Recently, I installed a car stereo and speakers, amp and sub in my 2006 Chevy Colorado. I’m no professional at this kind of stuff but I am very happy with the way everything turned out. You see, it’s not really that hard. It seems intimidating because it is a big job, but broken down into simpler steps, it is not beyond anyone to get it done. Just be patient, and realize that you will make mistakes along the way, and they can most likely be fixed. Anyway, here’s the video of the Colorado stereo, speakers, amp and sub installation.
Hey everybody, Steve here and I can’t tell you how excited I am about this video. This is going to be really, really, really fun. So, it’s time to start tricking out the Colorado. It’s a 2006 and it doesn’t have any mods to it, nothing, not a single thing. So, we’re going to start on the inside and something I’ve never ever done before is put a big old subwoofer in a car, I’m so excited about this. And then we’re also going to do some 6×9 in the back, it already has some nice five and a quarters. I put those in about a year ago because the factory ones were completely dead and we’re going to go with this Kenwood Exelon d DDX396, which is the bottom of the line touch screen head unit with six outputs. This is what my requirement was and also my other requirement was that I want to be able to listen to music from my phone.
So speaking of those six outlets, there’s RCAs for the front, the backs and a sub; there’s an amplifier kit and the cream de la cream is this Kicker amp. It is a five-channel amp. 4 of the channels are 65 watts and the subwoofer is 300 watts at 2 ohms so that’s going to go into the seat, I hope. And I also got a couple of enclosures for the 6x9s and in addition to those enclosures I also have some speed wire also nine and also known as nine wire.
Incidentally, all of this stuff can be found on Amazon and I’ll leave links to all of this stuff in the description of the video. If you want to replicate this one the only thing that I can think of that you might want to do different is you might want to add, depending on the size of your front speakers, you might want to add some 5 and a quarters.
Alright, so the first thing I’m going to want to do is before I take any this stuff out of the box is I want to test fit in the back of the Colorado because there’s not a whole lot of room there. I measured carefully but you know how that goes so I’ll go check to see if this stuff is going to fit and if so, we’re going to get started with this.
Well, here’s the space that I’ll be dealing with. Not a whole lot of space and I hate to have to get rid of that jack but it’s really the only way to fit the subs and the 6x9s back here. Obviously, I’ll also be giving up having any chance at selling anything back here but I never do anyway so the Jack has got to go and I’ll start test fitting everything.
Okay, so on with my test fitting. This is the widest part of the sub which is going to sit in the middle and instead of just putting the sub back there and then shoving the seats to their most back positions, I found a box that’s exactly the same width as the sub and it’s going to be my test – little styrofoam box and incidentally this is the widest portion of that speaker and then I’ve got another one for the other speaker case. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to put these back there and then I’m going to shed the seats back and see if I scrunch them and if I do, I’ll know I’ll have to either be careful or not to proceed depending on how bad it is.
So, here’s my mock stuff, there’s my mock speaker and my mock sub and my other mock speaker and now I put the seat back and see if it’s squishes and stuff. I’m going to move it back to where I would normally sit and I’m the tallest person in the family so I move the chair back about as far as I ever would and I’ve got plenty of room with the speaker, I got to be careful around the sub and then that side is obviously fine. So now I’m going to shove the seat all the way back. Okay, so I shoved it back, I shoved the seat back as far as it will go to see if it did any damage at all to the styrofoam and it didn’t. Now I’m going to not want to do that with the stuff in there to just be on the safe side but I’m happy to see that all my styrofoam is in perfect shape.
Alright, so here is what it’ll look like once everything is in here for real and I’m gonna put the seat back and just test it again. So, two clicks back further than I’ll ever sit and I still have three quarters of an inch is what that looks like and there’s that.
Alright, so I’m gonna start getting going on this dashboard here but before I want to do any real work, I want to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.
Alright, so basically what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to get to the stereo and this black piece is obviously going our way. So, if you have these tools, it really makes it actually kind of easy and a little less violent on your vehicle and I’ll put a link to where you can get these on Amazon. But I’m just going to pick the one that I think is the best go and just basically left it like that, open it. Is always a good idea to start in the corners, there we go. Okay, also be careful and gentle because wires.
So, as you can see with the big black piece gun now we’re just down to this stuff and there’s going to be two, I guess those are probably 8 millimeters on that side, 1 8-millimeter on that side and then if we need to do the AC stuff we’ll do the AC stuff too. But I’ll start getting to work on those now. Now of course every application is a little bit different and this one has already got an aftermarket stereo on it but once those are done it’s just a matter of pulling it out. It looks very scary but it’s really not that scary. What we’re after is that guy right there which is the aftermarket stereo to the car wire harness. Couple things, we got an antenna; just a few things we need to disconnect here but nothing too terrible.
Alright, so with that radio out this is what we’re looking at right here and upon first inspection the Double DIN is not going to fit with that big piece of metal in the way so I can either bend it backwards or bend it forwards and backwards until it breaks off like that, no big deal. I might have to file that down some.
Alright, so I’m gonna put the sub underneath this chair, I’m gonna pull the chair out that’ll just kind of helped me to be able to see everything. Here’s a bolt with a seat belt on it, it’s the long seat belt that one doesn’t have anything on it and in the front that’s how that one and hopefully that’ll get the seat out and here’s what we look like with the chair out and all I have to do is say yuck and definitely clean that up. I’m gonna have to shave this whole thing, they like putting these little things in there, don’t they? These are pretty high, he got to go. See if the seat will fit so I got to figure out my next move is. Probably this piece right here, maybe the back piece is definitely got to come out.
Okay, so I got to figure out my wiring. I don’t want my power wire to be anywhere near my speaker wires because it will introduce noise so I’ve got to find one path for the power wire and one path for all the other wires.
Alright, I was able to get this piece off by removing the little black tab that was right there and then this piece right here I just use this guy right here and just kind of went around. There’s the last one, like that. I had to take the ball off the step so that we could do this and that’s that. Now I can pull the carpet up and run wires down the middle.
Now I spent the better part of the last hour getting everything out of the car and the carpet is right there and the seats, now there’s one seat, there’s the other seat but you get the picture.
Alright, so first thing we got to do is we got to get this amp cable going from the battery to inside the car which means we got to go through the firewall which means we need to pick a good firewall spot. Because I have clutch I didn’t really see any good places to come in over on the driver side I’m looking to come in on the passenger side. I got a nice lot of uninterrupted space down there where I can just come through the firewall and what I did was I went on the other side, I tapped a punch up against the middle to see where it came through. There’s where they were coming out on the other side so I’m no I’m not going to punch in anything so I feel pretty good about drilling through. Pretty good shape.
So now I’m gonna take a step bit and make the hole bigger, that’s essentially where it’s going to end up in the car. This car has been gutted because I flooded it and the carpet was moldy so I figured this is a good time to pull the carpet out and exchange it or at least let it dry. But here’s what I’m going through. I’m going to use a stepdeck until I get a hold of the size I need and then I’ll feed that cable.
Alright, so you get a nice hole, I’m gonna put a grommet in there and run my wire through it. Alright, so I have decided to go behind the whatever that is, a protective layer of the firewall and I just kind of took it apart right here so that I can run along there and then I’m dropping down. This stuff has got some nasty fiberglass in it. So I’m fitting it on this side and soon as it binds up, I jump around to the other side and it pops down all the way down there and it comes out my nice new grommeted hole. I got enough to go back to the back wall where I think the amp is going to end up, I’m not sure yet. One thing to pay particular attention to is if you see the wire right there it’s touching this heater hose, I’m going to want to either rerouted or protect it and not touch any of that hot stuff there.
It is not essential to take every everything out of the vehicle; however, this thing was left outside overnight and we got about four inches of rain that night and when I opened it up it was just a big puddle of muck, and yuck. So, this has been drying out for several days now and it still kind of stinks but I think by the time I’m ready to put this thing back in it’ll be good to go. So, not essential that you do that but helpful.
I’m looking up from underneath and I am very concerned about my wire being this close to the heater hoses and being essentially there’s exhaust right there. So, I’m going to mark the wire right at the firewall and up there I’m gonna put some protective coating on this wire that will protect it from the heat because nothing’s hooked up right now and even though it’s a pain in the ass deal right now it’ll be a bigger pain in the ass to do it at some point later after the wire melts, so here we go.
Okay, so I had to pull the wire back through the firewall. So, this is my mark right here and then my other mark and what I’m gonna be doing is because that six inch path right there or so is what’s going to be super close to the exhaust, the heater hoses, I’m going to use this DEI fire sleeve and take kit, cut off probably 6 or 8 inches and slide it up the hose to where it’s right there and then reroute the power wire back through the firewall and peace of mind knowing that I did what I needed to do to protect this wire. Alright, so I’ve got the DEI fire tape stuff on and now I’m ready to feed it back through the firewall.
Alright, so now I feel much better about protecting this wire down there. By the exhaust manifold, there’s a manifold right there, there’s the wire, it’s protected now.
So, I’ve determined where I want the amplifier to go and I want easy access to all of that stuff so this is going to go out to the outside and then the power and all the other stuff will go to the inside and there’s a ground right there so there’s that. So, I’ve got it in there and I’ve marked my holes or marked my spots.
Okay, so I’ve got two concurrent situations going on here. Number one is the unleveled terrain even though I took a hammer to it earlier today I wasn’t able to hammer completely flat so I’m still dealing with that. But what I’ve done is I’ve cut this to try to get as close as possible and then I noticed it was sitting really, really high so I’ve got some spacers in there, the spaces are glued down. So, one issue is dealing with the unleveled terrain and the second issue is dealing with the fact that I don’t want to drill into the sheet metal because I just don’t. So what I’ve done with these is and you can see the threads in there. I’ve tapped these so that I can just run a bolt through it and I think that’ll be enough to keep it locked down. So essentially what’s going to happen is these guys are glued down, this guy is going to get glued to these guys and then I’ll be able to put the carpet in and then I’ll just kind of cut in the carpet and my holes will already be there for me measured.
Okay, so I’ve got the stereo out of the box and it is obviously going to go in there. So, I’m going to use this pack right here. The directions were nothing but crap so we’re going to figure it out for ourselves but essentially, this guy goes in here. He’s got a hold on somehow so we’ve got right here, right here we’ve got three places that I can hold on to. So, these two guys right here or these puzzles, 2 of these tabs work and the rest of them you break off. So, let’s go figure it out. And if you look carefully, they do say left and right so at least they are that helpful. Okay, so I’ve determined that I want to use this one right here so I’m gonna break all the rest of them off. I’ve already broken one off in the back and then here I’m gonna break this one off. I’m just going to kind of work it back and forth with the pliers and break it off and I’m not going to do with one hand. So, breaking these tabs is a little nerve wracking so if you have the means to do it I highly recommend using this instead.
Alright, so what I’m doing right now and I’ve already done it a couple of times is test fitting. Before you hook anything up or at least before I hook you anything up I make sure that it fits in the dash and if I were to put this in I’m off by a little bit so I have to make some adjustments. And the way you make those adjustments is with all of your options here, all those little holes. So, as you can see I’m at a pretty good angle right here along this part right there and then on the other side I’m flush. So, I’ve got to loosen the screws and move this around to where it lines up better with the other side and try it again.
Okay, so 4 was the magic number. Just plan to have a lot of patience when you do this part because it’s going to take some wiggling and jigging but it’ll get there.
Alright, so with the radio test fitted it’s time to start wiring everything up and start here with the battery and I’ve got this fuse here we’re going to figure out a location to mount the fuse. Alright, so Now what I’m going to do here is I’m going to put the…that’s the fuse, I’m going to tighten it down now. Alright, so this is all set I’m not gonna hook anything up right now because that wire is inside the car and it is live.
Alright, so with everything taken care of under the hood it’s time to hook up the power and ground. Right yonder, probably upside down that’s where we’re gonna go, that’s where we’re going next. The red is gonna go to 12 volts, the black is gonna go to ground and so that must mean that little one is going to be for our switch power.
Okay, let’s talk about wiring. This is the wire harness that came with the radio or the stereo, whatever you want to call it. Unfortunately, the stereo doesn’t know what kind of car it’s going into. It doesn’t know whether it’s going into a Ford or Chevy or Dodge or a Lamborghini so what we need to do is we need to buy a car specific wiring harness for this to attach to and that looks like this. This one in particular is a Metra 70 -2003 and it is for General Motors cars between 1998 and 2008 and it looks like this. And here’s the good news, if you’re just installing the stereo or the head unit it’s a one for one. For every wire you see over here, red, yellow, black, etc. etc. etc. you’ll see a corresponding wire over here and you just match them up, one for one for one for one and that’s it, period, end of story, you’re done, you’re wired, it’s easy.
Okay, so now I’m going to step up the level of difficulty but just a tiny bit. In some vehicles, for example, my 2006 Colorado. The original wiring harness did not have a switch source which is this red wire right there. So, wiring from the radio through the aftermarket into the car’s system won’t do anything. So, what I’m going to need to do is instead of wiring those two together I’m just going to take this guy right here and now I have to find in the fuse box a switch to source and then running this thicker wire to the fuse box. So, everything else would be just the same. It’s just that I need to find a switch source.
Okay, scenario 3 ups the ante a little bit but still not that difficult. What we’ve got here is we’ve got our car harness and we’ve got our aftermarket harness and all the power stuff is still being connected down. By power stuff, I mean the red which is switched and yellow which is constant and orange which is the dimmer and black which is ground and those sorts of things. But look, the greens, the browns, the purples and the lights are no longer connected. And the reason for that is because I’m adding amp to the system. So, what I’m going to be doing is from the amplifier, I’m going to be wiring this. This is called speed wire. There’s actually 9 wires in there and it’s all 8 wires for the speakers and then one extra wire for a switched source. And essentially what this is going to do is this end right here which I haven’t done anything with is going to go into the back of the amplifier and the rest of it is going to find its way back up to the wire harness. Because I’m putting in an amplifier I’m not going to be needing the four wires from the radio, I will be using those, I’ll be using these instead. So instead of connecting the radio speaker stuff to the aftermarket speaker stuff I’m going to be connecting the amplifier speaker stuff to the aftermarket. Because remember, on the other end of this is the car so we need to tell the car to drive the speakers. Once we add an amp, all of that information is going to be coming from the amp. So that’s the amplifier, telling the speakers what to do. And the speakers getting connected to here and going through there and right where my finger is there’s going to be wires specifically to the speakers because think about it the speakers already work with the factory radio, all we’re doing is tapping into it right here. So, I’ve already got wires going to all four speakers, that will be eight wires. Now, there’s one piece missing here and that is the RCA cables. I’m going to be running RCA cables from the back of the radio itself which is not pictured here and those are going to go directly to the amplifier.
Alright, so we’ve got our power wire taken care of. We’ve got our ground grounded and then we’ve got to get power switch power to this thing, which we’re going to do this speed wire or nine wire rather.
Alright, so If my wiring is correct when we turn the key the radio should come on and it does but it is upside down, it comes on that’s a good thing. Alright, that’s part A. Okay, so step two is seeing if we’ve got switched to the amp. I’m gonna go ahead and touch it, I’m touching it. Anything?
I’m gonna take it off.
So what does it do? It goes red then green?
Yep, it’s green.
It’s green right now?
So, we have power to the amp, power to the radio and its switched power so now it’s time to run some more wires.
Okay, so we’ve got power to the amp and power to the radio but we’re not going to get any sound until they start talking to each other. So essentially, what we’re going to do is we’re going to run these RCA cables from the back of the radio right there and we’re going to run them to the amplifier actually, on the other side. We also want to hear sound through our speakers so that’s what this speed wire does and we’re running it into the speed wire and that speed wire is going to go to here and all the decisions are going to be made here as far as the speakers are concerned. So, we’ve got power to the amp, ground to the amp, that middle one right there is switched power which is part of the 9-wire, it’s the ninth wire and then all of our speakers. That just means so that means that everything’s going to get run through the amp before it gets to the speakers and that’s the whole purpose of why we got an amp in the first place but we need them talking to each other.
Okay, quick word about wiring. All the RCAs are plugged in and I tried to send everything over the big piece of metal because the vast majority of these connections are going to be above that piece of metal and I didn’t want to get them all bound up. So now it’s just a matter of shoving this all back up in there and bolting it down but I am not going to do that, no way, what I need to do is I need to finish the rest of my connections and I’m going to test everything, make sure everything works and that everything is good and then and only then will I put the head unit and its place. That’ll be probably the last thing that I do. So next I’ve got all those RCA cables are going to find their way to the other side of the amplifier and my speed wire is going to go to all of those guys right there and then we should be able to turn it on and hear some speakers. Okay, so something weird about this 2006 Colorado is that the stock stereohas noswitch power in it. Apparently, it’s all done through the computer, I guess, because there was no switch power so, I had to go through the firewall again. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to tap a fuse and the fuse box and this car has no interior fuse box unfortunately. So, I found a switched fuse right there and what I’m going to do is this red wire, this guy right here is actually I’ve got my little fishing thing. I got my fisher going through the firewall right down there, you can see it below the red wire. It’s now inside the car so I’m gonna take it from this end right here and I’m going to take the heck out of this wire to that guy right there and slowly pull it back through and hopefully, it will go through, we’ll see.
Alright, I’ve been trying to get a handle on the wiring. I got the 9-ire and all the RCAs coming down this side and going in I got to clean that up as soon as I figure out how much access I have. I’ve taken this all down kind of planning my route and then on the other side I’ve got the power. So, power coming down that side of the car and then coming around here and going into there because you don’t want to have your power and your RCA cables, you want to keep them separated as much as you possibly humanly can so it doesn’t offer any interference. So, we’re kind of clean. I got my power wire from the fuse box and I still got to throw up there and then the monster. It’s actually pretty much all wired up at the exception of that temporary one but yeah, got that to do and the biggest hardest part is fitting it all back in there.
Alright, so I made a little bit of progress. I said earlier, I wasn’t gonna put it back in but I put it back in because I needed to test everything and make sure that it worked and everything works. So, I think I’m just gonna kind of leave it there for now, I’m not going to bolt it down but it’s in.
Okay, so as far as the wiring of the speakers is concerned, all the front speakers, the grays and the whites are done and the red the black is the sub. I called an audible on the rear speakers because this car never had rear speakers before. Instead of using the purples and the greens from the speed wire I just wired directly to the amp. So, this is all waiting to be hooked up but I got to get the carpet in here and figure out if it’s going to work or if it’s going to be an epic fail.
The carpet is going down. Alright, so with the help of a couple of assistance it’s in and now I must commence the cutting. So, I know that this is an edge right here so I’m going to start there and try not to cut any the wires below. So here we are with the carpet back in and it’s a little rough around the amp but really there’s a chair going to go over this anyway so nobody will ever see it and I still have some good access if I ever need it and of course, you definitely want access to this side right here to dial it in and that will still be accessible even when the chair gets put back in. I got to figure out how to mount the sub and the back speaker so they don’t jump all around.
Okay, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m gonna go ahead and install these speakers in the speaker boxes and then it’s just a matter of getting back in the trunk and figuring out how to secure everything. These ends go the speaker but they left these like this that so you could do with them what you want to do with them and I’m just going to solder them to the back here. So as soon as the iron heats up I’m gonna make those connections and then we just screw them in.
alright we’ve got these taken care of. They look rather handsome if I do say so myself, on to the next. Okay, so the maximum width at the bottom is the width of the subwoofer which is 8 inches and there’s a little over four feet in the car and this is a 4-feet piece so I’m just going to go ahead and measure 8 inches and rip it.
Okay, I have carpeted, a piece of wood for the sub and the other speakers to sit on and I’m thinking I’ll Velcro the stuff on the top and then on the bottom I think I’ll use magnets so that this thing stays put and then that way when I need to pull it up, if I need to pull it up, I can just pull it right up. I pulled the carpet back and I’m just going with magnets and hitting the metal so I’m gonna add a few more magnets.
Alright, so there is the shelf with the magnets, it worked good. Okay, it’s reality check time, I have got everything for the very first time ever all plugged in and I want to run a test to make sure that everything’s working because I’m not looking forward to putting that seat back in and I’m going to yank all this stuff out before I put the seat back in.
Alright, so everything works, everything looks good. I’m going to go ahead and start putting the car back together starting with that.
I’ve been stalling for at least a half hour listening to music but it’s time to put my big boy pants on and get the seat back in which has really been scaring me because of how close it’s going to come to this amp. And this is why I was so concerned. I’ve got a millimeter, maybe, but it’s in. Now u got to bolt the seat down but that should be the last scary part and just because I’ve had these things in and out so many times I’m gonna hit up some Blue Loctite.
Alright, so there is the shelf with the magnets, worked good. It’s not going anywhere at all, that’s locked in there good. Now I’m going to Velcro and get these speakers in there and go for a drive.
All right, so there it is, everything is put back in the car and there’s the stereo and how it looks in its spot and then back here this is how all this ended up on all pretty clean. And I guess the obvious question is how does it sound? And I always get a kick out of people who build 50,000 watt car stereo systems and then record the audio with their cell phone and say this is how it sounds. Obviously, we can’t capture how great it sounds because it does sound amazing. But in an effort to try to capture the sound I’m going to switch to my Sony, my task cam and my road and that’s how I’m going to record the audio. Now I’ve got to switch cameras.
Alright, with this one I’m gonna try to push the base a little.
Alright, so at this point I haven’t listened to the audio yet so I hope the audio is able to at least somewhat capture how amazing it sounds because it does truly sound amazing. I highly recommend upgrading your stereo system, it’s fun to do and the sound is just amazing. I’ll have links to everything that you’ve seen in this video down below, links to Amazon so that you can get the same or similar items. Also, if you like what you saw, please comment, like and especially subscribe if you want notifications for future videos and I’ve got dozens and dozens of new videos coming out. Also hit the little bell that will give you a notification when I release a new video. So, this is it. I’m Steve. Hope you enjoyed, see ya.