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  #1  
Old 27th May 2012
xcmviper xcmviper is offline
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Default Amp Power Cable Install

Hey all,

I have a 2003 9-3SS and after a bunch of research, saba's guide, PaulOliver's amp power guide I felt comfortable attempting to install an amp in the trunk. However, because I have a LHD car, getting through the firewall is extremely difficult and ackward. The bundle of cable that Paul's guide shows is tucked underneath and to left of the steering column. Tried getting to it but it seems it would require removing a lot of stuff including the driver's seat to have any sort of working room

I will eventually have to remove the driver's seat to tap amp1 but I didn't want to do a full install yet just prep. This seems to be the hardest part of installing an amp.

How have you done a LHD saab 9-3? Is there some place else I can access the engine bay? I didn't notice any other cables that might go through the firewall but maybe I'm missing something.

Thanks!
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Old 27th May 2012
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running it through the base of the steering column is pretty easy and commonly done.
Just make an incision anywhere on the rubber boot that's marked with an 'x' in this picture.


As for removing the seat to get to the amp, I don't understand why people feel the need to do that. I have removed my amp1 multiple times by laying down outside my car with my upper body poking in and using a short screwdriver to undue the amp. Play around with moving the seat all the way forward and all the way back. I also didnt tap into the wires directly where they meet the amp1. I removed the trim at the base of the door and underneath it is a white plastic cover which contains the same wires. I opened the cover and tapped in there. This way the place where i tapped can't get exposed to water, like the rest of amp1.
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Old 27th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
running it through the base of the steering column is pretty easy and commonly done.
Just make an incision anywhere on the rubber boot that's marked with an 'x' in this picture.


.
Yep that worked for me too! I used a philips #2 screw driver to poke a hole though the rubber. I was afraid to use a knife as I didn't want a big hole. Plus the philips made a round hole so it would have less chance to split and enlarge. The rubber stayed nice n tight around the amp wire.
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  #4  
Old 27th May 2012
xcmviper xcmviper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
running it through the base of the steering column is pretty easy and commonly done.
Just make an incision anywhere on the rubber boot that's marked with an 'x' in this picture.


As for removing the seat to get to the amp, I don't understand why people feel the need to do that. I have removed my amp1 multiple times by laying down outside my car with my upper body poking in and using a short screwdriver to undue the amp. Play around with moving the seat all the way forward and all the way back. I also didnt tap into the wires directly where they meet the amp1. I removed the trim at the base of the door and underneath it is a white plastic cover which contains the same wires. I opened the cover and tapped in there. This way the place where i tapped can't get exposed to water, like the rest of amp1.
I did consider this but am afraid of the hole enlarging. Is there something i can use to prevent that? How did you fish it after poking the hole? i guess the gaffer tape method with a curved coat hanger wire? The engine bay is really cramped in the driver's side.

Waiting for the car to cool down (after driving around) in order to check.

I'lll also try to get at the wires underneath the trim. Awesome suggestion.

edit: Can I make the incision on the right side of the seal? You said anywhere on the rubber boot so I assume this is okay. I'm routing on the right hand side of the car in order not to cause interference with amp1

Last edited by xcmviper; 27th May 2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Addt'l info
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  #5  
Old 27th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
running it through the base of the steering column is pretty easy and commonly done.
Just make an incision anywhere on the rubber boot that's marked with an 'x' in this picture.


As for removing the seat to get to the amp, I don't understand why people feel the need to do that. I have removed my amp1 multiple times by laying down outside my car with my upper body poking in and using a short screwdriver to undue the amp. Play around with moving the seat all the way forward and all the way back. I also didnt tap into the wires directly where they meet the amp1. I removed the trim at the base of the door and underneath it is a white plastic cover which contains the same wires. I opened the cover and tapped in there. This way the place where i tapped can't get exposed to water, like the rest of amp1.
What is this? it's in the way of the amp1 wires

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Old 27th May 2012
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It's the channel that houses all the wires. Amp1 wires are inside, but I found them way too tight to even get a splice around them and gave up. I couldn't even get that thing open and had to hack in.
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Old 27th May 2012
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That's the plastic case i spoke of. I couldn't pry it open so i just cut a hinge into it that swings open to reveal the wires. Just find a powerful enough cutting tool and cut a small square out, leaving just one side still attached so it can shut again. As for the tightness of the wires, I had no issue. I guess i just wiggled them around enough to make them loose. All in all i think it is easier than removing the seat / trying to splice into wires while only half of your body is wedged into the car.
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Old 27th May 2012
xcmviper xcmviper is offline
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I managed to get the power cable from the steering column rubber boot to the trunk. It took a really long time for me. But this was my first install. I don't have as long a wire in the trunk as I would like but it'll do.

Going to try and actually tap amp1 tomorrow. I have removed amp1 without removing the sear. I wonder if I can actually tap the cables without removing it.

Also do you guys just splice and solder? I bought some posi-taps and plan to use those. I figure since this is just a tap a solder job isn't required. The website for posi-taps http://www.posi-lock.com/posiplug.html Are there any big objections to this? I've read many audio installers say they work great and better than other tap connectos like T-taps.
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  #9  
Old 27th May 2012
xcmviper xcmviper is offline
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Here's another question. When I connected the car to move it out of the garage I noticed that it would no longer produce the click that it did before when I inserted the key fob into the the CIM(?).

Before I would insert the key and wait a half second for the click and another second where the CIM allows me to rotate the key to start.

Now I can insert and turn in one continuous motion and hear no click.
Anyone know what's going on with that. I feel like I broke something.
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  #10  
Old 28th May 2012
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Probably because you have amp1 unplugged. I know the turn signals no longer click if amp1 is unplugged. That is probably the same way.
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  #11  
Old 28th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
Probably because you have amp1 unplugged. I know the turn signals no longer click if amp1 is unplugged. That is probably the same way.
Not that. I didn't touch amp yet and audio system works fine including chines and turn signal sound.

My steering wheel doesn't appear to lock anymore when the car is off. Did I hit something by going through the boot?
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  #12  
Old 28th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcmviper View Post
Not that. I didn't touch amp yet and audio system works fine including chines and turn signal sound.

My steering wheel doesn't appear to lock anymore when the car is off. Did I hit something by going through the boot?
Not sure how you would have managed that, I have never heard of a single person messing that up. Check the area you punctured. Are there other wires there?
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  #13  
Old 28th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
Not sure how you would have managed that, I have never heard of a single person messing that up. Check the area you punctured. Are there other wires there?
Can't check that until I get a ramp to raise the car. The power cabel is in the way so I can check from the boot now. I did notice any cables from top view of the engine bay.

after checking out the WIS I found this in the fitting Steering Wheel Lock


we'll see if driving it fixes it since I didn't bother going anywhere after i cleaned up.

I did get the amp installed and 4" coaxial speakers in. I have to size up and cut a connector to add my 6.5 coaxials. I may have to upgrade battery. The car had a rough start. the few times I turned it on. Any suggestions?

Last edited by xcmviper; 28th May 2012 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Additional Info. Additional question
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  #14  
Old 30th May 2012
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for some reason the image didn't show up in the prior post. I can't seem to be able to edit the post.

Anywho After driving above the 7 km/h referenced in WIS my Steering wheel lock is engaging again. Phew headache averted.

I will update once I install the other set of speakers and clean up the wiring.

Now should I use my 6.5" Polk Audio DB651s or buy/trade 6x9s. I feel like the 6x9 will be worth it but I need recommendations. It will be powered by a Kenwood KAC-8405 4 Channel amp. 60W RMS per channel. PS The auto Turn-on feature from the high level signal sensing works fantastically well. (I do not have a remote turn on wire connected.)

Suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 30th May 2012
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how are those DB651s treating you? I just ordered a set for my door speakers a few days ago. It had a million 5 star reviews so i assume they will be pretty good for the low price.
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Old 30th May 2012
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When I did the power cable, I removed the black plastic piece that mounts to the under side of the dash. It allowed me to access the rubber steering shaft surround quite easily. I also used a bit of silicon caulk around the power wire on the inside once it was installed to prevent any leaks; I pulled the wire through from the engine compartment, so putting silicon around the wire as you are pulling makes a nice seal on the engine side as well.

I took out the drivers seat several times during the install, and its VERY easy to do. It literally takes less than 5 minutes. There is one harness to disconnect, and three torx bolts (the seatbelt anchor, and the two rear rail mounts). For all the time you'll spend trying to squeeze your hands under the seat and move it around, IMO its way easier to just take it out. If you plan right, you only have to do it once!
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Old 30th May 2012
xcmviper xcmviper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
how are those DB651s treating you? I just ordered a set for my door speakers a few days ago. It had a million 5 star reviews so i assume they will be pretty good for the low price.
They're not as good as the non-shallow mount DB651 but still very good. Very clean sound from them. I was running them of a headunit so I didn't experience their full glory.

Let me know how your install goes. I assume you're amping them? If I can't find 6x9s for cheap then i'll just use my polk 6.5s in the rear parcel.

Last edited by xcmviper; 30th May 2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 30th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jplipper View Post
When I did the power cable, I removed the black plastic piece that mounts to the under side of the dash. It allowed me to access the rubber steering shaft surround quite easily. I also used a bit of silicon caulk around the power wire on the inside once it was installed to prevent any leaks; I pulled the wire through from the engine compartment, so putting silicon around the wire as you are pulling makes a nice seal on the engine side as well.

I took out the drivers seat several times during the install, and its VERY easy to do. It literally takes less than 5 minutes. There is one harness to disconnect, and three torx bolts (the seatbelt anchor, and the two rear rail mounts). For all the time you'll spend trying to squeeze your hands under the seat and move it around, IMO its way easier to just take it out. If you plan right, you only have to do it once!
I might use some silicon to further seal but I feel like the rubber sealed very well around the 4 guage wire. I didn't feel it necessary to remove the plastic piece as it wasn't in my way. What I wish I had done was removed the glove compartment in order to route the power cable behind it. I had routed through a crevice in the back, to the passenger trim right under the glove compartment and then down the length of the car to the trunk.

I also need to drill holes in my trunk compartment sidewalls to clean up the wiring as most of is is hanging or poorly routed.

I wanted to take out the seat but I was missing the torx size that it required. Since I couldn't go out and buy it at the time I just did what I could and it luckily worked. This was my first install. I had only done aftermarket headunits previously so I an amateur. Next time I will be better prepared and you're right, preparation is everything with large projects like these.
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Old 30th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcmviper View Post
They're not as good as the non-shallow mount DB651 but still very good. Very clean sound from them. I was running them of a headunit so I didn't experience their full glory.

Let me know how your install goes. I assume you're amping them? If I can't find 6x9s for cheap then i'll just use my polk 6.5s in the rear parcel.
oh wow i thought the s at the end of db651 was to pluralize it, i didn't realize there was a slim model. I have the full size db561. I am using a 400w amp for them.
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  #20  
Old 31st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-3tea View Post
oh wow i thought the s at the end of db651 was to pluralize it, i didn't realize there was a slim model. I have the full size db561. I am using a 400w amp for them.
Whats the average power per channel (RMS) of your amp? I'm now leaning on getting the polk audio db691 6x9 coaxials and sell the 6.5" since the bass from 6x9 speakers should be better.
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