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ground issue assistance

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by zero niner, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Aug 8, 2009 at 10:38 AM
    #1
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Hello,

    So when I first installed my system, I attached my 4 guage ground wire with a gold terminal, it's one of those big ones that's impossible to clamp down so it was not 100% touching everywhere so I also soldered it. Then it got attached to the middle bottom seat bolt (on the black bracket), I didn't sand down to bare metal and simply attached it to the bolt. Well when I fired up my system, I had a high pitch constant sound emitting from my front speakers and tweeter. It was not varialble like an alternator whine.

    Then yesterday, I decided to move my ground. I decided on the bolt that attaches to the rear wall from the old plastic back piece. I sanded it down to bare metal and installed a screw clamp ring terminal. Now this think is 5x more beefy than that gold ring crimp terminal and held the ground wire very securely. Then I bolted it down.

    Went up front and turned my key to accessory and SILENCE! The new ground point worked, it was completely silent with no high pitch. Then this morning I start my truck to get to work and what did I hear? The infamous alternator whine! So my noise issue is much worse! I know it's the ground but why? I'm confused I solved one problem but then created another one. How can I solve both problems?

    I'm very frustrated cause I know the new ground attactment is much better than the old ground set up but is much more noisier, what happened?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    Rob
     
  2. Aug 8, 2009 at 4:10 PM
    #2
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    Always working on the stereo, painted the front skid plate black to match the truck, debadged , toy tech ultimate lift kit, light racing UCAs, ARB bumper Looking into a supercharger and new exhaust.
    Is your new ground point the raised piece at the bottom of this picture?

    [​IMG]

    If so, the mounting point is too small to be an effective grounding point. There is not enough metal. The reason the seat belt bolt is a spot is due to the heavy gauge of metal to which it attaches. I'd suggest going back to the previous mounting point and clean the paint off of the bolt and area around the bolt. Then you can attach your ground there (and paint over it if it makes you feel better about corrosion issues).
     
  3. Aug 8, 2009 at 4:37 PM
    #3
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Not it's not that little tab it's the threaded part on the raised bar just above your blue wire. I thought that may be enough. So maybe the seatbelt bolt was good just too much paint so not a good contact point? Could that have caused the slight high pitch? I always assumed that ground noise was obvious and moved pitch like with the alternator but this was just a constant high pitch. Anyways, I'll try the seat belt bolt again tonight after sanding the metal around it, I can also say the new ring terminal is 10x more contact to the wire than my previous one so maybe that will help too.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Rob
     
  4. Aug 8, 2009 at 8:19 PM
    #4
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    I have had ground issues that were constant hum and I have had variable. Slightly different symptoms for the same root issue, in my experience.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2009 at 8:28 PM
    #5
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Well I got home and unscrewed the 2nd ground point and decided to go back to the seat bolt but then sanded the bottom of the bolt flange, some of the threads and all of the painted part on the seat bracket. Well the high pitch issue is gone but this still yielded the alternator whine, then I decided to go back to the original ground point, sanded down the paint, sanded the bolt and then tested my system, the original accessory on pitch is gone but now replaced with the alternator whine, WTF is going on??? I'm so frustrated so now when I think I have a better ground connector I'm getting more noise. I can't seem to win.

    Included are pics, the first is the 3rd ground point, it's the seat bracket front bolt, nicely sanded and attached with alternator whine.

    The second pic is the original mounting point sanded and now producing the alternator whine.

    The third pic is the original ground terminal, you can see how much beefier the new ground terminal is but now it's even worse.

    Now the only difference between yesterday and today is I changed the ring terminal to a larger one and sanded down the bracket and bolt but yet it's worse. I can't imagine that this new big terminal is worse than the gold smaller one. How crazy am I??? I thought for sure that with the 2 bolts of the bracket being sanded and the painted parts being sanded that I would create and even better ground point for the bracket but it's not working out that way, how did I end up going from bad to worse?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, my stereo is great as long as the engine is not running, how lame is that?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Aug 8, 2009 at 9:04 PM
    #6
    KAPendley

    KAPendley Best Hack I Know

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    Try running a "test" wire from the battery ground. See if that eliminates the problem.

    A seat belt, or seat bolt, is a troublesome ground for some reason. I have used them in the past, then had issues, and had to move it. Quit using them a few years ago. Its much better to make your own, but that may require drilling a small hole somewhere and using a BOLT, not screws. If you just don't want to do that, try the method above and see what happens. Also, check your gains on the amp. If you are using a LOC, if it has adjustable gains, turn them ALL the way down as well. When a LOC is adjustable and maxed out, or not level matched with the amp, you will get noise.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2009 at 9:30 PM
    #7
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    x2, what equipment are you running? Stock or aftermarket HU, any signal processors, number and rating of amps, size of cables (assumed 4awg from pics). A test ground straight from the battery terminal could help diagnose if it is an issue with an amp being bad.

    My observations from the pics though: 1st, the seat bracket is painted and goes on top of painted sheet metal. There may be an issue there.

    2nd: the "rubberized" black coating seems to be under the grounding ring.

    The reason I still use seat belt bolts (some folks have issues with them for good reason) is that they typically attach directly to solid body sheet metal and can be ground down for good contact with plenty of metal behind it.

    If you can take some pics of the ground points with the terminal adapter removed, that might lend some clues.

    Keep the faith man, we'll figure this out.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2009 at 10:40 PM
    #8
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Thanks guys, I don't mind drilling a hole and placing a real bolt somewhere, i just don't know where would be a good place.

    As for the black rubber boot, that's from the old terminal, I pushed it down the cable to attach the new terminal and forgot to remove it, it's not interfering at all.

    So how can I best pull the ground directly from the battery, I don't have enough of the 4 gauge left over.

    I agree that the painted seat bracket is not contacting the body very well and it's really only getting the ground through the bolt. I can assure you that the paint was completely sanded off and there is good contact there.

    Sooner, where is your ground wire? Also, I feel limited because it says the ground wire can't be more than 18" long and that leaves only those 3 options that I have tried to use, the 2 seat bracket bolts and the rear wall bolt.

    (shaking fists) YOU DAMN GREMLINS!!!

    Rob
     
  9. Aug 9, 2009 at 5:20 AM
    #9
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    I wasn't referring to the boot. I am talking about the rubberized underlayment on the truck itself.

    Mine is on a seat belt bolt, I believe. I'll take a pic and post it to TW live in a little bit. (If I remember).
     
  10. Aug 9, 2009 at 5:34 AM
    #10
    montgomery_30824

    montgomery_30824 Well-Known Member

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    your problem is not necessarily on this wire. any bad ground can cause this problem, you are just hearing it through this particular ground. check and recheck all of the grounds that you have added. make sure they are the correct gauge wire and they have good contact. also how big is your power wire, your ground wire should at least be same size if not larger than your power wire. I have mine on the rear seat bolt and it werks fine.
     
  11. Aug 9, 2009 at 11:29 AM
    #11
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Thanks for the insight.

    Here's what I got -

    Kenwood DNX5120, grounded through the factory harness.

    Tru Technologies B 4.75 amp, power 4 gauge 15 feet from battery, ground 4 gauge 18" from amp.

    Hybrid Audio Technologies - Front Seperates Clarus 6.5's
    Hybrid Audio Technologies - Rear mid bass 5.25 - powered by deck but not used, only will be faded to rear for passengers.

    Sooner - The rubberized coating is the factory deadening that is on the bottom floor pans, the bracket is not sitting on this. I could ground it to the seat belt bolt but my ring terminal is too small, that seat belt bolt is pretty hefty. Where should I look for a ring terminal this size?

    Would it be prudent to maybe send my amp ground wire to a distro block and then ground that block to 4 points, overkill I'm sure but this is driving me insane.

    I can't think of any other grounding points I could use and the amp looks to be the only thing I have grounded. I even upgraded the ground from the battery to be very beefy and overkill in my opinion.

    Any other options or advice, I'm willing to try anything, the only other thing I can think of would be to take the rear seats out and sand the bottom of the black bracket and the top of the floor to make that connection better, I also think I could run a second ground cable from the front bolt of the seat bracket (I'm currently on the rear bolt) and ground that to another point, since the bracket could act like a distro block itself.

    Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it!

    Rob
     
  12. Aug 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM
    #12
    montgomery_30824

    montgomery_30824 Well-Known Member

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    u could try grounding your H/U separately from the factory harness. where did you run your RCA input from your H/U to your amp? are they near the power wire? if so move them as far away as possible from it. never used on but you can also try one of those ground loop isolator's from radio shack?
     
  13. Aug 9, 2009 at 1:56 PM
    #13
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Yeah, I've run my RCA's down the driver's side but from what I've read, this isn't the cause like it used to be, in fact it's been debated quite a bit on this forum too. Also, I'm confused because it used to be a softer high pitch sound, then went to a much lounder alternator whine. I say it's the gremlins...

    I'll look at other options, I'm not too keen on grounding my HU seperately and would like to address the ground with the amp first. Also, it may just be worth taking it to a professional if I can't get this figured out...

    Thanks for your help!

    Rob
     
  14. Aug 9, 2009 at 2:10 PM
    #14
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    I tried that but had a hard time holding the terminal with pliers, even with the crimp it still turned around in there so I soldered it, but ended up going with this much larger terminal but then again, with the gold terminal all I had was a softer high constant high pitch sound, now I got alternator whine. Just driving me crazy!

    Rob
     
  15. Aug 11, 2009 at 8:56 PM
    #15
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    OK, I think I'm at the point where I ran out of ground points for the amp, where should I run a ground for the head unit? Direct to the battery or close to deck? Can I wire in another ground connected to the existing ground to help? This alternator whine is killing me!!!

    Thanks again folks!

    Rob
     
  16. Aug 11, 2009 at 9:19 PM
    #16
    KAPendley

    KAPendley Best Hack I Know

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    Ground the HU to any metal behind the radio and you would be fine. Honestly, I doubt the HU is the issue.

    If you are using RCA's with a drain wire in the center (It's not a remote wire when they have them, its a drain wire for helping reduce noise) ground BOTH sides of the wire....if it has one.
     
  17. Aug 11, 2009 at 9:22 PM
    #17
    rscecil007

    rscecil007 Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat new member here, and I'm assembly parts for my system install in a few months, and have been reading and researching the hell out of the best way to do some of this (will be my first full install done myself.)

    One thing I've come across on several forums, is one way to completely eliminate ground loops and get the best ground, is to run a ground wire (of equal gauge to the power wire) from the battery to the back near your amps to a distro block, and run EVERYTHING that gets gounded off that distro. Radio, amps, x-overs, etc. Obviously if you do this you wouldn't have to do the upgrade ground to chassis under the hood.

    Problem with this is cost (15-20 feet of 4 gauge or 1/0 gauge ain't cheap,) and having to run two sets of a thick gauge cable back to your amps.

    Main reason they say is due to grounding to the chassis up front and then in the back might lead to ground loops, and may not give the strongest ground voltage wise, due to paint on chassis areas, rubberized areas in between frame/chassis areas, etc, that were mentioned above.

    Again, haven't tried this, only what I've read. But might be a last ditch option if all else fails.
     
  18. Aug 11, 2009 at 9:26 PM
    #18
    Burgman

    Burgman I KEEEEEL YOU

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    mines grounding fine on the rear wall support bar thingy, recommended by Mr. Marv and it works great... my first amp that i bought brand new had some static in it but after upgrading no noises
     
  19. Aug 11, 2009 at 9:27 PM
    #19
    zero niner

    zero niner [OP] romeo oscar bravo

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    Thanks for the reply! No my RCA's don't have a drain wire, and I ran a remote wire along side of my power wire to my amp. If it's not the HU, then I've ran out of options for my ground in the rear unless I totally redo my amp rack which will be a pain. Sure wish there was an easier solution...

    Rob
     
  20. Aug 11, 2009 at 9:34 PM
    #20
    KAPendley

    KAPendley Best Hack I Know

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    If you own an ipod or other mp3 player, use a mini to rca plug and plug THAT into your amp as the input or source. With the car running, see if you have noise still. That will at least tell you if its in the amp or the HU.

    If its in the amp, see if you can get a "loaner" amp from a friend and hook that one up instead, then test for noise again.

    It could be faulty equipment.

    Just trying to think of options. Noise that is persistent can be a pain, but you CAN get rid of it. Trust me.
     
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