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Thread: Ground block/plate question

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate
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    Ground block/plate question

    I did a quick little upgrade yesterday installing a touchpad (got tired of the touchscreen not working at below 40' when I start the car for the first 10 min, and needed to access the factory screen).

    I realized how messy it was mostly due to a bunch of ground wires running all over the place (under my center console shifter area). It bothers me that the wires are piled on each other and could possibly come loose and cause problems. Is there a small grounding block/plate/clamp that would be good for multiple (5-8) 22 to 16 guage wires? I was thinking of simply getting two metal plates and screw them together sandwiching all the ground wires and then the lead to the ground, but figured that would be problematic between the 16 causing a less an adequate clamping pressure on the 22 gauge wires.

  2. #2
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    ...maybe something like this?

    But would have to make sure the contacts are covered. But where to get it from?
    Last edited by Champak; 04-14-2014 at 02:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate RAWPWR's Avatar
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    Try this one maybe?...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GROUNDING-BAR-/291123749677

    Or if $$$ is no object (way over priced IMHO) then go with,....
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ron-Francis-...-/390813539369

    I used these in past projects which worked pretty well, (Looks something like what is pictured)....
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-POSITION-T...-/231038973815

    I also didn't have them with covers too, so I brushed on a little liquid electric tape which is sold at any home cheap-o chain.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited by RAWPWR; 04-14-2014 at 03:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    For ground wires you really have many options and you don't need to worry about shorting them to the body of the vehicle. So really there is no need to worry about covering the connections unless you are worried about them contacting a power source or think they might get wet or get rubbed up against.

    You could go an expensive route and go with a brass bar with threaded bolts in it. You want Brass because it won't corrode like steel, copper or aluminum. Steel is probably the worst conductor to use because it will corrode quickly and is probably the material in the picture you are showing. Copper will work and is a great conductor but will coat with oxidation quickly which will mess up the conductivity an just looks bad. Aluminum is not too bad but because you are likely using a copper wire the dissimilar metals tend to interact and they may "weld" together chemically or cause other issues. Brass doesn't oxidize like copper but still conducts decently. You may also see chromed connectors or other plating materials available as well that don't oxidize. The plating can come off easily and if that happens it looks worse than an oxidized copper piece.

    Depending on how many connections you need they do make a crimp connector that you can use to connect something in the area of 6 different wires to a common center piece. I can not find an example but I have used them... Think of it as 6 ring terminals with a rivet in the middle of them that swivels.

    You can do any of a number of complicated setups but if you look at what they do from the factory they have a bolt mounted to the wall. Multiple wires then have ring terminals on them and they are slid over the bolt one by one stacked in no particular order. At the end they have a star washer to bite into the terminals and a nut on the end. The star washer acts like a lock washer in this configuration. There is nothing keeping you from doing the same thing. Just put ring terminals on each of your wires and slide them onto a bolt. The bolt doesn't matter since you are using it to force a mechanical connection between the ring terminals. You could use a stainless steel bolt to make sure it doesn't corrode and affect the connection but I have done this when I didn't care to show the connection. There is nothing to keep you from putting star washers between each ring terminal to insure a good connection as well.

    One thing about using a bolt and ring terminals. You want to try to make sure the ring terminal is long. The longer the terminal the easier it is for you to stagger them so you can tighten the bolt and not have any of the terminals crimp end connect thus not allowing the connection between the terminals from being solid. You want the ring terminals to contact as much of the ring to one another as possible.

    For power leads you have a whole different set of rules. You want fusing on each wire so you want to use power blocks. You COULD use ring terminals and a bolt also but you would need to tape the connection to insulate it. And then you would need inline fuses for each line which gets real messy..

    Rodney

  5. #5
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    Rodney, what the hell! You gave a whole lot of explanation (thank you by the way) with no product lol. Give me something specific man.

    Rawpwr, the links don't work.

    Thanks to both.

  6. #6

  7. #7
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    The bus bars I suggested are generic and should be available at any electrical supply house.

    Same goes for ring terminals. For the ring terminal you can use any generic Crimp or solder type connector. These are generic and can be gotten anywhere.

    As for the bolt... Again.. Generic and you can get from any hardware store.

    Shouldn't really need a product link since your application could vary and there are ALOT of different types of them out there.

    But really if you have an electrical supply house near you that would be your best choice to check out the possibilities. They may have stuff I haven't seen there too that would work fine as well.

    Or heck if you have a drill press and can cut your own threads you could buy your own brass bar and build one if you wanted to.

    Rodney

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