small ground wiring burning up help - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 09, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Angry small ground wiring burning up help

ok guys im working on a 72 chevelle 383 small block, edelbrock aluminum heads, has a 250 powercharger on it, runs hei distributor, electric water pump and electric fan, factory wiring, here is my problem, when i turn it over to start it.... if i crank it more than 3-4 times the small black wire coming from my negative battery cable up by the battery post that goes to my inner fender and grounds there gets really hot and burns up. its probably a 14gauge wire i cant figure out why, does anyone have any ideas. it just started doing this.

Scott
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 09, 11:24 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Sounds like the small wire is providing the only ground. Check the ground connection on the actual battery cable and make sure it is clean and tight.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 09, 11:29 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Quote:
Originally Posted by stroobydoo View Post
Sounds like the small wire is providing the only ground. Check the ground connection on the actual battery cable and make sure it is clean and tight.
Agreed. The small black wire should not be pulling any current and is only an accessory ground. Check where the big black wire attaches to the block or frame and make sure the surface is clean and well grounded because it is not providing a high current path forcing the small wire to carry the load of the starter current.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 09, 2:24 AM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

if that negative battery cable goes to the frame , make sure your block ground to frame is in place. this normally would be a ground strap.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 09, 1:00 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

The main negative battery needs to connect to the engine. In your case, having aluminum heads and I'm guessing aluminum intake, the cable needs a clean tight connection to the block. If the battery clamp is one of those cheep bolt on replacements, replace the cable.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 4:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Thanks for all the help i will check it out tomorrow to make sure its grounded good. right now i do have the battery ground wire going to the head. so i will move it to the block. see if that helps. problem is its always been grounded to the head and never had a problem before. maybe i dont have a good connection on the battery itself, its a side mount so i will check.. thanks again ill keep you updated.

Scott
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 9:06 AM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

The car needs a good block to battery ground, block to frame and also a body ground.
If not it will continue to "hunt" for a ground which can be in some unfortunate locations such as a shift cable, detent cable, etc. Have even seen an automatic trans serves as the ground which in turn ruins the internal bushings.

The others are telling you right. Get good grounds and you will be ok.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 11:18 AM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC396 View Post
The car needs a good block to battery ground, block to frame and also a body ground.
If not it will continue to "hunt" for a ground which can be in some unfortunate locations such as a shift cable, detent cable, etc. Have even seen an automatic trans serves as the ground which in turn ruins the internal bushings.

The others are telling you right. Get good grounds and you will be ok.
Just to clairify;
The ONLY ground needed for the high amp starter draw is the one negative battery cable from the battery to the engine.
Now IF that cable isn't making a good connection at both ends, then yes the starter ground will try to find any path it can.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 5:53 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean View Post
Just to clairify;
The ONLY ground needed for the high amp starter draw is the one negative battery cable from the battery to the engine.
Now IF that cable isn't making a good connection at both ends, then yes the starter ground will try to find any path it can.
To clairify the clarification:
Why in hell's name would you think that the ONLY cable needed is the negative from block to battery...
Are we on a race car only site?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 6:08 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC396 View Post
To clairify the clarification:
Why in hell's name would you think that the ONLY cable needed is the negative from block to battery...
Are we on a race car only site?
Just to clarify the clarification of the "clarification" ;


Because I KNOW that the starter only needs ONE positive cable and ONE negative cable to operate.
Heck I've started quite a few motors completely out of any vehicle and setting on the floor.

Now why in HE-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS name would YOU think any different.



















Sorry Jim, just pulling your chain a little I know you are confusing "other grounds" not being used by the starter or else didn't read what I said. ("one ground for starter operation")
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 6:10 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC396 View Post
To clairify the clarification:
Why in hell's name would you think that the ONLY cable needed is the negative from block to battery...
Are we on a race car only site?
Jim,
You did not read Deans reponse completely. He said that the only ground that the STARTER needed was the block gound, which is true.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 8:48 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

As said starter, and ignition, need only the battery to engine block ground. All accessories use the battery to chassis, passenger fender, ground. I'm sure Dean was not saying the only ground you need is the one to block but that is the only one the starter needs and it definately needs it or you'll fry wires.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 10:24 PM
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Re: small ground wiring burning up help

"right now i do have the battery ground wire going to the head. so i will move it to the block. see if that helps. problem is its always been grounded to the head and never had a problem before."

Yes, with the main ground connected to the head all will work fine. The reason for connecting it to the block is that in time the high current of the starter flowing through the aluminum head will cause corrosion, typically in the water jacket close to the ground connection.


I read it time and time again, there needs to be a ground cable from the engine block to the frame. There is nothing attached to the frame that uses large amounts of current. A small braded , factory installed, ground cable from the firewall to the frame is all that is needed. The only circuits that use the frame for a ground conductor are the bumper mounted lights. Depending on the year, it will be various combinations of front or rear signal/brake, tail, and or park lights. This of course is referring to the factory installed equipment. It is common for trunk mounted batteries to use the frame for the battery negative conductor, in that case a significant ground cable from the frame to the engine is needed.

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