2001 VDC removal and replacement of McIntosh system - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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2001 VDC removal and replacement of McIntosh system

I have a 2001 Subaru legacy outback with the full McIntosh system, my front speakers are pretty much blown, as well as the tweeters. I'm hoping to put in a full system, 4 channel amp, new subwoofer, and new speakers and tweeters, as well as new radio. Does anyone have instructions on how to remove the McIntosh system, and possibly how to use those speakers wires for a new amp. If this is possible or you can offer any help, please let me know I would really appreciate it!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 04:07 PM
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did you inspect the front speakers and tweets already?

I wonder if its just the wires. in this all the wires come out of the amp.

@botenredwolf maybe able to point you in the best directions for alternatives.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 07:36 PM
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I just did this on my '02 VDC.

I bought a new head unit, amp, and harness adapter (just to get the new head unit to hook into the FM radio and a couple other basic functions, you won't actually use the speaker line outs if you throw in a new amp)

Now here's where it gets a little tricky.

You'll need to remove the old amp (under front passenger seat) but splice into all those speaker wires as they only go to the old amp and not all the way to the McIntosh head unit. It's easiest if you just can an amp small enough to go where the old one is and re-attach the speaker wires there rather than run them all the way back to the new head unit. You will need to run the RCA cables (one set front, one set rear) and the remote turn on lead form the head unit to the amp.

You will also need to run a lead to the battery etc (That's real fun).

It took me one whole day but no additional time. I did spend a few weeks ahead of time researching though. Worst part might be getting the little alarm module out of the dash.

You'll want to use this to find out which amp connecter goes to which speaker (listed under Output Connector section)

I'm to new to post links but... jeremy geek . nz has something on his website with the pin outs.

Final note: Be really careful to fully sand and test the amp ground location for good conductivity. Rumor has it more than a few folks who have modified their system get some alternator whine. I didn't have any trouble but I was very careful in routing, selecting a location, sanding etc.

Good luck! It's a satisfying project.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmck View Post
I have a 2001 Subaru legacy outback with the full McIntosh system, my front speakers are pretty much blown, as well as the tweeters. I'm hoping to put in a full system, 4 channel amp, new subwoofer, and new speakers and tweeters, as well as new radio. Does anyone have instructions on how to remove the McIntosh system, and possibly how to use those speakers wires for a new amp. If this is possible or you can offer any help, please let me know I would really appreciate it!
I pulled a Nice Kenwood radio from my 2001 Subaru Outback VDC during a part out a few years ago, and I still have it with ALL the wiring you need to plug and play. It'd be for sale if you want it. No remote ever came with it. Please consider it and PM me if you are interested.

I've added some pics below. It should be direct plug and play. You have to remove the unit under your passenger seat. I've added a picture of me holding the long piece you need to run under your carpet and plug into the power source that unplugs from the unit under your passenger seat. Everything was wired up good and strong and right, so I was sure I would not have any connection issues.

All you'd have to do is unplug the plug from the unit under your passenger seat and plug into the plug you see in my hand. Everything is there you need, the power cable, the antenna, and the wiring is done strong in the back of the Kenwood unit and ready to connect with the power source coming out of the dash. All the work is done, and I had the exact same car, a 2001 Subaru Outback VDC.

I've had this unit stored indoors for at least 3 years, no scratches, and in great excellent working condition. I can ship it USPS Priority mail to you. Let me know. I ALSO have original speakers from the same car. ANY you need. Again, let me know. Thanks, Lester.
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2004 L.L. Bean OBW Owner daily driver.
2003 L.L. Bean OBW project in the works
2001 VDC OBW former owner.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmck View Post
I have a 2001 Subaru legacy outback with the full McIntosh system, my front speakers are pretty much blown, as well as the tweeters. I'm hoping to put in a full system, 4 channel amp, new subwoofer, and new speakers and tweeters, as well as new radio. Does anyone have instructions on how to remove the McIntosh system, and possibly how to use those speakers wires for a new amp. If this is possible or you can offer any help, please let me know I would really appreciate it!
I pulled a Nice Kenwood radio from my 2001 Subaru Outback VDC during a part out a few years ago, and I still have it with ALL the wiring you need to plug and play. It'd be for sale if you want it. No remote ever came with it. Please consider it and PM me if you are interested.

I've added some pics below. It should be direct plug and play. You have to remove the unit under your passenger seat. I've added a picture of me holding the long piece you need to run under your carpet and plug into the power source that unplugs from the unit under your VDC's passenger seat. Everything was wired up good and strong and right so I was sure I would not have any connection issues. I remember doing a very good job on it.

All you'd have to do is unplug the plug from the unit under your passenger seat and plug into the plug you see in my hand. Everything is there you need, the power cable, the antenna, and the wiring is done strong in the back of the Kenwood unit and ready to be plugged together with the power source coming out of the dash. All the work is done, and I had the exact same car, a 2001 Subaru Outback VDC.

I've had this unit stored indoors for at least 3 years, no scratches, and in great excellent working condition. I can ship it USPS Priority mail to you. Let me know. I don't know why this is posted twice, must have been an error while I was editing.
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2004 L.L. Bean OBW Owner daily driver.
2003 L.L. Bean OBW project in the works
2001 VDC OBW former owner.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estilley View Post
I just did this on my '02 VDC.

I bought a new head unit, amp, and harness adapter (just to get the new head unit to hook into the FM radio and a couple other basic functions, you won't actually use the speaker line outs if you throw in a new amp)

Now here's where it gets a little tricky.

You'll need to remove the old amp (under front passenger seat) but splice into all those speaker wires as they only go to the old amp and not all the way to the McIntosh head unit. It's easiest if you just can an amp small enough to go where the old one is and re-attach the speaker wires there rather than run them all the way back to the new head unit. You will need to run the RCA cables (one set front, one set rear) and the remote turn on lead form the head unit to the amp.

You will also need to run a lead to the battery etc (That's real fun).

It took me one whole day but no additional time. I did spend a few weeks ahead of time researching though. Worst part might be getting the little alarm module out of the dash.

You'll want to use this to find out which amp connecter goes to which speaker (listed under Output Connector section)

I'm to new to post links but... jeremy geek . nz has something on his website with the pin outs.

Final note: Be really careful to fully sand and test the amp ground location for good conductivity. Rumor has it more than a few folks who have modified their system get some alternator whine. I didn't have any trouble but I was very careful in routing, selecting a location, sanding etc.

Good luck! It's a satisfying project.
Hey! I got a new head unit with 3 RCA outputs and just wired the new harness the same way you did. Before I start pulling everything apart, do you have any tips about how to run the wires?

I'm planning on doing a 5 channel amp in the stock place. To make this work I was planning on just running all new wires and leaving the stock harness as is.

Sorry this is so much, there's just so little resources on it. And you know how much of a pain in the ass it is. Thanks so much for your help.

-Max
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmck View Post
Hey! I got a new head unit with 3 RCA outputs and just wired the new harness the same way you did. Before I start pulling everything apart, do you have any tips about how to run the wires?

I'm planning on doing a 5 channel amp in the stock place. To make this work I was planning on just running all new wires and leaving the stock harness as is.

Sorry this is so much, there's just so little resources on it. And you know how much of a pain in the ass it is. Thanks so much for your help.

-Max

might have some good discussion here in gen 2 (2000-2004 section, ) or the audio section.

best good old write ups on such come from aussie and kiwi people,. (so don't be afraid to click links from far away).

...this 2001-2002 head has the tape deck. (later ones with just cds were slightly different, with another plug on the back and maybe a light variation in the amp)

my 2002 has been garage kept for the most part,

still sounds great, and it still cranks up clear and loud enough to shake the rear-view mirror from simple classic rock.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmck View Post
Hey! I got a new head unit with 3 RCA outputs and just wired the new harness the same way you did. Before I start pulling everything apart, do you have any tips about how to run the wires?

I'm planning on doing a 5 channel amp in the stock place. To make this work I was planning on just running all new wires and leaving the stock harness as is.

Sorry this is so much, there's just so little resources on it. And you know how much of a pain in the ass it is. Thanks so much for your help.

-Max
Not a problem.

For the wire from the battery + to the amp, I ran it through that little padded cover down by the gas pedal. I attached the power wire to a flat head screwdriver with tape and poked it through the fire-retardant material and I could then see it in the engine bay. No need to drill any holes, but I think I pulled off the padded cover first. Pretty easy to zip tie to some existing stuff in the engine bay and get to the battery from here. Inside the car I took off as many interior panels as I could and sent it around the back of the center cluster, up under the glove box, around to the passenger side and down through the carpet by the little door step guards (took those off) and connected to the amp. I think I took the glove box off (not fun) but also a great time to change the cabin air filter.

Removal of the passenger seat is also necessary. It is just four bolts and then you do have to be somewhat careful unplugging the airbag harness. I remember having to use a little flathead to hold in the tab to get it to release (Info elsewhere on the web about this). Did not have any issues with airbag lights etc after plugging it back in.

For the amp ground, I simply sanded around one of those little studs after taking out the amp and used an existing bolt (maybe?) to attach it. Whatever you end up doing, I would advise using a voltmeter to find a very low resistance location. This is the most likely place to get signal interference.

The two RCA cables plugged into the back of the head unit went down behind the center console and then out the bottom and into the center area under the cupholders and E-brake. (Remove cupholders and e-brake cover etc before). Then, once you are in line with the amp, just drop them down through the carpet and use whatever claws you have etc to pull them through. The remote turn-on wire for the amp will also follow this path.

Note: I followed the convention of running the RCA cables separate from the Amp power wire to avoid interference. Going down the center is also shorter and you'll save cable space.

Were you planning on running new speaker wires to every speaker? For my case, I just found the speaker wires at the factory amp location, clipped them off the factory connector hooked them into the new after market amp from there. (Left out the factory "subwoofer"). The wires that connect to the factory amp were a little short so I ended up extending every one to reach the new amp, still seemed easier than running new wires to every speaker.

Don't forget to plug in the big metal AM/FM Antenna wire to the back of the new head unit! The wire is super short and I forgot the first time and didn't have a radio for about a year

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Good luck!
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