March April 2016 Page 46 March / April 2016

Amp tidbits Amps include safety measures to protect your vehicle's electrical system - most amps will display a warning indicator and shut down when there's a wiring or overheating issue. This also helps you diagnose any problems faster. It's always a good idea to test your system before you've completely reassembled everything so you can easily troubleshoot any issues and still have access to the gear to make any adjustments. Check out detailed amp installation info at crutchReld.com/wireamp WHERE SHOULD YOU INSTALL YOUR AMP? Cargo space in a vehicle is usually at a premium, so you'll want to think about the size of the amp as well as location. An amp needs some air flow to keep it cool, so mounting an amp in the trunk, under a seat, or on the side of a cargo wall are viable options. Amps generally allow for various mounting methods. Some low-proRle amps can Rt under the seat. You can use a cargo tray to mount an amp out of the way. GROUND YOUR AMP Whether it's a 2-, 4-, or 5-channel amplifier, or even a powered sub that includes an amp, the concepts of the installation are the same. Just like a home amp, a car amp needs power, an audio signal to amplify, and speakers to receive the amplified signal. But unlike a home amp, a crucial connection you must make with a car amp is a ground connection to bare metal. You usually can secure the ground wire to a chassis bolt on the body of your vehicle, such as a seatbelt bolt. The grounding location should be unpainted, or any existing paint should be scraped away to expose bare metal. It's vital in preventing the potential for noise. This diagram shows the Sow of electrical current and audio signal in a conventional 5-channel amp conRguration for four speakers and a subwoofer. THE AMP INSTALLATION When I've talked to customers about amps, the overwhelming concern is the installation. I totally get that. But if you're already installing some speakers and a stereo, an amp isn't necessarily that big of a jump. If you can run some additional cables, make a few more connections, and find a place for the amp, you'll get a very noticeable upgrade to your sound. Outboard amps get their power from the vehicle's battery, which means you often have to work the power cable through the bulkhead, typically by going through an existing grommet. Amps require the installation of power and audio wiring. To help avoid electrical noise issues, run the power and audio cables under the door trim on opposite sides of your vehicle. An in-line fuse protects your vehicle's electrical system. A fuse matching the total fuse rating of your amp goes into the fuse holder on the power cable, close to the positive battery terminal. 1 2 3 Find amp wiring at crutchReld.com/ampkits If you're not sure the amp you want to buy will mount in a location in your vehicle, cut a cardboard box to the same dimensions as the amp and check the Rt. tech tip RCA CABLES (PREAMP-LEVEL SIGNAL) POWER CABLE (12-VOLT POWER) GROUND CABLE (TO CHASSIS ) AMP 46 Free lifetime tech support on everything you buy from us. See crutchReld.com/tech

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