Engine Ground Issues - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-13-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Ground Issues

Hey guys, new to the forum. I really need to know what the weak link is in the JK ground. I have a 2015 JKU and the ground system on the vehicle seems to be very poorly engineered. I have a stock jeep and I installed my sound system and a back up camera. When my vehicle is in reverse, and the camera comes on I get tons of interference when / if the sound system is on and bass is hitting at even a normal level. My lights also dim. Before I go any further, I want to say that the system is installed correctly, as I have been a professional installer for 20+ years. With the Jeep JK 160 Amp alternator and it being a brand new vehicle, there is no reason the system should drain the electrical system like it does. I do not want to use a capacitor as t is not needed and is a band-aid (IMO). The two JL AMPS are wired with 4 G wire, and my grounds are about 6 " long. The amps are under the seats and I grounded them to the ground posts on the tranny tunnel (which may be the issue but it shouldn't be if engineered properly). I am not a bass head, It is a small 10" on the tailgate. The back up camera is getting 12V from the reverse light, and grounded to a bolt with paint removed etc on the rear near the roll bar. To the best of my knowledge (and maybe I am missing something) , the grounding on these vehicles is horrible. Can anyone point me to the weakest link? I have heard the Alternator ground is cheesy, and the engine block ground etc. I have not had the time to look under the hood yet. Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 5 Old 12-13-2014, 04:07 PM
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Well lots do the "Big Three" upgrade, which includes better grounding to the alternator,chassis, and battery. I have found that by simply running a ground at the same time I run a power wire, I have yet to have any issues with grounding. To my way of thinking the ground on a DC system is just a as important as the power side. I know some say it is better to just ground to the frame, and that may be fine, but I prefer to run a separate ground for most of my add on acc.
I use a couple of grounding block terminals placed under the hood, and grounded to both the chassis and the negative on my batteries.
I don't know anything about amps and stereo systems, but if your having a suspected grounding issue, maybe try running a better ground, back to a known good source. It can't hurt.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-13-2014, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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I agree. Typically I have never had that issue. This system was actually in my WJ for a while without issue. that had a 10 year old ALT, and an engine swap....LOL. I was shocked at how little the factory system could handle on a brand new $35k vehicle with a supposedly HD 160 AMP alternator. I am gong to upgrade the grounds at the amp to a larger gauge, and I am going to use the seat bolt instead of those little lugs (which should be fine). There is a small opening to get into the engine compartment to the batter , and I could only get a 4GA wire through there, so that is why I didn't run a dedicated ground. I'll look at the "Big 3" as it can not hurt. I just wish these engineers knew that the Jeep is often used with multiple electrical upgrades, and they planned ahead for that. Thanks for your help sir.

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post #4 of 5 Old 12-13-2014, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeperzcreeperz View Post
I agree. Typically I have never had that issue. This system was actually in my WJ for a while without issue. that had a 10 year old ALT, and an engine swap....LOL. I was shocked at how little the factory system could handle on a brand new $35k vehicle with a supposedly HD 160 AMP alternator. I am gong to upgrade the grounds at the amp to a larger gauge, and I am going to use the seat bolt instead of those little lugs (which should be fine). There is a small opening to get into the engine compartment to the batter , and I could only get a 4GA wire through there, so that is why I didn't run a dedicated ground. I'll look at the "Big 3" as it can not hurt. I just wish these engineers knew that the Jeep is often used with multiple electrical upgrades, and they planned ahead for that. Thanks for your help sir.
I think using the seat bolt will be a waste of time. As I recall when I removed the body from my last JK, the factory grounding between the chassis and the body was pathetic. I think there is one ground on the firewall near the battery. The rest of the body is isolated from the frame with rubber bushings. (I would not rely on the body bolts to do much grounding.) I think you will need to establish a dedicated ground block under the hood which is grounded to the big 3. Use that as your grounding point. Anything else will be sketchy at best. I know when I did my hemi swap I upgraded the grounding system after having some electrical problems. Never had another issue.

Jeep engineers planning ahead for consumer upgrades.............surely you are joking!
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-13-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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"Jeep engineers planning ahead for consumer upgrades.............surely you are joking!"....no just hoping they would do it correctly so consumer upgrades would not be an issue.

I know this is a common issue on Chrysler vehicles, and many new vehicles as they have gone to lower current needs on individual components. Basically the 160 AMP Alternator is not needed, but if you are going to deliver that amount of current, you are not going to do it with 12 Gauge wire as they do on the Jeep.

I looked around and it looks like a 8 G wire from BAT+ to the ALT and the Grounds are pretty much crap (like you said) on the firewall. I will upgrade the Big 3 , and then go from there. I know that the Big 3 has not fixed most high end audio installations, but it's a start. They probably had the guy who designed the license plate frame design the electrical system.....Thanks for the input.

2014 Willy's Wheeler 2D Hard Top Granite Crystal
2015 Willy's Wheeler 4D Hard Top Billet Silver
2001 Grand Cherokee

2.5" TF Spring Lift
PSC Brawler lite front bumper
TF Quick disconnects
Smittybikt X20 10k Winch
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