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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here goes, I don't know how to put this in the wiki, so if someone wants, please do!

Tools:
8mm socket or wrench (grounds)
11mm socket or wrench (alt)
Allen wrenches or whatever it takes to remove your battery terminals
Sandpaper (220 grit works fine)
Boltcutters (if the wire is hard to cut)
Lighter or heat gun
Vice or Vice grips

What is needed:
~12 Ft. of 4awg or bigger wire
4 copper eyelet (lug) terminals, crimp on type (+2 if you have to use them to connect to the battery terminals, and +2 if you plan on using the factory 'Mega Fuse'
150 amp fuse and holder (not necessary if using existing 'Mega Fuse'
Heat shrink tubing
Zip ties

#1:
Disconnect negative battery terminal

#2- Battery to ground
Remove the bolt holding the grounds on the driver's side inner fender and sand the area where the grounds contact the car to bare metal.

Measure how much wire you will need to go from the ground point to the negative battery terminal. Always leave ~2" slack (cars dont stay completely still.) Cut the wire and strip the insulation off each end about 5/8 inch. Crimp a lug onto one end and slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the connection and heat it up. (If your battery terminals do not allot room for a large enough wire, you may have to do this to both ends)

Thread the bolt you removed from the inner fender through the existing ground wires that were there and also through the new lug, and attach all back to the newly sanded ground point. Attach the other end to the negative battery terminal.


#3- Engine to ground
For this one, you need to find a good mounting bolt on the block. I just happened to find a bolt that did absolutely nothing that was threaded into side of the motor. Any spot will do, just make sure that the wire path will not interfere with the serpentine belt or any other moving parts. I used the side of the motor because the factory ground strap was in the back, and I did not want to fight with the UIM. When you find your target bolt, once again measure and cut the length of wire you need to go from the bolt to your nearest grounding point (leaving slack for the movement of the motor). You can use the same one as before (which means you don't have to sand it again) but I used the one next to the expansion tank on the passenger side to save wire. Remove the existing bolt at the ground point and on the block, sand them down, strip and attach a lug to each end of the wire(heatshrink), and attach the wire from the ground point to the block. Make sure you reattach the existing grounds. Secure This is mine.
Ground point:

Engine mounting point:


#4- Alternator+ to Battery+
This one sucked hard!! The alternator on the 'tec is located in the most difficult place. I did this without removing the alternator splash shield or jacking the car up. Strip and attach a lug to one end of the wire (heatshrink). Remove the + stud bolt on the alternator, attach the new wire over the existing terminals, and reinstall the bolt. Leaving enough slack to account for movement in the motor route the wire along the existing wiring harnesses attaching zip ties every 8 inches or so. When you get to the battery, cut the wire to length.
If you are using an aftermarket fuse and holder, attach one end to the ran wire and the other to <12" of wire and attach that to the +Battery terminal.
If you are using the factory fuse, attach a lug to the end of the end of the ran wire (heatshrink) and attach to the end of the fuse opposite of the factory wire that runs from the battery to the fuse. Then attach a length of wire from the same side that the factory wire that runs from the battery to the fuse, to the + terminal on the battery.
This is mine, but since I am going to use an aftermarket fuse that isn't in yet I connected it for display purposes. The blue wire is for my amp, the black is the one in I just put in.
* If you don't use a fuse and your car burns down, it's not my problem.


#5
Connect Neg battery terminal and watch for smoke!! If present, call a professional.


EDITED: To get rid of double spaces
 

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did this tonight using 8ga wire. i dont have a big system and really only did it cause the engine grounding straps were crappy as heck. I did notice that my normal speakers sounded clearer, but subs didnt do anything different. my idle was hella smoother, which leads me to believe that i wasnt grounded properly, and i didnt get as many of my strange electrical gremlins!
 

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Yep, the wiki works! :thumb:

Great write up. This will help to eliminate some of the mystery behind the big 3 installation.


Slightly OT: I saw Paul mentioned something about the body-engine ground being different on a car that has an iron-block engine. It might have been another wire in the big 3, though. I'm not sure. Paul?! Assistance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, the wiki works! :thumb:

Great write up. This will help to eliminate some of the mystery behind the big 3 installation.


Slightly OT: I saw Paul mentioned something about the body-engine ground being different on a car that has an iron-block engine. It might have been another wire in the big 3, though. I'm not sure. Paul?! Assistance! [/b]
The way I understood, if you have an iron block, you need to run an extra wire from the alternator frame to ground.
 

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break it down for me here? where are you doing this? i just cant figure out what the point is here... (its probably really simple and im just overlooking it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
break it down for me here? where are you doing this? i just cant figure out what the point is here... (its probably really simple and im just overlooking it.) [/b]
Because it is pretty pointless to have a 4awg wire going to the amplifier if the wire feeding it is half the size. Think of the wire like a hose, bigger wire, better flow. My old amp only drew 40 amps and made the headlights dim, my new one draws up to 120. I don't like driving w/o lights.
 

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break it down for me here? where are you doing this? i just cant figure out what the point is here... (its probably really simple and im just overlooking it.)
[/b]
Essentially, running bigger wire will decrease the amount of resistance over a given distance. Reduced resistance means more electricity can flow, and everything can get the amount of power it needs, especially subs, battery, etc.

JR
 

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No. The big three symbolize three wires. You can upgrade them to whatever gauge you want, though 4 is probably the best for the cost.

JR
 

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When the engine is running the electricity comes from the alternator. Being DC voltage the + - circuits must be a complete loop. On an iron block motor there is more resistance when grounding solely to the block then when grounding to the alternator.
 

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I had a 300 watt amp and it was running of 10ga. wire. I got a new system and left my wiring in. Now I have a 1000 watt amp running off 10ga! NEED BIGGER WIRE!
 

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Another thing about wire size and current draw, When talking about your amplifier it is not the output watts that is important but the input fuse size for the amplifier.
 

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Would this mod void the warranty on a vehicle? My new Taurus just had to go in the shop on Saturday due to a, I presume, bad alternator. I know this wouldn't really prevent that problem, but if this new alternator goes, I'd much rather have it replaced again under warranty than have to pay money for it myself if the mod voids my warranty.
 

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Only if the mod caused the alternator to be damaged.
 

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I don't have any fancy subs or anything, but sometimes I notice my instrument cluster lights kinda flickering and getting dimmer, could that be because of poor grounds?

What about grounding the engine? Does that help with ignition and whatnot?
 

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I've added a lot of grounding to the car. With the battery in the trunk I just recently added an 8ga wire to the front. Basically I use 8 ga wire looped from the passenger side ground point, to the firewall ground point, to the drivers side fender ground point where there is now a ground block. From there down to the starter and various other small grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The factory ground is terrible. Ground to the strut tower.
How's that?

Using the factory ground on the inner fender, as long as it's sanded clean is as good as the strut tower- considering they're welded to each other.
 
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