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Thread: Adding grounds a good idea?

  1. #1
    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    Default Adding grounds a good idea?

    I would figure so. Anyways, I'm just curious. Is there any common ground issues with these cars- with the stock grounding cable's?

    I don't know, that's why I'm asking. BUT, to me, one cable coming off the battery and going to the engine mount is not good enough. Especially after 30+ years. There is so much electrical stuff on these car's along with them being fuel injected. Heck, Full Size Jeep's have terrible grounding issues with their factory set up and they are kind of archaic compared to this Lincoln of mine. I've added many to my Jeep and the electrical equipment works so much better because of it.

    This afternoon I added some to the car too. Didn't really notice any change with anything, but I figure it'd be better with them. I added 3 grounds to the body, 2 to the frame and 1 to the engine all going straight to the battery NEG.

    Another question for discussion: Why do people swap out the alternator on these car's? What's the factory amp output of them? Is it low for how much the car can consume? So far I've had no issue with mine, and I think its factory stock. At idle with the lights on, I'm still getting 14.5ish volts at the battery measured with my multimeter.
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

  2. #2
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Factory output on the internally regulated 2G alternator is 65 amps. Typically most people swap them for 3G 130 amp units since the 2G has a massive flaw, which is it uses a plug for the charge cable versus a conventional lug. There's been several instances where the plug on the 2G alternator has burned up/caught fire due to excessive resistance buildup at the plug due to corrosion or poor contact.

    Converting 2G cars is pretty straightforwards, and it has been documented very well.


    Regarding adding grounds, it's certainly not the worst idea. I added a ground strap between the battery and the radiator support. The dash lights stopped visibly pulsing when using the turn signals with the lights on at night.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  3. #3
    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    OH, wow. I never noticed that about the alternator. I didn't know it was flawed. I'll have to pull that connection apart and check it. If it's ok, I'll just clean it up, put some electrical grease in it and keep an eye on it. I'm not planning on putting some booming stereo or other power hungry junk in the car so the stock output should be fine...
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

  4. #4
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    making sure the existing grounds are in good shape is the first step. Should be one from battery to engine and one from battery to the rad support. I could swear there is a ground strap somewhere at the rear end of the trans to body too. The one to the rad support is often missing if the cables aren't original.

    and yes the stock alternator is a turd. Lousy output and it catches on fire. No bueno.

    headlamp relays help a lot to improve light output and unload the electrical system inside the cabin too.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    making sure the existing grounds are in good shape is the first step. Should be one from battery to engine and one from battery to the rad support. I could swear there is a ground strap somewhere at the rear end of the trans to body too. The one to the rad support is often missing if the cables aren't original.

    and yes the stock alternator is a turd. Lousy output and it catches on fire. No bueno.

    headlamp relays help a lot to improve light output and unload the electrical system inside the cabin too.
    There's also supposed to be a ground strap at the right rear of the intake to the firewall(?). The end on the intake side was still on my car, but the other end seemingly disappeared. Probably should fix that.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

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    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    Yea, I have the one going from bat to the engine. It's not as thick as I would like there, but that's what it's got. I believe it goes to the engine mount. There is NONE going to the core support. It does have one small line that comes out of terminal with the main line, but that goes to a little fuse housing then leads into a wire loom. From there, I don't know where it goes.

    Yea, I do have a line coming from the trans, I don't remember if it goes to the body or the frame... I've got to get back under the car again and take a look. My memory is terrible.

    Aww really!? These things don't have relays for the headlamps?! I thought I saw somewhere online that they did... So all that power is going through the ignition, then the headlight switch and finally back to the lights? ugh. Well, I've put relays in other vehicles. Never done one with the quad light set up though... That might be interesting. Point me in a direction so I can read about that... Is there any kit being made? No junk kits. I don't want crappy parts or wires in my car's.



    Hmm, I don't remember ever seeing a ground coming from the intake manifold to the firewall. I'll have to check and see if there is one buried that I just happened to have missed or if it is indeed, not there.
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

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    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    The little line off the main negative is for the computer. NEVER delete that. Very important.


    These cars dont have headlight relays. Project time to take the load off the melted headlamp switch.

    You can make your own kit or purchase one. The offerings are mainly for H4 bulbs so some rewiring of the kit may be necessary. Totally worth it though.

    I reworked the entire underhood fusible link fiasco by installing a 1993 underhood fuse box. I added headlamp relays in the fuse box as it was just do damn convenient not to do it that way.
    ~David~

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The autolamp cars do have a relay, but its inside the car and only really bypasses the switch in the dash. Its still feeding power from the starter relay through the harness to the dash, then back out to the front of the car. Lots of wire. I got 2v of bump out of both my Towncar and the Continental when I put relays on. Lights are a lot brighter too, and I figure anything that unloads the electrical system can't be a terrible idea.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    Nope, usually does the system good.

    Is there any odd effects from adding additional relays when the car has the auto lamp feature? Same question also when regarding quad light systems.
    Some vehicles have odd responses to non factory relays, like for example, I know that with a lot of Jeep Cherokee's (XJ), if you add relays for the headlights the factory fog lamps (if equipped) will no longer work correctly unless you re-wire.



    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    The little line off the main negative is for the computer. NEVER delete that. Very important.


    These cars dont have headlight relays. Project time to take the load off the melted headlamp switch.

    You can make your own kit or purchase one. The offerings are mainly for H4 bulbs so some rewiring of the kit may be necessary. Totally worth it though.

    I reworked the entire underhood fusible link fiasco by installing a 1993 underhood fuse box. I added headlamp relays in the fuse box as it was just do damn convenient not to do it that way.
    I was suspecting that that was what the wire was for. I thought it was a fuse housing though, I pulled it apart when I put a new + cable in and found its just a funky connector.

    I read somewhere that they did, I must have just read about what gadget pointed out. So, full power apparently don't go through my switch, but does go into the car, then back out to the headlights. Bit of wasted energy for that path...

    I'll have to look into making a kit then. Don't really want to deal with modding a pre made kit. Any good links y'all could reference around here?

    Oh man, an underhood fuse box would be so much better than the fusible link bull s*** these cars use. Poking wires to test if the fuse is still good is NOT the way to go, I don't know why so many manufacturers went with them damn things.
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

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    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    "The little line off the main negative is for the computer. NEVER delete that. Very important."

    Does anybody have a picture of this line or can tell me the location? I didn't notice any other line coming off of the main negative.

  11. #11
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    no issues with autolamp. If you have digital dash, it will tell you the headlamps are burned out though.

    Fuse links have no contacts, so they're reliable. Its an older tech. Plug-in fuse panels didn't really appear until the 90s in many cases.


    ECM ground is right at the battery. Small-ish black wire, maybe 16 awg, goes through a funny black connector that kind-of looks like a fuse holder. Its meant to go directly to the battery -. It comes out of the harness that goes to the starter relay if I remember right.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  12. #12
    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packman View Post
    "The little line off the main negative is for the computer. NEVER delete that. Very important."

    Does anybody have a picture of this line or can tell me the location? I didn't notice any other line coming off of the main negative.
    I can get a pic or 2 for ya tomorrow (as long as I'm not cleaning up snow in the morning). I plan on being in the building the car is in tomorrow morning to fix tire leaks on my Dad's Jeep.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    no issues with autolamp. If you have digital dash, it will tell you the headlamps are burned out though.

    Fuse links have no contacts, so they're reliable. Its an older tech. Plug-in fuse panels didn't really appear until the 90s in many cases.


    ECM ground is right at the battery. Small-ish black wire, maybe 16 awg, goes through a funny black connector that kind-of looks like a fuse holder. Its meant to go directly to the battery -. It comes out of the harness that goes to the starter relay if I remember right.
    Cool! No digital dash here. Guess im good to go.
    yea, I'm aware about the links in those regards. Just makes testing circuits harder though if one blows. Got to poke holes in the wires to test for continuity, then reseal them. If ya find a bad one, then you have to cut it out and splice the wire with another link or a fuse housing. My old Jeep is also set up the same way with them things.
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

  13. #13
    Member ZackN920's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packman View Post
    "The little line off the main negative is for the computer. NEVER delete that. Very important."

    Does anybody have a picture of this line or can tell me the location? I didn't notice any other line coming off of the main negative.
    Here ya go! It comes out of the battery terminal itself with the main line.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 101_7373.jpg   101_7374.jpg   101_7375.jpg  
    1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series-98k miles- LOPO 302, AOD, open 3.27, Dual exhaust w/ Thrush Turbo mufflers

    the others...
    1926 Dodge Brothers Business Sedan- 212ci I4/3 speed/crank start
    1987 Dodge Dakota- 3.9/A999/3.90/2wd (storage)
    1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer-AMC360/727/NP229/3.08/2" lift(daily)
    1994 GMC Burban L05 350/4L60e/241/3.42
    2001 Jeep Cherokee 4.0/AW4/231/3.73 (limbo)

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