What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio


Adding an amp will make your audio system sound louder and clearer by allowing you to send more power to your factory speakers or sub-woofers. This tutorial will focus on how to add an amp by using speaker-level inputs to tap into your car's existing wiring. The installation is quick and easy and won't require removing your factory head unit. If you don't already have one, purchase a car amplifier with speaker-level inputs and also purchase an amp installation kit.

Wiring a 2 or 4 channel amp to your stock speaker harness without cutting the factory wiring

These inputs look like regular speaker wire inputs and they will be labeled "speaker-level inputs" or something very similar. Run the red power wire from your amp installation kit from the positive terminal on your battery through your car's cabin to the location of the amp.


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The best location for the amp is usually the trunk. Every amp has pre-drilled mounting screw holes located on each of the four corners of the amp for easier mounting. You can usually find one on the sidewall behind the carpeting. Make sure to scrape off any visible paint so that the ground wire is in full contact with the metal of your car's chassis, otherwise the amp will not function properly.

Locate your car's rear speakers -- specifically the factory speaker wires running to these speakers. Carefully splice into the positive and negative wire on both the right and left rear speakers using a wire stripper. Now attach a line of speaker wire to each splice and secure with electrical tape. Run this wire back to your amp and hook it into the speaker-level inputs. Make sure to put the right rear positive wire into the right rear positive speaker-level input, and do the same for right rear negative wire until all four of the wires are connected.

Now that your amp is tapped into your car's factory audio system, run speaker wires from the amp's speaker outputs to the speaker s or sub-woofer s you want the amp to power. If the speaker is moving in and out, you have positive and negative correct. If the speaker is sucking back in, you have positive and negative reversed. Once you have determined the proper speaker wires for the rear speakers, you can tap into them and hook them up to the line output converter. Now that you have your speaker wires figured out, we can move on to the remote turn on lead. If you use the PAC LP with signal sensing remote turn on, the line output convertor itself will give you a remote turn on lead.

This is not a standard feature of all line output convertors, so depending on which one you use, you may still need to find an accessory power source in the vehicle. If you were testing all of your wires earlier with a multimeter, you should know which wire is a switched power source. That would be the proper place to wire in the remote turn on lead. You do not want the amp wired up to constant power as this will drain your car battery. One down side to wiring in an amplifier to a stock radio is that most stock stereos are self adjusting, meaning as you turn the volume up on the stereo, internally the stereo is usually keeping the bass level and the same in comparison to other frequencies.

They do this to prevent you from blowing up the stock speakers. This can be pretty frustrating as it means your subwoofer level may stay the same regardless of you turning up the volume knob on the stereo. One way around this is to also wire in a subwoofer control knob. Line drivers boost the signal from the stereo which can give you a lot more output. Now that you have your signal and remote turn on figured out, the rest is a pretty standard amp installation.

If you are adding an amp and sub to an already amplified factory system, you need to wire your amp in a little differently. If you do not, you will not get any bass output. The reason for this is the stock amplifier will be crossed over at a certain frequency. When there is a stock amplifier in a car, it is filtering what frequencies get played through what speakers. So be certain you get your signal from the stock subwoofer if your vehicle comes equipped with one.

Another problem you may encounter when wiring an amp and sub into a premium factory sound system is the signal level may be too high or too low. You may have to get your signal before or after the amplifier; every car is different and you just need to try it to really see what will work best for your vehicle and application. Adding an amp and subwoofer to a stock radio can be the easiest way to improve your stereo system in your car, if you do it correctly. I hope that helps!

If I connect and amp for a subwoofer to the stock sub speaker wires. Will my new subwoofer be limited to the same range as my stock one? Sure wish we had you guys nearby. In about a 9-hour drive, I could make it. So I had the remote starter done by local shop and the audio done by a big box company. So, I have a Toyota 4Runner. It has the Entune system — non-JBL and no subwoofer but with eight speakers — but it sounded pretty disappointing.

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So I had the store last week install a w kicker four channel amp, all new kicker KS speakers everywhere except the dash and some dynamat in the front doors. Stereo sounds so much better that it is actually kind of amazing to me.


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Llots of bass despite no subwoofer and pretty impressive highs, too. Lots of volume now, which was really weak before. So I took it back — they swapped the component cables on the amp under the seat and all is well, EXCEPT, now the truck acts like the key is in the accessory position all the time. The radio stays on, as does the clock and the 12v ports. Switched back the RCA cables and it stops and returns to normal. Installer thinks a remote turn on signal is feeding back from the amp.

Hi Matt, Sorry I could not reply sooner — interesting story there. I guess in this case they used a separate line output converter since you mentioned they used RCA cables.

How to Add an Amplifier to a Factory Stereo

Perhaps a faulty line output converter? Let me know what happened. The amp has both high and low inputs, remote subwoofer control as well as variable bass boost. Can that feature be turned off on the stock head unit? Some have that option.

How would I be able to install the most optimal setup possible? I have them in a Honda accord tapped in through both rear trunk speakers currently and they sound great and all but with all this new technology there has to be a way to improve, could you guide me with any way to improve my system when switching it from the Honda to the cadillac? Or do you prefer I try to purchase maybe a more up to date amp for my optimal set up.

I can include pictures if needed. I did it all with a little hard work and wal mart. Hi Mr Linville, I apologize for the late reply. You could grab your audio signal right at the stock subwoofer in the Cadillac.

How to Add an Amplifier to a Factory Stereo | It Still Works

Hi Anne i have a jeep Cherokee sport and the jeep came with no amp or subs. I replaced the stock speakers and tried to get them amped. As soon as the speakers were amped up the sound shuts off. The place where i got the amp installed said that my oem unit cant be amped.


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Now i have nice speakers that i cant turn up loud. Is there any amp that will work with my stock head unit. Basically, you need more professional, more experienced shop to help you. The best way to do this would be to use a processor that corrects the audio coming out of the head unit before it gets fed into the amp. It already has 2 factory subs under the seats. Do I have to splice the LOC on both subs or just one?

Whats the best LOC for such a job?

what do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio
what do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio
what do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio
what do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio
what do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio What do i need to hook up an amp to my factory radio

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