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STEREOS AND SPEAKERS

Tool and Material Checklist:

  • Safety glasses or goggles 
  • Wire nuts
  • Screwdriver 
  • Open-ended or box
  • Tape measure wrench
  • Spacer washers 
  • Drill
  • Sheet metal screws 
  • Saber saw
  • Electrical tape

Anyone who appreciates good car audio is aware of the difference between a factory-installed system and one that is custom designed. Not only are factory systems priced quite high (routinely $800 and up), but even so-called 'deluxe sound" systems can't beat the high quality you can achieve by installing your own name-brand components. This booklet offers general instructions for setting up a complete car audio system. However, always read the instructions provided by the stereo and speaker manufacturers, since specific installation procedures vary from brand to brand, And on older cars, always check for polarity.

GETTING READY

Observe the following basic safety rules when installing a stereo system:

Engage the parking brake.

Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes when working with drills or any other power tools.

Remove all jewelry from your hands.

To prevent accidental short circuits, disconnect the car battery.

NOTE: Disconnecting the battery on cars equipped with a trip or navigational computer will cause all electronic memory settings previously registered on the computer to fade out. Do not disconnect the battery on this type of car; instead, use caution in installing the stereo and in wiring the connections

WIRING

The way in which the receiver is wired varies. A typical arrangement such as the one that follows will help to familiarize you with the basic setup for any system, but for specific instructions, always refer to the installation manual that comes with the unit.

There are three main connections on the back of a standard receiver: the antenna lead, the pre-amp out lead, and the slot for the power/speaker connector.

The pre-amp out lead gives you the ability to upgrade your sound system. Most basic receivers rarely offer more than six watts. The pre-amp out lead makes it possible to bypass the receiver's built-in amp in favor of a more powerful separate amplifier.

NOTE: When connecting an amplifier with a brand name that is different from that of the receiver, a special adapter may be needed.

The slot on the back of the receiver accommodates a 12-pin connector.

Pin A is designated for the power lead (red). It connects either to the radio power line of the car or to the ION or ACC terminal of the fuse block. Pin B is designated for the battery lead (yellow). This lead provides a continuous supply of power to the memory circuit regardless of the on/off position of the ignition key. It connects to the BAT terminal on the fuse block.

Pin C is designated for the ground lead (black). The fork-type terminal on the end of the lead slides under the head of a screw that is grounded to a metallic part of the car.

Pin D is designated for the automatic antenna relay (blue). This is a relay control lead for a fully automatic antenna only. It is not intended for use with a switch-actuated power antenna. Pins E through L are all designated for speaker leads.

Following are additional wiring tips:

The speaker impedance should be 4 to 8 ohms. if the impedance is too small or too large, it will affect the output and can damage the speakers or receiver.

The speaker cord and any power amplifier should be kept at least 1 full foot away from the antenna and antenna extension cord.

Do not connect the power leads until the other connections have been made.

Be sure to connect the battery lead (yellow) to the positive terminal of the battery or the out terminal on the fuse block.

Insulate any exposed wiring with electrical tape to protect it from a possible short circuit to the car chassis.

TWO-SPEAKER SYSTEM

When hooking up two speakers to the receiver, the following connections should be made:

1. Connect the + lead for both the front left and rear left speakers to the + lead of one left speaker.

2. Connect the lead for both the front left and rear left speakers to the lead of the other left speaker.

3. Connect the + lead for both the front right and rear right speakers to the + lead of one right speaker.

4. Connect the lead for both the front right and rear right speakers to the lead of the other right speaker.

NOTE: Use wire nuts to connect the speaker cords to their proper leads.

FOUR-SPEAKER SYSTEM

When hooking up four speakers to the receiver, connect each of the 4 + leads to its respective + speaker lead. Connect each of the 4 leads to its respective speaker lead. Use wire nuts to connect the speaker cords to their proper leads.

NOTE: When hooking up only three speakers, follow the same method as for a four-speaker system, but insulate the extra leads.

RECEIVER INSTALLATION

On most domestic cars, the receiver control shafts must be fixed precisely 5-13/1 6" apart. However, some domestic cars and many imports must have the control shafts spaced 5-1/8" apart. Measure the dash opening in your car and, if necessary, adjust the control shafts in the following manner:

1. Loosen the hex nuts on the shafts.

2. Slide the shafts in their slots so that the tabs on the plates fit into the proper holes.

3. Tighten the hex nuts.

The remainder of the receiver installation procedure depends on whether it is being placed through the front of the dash or from behind it.

FRONT-OF-DASH INSTALLATION

In a front-of-dash installation, the existing bezel and mounting plate must be removed. The receiver is then fastened to the mounting plate, and the mounting plate is reinstalled. Here are some general directions for a front-of-dash installation:

1. Remove the screws that hold the bezel and mounting plate in place. Then remove the bezel and mounting plate.

2. Place a hex nut, followed by a spacer washer, on each control shaft.

3. Place the mounting plate over the face of the receiver.

4. Secure the mounting plate to the receiver by placing a spacer washer, followed by a hex nut, on each control shaft.

5. Adjust the hex nuts on either side of the mounting plate on both control shafts so that the plate is parallel to the face of the receiver.

6. Drill a hole for the rear support bracket in the dash panel. Before drilling, make sure the bracket lines up properly with the back of the receiver and that nothing will be damaged behind the intended hole.

7. Fasten the rear support bracket to the dash panel with a sheet metal screw, spacer washer, and locknut (if needed).

8. Hook the head of the bracket bolt (located on the back of the receiver) into the hole at the back of the receiver. Then slide the bolt into place.

9. Place the receiver and mounting plate assembly back into the dash so that the bracket bolt passes through the hole in the rear support bracket.

10. Re-screw the mounting plate in place.

11. Place a spacer washer, lock washer, and hex nut on the bracket bolt. Tighten the bracket to the back of the receiver.

12. Place the gasket over the face of the receiver.

13. Replace the bezel in the dash and secure it with its screws.

14. Slide the control knobs onto the control shafts.

Following are additional tips for a front-of-dash installation:

The receiver should be installed in a horizontal position. The unit can be tilted slightly for convenience, but never more than 300.

The hex nuts on the control shafts can be adjusted so that the unit is flush with the dash.

If the gasket is too large for the dash opening, it can be cut to the correct size.

Be sure there is no pressure on the nosepiece when installing the receiver.

BEHIND-THE-DASH INSTALLATION

In this type of installation, the receiver is placed in position from behind the dash. The unit must be lifted up underneath the dash as follows:

1. Drill a hole for the rear support bracket in the dash panel. Before drilling, make sure the bracket lines up properly with the back of the receiver and that nothing will be damaged behind the intended hole.

2. Fasten the rear support bracket to the dash panel with a sheet metal screw, spacer washer, and locknut (if needed).

3. Hook the head of the bracket bolt into the hole at the back of the receiver. Then slide the bolt into place.

4. Place a hex nut, spacer washer, and backup plate on both control shafts. Backup plates are required only on dashes with one opening. Dashes with three openings (one for the face of the unit and two for the control shafts) do not require backup plates.

5. Lift the receiver up underneath the dash. Position the face of the unit in the dash opening and pass the bracket bolt (located on the back of the unit) through the hole in the support bracket.

6. On dashes with three openings, the opening for the face of the unit might have to be enlarged or elongated. Use the trim plate as a template to mark the cutting lines.

7. Place the trim plate over the face of the receiver and the control shafts.

8. Place a spacer washer and hex nut on each control shaft.

9. Tighten the hex nuts behind and in front of the dash on both control shafts so that the unit is secured and properly aligned with the dash.

10. Place a spacer washer, lock washer, and hex nut on the bracket bolt at the back of the unit. Tighten the bracket to the back of the receiver.

11. Slide the control knobs onto the control shafts.

SPEAKER INSTALLATION

The location of the speakers plays an important role in the performance of your car's sound system. Rear decks, doors, kick panels, rear quarter panels, and dashboards are all possible locations, each having its own advantages. Although the rear deck is best for bass response, front deck and dashboard mounting increases the high-frequency response; door and kick panel mounting offers the best stereo separation. Other factors can affect the acoustics, including the interior finish of the car, whether the windows are open or closed, and the number of passengers.

Since most custom installations involve the rear deck, this procedure is discussed in detail. Keep in mind that although these directions are typical, it is important to read and follow the instructions provided with the speakers.

Rear Deck Installation

1. Open the trunk to locate the existing holes in the rear deck sheet metal.

2. Choose the exact speaker location above the existing holes in the sheet metal. Be sure the speakers will not contact the rear window glass when mounted, and never use an irregular mounting surface.

3. Use the template provided to trace the speaker and the bolt hole locations on the rear deck.

4. Cut the speaker holes and drill the bolt holes. When drilling from inside the trunk, be careful not to crack the glass or damage the defogger grid as the cutter or drill breaks through.

5. Carefully run wire from the receiver or amplifier to the speakers. Smooth any sharp edges that could fray the wires.

6. Make the wire connections. All speakers must be phased the same; in this case, the + lead to the red terminal and the lead to the black terminal.

7. If applicable, place the four brackets provided over the bolt holes for greater support. Then use bolts and locknuts or clips to secure the speakers to the rear deck.

WARNING: Because of the danger a loose speaker can cause for the occupants of the vehicle, make sure that the bolts or clips are tightly anchored in a solid material.

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