How to Install a Kicker Amp

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Kicker makes a wide range of aftermarket car audio components, including subwoofers and amplifiers. Installing an amplifier to your vehicle's stereo sound system will increase volume as well as clarity. The amp boosts the signal from the head unit. The stronger the signal, the clearer the sound will be. Amplifiers are also necessary for powering larger speakers such as subs. Install a Kicker amp to provide power and depth to your vehicle's stereo system.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Amp wiring kit (with grounding wire, signal and turn-on lead cables)
  • Wiring harness adapter
  • Speaker wire
  • Lift the vehicle's hood and disconnect the negative and positive battery cables from their respective battery terminals. Use a wrench or pliers to loosen the cable's clamps and lift them from the battery posts.

  • Set the negative battery cable aside until the installation is complete.

  • Place the amplifier ring terminal lead onto the positive battery post. Place the positive battery cable clamp over the ring terminal lead and positive lead post. Tighten the cable to the post with the wrench.

  • Remove the fuse from the amplifier's ring terminal fuse holder. Connect the power cable to the ring terminal and route it through the vehicle's firewall and into the vehicle's passenger cabin. Move to the inside of the vehicle.

  • Remove the vehicle's factory stereo. Consult the vehicle repair manual for instructions. If your stereo accepts amplifier wiring directly, skip to step 7; otherwise proceed to the next step.

  • Disconnect the vehicle's stereo wiring from the back of the stereo and plug the connectors into a wiring harness adapter. Plug the wiring harness adapter leads into the outlets on the back of the stereo designated for signal and power.

  • Plug the signal cable and turn-on lead cable into the corresponding leads of the wiring harness adapter. Plug the cables directly into the back of the stereo unit if the deck is capable of receiving amp wiring.

  • Feed the amplifier cables through the back of the vehicle's stereo dock and route them to the floor of the vehicle on the passenger's side.

  • Replace the vehicle's stereo as directed in the repair manual. Replace any dash panels and screws/bolts you removed in the process of removing the stock stereo unit.

  • Route the power cable along the driver's side of the vehicle to the trunk. Lay the signal and turn-on lead cables along the passenger's side.

  • Plug the power cable into the third outlet from the top of the amplifier, on the left side. The top of the amplifier is the side where the Kicker logo is located.

  • Plug the turn-on lead cable into the first outlet from the top, on the left side of the amp.

  • Plug the signal cable into the input on the right side of the amplifier.

  • Insert the grounding wire from the amp wiring kit into the middle outlet on the left side of the amplifier. Connect the grounding wire to a screw or bolt in the trunk of the vehicle. The grounding point should be less than 20 inches from the amp and directly connected to the chassis (or frame) of the vehicle.

  • Insert the speaker wires into the outputs on the bottom section of the right side of the amp. Route the wires to the location of the speakers you have chosen to receive the amplified stereo signal.

  • Remove the speakers from their mounting (as directed by the vehicle's repair manual) and plug the speaker wires into the inputs on the back of the speaker. Replace the speakers into their docks. Return to the vehicle's engine compartment.

  • Replace the negative battery cable clamp to the negative battery terminal post. Tighten the cable to the post with the wrench. Place the fuse into the fuse holder on the ring terminal and close the vehicle's hood.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you choose to mount the Kicker amplifier under a seat, use isolation pads under the corners to provide the necessary ventilation.

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