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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've already made a custom harness to use my JVC stereo with the McIntosh amp. It works well, but I still get a little (not much at all) alternator whine. I ended up replacing all door speakers, since the front two were blown when I bought it. The amp seems to be holding up ok with the 4 ohm speakers (can't find decent 8 ohm replacements, period).

I had a brainstorm that I tried to put into action yesterday, but the end result was bad... real bad.

My idea was: get another Subaru wiring harness (it mates up to the harness that plugs into the amp perfectly, minus one power wire that's absent), wire up the speakers from the head unit according to the pinout I found for the McIntosh amp (attached below - pinout is looking at the amp, not harness). Effectively removing the amp altogether.

At first, it worked. The volume seemed a little weak, so I tried to push it. I ended up with a warning across the screen of the JVC saying to check the wiring and reset the stereo. I did so several times. I can't find a problem.

In theory, shouldn't the wires just go to the speakers from the harness coming from the McIntosh amp? Would the harness need grounded? I'd think the ground pins are for grounding the amp, not the speakers. I didn't try that, since it was getting late and I was getting frustrated. I threw everything back together, and called it a day. The only progress made over 4 hours was installing the antenna extension cable... :cursin: I won't get into what else I did that took so long... :mad:

I noticed the dash harness has wires in all pins, which isn’t used with the McIntosh stereo (for speaker output). Are these live wires? Do they go to the speakers? If so, do I have to do anything with harness that plugs into the amp under the seat?

Next up: where is a good place to run the power wire for an aftermarket amp? I can't see anywhere that there's a grommet passing through behind the pedals, thanks to that extra thick rubberized sound deadening material there. I won't start drilling holes in "the dark"... ain't gonna happen.

My plan was to place the amp under the passenger's seat, then use my wiring harness theory to feed power back to the stock 6x9 (will be upgraded), but now I'm not sure.

Pretty sad that the McIntosh audio system is the ONLY reason I wish I could've found an LL Bean instead of this VDC... (I can get one of those that needs an engine for $1,200, but no spare engine to put in it...)

So, Cardoc, anyone? I'm all ears!

Not to sound ungrateful, but I'd appreciate input from those who've dealt with the McIntosh ONLY (as for amp power wire install, I'm open to all). It's quite the PITA!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I'm back. The McIntish amp will not function properly without a Mc head unit. You will need to install an aftermarket amp. I used a Sound Ordnance 1350 to power the Kicker and the Clarion HU powers the remainder of the speakers. I used a custom made harness for the speaker feed to the harness where the amp resided under the front seat. When I get to my laptop I will upload the wiring schematic.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #4
THANK YOU! :)

I have the amp functioning pretty decent with the custom harness I made. I'd say good, but I still get a little whine. That's the primary reason I just want to delete it.

Ok, so to delete the amp, I'm on the right track by essentially running the speaker wires from the HU through a harness that connects to the one that plugged into the McIntosh amp, correct? The 14-pin connector pictured...?

Also, where is a good place to run the power wire for the amp? It's totally dark (not obviously visible) under the dash as for a grommet that passes through the firewall.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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When I did my system, I removed the front pass seat and ran my "harness" for the speakers under the carpet over to the plug. I cut out the plug since the Mc system is wired different. I used butt connectors.

My amp is cabled to the body with 6 ga cable for ground and a 6 ga battery cable to the battery with a 60 amp fuse. The power wire runs from the stereo to the HU with the RCA cables. All my cables run under the carpeting along the sides and rear seat and storage floor to the rear of the car and the amp is mounted in the storage tray. I ran the sound cables along the passenger side and the power cables and remote sub controller on the driver side to separate the cables and control noise interference.

Attached is the wiring diagram for the Mc. All you need to be concerned with is the speaker leads and disregard the power and ground at the harness plug. Make sure you kill the battery side feeding the harness from the fuse box. And, if your HU puts out high RMS for the front and rear speakers, you'll want to install a couple bass reducers in line for the tweeters so you don't blow them or create noise.

And here are pics of the amp and sub installed I posted on the build thread. I don't have installation pictures. Didn't think of it at the time. http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/47896-sleeper-vdc.html#post456186

And yes, it does sound awesome. Its like riding around in with a concert playing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so I'm on the right track.

Would it be any different using the Metra harness to connect to the harness that outputs to the speakers from the Mc amp instead of cutting it off? It's a standard Subaru 14-pin harness. I'd really like to avoid any heavy modification, just in case I'd ever part with it. Then it's just plug & play to reinstall the stock system (minus the door speakers, which I'm not worried about keeping).

I think the problem could be the fuse you mention. I didn't pull any fuses. Exactly which fuse is it? It looks like #4 (under-hood box - smaller square fuse, second in from the left, right below the 2 regular fuses). Could this be the source of my trouble, even though I didn't do anything with the Battery (+) wires that would power the McIntosh amp?

As for the JVC, it's rated at 20W RMS, well below that of the McIntosh system - 38 RMS per main channel, so I'd think I won't need a bass reducer. The replacement door speakers are rated at 25W RMS each.

JVC KW-AVX740 (KWAVX740) 6.1" Double DIN Stereo w Bluetooth & USB

As for the aftermarket amp install, where did you run the power wire through the firewall? That rubberized floor liner makes it almost impossible to find any grommets that I could use, and it doesn't appear to easily be pulled out of the way to find one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
New development...

I just went out to play around with it some more.

Here's something I discovered:

The JVC is finding some sort of fault with the LR speaker. When it's connected and I turn the key, I hear a slight pop sound. The JVC then notes the wiring issue noted above.

If I leave the speaker wiring disconnected before the Mc amp harness (in other words, the speaker wiring at the head unit), no problems at all. If I leave the wires for the LR speaker connected before the Mc amp harness, but disconnect the wiring from the speaker itself, I still get the error message.

Could there be an issue between the harness and the Left Speaker Joint Connector? If so, where is that located?

I used speaker wire to connect directly to the speaker. No problems.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #8
I ended up running speaker wire from the head unit to the left rear door. That all seems to be working well now.

Now, to figure out where to run the power wire for my amp...
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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You've been at this all day?

If you look at the speaker wiring, the rear speakers are split fed between the HU and the Amp. That's how it achieved an effect of surround sound and controlled the various frequencies hi to low with more bass to the rear doors. The OE speakers in the doors are component speakers. So you have the 2 tweeters, 4 components and the sub equaling 11. That's why I had to custom wire the harness and cut off the plug. It was so I could connect the +/- directly from the Clarion to the speaker harness.

The fuse for the amp is is number 20 behind the coin holder and the second is 4 under the hood.

As for the battery cable, I ran it through the rubber matting by the brake booster. Get a long phillips screw driver and punch the hole then cut it in an "X" with a blade enough for the batt cable to squeeze through. Tape the end of the battery cable to the end of the screwdriver and push the driver with the cable through the hole from the inside. You'll want the majority inside the car.

Pull up the carpet, kick panel, door sill and work your way back if you are going to mount it in the rear storage area. Pull up the false floor and tilt the rear seat forward (you can leave the seat back up), pull up the white plastic cover at the corner of the floor and feed the cable under the metal bracket and into the rear area. I just ran the cable along the factory harness and then over toward the center of the storage bin area. The ground is bolted to the floor pan 2' from the amp on mine. The better the ground, the more punch you get with less work from within the amp. My amp does not get hot where it sits.

The RCA cables run on the opposite side of the car to keep them away from the electrical noise. If you have a remote controller for the amp, it will work fine cabled with the batt cable without noise.

I am not sure what the tweeters are rated at. Yours does have tweeters in the door? The base reducer insures only treble goes to the tweeters.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have the stereo working well at this point. I still have to work on installing the amp and sub. That's being put on hold for right now, as we had a small electrical fire in the house yesterday that we're working on now... ugh!
 
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