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Old 12-23-2018, 03:49 PM
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Amp kit and wiring question.

Just trying to map things out and hopefully tackle this in the next few weeks.

Wanting to add a 5 channel amp. So, I'll be powering some components in front and coaxial in the soundbar plus a sub(s) in the cargo area. Amp will go under drivers or passengers front seat.
Want to go 4 gauge (amp is undecided).

1. As far as amp kits, is it better to just buy a kit or can I piece one together for less $?
1a. How many ft RCA if I am going under drivers or passengers seat? I'll need 3 pair.

2. How many ft speaker wire? What gauge?

3. Ground - Where is a good place to ground the amp?

4. I have my wire for my backup camera on the passenger side in wire loom. Can I run the 4 gauge along with that? If so, where is the best place to cross over to the drivers side?

5. Any advice on the soundbar? DO I remove factory wire or just run new wire beside it? Or will I have to drill a new hole?


Any other words of wisdom? My biggest fear is to get everything taken apart and 1/2 through the install and realize I don't have a wire/connector/tool. Ugh.

thanks everyone.

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Old 12-31-2018, 01:50 PM   #2
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I used the Jl Audio M900/5 under passenger seat. Barely fits. I used the L10 amp kit. Should have used the L20. It's 6 gauge OFC. Easier to run. Put the 50amp breaker next to the battery. M650's in the front and M770's in sound bar. 2 M8ib5's in the rear floor. Ran JL 16/2 marine speaker wire.

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Old 01-01-2019, 02:31 PM
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still looking for thoughts.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #4
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For the interconnect length, mark a string in 1ft increments and then do a sample fit to judge the correct length. Keep in mind that once you're above 3ft, the interconnect lengths are often in 3 ft increments, or .5 to 1 meter increments.


For under the seat amp mounting, 6 ft to 2M is probably the ballpark.


I bought an amp kit that didn't have interconnects, and then added the interconnects and extra distribution blocks I needed (amps ended up in the back). You'll have some waste, but just accept it.


What I ran into was that with power wire, most of the deals that looked good ended up being aluminum plated copper wire to cut costs. I prefer non-plated copper, but that usually costs a little more. Sometimes welding supply places sell 4 ga. wire by the foot and that might also be a cheaper alternative of quality wire.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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Don't know how often your jeep sees water but I had to move my amp from underneath my seat because I was worried about water. Just something to think about. Mine is up on my rollbar now. Not as hidden but doesn't bother me and now is very unlikely to ever get water damage.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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Speaker wire... 16ga or 14ga is fine. 12ga is overkill and gets harder to work with. I used 14ga because I had a spool of CL2 left over from a home install.



For a remote turn on lead you don't need anything special. I pulled apart some 16ga speaker wire I had laying around so it was just a single wire.



Keep battery and signal wires apart from each other. Ideally, run them on opposite sides of the Jeep if you can. If they need to cross then cross them at a 90 degree angle. Ground your amp to chassis on bare metal. You may have to grind off paint to get a clean ground.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:27 PM
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thanks.,

A few of the amp kits I've seen have 16 gauge. I think that should be fine.
Since I hope to go with a 5 channel amp I see some RCA have all three pair bundled into a thin flat wire. That should make the run easier.

I've already added polyfill to my soundbar and the pods up front. I know adding sound deadening material is generally a good idea but I won't be adding it to the tub, etc. With that said, would it be worth it to add it to the inside of the soundbar and front pods?

I have seen others use an existing ground in the front drivers seat floor near the center console for the amp. Does that seem right or would I need to make a new one?
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:49 AM   #8
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I've already added polyfill to my soundbar and the pods up front. I know adding sound deadening material is generally a good idea but I won't be adding it to the tub, etc. With that said, would it be worth it to add it to the inside of the soundbar and front pods?

I wouldn't bother. I've never had a problem with the front pods. I don't have any issues with the rears but I'm only running deck power to the rears so they are playing a lot quieter than the front. I've read where some guys have issues with the soundbar buzzing at certain frequencies, but dynamat isn't going to help you. It seems the only cure is to completely refabricate the soundbar out of MDF and fiberglas resin so that its super rigid. It will also be really heavy. It's not worth the trouble in my opinion.



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I have seen others use an existing ground in the front drivers seat floor near the center console for the amp. Does that seem right or would I need to make a new one?

I'm not sure where this existing ground is, but the important thing is to make sure all paint is stripped off so that you can bolt your grounds ring terminal to bare metal. If that's possible then you should be good.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #9
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4 gauge for power wiring is definitely way overkill, that's nearly (but not quite) big enough to power a winch which draws WAY more power. Pay no attention to the wire size gauges you see hanging on the racks in the car audio section, kids buy that stuff and have no idea what is needed or they buy big gauge wire to impress their buddies. For most any amp, 10 gauge is more than enough, 12 would be fine for anything I'd ever run. 8 at the very biggest.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:29 PM
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thanks. I already ordered 4ga.
At least now I could add a distribution block if I ever needed to power something else inside the jeep.

Still curious about #3 and 5 above.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #11
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A ground wire needs to be attached to a bare metal point on the tub or chassis via an existing grounding point other ground wires are already attached to, or drill a hole though the tub at some hidden location and after grinding the paint away from a small circular area, pass a bolt with a washer on it through it and secure it with a split-ring washer and nut on the other side. Crimp a ring connector onto the ground wire and put it under the bolt head's washer.

The existing wiring going up to the sound bar is adequate for a typical amp power and speaker installation. Make sure to observe speaker wiring polarity, otherwise you'll have reduced power (primarily bass) and a wonky non-centered sound.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:10 PM
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thanks Jerry. In some youtube videos I have seen a factory ground used that is somewhere on the drivers side of the center console. In those videos the seat is removed so it is hard to tell. And I haven't removed mine yet so I was just asking.

I may just go ahead and run new wire to the soundbar. I believe the kit comes with plenty. I'm guessing I'll need some kind of plastic/rubber grommet.

And is there a preference on which side of the firewall to go through? I've seen it done both ways. What do I use to seal up the slit if I have to make one?
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:27 AM   #13
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thanks Jerry. In some youtube videos I have seen a factory ground used that is somewhere on the drivers side of the center console. In those videos the seat is removed so it is hard to tell. And I haven't removed mine yet so I was just asking.

I may just go ahead and run new wire to the soundbar. I believe the kit comes with plenty. I'm guessing I'll need some kind of plastic/rubber grommet.

And is there a preference on which side of the firewall to go through? I've seen it done both ways. What do I use to seal up the slit if I have to make one?

In my JK, I used the existing passenger side opening to run the battery cable. It's up near the top of the dash once you remove the plastic dash side cap. Its semi-sealed with foam but you can push a cable through that without much effort and then the cable comes into the engine area right near the battery where you want to be. I ran 4ga and it was tight, but I already had a small gauge wire run there for the CB. A smaller gauge wire for amps should be easy and no drilling required. Be sure to put a fuse block within a foot or so of the battery.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:43 AM   #14
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Seat Belt bolts make a good ground normally, big bolt with meaty threads.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:31 PM   #15
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And is there a preference on which side of the firewall to go through? I've seen it done both ways. What do I use to seal up the slit if I have to make one?
I don't know JKs but there are two factory holes in the TJ's firewall that may also be in the JK. When you have an automatic that leaves an unused hole for the clutch pedal rod up high on the driver's side. When you have a manual transmission that might leave an unused hole (plugged by a rubber grommet) above and to the right of the accelerator pedal that the automatic's shift cable would normally pass through.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:15 PM
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In my JK, I used the existing passenger side opening to run the battery cable. It's up near the top of the dash once you remove the plastic dash side cap. Its semi-sealed with foam but you can push a cable through that without much effort and then the cable comes into the engine area right near the battery where you want to be. I ran 4ga and it was tight, but I already had a small gauge wire run there for the CB. A smaller gauge wire for amps should be easy and no drilling required. Be sure to put a fuse block within a foot or so of the battery.
I think I will go through the passenger side. Do I need to put something on the foam to re-seal it?
Sounds like it will be pretty tight but I don't want water getting in in the future.

I got everything in today so I am hoping sometime Sat/Sun/Mon I can start on this.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:54 PM   #17
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I think I will go through the passenger side. Do I need to put something on the foam to re-seal it?
Sounds like it will be pretty tight but I don't want water getting in in the future.

I got everything in today so I am hoping sometime Sat/Sun/Mon I can start on this.

No, just make a little slit in the rubber plug and push the wire through it.



As for the ground, yes there is a ground on the driver's side. I used it for my amp. I removed the seat to make it easier.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:46 AM
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No, just make a little slit in the rubber plug and push the wire through it.



As for the ground, yes there is a ground on the driver's side. I used it for my amp. I removed the seat to make it easier.
Thanks. Now I'm torn on where to mount the amp. I'd rather use an existing ground so under the drivers seat seems best. But under the passenger seat is a shorter run for power.
If I run power through passenger side what is the best way to get power under drivers seat? Will it go under seat mounts? Or behind without being noticeable?
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:55 AM   #19
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I think I will go through the passenger side. Do I need to put something on the foam to re-seal it?
Sounds like it will be pretty tight but I don't want water getting in in the future.

I got everything in today so I am hoping sometime Sat/Sun/Mon I can start on this.

I didn't reseal mine. It's up high enough that it shouldn't matter unless you cross chest-high waters in your Jeep, and then you've got bigger problems to deal with.


Note: I was able to push my cable through by taping the cable to a straightened coathanger. The remaining foam in the gap still seals it reasonable well.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:00 AM   #20
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Thanks. Now I'm torn on where to mount the amp. I'd rather use an existing ground so under the drivers seat seems best. But under the passenger seat is a shorter run for power.
If I run power through passenger side what is the best way to get power under drivers seat? Will it go under seat mounts? Or behind without being noticeable?

Not to confuse, but another option is to mount everything on a board that sets inside that rear cargo tub. It makes things easy to work on and adjust. I did this and then just made a new ground point in that area. Cables will be longer but it's not anything to worry about. I ran the battery cable down the passenger side under carpet and trim, the RCA cables went down the drivers side, and the return speaker wires went up the center.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:41 AM
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Not to confuse, but another option is to mount everything on a board that sets inside that rear cargo tub. It makes things easy to work on and adjust. I did this and then just made a new ground point in that area. Cables will be longer but it's not anything to worry about. I ran the battery cable down the passenger side under carpet and trim, the RCA cables went down the drivers side, and the return speaker wires went up the center.
thanks. No confusion, I love options.
But I already have some stuff in there. No a huge deal to relocate but I'd rather not. Plus I've already got all my RCA's.

I am adding an RCA bass knob. Any thoughts on good placement? I'm hoping I can take it apart and flush mount it so that the knob is the only thing exposed. Not sure about that yet. I know to the right and down from the steering wheel is probably an easy option. Any other good places?
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:19 PM   #22
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I have a small, self contained volume module that came with my PPI amp. Because it has a really short profile I was able to velcro it in that small console indentation below the brake lever. The attached cable is exposed for just a few inches before it goes under the carpet.


If I was in a situation where I actually had to drill into something I'd probably try to install in the center console where I don't have to think about it or reach very far while I'm driving. Where I have mine now I can just easily find it by touch.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:05 AM
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Regarding the remote turn on. Is the cigarette lighter plug in the dash a good option? Are there several wires going to it and which one should I tap into?
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:42 AM   #24
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A good stereo receiver will have a wire coming out of it meant to be connected to the amplifier's remote-turn on wire. It's the receiver that should turn on the amplifier.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:22 PM
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A good stereo receiver will have a wire coming out of it meant to be connected to the amplifier's remote-turn on wire. It's the receiver that should turn on the amplifier.
It may. It's a pioneer 4200nex.
I know I've seen people use the lighter connector and that seems to work fine. And it's less wires going into the rats nest in the back of the head unit.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:52 PM   #26
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It may. It's a pioneer 4200nex.
I know I've seen people use the lighter connector and that seems to work fine. And it's less wires going into the rats nest in the back of the head unit.
The lighter connector may "work" but that kludge-wiring shortcut means the amp will be turned on whenever the ignition switch is on. . The right way to wire the amp's remote turn-on is as it was designed, to be controlled by the receiver's remote amp turn on wire. The couple extra minutes to wire it correctly shouldn't be considered not worth it and it certainly won't contribute to a "rat's nest".
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