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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Any Ideas on where to run power inverter cables in a DC?[/FONT]
:confused:
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]I'm ready to mount a 1300/3000 watt power inverter for 110V. stuff such as a small air compressor etc.in my new Double Cab. I think the perfect place is under the rear drivers seat, but where to run the wires?

Along with my inverter I purchased from the BigBoyToyStore (Harbor Freight) I also got a 20' set of 04 gage copper jumper cables from Wally-World as economical cable set. When looking around at cable ways etc. it appears that the double frame that runs from the engine compartment to under the cab might be just the ticket. Then I could drill a hole under the seat just to the right of the gas tank and snake the cables up there.

2 things occur to me about my plan. First is that I like it a lot because it's simple and easily executed. 2.d is that almost without exception I have NEVER seen anyone run power cables from the battery to the cab any way except through the firewall and then under the rug etc. So maybe there's some inherent problem I'm overlooking neglecting with my simplistic approach. What do you think or what experiences does anyone have trying to do something similar?
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Super Genius
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I have several inverters and plan to install two in my 07 DC Limited.

One unit will be a smaller capacity unit for the interior of the cab, probably a 150-300w max with only 1 or 2 outlets. I may remove the center console and install the outlets inside the bottom rear of the console unit facing the feet of the rear passengers. Since this unit doesn't take as much current then I should be able to wire it to an existing circuit up under the dash panel. When using things inside the cab they are usually not high drain anyway.

The other unit will probably be 300-500w max and I plan to mount it in the front of the bed up under the rail. For this unit it should be easy enough to run the power wires through the existing holes in the bed panel or through one of the drain plugs, then up along the inside edge of the frame rail to the fuse block in the engine compartment.

If you get a good ground from your mounting locations then you only need to run a single hot wire.
 

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I ran some 4G (or 6G, can't remember right now) cable for an 850/1700w inverter on my LX through the firewall and along/under the step plate/trim along the doors and side of the interior. I just didn't like the thought of exposing the cables to the under vehicle environment, and thought about going through the frame, but was not comfortable with the vibration/abrasion that is sure to occur in the engine compartment to frame and again frame to body transitions. Not sure exactly how you would run in a Tundra, but those are the reasons I chose to run mine the way I did. Remember to have an appropriate megafuse (or similar) with in ~8 inches of the battery, to protect the rest of the cable and to make sure the vehicle doesn't catch fire in event of a short.
 

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Super Genius
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I just didn't like the thought of exposing the cables to the under vehicle environment, and thought about going through the frame, but was not comfortable with the vibration/abrasion that is sure to occur in the engine compartment to frame and again frame to body transitions. Not sure exactly how you would run in a Tundra...
I felt the same way for the reasons you stated. Then after doing some research I found that there are literally hundreds of wires run all over the truck from the factory including engine to frame, frame to cab, frame to bed, etc. When running new wires just install them inside of some plastic wire loom like they do with the factory wire, tape the ends to keep moisture out, and whenever possible run the loom alongside the existing factory wires. I just used small black wire ties to attach the new loom to the factory loom, allowed a little extra slack in areas which might incur motion or vibration, and it worked out great.

Also, the factory wiring diagrams which you can download from this site as a subsriber are invaluable. They include a detailed diagram of the location of every wiring path and harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Yeah, exactly what I was worried about. However as my friend pointed out, the frame is closed channel from engine compartment to end of cab, so no external abrasion from road stuff etc. I'm using a real heavy coated rubber jumper cable that is designed to withstand hundreds if not thousands of impacts, it much stronger than old standard battery cable.
SO install plan has no new holes in frame, wire tie where able, mega fuse in engine compartment and of course seal hole in cab floor. Use plastic wire loom like they use at the factory..

What else have I forgotten??:confused:
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, ok, about the under the carpet thing. Well I just can't feel to good about running a great big honking jumper cable under the rug in my new cab.

The out side thing, don't forget the closed channell frame makes a perfect chase and protects very well.. as for a hole in the cab, I think better one in the floor under the rear seat than in the fire wall..Not good to make holes there if you can help it, for safty reasons etc..
 

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Super Genius
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Yeah, ok, about the under the carpet thing. Well I just can't feel to good about running a great big honking jumper cable under the rug in my new cab.

The out side thing, don't forget the closed channell frame makes a perfect chase and protects very well.. as for a hole in the cab, I think better one in the floor under the rear seat than in the fire wall..Not good to make holes there if you can help it, for safty reasons etc..
Right.

Running large diameter and/or high-current wires under carpet or close to plastic or other flammable surfaces should be avoided at all cost. I once saw a custom lighting install in a vintage Firebird which looked awesome. Wires were hidden under the carpet and fused, however the fuse was apparently too high and allowed the wires to heat up a bit during extended use, and on a trip the carpet caught fire. It was put out in short order but left nice burn lines all along the carpet where the wires had been. Could have been a lot worse, and the smoke / fumes from wiring and carpet fires can be toxic. A wire outside the vehicle mounted to a non-flammable steel frame is much safer. Follow the factory wire paths and use loom / tape like they do and you can't go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]If I could get away with a smaller unit like wileetundra I would do the inside thing. But I need atleast 1,000-1,200 watts for compressor so this has made me start thinking out of the box..Anymore ideas, arguments or advice certainly will be appreciated! [/FONT]
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Just FYI, usually there are already holes in the firewall to run a wire through. And there is usually a chase that goes along the door/side of vehicle for factory wiring looms, so it is usually a very clean install. I recommend using a rubber grommet anywhere there is a penetration, and if there's a frame to body penetration, I would also use split loom and/or heavy rubber hose around the wire.
 
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