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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I picked up this Corrado in November '07, everything was great except for the fact that only two speakers worked, and when I say "work", I mean barely produce any sound. Clearly something had to be done.
I did a little reading on here and I found out the troubles with replacing the Aktiv system. Essentially you have to rewire the car. I have done head unit and speaker installs before, but never ran new wires, so it was a bit of a learning process for me.
I also wanted to do this without spending too much money. I bought an Eclipse CD8454 for $600 as my last head unit, and it was the biggest waste of money ever. So this time I wanted to get quality, but not break the bank. Here is what I ordered:

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X591 - $159.99
Alpine SPS-46C2 4x6 Speakers - $79.99
Alpine SPS-13C2 5 1/4" Speakers - $69.99
StreetWires 16 gauge speaker wire - $20/50ft
JL Audio CS110RG-W1v2 (a 10W1v2 sub in a sealed PowerWedge box - $169 on special
Infinity REF1300A Amplifier - $82.99 on closeout
Monster 200 Amplifer Power Kit - $49.95
So with tax and shipping all of this came out to roughly $650, which is about what I paid for just the head unit the last time I did this. Not bad.
As for the install, the wiring harness needs a little bit of a modification for it to work. The harness doesn't provide a red accessories power wire, only the yellow one. So you can either attach the red and yellow wire on the head unit to the yellow wire on the harness, but then the head unit won't turn on or off with the car. Crutchfield says to run a wire to the fuse panel and tap in there, but that seems like too much work. In fact, you can just use the ignition wire on the existing wiring, just the harness isn't wired for it. What I did was moved the dimmer wire on the harness over one position and now it's in position to act as the ignition turn on lead, which you can attach the red power wire to:

Now that I had that out of the way, I connected the head unit and tested it to see that it turned on and off properly, and all was well. As you can see from the picture above, the other wiring connection is for the speaker wires, but none of that will be used, so just tuck it away.
Now I started running wires, and I did the fronts first. It took only about 7 feet to do the front speakers, and that has about a foot of play room with the wires also. Hardest part was getting it into the doors, and since I didn't have a wire snake, I just used a coat hanger and taped the wire to the end and pulled it through. You will have to remove the knee guards and the kick panels underneath to get access to be able to run the wires into the doors.

I then mounted the speaker to the door and connected the speaker wire, and repeated for the other side.

With the front out of the way, I turned my attention to the rear. Even with the metric 4x6s, I still had to trim the base on the rear speaker trays. Just took my dremel and cut the base off, which doesn't seem to be necessary anyway. Maybe it helps a bit with the bass, but I doubt it helps that much. Unfortuantely I didn't have my camera with me during this stage, so I have no pictures.
Running the wires to the rear was actually easier than running them to the doors. Just pull off the door sill plate, pull back the rear panel, and drop the wire in.

With that out of the way, and after testing the speakers, it was clearly time to install the amp and sub, since there was virtually *no* bass with the current setup.
Running the remote turn on and RCAs was not a problem, as I just ran them down the right side, as I knew the power would be going down the lef (since the battery is on the left). However, I wasn't sure how to get the power wire through the firewall, so I enlisted some help from my friend Ali (Eurobahn on here).
Of course it only took him 3 minutes to find where to run the power through, but I guess if you do it once, you know. You have to remove the coolant reservoir tank to access the hole.

With the grommet removed, cut a hole in it to feed the wire through:

Start feeding it through the hole:


Tuck the power wire under the carpet along the side of the car:


While I was running the wire along the side of the car, Ali was finishing up under the hood installing the wire loom:

And installing the fuse holder under the windshield washer fluid bottle so it wouldn't be an eye sore (it wasn't mounted yet in this picture):

Between the fuse holder and the battery terminal, you don't want a cable longer than six inches. It's just under this length to mount the fuse holder under the washer bottle. So now it was time to crimp the cable and hook it up:


We left the wireloom off the wire near the battery because since the other wires are also red, it looks like it's OEM. And wit hthe fuse holder hidden, and the rest of the wire under the loom, you can't even see it.
Then it was time to run the ground wire, which is just connected to the seat belt latch for the rear seats:

With that done, it was just time to hook up the amp and see how it sounds. As you can see, I didn't bother to clean up any of the wires at the time!

After I got it hooked up and got the settings where I wanted them, it was time to decide where to mount the amp. I was considering just mounting it to the back of the box, but the box fits so well behind the seat that I didn't want to push it out any further, and also that doesn't leave much space for the amp to be able to cool. So I went with the typical mounting of the amp on the back of the seat.

As you can see there are no screws in the amp - it's held on with velcro... lots of velcro. I didn't want to drill into the seat, and this also gives me the ability to easily move the amp if I feel like it. Sure, it's easier to steal, but I'm not too worried about that.
As for all the other wires, I didn't want to cut any of them incase I decide to move it later. I just wraped them up under the seat. Yeah, the power and RCA cables are coming kind of close, but there is no interference.

The sub:

And the finished product:

And the finished wiring for the head unit:

As for the sound, with 200 watts at 4 ohms, and a single 10" sub, I am amazingly impressed with the punch, power, and sound. Quality is great, and the single 10" doesn't overpower the rest of the speakers, which is something that I was worried about.
The alpine speakers are nice, however I find that they are a bit too "tin" sounding, if that makes any sense. The last Alpine Type S speakers that I used sounded like this also. However, they are amazingly clear and crisp, and the high's are excellent. I think if I were to do it again, I'd spend a little more and get a set of Boston Acoustics for the fronts, and the rears I'd keep with the Alpine's as they are the best 4x6 speaker I could find. Either way, I'm not complaining, it's just something I would do differently the second time.
The only issue I am having is that there is not much room at all behind the head unit, and it's an amazingly tight fit with all of the wires back there. Currently it's sticking out about 1/2" because the wires get in the way of the deck seating properly, but I'm sure I just need to play around a bit back there to get everything to fit correctly.
Anyway, that's all I can remember right now. Just thought I'd share as hopefully this will help someone who needs some help and/or motivation to replace their stereo.
- Anthony
EDIT - Looking at my links, the head unit is now discontinued, and the alpine 5 1/4" speakers are half off. The head unit seems to have been replaced by the KDC-X592, which I don't like as much just by looking at it, and it's more expensive. Looks like I lucked out with timing. Makes sense as for why my head unit was so inexpensive, I didn't realize it was being discontinued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (main_ingredient)

Just an update on the headunit and iPod connection.
I finally got the had unit seated yesterday (the antenna adapter causes some problems), and it looks great in the dash.
The head unit was discontinued because it is a 2007 Excelon model, and the 2008's are out now. Crutchfield gave me an iPod usb connection cable with the head unit for free, so I figured now it would be time to bite the bullet and buy an iPod. So, I did.
And I hooked up the cable to the USB connection and expected to hear sound. I expected too much.
This is the cable:

As you can see it has a 3.5mm stereo plug on it. I wasn't sure what that was for, I figured it was for playing non-iPod devices through their headphone port. That is not the case.
That plug needs to be connected to the "aux in" on the back of the head unit. How pointless is that? So not only is the usb port taken up, but now so is the aux in.
I called Crutchfield and they sent me, at no charge, the KCA-iP500 iPod control interface, which uses the CD changer input on the head unit. It's an older device, but they said it should work. Some reviews said it doesn't work with the 6th gen iPods, which is what I have, but I guess I'll find out soon enough.
At least with the iP500, the USB port is free (for flash drives, etc) and so is the aux in.
I figure I will try them both out and see which one works the best.
As for the 2008 Excelon models, they have a new iPod interface cable, which doesn't have the stereo plug:

Just a heads up...
- Anthony
 

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Re: ([email protected])

I did basically the same thing in all my rados, ran all my own wires. Good stuff dude . http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif


Modified by Toffeerado at 11:36 AM 3-11-2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: (fredhogarth)

Quote, originally posted by fredhogarth »
can you take some detail pics of how the fuse block is mounted ?

Sure, I will do that before I put all the interior pieces back on. I am down in Sebring right now, but plan on finishing putting the interior back together on Monday once I get back in town.
- Anthony
 

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Re: ([email protected])

Anthony:
Very nice write-up. Your attention to detail in your install and your write-up were great! I'm sure you've helped (as already mentioned) many persons considering a similar setup.
You seem like a man of details, so I think you may benefit from one bit of constructive suggestions. If you cut most of the additional power cable that is now coiled up (neatly, I might add http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif ) out of the run, you might find that the amplifier may run cooler (typically on hotter days) and sound (if you're very critical) a little more controlled/tighter on the low end range, subwoofer wise. Remember that resistance is a function of two things: distance and diameter. Thus, reduce the distance thereby reducing the resistance.
The ground looks good, but if you want lower resistance still, then create your own hole in the body. No need to be excessive here. You're just looking for an area of metal (even adjacent to the seat belt bolt) that is part of the unibody. Sand the paint/primer from the area where the ring terminal rests on the metal and place a thin layer of silicone caulk to prevent future corrosion.
When people decide to use an existing bolt, they’re relying on the conductive properties of many unknowns: welding seam, material for the female threads, bolt, etc. As you know, copper is more conductive than steel-than aluminum-and so on. And make sure your ground cable is as short as possible.
While these pointers won't make a huge audible difference, they will make a difference in your amp's lifespan and your electrical system (avoiding the 'dim light' syndrome, potential ground loops, etc.).
The only reason I'm even pointing this out is because I feel you'd appreciate the level of attention and suggestions. Please don't take these suggestions as me sitting on my soapbox…I truly mean no disrespect.

Feel free to ask me any other questions about audio related topics as I have many years in that industry.
Sincerely,
-Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: (apaper)

Quote, originally posted by apaper »
Anthony:
You seem like a man of details, so I think you may benefit from one bit of constructive suggestions. If you cut most of the additional power cable that is now coiled up (neatly, I might add http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif ) out of the run, you might find that the amplifier may run cooler (typically on hotter days) and sound (if you're very critical) a little more controlled/tighter on the low end range, subwoofer wise. Remember that resistance is a function of two things: distance and diameter. Thus, reduce the distance thereby reducing the resistance.

Yes, I do plan on getting rid of the extra power wire, but I wasn't sure the back of the seat was going to be my final mounting place. I wasn't sure if the velcro was going to hold, so I didn't want to cut the power wire incase I wanted to relocate it to somewhere else.
Quote »
The ground looks good, but if you want lower resistance still, then create your own hole in the body. No need to be excessive here. You're just looking for an area of metal (even adjacent to the seat belt bolt) that is part of the unibody. Sand the paint/primer from the area where the ring terminal rests on the metal and place a thin layer of silicone caulk to prevent future corrosion.

I haven't noticed any noise, so I am assuming the ground is pretty good. I know the best way is to bolt right to the unibody, but I didn't see a good area to do this. Do you have any suggestions?
Quote »
And make sure your ground cable is as short as possible.

Yeah, I didn't cut it for the same reasons as posted above for the power cable.
Quote »
The only reason I'm even pointing this out is because I feel you'd appreciate the level of attention and suggestions. Please don't take these suggestions as me sitting on my soapbox…I truly mean no disrespect.

No disrespect taken at all! I truly appreciate your post as I posted this knowing that someone with more knoweldge than me would come in here and give some pointers on how to make the install better. I saw your A/B on your corrado and that stereo install is very impressive. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Thanks for the pointers.
- Anthony
 

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Re: ([email protected])

Also be aware that there is a correct way to crimp connectors as well and to use good crimpers. Most of the cheap crimpers you buy at auto or hardware stores don't crimp connectors properly and your crimps can come loose. Klein makes the best crimpers. Even a lot of professional installers don't know how to crimp properly. If you look inside of a butt connector, you will see there is a seam in the metal part that runs length wise. A good pair of crimpers will have a point in the middle of one side and the other corresponding side will be round. The point always crimps the opposite side of the seam in the connector. All crimp connectors have this seam and you want to make sure you crimp them this way. I'll try to take some pictures and post them if you want to know. If you crimp this way you will almost always have a good solid crimp. Soldering is definitely better but again if its done incorrectly it won't last and not everyone knows how to solder correctly, even professionals.
 
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