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Old 08-07-2007, 08:18 AM
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Ground cable bad?

I am having problem with the car starting, it was fine for about a year. I have a trunk battery with a ground cable from pep boys it is about a year old. It looks good can it go bad? The battery is an optima (I read post on it) but test good.

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Old 08-07-2007, 08:29 AM
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Ground cable bad

Tom, do the voltage drop test I described in another thread. It'll tell you if your cable is bad or if you have a bad connection. I forget the name of the thread, but you were in there offering the guy advice too.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:30 AM
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Voltage drop test....

check voltage at the battery, post to post.
Check again, Hot post on battery, ground at frame connection.
Check again, hot on bat post, ground at engine (close to starter)
Should be within 1/10 of a volt.


Ground cable should be the same size(gauge) as the positive cable, 2ga min. On a trunk mount, you need at least 1ga cable.

Just because the cable looks good on the outside, doesn't mean it's not corroded on the inside. As an added note, quality of cable can vary. What appears to be 2 ga, simply because of the size of the cable, can be much less....insulation is cheap, copper isn't. Cut a cheapo cable & look at the wire inside, as opposed to cable you get from a Name brand supplier, (belden, borg warner, etc)


just my .02
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:47 AM
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accel

for the positive I used Accel 2g wire. Description was for the trunk mount. I will go to the stereo shop and get 1g (or do I need 2g) for the negative and try that. It was working fine for about a year. I will get a tester also.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:53 AM
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Ground cable bad

If you buy a good meter and do a proper voltage drop test you'll know if you need a new wire or not. Be sure to do the voltage drop test under load or the results won't be worth much.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:10 AM
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Doc here,

The ground cable as well as power needs to be 0/0 or 0/1 from a trunk mount location...AND go non stop from the posts to the STARTER..and BLOCK area at or near the starter to be effective..

Your Ground BUSS MUST be set up as follows if you want a trouble~FREE SYSTEM over the next 45 years.....

For your Ground Buss, Set it up as follows:

BE sure First, You have A 4 gauge Cable (for stock battery location, OR , 0/0 or 0/1 Cable for a trunk location) from the battery, to any handy bolt at or NEAR the starter on the block .

Using a short run to something like a seat belt bolt, or body bolt just adds resistance, the body is insulated..(has road paint and sits on rubber mounts) this , makes for a "Poor or no" Bonding situation..
  • that makes resistance..
  • Resistance makes Heat..
  • heat melts things and further insulates the bond,
  • which makes more heat..and so on..until you no longer have a good bond..

To install a proper ground buss system, This MUST be done:
  • 1 ) Run a properly gauged (0/0 or 0/1) Ground cable from the battery in the trunk, Or A 4 Gauge cable for a stock located battery, to any handy bolt at or near the starter on the block. From that same bolt get a 4 gauge Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame. Make this run as short as possible.

  • 2 ) Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals, run two wires from your bolt on the block, to the Firewall, Burnish off all the paint, grease or oil or dirt from the area, Install a sheetmetal or Self Drilling Tech screw using a star washer as well as a lock washer.. and the other 10 gauge wire to the Alternator ground lug, bracket or mount bolt and attach with star and lock washers.
  • 3 ) Next get some Wire Braid, (expensive! about $10 for 5 - 6 inch pieces! ) Check Radio Shack for this, OR cheaper yet, get some RG 8 Coax cable, about 10 feet. Should run you about 15 cents a foot.

HOW TO MAKE WAY DURABLE CHEAP GROUND BRAID:
--------------------------------------------------
  • 1 ) carefully Slit the insulation from the cable with a Talaban Boarding pass (box knife) .


  • 2 ) Peel away the insulation until you just have the center dielectric and braid left, then carefully press the ends of the coax cable BRAID together like a Chinese "Finger puzzle"


  • 3 ) Slide the dielectric and center conductor out. remove it and toss it..


  • 4 ) On a work bench, Flatten the Braided shield out, use a round weight like a full paint can to roll over it.
------------------------------------------------------

This will be your braid cable, just Cut to smaller length's as needed, and tuck the cut ends into a crimp terminal and crimp the ends on..

IF you can Solder, Tin the ends before you tuck the ends of the cable into the terminals, then Tin the barrel of the terminals, then insert the cable and crimp..

Then heat the terminal and braid, feed some solder into the opposite end as the heat is being applied, let it melt and FLOW or WICK toward the heat..until the terminal barrel is filled and is smooth and shiny..

that is a good joint..gray and rough is a "Cold Joint" and you'll have to start over..
  • 4 ) NEXT, install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body. Install a cable or Braid From the Fuel tank Ground lug where the sender, Fuel line is to the frame..burnish the frame, use star washers and sheetmetal or Tech (self Drilling screws) on the frame.

  • 5 ) 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 sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.


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..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

Remember: GROUND is the other Half of your 12 volt circuit AND is equally as important as having POWER to the device!

DO NOT SKIP STEPS , or it will come back on you someday!

Doc
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:46 PM
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wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

So make it a rolling ground cable. Thank's I got it fixed today.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:49 PM
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Doc here,

Fine,

You may want to read and comply with the ground buss standards to avoid future problems.

Doc
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:51 PM
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will do

will do thank you
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