Well, now I didn’t think it would ever come to this, but I have finally finished the stereo install in the Getz. It’s been almost a year and a half, but the end result was worth it. It should also be said that I haven’t had access to the car the whole time and every time I did work on it I would have to put it back together to return it.
Anyway, last I left the car, everything was pretty much ready to go, but the amp was being fully bypassed so the driver still had music. The last step was to connect everything to the amp and turn it on. Now, the scary thing is that, in theory, everything has been set up correctly and I just have to connect it and all is good. However, in reality it rarely goes that way. Let’s see how well I set it up and how close I get…
The first thing I did when I got the car back was to remove the front seat. Not really necessary, but a lot easier to work on the amp that way. I’ve only done it 100 times now so it only took a few seconds. Once removed, this is what I was looking at…
.The next step is to get ready to do all the wiring connections. It’s always easier to have everything at hand, rather than needing to leave what you’re doing to get a tool. The photo below shows all the things you need to make the connections.
From left to right…
– Empty container with bolts and other small pieces in it. This makes it easy to find things
– Ratchet socket thing. This isn’t actually necessary for the wiring, but I used it to take the chair out.
– Heat shrink. These are the blue and red strips. We’ll be cutting these to put around the joined wires.
– Scissors. You’ll need these to cut the heat shrink.
– Wire Stripping Tool. This is worth the $5 investment since it just makes things easier when stripping the wires.
– Light. Unless you have heaps of natural light, it’s good to see what you’re doing.
Outside the car, left to right…
– Yoga/camping mat. This is a couple of dollars from a dodgy shop and saves your knees when you need to kneel next to the car. This is maybe one of the best purchases I have ever made.
– Solder. You’ll need some of this to solder the wire joins together. A roll lasts forever.
– Soldering Iron. This is to melt the solder onto the wires and is plugged in heating up while you get everything else ready. Just keep the tip away from wires and the mat.
– Adidas Gazelles. Essential for looking cool while you work on the car.
Now that everything is ready, I noticed that the wires are a little short and could do with extending a little to ensure there’s no pulling and breaking. I needed to cut a little extra to join everything up. Therefore I cut enough pieces to do this and put them together in sets – the round wires are for negative and the square wires are for positive.
These wires will be to go from the amp to the speakers so we need to find the wires that are labelled to go to the speakers and connect them to the amp. The first thing to do is to put the heat shrink onto the wire you’re going to join. The sub wires are already connected to the amp, but the fronts are not. There will be four wires, left + and – and right + and -. Strip both ends and then twist, join and solder (see photo below). Once joined, pull the heat shrink over them and heat.
The amp has written on it which wires go to where and it’s just a matter of making sure the wire with the right label goes to the right connection on the amp. We won’t be able to test this until the end, so check twice. When screwing down the connection, try to get a bit of the plastic wire cover in there as well so that it’s less likely to get pulled out.
Once all four amp-to-speaker wires are in it should look like this. Try to keep them all together so we can cable tie them neatly later on.
The next step is to connect the wires from the head unit to the amp. This is a little difficult since they need to connect to the harness. In this case, the harness is above the key that shows which wire is which and the amp is bolted to the floor. Therefore I thought it would be easier to rewrite the legend to ensure I have the right wires connecting. I’ve used an old cardboard box and made sure I could check off which ones I’ve done.
Next step is to get everything ready for joining. Firstly, cut up some heat shrink and put that on one side of the wires. Next, strip the ends of all the wires (there should be eight). From there you can check which ones connect and then twist, solder and heat shrink them. Below is a progress shot and the finished product.
Note the cable ties to keep everything nicely in place.
All that’s left to do now is to connect the amp up to power and to turn it on! Lets hope everything is connected properly…