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Ground Distribution Idea

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  • Ground Distribution Idea

    OK So I have purchased my self the power distribution box I needed and the side post for the battery. I am thinking I am going to do a ground distribution also. HEre are my thoughts...

    I bought a Raptor 12v distribution box...I was thinking about getting another one and using that for a ground distribution. Shouldnt be any issue with that you think right? Cause I mean its still making the connection.

    If I do that I am debating running the ground wire to a solid ground spot on the chassis or hooking right to my battery.

    My 12v doing to the distribution box is 2 gauge. I was orginally planning on 2 gauge for the ground also but am starting to think I should do 0/1 Gauge instead. What do you think?

    Would I be better off running the ground to the battery?

  • #2
    The 2nd distro box will work fine for grounds as well.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      Thanks...what doyou think about grounding to the battery or the chassis?


      • #4
        You'll get differing opinions.
        I ground to the chassis at a location where all paint and primer has been sanded away.
        For my install, it was the most convenient location, and is working out well.

        For other installs, a ground run back to the battery may be the better option.
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?

        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


        • #5
          On a few amp installs I have done before I have unbolted the rear bench seat to use as a groung then rebolted down...usually worked pretty well.
          I will probably stick to that


          • #6
            With your ground you can try different things. It depends on the car. If you mount your ground to the seat belt mount or seat mount and it works then great. But if you get noise you may want to go directly to the battery. You definitely want to run the positive straight to the battery.

            Most installers will tell you that they will try different things until they find something that works. On unibody cars some are better than others for ground paths. With a body on a frame style of vehicle you want to tie the ground to the frame. On my old cop car they actually put multiple ground straps between the body of the car and the frame of the car. I counted no less that 4 separate ground straps that connected the body to the frame. There was one from the engine to the body and two from the engine to the frame as well. The battery ground went directly to the engine block.

            Note that with the retirement of the Crown Victoria I don't know of any other vehicle by the "big three" or Honda/Toyota that is a body on frame other than perhaps the majority of trucks if not all of them.

            Just remember there is no such thing as too much wire...

            Also you will likely want to trace down any factory ground wires. If you do NOT run a wire to the battery directly you will need to upgrade your ground straps from the engine to the body or you will likely burn up the current factory ground locations and cause yourself all sorts of grief.

            If you find the common copper mesh style ground strap you can feel reasonably safe in adding 2-3 more of them in the same location but you may also want to find other locations to also ground it to make sure your ground from the engine to the body of the car is bigger than the combination of the factory ground and the ground straps.

            A LOT of people do not upgrade the ground strap between the engine and body and can not figure out why they have intermittent issues with their wiring ever after. You do NOT want a regular wire to mount between the engine and body if you can help it. The reason for the mesh style connection is because the engine moves A LOT during its normal operation and the mesh style connection works best for that. And it is not affected by oil or fuel spills.

            Generally where the battery wire goes to ground is not moving around as much and isn't in contact with oil, grease and high temps so a good quality solid wire works. You will also want to of course upgrade your cable from the battery to the body of the car as well as to the block of the engine. I have seen OEM cables as small as 6 gauge used as power and ground. If you are using a 2 gauge wire from your body to your distribution block and you NEED the power, you are likely to literally burn the ground straps and battery cable from the battery to whatever ground points it has.

            Again, and I can't warn you strong enough. If you burn those ground straps and wires up you also start affecting the factory wiring and can lead to a cascading issue where you start loosing equipment in your car as well. So make sure if you DO use the body as your "ground wire" that you make sure you also upgrade the ground strap from engine to body and from the battery to body/engine. (And if you are using 2 gauge make sure you are using 1/0 for solid cables and try to find a heavier duty "mesh" and/or use multiples to duplicate the connection as engineered.)

            Even if you run your wires directly to the battery you may still want to upgrade the factory battery wires if you have factory 6 gauge wire to atleast 4 gauge.


            • #7
              IMO excellent replies again from DarquePervert & redheadedrod.

              And aside from what I said in my PM to you after your other thread was locked, I just want to emphasise and paraphrase two of redheadedrod's important comments:
              - there is no such thing as too much ground wire
              - if you lose grounding you can get lots of wiring and equipment damage

              (One guy destroyed $thousands worth - namely 7 DVD payers & screens etc!)

              The BIG 3 often advocates leaving the OEM engine/body ground and adding extra ground straps to avoid warranty etc issues.

              As to external regulators, who the heck uses them (LOL!). But for that reason as well as others, I highly suggest integral alternator/regulator assemblies, specifically of the 2-wire (or more) types - ie, the Sensing (S) wire can be attached directly to the +12V battery terminal.
              And where external body voltage regulators are used, ensure good engine to body bonding else the regulator (and its ground wire) will burn out.

              But in ALL cases, ensure no voltage drift occurs between the engine (alternator GND) and chassis/body and battery -ve else the aforementioned damage may occur.


              • #8
                So i have been thinking aboutbit more today and this is what I am thinking...running a 0/1 gauge to the battery for ground...what do you think?


                • #9
                  I'm thinking exactly as before,,,

                  If its size and weight and cost is ok, then it can't hurt, so why not?

                  Whether it is required of will make any difference at all I have no idea. I don't even know what the distribution is for nor what currents are involved. Nor what you are aiming to achieve.