Most people are afraid of the idea of wiring a car stereo and speakers, amp and sub, but don’t fear! This video is not done by a lifetime professional installer who’s forgotten what it’s like for this stuff to be hard. Nope, I’m just a DIY’er who figured it all out, understands the challenges to a beginner, and laid it all out so a beginner can understand. Hope you enjoy the video.
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. And something I’ve never ever done before is put a big old subwoofer in a car. I’m so excited about this. We’re also going to do some 6×9 in the back. It already has some nice 5 and a quarter, 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; 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.
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 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. 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; they’re still doing exactly what they were doing in the previous example. But look, the greens the browns, the purples and the whites are no longer connected and the reason for that is because I’m adding an 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 nine wires in there and it’s all eight 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 won’t 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 8 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. So right now, I’m ready to start joining my wires up and for that I’m going to use solder and I’ll catch you back on the other side.
Okay, so I’ve finished soldering and covering up all these lines going into the speed wire and then over here on the other side I’ve got the yellow and the orange and the black. The red I kept off from here and all these guys I kept off as well so that I wouldn’t have any chances of shorting anything and then I bundled this up because I’m gonna have to figure that out when I get down to the car. But as far as the wiring is concerned, wiring should be good to go.
Alright, so I really want you to come away from this with it being crystal clear so let’s take a look at it pictorially. What you’re looking at right now is a stock factory situation where you’ve got a factory stereo which has got wires behind it, which is basically driving 4 speakers. And what I want to show you is what we need to do to add a five-channel amplifier which is going to be here and a subwoofer, which is going to be here. So, let’s take a look at it.
Okay, so we’ve added some stuff. Basically, this big, huge fat red wire is the power wire because we need to run power directly from the battery to the amp. This black line here is the ground for the amp. The next thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to run these RCA wires directly from the back of our aftermarket stereo to our amplifier so that we’re basically sending the signals from the head unit or the stereo to the amps so that the amp can make all the decisions. And with that, your aftermarket stereo is going to have its own harness that we’re going to need to buy an aftermarket harness which is specific to our vehicle, which is right here. Okay, so we also talked about this speed wire or we also call it the 9-wire which is basically taking all of the information for the speakers and sending it back into our harness so that we can drive all of our speakers from the amplifier. So, this represents a shortcut in doing all of this because you don’t need to rerun any speaker wires. Now for those of you in the know, you can also run the speaker wire directly from the amplifier if you wanted to rewire everything. I hope this makes that a little bit clearer for you.
I hope you enjoyed this video. Hope you found it informative and if so please like, comment and subscribe. I’ve got dozens and dozens of more car related videos coming up so feel free to click on the little bell, you’ll get notifications every time I come out with a new video. So once again, hope it helped and I’ll see you in the next video.