Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is the gauge of the striped wiring on Alfa's - I find they're usually green/black; yellow/black; blue black; white/black - and they always seem to be the same gauge? It is either 14 or 16 gauge (pretty sure). Since they are often for lights, I'd prefer to get 14 gauge. Is the number of copper strands always the same for the various gauges?

Do the striped wires signify any particular thing, or are they just a way to vary colors?

Biba
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,232 Posts
The base wire gauge can depend on the year and model of the vehicle. The USA 105 & 115s, up through 1981, used 1.0mm (about 16 AWG) as the base wire size while the 116s from 1975 used 0.5mm (about 18 AWG). Starting in 1982, Spiders were switched to 0.5mm wire.

Can't vouch for the number/cross section of the strands but one might think that in order to maintain equal fatigue breakage resistance, the smaller the wire, the smaller the cross section of each strand.

My assumption is that striped wires were used to increase the number of available colors. But Alfa is known to have used a particular striped combination for the same circuit for many years on different models. Red/black for the oil pressure gauge, yellow/black for parking lights and blue/black for turn signals come to mind.
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
More available colors is part of it, but the repeated use of the same pattern in certain systems and across models over many years is more relvant to production line use.
EG: Guido knows that if its green with a black trace, it's something to do with the ignition regardless of what car its on, so he can be put anywhere on the production floor to hook up ignition stuff.

'Course it would be nice to say that it's from racing heritage, so that circuts could be quickly identified in the pits at LeMans or Monaco and thus an ailing car could be put back into the thick of things more efficiently, but as cool as that would be it likely isn't so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all and especially you Lional for the very detailed explanation as to number of strands. I'm in the process of buying 50' of 16 gauge straight trace plastic wire in five colors. I'd forgotten to add red/black in my list above. Not sure if I'll go to the trouble of undoing the entire loom to replace the red/black wire to the oil pressure sender, or not, but at least I'll have it. Not the only one, but the red black wire is inevitably quite hard on the cars I get in - as in, it/they would stand up in a corner.

Since I feel I know you three, I have a question: Is it over the top, promoting wise, if I end my posts with the URL's of AlfaCyberSite.com and BibaRestorations.com?

I sell diagonal seatbelts along with other items on ACS and frequently it comes up as to where to get them. Mine are expensive so no doubt many or most will pass on them, but they're available. I recently got a '65 GTV in solely because of one post I made on the GTV Forum where I added in the Biba Resto URL.

Part of me says no one has to click on them and the other part feels that it might well be construed that I'm on the ABB solely to promote my two businesses.

Biba
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,232 Posts
European wire have 21 strands; GPT (General Purpose Thermoplastic insulated wire) used here in the US have 19 strands of wire; British wire uses as little as 9 stands on the most common wires.
Just so there is no confusion, wire gauge and number of strands are NOT related. One type of 16 ga wire may have a couple dozen strands while another 16 ga wire may have only one strand. It is the total cross section area of the conductor that determines the gauge, not the number of strands.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,232 Posts
Whether it be automotive, residential or industrial, wire gauge and number of strands are not related. I used a single strand just as an example because of the following;

British wire uses as little as 9 stands on the most common wires. No wonder British cars are notorious for circuit overloads and burning.
which implies that 9 stranded wire may result in overloads and burning. This is simply not the case. I wanted to stress that it is the wire gauge that determines a conductors capacity, not the number of strands.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
Question for you guys: I am looking for a good source for 12, 14, 16 AWG for the various rewiring I have to do. As to the striped wire, where can I get yellow/black or blue/black? I hate replacing/splicing striped wire with solid-colored.

I'm also in need of a source for uninsulated connectors (spade, ring, ect.) and the hoods that slide over them. The idea is to be able to replace the connectors at the fuse box, for example, and replicate the look of the original.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yes, that's where I got mine. Call, don't email since they apparently don't bother opening them. Great service. If interested I can take a photo of my five fifty feet of straight trace (correct term - they also have spiral trace wire, but I've never seen any on/in an Alfa). Their yellow black is more like ivory black, but all other's are right on.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top