Where are the ground straps on 1997 GMC Safari Van?

Where are the ground straps on 1997 GMC Safari Van?

Postby K-TRON [OP] » September 28th 2020, 6:51am

Where are the ground straps supposed to be on a 1997 GMC Safari van? We had the engine in our van replaced three years ago, and ever since then we have had weak headlights, weak power controls, etc. I did not see a single ground strap anywhere on the vehicle which has me concerned that they were removed and forgotten when the body was off for engine replacement. Last weekend I pulled the headlights out of the grille and measured just 10.4 volts at the actual bulbs. I cleaned the grounding wires for the two headlights which helped a little. I then noticed the negative ground from the battery which bolts right to the body next to the radiator. I cleaned this connection and all of a sudden I saw 13.2 volts at the headlights. There was an approximate 30% improvement with light output. I can now see when I am driving at night. Surely there were other ground straps on the vehicle when it was new. Does anyone know where GM would have had them, and or pictures of them. I would like to fix these nagging electrical issues once and for all. For the first time in three years the dash lights do not dim when the turning signals are on, or when the power seats or windows are activated. Thanks,

Chris
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Re: Where are the ground straps on 1997 GMC Safari Van?

Postby AstroWill » September 28th 2020, 9:26pm

There is one main ground to the engine that runs from the battery down along the subframe towards the location of the starter. It's bolted to the block at the front corner of the engine.

Highly recommend grabbing the GM Techline eSI(links in sig), it's the digital FSM for our vans. Coverage for 98 is much better than 97, but there is a TON of valuable information in there, wiring diagrams, component locations etc.
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Re: Where are the ground straps on 1997 GMC Safari Van?

Postby 97cargocrawler » September 29th 2020, 10:10am

You know you can always just add some wherever you want.

From the alternator to the engine, engine to the subframe, engine to the body, subframe to body, battery negative to engine, battery negative to body, battery negative to the subframe.....I prolly forgot some. Welding cable works good.
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Re: Where are the ground straps on 1997 GMC Safari Van?

Postby K-TRON [OP] » September 29th 2020, 9:07pm

Thank you gentleman, I have found the wire which runs from the negative terminal of the battery to the front corner of the engine. One problem which developed after changing the engine out was the reluctance of the engine starting when hot. Cold, no matter the temperature it starts without any hesitation, but when hot it can crank for five sometimes ten seconds before lighting off. (Cycling the ignition twice to ensure fuel pressure does not make a difference) The mechanic who swapped the engine said this is 'normal' for the 4.3 to take a while to start when hot, but I know that is bogus, since we owned the van since new and it never used to be hesitant to start. I am going to add a few heavy duty copper grounding braids from mcmaster-carr and see if that helps any. Next step is to clean starter motor contacts and check the wires there.

Chris
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