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Grounding Mod Re-visited **56K Warning**


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38 replies to this topic

#1 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:41 PM

I'm sure people will argue that this is subjective, but there are many factors that will govern how big of an improvement you'll see by Re-Grounding your chassis connections. The biggest two factors I can think of would be location, and age. i.e., I have a MY99 Legacy SUS. Stock batt, Wires, and grounding had never been touched. My terminals were so corroded that I was left with absolutely no alternative but to put in an Exide Orbital (Optima) battery and run new wires from the starter to the batt. I still had headlight dimming going on. So I began tearing out bolts. Scraped with a razor. Made a big difference. No flat spots, but seemed to lug a hair immed. following first to second shift.

I picked up about 15ft of 8ga high strand wire from JB Saunders in Boulder about a month ago. So I figured I'd go to the home depot and pick up some ring terminals and run a ground straight to the engine block. Ran across a grinding stone that would fit in my drill and decided to re-do the rest in addition to tinning the ground wires. I install custom electronics for a living, and if we hired someone did NOT tin their wires, we'd let them go. You need to use paste flux so that the solder melts into the sheath. That is the ONLY way to get a TRUE oxygen free connection. For this application I twisted the wire, brushed on the flux, fed into the connector and tinned from the excess at the top. I crimped it while hot so that the terminal wouldn't just slide off.

HUGE DIFFERENCE. Took off all types of old corrosion and paint. See pics. Took it out after...
Phenomenal. I can safely say that my ride hasn't run this well since I've owned it. Factory grounding is an absolute joke.

Check it out.

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#2 Olnick

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 09:53 PM

Nice job Lawsonmh15! Nice presentation--great pictures and thoughtful captioning. In fact your whole engine bay looks good.

And yes, I believe! Maybe you've given me the incentive to get off my duff and do the same thing. Any hints on how to find all the grounding points? Did you have some kind of diagram or just eyeball them?

Thanks for sharing.

#3 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:58 PM

Nice job Lawsonmh15! Nice presentation--great pictures and thoughtful captioning. In fact your whole engine bay looks good.

And yes, I believe! Maybe you've given me the incentive to get off my duff and do the same thing. Any hints on how to find all the grounding points? Did you have some kind of diagram or just eyeball them?

Thanks for sharing.


Thanks man. I still need to tie the wires up, and powerwash the engine, and then I will need to do another comprehensive photo with locations. The compartment looks quit different in this picture, as it was taken pre-battery, wires, re-grounding, and plug wires. Hopefully it will suffice for now.:brow:

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#4 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 06:18 AM

I just read an 11 page thread on nabisco this last night, and was going to post here on the USMB to ask if anyone had done it. Cool stuff:)

#5 edrach

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 11:38 AM

Did you ever post this?

I just read an 11 page thread on nabisco this last night, and was going to post here on the USMB to ask if anyone had done it. Cool stuff:)



#6 blitz

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 12:59 PM

Good job, Lawsonmh15. I always like the photos.

FWIW, the thing you have labeled "Some Kind Of Air Sensor" is the BAP (barometric air pressure) sensor. :D

#7 friendly_jacek

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:59 PM

So, what was the problem before the mod?
Hesitation, uneven idle, poor MPG, poor acceleration?.
I'm trying to see what to expect before starting on this mod.
BTW, thanks for sharing this.

#8 Snowman

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 09:30 PM

Proper grounding can make a huge difference in many cases. At work this summer we had a bus that was not charging at all when even a small load was applied to the electrical system. The alternator was fine, but it was not getting grounded properly. Some new one-gauge cable and ten minutes later, the problem was solved.

#9 Setright

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 12:37 AM

Inspired by this post, I opened and cleaned all my grounding points. Used a glass fiber brush to clean the contact surfaces. Must say, they were all pretty clean already, but it still feels like a good thing to do. Only corroded one was behind the headlight.

Lawson? Do you apply any form of electrical grease/sealant to the contacts?

I am tempted to run some proper wire directly from the alternator. How could the factory leave this out?

#10 The Dude

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:22 AM

....but RED was the worst possible color choice for a ground cable. RED is always, always, always POSITIVE in DC voltage wiring. Black, green, or green with yellow stripes would have worked for a ground connection. Some day, some half awake technician with a set of jumper cables might make you one sorry car owner. Other than that, it is a very nicely done job.

#11 friendly_jacek

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:40 AM

....but RED was the worst possible color choice for a ground cable. RED is always, always, always POSITIVE in DC voltage wiring. Black, green, or green with yellow stripes would have worked for a ground connection. Some day, some half awake technician with a set of jumper cables might make you one sorry car owner. Other than that, it is a very nicely done job.


That was what I always thought before buying a boat. My 2003 bayliner has black positive and yellow ground wires (from factory). Go figure.

#12 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:48 AM

So, what was the problem before the mod?
Hesitation, uneven idle, poor MPG, poor acceleration?.
I'm trying to see what to expect before starting on this mod.
BTW, thanks for sharing this.


Slight hesitation, weird interior bell "warble". Poor grounding affects ALL devices relying on electrical. It won't affect the + rail, but WILL affect the - rail. Smooths out torque curve a good bit.

#13 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:50 AM

....but RED was the worst possible color choice for a ground cable. RED is always, always, always POSITIVE in DC voltage wiring. Black, green, or green with yellow stripes would have worked for a ground connection. Some day, some half awake technician with a set of jumper cables might make you one sorry car owner. Other than that, it is a very nicely done job.


Yellow is also often used as power in auto applications. Used red because of the high strand count, no other shield colors available.

#14 langosta39

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 12:33 PM

I think I need to do the same, with a new battery and alternator I still have dimming light problems, and since one of my battery cables is getting ragged I probably will.

What exactly is the process of "tinning"?

#15 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:31 PM

I think I need to do the same, with a new battery and alternator I still have dimming light problems, and since one of my battery cables is getting ragged I probably will.

What exactly is the process of "tinning"?


Cable replacement is quick, easy and cheap. If you have a 2.5, remove the 2nd resonator air intake from it's mount and throttle body, and you will easily be able to access the starter.

"Tinning" a wire is the term used to describe the soldering of a single wire in order to create an Oxygen Free connection. Although a wire may SAY it's OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) that property declines as soon as you introduce... Oxygen. So, if you have a decent solder gun, and most importantly, PASTE FLUX, you can create that oxygen free connection (Rosin Core solder alone will NOT do). The flux gets the solder to run down into the shield, thereby sealing the wire. A relatively quick and easy process to keep a connection from oxidizing. :brow:

#16 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:34 PM

Has anyone tried one of these grounding monsters from ebay?



For instance ...
http://cgi.ebay.com/...004866770QQrdZ1


I am one for more ground cables then the factory installs.
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#17 langosta39

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:38 PM

Has anyone tried one of these grounding monsters from ebay?



For instance ...
http://cgi.ebay.com/...004866770QQrdZ1


I am one for more ground cables then the factory installs.
nipper


Wow, that's quite the thing. They don't tell you how much wire you get with it, but for $20 including shipping it might be a good deal just based on the copper. Of course it would look horribly out of place in my completly stock engine bay.

#18 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:45 PM

mine is stock too :) but my sound system isnt, nor will the soon to be after market lights..

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#19 langosta39

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:51 PM

Lawson,

Just to clarify the process of making the cables:

Strip ends of wire, paint leads with paste flux, insert into ring connectors, crimp connectors, then solder leads to connectors (and the flux will draw the solder into the insulation and connector). If I use rosin core solder will it work with the paste flux? I'm going to use military style battery terminal clamps so I know I have a good connection. As for the sanding of the ground points for a better ground, do you put anything on it like dielectric grease to prevent corosion there?

#20 Spokane-Pete

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 12:46 AM

Should definitly not be red wire for ground, and I wonder about the rust or corrosion issues of grinding area's not to be covered. They'll need to be painted or plated to avoid it. But what started the problem anyway?

Peter

#21 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:52 AM

Lawson,

Just to clarify the process of making the cables:

Strip ends of wire, paint leads with paste flux, insert into ring connectors, crimp connectors, then solder leads to connectors (and the flux will draw the solder into the insulation and connector). If I use rosin core solder will it work with the paste flux? I'm going to use military style battery terminal clamps so I know I have a good connection. As for the sanding of the ground points for a better ground, do you put anything on it like dielectric grease to prevent corosion there?


Part 1: Correct. Be sure you leave a little wire poking out the end of the terminal. About 1/4". If the solder doesn't flow into the shield past the crimp, tin prior to crimp (leaving some cold solder on the wire. Insert. Apply iron and heat up to melting point and crimp. You want to avoid crimping a COMPLETELY cold connection.

Part 2: Rosin core will work, however, if you're using paste flux, the solder seems to flow easier not being rosin core.

Part 3: Dielectric grease will do NOTHING to prevent corrosion. There's two proper ways to prevent corrosion. The first, and best way, is to simply spray paint over the fresh connections. However, you then handcuff yourself. You should ONLY do this if you're willing to leave it, or lose it. You may wind up needing to solder on a new lead if you can't remove the paint. The other way to accomplish non-oxidization of an electrical point, is Nolux. Nolux has been in use for decades in commercial electrical, marine, and aviation fields. Serious die-hards will pull ALL their connections and add nolux. BEING CERTAIN NOT TO BRIDGE ANY CONNECTIONS WITH THE NOLUX.

I hope this helps in the process of doing it right. I love questions like these. Points out that there are still people who take enough pride in their work to NOT jump in head-first without having the proper tools to do the job right.:brow:

#22 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:57 AM

Should definitly not be red wire for ground, and I wonder about the rust or corrosion issues of grinding area's not to be covered. They'll need to be painted or plated to avoid it. But what started the problem anyway?

Peter


Good thing I'm not trying to sell my ride. Seems like alot of people could be easily confused by a red wire running directly to the negative terminal.:rolleyes:

As far as rust goes... Please see previous post. Plate it??? Might paint, WOULD nolux. I live in CO. Not alot of worry about rust. However, if you even TOUCH bare metal then paint, you are setting yourself up for rust. At least with the nolux, I have verification that my connections are not rusting. However, for those who DO chose to paint... Head the warning, do NOT touch the connections prior to painting unless you clean first.:banghead:

#23 the_bard

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:03 PM

The other way to accomplish non-oxidization of an electrical point, is Nolux. Nolux has been in use for decades in commercial electrical, marine, and aviation fields.

You know, now that I think about it, Dad used this stuff when he rewired the electrical box coming into the barn back home. Silver/grey stuff, looked like NeverSeize, if I remember right.

Never thought about using it on a car...

Edit: This is what i get for leaving my computer in mid thread, and coming back to it later... resurrecting a three month old thread :horse:

#24 nipper

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:30 PM

You know, now that I think about it, Dad used this stuff when he rewired the electrical box coming into the barn back home. Silver/grey stuff, looked like NeverSeize, if I remember right.

Never thought about using it on a car...

Edit: This is what i get for leaving my computer in mid thread, and coming back to it later... resurrecting a three month old thread :horse:


i just want to know where you got the really cool beating the dead horse thingy:banana:


nipper

#25 friendly_jacek

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:44 PM

Since it was revived anyhow, can I measure my ground connections with ohmometer and determine that my connections are close to zero enough that I don't need to redo the connections? What would be the magic number?
0.5 ohm, 0.1 ohm?




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