"Big Three" - Improving your electrical system

Wildman

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This isn't meant to be a DIY so much as a supplement to the DIY found here

Intake, exhaust, port and polish, all of these engine mods are to help your engine breathe easier so it can perform better. The same principle applies to your electrical system.

Cost: Around $30 for 3ft of 1/0 gauge wire, ring tterminals, and new battery terminals.

Time: You should probably set aside an hour or so. Could take you as little as 30 minutes, but things never work out that way lol.

The point of this mod is to upgrade your grounds so that your electrical system remains more stable. Less dimming lights, etc. This is mainly for people with audio systems, doing this upgrade will make a big difference in preventing voltage drop.

Do this before buying a new Alternator, Cap, battery, etc. Often this simple upgrade can help solve the problem and you can save yourself some money.

Parts / Tools

-Wire - What kind and what size you use is up to you. I highly recomment the P3 brand wire available from Parts Express.com, because its incredibly easy to work with. This was my first time using it - it's flexible and doesn't fray like the Rockford Fosgate crap in the rest of my car. You'll need about 3ft of wire.

As for size, I recommend just doing it right the first time and buying 1/0 gauge wire. I think it cost around $2.25/ft or so. However, if you're running a smaller system or are just really cheap you can get 2 gauge. Going 4 gauge or any smaller won't make much of a difference.

-Ring Terminals - Get whatever size to match your wire. You'll use 3, so just buy 2 pair. Make sure it is Gold or Platinum plated, other than that, you can just get what's affordable (no reason to spend $8 on a pair of ring terminals if you can get some for $1 lol)

-Sandpaper - I used 150 grit, anything will work. I wouldn't go any finer than 150 though.

-Kickass Knife / Scissors - Cutting through power wire like this can be a PAIN, so be prepared

-Wrenches - Need 10mm for battery terminals, 12mm for grounding points

-Table Vise, Vise Grip, Pliers - You're going to need something to clamp the ring terminals onto the wire. I used a table vise, and it was easy. Most people don't have one, so you might have to get creative here and resort to a big set of pliers or vise grips. Or you could solder the wire onto the terminal for a temporary solution and then bang on it when a 5lb sledge or something :lol:

-Allen wrench set - Only needed if you buy the new battery terminals listed below.

Recommend...

-New Battery Terminals - Trying to clamp the huge new grounding cable onto the stock battery terminal would be a bad idea. Possible, but not good. Save yourself the headache and Buy This for $5. If you want your battery terminals to match then you can buy the (+) to match for the same price. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NEW BATTERY TERMINALS WHEN YOU DO THIS.

Steps / Pictures

Step One After reading through the original tutorial that I linked to at the top, you should have a pretty good idea what you're going to be doing. I'm just going to be providing some pictures of where are some easy grounding points for the 4bangers out there.

DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY (-) TERMINAL. I suggest wrapping it in cloth or a paper tower or something non-conductive so you don't have to worry about it bumping against the battery negative pole.

Step Two I decided to do the Battery - Chassis upgrade first. Here is the stock ground. There is more than 1 wire for the stock ground, I chose to upgrade the smallest because it was easiest. You can either leave the stock wire or get rid of it, I just got rid of it because it was easier.

http://www.6thgenaccord.com/wildman/audio/battery_ground_before.JPG[/b]


It's important to sand down where the stock ground is so that you will be grounding to bare metal. SAND IT DOWN! You don't want to be grounding to paint. I just used some 150 grit sand paper because it's what I had laying around and it only took me maybe 30 seconds.

[img]http://www.6thgenaccord.com/wildman/audio/ground_sanded.JPG

Step Three - Figure out how much wire you'll need to go from your battery (-) to the ground, cut it, and strip both ends. One end you'll need to clamp a ring terminal onto so you can bolt it to the Chassis. If you were to cheap :lol: to buy new battery terminals, then you will need a ring terminal on the other end as well to attach it to the battery terminal.

wire_vise.JPG



Here's why I keep recommending these new battery terminals. See how easy it is to connect the new ground? So many holes to connect more wires!

new_terminal.JPG


And here's a comparison of what the old wire looks like compared to the new. Huge difference.

old_vs_new.JPG


Step Four and Five - Now it's time to upgrade the Block - Chassis ground. Because the alternator and everything else is mounted directly to the engine, any bolt on any of those components will suffice as a Block connection. After trying to crank on a few different bolts without any success, I chose location shown. I then used one of the nuts for the strut top mounts as the Chassis ground point. Once again, you need to sand the ground location by the Strut Bar or where the top mounts for the shocks bolt up. Here's a picture with arrows pointing the grounding locations.

engine_bay_8-4-05copy.jpg


You can see how flexible this P3 wire is for how big it is.

You're Done! - That's it. As you've probably figured out, I only did 2/3 of the "Big 3". You can upgrade your Alternator (+) to Battery (+) if you want to, but I don't really see the point if you don't have a High Output Alternator. With a stock alternator it's pointless IMO.
 

PsychoPilot

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Why don't you guys trust that Honda would ground the engine properly? It's in their interest to make the engine as efficient as possible because mpg sells so if something as cheap as ground wires were the limiting factor, I don't think they would have scrimped.
 
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Wildman

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Why don't you guys trust that Honda would ground the engine properly? It's in their interest to make the engine as efficient as possible because mpg sells so if something as cheap as ground wires were the limiting factor, I don't they would have scrimped.

its not a hypothetical, its a fact that the grounds are sub-par and improving them works.

wildman said:
The point of this mod is to upgrade your grounds so that your electrical system remains more stable. Less dimming lights, etc. This is mainly for people with audio systems, doing this upgrade will make a big difference in preventing voltage drop.

but, as I have always said, I wouldn't expect any noticeable performance or mpg gains out of it. I did it because I've got an aftermarket stereo and helps with dimming issues and so on
 

00Accord4cyl

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Why don't you guys trust that Honda would ground the engine properly? It's in their interest to make the engine as efficient as possible because mpg sells so if something as cheap as ground wires were the limiting factor, I don't they would have scrimped.

You could say that about anything on the car technically
 

talontsiawd

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Ok, that looks really good. I've been thinking about this for awhile now. But i want something that is a bit more "stockish". I don't think black wire will do it at 0 gauge. I don't mind having that big wire off the battery to the ground but the alternater one is pretty big. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the link on the terminals. I'll probably buy those reguardless for looks.
 

Wildman

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Ok, that looks really good. I've been thinking about this for awhile now. But i want something that is a bit more "stockish". I don't think black wire will do it at 0 gauge. I don't mind having that big wire off the battery to the ground but the alternater one is pretty big. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the link on the terminals. I'll probably buy those reguardless for looks.

4 gauge wire will work as well, and isn't nearly as big. You can also buy some wire looming at ace hardware or lowe's or radioshack etc and wrap your wires in that for a stock look.

I used wire looming back when to disguise my nitrous feed line.
 

talontsiawd

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Well, if four gauge works fine, i can just use black. Looming would be a bit much. I did use looming to make all my amp wiring subtle so i don't want some big 4 guage colorful wire sticking out. Thanks for the help.
 
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