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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I am in the process of upgrading the head unit and speakers in my 1997 900SE.

I connected the wiring harness as per Crutchfield's directions and plugged it into the car's wiring to make sure everything worked. To my dismay, the front dash speakers and the rear speakers were fine, but the door speakers were not working.

When it comes to car audio, I am a complete newbie. Can anyone explain what I might be missing and what I must do to rectify the problem?

Be detailed and gentle, if possible. I wouldn't want to hurt myself or my car in the process! ;)

-DJ
 

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i just did the same thing, and first of all there was a problem with the harness adapter that i got from crutchfield. the battery and acc wires were reversed. you might want to check that out. and to get the door speakers to work you need to bypass the stock amp. which means removing the plastic trim panel on the side of the center console. which is where the amp should be located. when you see the amp there should be speaker wires which come out of the amp (4 wires) different colors like orange and yellow and green and brown or something like that. what i did was i cut the connectors off of the ends and spliced speaker wire from those ends and then connected the other ends into the harness to their respective locations. if you can't understand that it's understandable. i will take pictures tomorrow to show you what i mean more clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
^ Cool. I did swap the red/yellow connectors, so that all seems good. I was unaware of the amp. I'd love it if you could post some pics! :)

Anyone else, feel free to chime in.

Also, will I need to remove the stock radio cage or will I re-use it when I install the head unit?

-DJ
 

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i removed the stock radio cage, but i have yet to fabricate a pocket to fill the empty space, and to hold the headunit up into position. i'll get around to it though. i need to replace my fuel pump first though
 

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Discussion Starter #5
^ So you put the HU right below the SID?
 

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The head unit should go at the bottom of the radio opening. There's a metal support up at the top that's too far forward for most radios. Taliaferro Saab sells the factory pocket that fits above the radio. You can also order it at any Saab dealer for about $15.00.

It's also possible to wire up the factory amp to an aftermarket head unit. The amp uses an 8-pin DIN plug, which supplies the line-level signal and the turn-on signal. All you have to do is make up a cable (or have someone make you a cable) that goes from a pair of RCA plugs and a single wire for the turn-on lead to an 8-pin DIN plug. Most electronics stores sell the DIN plug. I made one up in under half an hour one afternoon with parts from Radio Shack and my dad's soldering iron. You can get the pin-out from Richard Bevan's Saab Audio Guide .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^ I don't know why, but I think I'm too much of a Sally to try that. So, if you had the following choices, what would you guys pick:

Option A
Add cheap 2-channel amp + wiring kit to power door speakers ~$130
HU powers dash and rear speakers

Option B
Add inexpensive powered sub ~$150
No door speakers
HU powers dash and rear speakers

Or...?

-DJ
 

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so here are some pictures, and about the headunit, i'm going to mount it directly under the sid and put the pocket under the headunit. i work in a sheet metal shop and have access to everything i would need to fab something up. i've made my own custom airbox for the car before, so i don't think it'd be too hard to make a small box.



the amp is mounted behind the kick panel



the wires i'm holding are connected straight to the headunit, the splice you see is where i cut the connector off of the stock harness and then connected the new speaker wire. i was going to run new wire all the way from the speakers in the door, but once i saw how difficult it would be to run it through the grommets between the door and the car itself i figured i'd do this instead. i just don't remember which wire colors went to which speaker. yellow and orange went to one side while brown and grey went to the other. i hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can anyone provide the approximate dimensions of the stock amp?

I ask because I am hoping to find one small enough to fit in the same location...

-DJ
 

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I purchased the DIN pocket and the wiring harness from GenuineSaab. I went to purchase the HU and the install guy is still talking about having to rewire...I thought the harness sold by GenuineSaab was a Saab specific one that elimated the need to rewire? Am I completely wrong about this?
 

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xjerryx said:
I purchased the DIN pocket and the wiring harness from GenuineSaab. I went to purchase the HU and the install guy is still talking about having to rewire...I thought the harness sold by GenuineSaab was a Saab specific one that elimated the need to rewire? Am I completely wrong about this?
I think he's talking about connecting the GS harness to the HU harness. I'm curious... is this a Circuit City installer?
 

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nocluetim said:
I think he's talking about connecting the GS harness to the HU harness. I'm curious... is this a Circuit City installer?
Of course! I know, I know, bad idea. The second he started babbling I was thinking, "man, I should have asked at SaabCentral first."

So, is the GenuineSaab harness pretty much plug and play, or does in in fact call for more wiring? I changed out all the speakers myself, but am intimidated by the head unit.
 

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xjerryx said:
Of course! I know, I know, bad idea. The second he started babbling I was thinking, "man, I should have asked at SaabCentral first."

So, is the GenuineSaab harness pretty much plug and play, or does in in fact call for more wiring? I changed out all the speakers myself, but am intimidated by the head unit.
You could buy a head unit that directly plugs into your car wiring harness and these goons would still say they have to rewire it. I had these idiots install a radio in my old Volvo. They cut off my stock wiring harness and wired in the new one. :nono; I say take your radio and Run Away! Keep Running!



It's not that hard to do it yourself. Just follow the wires on the GS harness and wire them into the HU. The instructions to your new HU will have a wiring diagram for you to follow.
 

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Okay I'll give it a go, but before I do, just to clarify...with the factory amp still in place, will the GS harness plus new headunit allow my door speakers to work?
 

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xjerryx said:
Okay I'll give it a go, but before I do, just to clarify...with the factory amp still in place, will the GS harness plus new headunit allow my door speakers to work?
Sorry, no they won't. I highly doubt they would work after the Circuit City guys finished either. It's not something they would know how to do. Read the above posts and do a search on the subject. It can be done.
 
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