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Old 12-09-2006
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jumper cables: 10 gauge enough?

How thick of a set of jumper cables would I need to jump my 3.0 v6?

I saw a 10 gauge set for $6.99 at the local ocean state job lot, and I figure that should be enough. I don't think I've EVER seen a V6 engine unable to turn over, because a 10awg wire wasn't thick enough. I don't think I've ever seen a 10awg wire ever melt from heat, either.

So instead of buying the super "heavy duty" name-brand from autozone, would a generic 10 gauge set work?
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Old 12-09-2006
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A 10 guage would work for something quick, but they WILL get hot very fast, and if you have to crank the car for more than a second, they probably will start melting the instulation/get damaged. If they get hot and start melting the insulation, the copper has a very good chance of getting week and breaking too, which the next step would be catching the insulation on fire.

I wouldn't do it, but it's better than having nothing at all... Barely..

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Old 12-09-2006
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don't cheap out on something like that, especially this time of year. spend the 20 bucks and get something worth while
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Old 12-09-2006
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I wouldn't use 10 gauge to jump start my lawn mower.
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Old 12-09-2006
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Yeah, cranking takes more then a second......so having something cheap just might not pay off when you need them.

For booster cables, 8 gauge is a light duty and 6 gauge is a medium duty. These are the most common types you'll see and they usually start around $15 for 6' lengths.
Most auto parts retailers have the good ones on sale this time of year anyway.

I just bought a set of 6 gauge 16' cables for $20 @ CT on sale. I've used the cheap ones before and theres nothing like having the cheaply constructed clamps break or the cables heating up.

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Old 12-09-2006
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mine are welding power and grounds from an industrial site. I believe they are 4 guage and never let me down. Only problem i have is finding a place to put em.
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Old 12-09-2006
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ya i would go with at lest 8 gauge
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Old 12-10-2006
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i would do no less than 4ga. b/c you never know when a buddy with a diesel will need a jump or some else at a store or what not....
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Old 12-10-2006
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You can use 10 ga but only IF you don't try to start the vehicle being jumped until the battery comes up some. Basically, you use them not so much as jump-start cables as jump-CHARGE cables.

Even then, the cables will get warm to hot if the battery being charged is too flat.

I have used 8 and 10 ga to jump vehicles -- but you can only do it if you're not in a hurry, lol.
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Old 12-10-2006
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Originally Posted by 91redranger
mine are welding power and grounds from an industrial site. I believe they are 4 guage and never let me down. Only problem i have is finding a place to put em.

this is what we have always work.
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Old 12-10-2006
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If you plan to jump start a lawnmower, then 10ga might bo ok. But for anything that has more than a 400amp battery you really need 8ga or better.
I bought a set of 4ga cables for my Cadillac for under 20 bucks. I have yet to use them, but I know they'll get the job done if I need to.
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