Is the seat bracket a valid ground point?

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bigfatguy

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Mar 6, 2013
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I'm going to be installing a Trikl-Charger device in my Sprinter based ERA. Since the cut-off switch and disconnector are installed under the passenger seat, that's about the easiest place to install the charger.

One of the connections I need is ground.

Is there a reason I shouldn't use the seat's tie-down bolts for this ground? The chassis battery isn't very far away, but this would be kind of a PITA to wire up in a neat fashion.
 

SpencerPJ

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I certainly would think the seat bracket ties into the main core of the ground system.  A ground is a ground. I suppose you could get a meter out, or just go for it  :))
 

Molaker

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There is a stud in the mounting plate for the solenoid with 2 white wires connected to it (at least in my 2014 Era).  That's where I picked up ground for my Trik-L-Start.  In the 1st image, you can see it circled in red.


The 2nd photo shows where I mounted the Trik-L-Start so the indicator lights can be seen.
 

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John From Detroit

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THe rule I follow is TEST LIGHT it.

Clip a test light This is an ice pick shaped device with a light in the handle and a wire coming out.  Touch the TIP to the hot lead. and if the light is bright. you are good to ground.
 

bigfatguy

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Molaker: Good looking installation. Thanks!

John: good suggestion. I'll pick one up.
 

John From Detroit

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Just a note on those test lights.

Since it tests under load (not much of a load bought 1/2 amp) it is often a better test than a volt meter for multiple reasdond.

1: Super easy to read (BRIGHT good, anything else bad)
2:it will show up a bad connerction (high resistance) when a Meter won't.
3:You do not have to take your eyes off the test point.. and let the tip slip. and short something.

On the other hand sometimes you NEED a multi-meter.
 

bigfatguy

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There's a couple on Amazon that have a volt-meter AND a test-light in the same unit... should help with the high-resistance connection you mention.
 

xrated

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I recommend using a voltage meter.  It's way too sketchy to try and tell whether a light is "bright" or a little less than bright.  Use the voltmeter to take a reading directly from the battery terminals, as a reference voltage.  Then put the meter on a 12V hot lead and touch the other lead to your seat bracket bolt.  There should be very, very little difference if any between that voltage reading and the one you took at the battery terminals.  A few tenths of a volt difference is OK.  Anything more and you likely have a ground issue.  After hooking up your device, turn it on and check the voltage again. 
 
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