e/

   I went to tractor supply and got #2 welding cable to run from the output stud to the battery connection on the starter solenoid. Many aftermaket alt mfg recommend a over current device on the alt output. In my case used a 150 amp manual reset circuit  breaker by Bussman from Autozone.

  This is the time to convert to a expanded scale voltmeter rather than the stock amp meter that is a fire hazard even at the lower stock alt output. 

   The alt comes with your choice of pulley 1V , 2V , or 6V serpentine.

   The 1V pulley is 2.6 inch in diameter.  That is a lot of power for a single belt to carry.  I get one "squawk" of the belt on start up if the battery needs top up.

  This "small frame" alt fits like a glove.  There is minor wiring around the external regulator for the OLD alt , and the idiot light works as before.

    This is also a fine time to repower the electric choke if you have one.  The stator will put out enough voltage to pull in a relay.  That way the choke is only powered if the engine is running.  Other wiring methods may power the electric choke with key on, engine off.  I believe the electric choke housing has provisions for a small amount of air to flow over the heat element when the engine is running.  A vaccum port to the carb body.

   Kind of verbose but think #2 or #4 wire is the answer to your question.

 

 

 Just to expound a little bit on David’s comment regarding the OEM amp meter being a “fire hazard.”

 A properly maintained OEM amp meter is no different than any other high amperage connection on a Pantera.  It is not inherently a fire hazard of any sort, but it ..... can ..... become a problem if the cable -to-meter connections are not kept tight and clean.  This is true of any electrical connection, whether in a vehicle or a building. 

 The fire hazard is .... created .... by an owner’s failure to check and maintain the amp meter connections.  

My 2¢

Larry

Larry , you are 100% right , loose high current connections make heat.  There has been mention of burnt connections in the forum but doubt it is the primary cause of fire.  I would guess the rebuildable after market glass fuel filters to be high on the list of fires.  I removed the one on mine that the previous care taker installed.  Sorry if I sound like Chicken Little , I am a elctrician and specilised in fire systems at a hospital.

The Pantera has a number of poor electrical design issues. ( like overloaded ignition switch and main fuse panel)   The amp meter would have been better served with a shunt type meter as in GM vehicles.

   Upgrading to a high output alternator needs upgraded wiring , I doubt any one would run #2 or 4 from the alt to the meter then on to the battery.  I feel the expanded scale volt meter gives more useful information.

   I do acknowledge keeping things looking original may be #1 with some owners , I like to make minor improvements that the factor should have done while keeping it reversable.  After all we are just the current care taker.

 

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