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Did replacing your grounds, resolve issues, or create them?

  • I replaced the Battery to Frame only.

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  • I replaced the Battery to Frame/Engine only.

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  • Why bother, they look good.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recommend that folks Replace their GROUND's. Others have picked up my Mantra, but I see folks struggling with this issue. Some folks just need black/white proof as to the effects. Hence this poll.
 

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I replaced the battery to frame and frame to trans ground only. All other ground points have been and are cleaned as I come across them/as need be. Effects? Slightly better starting but that's about it, that I've really noticed anyway. But my car hasn't really had any ground-related issues in its 20+ years.

My Vanagon is a different story: It has several minor electrical issues now and all of its ground points are pretty dirty. I need to go through the entire thing replacing, adding and cleaning grounds, fixing connections, etc. :facepalm:
 

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I gotta say, the one thing that's been difficult for this new cabby owner in regards to addressing grounds is specifically what points they connect to. I've discovered a number of these grounds to be missing on my car, so I'm left scratching my head as to what "valve cover to coil" or "one on the steering column" mean (I know what these parts are, but my coil has at least one extra spade on it... does it connect there? Which valve cover stud is correct, or is there a separate ground anchor?).

Eventually the answers turn up after lengthy search sessions, but the info is not readily available (though briano's mantra is :D ). What's more, I haven't found a complete list anywhere, but many threads with different locations mentioned.

Could we compile a more detailed list and photos for cabby-info.com? So far, I've found:


  1. Battery to the left frame rail
  2. Frame rail to the transmission
  3. Valve cover to the ignition coil (coil, or coil mount?)
  4. Fuse/relay panel (to...?)
  5. Steering column (to...?)
  6. Valve cover to raintray/firewall (same as above?)
  7. Main harness to ground donut near fuse box (same as above?)
  8. Rear harness DS panel near tailaights. (DS? driver's side?)
  9. Rear Defrost PS opposite other ground. (PS? passenger's side?)
  10. alternator to the engine block or valve cover (is one better than the other?)
  11. cold start valve (to...? CIS only?)
  12. hood to fender
  13. instrument cluster (to...?)
  14. ... what else?


Being relatively new to cabby's I hear from the long-timers that grounds are essential, and I probably look at them every other time I'm wrenching on the car, but more details about the grounds would make addressing the issue much easier. If we can demystify the locations and attachment points, that would help a lot! :) :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Your wish is Granted, I am missing a few pics, but O'Well self discovery is the best, and these are on my 92,and 93 Cabbies, most CIS have the same ground points.


The battery grounds are located:

Back corner of the valve cover Going over to the Coil Bracket nut:




Behind the air box on the frame horn. From the frame horn to the Transmission mounting to engine Bolt.... The only studded bolt on the tranny mounts





From the Battery negative to that same frame mount.



There are more than adequate and there are additional grounds that
are from the
A/C compressor to the Alternator Case nut.




The ECU bracket to the rain tray.



There are additional "bonding" wires which are also Ground from the hood hinge mounting bolt to a Fender nut. Either Side.



In the Trunk:
From the Tail Light Base Plate Drivers side to the Frame, I usually use a bumper bolt. I do both sides.

Bumper Bolt:



Tail light Bracket 3 Middle Male Spads;



Power Steering Firewall to a screw on the power steering cover:




Clean the Frame stud and the back side of the nut, use a little Never-seize on it and with new standard battery cables they will be able to more than do the job for you.

Remove your Instrument cluster:
http://cabby-info.com/Files/DashRemoval.pdf

On the back of your cluster, remove the Shroud off the main connector
by pressing in the finger tabs, and carefully pry off.





Carefully lift the Mylar connector off the tongue.





Place one strip of electrical tape on the pad side of the plastic tongue.



Replace the shroud.

You should also remove the nuts off the back of the cluster and sand them to clean them.
Sand the lock washers too.

Brush the mylar with steel wool I usually twirl it around the stud sticking out, and that cleans the mylar too.

Replace the nuts and tighten them.


Now you are going to add an additional ground wire to the main cluster connection.

From the Large Connector, go back about 4 inches and use a wire splice to join
a 12 inch piece of wire to the number 2 pin, brown wire.



Between the "X" drill a small pilot hole, and sand around it to get it to bare metal.
Add a terminal connector to the bitter end of the new spliced wire.



Use a sheet metal screw to screw the connector to the frame. You now have a good cluster ground. You can run
This ground to the console gauges and get a more accurate reading, although I have used the ground from the
Cassette Tape Holder Lamp.

Inside the Cabin on the firewall there are Star connectors that are riveted to the Frame.
The have the majority of grounds. Don 't have a pic.
 

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Nice pics! Looks like I have more missing than I thought... :eek: Will have to go over my car some more to see how these other locations are fairing (didn't know about the a/c to alt, for instance).

What is that metal piece that is under the ground strap ring on the valve cover gasket? I'm pretty sure I don't have it...
 

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Eventually the answers turn up after lengthy search sessions, but the info is not readily available (though briano's mantra is :D ). What's more, I haven't found a complete list anywhere, but many threads with different locations mentioned.

Could we compile a more detailed list and photos for cabby-info.com? So far, I've found:


  1. Battery to the left frame rail
  2. Frame rail to the transmission
  3. Valve cover to the ignition coil (coil, or coil mount?)
  4. Fuse/relay panel (to...?)
  5. Steering column (to...?)
  6. Valve cover to raintray/firewall (same as above? It's valve cover to ignition coil bracket only)
  7. Main harness to ground donut near fuse box (same as above?)
  8. Rear harness DS panel near tailaights. (DS? driver's side?)
  9. Rear Defrost PS opposite other ground. (PS? passenger's side?)
  10. alternator to the engine block or valve cover (is one better than the other?)
  11. cold start valve (to...? CIS only?)
  12. hood to fender
  13. instrument cluster (to...?)
  14. ... what else?
I'm working on an illustration that shows all of the main ground cables in the engine bay. As for all the other "minor" ground points, they differ between the years and are listed in the electrical section of the Bentley Service Manual, as are the connection types for each year. I may go through all of those lists and add them to the illustration, text-wise.

A/C compressor ground varies based on car year: some ground at the battery, some ground on the engine block.

PS = passenger side
DS = driver side

Nice pics! Looks like I have more missing than I thought... :eek: Will have to go over my car some more to see how these other locations are fairing (didn't know about the a/c to alt, for instance).

What is that metal piece that is under the ground strap ring on the valve cover gasket? I'm pretty sure I don't have it...
Brian's photos are of his Digifant, so don't go looking for the same grounds. Cases in point: 1) The A/C compressor. Your factory ground is at the battery. 2) The ECU. CIS does not have an ECU in the rain tray, it has an ICU (ignition control unit) and does not have a ground strap. 3) The valve cover. CIS valve covers use the same type of hold-down strip in the back as is used in the front; use any nut for the ground strap on that rear strip you like (make sure it's clean).
 

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A/C compressor ground varies based on car year: some ground at the battery, some ground on the engine block.

PS = passenger side
DS = driver side

Brian's photos are of his Digifant, so don't go looking for the same grounds. Cases in point: 1) The A/C compressor. Your factory ground is at the battery. 2) The ECU. CIS does not have an ECU in the rain tray, it has an ICU (ignition control unit) and does not have a ground strap. 3) The valve cover. CIS valve covers use the same type of hold-down strip in the back as is used in the front; use any nut for the ground strap on that rear strip you like (make sure it's clean).
Ah, thanks for all of the clarifications... I was getting a bit worried there. I'll have to stop at a parts store on the way home and start with the valve cover strap. Good to know I'm not supposed to have that copper plate. I do have those hold-down strips though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Adding Grounds is only productive to your desired results. There is no Luck in proper grounding.

For VW's adding grounds or redistributing the grounds is only gonna help you in the long run.
 

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This should be in the DIY section...Sticky please admin. :wave:
 

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