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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:17 am 
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Location: Abbotsford, BC
m wrote:
Your car is exposed to the elements whether the wiring is covered up inside the car or out. You want to have the least exposure possible. I'll be honest I've never heard of leaving copper exposed (being that it corrodes so easily) and would be curious as to why it would be done. I can tell you that MECP certification doesn't want exposed copper though.


lots of times copper is left exposed, let's say for grounding electrodes on the side of your house. since it's just corrosion on the surface and not like steel which corrosion which will deteriorate the metal itself. besides, in a trunk it's not exposed to rain and extreme weather so it's even less of an issue. The exposed copper conductor is the same as a whole exposed lug anyways, so what's the difference talking about practicality. I also heard that electrical inspectors like to see some wire exposed so they can clearly see the crimp connection and make sure it's just not loose in the lug.

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1995 Firefly 1.3 SOHC 8VALVE MANUAL
2000 Firefly 1.3 SOHC 16VALVE AUTO. Goals: full restoration, achieve stock MPG and HP or higher, finished look should be 'stealthy' and unassuming. Engine will need to be rebuilt later on to restore compression levels.


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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:31 am 
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King of Pompous
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Location: Ottawa ONT.
House wiring is different from auto wiring. If you really think that being inside a car makes it less vulnerable then more power to you. While I agree that you will likely be fine (the pics I have show copper terminals on an engine) its still not the right way to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Location: Abbotsford, BC
i guess there is some room for improvement. 4 ga. lug and insulation right up to edge.

BTW - all my lights dim when bass hits. I don't have my headlights installed but the airbag light, dome light and trunk light all dim when the subwoofers are working.

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1995 Firefly 1.3 SOHC 8VALVE MANUAL
2000 Firefly 1.3 SOHC 16VALVE AUTO. Goals: full restoration, achieve stock MPG and HP or higher, finished look should be 'stealthy' and unassuming. Engine will need to be rebuilt later on to restore compression levels.


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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Location: SLC, UT
just spent the past hour searching for posts about upgrading ground wires. finally found this one. good stuff here! simple enough and a great starting upgrade.

bumping it up so i can find it better. wondering why it's not a sticky ;)

coming from owning a honda accord with power everything, I was expecting a more extensive grounding chain, but I guess our little cars don't really need more, eh? would it benefit any to have additional intake mani/engine block/valve cover grounds?


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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:46 pm 
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King of Pompous
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You could do a ground net but its debatable if they actualy do anything. I know the 300ZX and WRX guys like using them but in all honestly its not really something thats going to give you a bump in power but rather a stronger grounding system. The Big 3 works on all vehicles from import to domestic. This is actualy in the stereo section's FAQ sticky.

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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:42 pm
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Location: ajax, ontario, planet bullsh**
think your manifold looked really cool painted green, that's about the first thing I noticed, but I gotta say paint isn't really gonna adhere to copper and not terribly well to body metal that hasn't been primed. would it not be better to sand the metal, bolt up your ground and cover it in oil or rubber guard or something like that?

good point on upgrading grounds vs. adding a cap. like that idea.

note on firefly4dr's comment and posts. generally it's advised not to ground to a bolt hole intended for something else like bolting in a seat. I personally like to ground to multi-ply metal, like the point where that bolt bracket mounts to the car. It usually ensures that over time the screw won't loosen. of course what you've done WILL ground, and you've properly cleaned the surface, but in everything I've ever been told it's been advised to make your own ground. also to whenever possible ground everything you are running to the same spot.

also the solder you've used isn't really very good. when upgrading grounds you'll find your connection is a cold joint, because you've used plain lead solder instead of flux core. I've made grounds that way too and found that no matter how much flux and solder I added it never really pulled into the wire like it should. with as much heat as it takes to properly solder AWG4 and higher it cooks the flux off before the solder can make use of it. when the flux is in the core of the solder, it goes in at the same time right? like I said I've done both and that theory seems to make sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Paint will stick to both the copper and the body metal just fine. Its not being handled all the time so priming isn't really necessary. Using a dielectric grease on the metal (as said in the writup) before and after bolting up will also prevent rust and promote good contact.

I use factory holes as much as possible to ground things. As long as theres good metal that isn't held in by only a couple of spot welds you should be good. I've used the spare tire bracket on a lot of Swifts and it hasn't been a bad spot though I do tend to drill a hole and use a nut and bolt if I can.

I don't think the solder remark was directed at me but here goes anyways. I have flux core solder that I use on 99% of my projects. For wire 4awg and up I use flux seperately with regular (non flux core) solder. The solder isn't really being used to connect the wire to the terminal in this case. The wire has already been crimped so trying to get solder to flow up (what has essentialy become of the wire) a solid core of copper isn't going to happen. I dip the bare wire in the flux and then insert it into the terminal. I cut a small, maybe 1/4", chunk of solder and jam that into the terminal with the wire. The terminal then gets crimped in a vice and then cooked with the torch. When the solder flows from the crimp I know its melted. I touch the open end of the crimp with the flux core just to cover any copper that might be exposed. I then use a dual wall heat shrink that seals the soldered connection permanently. I've pulled these connections apart in the past to see if I was wasting my time and the solder did a good job at penetrating the joint.

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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Location: ajax, ontario, planet bullsh**
no man I didn't mean you in that sentence. firefly's joint didn't look very good. I mean it's good he took the time to solder, but solder joints like that would cause voltage drop.

every time I've used lead solder and flux paste separately on large gauge wire it turns out exactly the same as his. those connectors as well, the solid copper terminals seem to never take in solder.


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 Post subject: Re: The big 3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:37 pm 
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King of Pompous
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You can get thicker stuff thats lead free. You do need lots of heat though and using a torch is the only way to go...just need to be careful you don't toast the wire.

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