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Hey guys,

This may be a dumb question, but, can I use any frame bolt to ground my new horn? I am mounting my horn to my engine guards, so I am looking for a bolt near the right side front.

Thanks,
Vinny
 

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I'm sure you could get away with it, but why not run a ground wire back to the battery along side the positive wire.
 

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The main grounding strap is attached to the frame under a screw located on the right side of the bike's frame. If you remove the right side cover, you will see a screw on the outside of the frame, about a third of the way down on the side frame member. There's no reason you can't use this location for your horn's ground wire, and since you're mounting the horn on that side anyway, that would make it convenient.
 

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Thanks for the tips guys, looks like I need to fire up my soldering gun...
 

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I used a frame bolt to ground my HID. I always verify prior with an Ohm meter that it's a good ground back to the battery. Have not had an issue yet, plus it keeps from stacking up too many leads on the batteries ground post (a fit issue with too many).
 

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Clean the contact area and coat with dielectric grease before fixing the ground wire. Never ground anything to the front fork assembly.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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using the frame as a return ground return circuit of electrons back to the battery tho maybe common practice for older vehicles, farm tractors and hardleys.. i did say farm tractors? its not best practice for either the electrical component you are installing nor the frame. Best always to run a new (black) ground wire to the battery -post or at least to the frame ground screw that comes right off the battery 46 referenced.
 

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I was working on my new HID headlight install last nite, and found a really nice negative ground spot for the light on my 2004 1500 under the tank & the speedo next to the cap for rad fluid, I gave the area the sandpaper treatment to remove the black paint and gounded the HID there, perfect spot. I also have too many grounds going to (-) negative battery post, so need to cut back on that because it's getting so that the screw will not grab the bolt underneath on the terminal. I am rewiring the horns, the 2 hi/low Fiamm car horns stopped working but the Stebel horn is still working, so I removed the 2 Fiamms, they are headed for the garbage, and removed all the horn wiring, now to run a new wire from (+) battery into the left-side cover to an in-line 10A fuse holder, then out under the tank to a relay, then out of relay to the Stebel horn, then out of that horn to the same (-) ground spot I found for the HID light. Hope it all works ok. I need to do a lot of soldering today.
 

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using the frame as a return ground return circuit of electrons back to the battery tho ... its not best practice for either the electrical component you are installing nor the frame.
I grounded my new HID light to the frame last nite and the light works fine doing it that way. Next will be for me to ground my horn to the same spot. I don't see why using the frame is not a good practice. It seems to work fine grounding to the frame.
 

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I might add also that my spot lights on the engine guard are grounded through the silver bullet body and thru the engine guard and not back to the battery and they work fine.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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you can get away with a lot of substandard practices,, but why?

I grounded my new HID light to the frame last nite and the light works fine doing it that way. Next will be for me to ground my horn to the same spot. I don't see why using the frame is not a good practice. It seems to work fine grounding to the frame.
the proper way to unload your battery -post from all those excessive wire/leads is to have ONE large gage wire from the post to the frame to be a LANDING point. Then bring all your negative return leads to this very same bolt head at the frame. The net result is that you have a direct path of electrons thru the copper wire(s) not the steel frame..

If you use yor front headlamp bucket, mounting or other steel connections for any of your lighting needs, you are routing the electrons thru the stearing head bearings(which should be packed in grease) in your steering stem. these bearings will show signs of pitting over time..

DC current amounts to Electron particles moving from atom to atom from thier source battery +post thru fuses, relays, switches to thier respective loads and then back to the battery -post. If you use your frame as a pathway for this process you accelerate the rust corrosion and eventual decay of the steel. it may seems to be very miniscule, but it is decay. the steel is slowly losing atoms one after another.. why do it, when you can just run copper wire back to where its going anyway?
then of course if the steel should provide too much resistance to the flow, (it usually doesnt) the device you are powering starts to operate at the edge of its envelope maybe beyond and its performance and service life is also compromised.

so best practice for wiring loads (devices) in any circumstances is to provide a complete path (copper wires) from its source to its load and back to source.
 

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Last nite, on my new HID headlight install, I grounded the HID (-) wire to a bolt next the the rad cap, it's grounded on the frame side of the steering bearings, so I should be ok there, I tested the light last nite in my dark driveway and the HID works good, so that ground to frame is ok I think, seems to work fine, the BikeMaster HID kid came with a long (+) lead back to battery post, it was long enough to reach the (+) post, but the (-) ground wire is very short, and that frame spot under the speedo was the closest I could find to ground it.
 

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I agree with Ponch on the grounding theory. (that's what they call it, "electronic theory) While grounding to somewhere on the frame works the same as going directly to the battery's negative terminal, it does take longer for the current to get there, and using a heavy duty copper wire for the conduit makes for an easier path for the electrons to travel as copper has less resistance than iron or steel. Or aluminum, for that matter. Grounding at the steering head will work, but as Ponch stated, the grease in the bearings will result in pitting over time, and besides, the steering head, while a ground source, provides a more or less indirect path. Best to go to the frame, or use a common grounding point on the frame with the battery's grounding strap. And yes, using a dielectric grease is a good idea, especially if you are subject to doing a lot of riding in the rain or store your bike outside.
 

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I wonder now if my new HID headlight is not bright enough because I grounded it to the frame next to the rad cap, I also wonder if I can extend that short ground back to the battery post or if it will make my HID light brighter, or maybe it's because the HID bulb is in a reflector headlamp and not a projector, or it could not be aimed correctly, any number of these possiblilities.
 

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I wonder now if my new HID headlight is not bright enough because I grounded it to the frame next to the rad cap, I also wonder if I can extend that short ground back to the battery post or if it will make my HID light brighter, or maybe it's because the HID bulb is in a reflector headlamp and not a projector, or it could not be aimed correctly, any number of these possiblilities.
Chill out Degreaser, you did just fine. Enjoy your new headlight and don't look back. The frame doesn't create a problem for your install. All bike manufacturers use the frame as a return path to the battery.
 

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You're right, I should enjoy my new HID headlight, it works fine grounded to the frame and as you said the bike Manufacturers use the frame so I think it's all fine. Next project I have is to solder new wiring for the Stebel horn with relay and inline fuse.
 

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using the frame as a return ground return circuit of electrons back to the battery tho maybe common practice for older vehicles, farm tractors and hardleys.. i did say farm tractors? its not best practice for either the electrical component you are installing nor the frame. Best always to run a new (black) ground wire to the battery -post or at least to the frame ground screw that comes right off the battery 46 referenced.
Something simple like a horn can easily work fine from a frame ground. When you start getting into fancy electronics and computers then direct battery "clean" grounds are the way to go for sure. Modern farm tractors are pretty sophisticated devices and have both "clean" ground for the electronics and frame grounds for some general circuits.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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I wonder now if my new HID headlight is not bright enough because I grounded it to the frame next to the rad cap, I also wonder if I can extend that short ground back to the battery post or if it will make my HID light brighter,.
an easy test of resistance of your frame vs a dedicated return wire is to just cut a 3-4ft length of 16g wire, bare the ends and do a good attachement to both the grounding screw yor using and the batt -post. if there is a difference you mite should see some performance change.
 
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