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Old 04-07-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
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Radio- Stereo Noise

Okay, still finding small fix-it things on our new to us 97 TJ 4.0 5sp. Took it out the other night, and the stereo had nothing but noise on all stations. Works fine when the lights are off. Any ideas? Thinking it needs some-kind of in line filter to stereo. (It's aftermarket with amp under rear seat.) Works great during the day. Don't really want to go to stereo shop, when it could be any easy fix. All imput appreciated.

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like a faulty ground somewhere. Trace your wires and make sure the ground isn't tied into the same place the rear taillights (or the front tailights which would be too far) are grounded. An in-line filter would eliminate some ground-looping noise, but it wouldn't correct a problem like that where it's ALL noise. It just sounds like a faulty ground to me. Like I said, trace all of your wires from the amp. I bet something is loose or the ground is in a bad spot.

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Old 04-07-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Yep I agree with burton160w, that sounds like a power or ground issue. Many kids who install stereos for stereo shops have the electrical and installation skills of a monkey, they power stereos from anything they can find that sparks when they touch it. Make sure it is getting a good solid ground via something bolted to the tub, body, chassis etc. without paint getting in the way, and that it is getting its +12 volts from a good solid source using adequate gauge wiring. Even wiring that is too small for the job can cause electrical noise.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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Exactly! All you need is a ground tester light. $4 from Home Depot. Run a line from your positive terminal on the battery to the rear of the Jeep. Connect it to the ground tester light, and then find a proper place to connect the ground where it's isolated from other grounds. Make sure the ground and power cable are NO smaller then 8 gauge (this means that 4 gauge is even better). Speaker cable should be AT LEAST 12 gauge for subwoofers, and AT LEAST 14/16 gauge for speakers. I don't know your electrical knowledge, but the smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire. Make sure to use STRANDED wire for power and ground, and a solid wire for your remote wire (you can get away with an 18 gauge wire).

With any bolt you ground to, take some sandpaper and sand it down just to make sure it's a good ground.

When I had my Mercury Cougar, I had my amp wired to my ground for my tail lights. It was great because every time I put the turn signal on it would flash rapidly because of the faulty ground. It was pure laziness on my part, but it made it funny when I got pulled over and had the cop stepping on my brake and turning my car on and off while I'm behind it going "I don't see anything?"
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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Ground "noise" is usually a whistling that goes up and down with the revs of the engine. There are ground loop isolators that should fix that, they usually go inline with the RCA cables and basicly add a good ground to the outside ring of the RCA cable. You can do the same thing with a piece of wire for testing/fixing purposes.
But it sounds liek a bigger ground problem than a ground loop, I agree with the above about main amp ground probably being the problem
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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Worse yet, it could actually be something wrong with the amplifier itself. I've had blown amps that can be repaired, but it's not cheap and takes some technical know-how. One actually came with my Wrangler, and while I didn't have the knowledge to do the repair (and didn't need it) a guy on Ebay let me know that it's still a pretty rare amp to find and bought it for a good deal from me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the imput. Never gave grounds a thought. Also prior owner installed LED tail light units. Guess i'll have to check all prior mods for issues. Like I said before, the stereo works great until lights are turned on, then static on all channels, and can't hear a thing. Will be looking at the amp first. Thanks again.

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