Installing a subwoofer system in your vehicle will give you a much better sound from your stereo. However, it is not easy to install a subwoofer in an automobile due to space restrictions and other complexities; this is the reason subwoofer installation undertakings are hard to carry out. Nevertheless, it is fairly easy to install if you have the right tools and knowledge to carry out the procedure. Here is a step-by-step guide for subwoofer installation in your vehicle.
Step 1: Be ready with the necessary tools and equipment
The most basic requirements are having a subwoofer box, a subwoofer, an amplifier and a wiring kit. You’ll also need wires of different length and gauges: a 20 feet 10 gauge insulated wire, a 3 feet 10 gauge insulated wire, a 15 feet 16-18 gauge wire and RCA cables (more than 15 feet long); if the RCA cable doesn’t have both the red and white connections in it, you’ll need to have two of them. Apart from the parts mentioned above, you’ll also need an in-line fuse of 50 amps or higher, wood screws, speaker wires and a basic tool set.
Depending on the power of your amplifier, the power and ground wires need to be selected; the more powerful the amplifier, the thicker the wires need to be.
Step 2: Selecting the right Subwoofer and Amplifier
This is the step where you have to be very careful when making the choice. Selecting the right speaker and amplifier can be tricky, and you need to consider many factors before making the jump. The two should complement each other and not ruffle the sound produced. You’ll also have to take the size of the speaker into consideration. The subwoofer box that you opt for should have enough space to fit the speaker.
Step 3: Wiring
This is a crucial step of the installation. Always make sure that you draw power directly from the battery and not from the fuse box; the reason for this is to avoid noise produced by the engine. The wiring operation should start with removing the metal firewall under the hood of the car; this is done to run the insulated power cable to the engine compartment where the battery is placed. Strip off the insulated end of the wire and attach the in-line fuse to this end. Don’t connect the wire to the battery as of yet, as it might short it.
The rest of the wire should be run under the carpet to the trunk of the car. Use wiring channels in your floor space if you have any. It is also a good idea to run the 16-16 gauge wire and the RCA cables from the stereo end to the trunk of the car.
Step 4: Connecting the wires to the audio system
First, you need to take out the head of your stereo system by following the instructions provided in your car manual. New stereo systems can easily be slid out after removing the clips provided to hold it in place. Next, you should be able to see the 2 RCA ports at the back of your stereo head unit. Plug the RCA cable connections by running them through the back of the center console. If your stereo doesn’t have a RCA port, you need to splice the wires with the rear speaker wires. It’s suggested that you buy a new stereo unit with RCA port; they are very cheap in the market today.
Then, you must make the stereo out connections. Start by running the 16-18 gauge wire to the center console; this wire switched on the amp when the stereo does too. Next, you need to connect this 16-18 gauge wire with the remote wires; they are usually colored blue. If you can’t find any remote wires, then you need to connect it directly to the fuse box. However, this will keep your amp always on when your car is running; you can hack this by installing a switch to power the amplifier only when necessary.
Step 5: Placing the speaker and the subwoofer
The speaker needs to be put in its box by making sure that it is fitted properly. Make sure that all the connections to the speaker are made and screw it to the box from outside using the holes provided. The subwoofer needs to be placed in the trunk of the car; each subwoofer installation procedure is unique depending on the car and the subwoofer system.
Step 6: Connecting the amplifier and powering up
Once all the connections are in place, it is time to wire the amp. There are totally four main wires that need to be connected to the amp: power cable from the battery, the 16-18 gauge wire, the 3 foot 10 gauge wire and the ground wire. The power cable should be connected to the ‘B+’ or ‘Pos.’ spot on the amp, the 16-18 gauge wire to the ‘Remote’ spot, the 2 foot 10 gauge wire on the ‘B-‘ or ‘Neg.’ spot, and then the ground wire to a bolt fixed to the body of the car.
The speaker wires need to be connected to the amplifier by matching the positive and negative terminals on the speaker end to their equivalent spots on the amplifier. If there is more than one channel for your speaker, then you need to bridge the amplifier to accommodate the connections.
Only after all this is done should you connect the power cable to the battery. Ensure that there is a large fuse present in the fuse holder before connecting the power cable. You can also use a battery clip to make the connection.
Step 7: Testing and Playing the Music
You have finally accomplished what you set out to do. The subwoofer installation is complete and it is time to turn on your system and test whether it is working or now. If there is any problem with the installation, then you need to check the wiring properly.
If everything has gone right, then enjoy the music on your new subwoofer system. There is no better feeling than listening to music on an audio system that you have installed by yourself.