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Had a bit of an exciting day riding with my daughter couple days ago. Was playing on some sand dunes nothing major. After making a decent turn and accelerating every light on the cluster lit up, gauges maxed out, CB started screaming static, subs started fluttering(which resembles an earthquake when its 4 12" Rockford T1's) and Jeep lost all power coasting to a stop. Was a little concerned but figured it wasn't anything major. My 4 year old daughter was sitting next to me having a good time. Then i noticed the column of black smoke boiling out from under the hood. At this point...i'm excited...and snatch my daughter up and get her away from the Jeep. After getting her away grabbed the extinguisher and attempted to unlock the hood(which by the way is incredibly difficult to unlock a keyed latch lock when your adrenaline is going and sparks are shooting out of your grill). Dumped the extinguisher into the grill and didn't accomplish much so i gave up at that point and backed off to watch the soon to be Jeep bonfire. 30 seconds or so the electrical crackling nightmare stopped..and the smoke subsided, and i let her cool down.

At this point, im expecting the worst. ECM fried....harness fried...subs, amps, cb, figured it was goin to be interesting. When i lifted the hood to my suprise, the negative terminal had completely melted off my battery.(yellow top optima) Still not finding the cause though i started chasing wires. Turns out the 0 gauge power wire from my winch had somehow found its way between the body, and the frame. I took care when routing the lines, cable tied all the way and ran through the grill opening and i thought...away from any chaffing or pinching areas. Apparently the corner i took spread the tub and body enough for the cable to slip in, and crushed it when the body settled back down. Which of course welded itself right to the tub when it shorted. :eek:

I learned along time ago to fuse or put breakers on anything connected to my power system, and the 100 amp breaker on the winch line apparently fused shut and did not blow. After determining the cause, i figured it was time for damage control and see what i blew up. Battery still showed good, load tested fine so i put a new negative terminal on it. Jeep started right up, no hesitation, all gauges working, all lights, everything showed normal. :punk:

Only problems i seemed to have, was my CB would not transmit, and my subs/amps would not power up. After throwing the voltmeter on every inch of the Jeep ive come to the conclusion my frame is no longer a ground. Im sure everyone has seen the grounding strap from the hood, to firewall, to engine head. Well mine is burnt in half which im thinking has alot to do with my grounding problem. But the battery itself has two grounds coming off of it, one to the firewall, and one to the engine block on the passenger side.

Are there more grounding straps from the body to the frame in other locations i should be looking for? The engine itself sits in rubber motor mounts, tranny the same so the grounds to the engine block i wouldn't think would ground the frame. And the tub sits on bushings so that wouldnt make a good connection. Im sure when i removed the negative winch line i removed that ground, so im going to be running some different lines from the frame to tub to reestablish the frame as a ground. Also replacing the grounding strap but usually the more grounds the better.

Does anyone know of any other grounds i should be looking for that may have melted in my lil incident? Appreciate any input, and for taking the time to read this long rant. I got lucky on this one, i was expecting it to be a insurance claim. :banghead:
 

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Wow, I hate to read about that kind of damage, sorry man! :eek: Yes there are multiple ground connections throughout the Jeep that make ground connections here, there, and everywhere. I'm afraid you're just going to have to do a controlled careful examination of every ground strap and every black wire (black is ground) throughout the Jeep. Under the dash, behind the glove box, at the chassis, in the engine compartment, all the lights, etc... you are just faced with a big task to make sure you find and replace them all. That short could have popped nearly every one of them. Good luck with it. :)
 

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No..... fix the ground strap. Its a jeep. Its important. I learned it the hard way on an old wagoner. I did a motor swap on it.everything was running fine. Went to pull it out of the garage. Put it in reverse and it died. Put it in park and it fired right up. Put it in reverse again and it died again. The motor and tranny was grounded as long as it was in park. When it went into reverse it would torque the motor and tranny just enough to cause a gap in the motor, and tranny mounts. I found. The loose ground strap that had gotten overlooked, put a bolt in it and it was fine. Never had anothdr issue.
 
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