V6P Negotiator & Promoter
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cali Nomad
More info on why properly grounding your ride is important!
Originally Posted by morgan
I bought the ground wire but never put it on because I read it doesn't make a difference. You think so?
YES, here's some ADDITIONAL INFO from different car TECH SITES further explaining WHY properly GROUNDING your RIDE is IMPORTANT . . .
WHY A GOOD GROUND IS IMPORTANT:
I thought it important to explain why a good ground is very important when installing the Nology Hot Wires. Nology Hot Wires pulse the spark at 4 nano seconds and 1000 amps. Because of this extremely high pulse current and high frequency, an excellent "frame ground" is necessary. Also the specific characteristic of the pulse, its frequency, must be taken into account. As the frequency of the current goes up what happens is that the current tends to flow towards the outside of the conductor, this is known in electronics as the "skin effect". To give you an idea of what frequency we are talking about, then consider the formula Freq = 1/Time. So if we use this formula we see that Freq = 1/4 nano seconds and that divides out to 250 megahertz. At that frequency the "skin effect" would be very much in effect. So the reason I am explaining all of the is because the ground wire must have a very large surface area so that the current will have a maximum amount of "skin" to move on. That is why I chose a 2/0 sized welding cable conductor. It has thousands of smaller wires that add up to a very large surface or "skin" area for the high frequency current pulse to travel on. Also to take into account, since you will see in this installation, that the most logical place to ground the Nology Hot Wires is on the air intake connector, that is mounted on the throttle body. One must look at the ground path from the air intake connector to the real ground which is the negative terminal of the battery. If you take a good look at the ground path you will see that there are several gaskets in the path. Remember that we are talking about a high frequency pulse current, so maximum "skin" area is very important. A gasket will block that current. That is why running a heavy ground wire from frame ground to the air intake connector is very important. This will provide the shortest, most direct path to ground, and will allow a maximum amount of conductor area or "skin" for the current to travel.
If you don't want to run ground wires for these items you had best make sure they have a clean unpainted, un-corroded ground
some wiper switches
1st The battery MUST be grounded to the engine NO! Not the frame and then too the engine
Ever see a factory car with the battery to the frame rather than direct tot he block? Sure their front mounted batteries. What about the original engine in you old car?
2nd the frame and body must now be grounded to the block. Same bolt or area of the block it best. The shorter the path the grounds must pass thru steel and iron the better
3rd Steel is just as good you say? Consider this Copper is the best conductor used in an automobile. Let�s call that 100%. Brass is only 22% and steel is only 16% quite a loss? Yes. If I told you the starter was working on about 9 or 10 volts, you’d fix it quick? I think you would. Well, it’s working on a lot less than you think , so fix it. Battery to block, block to frame, block to body.
4th What about the items mentioned above. IF they have a GOOD ground. Great. They might already be working. Did you clean the metal bare? Yes, rust is actually better than paint. You don’t mind scratching the rust off but you hesitate to clean off the paint? Must do...
5th Gauges, lights, etc? On a steel car they might be OK. Fiberglass cars it is a must to use a full grounding system, Most new cars are now getting full ground systems even with steel for good reason. Ever have a high beam indicator glow a little even when on the low beams? How about a taillight that doesn’t seem as bright as the other? Replaced the bulb and it didn’t fix it? Bulbs are either good or bad. No half bright. Have a turn signal that flashes faster on one side than the other? You have it...
6th Switches? Steering columns? Why ground a switch or steering column? The headlight switch has an interior light switch built into it. If the switch isn’t grounded, that part of the switch can’t work. WIRE WORKS includes this ground wire. Trouble shooting calls have dropped significantly with this improvement
Steering columns? They have a switch for the horn. It closes the circuit to ground to operate the horn relay. No ground no horn. Bolting it into the steel dash will usually work. Not always and never if the mounts are against fiberglass or in rubber.
7th Wiper switches often work off a ground also. Newer (1960 to 70's stuff)
8th Gauges and Lights, like high beam indicator or turn indicators and interior lights need a good ground. Headlights, taillights and parking lights need a ground, you knew that. Did you know that if they’re dim or operate funny they nee a better ground?
Gauges always need one except ammeters and hopefully I talked you out of that a long time ago. Still using one? Call me.....
9th Using our GW-15 grounding terminal block is great for these smaller items. The block has a heavy feed wire that is connected directly to the battery or mounting bolt on the block near the starter. The starter is usually closer and completes the path with a heavier wire. Grounding directly to some battery terminals allows corrosion to built up on small wires which is more critical than just the heavy starter cable.
10th The braided cables work good from the block to the frame and body both. Nothing should be over looked. You can run too many fuses but never too many grounds.
Grounding headlights, especially Halogen bulbs to the bucket or fender is almost always an eventual problem
Electric fans draw buckets of juice. A separate ground wire to the central system location can keep you cool in more ways then one
You should take advantage of any accessory with a separate ground lead. Rather than shove this under a mounting bolt, run it to the central grounding area.
Horns are usually OK grounded to the steel body or frame.
Central grounding location makes troubleshooting great.
Electric fuel pumps and gas senders are usually easiest grounded to the frame A separate ground to the central location is better
Master disconnects are best installed in the positive cable. This is especially important with electronic accessories or fuel injection
Typical battery locations require grounding the battery to the engine block and then a back up rear ground to the frame near the battery
Aluminum transmission and starter housings can sometime create electrolysis (corrosion) with dissimilar metal like brass battery cable lugs. It is best to run the ground cable to the cast iron block.
Use the engine as the primary ground connection and attach the frame, central grounding terminal strip and steel body to the same stud if possible.
Detailed Instructions on How To Improve Your Cars Ground Cables
WHY ARE GROUNDS IMPORTANT
A good ground from the battery to chassis is very important for the
proper operation of your entire electrical system.
A proper ground, believe it or not, will also aid in your engine
idling properly, and that a proper spark gets to the spark plug.
A proper ground will also ensure that your starter will work properly
and will actually help lengthen its life.
The main problem that I have seen is that stock, from the factory
the NEGATIVE cable is bolted to a nut that is welded to the chassis.
The problem with this being that it is relying on, for the most part,
contact through the threads. As some know, the contact patch around
where the cable lug touches the chassis, is usually painted. This does
not make a good conducter. Also for most of the upgrades, and addons
that the average enthusiast installs, adds on even more electrical load.
Also the stock cable is usually cheap, and not very well made.
I will explain what I did to my 1993 MR2 Turbo, and you can easily
apply this to just about any car.
On the MR2T 3S-GTE engine, there are two main points to concentrate
on, these are the NEGATIVE battery terminal, and the chassis to
transmission cable in the engine compartment.
First off, there are different types of cable, and different types of
cable lugs. Welding cable lugs are typically larger, and will be more
difficult to work with, as some of the standard sized welding cable
lugs have very large eyelets in them, and will be far too large to
fit the stock bolt. . .
Metal Shop: Electrolysis and Grounding 101
. . . Grounding more important than ever
No doubt, the installation of additional electrical systems, components, microprocessors, sensors, electric motors, electronic convenience items and related circuitry has placed an added burden on the automotive service industry in general and body shops specifically. Although microprocessors are capable of providing feedback through self-diagnostics, they have limitations. That means service technicians need various scan tools and electronic meters to receive the two-way communication that today’s electronic components provide. Having the tools is one thing. Understanding the concepts and interpreting the readings are critical to successful diagnostics.
In spite of the electronic revolution sweeping the industry, one basic tenant remains unchanged. To complete the flow of electricity, the negative circuitry emanating from the battery must be properly grounded. Almost without exception, the frame and/or body sheet metal serve as the primary grounding device for the electrical system. If properly connected, it is in fact an extension of the battery negative connection. Although the body is typically isolated from the chassis by non-conductive, cushioned insulators, the many supplemental ground wires connected to each vehicle body are connected back to the chassis and the battery by one or more body-to-frame jumper wires.
While the vehicles of yesteryear may have had just a few ground wires, it is quite common to have between 10 and 20 chassis-ground connections sharing the load today. Each must be functioning properly to complete the circuit and route the flow of electricity back to the battery. Any broken, loose or corroded connections are almost sure to cause a malfunction and/or alter the flow of electricity. Because it takes the path of least resistance, electrical current will stray from its intended route and create a return flow by looking elsewhere.
Be suspicious of ground wires
Damage to ground wires is almost inevitable, even during a moderate collision causing $3,000 to $7,000 in damage. During the repair process, be sure to check your collision repair reference to make sure you know the location and connection points for all ground wires. When they are securely connected, the electrical path is well defined. On the other hand, any breach will cause the electricity to find the shortest, easiest, quickest path of least resistance. Particularly for electrical components or circuitry in close proximity to the radiator or heater—that path can involve the coolant itself.
If you have the occasion to check for electrolysis, use a digital voltmeter set for 12 volts. Attach one test lead to the negative battery post and insert the other test lead into the radiator’s coolant, making sure the lead does not touch the filler neck or the core. Initially, you may see a surface charge that could be 0.7 volts or higher. It could take up to two minutes for this surface charge to dissipate. Only then will you be able to obtain an accurate reading. A voltage reading of 0.3 or higher indicates that stray current is finding its path to ground through the cooling system.
Cooling fans and A/C-heater fans are logical sources to check and eliminate early in your diagnostic process. Then check any non-factory accessories that have been added. Next, you can turn the ignition to the run position while turning various accessories on and off. When the meter’s voltage jumps, you’ve found the circuit with a bad ground. A small amount of electricity normally flows through a vehicle’s cooling system. In a properly grounded system, this small charge (less than 0.3V) is constantly discharged and no harm is done.
Serious problems with stray-current electrolysis can occur when the cooling system is not grounded or when an ungrounded electrical device is part of the vehicle’s operating system. The cooling system then becomes a warehouse for this stray electricity, and the coolant turns into an electrolyte. This charged coolant is constantly searching for a ground or a way out of the system. When it finds a material it can attack (the path of least resistance), the coolant goes to work “eating through” that material radiator and/or heater causing damage such as the following:
· Solder-joint destruction
· Aluminum corrosion and flake formation that clogs the system
· Cast-iron corrosion that causes rust to contaminate the cooling system
Stray current also can be a problem with new, straight-from-the-factory vehicles. Back in 1986, Ford recalled approximately 19,400 vehicles to find a misrouted battery cable that could send a low-grade electrical current through the radiator, setting up an electrolytic action that could promptly ruin the radiator.
Frequently, by the time your customer realizes electrolysis is taking place, the radiator or heater damage is already done. Unlike a radio that frequently hums when a short exists or a resistor malfunctions, the cooling system does not emit an audible sound. To make sure that electrolysis doesn’t start in your shop, let your technicians know the importance of reconnecting all ground wires.
What the future holds
For sure, you and your technicians will see more, increasingly complex electrical components and circuits in the vehicles that are brought to your shop for collision repair. As the price of mass-produced technology declines and consumer demand for convenience increases, the world of the possible will continue coming to the automotive industry. Many other ideas that are common in the aerospace industry remain to be transferred to automotive applications.
Soon water pumps will be electrically driven. Hybrid electric cars are already here. Battery-powered vehicles are on the horizon. These vehicles already operate at higher voltages and carry warnings about possible electrocution. A near-term change using existing technology is the 42V electrical system. Any electrolysis problems are likely to be the same, but the higher voltage is a good bet to cause larger and/or faster problems.
Tune in to new developments and stay current with diagnostic tools and procedures. Proper electrical grounding is just one of the many facets of collision repair that you need to know. Lack of knowledge is no ground for returning your customers’ vehicles with incomplete repairs and easily avoided radiator and/or heater failures caused by electrolysis.