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#381185 - 12/31/16 03:17 AM Adding an Extra Ground
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
Has anyone added an extra ground strap to their 6 volt system? If you have, where did you locate it and what length strap did you use? Thanks

Vintage Auto Garage - 6 Volt
#381202 - 12/31/16 10:02 AM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: Hawkeye]
tonyw Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: Goulburn Australia
I have not added ground straps to many systems but when I do I make sure the heavy lead is connected between the starter and battery with the auxillary straps between body and battery. I have also run a earth strap from individual lights and battery as a test when fault finding, some of these are still in place many years later.
1938 1/2 ton Hope to drive it before I retire

#381507 - 01/06/17 01:50 AM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: Hawkeye]
dfd37chev Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 720
Loc: Billerica, MA. USA
Hello Hawkeye,

I have a 1937 MD 4dr sedan. During a 2 year up-grade of all the systems, I added grounds to anything that had a current running thru it.

One problem that seemed to come to light in our forum was electrical stuff either not working or working intermediately. I decided that adding grounds to the system was worth the effort.

After installing a complete wire harness I did the following... (all is done with black 14 gauge wire except where noted)

I started by adding a ground block above the left kick panel. Connected a wire from the block to the brace it is mounted to. I then ran a wire from the first terminal of the block to the battery. Daisy chained each point from there with metal jumpers.

The headlights, both sides, the front fender marker/directional lights/ rear tail lights are all grounded back to this block as is the heater/defrost motors. The gas tank sending unit also grounded there. And the dash cluster has a ground wire. The cigerette lighter is also grounded but the power wire is connected to 6/12 volt converter for my phone charger/gps power.

The ignition distributor has a ground wire from the distributor cap location tab to the junction block mount bolt on the right side.

The grounds for the headlights and markers meet at the bolts that hold the junction block mounted on the inside of the radiator core support. I ran a wire from the right side of the car to the left side of the car, then ran another wire from the left junction block mount bolt to the inside of the car to the terminal block mounted above the left kick panel.

I also added ground straps between the fuel fill pipe and the gas tank and from the gas tank to the frame.

As for the battery ground, instead of the strap, I used a 1/0 cable from the battery to the transmission.

I also used a 1/0 cable for power to the starter.

So everything grounds back to the battery, this I have been told is over kill, but it gives me piece of mind.
old cars are meant to be driven !!
VCCA # 047832

#381512 - 01/06/17 03:56 AM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: dfd37chev]
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
What I ended up doing was attaching a Standard brand 10 gauge braided grounding strap from the engine mount bolt (just under the starter) to the frame. When it gets a little warmer, I plan on running another ground strap from the body to the frame. This way the engine is grounded as well as the body.

#381521 - 01/06/17 12:22 PM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: Hawkeye]
Mike Buller Offline


Registered: 10/11/07
Posts: 1826
Loc: MI, USA, Midland
Hi Hawkeye,

Just want to add my two sense by pointing out the importance of making sure you remove the paint under the area where you want to attach ground wiring. Easy to have a thick layer of paint between the surfaces and wonder why the ground is poor. Also consider a coat of electrical grease to inhibit the potential of corrosion. The pros an cons of this are explained in this link. Dielectic Grease Verses Conductive Grease

Likewise, cleaning up bolts in a sandblast cabinet and then painting them with a coat of POR 15 will improve your odds of fighting corrosion but do the opposite for improving grounding.

Lastly, it is always a concern that the connection is good and tight, and the appropriate lock washers keep it that way.

Good luck, Mike
Mike 41/77 Chevys

#381524 - 01/06/17 01:03 PM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: Mike Buller]
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
I did remove all the paint from the frame. The frame was sandblasted so the new paint was removed easily. I cleaned all the new and old fastners as well as the lugs on the new strap, used dielectric grease on all contact points, change the lock washer on the motor mount to a "star" type washer and tighten eveything.

#381623 - 01/09/17 10:17 AM Re: Adding an Extra Ground [Re: Hawkeye]
Derek54 Offline

Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 42
Loc: Vorarlberg | Austria |
Hi all,

My preferred way having always a good electrical connection over a long time : using Belleville serrated washers instead of washers like < helical spring / teeth inside outside / normal one's > and if optical possible a self locking nut - the one with the plastic ring inside. ( if necessary - cover the naked outside of the the base / sheet connection with a primer )

the really great advantage of Belleville washers > heavy load is no longer a problem / cheap (don't use it a second time)

The Engineer's Companion

BTW : mechanical reliability || Belleville washers or wedge lock washers

Have a nice time

Edited by Derek54 (01/09/17 10:28 AM)


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