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Old 04-29-2016, 09:01 PM   #1
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Grounds in newer vehicles

After being away from installations of land mobile radio equipment for maybe 25 years or so we are again doing some for public safety vehicles and aside from the huge increase of systems and power distribution systems we see ground connections to body parts all over the place.

They seem to be multiple small black wires crimped into very large eye connectors that are attached to the body and sometimes also have a braided cable that may go to the block or frame or some other place in the unknown.

Common observation is the area under the lugs is still painted and the nut - sert or threaded fastener bonded to the body also seems to have some over spray inside.

Where am I going...These are late model sedans and trucks and with the multiple issues being reported lately such as the anti lock brakes from Ford, my observation is these grounds can become a nightmare over time.

Our procedure back in the day was scrape off the paint and use a star washer to insure good metal to metal contact with the star washer digging in to make it better.

Current ones look like different alloy that may not be much of a concern but the screw could come loose or oxidation could creep in and create an issue.

So going forward checking factory grounds combined with some wire brushing and greasing may be in order.

Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:05 PM   #2
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Here is a photo of one

This is from an electric or hybrid.
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Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:08 AM   #3
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If you are referring to the post with the large cable It appears to be very sound. Multiple grounds on the proper post work fine.

Retired now but owned a service and sales facility that specialized in public safety installs and repairs. I was a Senior service center manager for Motorola. So just my humble opinion of course based on 40 yrs in the business.
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:48 AM   #4
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While bad grounds can produce some really weird and intermittent problems, I don't think the current practices for grounds are making new problems. In my experience, bad grounds are much less a problem now than they were 25 years ago.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:49 PM   #5
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The grounds are sound now.

There is no metal to metal contact to the body other than the interface of the threads.

The lugs are metal to metal so those are fine.

But they just look like they would be weak points for oxidation over time and ground to body not so good.

The one in the photo is not the worst one, it was just in a photo taken from an electric car to remember which fuse to connect for ign sense.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:07 PM   #6
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All so common these days.... ok .. 20 years or more.

plastic body parts, Glue attachments.. even metal to metal... plastic interior parts.. dashboards... and on and on.

they rely on the threads to Cut into paint overspray... out of warranty in 3 to 5 years... will work till then. if not dealer will deal with it..

latest story I have... Ohio State highway police car pulling over a Akron police car at night.. NO rear lights of any kind.. and the Car was 2 days old.

grounds were never attached in the rear half of the car... 9 black wires not attached at 2 points...

or motorcycles with bad ground connections at the spark plug coils... for 4 years of production. paint in threaded holes

Now retired mechanic...

2012 Ford F 250,"XL" 6.2L Gas, 2 wheel drive. 156,000 miles
2005 Coachmen 29FKCS, Front Kitchen... 2005 Honda VTX1800F, 78,000 miles
N.E. Ohio in the Spring, Summer, Autumn.
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