Stupid question, ground cable from the battery goes exactly where to the generator.

Asked by Dec 02, 2014 at 12:56 AM about the 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr ST Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

New battery after top end rebuild. Truck started great then gen light comes on now will not start without a jump nor stay running at an idle

13 Answers


Most vehicles have a ground cable that goes to the engine, the block or head should have a boss in the casting that is drilled, the cable attaches with a bolt, or stud and nut. The ground cable would have a pigtail wire that would go to the body. @ the fender area beside the battery box to ground the body. some ground the back of the cylinder head to the body, and some ground the "frame" if so equipped to the body. The "gen" or alternator is case grounded because it is bolted to a bracket that is bolted to the block and head. Restoring your factory assembly, the way it was, would correct ground circuit issues. Alternator issues must start with voltage check of battery voltage after correction and charging it. The operating voltage should be above 13.2 V to verify the Alt is working. Cleaning connections and restoring them with the schematic must be verified before getting the alt. and batt. bench tested.

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The vehicle's battery should have distilled water in each of its filler holes up to 3/4" from the top. The battery can then be fully charged with a battery charger. The connections must be cleaned to a shine with a wire brush and onstalled, fit very snugly and be tightened so you cannot turn them by hand around on their posts. The battery voltage must be 12.6V to start it and begin the testing of the charging circuits.

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(installed) sorry.


if there is a ground cable came loose will it effect starting and the coil working

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The engine would not crank if the battery to engine ground was disconnected. if it was loose, any number of strange things can start to occur. systems that lack adequate grounding can be improved by cleaning surfaces to a shine before installing tightly, having the cable go to the frame first and continue on to attach to the engine. whatever other ground path may exist would have to bear the current of any and all systems in use in the case of it starting. many misdiagnoses of perfectly good parts could be suspected and replaced unnecessarily. I had a mopar/amc beauty once that measured 30 ohms to ground for the neg cable, it needed a new brain. for several reasons.


But it still cranked and started, in its case, the cable was bolted to a bracket rather than the block or head, the paint between blocked the current. the ground had to back feed through the processor ground, to the harness, the body, then the battery. What a POS it seemed to be.


You can check yours with an ohmmeter from the neg post, to the engine, to the body, to the frame. if it has one. each measurement should be less than 1/2 ohm or inspection, cleaning, improving needs to be tried. you can temporary jump around a ground with a jumper cable during diag.


thanks for the answers i problem is the truck cranks-no start i have replaced the cam senor- crankshaft senor-ecu-i have no spark i tested the wires to the coil it is 12volts to coil 5 volts to ecu the asd is good the problem fuel pumps runs all the time and when i install a scanner i get link error i do not know what to look for im lost


That ECU could be braindead, or the wrong number part, or for a truck with slightly different equip, I have seen all of the above, as well as a harness that was damaged by exhaust. are you using a MFR's part? You can call them to identify. are you using MFR's sensors? they may have an update, I had to run them out of the old ones before having them try to solve it with the updated part. the connectors fit loosely and intermittantly lose contact. Later, I found combinations of the afore mentioned problems caused by tampering. the guy made no sense, just like his vehicle, the first day we found him an $85 brain and he refused. A month later, we had solved his fuel and vacuum issues, sensor failures, we paid for his parts up to that point and he had been coming and installing problems in the vehicle to complain about, so back to the second test, on day one, he had the wrong brain. Then he paid a towtruck 300 to get it off our property that the sherriff witnessed. If I were diagnosing yours, I would check the parts in use against the latest corrected info, consult the manufacturers parts updates, then try to get the harness tests verified, even as dumb a thing as a fuse for the test harness can interrupt your com link. or having something inadvertently left unplugged. We eventually found a second brain from a running truck and offered that at 110 + shipping 10 and he refused that so it can turn into a real communications snafu. You have to recheck your steps and simplify check part numbers etc. If you have (start,run,die) or start/ die, it's not the same as cranks but wont start. the symptom must be very clear to you to solve this without confusion.


i jumped out the asd i then had a link to computor the only code was no asd still does not start no fuel pump or spark replace coil and another crankshaft senor still nothing about ready to junk i dont know anymore


A brain with antitheft used for a vehicle without antitheft could be a possible condition. this guys second attempt at providing a part was cheap, only $50, but add his towbill and having his dealer unlock it electronically, and he could buy all new correct parts the first time. as recommended. It is sad. they see ya comin, they have what you want, you have to believe them. Service bulletins may hold the answer, they are available at the public library. They were the answer for this guy to prove the results of testing and he refused to read them. Turned out his real issue was drugs and alcohol because after he had it running he rolled it off an embankment about 2 blocks from here. hahahahahaha, there went the parts money and very painful time we invested in a retreads and learn.


Is there a ground wire that goes to transmission that if not hooked up effect shifting? the truck don't start out in 1st trying to take off in second. We just did a motor switch and this wasn't happening before> thanks

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Where is the ecu located on a Dodge 1500 1999 ? 5.9l, 2wd, extended cab.

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