How to Install a Car Amplifier

Are you thinking about having your subs and amp installed? Why pay someone when you can do it yourself. Installing an amp and sub is fairly simple, and anyone with the right knowledge would be able to do so. You can have your amp and subs hooked up to your existing radio, or an aftermarket one. It’s going to take a little time out of your day, but if you take your time and follow these few instructions it will be well worth the time you spent, not to mention the money you saved.

First off, open the amplifier installation kit you purchased. What I like to do is tape the RCA cable and remote wire together as they will both be run down the same side of the car (opposite of the power wire). If needed, crimp the ring/fork terminals on to the power wire. Begin at the battery by disconnecting the positive post on the battery and then figuring out where to mount your fuse holder. Within 18’’ of the battery is recommended.

Wires run through firewall
Next, you need to find a hole in the firewall (preferably on the driver side). Look for any grommets on the firewall by following a cable or wire into the car. After you find a hole or grommet, you can now run your power cable into the car but make sure the power cable is not rubbing against the sharp metal of the firewall as this could potentially cause the insulation on the cable to wear down and result in a fire. Make sure to zip tie the cable in the engine bay so that it is not going to get caught in the engine. Once you have the cable in the car now you can pull up your door seal plates and push the cable down under the carpet until you reach the area your car amplifier will be mounted. This will give the clean professional look.

Now we can take out the radio. Every car is different, so if you’re not sure as how to take your dash apart, let us know and we would be more than happy to help. Once the radio is out, it should have a sub out (SW) or rear out. If you are not sure if the radio has a sub out, feel free to call Sonic Electronix for more information. Plug your RCA cables in here, then find the blue and white stripe wire in the radio harness and connect the blue remote wire. This is the wire that is taped to your RCA cable and it can be connected with a butt connector or solder. Then run your RCA cable and remote wire to where your amp will be mounted. Now you need to find a good ground. The chassis of the car works the best, but make sure to sand the paint off before grounding the ground cable. When mounting the amp, make sure there is nothing to damage under or behind the mounting area.

Subwoofer Wiring Guide at Sonic Electronix The subwoofer that will work will depend on the type of amplifier you are installing. For more information on what types of subwoofers will be compatible with your amplifier and how to wire them, head on over to the Sonic Electronix Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams.

Now you can hook everything up at the amplifier, run your speaker wire to the sub enclosure, and put everything back together. After the amp is completely hooked up then you can hook the battery up and you’re ready to start tuning. When tuning you should turn all the gains on the amp down, then set the radio to about 3/4 of the way up. Make all the settings to your liking, and then adjust the amp starting with the frequency around 80 Hz. Then adjust the gain/sensitivity, and I wouldn’t go past 3/4 gain here because of distortion, which could eventually damage your subs voice coils. So if you feel that you need to turn it up more than ¾ gain, you will need to get a more powerful amplifier.

Hopefully this was helpful for you and made you feel like a professional. After saving some money on installation, you can enjoy listening to the music that you helped capture. Please comment below if you have any comments or thoughts on installing your own amplifier and subwoofer.