How to: - Wire in Factory Sub to Aftermarket Stereo | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: Wire in Factory Sub to Aftermarket Stereo

stackz

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 28, 2004
Messages
126
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City, State
james island, sc
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 5.0 mountie
my 98 mountaineer had the mach sound system with the rear subwoofer but the display on the headunit started going out so I decided to toss one of my alpine headunits in the truck. The aftermarket harness only used one harness as the other two were reserved for the sub and console cd changer respectively.

Well, I had the sub and wanted to still hear it. I looked up the wiring diagram on mitchell-on-demand (which I have) and got the color codes and went to work. It's pretty straight forward.

I just got some quick connects for the wiring purposes and some electrical tape for the connections from the RCA cable. Oh yeah, just get a spare rca cable and cut it open to get access to the positive/negative wires to splice in just in case your headunit has RCA pre-outs for a sub. If not, you can get a line-level-to-rca converter and then get a passive sub crossover so the sub amp wont get a full range signal.

Anyway, here's the connection

1. connect the Yellow/black stripe wire from the main harness (switched power) to the teal/purple stripe wire from the 4wire amp harness (power wire).

2. connect the black/green stripe wire from the main harness (ground) to the black wire from the 4wire amp harness (ground).

3. connect the two wires from inside the rca cable to the red/black wire (sub speaker positive) and the brown/orange wire (sub speaker negative) from the 4wire amp harness.



Then just hook the rca connector side into your sub pre-out, toss the stereo back in the dash, and set up the sub level on your headunit and you're done!



I can honestly tell you this, the little 6" sub from my factory system hits a good bit harder now and the signal is cleaner. Probably due to the better pre-amp signal it's getting from the alpine headunit and it's got all the added bass I need for this truck.

I figure this may help others out who have been wanting to do this since...well...you've already GOT a sub, might as well use it!!
 
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Thank you. I hope it will work on my 2000 Explorer.
 






Thanks for the article. I just gave you 3 months Elite Explorer privledges for it. :thumbsup:
 






The colors do not match up with those on my 96, have to keep searching cause I really want to try to get this to work.
 






I believe That's because the colors are different on the wires. I've done this to my 96 but I don't remember the colors that I connected to. They were different than what is shown here. I'll try to take a look in the next few days and get back to you.
 






On second look here, I didn't connect mine to the wiring harness at the head unit, I actully ran an rca cable all the way back to the sub.I ran the rca cable to the sub and then spliced the rca cable into the factory sub wires. I still don't remember what colors without looking though. I think there was three wires connected to the factory sub and I used 2 of them.
 






So how did you know which wires to use? trial and error?
 






Pretty much. I did some searching on the internet and this site and found people who have did it but none of them had done it to a '96 and all the wires they used were different colors to that of the '96. There is only 3 that you need to splice the 2 rca(after you cut the end off of the cable to expose the wires of the rca) cable into so it's not difficult to trial and error it. One of the 3 wires into the sub will not be used of course.
 






I'll look on my mitchell software here in the next few days and get all the wire colors.

at the girlfriends right now so I dont have access to my computer :p
 






ok, apparently ford used a different connector for the previous version JBL sound system.

you guys cant tie into your sub from the headunit side like those of us with the later style connectors.

The factory wiring just goes from the stock headunit into the primary amp and is divided there for the rest of the system.

you have to pull your rear passenger quarter panel trim panel out and look right at your JBL setup.

then just follow what I posted here for this guy:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1402819#post1402819

This SHOULD get you up and running. If you dont hear anything after doing this then you probably just dont have power on the green/purple wire and need to splice it in to the headunit though I'm pretty sure all the amps have power with key-on.
 






That's a good link. Mine looks like that. I just spliced one side of the rca cable from the headunit into the plug at the sub amp behind the rear quarter panel. (My head unit didn't have "sub preouts" just normal amp preouts and I just used those. Sounds good like this though, I think.
 






Thanks a lot. I will have to try this later this week and report back to let you know if it worked.
 






would this work???
 
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gtpimp said:
would this work???

Looks like.. Makes me want to give some consideration to aftermarket again. As long as I can get all the steering wheel controls working, I can live without the rear stereo controls.
 
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rtbrjason said:
Looks like.. Makes me want to give some consideration to aftermarket again. As long as I can get all the steering wheel controls working, I can live without the rear stereo controls.

that will work if you're wanting to add and aftermarket amp to the system for a sub. It's basically an adapter harness for the stock system minus the sub outputs and instead converts the sub line level outputs into RCA outputs for an aftermarket sub amp if your headunit doesnt have sub-out outputs like mine does.

You still have to run RCA cables to whatever amp you are running and then wire up the amp and wire it into either the stock sub or a thunderform or whatever box you're running.

the wiring I show up above just lets you run the complete stock sub setup with your headunit to keep it low buck until you decide to upgrade later on if you want to.

but you can do it any way you want...I was just showing a cheap alternative to save money until later.
 






stackz said:
that will work if you're wanting to add and aftermarket amp to the system for a sub. It's basically an adapter harness for the stock system minus the sub outputs and instead converts the sub line level outputs into RCA outputs for an aftermarket sub amp if your headunit doesnt have sub-out outputs like mine does.

You still have to run RCA cables to whatever amp you are running and then wire up the amp and wire it into either the stock sub or a thunderform or whatever box you're running.

the wiring I show up above just lets you run the complete stock sub setup with your headunit to keep it low buck until you decide to upgrade later on if you want to.

but you can do it any way you want...I was just showing a cheap alternative to save money until later.

ohh i thought that harness would get my stock sub going without haveing to do what this sticky says???
 






after reading about it a little more, it might but I'm not sure honestly. I dont see how it would tie into the rest of the aftermarket harness but then again I havent messed with it.
 






stackz said:
after reading about it a little more, it might but I'm not sure honestly. I dont see how it would tie into the rest of the aftermarket harness but then again I havent messed with it.

yeah it has to work, it ties into the aftermarket deck, the RCA's go into the decks sub pre-outs to make the sub work and it has the power and ground in there, connects into that black harness u showed on your pictures above..

heres another but on crutchfield that would make more since...
 
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I did this mod today. The aftermarked wiring harness i have had an adapter with 4 leads for the sub plug, but the pins were in the wrong place. I pulled the pins out and moved them down where they should be, and wired an RCA to the adapter plug.Basically, I made an adapter just like Crutchfields. I hooked the 12v to switched power instead of constant power though- then it just plugged right in. Since I sold the stock sub driver, I had to buy an aftermarket sub. I got a Swiss Audio 8" sub from my local dealer. Its mounting depth was a little too deep, but I drilled out the rear bolt hole(now a voice coil vent hole) and used some rubber tape around the sub hole as a spacer.

It sounds 1000x better even running full range (my HU has no sub out). It sounds so much better mainly because I still have the stock component speakers in the front doors- they put out zero bass.
 



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I just finished this mod also. And just think, Best Buy wanted $140 minimum to wire around the sub amp. I'm thinking those if those guys seen this mod the would be making a ton of money if they were not completely honest.
 






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