Toyota Nation Forum banner

Silly Ground Question

1419 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  07TacoJoe
I've been having problems with noise in my system and this guy that used to do pro installs like in the late 80's told me that for the size of amp i'm using, i should run my ground all the way back to the negative battery terminal. "Just shoot like a 10 gauge wire all the way to the battery.":confused: My power cable is 4 gauge. This seems to go against what everyone around here has been saying about having the thickest and shortest ground possible. I'm not really interested in setting my new tacoma on fire, so i thought i'd ask the opinion of the knowledgible TN forum members. I know its a silly question, but humor me
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
No sub in my tacoma, but I have a 10" in my corolla. MTX 800W amp. I think I have 0gauge home depot wire for the ground. It goes to the bolt where my middle seat belt used to be on the rear deck. No noise problems for me.

I'm wondering if you have the +12v line running next to the RCA cables for the amp? That could/would cause noise. Usually recommend running them down opposite sides of the vehicle. I ran the one for the car under the body up above everything else as it was easier than pulling up carpet or plastic panels.

Is the ground connected solidly on the amp and truck? Loose ground might cause some noise. Not sure though, it may just cause the amp to cut in and out. I suppose if it did that fast enough for a milisecond or so it could sound like noise.
naw, don't run a ground cable back to your amp. Make sure your battery connections are clean and tight. Check the spot where your amp grounds to the chassis. Make sure it's a metal to metal contact, no paint. Use a bolt and nut if possible, not a self tapping screw or something like that.

What kind of problems are you having exactly? Alternator noise? What kind of RCAs are you using, and were did you run the cables?

When it comes to RCA's don't go cheap. You can do cheap power wire and speaker wire, but don't do cheap RCA's. I like Monster Cable 400 series, or StreetWires ZN6 series.
do what pb said and if you still have a prob try issolating the amp from ground at the mounting points.. *take some rubber washers and sandwich between the mounting points* This will help stop any ground loops

one a side note make sure the pow wire and rca arn't running next to each other...
+1 on all the above.
Bad grounds are the 1st place to look for any 12VDC issues, both because of how often they are the cause, and the relative ease of solving the problem if it is the ground.

One reason for supplying a separate ground is that if the device is on a common frame point (like a metal dash reinforcement) with other equipment, and there are a lot of surges, or if the ground connection between that metal frame and the chassis ground, you can end up with a ground that "floats" above the "true" ground (battery ground) -hence the reason for your buddy's suggestion. OTOH, if you're not careful with how that ground to battery is run, you can pick up induced noise from other electrical equipment, resulting in the same or bigger issues. A good size conductor to a chassis ground point ought to be about as good as you can get, unless that chassis ground point has paint, corrosion, etc.
I third Pb. I used custom made Home Audio cables in my truck and had a wicked noise in my system. I changed them out to fairly cheap "car audio" cables and I haven't had a problem since.
What amps are you running?
Actually i figured it out. I have a line out converter sending rca's to my amp and i mounted it back behind my stereo right next to that "spinal cord" of wires behind the stereo. It was just getting interferance from that big mess of wires. I moved the LOC away from there and it cleared it right up. Thanks for the suggestions though. This is one of the many mistakes i've learned from on this first install:rolleyes:
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.