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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally finished my stereo upgrade today. It was a long, tedious, uncomfortable, and painful process but the results were worth it. Products used were:
-Kenwood KAC-6401 4-Channel 30Wx4 RMS, 320W Amplifier
-Infinity Reference 3002CF 3.5" R/L Dash Speakers
-Boston Acoustics RX47 4" Center Dash Speaker
-Infinity Reference 4012i 4" L/R Rear Deck Speakers
-Pioneer TS-A6980R 6"x9" L/R Rear Deck Speakers
-Power Acoustik 8awg Amp Wiring Kit


Here's what I learned:
-eBay is your friend. All of the major components were purchased on eBay except for the RX47. This saved me a ton of money. Just keep your eye on shipping costs. $20 to ship two speakers is unreasonable but very common.

-I don't think I'd have replaced the 4" center speaker. The RX47 is tough to find used and even after splitting the cost of a pair with another Saaber, it was still over $80. Then, I couldn't for the life of me get the darn thing to fit. I ended up paying an installer to put it in. Combined, this was the priciest part of the install and yielded the least amount of difference in sound!

-The most difficult part (besides the center 4", which I failed at) was tapping the wires at AMP1 under the seat for the signal to the rear 6"x9"s. I tried to follow the directions to do it without removing the seat but I had no room to work and couldn't see. I ended up unbolting the seat and tipping it back, holding it in place with a bungee cord tied around the front headrest to the rear headrest. Those bolts are TOUGH. If you feel you don't have the strength, enlist the help of a friend. I chewed one bolt up pretty bad, but still managed to get it in and out. The used blue threadlocker from the factory. Even after getting the seat moved, it was tough because there is very little slack in the wiring harness.

-Running the cable from under the seat to the trunk wasn't easy, but it wasn't difficult. You need to remove trim and tuck stuff in crevices and what not. Getting the rear trim at the edge of the back seat back on was a pain. The wire was snaked between the rear seat bottom cushion and the cushion where the seat belt lies. From there, I folded the seat down and popped off part of the parcel shelf. There's a piece of grey trunk liner showing, along with one of those center-button plastic rivets. I undid that rivet, peeled the trunk liner down and snaked the cable into the trunk area.

-I used weatherstripping underneath the rim of the 6"x9" speakers where they make contact with the metal shelf. I did this because I was only able to get the two screws closest to the center of the car in on each speaker. The other two holes are obstructed by the C-Pillar trim. Rather than mess with a panel covering an airbag, I used the weatherstripping to avoid any buzzes and rattles. The speakers mount securely using only the two screws plus the stripping.

-The Pioneer 6"x9" speakers are too tall. The tweeter assembly is rather large and is up against the speaker grills. Nothing is buzzing yet, but when the finances permit, I'll probably get a shorter pair of speakers to use back there. A glance at Crutchfield shows that, as a whole, the TS-A line is very tall. The bass they add is fantastic though.

-Spend time adjusting the settings on your amp and headunit!!! This goes without saying, but it definitely makes a huge difference. The weak link in the system now is the door speakers. To help minimize the craptacular effect they have on the sound, I adjusted the fader knob and bass knob both to about 1:00. This drives the front speakers less causing less distortion at the door speaker. However, this reduces the overall bass in the system. So, I had to increase the gain on the 6"x9" channel of my amp. I tried using the low-pass filter (80hz), but it became TOO bassy for my tastes. The soundstage is fairly even now, front and back, whereas in the stock system it was primarily in the front. This is a matter of personal taste - being a musician I'm used to hearing the sound come from behind me. I enjoy the surround effect. Being enveloped by the music really adds to the experience for me. My treble control is set flat to help counter the peaky nature of my system. I'm also running the high-pass filter on the 4" rear channel of the amp to help clean up the sound. For kicks, I tried listening to them with the LPF engaged: some signal made it through, but it was small. The HPF engages at 150hz and just adds a more pleasant flavor to the system than going without it.

-The easiest parts of the install were the front and rear L/R speakers. I would recommend that everyone upgrade these speakers as they require little money, skill, and time. (I lack all three!)

-The biggest, most noticeable difference came from adding the 6"x9" speakers. If you listen to anything where the bass has a huge impact on the music (rock, metal, techno, hip-hop, R&B) it is definitely worth the time to install them.

-A short list of tools and supplies I used: Flat and philips head screw drivers, a set of Torx bits (worth the $40 for the set), 1/4" and 3/8" drive ratchets, wire cutters, wire strippers, crimpers, solder, soldering gun, Radio Shack Tap-Ins (maybe two dozen), spade connectors, female quick-disconnects, electrical tape, zip ties, 16awg and 18awg speaker cable (buy a lot of it, maybe 50ft), weatherstripping, a few blocks of wood, flat black spray paint.


I mounted the amp to the inner panel on the left side of the trunk. This panel covers the area where AMP2 normally resides. I removed the sound insulation from the inside of the panel and glued three wood blocks to the inside. I screwed the amp directly to the bottom two piece. At the top piece, I put some cardboard between the amp and the wood to tilt the amp towards the inner fender so there's less chance the panel will open up during spirited driving. I could only use three pieces of wood due to the shape of the panel. I sprayed the inside of the panel with flat-black spray paint so the wood and left over insulation didn't stand out. The amp is secure - the fourth screw doesn't feel necessary. I also wrapped the metal prong the panel attaches to with some electrical tape to provide a grippier surface.

Power was obtained from the AMP2 lead and runs into an inline fuse holder then back out to the amp, ground is from the earthing bolt inside that compartment, and the remote turn on is from the autodimming mirror fuse (Fuse 17). Rather than solder the wire, I just wrapped the copper strands around the lug on the unpowered side of the fuse (a multimeter confirmed which side was hot). RTO works fine, as shown by the amp's LED and a multimeter.

I used the speaker level inputs for the 4" rears. I used a LOC for the tapped door signal because I didn't want to deal with running two sets of cables. There's no apparent difference in sound quality. If anyone needs an extra LOC lemme know. :cheesy: I covered most of the wires used in the tap-in process with wire loom. It really cleans up the look under the seat.

Of course, if you have any questions or comments, just hit that reply button. Now, on with the pictures!

Here's the amp before cleaning it up:


Here's the amp ready to be put away:


Here's the amp all sealed up:


Here's a shot of the rear right speakers:




At the risk of forgetting someone, I wanna thank a few Saabers for their help. Some responded to my threads, some PMed me, and some didn't contact me directly but had blazed the path before I did, making my job easier. Thanks to: Saba, Ctrlz, Davepa, Aero Adam, Kents, Cojoroh, CosmicSaab, Viscouse, Epslion93, ScoopSS, IrishFred, Victor from Barcelona, 93t, sbl, M4Gunner, Diggs, Automaggot, Black Linear, and the entire Saab Central family. I would have never undertaken a project as ambitious as this unless I had the knowledge and support this forum provides. Thanks everyone! :D

 

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Congrats strat on the upgrade. I have done similar upgrade in my 9-3SS. I agree the most painful part was tapping the Amp1 wires.:x
I wish I had a cover such as yours to mount my amp on inside of the rear left panel; mine is actually concave not allowing me any space :( , so i mounted mine upside down on the parcel shelf.
I do have one question for you: have you noticed how much sound is actually being leaked into the trunk? Or is it just me? I feel I need to use some sort of enclosure around the speakers to block the sound from going into the trunk, and redirect it into the cabin...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
rsg71 said:
Congrats strat on the upgrade. I have done similar upgrade in my 9-3SS. I agree the most painful part was tapping the Amp1 wires.:x
I wish I had a cover such as yours to mount my amp on inside of the rear left panel; mine is actually concave not allowing me any space :( , so i mounted mine upside down on the parcel shelf.
I do have one question for you: have you noticed how much sound is actually being leaked into the trunk? Or is it just me? I feel I need to use some sort of enclosure around the speakers to block the sound from going into the trunk, and redirect it into the cabin...
My car didn't have the flat panel, it had the concave yours has. I purchased it (for $63! :evil: ) from my local dealer. Obviously, there are two types, one for the 150W system and one for the 300W system. I got mine from Paul Miller Saab in Edison, NJ. I wanna give them a shout out because the parts guy was unclear on which panel I was describing and the diagram was kinda lousy so he went outside with me, pulled the panel off an Arc on the lot, and tested it to make sure it fit in my Linear. He did all of this is the rain too! He definitely went the extra mile. Anyway, I think the panel is worth it. People won't see it unless I show it so that means it's less likely to draw the attention of those with sticky fingers. I would be careful with the upside down mounting - amps can get pretty hot and you don't want that heat remaining inside the amp. The top of the case acts as a giant heatsink to help avoid that.

As for the phenomenon you describe, I don't really notice it. I had the stereo playing and trunk open as I was cleaning up and there was a distinct lack of bass from the outside of the car. With the seats folded up and trunk closed, I can hear the bass fine.
 

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You did a fantastic job. I was always wondering where to put the amp if/when I did mine. I had no idea there were different panels in the trunk with the different stereos. Definitely got me thinking about it again after I've seen how stock yours looks. Very impressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Turbopowered said:
What are the colors of the Left Speaker and Right Speaker for the amp located under the driver's seat?
From Saba's Guide:
I removed the front passenger’s seat (driver’s seat for US & EU) to expose the OEM Amp. See Appendix 2 for details about removing the seat. You will need a T50 Torx bit. Disconnect the amp from its connector to expose the speaker line outs.



Left - Grey/ White

Left + Green

Center – Yellow/ White (you don’t have use these center wires at all)

Center + Violet/ White

Right – Grey/ White

Right + Blue



The wires are twisted. E.g. wires for the left speaker are “together”. You’ll notice this when you pull out the cables. I removed the plastic coating of the wires and soldered the wires from the line level converter in place. Cover connections with insulating tape. è
 

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Under the Driver's seat on my US Saab i see a black flexible tube with a yellow casing with wires inside (haven't cut it open to see what color wires are in it) and i see an electrical taped bundle of wires (but can't seem to find the right colors). Could you please help me out on the location of the wires i am looking for. Thanks alot!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Turbopowered said:
Under the Driver's seat on my US Saab i see a black flexible tube with a yellow casing with wires inside (haven't cut it open to see what color wires are in it) and i see an electrical taped bundle of wires (but can't seem to find the right colors). Could you please help me out on the location of the wires i am looking for. Thanks alot!!
The amp is under the left chair rail of the driver's seat, adjacent to the door trim. It's a silver box. The wiring harness will be almost impossible to see without removing the seat and/or detaching the harness from the amp since it sits in a recessed alcove. Once you remove the drivers seat and detach the amp from the harness, you only have about 1" of slack in those cables. Unfortunately, this isn't a 20 minute job. It's an entire ordeal since it requires removal of the seat, splicing of wires (either by soldering or tap-in connectors), removal of edge trim, and the snaking of the signal cable to the trunk.

This picture shows the wiring under the seat after I installed the LOC (line output converter). The red and black cables are ordinary speaker wire (two leads each) that I used to tap into the door speakers. You can get a view of the amp similar to this just by sliding the seat all the way forward. The red and black cables were routing along the edge of the amp. Unfortunately, the amp's wiring harness is not visible in these pictures since it resides on the opposite side. This is the underseat area after I covered the wires with wiring loom:
 

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Wow, you have helped me so much on the install but i am not quite finished. I have run the speaker wire from amp 1 to my trunk. I can not figure how to get the nut off the battery. How did you run your power line into the car? Thanks again!!
 

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strat81 said:
My car didn't have the flat panel, it had the concave yours has. I purchased it (for $63! :evil: ) from my local dealer. Obviously, there are two types, one for the 150W system and one for the 300W system. I got mine from Paul Miller Saab in Edison, NJ. I wanna give them a shout out because the parts guy was unclear on which panel I was describing and the diagram was kinda lousy so he went outside with me, pulled the panel off an Arc on the lot, and tested it to make sure it fit in my Linear. He did all of this is the rain too! He definitely went the extra mile. Anyway, I think the panel is worth it. People won't see it unless I show it so that means it's less likely to draw the attention of those with sticky fingers. I would be careful with the upside down mounting - amps can get pretty hot and you don't want that heat remaining inside the amp. The top of the case acts as a giant heatsink to help avoid that.

As for the phenomenon you describe, I don't really notice it. I had the stereo playing and trunk open as I was cleaning up and there was a distinct lack of bass from the outside of the car. With the seats folded up and trunk closed, I can hear the bass fine.
$63 for that stinkin little panel is more than a rip-off! Anyway, I would do it but mine's a lease:D . I felt the majority of the job was easy enough to remove when I return it. In regards to the sound escaping through the trunk, I was referring to the highs (rear speakers), not the bass...
Oh, and props to Paul Miller Saab, I almost bought my Linear from there, but JMK saved me $25 per month on the same exact unit, oh well. There was one salesman there that was really helpful (I believe Craig) and if he could have met the number I would have given them the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Turbopowered said:
Wow, you have helped me so much on the install but i am not quite finished. I have run the speaker wire from amp 1 to my trunk. I can not figure how to get the nut off the battery. How did you run your power line into the car? Thanks again!!
You REALLY need to check out Saba's site: http://members.iinet.net.au/~mmo/guides.htm His audio upgrade guides will answer questions like this. Anyway, depending on the power of your amp, you can use the power lead that's already in the trunk area. My amp was only 320W so that lead was fine. The guide will give you the location. If you're running a more powerful amp, you need to run a cable to the battery. I believe many posters run it through the steering column area. Use the search function for more definitive answers.
 

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I didn't remove the seat. If you have a right angled driver (ratchet) with a Torx bit you can undo the single bolt that retains amp1 and carefully (it has fibreoptics in the plug) unclip the wiring to the amp.

I wired direct in to the amp, so this was the best route for me. If you are using wire taps, it may be easier to remove the seat. I figured it was easier to replace the amp than the wiring if things went wrong... Can be a bit frustrating trying to plug the amp1 back in!
 

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wow, with the seat up you had a HUGE AMOUNT OF ROOM!

when i did this crap i didn't even have room to put my hand in there, i layed down head-in to do it.

wish i could have gotten the seat out as well, damn near impossible.
 

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ok, everything is wired up except for one connection. I need to find a wire in the trunk fuse pannel that only has power when the ignition or radio is on. The amp only draws power from the battery when this smaller wire has power. Any ideas what to use?
 

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i used the auto dimming mirror (fuse 7? i think)

but that only works when the key is put into the "on" position. (in my opinion better because you can listen to music with the car off and not worry about killing your battery, but then again im drawing near 700rms...)
 

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I just wrapped the wire around the fuse and put the fuse back in and it works! Thanks so much to everyone that helped me by replying to my numerous posts on multiple threads. The SaabCentral.com community rocks!
 

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Technical Difficulty With Bass Signal From Amp Under Seat

Thanks to many of your posts, I was able to complete a stereo upgrade on my 2005 Linear. I installed 2 Infinity and a center Alpine speaker on the front dash, 2 Infinity speakers on the rear shelf and two 6x9 Cerwin Vega speakers on the back shelf. I also installed a 480W Sound Stream amp inder the trunk shelf. The rear amp powers the 6x9's and the rear Infinity speakers (redirected to amp using line level converter). I tapped the bass signal from the factory amp under the driver seat using t-taps and a line level converter. The line level converter goes to RCA jacks to the rear amp.

The Cerwin Vegas pump the bass more than I could have imagined (actually can give quite a punch in the back if you want them to). Here's the problem...I just realized that one of the 6X9 Cerwin Vegas is not receiving the bass signal and therefore not working. I switched the speaker connector to make sure it wasn't the speaker and then switched the RCA jaccks at the line level converter to rule that out. I then disconnected the factory amp (what a pain) and checked the t-tap connectors which look to be tight (the wires don't come out when I pull on them). I noticed that the jack (harness) that plugs into the amp has a red blinking light next to an area labeled 1. There appears to be another light (not lit or blinking) next to an area labeled 2. Any idea what these lights indicate? I'm wondering if because #2 is not lit, there may not be a signal coming to the one channel.

If all else fails, I guess I will be taking an afternoon to remove the front seat (again) to retap the remaining 1/8 of an inch of wire that remains.

Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks very much!
 

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Are the door 6.5" speakers playing on both sides? If so, then the amp channels are fine.

I would disconnect the speaker level inputs to the LOC (the ones that are tapped into the outputs from AMP1). Check each side (left and right) for continuity. You may need to use an ohmmeter for this. There should be continuity through the voice coils of the door speakers. The resistance would be about 2.4 ohms without AMP1 connected. Not sure what the resistance would be with AMP1 still in the circuit.

This will confirm whether or not your line taps are adequate.
 
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