March April 2017 Page 28 March / April 2017

BY BUCK POMERANTZ I nstalling an ampliRer in your car is a cool project. Getting to know your car inside and out is often fun and satisfying, and the power an amp provides can be the key to unlocking great-sounding music in your car. Here are some pro installation tips that'll help you make sure all your components perform their best, thanks to the electrically secure connections you'll make. WIRE THAT AMP! OUR TOP INSTALLATION TIPS 3. Passing the power cable through your vehicle's Rrewall Every amp needs to connect directly to the car's battery with a power cable, which must pass from your battery in the engine compartment to your amp in the cabin. Finding a pass-through is a common challenge, but with patience, you should be able to find a suitable rubber grommet that already has wires already passing through it - no need to cut holes in your firewall. You'll also need to make sure the power cable features an in-line fuse to protect the electrical system. 4. The ground is the most important connection To receive power, an amp must have a solid ground connection - a wire that's bolted to bare metal in your car. A loose or non-conducting ground is by far the most common problem our techs uncover when troubleshooting amp issues, like noise, music fading in and out, and the amp cutting off entirely. To ensure solid contact, thoroughly scrape all paint from the chassis where the ground terminal will make contact with it. 1. From an aftermarket in-dash stereo If you're installing (or already have) an aftermarket stereo, you can send signal to the amp from your stereo's preamp outputs via RCA patch cords. These should run down the opposite side of the car from the power cable to avoid picking up any electrical interference. 2. From a factory stereo If you're keeping the factory radio, you can use your vehicle's speaker wires to send signal to your amp, as most amps now feature speaker-level inputs. The best place to splice into the factory wires is at the harness behind the radio. We recom mend using a multi-conductor cable, which features eight speaker wires bundled together and makes it easier to connect all necessary wires at both ends. BATTERY GETTING SIGNAL TO THE AMPLIFIER POWERING THE AMPLIFIER 1 2 3 5 Need help with installation tasks like identifying factory speaker wires? If you buy your amp from us, you can call on our free, Virginia-based tech support for guidance. Learn more at DIY 28 It's DIY season! Check out more great project ideas at

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