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1999 ford taurus cigarette lighter


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lothsahn 
Member - Posts: 2
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Joined: December 29, 2010
Posted: December 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM / IP Logged  
What size gauge wire goes from the battery to the cigarette lighter? If there are multiple splices and interconnects, I'm interested in the smallest wire in the circuit.
Basically, I want to pull a significant amount of current (10-15A continuous) from the cigarette lighter (possibly for hours), and I want to make sure I'm not going to overheat the wire over time.
I realize I could run a dedicated circuit, but I'm hoping to avoid that...
Ween 
Platinum - Posts: 1,160
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Joined: August 01, 2004
Location: Illinois, United States
Posted: December 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM / IP Logged  
it's bussed in the fuse box underdash, so you're fine on the hot side of the fuse.  the cold side shows connector at fusebox, three pin connector by lighter and connector at lighter itself.  fuse is 20A so the wire is possibly 14 or 16 gauge? 
howie ll 
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Posted: December 31, 2010 at 6:07 AM / IP Logged  
Frankly if using that sort of current for that length of time I would run it from the battery, same wire gauge, fused at the battery and relay it from the cig lighter hot lead
Amateurs assume, don't test and have problems; pros test first. I am not a free install service.
Read the installation manual, do a search here or online for your vehicle wiring before posting.
Ween 
Platinum - Posts: 1,160
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Location: Illinois, United States
Posted: December 31, 2010 at 7:08 AM / IP Logged  
cigarette lighter on fords esp. older ones here are hot all time...no relay needed. i'd head to the battery or power distribution point under hood, fuse it properly, and run the lead in if you are relay worried.
howie ll 
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Posted: December 31, 2010 at 8:22 AM / IP Logged  
Apart from Mark's terrible pun at the end, really = relay worried, If you pull that current for that time 1 hour or so = flat battery, hence control it via the ignition.
Yes a cigarette lighter pulls up to 15 amps but for how long, a minute?
Amateurs assume, don't test and have problems; pros test first. I am not a free install service.
Read the installation manual, do a search here or online for your vehicle wiring before posting.
lothsahn 
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Joined: December 29, 2010
Posted: January 03, 2011 at 11:36 PM / IP Logged  
Howie:
Definitely would be nice to relay it. I'm not that concerned, as I'll mainly be using it on long trips and will be careful.
The whole pulls 15 amps for 1 minute is what worries me. They might rate the fuse to where there's an obvious problem with the cig lighter, but never expected an end-user to actually pull near the fuse rating (15/20A) for a continuous period, eventually overheating the wiring harness.
I've been unable to find a wiring diagram, so I posted here hoping someone might know.
Thanks for your help. I may just have to run a dedicated circuit. Considering I travel once or twice a year, I was hoping to avoid that...
oldspark 
Gold - Posts: 4,934
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Location: Australia
Posted: January 03, 2011 at 11:59 PM / IP Logged  
I like Engel etc fridges that have a 10A thermal fuse in their cig-plug sockets. Their fridges only consume typically 5A.
My recently acquired MT45F 40 liter fridge has a max draw of 2.5A yet still has the 10A thermal fuse.     
Why?
Because Engel (etc) found that many cig-sockets are poor and even at low currents (2.5A, 5A etc) still warrant thermal protection to reduce the risk of fire.   
So much for sockets that are apparently rated for "up to" 15A.
I might use the newer Merit (Euro) plugs and sockets for 10A or more (I do - for my 2.5A Engel!), but high currents like maybe 5A, else 10A or more for the fatter traditional systems, nah - highly questionable.
I suggest you feel for hot spots and wiring, and check your insurance policy.
Or measure the voltage drop to the socket under that load.
Rarely do vehicles have (IMO) appropriate gauge wiring for constant high cig-socket currents. After all, cig lighters are not in constant current-draw mode - even when passing the bong.   
For me - a dedicated line from the battery. Like my HU etc.
Ween 
Platinum - Posts: 1,160
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Joined: August 01, 2004
Location: Illinois, United States
Posted: January 04, 2011 at 12:08 AM / IP Logged  
The diagram I pulled the information from unfortunately doesn't state wire gauge. There are just the connectors I stated on the cold side of the fuse. Other than inspecting the wire physically i.e. removing insulation, counting strands , and measuring diameter of a single single and then using that information to determine the gauge of the wire, I'm not sure where the info is to be obtained. You might be better off as suggested running a dedicated feed. You can then oversize the wire and not worry about I2R losses. I did also check the diagrams to see if any additional but unused power feeds are in the fuse box. Found only one which would be used for a rear wiper on the wagon model...it's fused at 15A.
Mark

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