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Question about running wires for amp install.

Discussion in 'Explorer Audio & Navigation' started by jayton, February 14, 2008.

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    1. jayton

      jayton Active Member

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      I am installing a little sound system for my sister in law in her 2004 Explorer XLS. She isn't wanting anything too big and she wants to spend as little as possible, so I chose a single MTX 12" sub, box, & amplifier package from Crutchfield:

      http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?search=mtx+package&i=700RTP4512

      My question is about running the wires in these Explorers. Should just I run the wires under the carpet?

      I understand that I will need to have the power wire on the opposite side of the vehicle from the RCA wires to be sure there is not any noise from interference. Which side should the power wire go, driver side or passenger side?

      Where should I take the power wire through the firewall?

      Where is a good place to run the ground wire?

      What length wires should I buy? 16ft or 20ft? Obviously the RCA wires can be shorter than the power wire.

      What do you all recommend I use to keep the box from sliding around in the back?


      This is the head unit I am using for this install, the JVC XG500:
      http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?search=xg500&i=105KWGX500

      I chose the JVC XG500 because it is the cheapest double din available with separate sub woofer volume control and the front auxiliary port.


      Thanks!!
       
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    3. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Use coupon code 3A706 to get $20 off $100 :thumbsup:

      It expires 2/29/2008.
       
    4. aznboi3644

      aznboi3644 Active Member

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      I've done installs with power and signal down the same side without any problems with noise interference. It is just a general rule of thumb to separate them though to reduce chances of interference.

      I could find a nice clean spot of metal near the amp that you can sand away all of the metal and ground the amplifier to that spot using either a bolt and nut or a few self tapping screws.

      If you get a whole amplifier installation kit it comes with everything you need to install the amp so you don't have to buy signal cables separate.

      If you don't want the box to slide around I would recommend bolting it down securely. You don't want a big wooden box flying at the back of a passengers head in the even of a wreck.
       
    5. steventadams

      steventadams Active Member

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      I ran my power wire down the driver side because thats the same side as the battery. Less low gauge wire to buy...
       
    6. jayton

      jayton Active Member

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      Damn I wish I would have waited until now to purchase the thing! I had the same coupon, but mine expired 1/31/2008.

      Thanks
       
    7. jayton

      jayton Active Member

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      Well, I don't want to risk having to do the install twice, so I think I will go ahead and separate them here.

      Good point. Definitely don't want a 70 pound missle in the back in the event of a wreck.
       
    8. jluv

      jluv Guest

      Normally, cheap head units that pack a lot of features are cheap for a reason. But some people never have problems. Good luck.

      I ran my power cable from the engine bay thorugh the door jamb, into the kick area, under the driver side plastic sill plates and eventually into the rear cargo area to a distribution block. The main ground cable is grounded to a flat spot under the rear passenger seat. Make sure and sand the area to get bare metal and I recommend a good ground boot for best results. Keep your ground cable short if you can. Mine goes from the boot to another distribution block and out to my equipment. When I used to run RCAs, I ran them from the head unit behind the glove compartment, down the kick, under the passenger side door sills and into the rear cargo area, or under the carpet to my amps that were mounted under seats. Luckily now, I do not run RCAs from the head unit, and instead run an optical cable straight down the middle of the truck, under the carpet and console and to my processor in the back. Actually, I have a ton of other cables hooked to the back of my head unit now and they all run down the center of the truck. This involved removal of the seats and the carpet though, so for most people it's fine to use the sides of the truck and run everything under the sills.

      For length, take a piece of string or rope and run it how you would your wire, and then measure it. Obviously, you can do this over the carpet and whatnot, but it will give you a quick and accurate idea of the length you need. If it is borderline, go longer. There is nothing more frustrating than getting everything in and you end up 4 inches shy of what you need.

      In my 04, the width of the box is exactly the right size so that it fits snugly in between the two side cargo net square rings. I used "U" shaped bolts and bolted them to my box from the inside to where they line up with the cargo rings on the outside. Then I ran padlocks on each side of the box, through the newly installed "U" rings on the box and through the cargo rings which are bolted to the floor of the vehicle. My box isn't going anywhere, lol.
       
    9. aznboi3644

      aznboi3644 Active Member

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      through the door jam as in your can see it when you open the door??
       
    10. jluv

      jluv Guest

      You can see about an inch of it if you know where to look. I didn't feel like drilling a large hole in my firewall. It's actually kinda nice to show it to people that don't realize how big 0ga wire is. Interestingly enough (at least to me), that is the only visible wire in my entire vehicle. You could search high and low and not find a speaker wire, RCA, etc anywhere, not even coming out of the amps.
       
    11. DOZIER

      DOZIER Well-Known Member

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      ^^^All the more reason to hide that 1/0GA wire.
       
    12. jluv

      jluv Guest

      I originally tried to run it through existing holes in the firewall, and even then it would have been visible from a low vantage point. I'm okay with where it is. It doesn't look bad or even out of place. I was pretty OCD with this install. I'll get a pic up soon.
       
    13. DOZIER

      DOZIER Well-Known Member

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      Like to see that. But hey...If it works for you, it works for me. It is your ride.
       
    14. aznboi3644

      aznboi3644 Active Member

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      I would rather run 0 gauge underneath the vehicle than through the door jam...door jam is just ghetto.
       
    15. Infinity08

      Infinity08 Active Member

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      Door jams also like to get a lot of water in them and freeze in the winter. I don't like that a bit.
       
    16. jluv

      jluv Guest

      I think you have the wrong idea about where this wire is. It's not actually in the door jamb but behind it, further back in the fender. That's my fault for the description I gave. I'll really have to post a pic.

      I assure you it's not ghetto. I am the anti-ghetto when it comes to my car stereo. In this case, trying to get it through the firewall would have been even more ghetto because of how it would stick out.

      I would never, ever run any cables underneath the body of a daily driven vehicle. To me, that is ultra ghetto.
       
    17. jluv

      jluv Guest

      This is even less exposed to the elements than it is under the hood. Even then, I don't get water or ice in my door jams. Maybe that's because I live in Texas, I don't know. But again, this cable is not exposed to any elements in this location. It's more likely to be exposed to it under the hood.

      Look, you guys can criticize my install all you want, and I'm trying to be nice about it, but when it comes down to it I would put my install up against yours in a heartbeat. I've been doing this for 15 years.
       
    18. aznboi3644

      aznboi3644 Active Member

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    19. jayton

      jayton Active Member

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      Well JVC is not the best but it is not a flea market brand either. I have this model in my Explorer already and it has performed very well for what we need.

      I really like this idea of using the rings already in the cargo area to hold the box down. Using a padlock is also a good idea. This is exactly the type of information I was looking for.

      Thanks jluv!
       
    20. Infinity08

      Infinity08 Active Member

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      You made a bad description, as I think I see how you ran your wire now- no one was criticizing you. I will say that getting into a dick measuring contest on here wouldn't be a great idea. I've been installing for over 25 years. Does that matter? Nope

      I like JVC head units, they've bumped their quality up significantly after several down years. Also, those rings are a great place for a hold down as they already securely mount to the vehicle.
       
    21. Blacksheep Josh

      Blacksheep Josh Slinky+Escalator=Fun

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      i love how message boards leave out so much emotion when posting.
      but let's remember a few things boys and girls...
      everybody has their own way of doing something... and what is the key to it????

      anyone?

      anyone?

      that it works! if it works, does it matter? maybe you don't like it, maybe you do, doesn't matter. it's how they do it, and if THEY like it.

      as for me and my system, i did the following.. i was 17 when i put it in, and didn't want to drill a hole, i ran the wire into my fender, into my door jamb, cut a hole into the rubber boot that goes from the door to the body, and just fed it through there.... it's worked flawlessly, and for extra precaution, i wrapped what was exposed with electrical tape.

      as long as it works, and you're okay with it, go with it.
       
    22. jluv

      jluv Guest

      It's actually several inches behind the door hinge, pretty deep into the fender area. The sun is out today, so I'm about to go snap a pic.
       
    23. jluv

      jluv Guest

      My description, while not 100% accurate, was no worse than the assumptions made by some of you guys, so...

      I don't see how you can say no one was criticizing my install, lol.

      Have you really? That's impressive. You missed the point though. Knowing that, if you were describing an install and I had a question about a certain aspect of it, all you'd have to say is "trust me - it's not ghetto" and I would know that it wasn't. Some people just don't know when to quit.

      It's no biggie, really. I just find it funny when people who haven't seen the work stop listening to what I'm telling them about it because they make up their mind and assume I'm some kid who doesn't know how to do an adequate install. I'm proud of the fact that this install is beyond "adequate" and I did every bit of it myself.
       
    24. Blacksheep Josh

      Blacksheep Josh Slinky+Escalator=Fun

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      stop hijacking the thread! jayton asked a simple question about running wires, who cares who has more experience!

      jayton, as long as you're okay with it, run it how you like. as long as it works, it's not dangerous, and you're okay with it. do it how you want to.

      jluv, infinity08... stop trying to out do each other, it's annoying. instead of arguing, why don't you work together to help jayton, from what i'm getting, seems this is his/her first install... a little more help, and a little less bickering would help a lot.

      good luck jayton, hope it's turning out okay
       
    25. jluv

      jluv Guest

      I'm not having very good luck posting pictures on here. Any advice? Let's see if this works...

      EDIT: Didn't work. How do you post pictures on this site?
       
    26. Blacksheep Josh

      Blacksheep Josh Slinky+Escalator=Fun

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      this is what i do, and it's pretty easy...

      first, open up the picture you're wanting to upload in microsoft paint, and resize it so it's a reasonable size.

      second, open up two browser windows. one window needs to be the post you're going to be putting the picture in, the other one needs to be (tinypic.com). great hosting site.

      upload the picture to tinypic.com , and after you upload it, you'll see the codes on the right, you want the one for the message boards.

      then just paste the code in the message forum.
       

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