Flareside bed grounding?

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Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
Hi Folks,

I didn't realize this until I started looking at the wiring for my new tail lights, but the Flareside (and C/C trucks) do not have a dedicated ground wire for the tail lights like the Styleside trucks do. Unless I'm missing something, the tail lights are grounded to the mounting bracket which is grounded to the bed, correct?

My issue with this is that the bed is only touching the frame (metal to metal) at four points. Left and right frame rails on the front sill, and left and right frame rails on the rear sill. Problem is, I've painted the frame with rust paint and had the front sill powder coated and the rear sill painted.

I don't remember there being a ground wire between the bed and the frame. Does anybody know if there was one? Or is it supposed to be grounded through the mounting points?

I guess worst case scenario I just grind some paint off underneath and run a ground strap between the frame and the bed.

My tail lights were working fine before, but I don't remember there being any ground wires, and my bed and frame were so rusty I can't imagine they were grounded well...

Any comments from the pro's?
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In the early part of the Bullnose era there was no ground wire.  But by '85 there was a ground wire.  So I don't know if the '84 had one - although I can check the EVTM.

So I'd run a ground wire.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
Gary Lewis wrote
In the early part of the Bullnose era there was no ground wire.  But by '85 there was a ground wire.  So I don't know if the '84 had one - although I can check the EVTM.

So I'd run a ground wire.
Ok, I guess I'll run a wire....well, I guess I'll run two ground wires, one for each side. Since I had every single piece completely painted before assembly, if I ground the left bed side, there will be 4 layers of paint to get through to ground the other side panel. Anyway...no big deal. I'm good...just wanted to check.

I did look in the 1984 EVTM, and it showed a ground wire...even if it's only a short wire, for the styleside bed tail lights. The C/C trucks and Flareside showed the lights being grounded directly to the bed via the brackets.

Thanks for the reply Gary.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ok, so '84 used the frame and the change was for '85.  I say that because they were wired this way in '81:



And this way in '85:



Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Dyn Blin
In reply to this post by Rembrant
My '82 had a dedicated ground on each side going from one of the studs on the pod against the bracket hole, and down through the grommet to the frame.  

When I stripped & repainted my brackets and set up the LED pods, I laid a washer over one of the holes for the pod that matched the outside edge of the nut and did the same for a couple of the holes on the bracket securing the bed.  When it was done I used new steel washers to facilitate the ground.  

I'm not at home to check my '82 EVTM, but I would imagine it matches the '84.

Sonoma County,CA
1982 F150 Flareside XLS
NP435 4x4
351W Motorcraft 2150

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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The 1980 - 84 trucks should have a ground from the light down to the frame.

The 1985 & 6 trucks should have a ground wire running from the back all the way to the firewall ground in the cab and just in front of the radio.  And spliced into that ground wire will be all of the things along the way, including tail lights/stop lights/turn signals/backup lights, trailer lights, and the tank senders/pumps and the switching valve.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
Hey Gary,

There is a ground wire running all the way to the back of my truck, but it is only for the licence plate illumination lamp. It is interesting that they felt the need to ground that light (by wire), but not the two bulbs in either taillight (by wire).

I've decided I'm going to try and run a wire from the frame to the bedside where it can't be seen. That should work just fine. If for any reason it does not, I'll run one from the frame to one of the studs on the taillight housing. I don't want to do that...it would be a last resort, but it is an option. I just want it to look like it did...and that means grounding through the brackets and to the bed sides.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
That's wired weird.  

Seriously though, that is strange.  Oh well, you have a plan.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Steve83
In reply to this post by Rembrant
Rembrant wrote
There is a ground wire running all the way to the back of my truck, but it is only for the licence plate illumination lamp. ...but not the two bulbs in either taillight (by wire).
I've decided I'm going to try and run a wire from the frame...
It would be MUCH better to wire the taillights to the return wire for the license lights.
Rembrant wrote
I just want it to look like it did.
Why?  Even Ford didn't like that, which is why they improved it in '85.  It'll look better with working taillights than with a wiring layout that ONLY YOU will know isn't exactly factory for that year.

If it's that important to have 1 wire, find a coaxial wire to replace the normal taillight wire, so you can connect the negative (return) to the coax's outer shield.  It'll look like a single-conductor wire, but it'll work better with the 2 conductors.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
Steve83 wrote
Why?  Even Ford didn't like that, which is why they improved it in '85.  It'll look better with working taillights than with a wiring layout that ONLY YOU will know isn't exactly factory for that year.
Haha...Steve, the answer to your question of why, is personal preference. Sometimes we prefer things a certain way, and that's OK.

1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Steve83
It was a rhetorical question - I wanted YOU to think about why you're trying to stay with an inferior circuit.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
Steve83 wrote
It was a rhetorical question - I wanted YOU to think about why you're trying to stay with an inferior circuit.
LOL, you clearly care about it much more than I do. You would have to define the level of inferiority for me to put more consideration into than I am. The stock grounding system worked fine for 35 years. If I wire it as per the stocking grounding on a 1985 Flareside, am I or anybody else going to see a noticeable improvement in illumination in my tail lights? How would one measure this other than me explaining to somebody that Steve83 says my tail light circuit is inferior??...lol.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Ray Cecil
In reply to this post by Rembrant
My license plate lamp on blue82 is the grounding for the tail lights. I have a ground wire running all the way back there too Cory. Then a short pigtail going to the bed. Tail lights are grounded to the bed.

My plan was to redo this rediculous routing and use some nice heavy duty ground straps from bed to frame.
Ray Cecil
1982 Flareside 300 Six, Hedman Headers, 4x4, SROD 4 Speed, 1 Wire HEI "Little Blue 82"....
1969 Impala Custom Coupe, 86,000 miles, 327, Powerglide.
1999 Silverado, 346,000 miles, 5.3 Automatic Z71 4WD
2008 Tahoe (wife's)

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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Steve83
In reply to this post by Rembrant
If you don't care how your truck is built, why start a thread specifically asking for help on it?  Since you don't care about how it's grounded, I don't care to explain the differences.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Ray Cecil
Hey guys......I like bacon.
Ray Cecil
1982 Flareside 300 Six, Hedman Headers, 4x4, SROD 4 Speed, 1 Wire HEI "Little Blue 82"....
1969 Impala Custom Coupe, 86,000 miles, 327, Powerglide.
1999 Silverado, 346,000 miles, 5.3 Automatic Z71 4WD
2008 Tahoe (wife's)

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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

reamer
If I recall, the Plug-ins for the lamps are 3 pronged 1 for power for park, 1 for directional 1 for ground?
1986 F-150 Flareside 4x4, 351, 4-v, ZF5 speed. AC, Cruise, Tilt, Slider, Digital clock, Radio, Lariat seat, Pwr doors/locks
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In '86 the grounds ran into the harness, but not in '84.

Gary showed the schematics....
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Rembrant
In reply to this post by reamer
reamer wrote
If I recall, the Plug-ins for the lamps are 3 pronged 1 for power for park, 1 for directional 1 for ground?
Ron, I didn't realize until I went to wire in my new tail lights that of the 3 wires going to the tail light, none of them are grounds. One is for park, one is for directional/brake, and one is for the reverse lamp. The 3 mounting studs on the tail light housings are the grounds.

It looks like in some cases, they ran an external ground wire out to the tail light with a ring terminal that was attached to one of the mounting studs. My truck did not have this wire, and neither did Ray's as noted above, but Din's 1982 did have the wire. Ray says his truck has a ground wire to the bed.

Do you have an external wire going to one of the mounting studs on your tail lights on your '86?

Since I've rebuilt and painted/power coated my bed, it went from being a poor ground to being a terrible ground, so I was just curious how other trucks were wired up.

In any case, it's not a big deal. I'll run a ground wire either to the bed Like Ray's or to the tail light like Din's.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Ray Cecil
I like turtles!   👻

****Wait.... I read what you had to say in the lounge.  😳
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Flareside bed grounding?

Ray Cecil
ArdWrknTrk wrote
And, I like turtles!

Wait.... I read what you had to say in the lounge.  😳
I always wondered what happened to Zombie Turtle Boy. Now we know. Jim is turtle boy.
Ray Cecil
1982 Flareside 300 Six, Hedman Headers, 4x4, SROD 4 Speed, 1 Wire HEI "Little Blue 82"....
1969 Impala Custom Coupe, 86,000 miles, 327, Powerglide.
1999 Silverado, 346,000 miles, 5.3 Automatic Z71 4WD
2008 Tahoe (wife's)

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