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I'm in the process of replacing the radio in my '96 Sidekick 1.8L.

This ground wire

Ground Wire

was attached to the aftermarket radio that I removed (I think it was aftermarket). The ring was connected to a screw on the metal collar around the radio.

After removing the original radio, I pulled on the ground wire to get more slack to work with, and it popped out of whatever it was connected to on the other end.

Now, for the life of me I can't figure out where it goes. It looks like there should be something to plug the plastic connector into, but I can't find anything. Could someone point out the general location on the image below? If I even knew what quadrant it was supposed to be in it would help a lot.

Radio Area

Also, if I can't find the original connector, would it be safe to just solder the ground on the radio to some metal bit in there? If so, please indicate where.

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Did the harness originally plug into the stock radio? Are you replacing the radio with another stock unit? –  cinelli Nov 21 '13 at 9:27
    
@cinelli. I've added more details to my description. –  Dean Nov 21 '13 at 16:52
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4 Answers

From reading the question, you seem to understand that you're looking at part of a ground lead and that the ring side is going to connect to the ground connector of your new radio. The mystery is where the white end goes.

It's pretty clearly a piece that's meant to connect to a specific place in the wiring harness that, I assume, is going to give you a nice fat path to the vehicle's chassis ground. If you're trying to reconnect it, I'd suggest thinking back to how the wire was laying when you were tugging on it. Was it coming in from the top, the sides or hanging roughly slack over the edge of that double DIN-sized hole? That will give you a clue as to where the other end wandered off. Make sure to take a good look at the leads inside that white connector (that we can't see): you're going to be looking for the female end of those (or male if the gender goes the other way).

If you lose patience with this search, you can run a new ground line for the radio. That it worth doing properly, though: you'd like a nice fat (and preferably shielded) conductor and a clean connection to a chassis ground (e.g., those found in the engine compartment).

Nothing in that picture matches either of those descriptions, though.

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Unfortunately I was trying to finish this installation after dark and I could only see the end of the ground wire hanging out of the hole before I pulled it out. If I saw the other end of the white connector, I feel like it'd be obvious. However I've looked everywhere inside the hole, and even stuck a video camera inside to get a better look around. It looks like I'll either have to pull the whole dash, or run a proper ground wire like you suggested. –  Dean Nov 22 '13 at 21:24
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Okay, I managed to find the other end of the connector I pulled apart. Following the wire attached to the connector leads to a bracket (circled below) near the glove box. If this were to happen again, I could find this bracket then follow the wire to locate the connector.

bracket location

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Looking at your picture of the cable it certainly looks like an earth lead. The bare metal end, eyelet, would normally be bolted to the vehicle chassis, so it begs the question why has it become free with just a tug on the lead. If you are certain that the white plastic end of the lead plugs into the radio, (shaped plug hole - same colour) then it could very well be to earth an accessory you dont have fitted and would attached to it. The scenic route to find out where it earths is too turn on everything one at a time to see what does'nt work.

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The eyelet end was connected to the original radio, by a screw on it's metal collar (the same collar I'm using to fit the new radio in). The plastic end is the mystery end that came loose when I tugged. It's possible that the plastic end wasn't connected to anything at all, and was just wedged somewhere when I started tugging. –  Dean Nov 21 '13 at 16:56
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@Dean, it's pretty unlikely that it was just wedged - it's more likely that there is a matching connector wandering around inside your console. –  Bob Cross Nov 22 '13 at 18:15
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Connect the ground terminal (the ring) to the radio that you will be putting into the vehicle. This will act as an extra ground for the radio itself. This will also reduce any other interferance from other electrical circuits throughout the vehicle.

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