My 1976 Jeep CJ-5

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Better Grounds

The old CJ's are notorious for failing ground connections as they age. This seems to be the number one cause of electrical problems with them. Everything from faulty turn-signals to dim head lights can usually be traced back to bad grounds. Even though I wasn't experiencing any grounding issues it seemed a good idea to avoid them in the future by implementing a robust grounding scheme.

Based on suggestions gleaned from the JeepForum discussions—particularly JeepHammer's "Grounds 101"—I set out to enhance the existing grounding throughout the Jeep. I divided the Jeep into three zones, each of which was treated individually with all tying back in to a single point. Basically, this approach is entirely replacing the factory use of body sheet metal or the frame as a ground for various circuits. Instead there are now dedicated ground cables for each of the three zones, with some smaller cables within each zone tying in to the main ground for that zone.

For the main ground to each zone I used #4 welding cable with new copper connectors crimped and soldered on. Each connection was further protected using heat-shrink wrappings.

Under the Hood
The headlights, turn signals and front side markers. The engine. The ignition module, The alternator. The windshield wiper motor/pump.

The Dashboard
The instrument panel. The radio, CB, etc. The power inverter.

The Back of the Jeep
The tail lights, turn signals and rear side markers. The fuel sending unit. The tow lights. The CB antenna.