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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can my ground wires be too large?

I'm grounding the dog crap out of my jeep. Some might think I'm being a little excessive hence my inquisition today. I'm using primarily 2 Guage cable from two prof. sets of jumper cables, which are a cheap source of good large guage cables.... cut off the clamps and start lugging, what's not to like? I've sent these ground cables from my battery to both fenders, grill, frame, alternator, engine(with additional braided straps for which I still don't know the answer for using braided), starter, firewall, dash, both tailight assemblies, rear frame. I'm also branching out with 10 guage wires to my distributor, ignition module, gas tank sending wire. I"m not sure there's much left anywhere else. Am I forgetting anything of any importance. This is the result of mayhem inducing electrical anomolies of which I care not to be a part of for the rest of my days here on Earth, as I intend to spend all of these days in this 87 YJ 4.2.

So.... does the larger wire pose any drawbacks?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 01:18 PM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

1. Good plan.
2. Don't use cheap jumper cable wire.
3. Use welding wire, it's finer strands, better quality.
4. Use Grounding Bus Bars,
a. Under the hood,
b. Under the dash,
c. At the back of the tub.
d. In the tub.
5. Keep on plannin' and thinkin'
6. Then commit.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 01:45 PM
 
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

I'm glad to see someone actually use wire big enough!
IMHO, 2ga is what you should be using. 2ga is good for about 150 amps without significant voltage drop.

It always amazes me how many people put in a 150-180 amp alternator and then restrict it to the stock 60-70 amps by using a #6 or #8 wire on it!

Keep up the good work, and you'll rewarded by most, if not all, of the electrical gremlins leaving your Jeep for good.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 01:54 PM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

you really cant over ground your jeep, if you are having a drain look to a positive charged wire grounding out, ive seen jumper cables for battery lines, they come in many sizes,....good luck,,,,,sounds like an electricians wet dream.......LOL
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 04:18 PM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

I'd have to see a sample of the jumper cable to give an accurate opinion, but you said "cheap" so I'd probably stay away from it. With your location, you don't have the problem of the insulation hardening up in sub-zero temperatures and pulling itself out of connections.

I've got a fiberglass body so I have to run grounds to everything. I ran a #2 from the battery to the block with a #2 jumper under the same bolt to a ground buss mounted on the frame. The frame just happens to be grounded by the placement of the buss strip but nothing depends on the frame being grounded. I ran a #10 from the buss strip on the frame to a buss strip inside the tub. That will be changed to a #6 braided as soon as I get a connector crimped to it. The headlight and front turn signal/parking lights ground to the alternator bracket, big massive aluminum casting on my SBC. Everything else runs to one of the ground busses using mostly #10 wire.

I used the bulb grease that Auto Zone sells at all connections. There's better out there and cheaper too, the little packets were 99 cents each.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

Is $40.00 cheap. They were 20 ft long.... 2 guage.... and the fine copper strands didn't seem cheap to me.... I know cheap when I see it... they were undoubtedly stout and sound. forty feet of 2 guage for forty dollars. Doesn't sound cheap now that I explained it to myself this way.... buck a foot... I've paid more for less.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 07:07 PM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

Learned in physics class that electricity travels on the outside surface of a conductor, so by using finely braided cable you are increasing the surface area that electrons can travel on. This was in high school physics, so if I am wrong please correct me.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2002, 07:20 PM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

High frequency travels on the outside of the conductor, called "skin effect."
DC travels throughout the entire cross section.

The best ground conductor is something that's made exactly
for that purpose - braided strap.
It can flex much more and longer than any round wire.
Available at auto parts stores in large sizes, electronics
stores for smaller ones.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-26-2002, 08:20 AM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

Even though DC travels through the full area of the wire, many small strands are still lots better because they will flex more without fatigue cracking. A few thick strands will break pretty quickly if they are in a place like the engine-frame connection.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-26-2002, 08:38 AM
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Re: Can my ground wires be too large?

Yeah, and in the braided strap those tiny wires run at an
angle rather than lengthwise, so they can bend even better.

It amazes me house wiring is still solid wire - tough to
work with and unforgiving.
Yes, houses don't flex (except here in Landers - home of
the Landers earthquake) but they still expand and contract
a little with heat. One little crack, even during installation,
could cause a fire.

Maybe it's a holdover from the days when stranded wasn't
very good?

I had a house where the wiring was bare wire strung on nailed
on ceramic insulators in the attic - and it was to code at
one time. Connections were just wires twisted around a nail.
Talk about a project!
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