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Unread 12-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #46
ASteve
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JeepHammer,

You said, "The ALTERNATOR needs a DIRECT ground, since every electron your vehicle uses is produced in the alternator.
(see Rule #3.)
"

How do I ground my alternator? Do I run a wire same size as the red one from the alternator bracket to the block or frame?

You said, "The ENGINE, which usually is under grounded.
The engine head(s) need a DIRECT/Dedicated 'Ground' so the high voltage produced from the ignition coil can find an adequate and proper 'Ground'."


Can I ground my engine from the motor mount on the block to the motor mount on the frame? My cable here is only 6" long.

Thanks for any insight,

SC

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Unread 12-24-2009, 10:47 AM   #47
PhatBasturd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJman77 View Post
I didn't think air gas supplied any thing but gas.

Did some surfing around on their website. Looks pretty good. I saw the welder wire. I should prob use it for everything vehicle related. (Stereo, grounds, etc.)

I didn't find the copper connectors on the air gas website. But I did find that painless sell copper ones.
Are these worth ordering? Or are they way over priced? I know anything with copper is gonna cost primo!

I went with crimp, solder and seal connectors. Not cheap by any means, but it's good stuff.

I bought from Grainger: Crimp, solder and seal 90 piece kit

Grainger also has other options: Assorted terminal kits

Another good source for welding supplys such as cables, etc is Indiana Oxygen (they have a store on e-Bay): Indiana Qxygen - e-Bay Store

They have goods prices, free shipping a lot of times and no sales tax for me.

They are also VERY helpful on the phone.

------
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Unread 12-24-2009, 04:14 PM   #48
JeepHammer
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The block has no electrical devices that are high voltage or high drain if you have the primary ground wire going to the STARTER like it should be.

Starter is the LARGEST LOAD on the engine, so it stands to reason the 'Ground' cable should go to the starter mounting bolt so the starter gets the 'Ground' it needs.

Then run a smaller gauge wire to the engine head(s).
12 Ga. is plenty.
The high voltage (Secondary Side of the ignition) throws a very high voltage (low amperage) discharge, and if the head/spark plugs aren't properly grounded,
You are wasting much of the POTENTIAL spark energy...

The coil is making plenty of spark energy,
The plugs CAN NOT use it because the engine head(s) aren't properly grounded.

A little copper based 'Never-Seize' on the plug threads to make electrical contact with the engine head,
And to keep the threads in the engine head from rusting,
Will make a heck of a difference with the plugs getting reasonable ground...

Running a dedicated ground wire to the engine head(s) let the high voltage discharge get to the 'Ground' at the battery without torturing it!
That also lets the spark plug take full advantage of the POTENTIAL spark energy, letting that potential be realized as ACTUAL SPARK ENERGY at the plugs!

As for your frame to engine ground...
If you haven't moved the ground cable from the engine block to the starter, then there is no point.
You are still starving the starter for 'Ground'...

If you have, then moving the frame ground over to the starter bolt to frame is a good idea, along with making a dedicated 12 Ga. wire to the heads will get you the trifecta of engine grounding...
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Unread 12-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #49
77CJ7Lucas
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JeepHammer, Could you get a little deeper into or show how to wire the fuseable link described in Rule #10. Where to put, options to install, and what size fuse? Went and got a fuseable link (10gauge 30 amp) and realized I don't know quite where to put it or if it's even the correct size. Thanks for all your guidance!!
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Unread 12-24-2009, 11:15 PM   #50
lclark2074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASteve View Post
JeepHammer,

You said, "The ALTERNATOR needs a DIRECT ground, since every electron your vehicle uses is produced in the alternator.
(see Rule #3.)
"

How do I ground my alternator? Do I run a wire same size as the red one from the alternator bracket to the block or frame?



SC
you can also ground the alternator to battery if you do this drill and tap the alternator case for this
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Unread 12-25-2009, 08:21 AM   #51
ASteve
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Thanks guys, and Merry Christmas!

SC
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Unread 12-25-2009, 08:45 AM   #52
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77CJ7Lucas View Post
JeepHammer, Could you get a little deeper into or show how to wire the fuseable link described in Rule #10. Where to put, options to install, and what size fuse? Went and got a fuseable link (10gauge 30 amp) and realized I don't know quite where to put it or if it's even the correct size. Thanks for all your guidance!!
Fusible Links should connect at the 'Source' for the current.
In the case of most Jeeps, That would be at the starter relay battery cable side.

Battery cable comes into the starter relay 'Large' terminal,
Then the fusible links connect to that starter relay terminal to begin their run to what ever accessory.

That is far enough away from the battery to keep battery gasses from exploding,
And they are connected to a LARGE FEED (Battery Cable) so they aren't starved for current to the devices they are going to operate.



By being connected to the 'Source',
If the device wire gets grounded, the fusible link will blow and save the device and keep the vehicle from burning as the large 'Feed' cable to the head lights, alternator, fuse block, stereo, ect. gets grounded.

Otherwise you would have full current in a 10 Ga. wire directly grounded, and that will start a fire in a heartbeat!

This is the typical use for a Fusible Link (Fuse Wire),






SIZING FUSIBLE LINKS TO THE APPLICATION IS CRITICAL!

In America, we use the term 'AWG', that stands for AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE.
That is a standard for wire sizes since WW I in the US.

(For you technical geeks:
The American Wire Gauge was taken from the Brown & Sharp gaging standard tables going back to the late 1800's)

AWG may be abbreviated as 'Ga or GA..' in diagrams, that is short for 'Gauge' and means the same thing as AWG.

The SMALLER the number, the larger the wire...
0 Ga. (zero) is the largest 'Wire' size,
1 Ga. is a little bit smaller,
2 Ga. is a little bit smaller yet,
3 Ga. is smaller yet
4 Ga. is smaller yet.....

You get the idea...

To further confuse things,
In America, we usually just use EVEN numbers on everything automotive...
0 Ga.
2 Ga.
4 Ga.
6 Ga.
8 Ga.
10 Ga.
12 Ga, ect...
Even though there are ODD number size wire gauges, we seem to only use the EVEN numbers in automotive work.

(geek alert! Thank Nicola Tesla for that... he almost NEVER used odd number size wires in his work and since his designs built the current power grid and influenced all electric engineers to this day...)
-----------------------------------------

SO!
How you want to size the 'Fuse' or Fusible Link for your wires is to go about 4 American Wire Gauge sizes SMALLER than the wire you are trying to protect...
So the fusible link blows FIRST and protects the wire!

If you have an 8 Ga. wire, use a 12 Ga. fusible link.
If you have a 10 Ga. wire, use a 14 Ga. fusible link to be safe.

You CAN, on occasion, only go TWO wire gauge sizes smaller...
Example would be an 8 Ga. wire with a 10 Ga. fusible link, but I REALLY don't recommend it if you can keep from it...
4 AWG sizes smaller should be the rule you stick with to be truly safe!
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Unread 12-25-2009, 09:09 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lclark2074 View Post
you can also ground the alternator to battery if you do this drill and tap the alternator case for this
No need to 'Drill & Tap' the alternator case.
Use mounting bolts to connect to the case.
SINCE THE CASE IS THE NEGATIVE TERMINAL for the alternator, connecting directly to the case ANYWHERE is acceptable.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you find a 'Ring' terminal with 'Teeth' on the inside of the 'Ring' end to use as case 'Ground'.

The internal teeth in the ring terminal will keep do a few things for you...

1. As terminal and bolt expand & contract with heat/cold cycles, the 'Teeth' will cut through the aluminum oxidation on the alternator housing and keep a proper contact with the housing.

Aluminum oxidizes VERY quickly, and while clean aluminum is a fair conductor of electricity,
Aluminum oxide IS NOT a conductor...

So if you have a ring terminal right on the housing, when moisture gets trapped between ring terminal & housing, the housing will corrode producing Aluminum Oxide on the surface of the aluminum...
Much of your 'Connectivity' will be lost to the corrosion.

2. The 'Teeth' are a sort of 'Spring' that expand and contract with the metals keeping a good contact between ground and housing.
The teeth flex with the metals as the expand & contract and keep a good contact patch.

JUST DO NOT CRUSH THE TEETH WHEN YOU TIGHTEN THE ATTACHMENT BOLT!
You are only wanting compression, and the torque spec on most 3/8" bolts will be about 35 Ft.Lbs., so don't GORILLA the bolts when you put them in!

3. Many of the heavier duty ring terminals with internal teeth will work as 'Lock Washers' to keep the bolt from backing out.
If you use the ring terminal under the head of the bolt, don't forget to use a copper based 'Never-Seize' in the bolt threads to keep the steel bolt in contact with the aluminum housing,
And to keep moisture from getting onto the joint between bolt and alternator housing causing corrosion!

Virtually ALL alternators have a 'Ground' terminal on them somewhere.
Industrial alternators ALL have a ground connection point,
(Mostly because they don't want their hardware getting the reputation as 'Junk'...)

Since AMC/Jeep decided NOT to run a ground wire to the alternator,
You will have to do it to PROPERLY complete the circuit between alternator and battery!

It may 'Work' without a dedicated ground wire, but you ARE making the alternator work much harder than it has to,
And you ARE putting extra resistance in a circuit that produces every single electron your vehicle uses!

And we ALL KNOW we are NOT KIND to our vehicles!
We use the CRAP out of them!
(Winches, Grinding starters when we stall out, large drain devices, ect.)
And it's not like we run these things were 'Triple A' can get to you in 15 minutes!

By adding a simple 10 Ga. ground wire to the alternator
(and all other large drain devices),
You are taking a BUNCH of the 'Guess Work' and Resistance out of the circuit, and your alternator will live longer, work better because it is actually getting CORRECT feed back information and be more trouble free...

The ONE rule for DC circuits (DC = Direct Current) is you have to have a CLOSED LOOP for things to work correctly!
DON'T TORTURE ELECTRONS! ADD A GROUND!
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Unread 12-25-2009, 09:59 AM   #54
77CJ7Lucas
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JeepHammer, Thanks for the continued help! I see I didn't get a fusible link but a piece of wire with a fuse holder and fuse installed in it. Should I replace this with a fusible link or can I downsize the fuse and accomplish the same thing?
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Unread 12-25-2009, 11:07 AM   #55
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77CJ7Lucas View Post
JeepHammer, Thanks for the continued help! I see I didn't get a fusible link but a piece of wire with a fuse holder and fuse installed in it. Should I replace this with a fusible link or can I downsize the fuse and accomplish the same thing?
Fuseable Links are 'Variable' with the amount of load and duration of load.

Perfect for an alternator connection that might have very high output for a short period of time,
Or a very quick grounding when you are putting on an alternator and ground out the 'BAT' terminal with a wrench during install...

They need some 'Heat Up' time before they go, so momentary stupidity on my part doesn't make me replace them every time I momentary screw up.

They don't 'Blow' Instantly every time you exceed the 'Normal' rating of the protected line, but if there is a MAJOR Issue, they still give good protection.

Fuses are almost 'Instant', even with 'Slow Blow' fuses, if you screw up, you are toast and standing on your head in the fuse block trying to find the fuse that 'Popped'...

With something like a sterio that is going to have a preset 'Limit' to the amount of current it's going to draw, and 'Spikes' mean there is something seriously wrong,
A 'Fast' fuse is the way to go.

For instance, my CB radio has a 250 watt booster installed on it so I can be heard a long way away if someone is hurt and we need help...
Most of the time that thing is turned off, so there is just the usual 3 amps the CB draws...

Now, if I use a 3 or 5 amp fuse with the radio in 'Normal' mode, the radio is protected.
But if I use that same 3 or 5 amp fuse with the booster turned on, then it blows IMMEDATELY when I key up the radio... And with an emergency pending, that would be the WORST POSSIBLE TIME for things to go wrong and fuses to blow!

SO...
I use a FUSIBLE LINK in the power supply to the radio box where the booster has a 20 AMP fuse to it,
And a 5 amp fuse to the radio it's self.

The Fusible Link protects the large feed line to the radio box,
Then smaller 'Fast' fuses with a defined cut off point protect the specific appliances once the 'Protected Feed' gets there.

In the case of an alternator,
The thing might make 70 amps for a very short period of time, which will heat the fusible link up, but not 'Blow' it.
Then the alternator will reduce it's output as the battery demands less current, and the fusible link cools back down.

If you tried to put in a 70 amp fuse, you can exceed that 70 amps for just a second, and alternators often do that when they first start the charging cycle, then it's time to stop, replace fuse, and away you go...

If you had a 50 amp ground out, say where the 'BAT' cable rubbed through and was shorting out against the fender, but didn't have 'SOLID' contact....
That's enough to melt insulation and start a fire, but the fuse would never 'SEE' that as a 'Threashold' blow point because it never exceeded 70 Amps...

The 'Fusible Link' would heat up over time and burn instead of letting the wire heat up to the point of catching fire.

Something else that chaps my butt is the tendancy for ONE 'Maxi-Fuse' to be used for BOTH the fuse block and the alternator...

Once you have the capability of that fuse to handle 150 or 250 amps, you have WAY OUT RATED the wires it's supposed to be protecting!
BOTH wires could ground out and catch fire before that 150 or 250 amp fuse ever 'Sees' a 'Problem'...

By the time you turn the fuse in that 'Maxi-Fuse' block to protect the wires correctly,
It would blow every time you lugged the alternator after a 'Hard Start', or jump starting someone!

Fusible links for the 'Feed' lines to the 'VARIABLE LOAD' devices, like alternator, fuse block, ect.
And specifically rated FUSES for specific appliances...

The fuse should be rated to protect the size of the WIRE feeding the appliance.
If you are protecting a 10 Ga. wire with a 50 amp fuse,
That's fine...
But if you run a SMALLER WIRE, then a smaller fuse should be used at the head of that branch of the circuit!

That same 50 Amp fuse used on a 18 Ga. wire, the wire will burn FURIOUSLY before the fuse ever 'Sees' a problem!

Wire and fuses MUST be rated to the appliance you are connecting or bad things can happen!
You want the fuse to be the 'Weak Link' so it protects the LINE to the appliance.
Smaller wire means smaller fuse,
Larger wires means you can get away with LARGER fuse...
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Unread 12-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #56
77CJ7Lucas
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Awesome answer! I will go get the correct stuff! Thanks!!
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:38 PM   #57
jdmartie
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JeepHammer for aux grounds to properly work must you use a 3/8 inch diameter brass bolt or will a 1/4 inch suffice? If so can you explain why? Just curious. Thanks for all the great write ups

David
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Unread 03-21-2010, 07:36 PM   #58
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmartie View Post
JeepHammer for aux grounds to properly work must you use a 3/8 inch diameter brass bolt or will a 1/4 inch suffice? If so can you explain why? Just curious. Thanks for all the great write ups

David
If you want to know the truth, 3/8" is probably larger than you need.

I use around 5/16" bolts many times because that's what a lot of the larger electrical connections are.

On my own vehicles, I use 3/8" since I have a box of them laying around.

REMEMBER! IT's the surface area of the contact, not the bolt size!

Good, flat washers increase surface area (Contact Area) on your connections, but you will usually have a problem finding copper or brass washers, and steel washers rust IMMEDIATELY, ruining the electrical connection.

One solution involves using PENNIES as washers.
The cost 1¢ each, are made of Zinc and Copper so they make good electrical connectors,
And everyone always has a ton of them laying around the house.

Just drill a hole of the correct size in a penny and use it as a washer to increase the surface area.

These connections are like any other,
Use something like 'Never-Seize' (Copper base) to seal out the atmosphere/contaminants and keep your connections solid for a long time to come.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #59
trillobite
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Quote:
I shudder everytime someone asks for a 'Part Number' for a common item like an alternator from the 'Discount' places.
Just as soon as I post part numbers, the discount places change suppliers or numbering systems and the p/n I give is invalid and I get 10,000 PM's saying they can't get the item....

Any of the late 80's GM vehicles will have a 10 or 12 SI alternator, and it's simply 'Clocking' (the direction where the two wire plug comes out) is the difference.
Just wanted to add a bit of insight on pricing structures. When I was looking at alternator prices about twenty years ago, my alternator was $120, for a Delco. Being a poor guy with a new family, I didn't have those kind of funds available, so I hit the junkyards. Those Delco alternators all looked alike, no matter the GM vehicle it was in, ranging from the 1960's to the late 1980's. Only the clocking was different.
Go to 10 years ago, and a different vehicle needed a alternator. I saw sticker shock again $80 for my Jeep alternator), so I checked prices on the same alternator, but for different vehicles. The cheapest I found was for a 1975 Chevy Nova with a inline-6, $25 for a rebuilt 65 amp Delco. I re-clocked it 90 degrees, and it bolted right up. I bet this is why they kept changing part numbers.

OK, now I'm curious if they still do this...for a 63-amp remanufactured Delco, at O'Reilly's:
1975 Chevrolet Nova
L6 - 4.1L vin D 250ci - GAS OHV $40
1985 Jeep Cj7
L4 - 2.5L vin U 150ci - GAS OHV $40
1977 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham
V8 - 6.6L vin Z 400ci - GAS OHV $40

That's good to see. I used to see a different price for each of those. Another funny thing, is that they'd rebuild the 40-amp alternators with the 63-amp parts, and sell the same unit for each application.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 12:02 AM   #60
jdmartie
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The surface area you talk about can you elaborate? Are you talking about the surface area of the post to the fender? Sorry just need details so i make sure i do this right. Thanks again
David
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