NTPOG 5th Gen Speaker Installation - Wiring

Author: Todd Marcucci
 


Why?
Because the stock wiring is puny, that's why. It appears to be 18 guage (or less) and it poses a decent resistance (and voltage, or power drop) for anything over 50 or 75W RMS. It's easy to tap into the wire at the deck and use it to get through the doors, but then again... why do anything the easy way?!

WARNING!!! You will be tampering here with something you shouldn't. If you screw this up, you may be in a bad, bad way; this connector is part of a larger harness that is VERY expensive and difficult to replace. DO NOT attempt this unless you've done stereo installs before, are electrically inclined, and quite frankly, can afford to screw this up. You might lose several of the power functions in your door if you do. This is a delicate job that can be very destructive if you goof.

Running the Wire
This install had an amp in the trunk; there is enough room under the passenger's seat for a small amp, but if it's that small, you probably don't need new wire in the first place due to the much shorter distance.

The easiest way to run speaker/primary wire is under the center console and under the rear seat. The rear seat is easy to get out and also easy to break. There are two tabs that need to be pulled forward and it pops up; these tabs are located on either side where the seat meets the floor. Pull these, then lift the seat up and out.

The center console is a little more involved. You need to remove the shift knob: pull down on the chrome trim ring, then unscrew the knob. Remove the 4 screws on either side of the console; the 4th one is hidden behind the little trim panel between the console and the radio pod (they just pop off). You can now lift it up and out (towards the back). Don't miss the connector for the light in the change cup.

I bought a 50ft roll of speaker wire and used almost all of it; you should have a good 3 or 4 feet to play with in the trunk and then run the rest through the wire loom, down the center of the tunnel, then to either side towards the kick panels. I used wire loom as well. I'd recommend this (especially under the seat and into the trunk) since the wire will probably see a lot of action in that region. The last thing you'll want to do is this all over again, so do it right the first time.

Now you're in for the fun stuff. We assume at this point you have (or have left) the interior door panels off. If you open the door, you'll notice a fat wad of black cabling between the body (behind the front fender) and the door itself. This is actually a large wiring harness from the body to the door, terminating in in a large Molex-type connector that plugs into the door. I screwed with this for a long time to bring you this info (so be grateful!). Press down on the top of the connector (towards the door) and pull out (away from the door). If you get it right, you should now have it disconnected. If not, you probably need to hunt around on the top of the connector for the release clip. It's a normal style connector with a rubber boot on it. Concentrate, you'll get it.

When you do, it'll look like this:

This is what you need to drill. That, and this:

...which is the harness in the door. You can remove it by pressing up on the clip on the bottom of the connector. This is similar to the harness, but upside down; once you release the tab on the bottom, the connector/harness can be pulled out from the inside and through the speaker cutout as shown. Once you free it, you'll need to undo the tap and the plastic shield that surrounds the wires coming out of the connector.

Now that you've removed the door harnesses, you'll need to run your wire up to them. You should be able to run the wire from either the door or the cab first, though I did it from the trunk to the door. We'll assume that you can get it from the trunk to the front floorboard (running along the door sill, center console, or wherever). For the passengers side, it's easier to remove the kick panel and the brake controller:

Remove the two circled screws. You don't need to remove the wiring, just rotate the mess out of the way. Once you do, you can see the inside of the door wiring harness (OK, so it's a ways up there). A flashlight and a little hunting, you'll find it. Once you do, you might find it easier to remove the grommet from the body; gently squeeze the outside edges together, then push out from the inside; it should break loose pretty easy. Now you should be able to carefully run the wire through the body into the grommet. The grommet is actually in two pieces, taped together. Undo that tape and you can work the wire through to the far side (green connector). You should have something that looks like this:

The drivers side is similar, though you don't need to remove anything to get to the grommet.

Now that you have your wire in place you need to drill both of these connectors out. I used 16 guage for this install (thin insulation) and I'd recommend no larger. There are plenty of blanks available on the passenger's side (and plenty of room for the new wire) but the drivers side has a limited number of them, and accordingly, a limited amount of room for new wire. A 1/8" bit was just the right size for the 16ga I had:

And now the other end:

Once you do both, you can run the wire:

To run it through the door, simply route it through the hole in the door edge (where the connector snaps in) BEING CAREFUL not to cross the wires. It's important since the wires have to be kink-free for the connector to snap back together. Once you do that, route it through the holes you just drilled in the other connector:

Now you're ready... put the shield back on this connector, then tape the shield shut (don't tape the wire). Snap this connector back into the door, then GENTLY pull the excess wire through the connector back. It's tough (you have to do it through the speaker cutout) but if you are careful, it can be done. As the other end starts to get closer, line up the connector, make sure the speaker wires aren't crossed, and slowly plug in the connector as you pull the wires. Reattach the grommet (gently push it back into place) and reassemble the brake controller and kick panel.

Once everything is reconnected, you can route the wiring within the door panel:

I used split wire loom and highly recommend it. If an install is worth doing, it's worth doing only once.

The rest of the wiring/install can be done as shown on the speaker install page.

As always, with questions, comments, or complaints, email the author.



This page last updated 4/3/01.