Learning how to wire a car amplifier for your car stereo can save you a great deal of money as opposed to paying a local car audio shop for the work. Additionally, by wiring a car amplifier yourself, you can make sure the best materials are used in the process. You will also know exactly where the wires are located within the car, allowing the amplifier to be removed easily later on if necessary.
- Installed car amplifier and head unit
- Crescent wrenches
- Amplifier wiring kit with the positive wire and fuse, ground cable, RCA cable and wire connectors
- Drill and drill bits
- Rubber grommets
- Wire stripper
- Speaker wire
- Prepare to wire the car stereo amplifier. Before you begin, make sure the amplifier and stereo head unit are installed in the desired spot in your vehicle. Make absolutely sure you have the correct amplifier wiring kit, which will vary based on the size and power of the amplifier.
- Disconnect the car battery. For safety, disconnect the battery using the crescent wrenches, wrapping the negative battery cable in a rag so it cannot touch any metal parts.
- Route the positive power cable. As the battery is in the front of the car and the amplifier is likely in the back, the positive power cable must run along the length of the car to connect the two. Run the wire the length of the car, drilling holes though the car's firewall if necessary. Make sure the end of the wire with the fuse is towards the car's engine. Use the rubber grommets in the drilled holes to provide protection for the wire from the surrounding metal. Try to hide the wire as much as possible for the best aesthetic look.
- Connect the positive power cable. Locate the eye at the end of the positive power cable. Place that eye next to the positive terminal on the battery cable and connect it by sandwiching the eye between other connectors on the battery. Tighten the nut to hold the positive battery cable in place. Install the fuse into the fuse holder and tuck the cable into a safe place where it cannot be obstructed by any moving engine parts.
- Ground the amplifier. Locate a metal bolt or free space of metal within three feet of the amplifier. Use the sandpaper to remove any paint from the area. Bolt the ground wire to the clean area and tighten thoroughly. Be sure this connection is tight and secure as having a proper ground is key to good sound quality.
- Connect the head unit to the amplifier. Remove the stereo head unit from the dash and locate the input jacks for the amplifier. Connect the RCA cables to the head unit and run the wire along the length of the car back to the amplifier. Be sure to run the cable in a different location as the positive power cable as feedback can occur if the two cables are too close together. Re-install the head unit in the dash.
- Attach the wires to the amplifier. At this point you should have three separate cables ready to attach to the amplifier: the positive power cable, the ground and the RCA cable. Attach each to the amplifier, making sure each is installed in the proper location for the amplifier.
- Connect the speakers. Using the proper gauge speaker wire for your setup, connect the speakers to the amplifier. Use the wire strippers to strip a small portion of the wire at both ends, connecting one end of each wire to the amplifier and the other end to the speakers. Be sure to connect the positive to positive and negative to negative.
- Re-connect the battery and test the installation. Carefully connect the negative battery cable back to the battery. Turn on the car and the stereo to test the installation. You should hear a vast change in the car stereo output, the glorious result of installing a car amplifier.
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