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Ground to battery. Right or wrong?


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Posted: December 06, 2006 at 11:43 AM / IP Logged  
I have in a 01 Ranger and we all know that the Ranger and the Explorer share the same platform. The proper thing to do in all cases is break out the meter and check the return resistance yourself. This suprises even the best of installers.
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aznboi3644 
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Posted: December 06, 2006 at 4:22 PM / IP Logged  
Yeah...I tried drilling a hole below the rear seats but hell theres like 3 layers of sheet metal lol so thats not really an option...I'm still trying to find a good ground.
And no I didn't drill into my gas tank as there were no fumes and I triple checked by looking under my truck lol
j_darling2007 
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Posted: December 07, 2006 at 8:15 AM / IP Logged  
If it has true frame rails, it is not unibody.
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dabear1029 
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Posted: December 07, 2006 at 9:37 PM / IP Logged  
I have a 1997 Ford Escort that is a unibody. My amp is grounded to the rear deck where the rear speakers are. Never had a problem at all, we found a threaded hole up there, cleaned off all the paint inside and on there very outside of the hole, found the right bolt to fit the threads, crimped on a terminal and bolted it up there. My ground wire is only about 12 inches long, and the amp is not moving, so I don't have to worry about it ripping out of the amp.
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aznboi3644 
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Posted: December 07, 2006 at 11:26 PM / IP Logged  
That doesn't really sound like a good ground....meter it and see what comes up
stevdart 
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Posted: December 08, 2006 at 7:56 AM / IP Logged  
dblboinger wrote:

If grounding to the battery is recommended when the "BIG 3" fails, then why would it not be recommended any other time? Maybe I won't gain anything, but I shouldn't lose anything either, except the cost of the cable and the time to do it.

It amounts to a matter of safety and good judgement based on the fact that the ground wire becomes a partially-hidden wire when it is run from trunk to engine bay. Known:
The ground wire is not a fused wire.
The ground wire must be constantly connected to chassis while power is supplied to the appliance (thus no fuse allowed).
A hidden wire is harder to monitor for defects than a short, visible wire.
Damage to the appliance will occur if the ground is disconnected while hot is still connected.
There are likely to be more reasons than I listed to attempt a short ground wire in plain sight from amplifier to chassis rather than just running the ground to the alternator casing from the get-go, but that's the short answer to your question.
Build the box so that it performs well in the worst case scenario and, in return, it will reward you at all times.
j_darling2007 
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Posted: December 08, 2006 at 5:45 PM / IP Logged  
Stevdart, if this is true, which I am not saying it is not, wouldn't the cars be damaged when you disconnect the ground wire from the battery to do electrical work like the manuals and technicians say.
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dblboinger 
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Posted: December 08, 2006 at 11:23 PM / IP Logged  

[QUOTE=stevdart]

The ground wire must be constantly connected to chassis while power is supplied to the appliance (thus no fuse allowed).

Damage to the appliance will occur if the ground is disconnected while hot is still connected. 

Say what? Removing the ground is the preferred method of removing power from any electronic component, especially if microprocessors are involved (i.e. car stereo's, engine ecu's, etc.) Having worked in electronics for nearly 30 years I can tell you, I've NEVER seen a circuit damaged from removing/connecting the ground/common. The same can not be said about the supply. And can you imagine a car stereo where the wires are not hidden?

stevdart 
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Posted: December 09, 2006 at 3:15 PM / IP Logged  

j_darling2007, don't get confused about the answer.  The topic is about the amplifier's ground connection, not the circuit ground.  Of course it is correct to remove the negative battery cable  (see link below) to open the circuit and shut off power.  Once there is no circuit, there is no power to any appliance (including amplifiers) that are connected to that circuit.  With a dead circuit it doesn't matter if the power and ground cables are disconnected from the amplifier, or in what order.  But even so, even with the circuit open and no available power, the ground is always connected first to the amplifier and disconected last.  That is to say, you always ensure that the ground connection is made before the power is connected.

To the OP, you asked about the reason to ground the amplifier to chassis and I tried to give you a valid reason.   Here's another: 

Perry Babin said HERE in "Amplifier Installation Notes":

"If the amplifier's ground is properly connected to the body of the vehicle, it will provide a better return path to the charging system's ground than will a ground wire run back to the battery. This is especially true if the ground strap from the engine block to the chassis is upgraded."

Proper grounding of an amplifier can almost always be achieved through the floor pan, and with best possible results.  IF chassis grounding repeatedly fails after trying other nearby locations, you can run the ground wire directly through the car and engine compartment to a suitable grounding location.  By that time you will have tried and failed to get adequate ground return using the chassis, and so the next best hope for success is a wire directly to the source.

j_darling2007 mentioned the circuit ground, which the question doesn't pertain to.  But speaking of the circuit, if the circuit is live,  the amplifier is supplied power via two wires: positive and ground.  If the ground wire is long and snakes throughout the vehicle rather than being short at the amplifier's mounting location, there is a much greater chance of unseen damage that can occur to the wire.  Wouldn't anyone agree that a 15' wire has, at the very least, the potential of fifteen times greater risk of damage than a 1' wire?  And if this wire is severed or otherwise badly damaged while the amplifier is connected to a live circuit, what can likely happen?  

Build the box so that it performs well in the worst case scenario and, in return, it will reward you at all times.
dblboinger 
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Posted: December 10, 2006 at 1:00 AM / IP Logged  
stevdart wrote:

j_darling2007, don't get confused about the answer.  The topic is about the amplifier's ground connection, not the circuit ground.  Of course it is correct to remove the negative battery cable  (see link below) to open the circuit and shut off power.  Once there is no circuit, there is no power to any appliance (including amplifiers) that are connected to that circuit.  With a dead circuit it doesn't matter if the power and ground cables are disconnected from the amplifier, or in what order.  But even so, even with the circuit open and no available power, the ground is always connected first to the amplifier and disconected last.  That is to say, you always ensure that the ground connection is made before the power is connected.

Response: This has absolutely nothing to do with my original question. But to clarify the point of your statement, the damage caused by removing the amplifier ground is due to the fact that removing the amplifier's power ground does not completely remove what you refer to as the circuit ground. If you remove the power ground only, the amplifier will attempt to complete it's circuit through the RCA cables and will most likely blow out the front end of your amplifier because the input circuitry is not desinged to handle the amount of current common in the power ground. This is the reason there is a power ground to begin with.

 To the OP, you asked about the reason to ground the amplifier to chassis and I tried to give you a valid reason.   Here's another: 

Perry Babin said HERE in "Amplifier Installation Notes":

"If the amplifier's ground is properly connected to the body of the vehicle, it will provide a better return path to the charging system's ground than will a ground wire run back to the battery. This is especially true if the ground strap from the engine block to the chassis is upgraded."

Proper grounding of an amplifier can almost always be achieved through the floor pan, and with best possible results.  IF chassis grounding repeatedly fails after trying other nearby locations, you can run the ground wire directly through the car and engine compartment to a suitable grounding location.  By that time you will have tried and failed to get adequate ground return using the chassis, and so the next best hope for success is a wire directly to the source.

 

Response: If this is true there is absolutely no reason to ground directly to source, EVER. This also means there should be no such thing as a ground loop because all chassis parts are always at the exact same potential.

How anyone can say chassis sections that could be bolted together, loose, corroded or anything else short of being  welded, can possibly provide better continuity than a heavy gauge, multi-strand copper cable is beyond me.

 

j_darling2007 mentioned the circuit ground, which the question doesn't pertain to.  But speaking of the circuit, if the circuit is live,  the amplifier is supplied power via two wires: positive and ground.  If the ground wire is long and snakes throughout the vehicle rather than being short at the amplifier's mounting location, there is a much greater chance of unseen damage that can occur to the wire.  Wouldn't anyone agree that a 15' wire has, at the very least, the potential of fifteen times greater risk of damage than a 1' wire?  And if this wire is severed or otherwise badly damaged while the amplifier is connected to a live circuit, what can likely happen?  

Response: If, as you suggest above, all points on the chassis are at the same potential then it is irrelevant how long or short the cable is, or if it gets damaged. That is unless the cable is completely severed. If something significant  enough to completely severe a 1/0 gauge cable happens to my car, I doubt that an amplifier or two will be at the top of my list of concerns.

 

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