OK its time to tie it all together! Doing a comprehensive audio system upgrade is a lot of work, especially if you're doing it right, so the pay off is once you finally have your new headunit installed. Now we have a source signal, can test the PAC SWI-RC is working with the steering wheel controls, test the reverse camera, power the amps and listen to the speakers finally!
Parts Used: Metra Turbo Dash Kit 95-8902
Ready for some fun? We're install a set of Hertz Energy ESK 165.5 component speakers in the doors, re-using the OEM tweeter mounts and installing the crossover networks in the doors!
Then we're sound deadening the speaker baffle & door skins to cut down on vibrations and road noise.. and we're not doing a traditional "plaster every surface" install to show that with correct application in the right places you can get good SQ gains without the weight or cost penalties. Not as effective as covering each metal surface with 2 layers, but lighter and cheaper.
THEN we mount a Hertz Energy 8" Passive subwoofer to the back of the backseats. This neat little system is super compact and packs a punch! The 10" passive radiator, which is effectively a subwoofer with the motor removed, allows for good low end extention from the tiny 8" woofer. It also allows a very compact enclosure size, whilst it being sealed eliminates port chuff entirely.
1. Check your doors for screws before attempting to remove the panel. Ours had 2 hidden under the switch panel.
2. You only need to mark & measure the sound deadener for one side. Once laid face down it can be the template for the other side!
3. Check the polarity of your connections, trace should be negative.
4. Check the attenuators for the tweeters are matched. If in doubt for settings, start with 0dB and adjust later if neccessary (+dB = Louder, -dB = Quieter).
5. Keep in mind bright & loud tweeters fatigue the ears faster.
6. There's a foam pad behind the door card for the Forester where the crossover is mounted. You might like to add foam to prevent knocking sounds from the crossover.
7. The back seats recline, so we reclined the seat as far as it would go before marking the mounting position for the subwoofer. This retained the reclining function.
BONUS VIDEO ! Hear the difference between a sound deadened door and a factory one!
Reduce road noise, increase listening pleasure, sound deadening is a win win situation
Probably the most popular item to upgrade on the road to serious sound, installing amplifiers is a much discussed topic. There's plenty of ways to do it, here's just one of them.
1. Match the gauge of your power run & ground cable.
2. Leave the power cables disconnected until you've finished connecting everything else! Power to the amps is the very last step before turning on the system.
3. Keep the fuse within 18" of the battery ! The fuse is there to prevent fires incase of an accident.
4. Keep the ground 18" or shorter.
5. Consider installing a new ground from the battery to the chassis (not shown in this video).
6. Ring terminals can be soldered, or beat them flat with a hammer.
7. Clean your ground point, even if using the seat bolts. You need a good metal on metal contact
8. The gains were set to the 10 o'clock position, which is usually a good match for a 4V headunit. Crossovers set to Pass Through as the headunits active crossovers are being used instead.
If you have an in-dash touchscreen you may as well take full advantage right? You'll probably be wanting to install your own reverse camera, and have it fully functional.
1. In the Subaru the wire tapped is used to turn on the reverse lights. Its Brown/Yellow, in the passengers kick panel, and on the top plug. You'll need to unplug all the cables to get at it.
2. Using a twisted pair RCA, one of the pair is used to power the camera. These are low amperage camera's so this small gauge is fine (check out PoE IP cameras).
3. Use a relay to turn the camera off. The trigger signal is the same you'll use to switch the headunit over automatically. The relay & camera ground can be spliced together and attached to chassis or factory wiring. Power should be from a permanant 12V source. The output connects to cable running back to the camera.
4. Zip tie the RCA to the factory harness where possible for a safe clean install.
5. Make a fishing rod from an old wire coat hanger, heavy duty zip tie or antenna.
Thats right! Part 1 in our audio install series. In this video we're pre-building a plug & play harness to install a touchscreen & steering wheel control interface, connected to the factory harness.
This makes the job of installing the new unit easier; with a tidy professional result and eliminates potential wiring glitches. Well worth spending the extra $30 for the adapter plug & joiners.
1. Buy quality crimpers and side cutters, after breaking/throwning your 3rd blunt cheap pair you could have paid for them and they'll last a lifetime
2. Grab a few rolls of quality electrical tape, you'll be using a lot of it for making harnesses
Parts Used: Metra 70-7552 wiring harness, 40-NI12 Antenna Cable, Pioneer AVH-X2700BS wiring harness, PAC SWI-RC & harness is what we're using; the Metra part number will obvious change depending on the make/model/year of your vehicle.