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Amp gauge ground #1298243 Sat Feb 09 2019 09:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 48
J
Jim K Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Hi guys,
I’m putting new gauges in my 48 gmc. The current owner converted the truck to 12 volt and none of the original gauges worked so I bought a refurbished 12 volt gauge cluster. When I was removing the old cluster there was a a ground from the one side of the amp gauge to the post that sercures the gauge to the dash. So my question is since going to 12 volt is that ground still needed?
Thanks

Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298254 Sat Feb 09 2019 10:13 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,113
B
bartamos Offline
Master Gabster
Your 48 could be a positive ground system. Don't know if you converted to alternator and etc.

The terminals on the ammeter are not grounded. So no, don't do that. It may have a "negative symbol" (-) but it's not ground.

You may actually have a volt gauge which does have a terminal to ground.
The wiring of an ammeter does not change when converting to 12V. Unless it was wrong to begin with.

"The current owner"?????? Is that not you? Do you mean previous owner?...and let's don't use the word "current" while we are discussing this smile


Laziness is the Father of invention.


Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298261 Sat Feb 09 2019 11:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 18,846
H
Hotrod Lincoln Online
Boltergeist
"Positive smoke check" in 3- - -2- - - -1- - - - -!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298344 Sun Feb 10 2019 04:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 48
J
Jim K Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Sorry for the typo bartamos I meant former owner. I am the current owner and the conversion was done by the former owner. Switch was made to a alternator and I’m really trying to figure out what they did. Wires are cut everywhere and I don’t know that much about wiring.

Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298354 Sun Feb 10 2019 06:17 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,113
B
bartamos Offline
Master Gabster
OK, no problem. Other than the gauges question, does all the rest of the 12V conversion look OK? Is it a negative ground system? Assume it runs good? Just doing new gauges?
Nice looking truck Jim.


Laziness is the Father of invention.


Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298383 Sun Feb 10 2019 09:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,205
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
I suggest that you get the books out and delve into how the relatively simple wiring systems in these trucks are supposed to be connected to everything. Given your example of the "grounded ammeter wire" should cause you to distrust, with extreme prejudice, anything else which the previous owner has done to this truck.
Only YOU can prevent forest fires caused by previous owners of Stovebolts.
Carl

Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298440 Mon Feb 11 2019 02:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 48
J
Jim K Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
The truck runs great, the lights work and that’s about it. It is now a negative ground system and the alternator seems to be charging the battery but I haven’t had it long enough to be sure. There are cut wires everywhere and I’m not experienced with electrical work so I’m struggling with understanding what he did and didn’t do. And Carl is right about my biggest worry which is driving down the road and my truck starts on fire. Not that I want to but would it be wise to remove all the wiring and start from scratch? Any advice would be helpful, thanks!

Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298442 Mon Feb 11 2019 02:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,323
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
If you are worried about cut wires shorting-out, put cap-nuts on them.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298469 Mon Feb 11 2019 05:06 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,113
B
bartamos Offline
Master Gabster
It's hard to say if a complete rewire is necessary, Can't see what it all looks like. Remove all the cut wires. Follow them. See what they used to do. This will help with knowledge and confidence. Read the tech section here to see what should have been done during 12V conversion and see if it all was done.
1. Ballast resistor
2. VR or no VR
3. 12V bulbs
4. Voltage reducers where required
5. 12V coil

For me, a 12V conversion would include a new fuse panel. This would eliminate fire danger. I don't think you have any fire danger but fuses are really the best idea. For my trucks, which I don't drive a lot, I always take off the neg battery cable during parking at home. Not that I can't wire properly, I just can't sleep properly.

These old truck designers were not hip to fuses. Add them to everything as you go. Wiring, in general, is the same up thru and past the 70's. So study a 60-66 diagram or 67-72 diagram and see how a fuse panel is wired as well as the rest of the trucks. They just used more connectors and, as said, fuses. The foot start vs solenoid is also a difference, but the same idea.

You can, of course, start over using a kit with a prewired fuse box. That is not hard with our trucks because there are not that many wires. The kits are divided (by you) into bundles for the various "systems". Routed, cut to length and terminated. Easy.

Bundles from fuse panel.
1. Starting and running and charging

2. Gauges and gauge lights

3. Front lights/dimmer.............. turn sig if present?

4. Rear lights/stop.................. turn sig if present?

5. One-off, or switched single wires, like: horn, lighter?, radio?, dome, wiper?, heater motor and a direct hot wire or two (fusible linked)

The light switch is involved with some of 2, 3, 4, 5

The grounding portion is not included in the kits. That would be mostly the metal of the chassis, motor and body. This is very important to the job.
It is a part of wiring that never gets proper attention by beginners.


Laziness is the Father of invention.


Re: Amp gauge ground [Re: Jim K] #1298534 Mon Feb 11 2019 06:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 48
J
Jim K Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Thanks, that info really helps me. It gives me a start point and specific areas to go through. Thank you for taking the time to write that out.

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