Friday, March 7, 2008

Amplifier mounting and connections

After routing the power and signal cables to your amplifier, using the techniques described on page 3, you're ready to mount and hook up the amplifier. First, remove a bolt near the planned amp location. Crimp a ring terminal (included with the kit) to the short piece of black ground cable (also in the kit). Scrape away any paint and clean the bolt location thoroughly (improper grounding is the #1 cause of noise problems), and then bolt the terminal tightly to the vehicle's metal chassis. If you can't find a convenient ground screw or bolt, drill a hole for one — be careful not to drill into the gas tank or a gas or brake line).

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wire routing

All system wiring should be concealed for safety, and to give your installation a nice, finished look. Wires should be secured so that they do not interfere with safe vehicle operation. Depending on the vehicle and the location you choose for your amplifier, the wiring for your system may need to be run under the dash, door scuff plate, pillar trimpanel, or kickpanel. The instructions below address, in general, what panels may need to be removed and how they typically come off. Often, panels can be pried up at edges. Screws and retaining clips might also be present that will require removal (Figure 1). To prevent damage, always use care when removing panels — a panel tool is helpful.

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Monday, March 3, 2008


If your in-dash radio has preamp (RCA) outputs, connect the RCA patch cables (included with most kits) to these outputs, taping them together so they won't come apart. Route the patch cables (again, using wire ties) to the OPPOSITE side of the vehicle from the power cable and blue turn on lead. It's important to separate the patch cables from the power wires to avoid potential noise problems. Now you can partially re-install the radio in the dash (don't push it all the way in, in case you need to fix a problem later).

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Sunday, March 2, 2008


Remove the radio from the dash to access the turn-on wire (usually a blue wire). The turn-on wire will "tell" your amplifier to turn on whenever the receiver is powered up (usually, whenever the vehicle is turned on).

Strip the insulation off a small section of this wire coming from the radio, wrap the blue turn on lead (included with the amp wiring kit) around it, and solder. Or, use crimp connectors and a crimp tool to connect the blue turn on lead to the wire coming from the radio. Wrap the solder or crimp connection with electrical tape (or use a heat gun to apply heat shrink tubing) to guard against a short. Using wire ties (included with the kit) to secure the wire, route the blue turn on lead behind your dash all the way over to the place where the red power wire comes through the firewall.
Making the signal connections

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Friday, February 29, 2008


Attach the power cable to the positive battery terminal (not directly to the battery post itself). For top-mounted battery posts, the most common way to do this is to crimp a ring terminal onto the end of the power cable (most cables in wiring kits come with it already attached). Remove the battery terminal's nut, slip the power cable's ring over the bolt that secures the battery terminal to the battery post, and replace the nut. For GM vehicles with a side-mount post, we offer an adapter that works nicely.

Thread the wire loom (included with some kits) over the red power cable until it reaches the firewall and cut to fit. Thread another piece over the short power wire running from the fuse holder to the battery.

Anchor the fuse holder to a suitable spot with a self-tapping screw (see photo above).

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Step 3.

The red power wire from your amp wiring kit may have a fuse holder installed. If so, go to step. If not, find a good spot close to your battery to place your fuse-holder (included in the kit) — less than 6" from the battery is best. Cut a short piece off the end of the power wire (to cover the distance from the battery to the fuse holder location), and strip the insulation off both ends with a wire stripper.

Crimp the terminal ring (included in the kit) onto one end of the short piece of wire, and crimp the fuse holder onto the other end. Strip the insulation off the end of the red power wire that leads into the passenger compartment, and connect it to the other end of the fuse holder.

Fuse installed on power wire, and secured in engine compartment.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Making the power connections

1. Set the parking brake and disconnect the negative terminal from your battery to prevent any electrical short.

Route the red wire from your amp wiring kit through a hole in your vehicle's firewall.

2. Remove the red power wire from your amp wiring kit (usually 16-20 feet in length). Locate a hole on the firewall; most cars have a predrilled one you can use. If not, you'll have to find a good place to drill one. If you have problems, contact Crutchfield technical support at the phone number listed on your invoice. Once you've found or drilled a suitable hole, run the power wire through the hole into the engine compartment.

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