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The battery on a vehicle is the heart of an Electrical system so makes sense to keep the connections in good condition. If yours are corroded cleaning up using a wire brush then smearing Vaseline on them will keep them working at their best. Similarly the point where the negative cable end bolts to the body should be corrosion free and be nice and tight. Any restriction to the flow of electricity here will affect the entire electrical system . The Engine and gearbox which are bolted together are sat on rubber mounts and although they are connected to the propshafts these in turn are connected to the axles whose springs are insulated via rubber bushes. Therefore to help the flow of electricity through these components an earth strap is connected between the engine and
chassis. A lot of problems can be prevented by ensuring this connection is clean and tight. The starter motor and glowplugs for example draw a lot of current so rely on this connection to be sound for effective starting. If your starter is a bit lazy it may be worth checking this cable first which is found connected between the starter motor and the chassis.
PHOTO SHOWING THE ENGINE EARTH STRAP
The battery provides power to the vehicle when the engine isn’t running. So the glow plugs, starter motor and dash warning lights for example draw power from the battery until the engine fires up and the ‘charge’ warning light goes out on the dash binnacle. From then on the alternator provides power for all the electrical components as well as recharging the battery from its initial drain whilst turning
over the engine. This is why the alternator output is higher than the vehicles system requirements as its effectively doing two jobs. If your finding that your battery is consistently flat when trying to start your vehicle, two things to check are 1) that the battery can hold its charge by using a proper battery condition tester whilst the engine isn’t running. Note: using a normal volt meter/multi meter may still give a 12 V reading despite the battery being virtually flat. And 2) check the alternator is giving out approx 14.5 V whilst the engine is running by using a multi meter on the battery connections. If the battery shows to be in good health then the problem points to the alternator, if the alternator is in good health then the problem points to the battery. If both are in good order then either there is a drain on the battery such as an interior light being left on whilst the vehicle isn’t running, or the vehicles electrical system is drawing more power than the alternator can provide so it draws the necessary extra from the battery. This may be the case if extra driving lights/stereo/CB radio etc have recently been fitted. If this is the case then upgrading the alternator to higher output model may be the answer. I personally have upgraded mine from a 36 Amp model to a 45 Amp one.
I’ve put together a small selection of tools that will be required to maintain your Land Rovers electrics. Obviously you may wish to add to it or substitute items depending on your personal taste or budget. I’ve also included some popular connectors etc to join wires together when existing connections are deemed past it or wires need lengthening or shortening. Again personal taste will play a deciding factor here so its really up to you, its your Land Rover. However do make sure that any method used is suitable for the job in hand. Never use thinner or smaller connectors than what was originally fitted and never overload a switch or connection by adding non standard items. I purposely haven’t covered fitting extra lights or accessories but have concentrated on maintaining the existing wiring.
Earth strap bolted to chassis