Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 18, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Hi,
I had a 350 ho turnkey installed last year in my 76 Camaro Having slow starter issues when hot. Heat shields did not help. Went back to basic troubleshooting and I see that the battery is only grounded to the (painted) fender not the block. As I understand, the large battery ground cable should go to the block and a smaller one to the fender (paint free area). Where should it be grounded on the 350 ho block? Please be very specific (pics if possible) as I'll need to communicate info to auto shop as I'm not doing the work myself. Very frustrating that this grounding issue has been missed by several mechanics. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 03:19 AM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 03:26 AM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

I used the spare head bolt hole. the bolt with chipped paint leads to the fuel pump cavity. I guess you could use it. below that is another spare hole in the block
some vehicles attach the ground to the alternator bracket
hope this helps
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 04:12 AM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

In Kevin's picture, use the chipped paint boss/bolt. Wire brush profusely the boss and apply antiseize for good conductivity and less corrosion later in life.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 04:43 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Hi - I'd like to ask a quick question of BYOH20. You mention 2 ground wires off the "-" terminal. I'm having a Vintage Air A/C system problem and grounding is huge for those. I only have a cable running to the block but no second wire to the fender. Can you tell me where exactly it connects to the fender (I assume you mean the passenger side fender). Thanks in advance, Bob.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 05:49 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Quote:
Originally Posted by debarba View Post
Hi - I'd like to ask a quick question of BYOH20. You mention 2 ground wires off the "-" terminal. I'm having a Vintage Air A/C system problem and grounding is huge for those. I only have a cable running to the block but no second wire to the fender. Can you tell me where exactly it connects to the fender (I assume you mean the passenger side fender). Thanks in advance, Bob.
While you can wait for an answer from BYOH20, on the reproduction battery cables (pictured below) for my 68 Chevy II Nova I have two wires off of the battery post terminal. The heavier gauge wire bolts to the motor to supply the ground for the starter, alternator, and whatever else needs a ground on the motor or transmission. The smaller gauge wire on mine connects to a bolt on the backside of the radiator support qhuch then ties the body of the car to the battery ground and engine ground. I have had other year Nova's that this second ground wire bolted to the inner lipped section of the fender by the battery.



The reason for this second or smaller wire from the battery negative to the fender or radiator support is to better electrically tie the body to the battery and alternator.

You have to think how things are or were built on cars in that most engines and transmissions are supported by rubber mounts and rubber being an insulator does not pass electricity easily. The motor and transmission and the drivetrain does have an electrical path to the body but it is a poor one. Since the motor and transmission are on rubber motor mounts there is no connection there electrically to the frame or the body of the car. If we continue further on with the drivetrain, out of the transmission is a driveshaft and then to the rear axle and most rear axles being mounted to rubber mounts clamped to the leaf springs again there is no electrical connection to the body of the car. Now Past this we do get an electrical connection but it is poor and this is from the emergency brake cables. If the car has a mechanical or cable shifter tied to the column or to the transmission tunnel by the shifters mount, this too can be an electrical path BUT these are POOR electrical paths. Engine bearings, transmission bearings, rear axle gears, and sheathed shifter cables are not meant to carry electricity BUT they do but not as well as a wire or cable.

So with the above said, ideally run a dedicated wire or cable from the battery negative post to the body of the car.

While you can make this ground connection between the battery negative post to the fender or radiator support, you may find out there are issues doing so as I have seen fenders taken off cars to get repainted or replaced and then when bolted back to the car, the fender is mechanically tight but the paint prevents an electrical connection between the fender and the firewall. I've also seen the same with grounding to the radiator support which then bolts to the fender and then bolts to the firewall. While it's critical to have these parts mechanically bolted solidly together, they also need to be electrically ties together and sometimes adding grounds between the radiator support to the fender and then from the fender to the cowl, and even additional grounds between the engine and firewall can only reduce ground issues.

Also too when making ground connections, connect it to clean and bare metal and add a star washer between the terminal end and the metal it will bolt up against so the teeth of the washer digs into the terminal and the metal for a better connection than a connection made without the star washer. I also like to try and nut and bolt the connection instead of using metal thread screws as sometime you cannot get them as tight as you could with a nit and bolt type setup.

Jim

1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 05:49 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

I used to run a ground like in the above pic...battery to spare hole in the block and another ground (smaller wire) from the intake to the firewall.

Can't have enough good grounds

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 06:11 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Quote:
Originally Posted by debarba View Post
I'm having a Vintage Air A/C system problem and grounding is huge for those. I only have a cable running to the block but no second wire to the fender. Bob.
Also to throw this out, I have been doing car audio since the late 70's and when I was getting training and learning things I found out that if I put a 4 gauge cable off of the battery and I'm drawing 120A off that wire, this current also has to get back to the battery. Electrical works in a loop so if I add a 4 gauge to an amplifier in the trunk and it's wanting to pulling 120A, then I have a good enough power wire run to it but then the amp gets grounded in the trunk and then up front if there is a tiny wire from the body to the battery ground, then this becomes a choke hold so anytime I add a 4 gauge or larger off of the battery positive, I also upgrade the ground to a 4 gauge to tie the battery negative to the body of the car. Now the loop is less restricted and things work better. Think of this too as like running more water lines to the house that can increase the volume of water delivered to the house. Open up all of those lines and then try and have it go through the original small drain out to the street. It doesn't work and things start backing up and flooding your basement.

Jim

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 06:32 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Quote:
Originally Posted by debarba View Post
Hi - I'd like to ask a quick question of BYOH20. You mention 2 ground wires off the "-" terminal. I'm having a Vintage Air A/C system problem and grounding is huge for those. I only have a cable running to the block but no second wire to the fender. Can you tell me where exactly it connects to the fender (I assume you mean the passenger side fender). Thanks in advance, Bob.
Bob I am not sure which year you have but this is a picture of the primary body ground on a 67. The wire is bolted underneath with a star washer.

Roger
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Quote:
Originally Posted by debarba View Post
Hi - I'd like to ask a quick question of BYOH20. You mention 2 ground wires off the "-" terminal. I'm having a Vintage Air A/C system problem and grounding is huge for those. I only have a cable running to the block but no second wire to the fender. Can you tell me where exactly it connects to the fender (I assume you mean the passenger side fender). Thanks in advance, Bob.
Hi Debarba,
Attached is a photo of the location of the fender/body ground on my 76. Understand that mine is not a good ground yet since it is painted. The cable only needs to be 12 gauge at this location per official schematic that I am attaching as well. I need to get my 2 gauge cable to the engine block and a 12 gauge to the fender. This fender ground is usually helpful to accessories like lights as I understand. Good luck on your A/C. Mine is not retrofitted yet
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 18, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

Thanks a MILLION to everyone for all the help!
The photos are very helpful. The block bolt possibilities mentioned are in use on my setup. They hold the metal brackets for the front accessory drive package. I do see a bolt hole in the bracket that would be a perfect position that is assuming the bracket is grounded well to the block. What do you think? Photos attached, location circled in red. If it is a good ground location anyone recommend what bolt size and configuration would work best to attach the battery ground wire?

-Well system says I cannot add any more photos or links-

So is anyone familiar with the 350ho Turnkey? Where is your battery cable grounded on the engine?

Thanks.

Last edited by byoh20; Jul 24th, 18 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Photo links did not show up.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 18, 04:17 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

350 Crate engine here.
I ground the battery straight to my starter. Seems to be working fine.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 18, 07:22 PM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

You always ground to the engine and not the car body
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 18, 02:31 AM
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

QUOTE :The block bolt possibilities mentioned are in use on my setup
remove a bolt. clean area with sand paper or wire brush. clean battery cable end.
place cable end on bolt then place a star washer. insert bolt where you removed and tighten
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 18, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to ground battery cable on Chevy 350 ho?

All done ! Fingers crossed starter functions better when hot. Thanks again
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