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On cars most often only the +12 volts line, or the switched +12 volts voltage is brought to a consumer (be it a light, a motor or instrument) via a wire. The return or Ground line is typically provided by the chassis of the car.

As a result, a bad Ground connection can lead to devices not working in difficult to diagnose ways. The proper +12 volt is applied, but if the ground connection is not good, it will fail.

Similarly, a (intermittent) or (resistive) short circuit, where the Ground is connected to a +12 volt line, either directly or via a resistance, can lead to a device not working properly, and the Battery depleting, sometimes slowly.

Because many of these cars have had a history of owners, who may have attached non-standard electrical equipment (radio's, tape players, security systems, mobile phones), and subsequently removed them inaccurately, there are many potential causes for bad Grounds or short-circuits.

Also, when the electrical sockets are opened and the wires have been removed and reinserted (especially on the headlight assemblies) it is very easy to do this incorrectly, especially if done by the trial-and-error method. If a short-circuit has been introduced, the device may appear to work when not attached to the car: when it is bolted in it stops working.

Ground locations

The Pagodas have a number of Ground locations under the hood. When repainting the car, please ensure that these areas remain paint free. The following shows the standard locations (thanks to bpossel).

  • The infamous open paintless area that resides under the radiator overflow tank
  • Below overflow tank and under auxiliary fusebox bracket
  • On the Firewall (Main Engine Ground)
  • By the windshield washer pump (on body post)
  • On the inner dashboard behind starterkey
  • Left rear behind quarter panel trim
  • Right rear tail light is grounded also (no picture)
  • Front headlights are grounded inside the headlight buckets (no picture)

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