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Old 29th May 2006, 09:42   #1
puppypilgrim
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Ground wires improve idling, throttle and acceleration

This is my third car with ground wires. Improving the grounding efficiency of the electrical system in your car reduces systemic electrical losses in modern car which are highly dependent on the electrical system for optimized performance.

I have found ground wires to improve lumpy idles (the car "hunts" for the best idle mixture even after you've changed the injectors, adjusted timing, etc.), improve throttle response, yield crisper acceleration and makes the engine more willing to rev. While you can buy grounding kits from a number of makers, the one I happen to use is from www.sunautomobile.com. And no, I am not affiliated to any manufacturer. I just find it works for me and in the interest of sharing on the internet, am offering my findings that it may potentially be of service to others.

Many of you know I just got my B10 Bi-Turbo. It had a lumpy idle and coarse, brutish acceleration from day one. I put it down to an aggresive cam profile. But heeling and toeing could not yield perfect downshifts even when I was executing correctly. The car more or less burped quite a bit. I put it down to the lack of a blow off valve in the car. Then I remembered the ground wires. Nice thing about ground wires is that they can be -reused from one vehicle to another. They are one of the few mods that are transferable.

I am attaching the photos which detail what's involved. I will follow up the post with a writeup.
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Old 29th May 2006, 10:15   #2
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Writeup on ground wires for E34

INTRODUCTION
You may choose different grounding points in the car. I happen to use the ones listed here because they were the ones that I found. The main principle is to use 5 or 6 lengths of multi-stranded, high grade copper in a heat resistant shielding with quality connectors. You want connections in a daisy chain fashion.This means all the wires are ultimately connected physically to each other. Here are the ideal locations. You may wish to experiment once you obtain a baseline.

WHERE TO GROUND
1. Right front fender
2. Left front fender
3. Intake manifold and\or throttle body
4. Engine block
5. Transmission housing (I could not find a transmission grounding point that was easily accessible on my car so I ground to the engine block twice).

Undo the two plastic screws holding the black cover located next to the ECU box by the right shock tower. This exposes a snake of brown wires from various devices all grounded to a chassis post as a grounding point.

In my setup, one wire goes from the grounding post to the right front bolt which holds the air filter box to the fender. From there another wire from the air filter box goes to the engine block.

Another wire originates from the grounding post on the chassis to one of two conveniently located threaded holes on the Alpinized intake manifold. From there, another wires to the the second location on the engine block and another goes to the right front fender whose location is the mounting point for the diagnostic port (it has a plastic bolt). Finding avalaible locations was not easy on my Bi-Turbo.

Now zip tie everything for safety.

START THE CAR
Turn on the ignition. You should notice an improvement in the immediacy of the engine catching life. Upon catching ignition, your idle should now be stable and consistent instead of a lumpy idle and the ECU "hunting" for a stability in the idle. Some people notice brighter headlights (I can say I have).

RESULTS YOU CAN EXPECT
Next, upon easing on the throttle, instead of a jerky somewhat hesitant acceleration, it should now accelerate smoother and have a more silky feel to the power delivery. Down shifts which are accompanied with a blipping of the throttle will respond quite correctly with a smoothness not experienced prior to the ground wires. In fact, the engine will seem more eager to rev freer and higher. Wide open throttle will have different effects for different cars. Some will just run smoother all the way and while others which used to hesitate or cough under WOT will now run with no hesitation. Crisper, smoother, more willing. If you refrain from accelerating harder under normal driving, you should actually expect slightly better fuel economy from the car due to a better spark and cleaner combustion.

SKEPTICAL
Some tuners have dynoed the before and after results of ground wires. Just google it. They come JDM spec. for such cars as the Mitsubishi, Subaru, 350Z and a few others. Some people are skeptical that the product works because they don't understand why it should work. I haven't read an opinion where someone has correctly installed a quality grounding kit who has said it hasn't made a positive difference in their car.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
I am certainly not a licensed technician but offer my thoughts as a layman. Many cars use a generic chassis ground which ultimately connects back to the negative terminal of the battery to complete the circuit. However, there are many things to degrade the quality of chassis grounding such as rubber parts, layers of paint, etc. By using dedicated grounding which connects to the cable running to the negative terminal, you are in effect building a dedicated , direct highway from one part of the city to another part of city which bypasses all the city traffic which is congested by side streets and traffic lights.

This reduces the systemic losses inherent in traditional chassis grounding and improves the electrical efficiency of the vehicles components that depends on an electrical circuit to function.
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Old 29th May 2006, 22:21   #3
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Update: took my car to CG Motorsports this morning to introduce myself. Chris and Rudy immediately suggested ideas of how to tidy up the wiring so it looks better and more OEM. That's great because these were only the points I could come up with without having access to a hoist.
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Old 29th May 2006, 22:48   #4
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HI vICTOR,

Ive never heard about that ground wiring problem. In fact my BT has a smooth idle but sometimes during downshifts i have a similar problem like you. I thought it has something to do with my dump valve but as i can see there are more options left to take care of.

Ill let you know if something has changed after the wiring job.

Thanks for new ideas

Cheers Alex
BT #500
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Old 29th May 2006, 23:23   #5
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BerlinThunder,

Skeptics will point to dyno variability tolerances - but these are people who question without ever having tried them on their own vehicle. I will assure you that having ground wires installed like the ones you see below will all yield noticeable results for the driver and for thr sensitive passenger.

Cars that utilize ECUs are sensitive to small changes in electrical circuits. There are also a gazillions sensors all relying on electrical conductivity for optimized performance. That is why the power you gain is not really "new" power from the engine, rather you are recovering real power lost to systemic inefficiences within the existing electrical system. Think of it like the difference between flywheel HP and wheel HP which the difference lies in the powertrain and transmission losses on the way to driving wheels. Of the same principle where changing to lighter wheels and tires reduce the unsprung weight of car and make the car more responsive.

Here is more reading on the subject:
http://www.sportcompactonly.com/tech...ding+Wire+Kits

Implementation on a Mazda here:
http://www.mx6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119873

DIY wires with photos on a Nissan 350 - worth reading:
http://www.350zforum.com/tech/groundweb/groundweb.aspx

Sun Automobile's writeup:
http://www.sigmaautomotive.com/EGS/egs.php

This is even more important for BMWs since the negative terminal of the battery is usually located some distance away in the trunk or underneath the rear seats.
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Old 29th May 2006, 23:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinThunder
HI vICTOR,

Ive never heard about that ground wiring problem. In fact my BT has a smooth idle but sometimes during downshifts i have a similar problem like you. I thought it has something to do with my dump valve but as i can see there are more options left to take care of.

Ill let you know if something has changed after the wiring job.

Thanks for new ideas

Cheers Alex
BT #500
If you checkout the link to the 350Z tutorial I included, you can go to a home renovation store, buy naked 4 gauge copper wires, shrink wrap heat protectors and gold plated connectors from a hifi store and make your own for very little money. Since a more responsive engine with better and smoother acceleration you can feel affects your enjoyment of the car in any rpm, this makes it one of best dollar for dollar improvements one can add to the car.
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Old 30th May 2006, 00:54   #7
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Did you order them or get them through a local dealer? Which size did you get?

cheers,

n
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Old 30th May 2006, 01:02   #8
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I originally got mine by ordering through the www.sunautomobile.com website about 4 years ago for my Suzuki SX Aerio AWD (similar in chassis to a Suzuki Liana on the Top Gear show in the UK but more aggressive body kit and slightly different engine).

You can make your own kit via Home Depot supplies as detailed in one of the links I included for not much more than Cdn $30 I would think. In the USA, different kits are available starting from USD $50.

Nice thing is that the kit can go from car to car. My wiring looks untidy since I am restricted by the wire lengths which were originally for a smaller car.
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Old 30th May 2006, 04:33   #9
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Cool trick, Victor! I'll be looking into this grounding stuff when I have some more free time in a few weeks and can mess around with the car... veeeerry interesting.

And a Top Gear fan too! Splendid!
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Old 30th May 2006, 14:14   #10
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Victor

I had the same problem as you over a year ago, also noticed excessive fuel smell, I only grounded the car with 1 earth scrap, from one of the rocker cover nuts to one of the chassi leg nuts, this sorted the problem.

I was wondering if the additional earth straps are required, car seem to run fine.

By the way after fitting a dump value, the car response is far better you can bearly hear the value
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