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1996 honda accord lx sedan amplifier installation...

Old 06-30-2008, 08:41 PM
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Default 1996 honda accord lx sedan amplifier installation...

I was wondering is anyone knew of any links or videos that show specifically how to install an amplifier for a 1996 honda accord of something around that year. Im not sure if i want it in the trunk or under the seat whichever one is better. It will be a 4 channel amp, giving rms 80 x 4 to both my rear speakers and front doors. I am new to this and i want to do it right. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 06-05-2010, 01:42 AM
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Talking Hi Member

PM keep_hope_alive... he's my Stereo Guru in here...

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Old 06-05-2010, 07:26 AM
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Amplifier installation isn't vehicle specific. The key steps to installing an amplifier are as follows:

* Obviously, you need an amplifier or sometimes several of them.
* An amplifier installation kit is a great way to get most everything you need in one package. Don't just buy the cheapest one you can find - they have crap in them. Get a good kit. The kits will be sorted by power wire size.
* Power wire sizing is based on two things: current draw and distance. For your example, an 8 awg amplifier kit would be sufficient. However, if you ever plan on adding a subwoofer amplifier, you should get a 4 awg amplifier kit now. 4 awg is not that much more expensive and gives you expansion and flexibility.
* RCA's may be included with the amp kit, if not, you'll need one per channel. A 4 channel amp for front/rear speakers will require 2 pairs of RCA cables. You can buy them in one harness (four on each end).
* Speaker Wire - you may get some with the kit, but you'll want a 100 ft. spool to do four speakers in a car. I never go smaller than 16awg and prefer 14awg for most high power jobs.
* Quality brands are important - go with bigger names like Monster Cable, Rockford Fosgate, Streetwires, etc. If they have a good web page, they usually sell good stuff. If you can't find a web page for them, avoid that brand.

Tools -
The most difficult part for a novice is tools. If you don't have any - you could spend more than the cost of your system buying all of the tools necessary. There are some tools that I consider to be the "bear necessities" (as Baloo would say):
soldering iron - solder, etc.
torch or windproof grill lighter
crimpers (that double as wire strippers)
wire cutters
razor blade (box cutter)
cordless drill and drill bit set
allen wrenches
tone generator
tape and or heat shrink
screw drivers
panel poppers
zip ties (4" and 6")
wire terminals (female disconnects, ring terminals, butt connectors, etc).

A longer list of installation tools is located here:

Without the necessary tools, the job will be harder. You can buy cheap tools if you're in a pinch, but recognize they won't last very long. Harbor Freight or Walmart or a similar place sells most of the above fairly cheaply.

Once you have all of the necessary equipment, wiring, and tools, you are ready to disassemble the car interior to route wires. You'll be routing wires to the following locations.
* Power wire from battery to amplifier
* Ground wire from car floor to amplifier
* RCA's from head unit to amplifier
* Remote turn-on from head unit to amplifier
* Speaker wire from amplifier to each speaker

For years, people have been routing wires to the sides of the car, under the rocker panel trim. This can work in some vehicles, but in other cars it's difficult to get panels and carpet to lay properly and the wiring can be damaged by the trim screws and clips. I don't route wires like that anymore. I pull out the seats and center console. I route my RCA's and remote down the middle - taped to the floor. I route power wire on the battery side of the car, on the floor, usually on the outside edge.

Power wire needs to pass through the firewall. Easiest way to find this is to remove the driver's seat (helps with running wire anyway) so you can lay down and look under the dash. Sometimes you can find an empty OEM wire grommet to pass the wire through. With 8awg you can usually fit it in the factory wire grommet (near top of driver's side dash). Any time you pass a wire through metal, it should have a grommet to protect it from shorting.

Once you get the power wire through the fire wall, you need to route it to the battery terminal. At this point, you may need to upgrade the battery terminals so you can add a new wire. Even the $4 terminals at any Autozone that have wing nut will work fine. You'll just need to put new ring terminals on the factory wires as well. I recommend high temp black split loom for all power wiring in an engine bay - same as factory. I also use red electrical tape to terminate my ends.

Amplifier mounting
You'll need a location to mount the amp. I always mount the amp to a wood board, and mount the wood board to the car. Avoid mounting an amp directly to a vehicle. You don't want the amp metal case bonded to the metal in the car. Any wood will work, and I'll usually paint the wood to protect from moisture, then cover with carpet for looks. The wood board can also have holes installed to route wiring through for an even cleaner look.
Some general mounting rules:
* Don't mount an amp upside down - extra heat on the PCB will cause early failure
* Ensure a dry location that had adequate air space around it
* Don't put an amp where it will get in the way (i.e. floor of the trunk). Try to get it on the side wall of a trunk, out of the way.
* Keep the controls and adjustments accessible. You'll want to be able to adjust gain and crossover settings with minimal hassle.
Old 06-05-2010, 07:36 AM
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I follow this step-by-step procedure for most amplifier installs:

1. Determine mounting locations and make the mounting board - test fit location, then paint and carpet. While paint and glue dries, I work on the car.
2. Disassemble vehicle as required (seats, console, dash, door panels, etc.)
3. Route wiring (power, RCA, remote, and speaker wires) but wait to make connections. Label all wires as you go (especially speaker wires).
4. Make head unit connections (RCA and remote).
5. Make speaker connections (front and rear)
6. Use the DMM to verify all wire connections before connecting to amplifier (will expand on this later)
7. Make amplifier connections (Power, Ground, RCA, Remote, Speaker Wire)
8. Make power wire connection at battery and insert fuse.

Make sure you have enough time to do this. You can break up the job into smaller parts if necessary - but you'd like to have the car reassembled to some point (you need a seat and door panels or at least the controls. For the first time - give yourself a garage and a weekend. Start early so you can make trips to the store when you realize you don't have something you need. It usually takes me ~4 hours or so to install a simple amp, and i've done hundreds. More advanced installs can take 8 hours or more depending on the amount of fabrication required. I take my time on my connections, and my installs work the first time and for a long time.

Digital Multi-Meter (DMM) test to do
* I always use my DMM to measure resistance on my speaker wires at the amp. I measure resistance between the positive and negative, and between each to ground. Between the positive and negative you should get a number just below the impedance rating. Between either wire and ground it should be infinite resistance or open circuit.
* I always measure resistance between the power wire and ground before connecting it to the amp or battery. You should have infinite resistance or open circuit to ground. If the power wire is connected to the amp, you'll get a few thousand or tens of thousand of ohms due to the internal amp resistance and circuitry.
* I also measure resistance between remote turn-on and ground to make sure it's also an open circuit.
Old 06-05-2010, 08:01 AM
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:08 PM
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Instead of starting a new thread I figured I would ask this here since it applies. Where would I connect the RCA and the remote wire to a stock 90 radio? There are no ports on the back for RCAs and all the wires are in the factory harness that plugs into the back of the radio.

Thanks and sorry for the hi jack.
Old 06-20-2010, 02:40 AM
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it's a fine question. no need to apologize.

you need a line output converter that has an auto remote-turn on feature. essentially, it accepts speaker level outputs and converts them to RCA outputs. it will also sense when a signal is present - resulting in a turn-on signal.

Pacific Accessory Corporation sells some. USA Spec does also.

Basically, the "PAC TrunkLOC" (google it)

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