How to Install a Stereo Amplifier & Equalizer in a Car

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Car audio enthusiasts covet power and control. To achieve these things, you can add an amplifier and equalizer to your stereo system. The amplifier will add volume and depth of sound to any stereo. The equalizer gives you the ability to control the sonic output to meet your specific demands. You can have a technician at an aftermarket retailer perform the installations, or you can do it yourself and save the cost of labor.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Trim panel tool
  • Amplifier wiring kit
  • Patch cables
  • Wiring harness adapter
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the battery. The grounding cable is the black cable that connects the battery to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the bolt of the clamp on the cable. Remove the clamp from the negative lead of the battery.

  • Connect the ring terminal from the amplifier wiring kit to the positive lead of the battery. Take the fuse out of the fuse holder on the ring terminal.

  • Mount the amplifier and equalizer in the vehicle's trunk. The units can be mounted in other locations of the vehicle, but the trunk is ideal for ventilation of the amplifier and ease of access for the equalizer.

  • Remove the stereo from the dash of the vehicle. Removal procedures vary. See your vehicle's owner's manual for proper removal instructions.

  • Run the main power cable from the battery to the trunk of the vehicle. Use a trim panel tool to remove the panels, securing the carpeting to the floor of the vehicle.

  • Connect the power cable to the battery and the amplifier.

  • Run the signal cable from the stereo to the amplifier. Be sure to run the signal wires on the opposite side of the vehicle to avoid interference.

  • Connect the turn-on lead from the stereo to the amplifier. The turn-on lead can be routed with the signal cable without worry of interference.

  • Connect the grounding wire from the amplifier wiring kit to the frame of the vehicle. For optimum grounding, the grounding wire should be less than 20 inches and connected to the frame at any available bolt location in the trunk.

  • Connect the speakers to the amplifier using standard speaker wire.

  • Connect the equalizer patch cables to the stereo, and run them to the trunk. Use a wiring harness adapter. Run the patch cables along a path other than the amplifier power cable. The power cable will cause audible interference if grouped with signal cables.

  • Connect the patch cables to the equalizer.

  • Replace the stereo in the dock in the dash of the vehicle.

  • Reconnect the grounding cable to the negative lead of the vehicle's battery. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten the clamp around the lead. Tighten the clamp so that it cannot be moved about the negative lead by hand.

  • Place the fuse into the ring terminal of the amplifier wiring kit.

References

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