FAQ : Engine Grounding 101

FAQ : Engine Grounding 101

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One of the most overlooked modifications on any vehicle is the grounds that provide an essential ying to the battery and charging systems yang. This Engine Grounding balance provides an electrical current that is vital to the operation of your vehicle and motor. The electrical current flows from the positive terminal and through the car and negative terminal on your battery.

When adding a power adder like a turbo kit, additional grounds are needed
When adding a power adder like a turbo kit, additional grounds are needed

Unfortunately your engine, transmission and car chassis provide resistance that can impact your car’s voltage and electrical current. And this is exactly why grounding kits or grounding wires like our Buddy Club kit or SUN Auto kits are so popular.

Buddy Club Racing Spec Condenser Ground System
Buddy Club Racing Spec Condenser Ground System

In any performance application, no matter the racing style or displacement of your motor you will never achieve the highest level of performance without additional grounding. Part of making sure your vehicle performs at it’s best is to make sure that you are achieving maximum electrical flow with the least amount of resistance.

When you take into account the number of computers that are fitted into today’s performance vehicles, this need for voltage is even more extreme. If your vehicle shares a common vehicle ground through the battery instead of traditional grounds like a Lexus SC300, problems can be further complicated.

Vehicles like this customer's 1JZ swapped SC300 need special grounds added
Vehicles like this customer’s 1JZ swapped SC300 need special grounds added

By installing kits like the Buddy Club kit or SUN Auto kit, you are making sure that the sensors and computers that run your vehicle are not affected by power surges or resistance that can rob you of valuable power. In many cases however, a simple wire with 2 loop ends crimped on either side can do wonders for grounding your transmission, engine and body.

Providing your engine and chassis with additional grounds can help shifting in automatic transmission equipped vehicles, especially late model ones with multiple body control ecus.

Many manufacturers allow for many different thicknesses of gold plated or wire optimized cables that are specifically designed for your vehicle.

HKS' Legacy Grounding kIt
HKS’ Legacy Grounding kIt

What do grounding kits do for my car?

  • Engine start-up : Many times a lack of earth grounds can cause your vehicle to not start, or be sluggish when starting up. Turning on your climate control or air conditioning can further complicate the issue and increase your voltage drop off. Additional grounds will help your car start, idle smoother, increase spark and horsepower.
Engines like the B18C1 need grounds to start properly
Engines like the B18C1 need grounds to start properly
  • Throttle response : A lack of sufficient grounding can result in sensor malfunction or incorrect readings to your PCM, which in turn adversely effects how your car runs. If your vehicle sensors are getting noisy or insufficient voltage, your PCM may not know exactly where in the fuel and timing map it should be. An increase in grounds will help your vehicle respond faster, rev quicker and be at it’s operational best when you need it.
  • Low Engine load scavenging : By providing more earth grounds to your engine and chassis, you improve low speed and low engine load scavenging. You will experience better torque and low end to middle range power, and an increase in overall engine efficiency, which brings us to our next point.
  • Better mileage : In this day and age of eco friendly vehicles and a public awareness for the carbon footprint we all leave on Earth, this is a very solid point to grounding kits. Without proper grounds the load on the alternator can affect fuel efficiency by adding mechanical drag to the engine. We’ve seen gains of 20% or more in gas mileage and around the town driving, by just adding a grounding kit to your vehicle. Combine that with the fact that your spark is brighter, stronger and therefore creating less emissions, and your eco-conscience will thank you for it.
Custom grounding wires can be added to almost any engine setup.
Custom grounding wires can be added to almost any engine setup.
  • Brighter Headlights : If you notice your vehicle’s headlights or taillights dim or brighten with the engine speed or revs of your motor, chances are you could stand to improve your vehicle’s grounds. Better headlights and tailights mean better illumination and driver safety, a factor that nobody should overlook.
Buddy Club puts the money where their grounds are with this dyno plot showing before and after results
Buddy Club puts the money where their grounds are with this dyno plot showing before and after results

Have a question about groundings kits? or voltage to your alternator or charging system? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

 

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