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Old 02-01-2011, 07:59 PM
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Grounding Taillights Directly to Battery?

A while back I figured out some taillight issues on my 1973 K20 Chevrolet Pickup. After bolting everything back up and grounding each taillamp to bedsides, I still have funky issues, but I now know this is due to bad grounds as everything worked perfectly when I grounded the taillight harness directly to the negative post on the battery.

That being said, I was planning on running the same factory grounds to the bedsides and on the other side of the bolt running a ground wire directly to the frame.

My question is this: Would it be okay to run a 10 gauge ground wire directly from each taillight along the frame rails all the way back up to the battery negative post? I'd rather not do this, but the rear third of my frame is scaly rusty and I'm thinking that may be a better option, or would a ground wire this long be ineffective? I'm just kicking around some ideas, and I don't know if this would even be an effective solution.

Thanks for any thoughts.

M

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:20 PM
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PCAS,

You could run the wire but that is over kill.
There should be a ground strap from the cab to the frame. From the frame to the engine block. And then a ground cable from the battery to the engine block or cylinder head.
So at all of these connections you will need to clean the metal of all rust and scale. Then put the ground straps back on the clean areas. Use a "star" washer under the straps so it will "bite" the metal and the strap. Then paint the area so it will not rust as fast.

Have Fun
Scholman
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:31 PM
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grounding

Quote:
Originally Posted by scholman
PCAS,

You could run the wire but that is over kill.
There should be a ground strap from the cab to the frame. From the frame to the engine block. And then a ground cable from the battery to the engine block or cylinder head.
So at all of these connections you will need to clean the metal of all rust and scale. Then put the ground straps back on the clean areas. Use a "star" washer under the straps so it will "bite" the metal and the strap. Then paint the area so it will not rust as fast.

Have Fun
Scholman
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Everything said I would do, but make sure your ground strap from tranny is not on Alum., it is a poor ground.

Bob
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:16 AM
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Do you have a good ground strap from the engine to the firewall?
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:39 AM
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Just make sure the grd between the batt and the frame is in a good clean rust free area, as suggested above, and use the star washer, then clean an area by the tail lights and run your grd strap between the lights and the frame. should work fine......... don't think you need a tranny ground.....lol
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:35 AM
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The stock grounds should work fine, but its sounds like they are not making a good connection. Running a wire from front to back will work, but I think it would be easier to fix the problem by getting the factory grounds to work better.

First check the instrument panel ground. It is up under the dash, and usually connected to a post on the top of the emergency brake pedal mechanism. The pedal bracket has to be securely bolted to the truck. If this ground comes off, you get a lot of strange electrical problems with lights and instruments.

The negative battery cable should have a large wire running over the alternator bracket, and a smaller wire grounded to the radiator support right next to the battery.

There will be a braided ground strap running from the passenger side rear corner of the engine (probably on a valve cover bolt) over to the firewall.

Each front light harness is grounded to the radiator support, and each taillight harness is grounded to the body.

All of these ground points should be wire-brushed or sanded to bare metal, and then use a star washer when you bolt the wire onto the ground point.

All check the wiring junction just behind the middle of the tailgate and make sure there are no broken wires. This junction pops apart to separate the taillight wiring from the wiring running down the frame. Near this junction there should be a large white wire that comes out of the bundle and grounds to the frame.

Bruce
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:28 AM
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bad ground gremlins

The problem with bad grounds is that sometimes a test lite will work but not enough current path for the component to work. I had problems with fixing the neighbor's ford truck power windows test lit showed things should work but nothing moved. when I used jumper cables to the power windows they moved. Corrosion in the relay connections and grounds. It was driven in an area where they use a lot of salt in the winter and everything corrodes and if they aren't washed often in the winter pretty soon you see body cancer.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:33 AM
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bad grounds

doing all the above should solve your problem.. i'll just throw this out.. while rebuilding my car trl, i welded on 1/4" ss bolts to the frame where ever i need a ground.. side lites, tail lites, 1 on ea side for brakes, and on in the front for the truck to trl ground.. no rusting, no problems.. bill
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:28 PM
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UPDATE:

I appreciate all the great advice, guys. I went ahead and grounded the taillights to the bedsides, and then on the same bolt ran a ground wire down to each frame rail and everything works exactly the way it is supposed to.

I'll still ground the block to the frame to be on the safe side.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:16 AM
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Good to hear you got it worked out
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