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A little electrical cleanup.

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Posted 09-14-2009 at 10:10 PM by pbrown

Like many, I've fallen into that habit of installing electrical goodies in my car and grounding them to the nearest bolt or bare sheet metal. This came back to haunt me when I finally got around to connecting the stereo.

I have one of the Custom Autosound head units that is connected to a small MTX amp. The amp is located in the trunk and is grounded to the vertical spare tire brace. The head unit is grounded to the dash. I had a big surprise when I turned it on. The radio station I tuned in would have sounded fine if it wasn't for the electric cooling fan, the electric fuel pump, and ignition. This is not good.

I also installed an Innovate Technologies wide band O2 sensor. That was logging a lot of garbage when I first tried to use it. The solution for that was to run #10 wire for both positive and negative all the way to the battery located in the trunk. This did wonders to clean up the O2 data logging signal. I still needed a solution for the stereo. I was also planning to start playing with a Megasquirt EFI setup. This requires very clean power.

Here is what I did. I purchased a Tayler one gauge ground kit. I already had a large red cable from my trunk mounted starter solenoid to the starter. I ran the Tayler ground cable under the car with cushion clamps right along the red starter wire. I also did a little cleanup of the other wire. The tayler ground wire goes directly from the negative battery terminal to the engine block. It a very secure connection and will provide a good location to ground some of this other electrical stuff.

Tomorrow I will rerun all the other grounds for the fuel pump, cooling fan, amplifier, and ignition. I didn't have any black #10 wire on hand. I'm sure that this will finally allow me to listen to my stereo in peace. It should also allow me to continue my Megasquirt project.
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  1. Old Comment
    Luva65wagon's Avatar
    Yes, the dreaded "ground loop interference." Having been a car stereo fanatic forever, I've fought this many times. Providing a common ground is ideal, but not always practical. Many things don't care, but some, like stereo's really do. For sure. Anyone wanting to read a little more on what Patrick is talking about, here's a pretty good page on the subject. It's obviously not a USA-based web page. In England most likely. There they call grounds "earth". Go figure.

    Posted 09-15-2009 at 09:07 PM by Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline

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