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Question about running wires for amp install.

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Old 02-14-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
jayton
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Question about running wires for amp install.

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/Produ...e&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/Produ...0&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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Old 02-14-2008, 10:51 PM   #2
toypaseo
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Use coupon code 3A706 to get $20 off $100

It expires 2/29/2008.




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Old 02-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #3
aznboi3644
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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.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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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...




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Old 02-15-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
jayton
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Originally Posted by toypaseo View Post
Use coupon code 3A706 to get $20 off $100

It expires 2/29/2008.
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




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Old 02-15-2008, 06:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by aznboi3644 View Post
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.
Well, I don't want to risk having to do the install twice, so I think I will go ahead and separate them here.

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




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Old 02-15-2008, 09:22 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:23 PM   #8
aznboi3644
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Originally Posted by jluv View Post
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.
through the door jam as in your can see it when you open the door??
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:37 PM   #9
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through the door jam as in your can see it when you open the door??
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.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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^^^All the more reason to hide that 1/0GA wire.




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Old 02-15-2008, 11:59 PM   #11
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^^^All the more reason to hide that 1/0GA wire.
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.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:51 AM   #12
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Like to see that. But hey...If it works for you, it works for me. It is your ride.




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Old 02-16-2008, 02:08 AM   #13
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I would rather run 0 gauge underneath the vehicle than through the door jam...door jam is just ghetto.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:16 AM   #14
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I would rather run 0 gauge underneath the vehicle than through the door jam...door jam is just ghetto.
Door jams also like to get a lot of water in them and freeze in the winter. I don't like that a bit.




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Old 02-16-2008, 09:49 AM   #15
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I would rather run 0 gauge underneath the vehicle than through the door jam...door jam is just ghetto.
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.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:53 AM   #16
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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.
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.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:19 PM   #17
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Well my thought of the door jam is when you open the door and you see the wire next to the door hinge...sorry.

Also if you want to run wires underneath here you go

http://forum.realmofexcursion.com/sh...ad.php?t=21520
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:40 PM   #18
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Normally, cheap head units that pack a lot of features are cheap for a reason. But some people never have problems. Good luck.
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.

Quote:
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.
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!




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Old 02-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #19
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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.
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayton View Post
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!
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.




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Old 02-16-2008, 10:50 PM   #20
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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.




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