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Thread: Question about power wire?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate checksum's Avatar
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    Question about power wire?

    Hello,

    I have a question about automotive power wire. Is there a difference between the zip parallel attached together (power/ground) and the (power/ground) that are not attached. Most install I see here have a separate 12V and ground wire, wouldn't it be easier to have the power and ground wire tied together as shown in the picture below?



    I am thinking of getting these from my battery to my power supply from ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-8-AWG-GAUGE-...#ht_2968wt_844

    Does it look like a good quality wire?
    2005 Nissan Altima - Completed 2007
    2010 Nissan Altima - Coming Soon...

  2. #2
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    Easier? A little bit. Better? No. The shorter your ground cable is, the better, as you ground it to the chassis which will have a faster path to the (-) of the battery/alternator, so to speak.

    Run your power wire to the battery, crimp a ring terminal on it.
    Run your ground to the nearest metal part of the car, scrape the paint/primer off of it, check behind the metal to make sure you don't drill into an ECU or gas tank or anything. Crimp a ring terminal on it and Put a screwwith the ring and then a grip washer, and then screw it into the bare metal. Done.

    The actual wiring you're looking at looks okay though.



    Bk

  3. #3
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    With the wires tied together like that you run the risk of frying some expensive electronic equipment. Just imagine what would happen if somehow that wire got pinched and the shielding was no longer keeping the wires separated.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate checksum's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply.

    I have heard that grounding your wire on the chassis introduces noise into the system.
    On my old system, i had both the power and ground taken from the battery terminals, and never had any issues, but I had the carputer under the passenger seat, so the wires were short.
    This time around I am planning on putting the computer in the trunk with long cable, so cable management is very important to me, that why I wanted to know if the glued together power/ground were any different, because that will make things much easier.
    2005 Nissan Altima - Completed 2007
    2010 Nissan Altima - Coming Soon...

  5. #5
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    Do what you will, however the shorter the ground cable, the better, and more current can flow easier. If you happen to ground in the (-) return path of a taillight or something, move the ground a foot or two.

  6. #6
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbrandont View Post
    Easier? A little bit. Better? No. The shorter your ground cable is, the better, as you ground it to the chassis which will have a faster path to the (-) of the battery/alternator, so to speak.

    Run your power wire to the battery, crimp a ring terminal on it.
    Run your ground to the nearest metal part of the car, scrape the paint/primer off of it, check behind the metal to make sure you don't drill into an ECU or gas tank or anything. Crimp a ring terminal on it and Put a screwwith the ring and then a grip washer, and then screw it into the bare metal. Done.

    The actual wiring you're looking at looks okay though.
    kind of..

    the idea behind keeping a short ground is so that there is less voltage drop..

    if you are familiar with dc electric, you should also be familiar with the fact that for every foot, you loose a certain amount of voltage--referred to as "voltage drop"

    electrical devices don't mind pulling current from the positive wire, but having a long, equally-sized, ground wire will force the device to 'push' the used power, which can lead to heat, and other issues.(similar to you sucking a liquid through a straw, and then pushing it back)

    the concept for keeping the ground wire short is that it can use the vehicle frame for the return path-- which is the equivalent of a very large wire--hence, less resistance.

    if you do choose to run both wires off the battery(there is nothing wrong with doing it), it is recommended that the ground wire be 2x's the size of the positive wire to allow for good current flow..

    Quote Originally Posted by madadd View Post
    With the wires tied together like that you run the risk of frying some expensive electronic equipment. Just imagine what would happen if somehow that wire got pinched and the shielding was no longer keeping the wires separated.
    hence the reason that every power wire off the battery should have a appropriately-sized fuse..

    but you should always do that, no matter how the power/ground wire is run...

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