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My Speaker and amp upgrade

16788 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  BobMAz
Hi guys and gals,

So after all the reading, questions, more reading, looking for the components, waiting, spending money and waiting for them to arrive, finally everything came in. I started the upgrade almost two months ago and I think I am almost done, minus a couple of future changes.

The beginning, looking for the components;

1-JL Audio 500/1
1-JL Audio 450/4
1-JL Audio Cleansweep Sound processor
2-JL Audio 10W3v2D4 Subwoofers
1 pr-Infinity Kappa 692.9i2-Way speakers 6x9
1 pr-Infinity Kappa 62.9i 2-Way Speakers, 6-1/2
1 pr-Infinity Kappa 32.9cf, 2-way Speakers, 3.5"
1-PAC AOEM-CHR3 Integration Unit
1st-Stinger XTC Baffles
Misc wiring and supplies.

Took almost 2 weeks to get everything, as soon as everything arrived I dove into the project, but since I work 12-14 hour days I can only do a little at a time and mostly on weekends;

First order of business, dash speakers. I can honestly say that it was easy removing the panel, however, I was scared as hell of breaking it. There are quite a few clips (10) that just unsnap as you pry up on the panel, take your time. Once you remove the panel, remove the stock paperweights. At this point I ran my new speaker wire since I am going to be using the new Amplifier. I just cut wire lengths and set them on the side, (If you are using the stock HU, use the speaker adaptors, available at your choice audio supplier). Once done, I installed and wired the new Kappas (pict 5).

Hint; Start at the center and as close to the clip as possible (picts 1,2,3), please use the Interior Trim Kit, it will save you a lot of headaches. Pict 4, what a diference in quality. Pict 5, A must Tool

Next installment, the HU and wiring, stay tuned!

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wiring the Stock Head Unit

Taking the HU trim is pretty straight forward and has been discussed in several posts, I will only touch on the important points and relevant to my install.

Hints: Roll down your windows, go to the trunk and disconnect the negative battery terminal before you do anything else.

Again, using the trim kit tools I carefully pried of the bezel, there are 8 clips in total, 3 top, 3 bottom and 2 on each side. Once removed disconnected all the plugs for the AC controls (3 plugs on my car). Lay a towel over your console to protect it, set the bezel aside and start by removing the 4 #2 Phillip's screws from the HU. Once removed, you can pull and slide the HU straight out, do not force it and remember there are a couple of wire harnesses' connected in the back (pict 2). Once out, unplug all the connectors, antenna and Satellite plugs.

At this point I connected my new wiring harness **(PAC AOEM-CHR3 Integration Unit, Pict 1) to the main car harness and to the back of my Head Unit. Again I ran lengths of speaker wire and hooked them to the speaker outputs from the harness and ran them behind the HU and set them to the side (The beauty of this, is that you don't have to cut or alter your original harness Pict 3). I then connected all plugs, reinstalled the HU, and replaced the bezel.

**This is a two piece harness that has a 4 channel RCA audio output for adding aftermarket amplification. It also includes a switched power lead, which I also ran a length of wire and set to the side. I am using the Cleansweep so I just didn't use the converter and only used the harness section, this gave me the speaker outputs where I hooked my new speaker wires.

Next installment: Door and Rear Speakers. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Door Speaker Install

Hi again,

This will be the third post describing my experiece while up-grading my sound system. Keep in mind that there might be better ways of doing it and this is just my personal experience. Read, read and read some more before you begin or try any install, that is my advise. If this write-up helps you in anyway it will be a plus.

Again, removing the door panels is pretty straight forward and has been discussed in several posts, I will only touch on the important points and relevant to my install.
The front door panels are held in place by 7 push pin clips and 5 s#2 screws. There are 3 push pin clips on the panel towards the front of the vehicle and 4 of on the panel towards the rear. Also 3 #2 srews on the bottom of the panel and 2 more, one by the door handle and one behind the doorpull. These 2 screws are covered with a plastic cap that needs to be removed to access them.

Once you remove the screws, continue to the push pin clips. These are removed by pushing in the center, as you push the center you will hear/feel a pop, at this point, with the trim tool come in from the side with the most leverage and carefully pry the clip out. Once all clips are out, there are 5 Clips holding the door panel to the door frame, starting at the top corner near the lock knob pull the door panel towards you and you will feel the clips start to release. Continue along the topb then sides, and bottom until the panel is free. Disconnect the wire plugs for the door controls and the lock and finally disconnect the lock rod. Set the door panel to the side.

Once this was done I removed the speakers, there are 4 screws holding them to the door. I ran my lengths of speaker wire through the doors inside the rubber sleeve and into the cab setting them aside for the next steps. I then cut one of the baffles in half and used it as a moisture hood, plugged in and secured the new speakers (Pict 1). I installed the door panels and moved on to the rear speakers.
Next installment: Rear Speakers. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Rear Speaker Install

Tip; Start by disconnecting the negative battery cable if not done already, dont forget the windows down. The rear speaker screws are removed with the specialty tool (Pict#1)

Again, the rear panel removal and speaker replacemen thas been discussed in several posts, I will only touch on the important points and relevant to my install.
Move both front seats forward and lower the rear seats, this gives you access to the clips that need to be removed ,and will give will a lot of room in the back that will be needed.
There are 4 Retaining Clips we will need to be removed. they're on the right and left as you face the trunk from inside the car. As you look at the seat latches just to their inside will be a large plastic retaining clip. These clips hold the rear deck panel upholstery in place (Pict #2). Slide your trim tool under the head of the clip and gently pry up, once removed set it aside.

The other retaining clip is a bit smaller and there is one on each side, they hold the rear door panel to the that same piece, using the trim tool, do the same to these clips. Keep the size location in mind for reinstallation. Once the clips are removed the rear deck panel is ready to be removed.
Removing the deck is a pain, I had to remove the rear panels so it made it easier. There are a few clips holding the rear panel but they get removed similar to the door panels, just make sure to remove the door sills before the panels, the rocker is anchored with a #2 Phillips Screw.
Don't pull it all the way out, all you need is enough clearance to slide the rear deck panel down and out of the way. Once out of the way, you will see the speakers. Each of these speakers are held in place with 3 #2 Phillips Screws, remove the screws and lift the speaker up and disconnect the factory wiring. At this point, I also ran lengths of new speaker wire since I am installing an amp, I just tape off the factory harness, I did this for the dash and door speakers also. I had to modify the adaptor ring that came with the Kappas, basically, just drilled 3 new holes screw the speakers to the adaptors and then I installed the speakers on the rear tray with 3 original #2 Phillips Screws.
Since I am upgrading the speaker, I put down some sound deadener. This will help reduce rattles and vibrations. Now slide the rear deck panel back into place in the reverse order in which it came out. Unfortunatly, I lost all the pictures I took during these steps but you can find pictures from other members, like "AirmanPika" on the stycky posts.

In regards to the rear panels and door sills, I left them out for the next step which was the wiring. Stay tuned!
 

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Lookin' good. Do you have any pictures of the inside of the door panel, or the backside of the panels themselves? I'm going to be tackling something similar in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wiring

As stated in the past post, I didn't want to use the original speaker wiring so I ran 6 sets of speaker wire lengths (2 dash, 2 doors and 2 rear speakers).
From the dash and doors I routed he the wires under the door sills, then behind the rear panels and then to the trunk. There is plenty of room in the channel under the sill, where you can route them and they are far away from the power wires and the other wire harness. Once all the wire was routed I replaced the rear panels and sills.

The new speaker wires from the rear speakers got routed to the trunk, where they were paired up with the speaker wires from the doors and the dash. Then it was time to make a wire harness from PAC AOEM-CHR3 speaker harness, the one I had connected from the HU, I ran it all the way to the trunk including the remote turn on wire (The reason I did that, is the speaker output from the HU is going straight into the Cleansweep Sound Processor, the sound processor is then remotely turned on when the HU is powered).

The Cleansweep sends the clean signal to the amps where the signal is amplified and sent to the new speakers. (See the attached diagram for details, this is the only way I can explain it, Pict #1). The 2 amps and the sound processor were mounted on a board that I built to cover the rear of the trunk where the sub box would be mounted (Pict #2&3), I carpeted to match the grey color in the trunk. I routed all the wires (speaker harness, power and ground) to the amps with all the power coming from distribution blocks connected to the battery and the chassis ground.

(I used #0 gauge wire from the battery and ground to the distribution blocks and #2 gauge from there to the amps). The #0 wire from the ground and battery is routed under the trunk cover, I drilled 2 holes on the cover for the wire to pass through to the amp panel and into the distribution blocks.

I constructed a box to house the Subs, the box fits nicely in between the wheel wells and still allows for plenty of trunk space (Pict #4). (At the time I was still waiting for the JL 10W3v2D4 Subs, so I used what I had available, a pair of 12' Sony Explodes). The size of the box is matched to the JL subs but I used a different front to accommodate the 12'Sony's for the time being. As soon as I get time I will replace the face and install the JL's. I wired the sub box directly to the JL500/1, the dash, door and rear speakers are hooked up to the JL 450/4.

Tips: Disconnect the battery, roll down the windows, double check your wiring for polarity, specially battery (+) and ground (-), take your time, solder all connections and in case I forgot READ, READ and READ some more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lookin' good. Do you have any pictures of the inside of the door panel, or the backside of the panels themselves? I'm going to be tackling something similar in a few weeks.
Hey Ceri,
Unfortunately I lost most of the install pictures, the only ones left are the ones that I took with my phone, the other ones were taken with a camera and for some reason the card was wiped out. I'll send you a pm with some link where you can see some pictures you might be able to use,
Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Testing The New System

When I bought my Challenger I wasn't looking for a nice stereo system, as a matter of fact, I didn't even think about the stereo until I got on the road for the 2 hour drive home from the dealer. Right away I knew that there was something missing, I felt disappointed in the purchase of the new vehicle, especially after spending so much money on it, then I realized that I didn't buy the car for the stereo and began making plans for an up-grade.

I looked at the dealer up-grades and in my opinion, the money you can spend on them will get you a competition system somewhere else (OK, I am exaggerating, but for half of one of those systems you can put together a really nice sounding system).

My plan of attack was to keep the OEM Head Unit, why?, you might ask, I like it, and it has all the options that I wanted, only thing missing is the GPS and I already have a GARMIN, save some money there. The question was how to make the system sound good without going overboard with thumping sound. I am not a sound engineer, all I know is that I needed something better and replacing the speakers was the first thing on the list, but good speakers need power to sound good, ok add an amplifier, easy enough, however, what about the bass? No problem, install 2 amplifiers. Good up to this point, the more I read the more I realized that it wouldn't be so easy due to the fact that the HU didn't have RCA outputs and that I needed to convert the signal before sending it to the amps. Everything I read directed me away from a line converter due to the dirty signal. Well, next step a sound processor.

I started looking and asking around for a way to integrate the stock HU with aftermarket sound processor and amplifiers, I was dead set in not modifying the stock wiring harness, some people thought I was nuts and they all recommended replacing the stock HU to avoid any problems, some other people told me that it was impossible to do. I knew that there had to be a way. I have a friend that I didn't know used to be an installer, and he heard me talking about it. He asked me what I was trying to do and recommended what to do and what not to do. Long story short, that's how I ended up with my system.

Once all the wiring was connected and all components secured, it was time to hook up the battery, no sparks and no blown fuses, so far so good. I turned the HU on and all the components came on, at this point it was time to calibrate the Cleansweep. Following the instructions, I inserted the disc and all the lights on the Cleansweep came on, telling me that it was ready to go. As I turned the volume louder I could hear that there was a problem, one of the channels wasn't working. Since this was a used amp, I assumed that it was blown, but after checking all the plugs and connections I found a bad cable. I replaced the cable and all was good. The sound came alive as I calibrated the amps.

I have full control with the HU, left-right, front-rear, bass, mids and trouble, and I can control my Ipod, plus I have control of the sub volume. I did notice that if I crank it up too loud I get the dimming lights, now I know that the big three up-date is in my future. The quality and sound is great, clear and way better than it was. I do think I overdid it with the amps and subs, I could have used smaller amps and subs and gotten away with it, but now I have plenty of power for any up-grades.

Another problem I notice is that when the bass hits low, the open trunk light comes on the dash and the trunk light turns on, I haven't checked on this yet, I hope I can find a solution.

OK, so was it worth it? yes, I am very happy. Most of the components were used and I got them at a good price, I spent a lot of time on this but it's what I like doing! I can't complaint.

I hope I didn't bore you with my ranting, it was after all a long post. Thank you,

dart_man440.
 

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Another problem I notice is that when the bass hits low, the open trunk light comes on the dash and the trunk light turns on, I haven't checked on this yet, I hope I can find a solution.
Let me know if you find a fix for this too. I'm running my subs IB, but the lid still has a bit of play in it at higher volumes. I don't want to accidentally look like I'm blastin' the bass at stop lights. I'm not getting an indicator light, but I'm not pumping the hip hop either.

...and the only word I've got for that neon is "cute". :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me know if you find a fix for this too. I'm running my subs IB, but the lid still has a bit of play in it at higher volumes. I don't want to accidentally look like I'm blastin' the bass at stop lights. I'm not getting an indicator light, but I'm not pumping the hip hop either.

...and the only word I've got for that neon is "cute". :D
LOL!!!! The neon is my daughter's,
 

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Nice set up! Just curious--why did you place the subs towards the interior of the car? In the systems I've installed, I've always felt the bass sounded better when facing towards the trunk. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but just wondering why you did it that way.
 

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If you seal it off it will be louder facing in.
 

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As stated in the past post, I didn't want to use the original speaker wiring so I ran 6 sets of speaker wire lengths (2 dash, 2 doors and 2 rear speakers).

I have an aftermarket HU in my R/T and used the PAC C2R-CHY4 harness adapter. Mine came with the 6 speaker BA and 276W Amp. I've already replaced the factory speakers.

A continuing problem I have is no fader control to the rear speakers due to the control wiring between the factory HU and Amp, so I'm planning to run new speaker wires directly from the HU to the speakers during the Christmas Holiday.

Do you have any tips on how you ran the new wires to the door speakers? I'm trying to prepare for how I can run the wires through the door harnesses.

I've installed a reverse camera, I don't think I'm going to have any problems with the rear deck wiring, door sills, etc.

Thanks,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bob,
Running new wire is not hard, just time consuming. I sent you a PM with a link, halfway down it shows how to run the wire through the rubber boot on the door, take your time and let me know if you need anything else,
Rob.




I have an aftermarket HU in my R/T and used the PAC C2R-CHY4 harness adapter. Mine came with the 6 speaker BA and 276W Amp. I've already replaced the factory speakers.

A continuing problem I have is no fader control to the rear speakers due to the control wiring between the factory HU and Amp, so I'm planning to run new speaker wires directly from the HU to the speakers during the Christmas Holiday.

Do you have any tips on how you ran the new wires to the door speakers? I'm trying to prepare for how I can run the wires through the door harnesses.

I've installed a reverse camera, I don't think I'm going to have any problems with the rear deck wiring, door sills, etc.

Thanks,
Bob
 

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Hi Dartman,or anyone else that has some tips. I have looked all through the forum and can't find any detailed information and pics on running my new front speaker wires down the doors seals.. I am about to do the same thing as Bob. I would love to have any link on doing this. I plan on tapping into my stock head unit front speaker wires down by kick panel to run to my amp in the trunk. I am curious of what panels will have to be removed and the easiest way to fish my speaker line out to my amp and the return amped speaker wire. I was thinking of going down by door seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Dartman,or anyone else that has some tips. I have looked all through the forum and can't find any detailed information and pics on running my new front speaker wires down the doors seals.. I am about to do the same thing as Bob. I would love to have any link on doing this. I plan on tapping into my stock head unit front speaker wires down by kick panel to run to my amp in the trunk. I am curious of what panels will have to be removed and the easiest way to fish my speaker line out to my amp and the return amped speaker wire. I was thinking of going down by door seals.
Hi there,
I sent you a PM with some information, I hope it helps. If you have any other questions let me know and I will do my best to help you,
Rob.
 

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I'd be glad to help also. Post up if you have any questions.
 

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Thanks Rob,
I am wanting to keep the stock stereo..to keep theives away and because I'm cheap..and the stereo eq works well.has auxillary..everything I need.... I have already installed a 4 channel pioneer Continuous Power Output (2 O, = 1% THD+N) 90 Watts x . I am about to install infinity Kappa 6x9 110 rms for my front doors. I already installed the rear 6.5 Kappas. I mainly listen to 80s rock..and like a tight base..so I didn't go with any subs..i like it old school..
Yea I installed a loc for my rear speakers that has the remote cut off built into it..I plan on running just 16 gauge speaker wire to my front speakers and from the head unit..and plan on finding the wire from it at the kick plate and connecting from there and run it with my amped wire route..along the door sill/floor sill..
I originally thought I could just install the 2 rear speakers and amp..and I could just fade away front front stock speakers..and that would be economical and good enough..not to mention easy to do..and I think if I would have cut out the rear mount and added some 6x9s there , I may have pulled it off...but i decided to replace front stocks with Kappas..
But basically I was hoping to see some illustrations on how they pulled the new speaker wired threw the door..and pics of where they drilled into the white plastic..and what besides the floor sills must be removed in order to fish my wire to the back with a clothes hanger..and the best spots to fish it in..
Thanks so much for the links..every bit helps, to keep make it easier and not tear up things. Any tips you have are much appreciated.
Lonnie
 

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Sorry for the delay, I sent you a PM.

Bob.
 
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