Thread: Routing power cable to bed of truck

  1. #1
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    Default Routing power cable to bed of truck

    After a bit of research on the forum I feel as though I have a general idea of what I want to do when it comes to a dual battery system. The question I have is how do people normally get their power cables in the bed of their truck? I have a 2016 Tacoma with a shell on top and there doesn't seem to be an easy access point to the bed without drilling holes. Is this just a necessarily evil when it comes to setting up a dual battery system? I'm not opposed to drilling, just trying to see if there might be an option that I'm missing.

    My system will be pretty simple: ARB50 fridge, couple of LED camp lights, and 12v/usb charging ports for batteries. For now, I plan on just mounting my house battery in a battery box and attach it in the bed of the truck. Maybe at somepoint I'll spend the money and get a fancy mount to move the system to the engine bay.

    **Whatever works for second gen Tacoma's should also work for the third gen.

  2. #2
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    I am not familiar with the platform but it may help if you give more detail on your start and end points.

    If it's engine bay to the front of the bed, I would just go straight along the inside of the frame rail and then up through a drainage hole in the bed.
    Also try tacomaworld.com. They could throw dozens of options at you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsmanJake View Post
    I am not familiar with the platform but it may help if you give more detail on your start and end points.

    If it's engine bay to the front of the bed, I would just go straight along the inside of the frame rail and then up through a drainage hole in the bed.
    Also try tacomaworld.com. They could throw dozens of options at you.
    Ah! Totally forgot about the drainage holes as they are under my bed mat. Took a look at lunch and that will most likely be the option I go with. Just need to drill it out slightly and should work.

  4. #4
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    just be sure to use a proper bulkhead grommet or fitting, to forestall chafing / cutting / shorting of your feed cable. And preferably fuse it at both ends.

    I elected to use heavier cable and flexible plastic conduit to up-armor things. And the junction box bulkhead compression couplings made a real nice protected way of penetrating the sheet metal floor -
    http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...93#post2237993




    It can be done, has been done predominantly without conduits, for decades. I travel in a lot of SoCal desert locations, gravel roads, lot of sharp rocks, I decided I wanted some additional cable protection. I could have just as readily run only a 3-4' piece of conduit at each end of the cable for protection near the wheels. But I also had a close pass over my mufler and was using the bulkhead fittings anyway, so in the end I just went ahead and used the flex conduit. And with it effectively sealed at both ends I don't have to worry about water infiltration either.
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
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  5. #5
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    Default use precaution when routing power wire; especially near any fuel lines!

    Quote Originally Posted by rayra View Post
    just be sure to use a proper bulkhead grommet or fitting, to forestall chafing / cutting / shorting of your feed cable. And preferably fuse it at both ends.

    I elected to use heavier cable and flexible plastic conduit to up-armor things. And the junction box bulkhead compression couplings made a real nice protected way of penetrating the sheet metal floor -
    http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...93#post2237993




    It can be done, has been done predominantly without conduits, for decades. I travel in a lot of SoCal desert locations, gravel roads, lot of sharp rocks, I decided I wanted some additional cable protection. I could have just as readily run only a 3-4' piece of conduit at each end of the cable for protection near the wheels. But I also had a close pass over my muffler and was using the bulkhead fittings anyway, so in the end I just went ahead and used the flex conduit. And with it effectively sealed at both ends I don't have to worry about water infiltration either.
    • Not exactly the same conditions, but, I ran an unprotected 12vdc positive cable (2/0 welding) from my rear-mounted batteries to the engine, on my '66 Chevelle drag car. I ran it down the passenger side, tucked under, and next to the steel fuel line. When my car required a bigger diameter fuel line, to feed the Holley Dominator, I chose a quick fix the day before the next race, and bought a roll of aluminum fuel line tubing (I think it was 1/2" diameter), at a local shop, and quickly ran it to the regulator in the engine bay. It met my fuel requirements, so I used conduit clamps and tie-wraps to secure it in place. On the same side as and connected to the power cable (it was a long day at work, I was tired, and wasn't thinking).
    • Next day, running fine at the strip, I was coming back from my quarter final. I had just won it, and from a long way off, I saw my teammates waving. Getting closer, I saw others waving. I had flames coming from under my car ! I'll never know if vibration, a nicked line from debris, or a screw misplaced in mounting the clamps had pierced both lines, and grounded, causing a spark. Anyway, I shut off the pump, grabbed my extinguisher, and doused the flames. We pushed the car back onto my trailer, as I couldn't fix it there.
    • I later ran a braided fuel line thru my frame, all the way to the engine, to prevent any re-occurrence. I also ran rubber heater hose all the way from rear to front, covering the new power cable. No conduit clamps were used. Grommets/strain reliefs were also incorporated, when passing thru the firewall. I was lucky that it caught fire when it did, with people to warn me before it was too late, or things could've gotten serious. The same goes for off-roading, except that there are more circumstances where a power cable can be nicked, and things can go awry there, too.

  6. #6
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    I probed my Suburban frame with a metal fish tape and was able to pass it clean thru from a cutout over the rear axle all the way to the front bumper. For a while I considered running my 1/0 cabling thru the frame. I was also worried about vibration, chafing etc. and wanted to clamp the lines in place. I chose to run both positive and negative leads and ultimately decided I might just damage the insulation in the act of pulling the wire thru the frame, while trying to prevent damage to the insulation by putting it in the frame. That's when the conduit idea got adopted.

    And speaking of penetrating things by accident, my install routing down the front right wheel tub from my aux battery seems to be pushing the tub in somewhat. Been driving the streets for a month without trouble, then last week I was backing and turning out of a steep driveway and when the suspension compressed at the gutter there was a terrible noise as the tire tread dragged against the bottom edge of the wheel tub. So I'm probably going to remove the tub and see about clamping my conduit runs to the firewall - and worry like hell about piercing AC or heater lines. Going to have to explore that before I start driving self-tapping screws.
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
    Vortec and GMT800 Mechanical Stuff
    Silnylon vehicle awning design - Mk1 DONE
    Some of my Woodworking
    _______________________________________________
    '85 C-10, '05 k1500 Tahoe Z71, '02 k1500 Suburban Z71

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