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I'm going to be redoing the wiring on my 446 when the warm weather arrives. It's not in good shape and I suspect a lot of it is new with the repower and was just done to make it work, rather than do it right. I'll probably end up replacing everything. I already replaced the fuse holder and leads as part of a repair.
Going through the parts list I only see a single 30A fuse, which indicates to me that everything downstream of it should be 10 AWG, but most of it looks to be 12 or 14.

I'm tempted to redo everything with #4 and #10, but before I do: Does anyone know what gauge the factory used on the fused, battery, and starter leads? The parts list doesn't say.
 

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The use of 10 gauge wire is minimal in spite of the 30 amp fusing. I'd say that the headlamp and coil wires are 16 gauge and the balance is likely 14. Realistically, the amount of wire for these tractors is negligible and if you wish to make it all 10 gauge, it does not matter. Therefore, I wouldn't concern yourself about duplicating the original gauges since this is not a restoration to OEM specs.

The main thing that the lighter gauge wire has going for it is flexibility at the crimp-on terminals, especially at the ignition switch. If you decide on #10 throughout, then I would cut 1 1/2" long pieces of heat shrink tubing and install that over the wire and the insulated barrel of the terminals to reinforce that point of entry and keep moisture out of the wire.
 

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#10 wire is overkill. I understand that #10 is appropriate for circuits carrying 30 amps continuously but there is nothing on the tractor that draws that much current. I believe OEM wiring is 16 gauge throughout. The charging circuit is limited to the output of the alternator or 15 amps and 16 gauge can handle that for short periods of time such as when the battery is being charged right after starting. The only load that will reach 30 amps is when a wire shorts out and that will quickly blow the fuse.
 

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Bill/Group: I rewired a good portion of my 446 and also replaced the ignition switch with a genuine Ingersoll replacement. It was very messy in there! There was even an open exposed splice right in the middle of one of the wires. The crusty old ignition switch was affecting engine performance. I use marine connectors and heat shrink for all wiring. I went with the same gauge wire which I believe was 16. I also replaced the battery cables which were pretty ratty. I ordered the switch and cables from Brian. Well worth the effort and minimal cost. :222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
 

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What Bart said.

Many factors determine the amperage rating of an electrical wire and because these factors directly relate to wire construction and application, which is variable, amperage ratings are variable, and therefore fuse size is variable for any given wire gauge in its particular application. (Geeez!) Well anyway, 16 gauge is appropriate. Larger gauges won’t hurt, but are not necessary for a stock tractor. Heat shrink makes any wire connection to a connector better, will add strain relief, and looks very tidy (read into that…“cool“). Use stranded wire that you would pick up at any good auto part or tractor supply. The insulation will be rated for oil and gasoline exposure. Beware thin flimsy connectors and unidentified wire as they probably won’t hold up to prolonged vibration and heat.

Good luck!
Al
 
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