looking for some good information on upgrading the main grounds to 4 gauge

as far as i know the main grounds for our cars are the:

valve cover to frame
battery neg to frame to tranny
and alternator to frame?

i plan on upgrading them in the next couple of days but i need some more information. the valve cover and the negative battery one are straight forward enough but when i was under my car looking at the alternator i have no idea what was the ground cable or what anything was for that matter. anyone have some good diagrams? and also some good measurement estimates?

also if there are any other grounds worth upgrading to 4 gauge cable please let me know.

sorry if there is an existing thread on this somewhere, i did quite a bit of searching and couldn’t find quite what i’m looking for. if there is one please just point me to it. :slight_smile:

The alt. is grounded through it’s case to the motor, there is nothing to upgrade.

You have it right, the single ground lead from the batt. to chassis to motor/transmission could be upgraded to a 4ga, the valve cover ground could also be upgraded, although 4ga is overkill, can’t hurt but 8ga would do.

You could also replace the alt. to under hood fuse box “charge” line, again 8ga will be fine.

okay sweet deal it all makes sense now, thanks a lot :smiley:

replacing the alternator “charge” line sounds like a hard job just because of it’s location, it has to run all the way from the alternator over to the fusebox? pretty long cable too eh. i’ll have to think about that one and take a look at it. :slight_smile:

what are you running that makes you need bigger grounds??

i don’t nessasarily need them its just something cheap and easy to do with a good effect. my old ones are stock and pretty corroded so rather than just cleaning them up since i’m spending that time i might as well step up a cable size. plus my RPMs will move around a bit when i use acessories and this may have a positive effect on that.

Look down the page, theres another “big three” thread. You would be wasting your time to replace your grounds and not your power leads. As far as a diagram, its really not that complicated, you have your battery ground, your chassis ground, power from alternator to starter, power from starter to fuse block, and then from the fuse block to the battery. For lengths use the old wires for reference.

"power from alternator to starter, power from starter to fuse block, and then from the fuse block to the battery What???:stare: 94

yea that was backwords, but anyways…

darin d not on any G2 I have seen, all the g2s I have seen have a power going from batt. to starter, [that goes for just about any car] then there is a power from batt. to under hood fuse box, and the charge line from alt. to under hood fuse box.

I could see the alt. charge line going to starter and a heavy cable going from starter to batt., even from batt. to starter from alt. to starter and starter to fuse box, but not from alt. to batt. to fuse box, the starter is a high current load, and needs to be connected directly to the batt.

I am looking at my Haynes starter/charging system wire schematic and it indicates a heavy gauge black or white cable from batt. to starter, a lighter gauge black or white lead from batt. to under hood fuse box, and a white lead, [same lighter gauge] running from alt. to under hood fuse box.

So my question is, is your G2 different then what Haynes indicates and what I have seen on countless G2s?:hmm:

Also, unless you are upgrading the alt., [higher output] what advantage would be gained by replacing the alt. charge line, it is already bigger then it needs to be to carry the current of the stock alt. as is the batt. to starter cable and the batt. to fuse box lead, [not that it would hurt anything to do so].:whisper: 94

Fcm, you are right on that, I will take a look at it and make sure if I ever finish this english paper. For some reason I was thinking the alternator charge went through the starter to the battery, but obviously that wouldn’t really make sense. The hardest part of the installation is the power line to the fuseblock from the alternator, and if you really wanted you could leave that and run a straight 4awg to your battery.

When I changed them out, I did noticed a big difference in available power. The draw from my system would quickly begin to affect the lights and ect on my car before, but after it was unnoticable unless the car was at idle. I would guess the biggest problem is the age of the wiring, as it gets rather stiff and corroded.

As I said, from alt. to starter to batt. would be OK, alt. would still charge the batt. properly, lots of cars are wired that way, however on your G2 the alt. charge line is fused before the batt., the main 70A, [90-91] 80A, [92-93] fuse is between the alt. and the batt., why that is I am not sure, but running a lead directly from the alt. to the batt. would bypass that fuse, and you have to know Honda wired it that way, [through fuse] for a reason.:stare:94

Yes if you were to run a bypass, you would need to protect the wire as with any power lead, I shouldn’t have assumed that. However, installing an inline fuse is rather easy, being a mute point reguarding installation hassle.

ok well i just finished upgrading my battery to frame to tranny ground to 4 gauge and my valve cover to frame ground to 4 gauge and my car’s idle will still flucuate and the lights will dim and stuff when using accessories. what else could it be? i’ve been told alternator but my car has never had problems holding a charge or getting started when i turn the key etc.

Have you checked the 12V+ connections, the batt. terminal, the batt. to fuse box, the main fuse(s) are the connections clean and tight, how about the plugs in and around the under dash fuse box, are they clean and plugged in properly.

There are more then a few grounds all over the engine bay and under the dash, [“A” piller drivers side] they are the chassis grounds for all the electrical components, EG; if your head light grounds are poor, [rusty/corroded/dirty or loose you will still have problems with them.

Your car is at least 14 years old so before you spend a day finding and cleaning the grounds, take the car to a batt./alt. shop and have them test the charging system and batt., most will do this for free and only takes a few min.:whisper: 94

rpm change when accessories are in use is a common sign of an alternator that is on its way out. i would have it tested, if there is an autozone around you, they usually test it for free. one here does it still in the car, but not all of them do that.

also your iac valve may be sticking or clogged. send some carb cleaner down there.

alright i’ll check that stuff, thanks guys! :smiley:

okay so i got my alternator tested and the guy that tested it couldn’t get the clip for the charge line on, i told him where it was at the fusebox but he said that would work, but anyways he tested it with just the pos and neg clips on the battery… let it idle, had me hold it at 2000 rpm, let it idle, had me hold it at 1000 rpm, let it idle. then the test was over, he said it came out that the diodes for the voltage regulator are bad. and that could be the cause of my lights dimming and stuff when i use accessories. its never had a problem keeping my battery charged but the lights do dim and stuff.

my other question is since the condition of my alternator, when my rad fan comes on to cool down the engine, could that cause my idle to constantly hunt inbetween 1100-1400 rpm? (it seems to hunt only when the fan is actually spinning) because i’ve been chasing a vacuum leak forever or at least what i thought was a vacuum leak all this time. so could a dying alternator cause that to happen?

and where do you guys recommend getting a new alternator…? anywhere with lifetime warranty around?