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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to disconnect, clean and replace ground fastener bolts for headlights because they are corroded and rusted to the point I had to but a bolt extractor to dig into the rounded head to turn it out.

The question is since I have no idea what bolt will replace the ones I'm removing will I be able to run my car and drive to the store to buy the bolts that secure the fasteners. Will running my car with those grounds disconnected (Which may also ground other devices) potentially cause damage to the anything that individual ground supports?

If there will be damage to my electronics or parts or car won't function as a result of running my car with detached grounds then I will have to extract the bolts to those fasteners and service my vehicle in the parking lot of an automotive store that sells bolts that might fit. I don't have any other way to pick up those bolts other than the vehicle I'm servicing.

To be clear the battery negative terminal or ground to chassis will not be disconnected just the grounds leading off the wires attached to headlights that are grounded to body of vehicle.
 

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Those grounds likely cover way more than just headlights, for sure they do on early models.

Go to a hardware store rather than auto parts, sheetmetal screws are what you are after and more different types and sizes there. Trust me, I worked auto parts, their choices there are awful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I figured that it covered more just didn't have wire diagram to accurately list them especially since I have no reference to physical ground locations with name so I'm left guessing what those grounds run from.

I still need to know the consequences of detaching those grounds and driving to decide where I am when I remove them.

Will sheet metal screw match the thread of connecting point? The metal it's screwed into has a second plate that is threaded under the whole in metal that is welded in place. The metal also seems a bit thicker than sheet metal.
 

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There is NO thread, they are self thread cutting screws and so are sheetmetal ones. Doesn't matter if any 'threads' there match as you are recutting on top of what is already there, picking the size of the screw becomes important. Very easy to get too big and break the screw trying to put it in. If picked right you will cut slightly bigger and they still go on easy but hold forever. The original hole the first ones were put in was a simple hole with zero threading done to it unless they are really big ones.

At the least you likely lose the cooling fans and those screws ground those too for sure on early ones, you keep failing to mention the year, Ford changes the electrical every single year. Several engine sensor grounds are there too. Try to start car, it may not even start or pop a CEL instantly. One ground on driver side is PCM and you get nothing if that one is down.

If you mess up a hole simply drill another next to it and screw a screw into that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
2007 ford focus, the whole ground plate on top and nut are rusted.

Thanks I got my answers for vehicle function and risks while running(if it even can) with disconnected grounds.

I'll continue my discussion about my options for replacement bolts, screws or any other fastener.

 

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A few of the bigger ones are 6 mm. thread with an 8mm. hex head
 
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