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Old 01-10-2014, 11:12 PM
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Installed: Big 3 - Engine Grounding Upgrade + Alternator Wiring Upgrade

Part 2 of my show and tell.

Why? Bring down the resistance of the ground paths in my engine bay. Better grounds means half your circuit has less resistance overall. Less resistance overall means less energy wasted, and in time sensitive circuits you get more predictable responses (might matter for fuel injectors / spark plugs).

So the idea is to mesh the entire engine bay grounding setup directly into the battery and minimize the dependence on the chassis for grounding. Running a fatter wire to the alternator and possibly the starter are "to be continued".

Materials:
  • Pico 0809PT 3-Way Top Post Battery Terminal
  • 1/0 AWG OFC Wire. Sky High Car Audio Brand.
  • 4 AWG OFC Wire. Same brand.
  • Pico 4439C 1/0 AWG Battery Cable 3/8" Tubular Lug Ring / Eye Terminals (honestly you don't need 3/8" hole on these things so I had to "fill it" with a copper washer).
  • Pico 4239C 4 AWG Battery Cable 3/8" Tubular Lug Ring / Eye Terminals
  • Dorman 725-002 Copper Washer
  • 400 Grit Wet or Dry Sandpaper (sanded terminals and chassis connections to remove oxidation / primer and get to bare metal).
  • Forney 57637 Lug Crimping Tool
  • 3lb mini-sledge
  • Greenlee 727 Cable Cutter, 9-1/4"
  • Appropriately sized heatshrink tubing

Connections:

0AWG:
  • Battery -> Fuel Injector Base Right -> Fuel Injector Base Left -> Left Engine Mount -> Left (passenger) side chassis
  • Chassis -> Battery (the only OEM grounding point)

4AWG:
  • Cylinder Head Cover Left -> Fuel Injector Base Left
  • Cylinder Head Cover Right -> Fuel Injector Base Right
  • Battery -> Transmission (supplement existing)


















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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
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----
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9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:17 AM
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So does this make a noticeable difference in the drive experience, or is this mod more to protect the electrical components longevity?


Great job btw! ��
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:30 AM
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It's hard to tell placebo effect from what's real. To me the idle feels slightly smoother, where even when the rpm's drop to 650 it doesn't resonate as harshly through the cabin. My headlights don't seem to dim anymore - previously I could idle and holding the brake while hitting the gas would cause my headlights to get brighter. Lastly my ECU voltage when driving around now sits at 14.1V. Previously it would only be 13.9 - 14.0V. Starting the engine still takes 5 - 6 cranks. I'm still deciding whether I want to take the intake manifold off to run a bigger wire to the starter and see if that's the limitation or if the ecu just has a restricted startup fuel/spark map. I will complete the "big 3" by getting a 1/0AWG wire to the alternator (the OEM sized wire that Honda used is really the bare minimum required for the kind of current the alternator is capable of).
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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
----
Ported Intake,Pulley,TB bypass, RV6 DP+TP, 3" Catback, Custom CAIv2
----
91 Octane Tune - KTuner
9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
UR Full Chassis Kit + 22mm Sway Bar
Akebono Perf. Pads, StopTech Slotted Rotors, SS Brake Lines
Mechman 180A Alternator, Big 3 Upgrade
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:53 PM
mi08coupe mi08coupe is offline
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How much did the parts end up costing? What was the mini sledge for?
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mi08coupe View Post
How much did the parts end up costing? What was the mini sledge for?
Total it's about $75 worth of copper and terminals, plus a bit more for the required tools, .75" and 1" heatshrink tubing, etc etc. 1/0AWG OFC (as opposed to CCA) costs $3.50 a foot, and you need about 5 feet worth (order more to be safe). Then another 2 feet of 4AWG that is ~$1.50 a foot. Each crimp terminal is a bit over $1 apiece. Plus you have to buy a 50-count box of washers, when I only ended up needing 6 total. The washers were used whenever I was concerned the nut / bolt holding the terminal down might get pulled through the terminal ring.

Mini-sledge is for pounding on the crimping tool. You stick the lug in to the V notch of the crimper, then hammer the anvil thing down on it. You can do it with a regular hammer, but the mini-sledge gets it done in 1 hit with less effort needed (and requires less accuracy with the bigger face of the sledge).
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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
----
Ported Intake,Pulley,TB bypass, RV6 DP+TP, 3" Catback, Custom CAIv2
----
91 Octane Tune - KTuner
9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
UR Full Chassis Kit + 22mm Sway Bar
Akebono Perf. Pads, StopTech Slotted Rotors, SS Brake Lines
Mechman 180A Alternator, Big 3 Upgrade
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:39 AM
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Update: with a bigger alternator wire (in addition to the OEM one you have to leave connected), the "big 3" upgrade is now complete. Note that you MUST fuse the new wire with a 150A or 200A fuse (the alternator is rated at 110A or so in the service manual).

Benefit: I now see 14.1V solid when running the engine, sometimes 14.2V. With just the grounding upgrade, I would see 14.0-14.1 bouncing around. OEM wire is maybe 6-8AWG...we've now cut the resistance * 1/3.

Materials:
  • 4 feet of 4 AWG OFC (red).
  • Zipties
  • DB Link ANLFH2 ANL Fuse Holder
  • Install Bay 150A ANL Fuse
  • 3 copper washers (2 for the fuse holder terminals, 1 for where the wire attaches to the positive battery terminal).

In order to unbolt the OEM alternator connection (intake limits tool access), I removed the serp belt and unbolted the top alternator mounting bolt (12mm), and loosened the bottom one (14mm). With that, the alternator can pivot down (hinged on the bottom) and the positive terminal nut removed. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry the shroud around the alternator positive terminal off (almost like Honda knew someone would want to add a bigger terminal there), remove the rubber boot completely since it will only get in the way of the new wire. (consult service manual). Route wire...zip tie to radiator housing.

*Disconnect the negative battery terminal!!! I dead shorted my battery by touching the positive wire on the engine bay (shorted through the engine grounding). Instantly melted a tiny bit of the lead positive battery terminal.


Overall view. Note the fuse block next to the battery tray. 6 zipties were used to secure the wire. One is hidden under the intake breather. (The serp belt is now green instead of black in the first post, because it was replaced with a Gates heavy duty belt)

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Notice the copper washer. That spec of silver next to the white label is melted lead battery post.
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With the shroud on the terminal, you wouldn't be able to see any of the aluminum bit. Also note the copper washer sandwiched between the new terminal and the OEM one to maximize contact surface area.
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Alternator post shroud and Rubber Boot
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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
----
Ported Intake,Pulley,TB bypass, RV6 DP+TP, 3" Catback, Custom CAIv2
----
91 Octane Tune - KTuner
9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
UR Full Chassis Kit + 22mm Sway Bar
Akebono Perf. Pads, StopTech Slotted Rotors, SS Brake Lines
Mechman 180A Alternator, Big 3 Upgrade
----
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:40 AM
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Does it now start better?

Scott C.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:12 AM
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I see you don't have the engine cover, would I have to remove mine?
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:58 AM
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How did you get the power connected to the alternator?! I have already installed my grounds but I didn't want to remove the intake or alternator from the car. Or do I have to remove one of them? Thanks
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:35 AM
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Triple multi-quote!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott C. View Post
Does it now start better?

Scott C.
Still takes ~5 cranks to turn over. I'm still working up the courage to remove the IM and try a 4AWG parallel wire to the starter from the battery. I was reading a Car Craft article on EFI and it seems ecu's have a "start up" fuel map which might explain why the cranking takes so long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksills View Post
I see you don't have the engine cover, would I have to remove mine?
You might be able to get away with leaving it in place. You won't get as good of contact with the fuel injector base bolt holes (meant for mounting the engine cover via brackets), but you still would make contact via the threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
How did you get the power connected to the alternator?! I have already installed my grounds but I didn't want to remove the intake or alternator from the car. Or do I have to remove one of them? Thanks
If you don't have a stubby enough combination of 10mm wrench or a socket to get at the terminal (a 10mm offset wrench, which I don't have, might work), you need to remove the top alternator bolt and loosen the bottom one (after removing the serp belt). Top bolt I did with a 12mm regular socket, bottom I did with a 14mm deep socket. The alternator doesn't need to be completely removed. You just pull the top of it forward...the bottom is setup like a door hinge.
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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
----
Ported Intake,Pulley,TB bypass, RV6 DP+TP, 3" Catback, Custom CAIv2
----
91 Octane Tune - KTuner
9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
UR Full Chassis Kit + 22mm Sway Bar
Akebono Perf. Pads, StopTech Slotted Rotors, SS Brake Lines
Mechman 180A Alternator, Big 3 Upgrade
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2014, 10:21 AM
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Thanks! I will have to try this weekend.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:20 AM
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IMO You done a wee bit overkill on ground paths. But it is sharp looking for how much you have done.

For 8th gen V6 peeps, especially 08 and 09 models, I discovered the ground cable at the tranny case to fender well had been short on insulation at the terminal, leaving it bare to weather conditions. Honda fixed it with full insulation, though adding another ($6.00 from Honda) to make a junction link to the battery's ground allows better ground as paint keeps the terminals from making full contact. Shooting with clear coat after the connection helps with road salt / humidity corrosion.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal Metalic View Post
IMO You done a wee bit overkill on ground paths. But it is sharp looking for how much you have done.

For 8th gen V6 peeps, especially 08 and 09 models, I discovered the ground cable at the tranny case to fender well had been short on insulation at the terminal, leaving it bare to weather conditions. Honda fixed it with full insulation, though adding another ($6.00 from Honda) to make a junction link to the battery's ground allows better ground as paint keeps the terminals from making full contact. Shooting with clear coat after the connection helps with road salt / humidity corrosion.
Yep, it's way overkill, but I decided as I was doing it that I wanted to link as much directly to the battery as possible. Side benefit, it created some cool looking symmetry around the fuel injector base

The I4 the tranny -> chassis ground is just bare 4 or 6 awg copper. I do wonder why they wouldn't have spent 5 cents more to use insulated copper, unless they were concerned about the copper getting too hot if it was insulated.
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2012 Accord LX AT Sdn Taffeta White - - Giant Service Manual Archive
----
Ported Intake,Pulley,TB bypass, RV6 DP+TP, 3" Catback, Custom CAIv2
----
91 Octane Tune - KTuner
9G HFP Wheels on Michelin PSS
UR Full Chassis Kit + 22mm Sway Bar
Akebono Perf. Pads, StopTech Slotted Rotors, SS Brake Lines
Mechman 180A Alternator, Big 3 Upgrade
----
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drowned12 View Post
Yep, it's way overkill, but I decided as I was doing it that I wanted to link as much directly to the battery as possible. Side benefit, it created some cool looking symmetry around the fuel injector base

The I4 the tranny -> chassis ground is just bare 4 or 6 awg copper. I do wonder why they wouldn't have spent 5 cents more to use insulated copper, unless they were concerned about the copper getting too hot if it was insulated.
Heat issues are possible, as things are a bit cramped. As for the bare ground cable, it probably be relocated from factory mounting points. Shock tower to back of head, or some other location. I don't mind low and out of the way mounting, but being mid-west, it is always better having connections out of the wet areas. Having them in clear areas help with visual inspection.

Not having a I4, I can only imagine the lack of proper ground being just as bad as the wee battery that came with it.

For most peeps they won't know much better. When you start using high amounts of electrical power, your battery will be used to compensate for the lack of return to the charging circuit when there is sufficient RPM to produce power from the alternator.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAccordV6 View Post
So does this make a noticeable difference in the drive experience, or is this mod more to protect the electrical components longevity?


Great job btw! ��
Personally never tested this on an Accord, but I did run a dyno test before and after on a WRX. Installed a Buddy Club grounding kit, it made 1whp more across the board with the grounding kit. Not much, but something
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