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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some might remember I made a thread about replacing the bolt stock speakers. Well I guess I can't leave well enough alone, as I've moved to the next level of insanity.

I've installed a RF Prime 250x4 amp to drive the speakers as well as installed a single RF Punch 12" sub in the back powered by a second RF 250x1 amp. I built a sealed box to fit in the fake spare wheel well and the speaker with a metal grill doesn't interfere with cargo space. This box I drilled holes in the bottom that match where the screws sticking up were so I didn't have to modify the area (then glued a second layer of MDF over the holes inside), and it helps pin it in place. I also added some sound deadening material to that area, as I noticed earlier a lot of road noise coming from there without the Styrofoam thing and floor down there to muffle it.

System is not going to win a "competition" but it sounds really great and strong and meets my needs, so I'm really happy with it.

This required some hefty wiring work. In addition to battery wires and figuring out a clean way to connect 4 gauge stranded cables, I had to tap into the speaker outputs at the radio. Basically there's a brown harness that plugs into it. You can pull that, and you have maybe 2" of each wire to work with. There are 8 wires total, positive and negative for Left/Right Front/Back - dash tweeters and front doors are wired in parallel. It's very tight but not impossible. Once you have that done, the rest is easier. My car is an LT without Bose, and I believe that while I saw something online that said it has an amp, it doesn't have a separate amp, it's all built into the radio module which is in the passenger side lower dash area, and it's really wedged in there, behind welded together metal chassis. I think it would be pretty difficult to pull it out.

I ran the cabling down the passenger edge of the car under the trim and carpet into the rear where I hooked everything up. I actually had the 4 channel amp hooked up first mounted under the passenger front dash, so that's an option if you're doing just that part of it (ie, no subwoofer). Since I was running wires to the back for the sub, I decided to move it all back there, which meant a little cleaner and more accessible installation.

I routed the wires through a kicker speaker to RCA adapter (currently, only one, so everything is driven from the front which works ok but you lose the "beep" from rear cross traffic alerts as well as the ability to fade front/rear, but I have the remaining channel on order), letting me run RCA level to the back which I feel is a little cleaner/ nicer.
For the ignition switch I ran a fuse tap to F22 which is switched, with a 10 amp fuse.

So far no issues or surprises. It works as expected and unless you see the speaker or amps in the back besides amazing sound you'd never know it was upgraded.

I'll post some pictures when I get around to taking some.

Actually (edited) I have a couple of the harness:


Here's the harness with all the speaker wires.

Cable Wire Finger Technology Hand



This is it in the radio. There's a grey harness in front of it in that you might want to unplug, although it's not necessary. Note this picture is taken upside down, ie, laying on the passenger foot well floor, looking up. Hope you're flexible. :)
Electronics Computer hardware Technology Electronic device Electronics accessory


The speaker wires are:
Left front speakers positive (+): blue, negative (-): brown/blue
Right front speakers positive (+): yellow, negative (-): yellow/black
Left rear door speaker positive (+): green, negative (-): green/black
Right rear door speaker positive (+): white, negative (-): blue/black
 

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Awesome, thanks for the writeup!!! The sub is next up on my upgrade list, and might just grab a 4+1 amp to simplify wiring. But this may be months to a year in the making. I鈥檓 considering building a box to fit either the passenger foot well area or that storage area in the center console, then have the amp under the passenger seat. Just to have the low frequencies up close and personal. :LOL:

Again, awesome writeup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks :)

I found the passenger seat was a difficult fit due to the rails being close together and airbag and other wiring hanging too low and the rear duct being kind of in the middle too. It can probably be done with a small enough amp though, though the RF 250's are pretty small themselves.

As well, the passenger foot well has a decently large ventilation spreader/duct and not a lot of room behind it. When I mounted my amp there it was in front of it, which blocks a few outputs but not all of them, but a speaker box would be a tough fit in there without it being in the way. Amp ventilation was also a concern though these supposedly give some leeway (can be mounted upside down, don't get super hot).

Lower center area might be doable, but it's also more narrow than I thought, but you could mount an amp or maybe a very small box in there creatively if you didn't mind it taking up that whole space including up to the center stack. I had a feeling there's some open space hidden by the center console itself, but didn't explore it. Since I opted for a full size 12" sub there wasn't a lot of choice besides in the back.
 

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Haven鈥檛 quite yet measured out the dimensions of the area under the passenger seat and compared it with the amps I have my eye on, but that was actually one of my concerns - whether it would impair any airbag functionality. Will have to delve deeper into that at some point.

Re: sub enclosures, I was actually planning to make one out of fiberglass for it to fit snugly. The center console cargo area makes the most sense for now since I never use that spot anyway (it鈥檚 too narrow for majority of takeout boxes but at the same time too big for things like an umbrella because it would move around too much during driving). Yup, like you suggested I intend to bring it all the way up to the level of the cup holders. Nothing too crazy, probably an 8鈥, or 10鈥 max since it鈥檒l be right beside me. Just really need something to fill in the frequencies below 50 Hz accurately (which is as low as the Infinity References go).

Follow up questions: where did you route the wires going to the battery? And what did you use to ground?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The wire to the battery I followed someone on here's suggestion and made a hole in the large rubber stopper going between the drivers side behind the dash into the engine compartment. Hardest part was trying to stuff that 4ga wire through the hole because it's really soft rubber and any hole you make in it will tend to close up. But that turns out being a good thing because it makes a good seal around the wire.

Instead of connecting it to the battery terminal, I connected it to the large wire bolted down at the main fuse area. This seemed cleaner. Pretty sure this is direct to the battery terminal. For my ~600w sharing that wire should be fine. If I was going higher I might want to rethink that, but I kind of doubt it even then.

For ground I used 4 gauge wires, initially into a ring terminal and screwed into the same chassis metal and screw that holds the radio (when I just had the one amp up front). In the rear there aren't many good ground terminals. You basically have the rear hatch latch bolts or the heavy duty bolts that secure the rear seats. Mine is currently on the rear seat bolt. While I don't like fiddling with a "structural" bolt, that should probably be fine, but I might investigate if there's a better point behind the side trim to use, an open area where I could drill and use a bolt and nut, or maybe use the hold-down threads at the bottom of the spare tire well and thread a bolt down there to use.
 

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Interesting points, @quiddity ! I asked about the wire routing because I noticed there's an identical grommet on the passenger side, behind the glove compartment. The engine compartment side of this grommet is much less accessible than the one you used, though. I'll have to take a peek at that wire you connected your battery wire to.

I think your initial spot for the ground (the chassis behind the radio) is perfect for where I plan to put the amp. I'm trying to minimize the wire runs as much as possible. Didn't think of that spot to put the ground on, but in retrospect I remember seeing that when I was looking for the radio wiring harness and it would probably do just fine.

I recall that @LaBrother used one of the threads in the "spare tire well" that you referenced, though I think he had to sand down some of the primer paint to get to the actual chassis metal.

I've officially gone down this rabbit hole...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick update with rear grounding. I ordered some "InstallGear 4 AWG Gauge Gold Ring Set Screw Battery Ring Terminals" from Amazon. They're really heavy-duty, pretty much overkill but they look nice. I fashioned a small metal plate to go with them (see images). I'm pretty happy with this setup.

Bracket and terminals:


Installed:
 

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Strong work, man! Didn鈥檛 even know such a product existed. Will definitely look into this since it makes it easier and cleaner. Are you still using one of the rear seat bolts for this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, that's the rear seat bolt. I sanded the paint from the lower side of the washer and the base that it touches for a good connection. You can't see it, but I used ferrules everywhere the wire goes into one of these set screw items (the amp has them, the power distribution block has them, and the fuse has them). Much nicer than having just the wire going in there and inevitably, some stray wire strands trying to escape out the edge. Also makes it less of a hassle to disconnect and reconnect.

Still trying to decide if I want to try to mount the amps on the sides somehow, or secure them better to the floor. They're fine for now unsecured, they can't move around much, but I'm wondering if there's any room behind the plastic panels on the L/R to hide them away (at the cost of higher temperatures). Will report back :)
 

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Haven鈥檛 quite yet measured out the dimensions of the area under the passenger seat and compared it with the amps I have my eye on, but that was actually one of my concerns - whether it would impair any airbag functionality. Will have to delve deeper into that at some point.

Re: sub enclosures, I was actually planning to make one out of fiberglass for it to fit snugly. The center console cargo area makes the most sense for now since I never use that spot anyway (it鈥檚 too narrow for majority of takeout boxes but at the same time too big for things like an umbrella because it would move around too much during driving). Yup, like you suggested I intend to bring it all the way up to the level of the cup holders. Nothing too crazy, probably an 8鈥, or 10鈥 max since it鈥檒l be right beside me. Just really need something to fill in the frequencies below 50 Hz accurately (which is as low as the Infinity References go).

Follow up questions: where did you route the wires going to the battery? And what did you use to ground?
Just wondering if you ever made any progress to building a sub enclosure for the console? I am thinking of doing something similar but haven't started measuring yet...
 

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Just wondering if you ever made any progress to building a sub enclosure for the console? I am thinking of doing something similar but haven't started measuring yet...
Never got around to doing it because the past year has been utterly exhausting work wise. But the materials are still in the garage so if I finally get the time I鈥檒l keep everyone posted.

On a side note, since I鈥檓 returning my Bolt for the buyback process, I had to remove the aftermarket speakers and reinstall the stock ones. The stocks are just so dreadfully flat. I鈥檝e been spoiled!!!
 

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Some might remember I made a thread about replacing the bolt stock speakers. Well I guess I can't leave well enough alone, as I've moved to the next level of insanity.

I've installed a RF Prime 250x4 amp to drive the speakers as well as installed a single RF Punch 12" sub in the back powered by a second RF 250x1 amp. I built a sealed box to fit in the fake spare wheel well and the speaker with a metal grill doesn't interfere with cargo space. This box I drilled holes in the bottom that match where the screws sticking up were so I didn't have to modify the area (then glued a second layer of MDF over the holes inside), and it helps pin it in place. I also added some sound deadening material to that area, as I noticed earlier a lot of road noise coming from there without the Styrofoam thing and floor down there to muffle it.

System is not going to win a "competition" but it sounds really great and strong and meets my needs, so I'm really happy with it.

This required some hefty wiring work. In addition to battery wires and figuring out a clean way to connect 4 gauge stranded cables, I had to tap into the speaker outputs at the radio. Basically there's a brown harness that plugs into it. You can pull that, and you have maybe 2" of each wire to work with. There are 8 wires total, positive and negative for Left/Right Front/Back - dash tweeters and front doors are wired in parallel. It's very tight but not impossible. Once you have that done, the rest is easier. My car is an LT without Bose, and I believe that while I saw something online that said it has an amp, it doesn't have a separate amp, it's all built into the radio module which is in the passenger side lower dash area, and it's really wedged in there, behind welded together metal chassis. I think it would be pretty difficult to pull it out.

I ran the cabling down the passenger edge of the car under the trim and carpet into the rear where I hooked everything up. I actually had the 4 channel amp hooked up first mounted under the passenger front dash, so that's an option if you're doing just that part of it (ie, no subwoofer). Since I was running wires to the back for the sub, I decided to move it all back there, which meant a little cleaner and more accessible installation.

I routed the wires through a kicker speaker to RCA adapter (currently, only one, so everything is driven from the front which works ok but you lose the "beep" from rear cross traffic alerts as well as the ability to fade front/rear, but I have the remaining channel on order), letting me run RCA level to the back which I feel is a little cleaner/ nicer.
For the ignition switch I ran a fuse tap to F22 which is switched, with a 10 amp fuse.

So far no issues or surprises. It works as expected and unless you see the speaker or amps in the back besides amazing sound you'd never know it was upgraded.

I'll post some pictures when I get around to taking some.

Actually (edited) I have a couple of the harness:


Here's the harness with all the speaker wires.

View attachment 27153


This is it in the radio. There's a grey harness in front of it in that you might want to unplug, although it's not necessary. Note this picture is taken upside down, ie, laying on the passenger foot well floor, looking up. Hope you're flexible. :)
View attachment 27154

The speaker wires are:
Left front speakers positive (+): blue, negative (-): brown/blue
Right front speakers positive (+): yellow, negative (-): yellow/black
Left rear door speaker positive (+): green, negative (-): green/black
Right rear door speaker positive (+): white, negative (-): blue/black
Hey Quiddity, nice work. I want to do a speaker swap on my LT. Did you put in new component speakers? I was wondering where to tie-in/hide the crossovers for the fronts. Also, do the lower console panels on the sides just pop off? I pulled off the panel with the 12v outlet in it and it looks like there is room for a small 4 channel amp but I would like to get the side panels off to have room to work. Is this area where the radio is? Is this the area shown in your pictures above?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Quiddity, nice work. I want to do a speaker swap on my LT. Did you put in new component speakers? I was wondering where to tie-in/hide the crossovers for the fronts. Also, do the lower console panels on the sides just pop off? I pulled off the panel with the 12v outlet in it and it looks like there is room for a small 4 channel amp but I would like to get the side panels off to have room to work. Is this area where the radio is? Is this the area shown in your pictures above?
Thanks!

Yeah new component speakers.

This is one of those things where what I did and what I'd do now are pretty different.
Each speaker (6x) had its corresponding crossover wired right before the speaker itself, wrapped in vinyl tape/cloth and laid or dangling under the speaker. Everything was soldered so nothing is coming loose, but there are prob moisture issues in the doors and the weight of the front ones on the tweeters mean securing the tweeter is more difficult. It still works fine, but what I'd do now is prob wire what I need into a box, mount the components in there nicely, and secure it near the amps in the back. I also need one less crossover due to the DSP being able to better control one pair of speakers (ie, they don't need one any more). Since the tweeters and front doors are on the same channel they still need something. The subwoofer doesn't need anything.

If I were just doing speaker swaps, well, you could tap into the speakers (it can be hard) near the radio and hide them in there, or just do a better job on them. The crossover inductors I bought were quite heavy. Not sure if you could get something lighter and easier to perhaps glue to something or put in a project box and secure that, for a more pro looking job.

If you mean the console in the center of the car, I don't think that looked like it popped off. I didn't do that. I agree though, there may be room for a small amp in there. By the time I was dealing with amps, I had decided to mount them in the back of the car, so I just had to route things past there. I looked long and hard at a combo sub/amp because there are some nice looking inexpensive ones out there.

The actual radio is buried way in the passenger footwell/dash. It's a bear to get to, and to this day I'm not sure how you'd remove it since it was really wedged into the dash structure. I was able to remove the harness and tap into it, but like I said if I were starting the project today, someone was selling a harness with speaker wires you can more easily tap into. I only had like 2" of wire to work with, and again it was all way up in the footwell and hard to reach. The pictures above show that footwell area, I think they're basically taken with me on my back, head looking up from the footwell :)
 

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Thanks for the reply.
You say the radio is burred in the passenger footwell. Is that under the center stack or on the door/outboard side? Is it up high, more like directly behind the display? How did you get to it?
I will end up buying components and using the crossover that comes with them so I need to find the branch point where the mids/tweeters split off. This way I can attach the main wires in and have the branch wires on the output. I guess I have to try to trace the wires back from the speakers and hope to find the branch point.
As far as sub's goes, I will end up buying one of the compact powered subs and putting it under the seat. I am not looking for window rattling bass, just full sound, more like what you would get from a good surround sound system. I am hoping I can fish wires under the carpet from under the dash and have them come out where the carpet is cut under the seat for the seat heater wires.
 

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Thanks for the reply.
You say the radio is burred in the passenger footwell. Is that under the center stack or on the door/outboard side? Is it up high, more like directly behind the display? How did you get to it?
I will end up buying components and using the crossover that comes with them so I need to find the branch point where the mids/tweeters split off. This way I can attach the main wires in and have the branch wires on the output. I guess I have to try to trace the wires back from the speakers and hope to find the branch point.
As far as sub's goes, I will end up buying one of the compact powered subs and putting it under the seat. I am not looking for window rattling bass, just full sound, more like what you would get from a good surround sound system. I am hoping I can fish wires under the carpet from under the dash and have them come out where the carpet is cut under the seat for the seat heater wires.
Did you ever find where the front speakers branched? I am putting in new components soon and was wondering if the factory head unit already does the crossover since I'd assume they are crossovered with stock tweeters or where to put the crossover that'll come with the speakers?
 

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Did you ever find where the front speakers branched? I am putting in new components soon and was wondering if the factory head unit already does the crossover since I'd assume they are crossovered with stock tweeters or where to put the crossover that'll come with the speakers?
No I did not. I ended up buying a set of Focal component speakers with in-line crossovers so I would not have to deal with it. It was more than I wanted to spend but it made it easier and they sound great. The stock tweeter has a capacitor on it so this is probably acting as a cross-over to keep the lower frequencies from passing thru.
When you do you speakers keep in mind a few things:
1- You will need to come up with an adapter to mount the new tweeters. I reverse engineered the mount on the speaker grill where the factor tweeter mounts and designed an adapter to mount the new speaker in that location, then I 3-D printed it. Others on this forum have come up with other solutions. It all depends on what speakers you want to install. You will also need an adapter to wire them. I cut the connector from the back of the stock tweeter with a rotary tool and soldered it to the speaker wire tail coming off my new tweeter. It worked great. I did not find an after market adapter for this.
2- The after market door speaker adapter I bought was only 1 inch thick. The stock door speaker mount is 2 inches thick. I do not know if there are after-market adapters that are the same thickness as the stock mount. The after market wire connector adapter I got did plug directly into the door speaker connector.
I am attaching some pics of what I did. The grey piece is the 3-D printed adapter.
Automotive tire Product Electrical wiring Motor vehicle Gas
Gas Auto part Font Metal Fashion accessory
Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Car
Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive mirror Automotive design
Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper Automotive wheel system Automotive tire
Product Body jewelry Silver Material property Font
Automotive lighting Wood Font Automotive exterior Motor vehicle

Good Luck...
 

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No I did not. I ended up buying a set of Focal component speakers with in-line crossovers so I would not have to deal with it. It was more than I wanted to spend but it made it easier and they sound great. The stock tweeter has a capacitor on it so this is probably acting as a cross-over to keep the lower frequencies from passing thru.
When you do you speakers keep in mind a few things:
1- You will need to come up with an adapter to mount the new tweeters. I reverse engineered the mount on the speaker grill where the factor tweeter mounts and designed an adapter to mount the new speaker in that location, then I 3-D printed it. Others on this forum have come up with other solutions. It all depends on what speakers you want to install. You will also need an adapter to wire them. I cut the connector from the back of the stock tweeter with a rotary tool and soldered it to the speaker wire tail coming off my new tweeter. It worked great. I did not find an after market adapter for this.
2- The after market door speaker adapter I bought was only 1 inch thick. The stock door speaker mount is 2 inches thick. I do not know if there are after-market adapters that are the same thickness as the stock mount. The after market wire connector adapter I got did plug directly into the door speaker connector.
I am attaching some pics of what I did. The grey piece is the 3-D printed adapter.
View attachment 39724 View attachment 39725 View attachment 39726 View attachment 39727 View attachment 39728 View attachment 39729 View attachment 39730
Good Luck...
Thank you for all the information. I do wish I thought of the inline filter before buying mine, but I liked the sound of the speakers. I haven't popped off the door panels since I'm waiting on some parts still, but I was thinking of running new wire to the tweeters since my components came with a crossover. I guess I'll see when I open the door up if that'll be too hard, but I was also thinking of snipping and attaching the high pass filter from the stock tweeter to the new one. I think I might make a video of my attempt to do all the speakers, ad a cheap sub, and sound deaden the doors since I've only seen photos for the Bolt so far.
 
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