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Thread: Opinion: is 4 gauge sufficient?

  1. #1
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Opinion: is 4 gauge sufficient?

    I am planning to install larger power wire in my 1998 Mustang GT to support my recently upgraded amps and subs. My final installation will include:

    1) Pioneer Premier: 60 watt RMS x 4 main amp, driving four speakers at 4 ohms
    2) Pioneer Premier: 360 watt RMS x 1 sub amp, driving 2 12" subs at 2 ohms (total)
    3) M2-ATX: 160 watt power supply (and 160 watts is max output)
    4) Panasonic 8100U. Power consumption is unknown, but should be negligible as the outboard amps will be doing all of the work.
    5) 7" screen: 10 watts

    I am planning to run 12 - 14 ft. 4 ga. cable from the battery to the trunk, where a distribution block will split the 4ga. into three 8ga. cables; one to each amp and the M2-ATX. The grounds for each component will be 8ga. as well, and will run into a distribution block with a single 4 ga. output that will be grounded in the trunk. The headunit is powered and grounded through the stock radio wiring harness.

    I'm trying to determine if a single 4 ga. cable will be sufficient to supply this set up. Total RMS power will be:
    240w (4 channel)
    + 360w (mono bass amp)
    + 160w (M2-ATX at full output, will likely be less)
    + ?headunit (will measure)
    + 10w (screen)
    -------------
    = approx. 800 watts.

    According to http://www.the12volt.com/info/recwirsz.asp, 12' of 4 ga. should be sufficient for 800 watts RMS, and the 8ga. cable to each component will be sufficient to supply that component. It's also worth mentioning that I don't plan to run my system at close to RMS values for very long periods of time (i.e. I don't compete, and I don't listen to heavy Rap for more than 10 min. or so at a time). But, as I've learned from this site, experience is often more valuable than calculation. So, here are my questions:

    1) Should I consider 2 ga. for the main wire?
    2) Should I run 4ga. to the main/sub amp and 8 ga. to the M2-ATX?
    3) Is there anything else that I've missed or need to consider?

  2. #2
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    If it were me, I would run 2 gauge back to the distribution block, and 4 gauge for the amps. I'm a big fan of overdoing your wiring by at least one step. it's not that much more $$ at this point and it prevents you from having to redo it if you want to upgrade in the future.

    Please note though, that 4 gauge to distro and 8 gauge to each amp, should work just fine with your current set-up.
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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate 3onDubs's Avatar
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    8 ga. to each amp should be fine, so 4 ga. will definitely be enough....2 guage is nice to have because it gives you more room to upgrade down the line, but the only problem is that it's more difficult to route through your vehicle.
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  4. #4
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTIVR6
    If it were me, I would run 2 gauge back to the distribution block, and 4 gauge for the amps. I'm a big fan of overdoing your wiring by at least one step. it's not that much more $$ at this point and it prevents you from having to redo it if you want to upgrade in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3onDubs
    8 ga. to each amp should be fine, so 4 ga. will definitely be enough....2 guage is nice to have because it gives you more room to upgrade down the line, but the only problem is that it's more difficult to route through your vehicle.
    Thanks guys. Exactly the sort of info I needed. I'm staying with the 4ga. for now, as I already have distro blocks for the power and ground supply and sufficient cable for the install, and I doubt I'll be installing a larger system in the forseeable future.

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