Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here's another question for you electrical folks...

Is there any advantage to connecting the negative wire of an accessory (like my audio system and power port) to the negative battery terminal (like the instructions request) vs. attaching them to the frame ground?

I ask for two reasons...

1. I don't like a lot of wires hanging off the battery.

2. While installing my light bar, I wasn't paying enough attention and wired my power port (which has two black wires, rather than black/white or black/red) backwards, consequently melting my clutch cable. I likely wouldn't have done this if:
a. I was paying more attention.

b. There was only the positive cables in the battery area.

So what do yinz think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
The only thing I run back to the battery for negative wires are extreme current items (winches or power inverters for example) or communications items (CB, Ham, etc.) to reduce noise. The rest, frame ground is all you need. The common ground also helps eliminate any issues with the longer wire and possible related items there-in. Yet if done properly, there is no harm running to the negative terminal. But Even for huge audio systems, I don't. Only the biggest items that the alternator couldn't pray to keep up with and the communication devices. Otherwise the advantage is a good common ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
It's always "best" to go directly back to the battery, but that simply isn't feasible all the time.
If everything went back to the battery directly, there would be a conglomeration of wires about the size of a basketball.

The general rule of thumb is if it needs the battery as a filter (such
as a two way radio, any type of sensitive electronic equipment,
or something that draws an excess amount of current, run it directly back to the battery.

Most everything else, you want it grounded as close to the battery as possible, but again, as close as possible isn't necessarily "close."

A couple of good things to make good grounding spots.
First, the OTHER end of the negative battery cable, where it connects
to the starter housing.
That's an excellent grounding point, because other than the negative
battery post itself, it's the next closest (electrically close) point.
You can get a couple of terminals on there along with the battery cable
and not have it look horrible.

My personal preference is to run a distribution block for the ground.
I have a 8 point distribution block under the seat with a single 10 gauge
wire running down to where the negative post is on the starter.
All my electrical additions to the bike go through that distribution block.

But for lights and whatnot, if you need to ground towards the back of the bike, it will be fine.
The "ideal" way isn't always practical so you've got to work with what ya have.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,456 Posts
violette said:
consequently melting my clutch cable.
No need to re-hash the other good advice but THIS is a key piece of information. Things in front of the steering head bearings often do NOT have a good frame connection and are NOT good points for a negative power connection. When you "electrified" the forks, the ground path was the clutch cable......which makes a piss-poor ground connection. :shock:

SO.......when you are connecting anything to the steering head, forks, handle bars, etc. you really NEED a wire back to the main part of the frame for a ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice so far, guys. I like Lintin's suggestion about the distribution block, and might try that.

Eventually, I'd like to wire my accessories to run out of the stock fuse block or replace it with a new fuse box with more slots (as I think the sock one only has one extra socket to wire). I just really hate the wires hanging off of the battery.

Easy Rider 2 said:
No need to re-hash the other good advice but THIS is a key piece of information. Things in front of the steering head bearings often do NOT have a good frame connection and are NOT good points for a negative power connection. When you "electrified" the forks, the ground path was the clutch cable......which makes a piss-poor ground connection. :shock:

SO.......when you are connecting anything to the steering head, forks, handle bars, etc. you really NEED a wire back to the main part of the frame for a ground.
Yeah, the clutch cable thing was totally stupid and my fault for being careless. I learned the hard way, but at least it was only about a $30 / one hour of repair lesson. I'll take that over causing serious damage. The proper wiring was there, and I had even wired it properly in the past, I was just rushing to finish the job.

I've now learned not to rush.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
violette said:
Eventually, I'd like to wire my accessories to run out of the stock fuse block or replace it with a new fuse box with more slots (as I think the sock one only has one extra socket to wire). I just really hate the wires hanging off of the battery.
That's the way I have all my stuff wired. I also hate having something look 'non-factory'.
I like a nice clean look that looks like it came from the factory.

The VLX had two empty fuse slots in the fuse box.
I took the fuse box apart and for the one for my LED's,
I just tapped off the existing incoming bus for power and used
a couple of small side female spade terminals.

For my aux lights, I ran a separate power wire off the battery side
of the starter solenoid and put a quick connect on it.
I put the other quick connect on the pig tail for the fuse box and ran it
inside the sheath with the other fuse box wires and powered
another set of female side spade terminals for the fuse going to the lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Easy Rider 2 said:
violette said:
consequently melting my clutch cable.
No need to re-hash the other good advice but THIS is a key piece of information. Things in front of the steering head bearings often do NOT have a good frame connection and are NOT good points for a negative power connection. When you "electrified" the forks, the ground path was the clutch cable......which makes a piss-poor ground connection. :shock:

SO.......when you are connecting anything to the steering head, forks, handle bars, etc. you really NEED a wire back to the main part of the frame for a ground.
Good piece of info :D

If there is a heavy current draw from a device in front of the steering head without a proper groundwire, return current could flow through the steering head bearing ( balls and races). This can cause arcing and pitting of the races/balls, effectively ruining your steering head bearing.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top