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Old 02-12-2006, 10:58 PM
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Braided Grounding Strap

In the process of replacing all grounding cables under the hood and putting where there are none.

I currently have a cable ( 2/0 AWG ) with copper lugs already on, just sitting around. It's about 12" in lenght.

Is this OK to use this in place of a braided ground strap from the engine block to the firewall?

I have read that it is best to use braided from the block to the firewall.

Or should I just go and fork out the cash for a prefab braided?

Frank

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Old 02-13-2006, 12:26 AM
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Doc here,

Here is how to set up your ground system:

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable 4 Ga or better, at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it to the Bolt at the starter and the other end to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals. Run that from your bolt on the block, to the Firewall, and another from that bolt to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

If the Bracket and alternator is powder white, remove them both and all their hardware, sandblast or pressure wash them until clean semi shiny metal, dry and reinstall.

You have electrolysis there..and it will also eat a water pump impeller up faster than any acid..The Alternator Bracket and Alternator housing is Aluminum and the block is Steel..(what were they thinking?)

Before you go to reinstall the brackets, go to the hardware store and get some aluminum wire compound, and coat everywhere the mount hardware meets steel (bolts, mount surfaces Ect..)

Next get a roll Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) Or might be cheaper, get 5 or so feet of RG 8 Coax cable, slit the insulation off, and remove the braid, then cut to size and install ring terminals.

Install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fender wells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheet metal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

While your at it, crawl under the vehicle and attach a braid or 10 ga (whichever you have the most of left over) from the ground lug on the fuel tank to the frame.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come.

Using 2/0 cable is fine electrically, but it's big, hard to work with, won't look all that well, and won't flex where needed on a moving part.

Doc
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:43 AM
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Doc...How about welding cable ? Stuff flexes well enough, does it carry the current needed to operate correctly ?
Something that has been a topic on other boards, & would appreciate your input. When grounding, Is there a major difference in...Battery to frame, frame to motor vs. battery to motor, motor to frame. All things being equal, with correctly sized cables / straps, is there a significant difference in the order in which the connections are made ?
Just curious.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:11 AM
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Battery to motor near the starter is best, as Doc described. The starter pulls the most current, more than any other single component (should). So having the ground closest to it means it gets more power -- less distance for the electrons to travel. It should work with the battery to frame, frame to motor, but you're making a longer circuit with more resistance, which means the cables will heat up more and the starter could see less power -- there's more of a voltage drop between battery and starter. When voltage drops, the starter will pull more amps, which cause the cables to heat up more.

Amps are the amount of electricity used (volume, if you will), and volts are the pressure the electricity is delivered at. So think of it like a fuel line. You have to burn so much fuel at a certain power level. You can get it there by leaving the lines the same size and increasing pressure, or make the line bigger and leave pressure alone. In this case, there are consequences -- to much pressure and the carb will flood.

On the fuel system you just can't push more volume without changing pressure, but an electrical system will try, even if it melts the wire. With an increase in volume (amps) comes an increase in heat! You better have a bigger wire to make up for the increase in volume or you're going to melt something. This, or course, is the reverse of the fuel line, which may need a stronger line to carry an increase in pressure (don't use fuel line designed for a carb to run EFI -- 7 psi for cabr, 30-50 psi for EFI). So mounting the ground from battery to frame to starter will require larger leads than battery to starter to frame. Nothing else on the car pulls more than 30 amps, the starter can pull 200+.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:15 PM
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Some very good info I've got to work with.


I did use welding cable for my connections. All copper lugs are soldered then punched. Double wrap of shrink. (ThanX Doc)

Battery NEG to fenderwell, with 4 AWG. No problem to move this from frame to fenderwell.
Battery NEG to Block, with 2/0 AWG. I need to run this to the starter.

Battery POS to Starter 1 AWG. So far my attempts to reach any bolt on the starter have failed. ( Exhaust Manifold in the way ) Aside from my fat hands getting in there.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzwell
Doc...How about welding cable ? Stuff flexes well enough, does it carry the current needed to operate correctly ?
Doc here,

A properly Sized (gauged) Welding cable is a very good conductor For the Main grounding system.

I think we have a Technical miscommunication here..I think you are saying "Braided" where you mean to say "Stranded" Am I correct?

Braided and Stranded wire is more or less Equal in Resistance per foot provided the gauges and Ampacity are equal ...

Stranded wire is more or less, Many single strands of uninsulated wire in a row or next to each other, to make up a Single wire when insulated as it is made from the manufacture..Like twisting a bunch of bare wire together to make a single wire. (there's probably a better explanation out there..but basically thats it)

BRAIDED wire is several strands of wire weave, woven together to make a single wire braid, Like a Chinese Finger puzzle. (Look at the Shielded Braid on a piece of Coax cable to get an Idea..)

Equally, given the metallic make up of the wire, Silver, Copper, Aluminum,Gold, and amount of wire (I.E. braided may have to be thicker than stranded to equal the same gauge/Ampicity, of stranded, because of the weave / air gaps Etc..A pound of Feathers Vs A pound of rocks..) Resistance per foot will be equal...

Braided is a good RF Dampener, This is why it is used on things like The hood to the Body, The Doors To the Door Posts, The Trunk to the Body, Gas Flap to the body, and the like. It will also carry a reasonable ground, like a hood light, or trunk light.

If you , for instance, have a lot of piping in the radio, and it's coming from the alternator, and HEI, You add Braided Straps to the hood , which turns the hood (which may not be grounded, or through painted surfaces have a high resistance to ground) Into an RF Shield...It will also provide a good ground to the hood light..The same applies to doors, and trunk etc..all these have rubber gasket, and in addition, two bare pieces of metal rubbing together can cause (generate) RF interferance..(as well as wear the metal out).It also Ensures that the body is on the same level of ground as the rest of the car.

If you have Speaker wire noise, and Chokes on the radio power and hard ground wires won't resolve it, the usual or next Curative is install SHIELDED Coax (Braided ground or outer conductor) Speaker wires.

Here Ground technique IS important..If you ground both ends of the coax, It can allow Ground loops..or a "HUM" in the audio..

The usual technique is hard ground the Amp or Radio end, leaving the speaker end open. In this case if you ground both ends, the interference can travel up one shield, then back down another looking for a hard ground..ERGO .. the hum..

Antennas , (most anyway) Always use Shielded (Braided outer Connector) To capture RFI before it reaches the center conductor..(the business end of the receiver or Transmitter)

The Grounding here is different, It must be grounded properly at BOTH ends to allow the maximum of current from the source to the device, AND keep it within a certain resistance (Match) to the source..


Quote:
Something that has been a topic on other boards, & would appreciate your input. When grounding, Is there a major difference in...Battery to frame, frame to motor vs. battery to motor, motor to frame. All things being equal, with correctly sized cables / straps, is there a significant difference in the order in which the connections are made ?
Yes, as Farna So eloquently Described, The BEST connection is a Straight connection to the highest load with a properly gauged wire. (power and Ground Straight to the starter, Highest demand load will always deliver the highest current to the device)

Some will argue that , for instance , if your battery is in the back , you can just run a wire from ground to the frame back there, and then run one from the block to the frame in the front..

While the frame is a good conductor no argument, you now have 4 terminal connectors, two separate lengths of cable, and 3 attach points (bolts to frame/block) That can Corrode, get knocked about, become loose, and heat..allowing the possibility of a failure, as opposed to a straight 1 piece run.

There is also the Uni~Body Car, That has only a sub~frame in the front..The rest of the car is smaller gauge sheet metal, at the mercy of flex, rust and corrosion, as opposed to a Straight run.

Would you honestly run a Ground cable to the trunk sheetmetal Floor pan, and expect it to support the Starter in the front? Even if the starter had a cable to the frame..I should think sooner or later, the floor pan would melt..

Ground, after the starter/block, on the smaller gauge wires (10 gauge) makes no difference in the order in which you run them.

You ARE NOT Daisy chaining them, but running a separate ground to the Fire wall to the Bolt by the starter, and one to the Alternator, Plus the 4 ga or better from that bolt to the frame.

The rest of the body pieces will be supported by the wire braid to the frame (fender wells, Radiator support, doors, hood, trunk, etc) Metal Flexes, Wires (if installed properly) won't loose ground in a flex.

Quote:
Just curious.
Does that help?

Doc
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58Chev

Battery POS to Starter 1 AWG. So far my attempts to reach any bolt on the starter have failed. ( Exhaust Manifold in the way ) Aside from my fat hands getting in there.
Doc here,

I know room is premium in a 57, but have you tried the belhausing bolts, above or below the starter? This will work OK.

Doc
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:34 PM
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58'Chev,

Maybe this will help clarify in addition to Doc's and Farnas good info....

Neg ground system, the electrical flow is from the minus to the positive, having more good grounds and interconnecting grounds allows the least resistance path back to the positive terminal thru the parts of the car

would be best if every electrical item was on a continous ground copper bus to the neg terminal and didn't use the steel body as a conductor

neg batt cable to the block and on the same block connection a #10 to the firewall....use a piece of threaded rod thru the firewall....on the inside rod stud add #14 wire grounds to the existing grounds on the wiper motor, heater motor, AC blower which all draw quite a few amps, (adding those makes a "short ground path" to copper for the small amp items like instrument lights and radio but adding grounds to them will only help)
on that same block ground, add a #10 to the alt ground and a #10 to the headlight ground (headlights are high amp) and a #10 to the frame

can't get the neg block cable direct on the starter, attach it to a bolt close to it on the aluminum bell housing for shortest path to copper

crazy way to put it but you making a "copper tree" of ground wires terminated at alot of different points in the car so the electricity can find the easiest path back to the neg terminal
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

I think we have a Technical miscommunication here..I think you are saying "Braided" where you mean to say "Stranded" Am I correct?

Braided and Stranded wire is more or less Equal in Resistance per foot provided the gauges and Ampacity are equal ...

Does that help?

Doc
Doc,
Yes your post helps.

What I meant by braded was just that, On my old Jeep it had a flat braded ground from the block to the firewall.

I have a 2/0 stranded welding cable that I would like to use on my 58, from the block to the firewall.

But after reading all the suggested areas where it would be best to connect my grounds, I will have some plannning and work ahead of me in the next few weeks.

ThanX again.

red65mustang,
I was planning on getting some Insulated Terminal Blocks from MAD, both for POS and NEG.

Frank
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:11 PM
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Frank,

don't use a insulated block as a thru the firewall ground stud, you want the firewall to also be a ground path (so now the wiper motor mount bolts to the firewall is a ground and the copper wire you added to the existing ground is a ground) , piece of threaded copper rod and 2 copper nuts clamping against the bare firewall steel....

yes absolutely, insulated terminal blocks for all positive wire connections and a fuse for that device on the positive wire

another way to think about Doc's grounding doors, trunk, etc.....cause the car is sitting on rubber tires (it doesn't have a true earth ground souce like you house) the best you can do is hard copper link all the parts, (hood, front suspension, etc,) to use all the steel possible for as much and as many paths as possible for that negative batt terminal ground "source"

small correction....body is rubber mounted?...use 3 or 4 #10 grounds or one #4-6 from the frame to body

Last edited by red65mustang; 02-13-2006 at 07:22 PM.
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