Stock amp died (audio). Looking for a quick, simple solution.

Lincoln LS

  1. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    My amp pops the two rear deck speakers loudly when I start my car, therefore I assume it is dead. In the meantime, I've unplugged it because it's pretty annoying. Since I have no lows, my car audio system sounds like a shower radio. I'm going to put some new speakers and possibly a new amp back there and I was wondering if it's possible (or if anyone has already done this) to use the existing wiring harness in the trunk to power an aftermarket amp. I'm not at all opposed to cutting the harness off and splicing it. I would like to avoid the hassle of running RCA/remote cables back there if the stock wiring already has all this.

    Ideally, I wouldn't even have an amp for the speakers I'm getting. I think the stereo can probably power them itself. Does the harness have L/R speaker signal to do this, or is it strictly amp signals? If the stock speakers are supposedly subwoofers, is replacing them with 3-way speakers a bad idea? While I love this car, it is old and I would like to avoid spending a ton of money on it. Thanks.


    My head unit: http://amzn.com/B00B7IR4XU
    Planning to buy: http://amzn.com/B004K5AZAQ

    more info: '02 originally with Alpine 6disc. Stock all around except head unit. Amp popped the speakers even before I replaced the head unit, so it's not likely related.
     
  2. Mr.Howie

    Mr.Howie Active LVC Member

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    Check all my previous posts on the LS double din and sub speaker and amp upgrades.

    Mr. H
     
  3. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Thanks. Would you happen to have a wiring schematic for this specific audio system? The ones I'm finding via Google are not the same. There should be 8 speakers, I believe.

    EDIT: I don't see where you mention powering an aftermarket amp with the stock wires. I see you suggest using a 2000-01 amp, but I don't really feel like spending that much money on a 15 year old junkyard part that isn't under warranty. I'd rather have something new and better than what Ford put in there, and probably cheaper. I also see where you mention specific frequency suggestions, but this is way beyond my hobby interest in car audio. I just want to know if I can do it without running new wires, because that is one of my least favorite things in the world and if 3-way speakers would sound okay with that amp signal, or if I need to just re-wire from scratch.
     
  4. lincolnelite

    lincolnelite Well-Known LVC Member

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    the wire harness at the back can supply the 12v (20AMP shared with the HU) , the remote signal and left/right audio. I think the Alpine audio has the 8 pin that connects to the rear harness directly. Mine doesn't have the 8 pin connector at the HU so I have to run the remote signal and left/right signals separately. I did use the factory amp from the junkyard but only utilized the +12V supply, the remote and audio signals were coming from my own wires which run in the middle (console and under carpet) of the car to the rear trunk.


    here's the wiring for the sub, the wires are color coded.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=329715220499611&set=pcb.329715400499593&type=1&theater

    btw, most aftermarket HU has a separate output for SUB and can be turned ON/OFF. There's also a feature where the rear door speakers can be used as sub in addition to the rear deck sub. My cheap pioneer HU has those features which I really find out so cool for the price.

    to prevent those pop, use a voltage regulator ($5 in radioshack, outputs 5v from 12v) or a resistor in the remote signal to the OEM amp. aftermarket HU has a 12v remote signal output compared to stock (which is 5v)
     
  5. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Perfect! Thanks for the help. Do you have a 2002? I just went out there and noticed the "subwoofers" are bolted down from the top, unlike the pictures in Mr.Howie's post (and look smaller than 6x9). How much of a pain is it to get the rear deck carpet block off?
     
  6. lincolnelite

    lincolnelite Well-Known LVC Member

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    yep, mines a 2002. They are 6x9.

    It's not that bad as long as you know what parts to pull out. The seat bolsters has those plastic clip that you need to release up or down depending on what side. The plastic pillars also come off easily, pull them out straight so that the plastic tabs won't break. The rear brake light housing is also tricky to remove, once those parts are out, the carpet can be pulled off. I have an exercise at the junkyard from pulling out the rear-deck speakers, so that gave me an idea how to pull them out without breaking the plastic parts. I have to do it on 2 cars since the first one got the 2ohm speakers (OEM) but the paper cones are busted on the sides, found another one with a pristine 3 way pioneer speakers. Honestly the sub amps doesn't do much in creating the thump/bass, they are more of a surround speaker type.
     
  7. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    I used this additional harness http://amzn.com/B0002BETKY to connect my head unit to the factory amp. I wonder if this is what it turns off when I use that feature. I also wonder if this is even the right one.

    I was getting the pop with the factory head unit too. That is why I think the amp is dead.
     
  8. lincolnelite

    lincolnelite Well-Known LVC Member

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    you could disconnect the speaker wires easily and test it with your new speakers. It might be OK, the rear deck speakers on the LS are not really of great quality and might be busted.
     
  9. LS4me

    LS4me Dedicated LVC Member

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    Before spending any money on this make sure the ground is secure. There has been an issue with a loose ground causing 'popping". The stock Alpine system with the rear subs has, the way Ford counts them, 12 speakers; two in each door, the 2 console imaging speakers and the 2 subs. I would imagine a comparably spec'd amp would work.
     
  10. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Getting the rear deck off sucks. I broke some of the yellow, plastic push pins in the driver-size C-pillar. What are those called and does anyone know where/if I can get more?
     
  11. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Is there a particular ground? There shouldn't be anything loose unless the actual plug is loose somehow. The grounds behind the head unit are good for sure. I could try to find the ground in the rear by the amp, but I'm skeptical.
     
  12. LS4me

    LS4me Dedicated LVC Member

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    I think there's a thread here somewhere... It has been probably 10 years since this was discussed.
     
  13. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Welp, I got the speakers out. Here's some pictures for your enjoyment. I would be quite surprised if this was ever meant to come out. I got to a breaking point where finesse was thrown out the window. I still can't figure out how it's anchored down at the back. I would like to pull it completely out and cut some holes so I never have to do this again, but I can't get it to budge. It's attached somehow at the back edge by the window.

    IMG_0893.jpg IMG_0894.jpg IMG_0895.jpg IMG_0896.jpg

    IMG_0893.jpg

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    IMG_0895.jpg

    IMG_0896.jpg
     
  14. lincolnelite

    lincolnelite Well-Known LVC Member

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    did you remove the rear brake light housing (not the rear brake assembly) ? it has a teeth that grips the carpet.
     
  15. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Yep. The rear brake light is sitting there loosely only connected by a cable. It's not what's holding it down. It's something at the back edge - almost like it's wedged between the window and metal? Whatever, I'm just going to cut holes with it in there. It shouldn't be too bad since I can get to it from the trunk now without the speakers in the way.
     
  16. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Bad assumption.
    You have an aftermarket headunit, correct?
    Aftermarket headunits supply 12v to the amp turn on signal, but the factory amp expects around 7V. If you put a 1K ohm or so resistor in between the turn-on lead from the radio and the turn-on lead to the factory amp, the pop will go away and it will work as it should.
     
  17. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    We've addressed that already. That's not the problem.
     
  18. 1LoudLS

    1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    its really not that hard, i really wouldn't recommend trashing up a car buy cutting holes instead of correctly taking it apart...

    once the side panels are taken off, and the brake light fully removed, and the round securing clips have been pulled that panel just pops directly up and out (toward the front of the car) there are small clips in the back to hold the rear tightly down so that it does not rattle.




    also it might not be the amp that is bad, it could just be bad speaker. I have seen a bad speaker cause an amp to pop and not produce sound.


    however this also can cause damage to the amp without the correct protection circuitry.
     
  19. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Where are the clips? It definitely will not pull up and out. I tried pretty much everything. I gave up trying to get it out anyways.

    I'll update once my speakers get here. I decided to just swap all the speakers while I'm at it, so there should be an exciting Amazon delivery in a couple days. So much for keeping it simple.
     
  20. 1LoudLS

    1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    you made sure that it is not getting caught on the bracket for the brake light right? I've had that panel out for no less than ten LSs and it never would come out...

    the clips are along the back edge and just provide spring tension to hold the carpet trim down... can't see how they would get stuck.



    also just curious, if you were looking for a " Looking for a quick, simple solution" to a dead amp, why not just buy a used one on line and swap it out without having to rewire a single thing?
     
  21. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    UPDATE: I've replaced all the speakers in the car with some generic Kickers. It sounds 1000x's better, but the speaker pop is still there. The amp is definitely working, though. I've put together a quick 5v power supply that I'll be installing soon. I tried 1 and 2kohm resistors inline on the remote constant and that did not work. The part I really don't understand is why it pops even with the factory head unit. It screams bad ground, right? Everything is grounded properly behind head unit. I checked all of the cables as far back as I could reach. If this 5v power supply attempt doesn't work, I guess I can try finding a bad ground in the hidden cable routing, but I REALLY don't know how that could have happened. IMG_0936.jpg

    IMG_0936.jpg
     
  22. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Still no success. Today I put my 5V power converter in and it is still popping. I began digging further and I found nothing seemingly useful. After pulling my converter out, I'm getting 12V in the trunk on both the black and the uninsulated cable in the harness when the key is NOT in the ignition. Now, I have no idea if any of these cables is the power-on signal. But it should be white/blue, right? There's only 6 cables here: red, black, red/yellow, red/white, red/gray, and the uninsulated one. What is the uninsulated cable?

    IMG_0950.jpg
    red & uninsulated
    IMG_0951.jpg
    red & black
    IMG_0952.jpg
    harness for amp input

    I noticed some lubricant or something on the pins so I cleaned that off.
    IMG_0946.jpg

    I opened it up and didn't see any bad caps or other things of interest.
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    IMG_0945.jpg

    IMG_0950.jpg

    IMG_0951.jpg

    IMG_0952.jpg

    IMG_0946.jpg

    IMG_0947.jpg
     
  23. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    No, the factory color for the turn on signal is not blue/white. That's an aftermarket only "standard."
    Pin 1 is the amp enable ("turn-on") wire, yellow/red
    Pin 2 is power ground, black, or some times black/blue.
    Pin 5 is constant power, red/blue.
    Pin 7 is positive audio in, white/red.
    Pin 8 is negative audio (ground) in, gray/red.
    Pin 9 is the uninsulated audio shield wire (a ground).
     
  24. Fix

    Fix Active LVC Member

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    Thanks joegr, that was extremely helpful. I wired the voltage regulator back up, but this time in the back. The good news, it's down to about 5V. The bad news, it's still popping. I'm at a loss.
    IMG_0954.jpg

    IMG_0954.jpg
     
  25. Ranchero50

    Ranchero50 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Do a voltage check pin #2 and #5 to the chassis ground with the stereo playing. Shouldn't be any voltage there.

    The grease is good as it keeps corrosion at bay, don't clean it off. I also pulled all my fuses out and put a dab of dialectic grease on each leg and that helps with oddball noises on the stereo. Same for the battery terminals and all the chassis ground lugs I could find.

    As said above, you have stray resistance somewhere in your electrical paths.
     

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