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    Thread: DIY subwoofer/amp install

    1. 12-05-2005 08:18 PM #1
      I decided to make this post because I asked for a few tips on installing a sub in my GLI but for some reason, I got no help. Being that the tex has always helped me out before I figure this is because not many people know the MK5 very well yet. Well, I decided to take it on and make this post. As everybody else says, I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU BLOW YOURSELF, YOUR CAR, YOUR KIDS OR YOUR WIFE UP.

      EDITED: New info on remote connection

      Overall, It was pretty simple but took way more time than usual (about 6 or 8 hours over 2 days). The MKV is put together very well, I actually managed to not break any trim peices or scratch anything up. This post is assuming you are using the factory head unit but the actual wiring may change for cars with different options. (see below)

      Tools and Items needed:
      Sub and amp (obviousely)
      Correct amp wiring (kit)
      line out converter (if amp has no speaker level inputs)
      butter knife
      flat screwdriver
      Torx bit/driver (either T20 or T25 i forget)
      10mm wrench
      ratchet, long extension and 13mm socket
      Multimeter or 12v test light
      M10 or 10mm triple square bit (optional for grounding to rear seatbelt bolt)
      little metal doorsill clips(dealer? see below)
      Patience


      First off, you will need these clips, They are pretty much one-time use and will be garbage when you pull the doorsills up. I am guessing you can get them from the dealer. If you cant fint them right away, the sills do stay on without them but you are better off having them.

      Get Power and remote-turn-on to the trunk
      First you have to remove the battery and box cuz it's tight and you will need the space. remove the top and front of the battery box, unhook the battery cables with the 10mm wrench then use the ratchet, long extension and 13mm socket to unbolt the clamp on the engine side of the battery, then undo the back of the box. The buttom does not need to be unbolted.

      In back of the blanket on the firewall there is a rubber wire grommet with what looks like "cow udders". You will see some oem wires coming through it but there is an udder that you can snip and run your power wire through. I drilled a hole through the firewall after I switched to 0awg wire, it's too big for the udder, but 4awg should be fine

      EDIT: The 6disk GLI stereo has NO REMOTE, I confirmed this myself by checking all wires in the head and even the prongs on the stereo thatt do not have wires in the harness.

      Now you have to pull the driver side door sill up. first insert a flathead screwdriver here

      Then lift it up just enuff to get your fingers in from both sides, then pull it up.I butchered some of the clips when I pulled it the first time which is why I recommend having spares. The whole sill is one piece from front to back so just follow it down to the back seat. You will find a small styrafoam piece in the front of the doorsill, either toss it or drill a hole through it to stick the wires. The piece where the hoodlatch release handle is held does NOT need to come out. you can just stick the wires up through the bottom

      The bottom of the backseat has to come out a little as well, it is only velcroed and snapped in. Pull it up from the front until it pops out, then push the seat toward the rear to release it from the hooks in the back.. It's hard to get all the way out from under the seat belts so popping it out a little will do.

      route the power and remote wires through the plastic piece with the hoodlatch release handle, run the power through the fire wall. Then run it to the back under the seat, then through the trunk. Put new clips in the sill and pop it back on. Put the battery back in but do not connect amp power yet. You can now stop for the day or keep going. EDIT: run the remote wire up through fuse panel on the left side of the dash and to slot 41, it is empty and not used for anything in Jetta's but does have 12v running to it for the ignition, GTIs/Rabbits use this for the rear wiper, but you can still tap it. Use "Add a circuit" or whatever the hell it's called from the parts store.

      Get the audio source to the amp and install your ground while you're at it
      Now you have to remove the head unit. I didnt take pictures of this but it's all detailed here. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2111976 Just use the butter knife to pry the trim off then use the torx to unscrew it all. Wiring info is in the link and on back of the deck. You need to splice into the rear speaker wires. Stuff the speaker wires down behind the climate controls so you can pull them later. You can either tap the factory speaker wires and use a short length of speaker wire and mount your line out converter in the radio cavity, then use long RCAs from the LOC to the amp in the trunk Or..........tap the factory speaker wires with long speaker wire and mount the LOC in the trunk and use shorter RCAs to the amp or if you're using an amp with speaker level inputs and no LOC is needed, it's upto you

      Pry off this piece under the climate controls from the front then remove it.

      now pry this piece off from the pass side of the dash

      You have to remove the glove box. Unscrew the torx screws from the inside and underneath. unclip the wires as you pull it off. If you didn't notice there's 1 screw for the glove box under the climate controls.

      Now pry the kickpanel and doorsill up. Pull the wires from under the radio through here then over the glovebox and down through the door sill into the trunk.

      Hook up your speaker wires to the line out converter. You can use the large triple square bolt under the seat for a ground if you have the tool, this is your best bet. Hook up the amp, sub, whatever, then connect the power to the battery. I drilled a hole in the front battery box and ran the power wire in it, do this however you want for your install. Put it all back together, check all connections and you are all set.

      This setup here requires a little more than this DIY, but it's a start

      Modified by blackvento36 at 1:48 AM 2-15-2008


      Modified by blackvento36 at 1:59 AM 2-15-2008


    2. 12-05-2005 10:01 PM #2
      wowza.. looks so complicated. Thanks for the write up. It'll take some time to digest all of it.

    3. 12-05-2005 10:20 PM #3
      There may be an issue using the fuse box for a remote. No fuse seems to reliably turn on and off with the ignition. I will fix the post soon as I figure it out.

    4. 12-05-2005 11:04 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by blackvento36 »
      There may be an issue using the fuse box for a remote. No fuse seems to reliably turn on and off with the ignition. I will fix the post soon as I figure it out.

      On the 2.5 there is a thick Black wire with a Yellow stripe with empty slots on the fusebox that turns on/off with the ignition


    5. 12-05-2005 11:34 PM #5
      what if the car has an amp, is the install any different?

    6. 12-05-2005 11:39 PM #6
      Any pics of the sub in the trunk, and where did you place your amp?

    7. 12-06-2005 12:10 AM #7
      I am seriously interested in this DIY. Having the bass rattle the doors drives me crazy, my older hyundai elantra's stock 6 speaker set up sounded better. I don't blame the rattle on the doors, i think they are well built, they shake a ton before they even start to rattle, it was a design flaw to put those subs in the doors. I know this is asking a lot, but I need to know
      1) how to disable those subs in the front doors
      2) if the install is different with the stock amp (special connection?)
      3) what brand/model amp you used in the install

      I really appreciate this post, seeing it made my day. Thanks


    8. 12-06-2005 12:27 AM #8
      Post has been edited for new info on remote wire.
      Quote, originally posted by HondaKiller2.0 »
      Any pics of the sub in the trunk, and where did you place your amp?

      Amp was place on back of the bow, will post pics tomorrow.

    9. 12-06-2005 12:35 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by hwkr14 »
      I am seriously interested in this DIY. Having the bass rattle the doors drives me crazy, my older hyundai elantra's stock 6 speaker set up sounded better. I don't blame the rattle on the doors, i think they are well built, they shake a ton before they even start to rattle, it was a design flaw to put those subs in the doors. I know this is asking a lot, but I need to know
      1) how to disable those subs in the front doors
      2) if the install is different with the stock amp (special connection?)
      3) what brand/model amp you used in the install

      I really appreciate this post, seeing it made my day. Thanks

      1)pull the panels off and disconnect them
      2)It should be the same Nobody knows if the GLI has an amp or not, it uses the same head ar the premium stereo but there is no amp under the seat.
      3)JL1000/1 to a W7


    10. 12-06-2005 12:36 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by CrssEyedNSmilin »
      On the 2.5 there is a thick Black wire with a Yellow stripe with empty slots on the fusebox that turns on/off with the ignition

      The in car fusebox, or the under hood fusebox? BTW I like your carputer, I wanted to do that in my mk3 jetta but never got around to it.


      Modified by blackvento36 at 12:39 AM 12-6-2005

    11. 12-07-2005 01:52 PM #11
      Added new pics

    12. 12-16-2005 12:16 PM #12
      With the sub installed have you experienced this? I just picked up my GLI on Wednesday. The dealer had a sub shop install an amp and sub (Rockford Fosgate Punch 3200 and 10in JL Audio) I supplied before delivery. As I was going through different types of music, anything with significant amounts of bass started vibrating the rear package shelf. I have had subs in most of my cars in the past and have never experienced this. It's driving me crazy and I have to find a solution quick. Otherwise the sub integrates beautifully. It allowed me to leave the bass setting flat for the stock speakers to ensure I don't get the dreaded door rattle.

    13. Member Sincity's Avatar
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      12-16-2005 12:32 PM #13
      Great job

      MODS: Please make this into a "Sticky".

      EDIT: Nevermind....I see it is already there


      Modified by Sincity at 8:34 AM 12-16-2005


    14. 12-22-2005 06:27 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by Splashman24 »
      With the sub installed have you experienced this? I just picked up my GLI on Wednesday. The dealer had a sub shop install an amp and sub (Rockford Fosgate Punch 3200 and 10in JL Audio) I supplied before delivery. As I was going through different types of music, anything with significant amounts of bass started vibrating the rear package shelf. I have had subs in most of my cars in the past and have never experienced this. It's driving me crazy and I have to find a solution quick. Otherwise the sub integrates beautifully. It allowed me to leave the bass setting flat for the stock speakers to ensure I don't get the dreaded door rattle.

      I noticed it a little, but it really wasn't that bad. It may have gotten worse over time, but my amp quit on me so my sub has been outta comission since a week after I made the post.

    15. 01-09-2006 01:19 PM #15
      Thanks blackvento for the great post. I attempted this weekend to tackle this project and I used a lot of information from within this post. I also used a few of my own methods. IMO the way you completed the task is more professional, but I am going to post how I completed the task so people have options. Especially when they are lazy like me.

      Things I did differently:

      I did not want to go through the firewall. It looked complex even before I raised the hood. I also have a manual transmission so it would obviously be drilling. I took a look at the underneath of the car and noticed that I could actually run outside the cabin. With 4gage wire I'm not afraid of damage. I had to run into the left wheel well, around the wheel. Under the cabin within the plastic guard. Finally, zip-tied to several main supports to the spare tire area. There are grommets there to run into the trunk.

      Second, I did not want to take apart my dash. Like the firewall method, this looked complex. Also in my last car I had scratches in the dash from when I took it apart. They were tiny and no one else would notice them, but I did, and that's all that matters. Instead of getting the signal off the headunit, I got the signal from the wires going into the back door. (This does mean that my subwoofers are affected by the 'fade' of the stereo. To get to this speaker wire, I needed to take off the door sills (explained above) and remove the molding from the door pillar. There you can see the wires running into the door. Use the wiring diagrams above to figure out which wires you need to tap into.

      Once you get the signal wire into the truck you have a couple options. You can use the line level converter (as used above) or if your amp will take signal wire you can simply use that. If you use a line level converter you will need to run remote on wire. (explained above)

      Finally, I had a friend make custom boxes so that I can use the pass through from the trunk to the back seat. I'm a skier so this was very important. The system sounds very nice and as soon as I carpet the boxes, it will look sharp too. I will take pictures at that time and post them if people are interested.

      As a side note: Leave EXTRA time if you want to work on this project. It took about three times as long as I had assumed.

      Feel free to send me a message if you have and questions ...


    16. Member Just4u2c's Avatar
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      01-09-2006 01:27 PM #16
      WOW... drilling holes and running wire under car?? I must have a different car....

      Mine is a GLI 6-speed so if you cant find this spot then dont yell at me cause mine might be different (but I don't think so)

      pull out the battery and battery box (about 2 minute job, much easier than the mkIV).. to the right of the battery box on the firewall there is a wire harness going through a rubber grommit.. The hole in the firewall looks to be like say 2" and the wire harness is like 3/4" so what did they do with all that extra room... They put cow udders there???? what did I say.. no seriously, it looks like cow teats sticking out.. (possibly for other wires that might run through there for different options).. so I just used a razor blade, opened up the end of one of these and shoved the 4guage wire through.. it fit perfectly, almost like it was made for it... No drilling or running wires under the car here... when you pull the lower dash cover down you will see the harness coming through way to the left and see what I am talking about.. It puts the wire in a perfect position to run down the panel behind the hood release.... other than that, the DIY up top was perfect....


    17. 01-09-2006 01:31 PM #17
      I've seen that many people like to drill holes into the car(hey belive me i love to drill too), as for me I tried another method, I got the power for the sub and amp from the power supply in the trunk, to me it was less work and no drilling involved, I found this to be the easiest way to do a sub install, from their all you have to do is run the remote wire from the inside of the fuse box and bingo your done. The whole install took me around 1Hr

    18. Member Just4u2c's Avatar
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      01-09-2006 01:38 PM #18
      Don't want to get into a big "how big is your speaker wire" debate in here, but I don't want people to think that that will ALWAYS work...
      This all depends on how big of an amp you are running... I am not sure what power supply you are talking about either but if it is less than 8 guage I would be scared to run an amp over 400watts... If you do, fuses are going to be popping, wires melting, amp not working right... WAY bad news.. with a full wire from the battery you can get what size you need for your amp, and fuse it too for the correct size.
      I only spent 2 hours on this install and that included tweaking and tuning amp, installing speakers in the box, mounting amp to the box, and strapping the box down cause I have a rubber trunk mat and I knew it was going to slide....

      If you are not 100% sure on wiring for your amp, I would suggest not doing it, or getting wire that is really big so that you know you aren't too small.....


    19. 01-09-2006 01:40 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by Just4u2c »
      Don't want to get into a big "how big is your speaker wire" debate in here, but I don't want people to think that that will ALWAYS work...
      This all depends on how big of an amp you are running... I am not sure what power supply you are talking about either but if it is less than 8 guage I would be scared to run an amp over 400watts... If you do, fuses are going to be popping, wires melting, amp not working right... WAY bad news.. with a full wire from the battery you can get what size you need for your amp, and fuse it too for the correct size.
      I only spent 2 hours on this install and that included tweaking and tuning amp, installing speakers in the box, mounting amp to the box, and strapping the box down cause I have a rubber trunk mat and I knew it was going to slide....

      If you are not 100% sure on wiring for your amp, I would suggest not doing it, or getting wire that is really big so that you know you aren't too small.....

      agreed.


    20. 01-09-2006 01:55 PM #20
      That is ture i am only running a 150w amp nothing big, but for the big boys that want the rattle i would do the whole drilling idea, sorry if i miss lead anyone.

    21. 01-09-2006 02:32 PM #21
      To all the replies ... good information!

      As far as wire size, I agree. You need to have adaquate power for the watts you will be pushing. I have 4gage wire (pretty darn thick) and that is why I opted to run under the car as I did. It just seemed to work for me. I'll let you know if it becomes a problem later.

      As far as all the alternative methods for running the wires. If you have found a better way, that is great. I heard that the firewall needed to be drilled so I didn't even try that method. I just wasn't excited about it concidering it wouldn't be a picnic running it through the car's interior either. (door sills)

      Now that I'm typing this reply I forget what I all wanted to discuss, so this might become a multi-part post. Sorry about that ...


    22. 01-13-2006 02:04 PM #22
      The way I posted doing it, only requires you to pull apart the easier of the interior pieces. The center console looked like a pain to get apart that's why I ran the speaker wires over the glovebox and under the passenger doorsill. Tapping the rear speakers at the pillars is fine, unless you want to run a 4 channel amp for the interior speakers too. As far as running the power wire under the car, I would only advise that if you were to run a 1/0 guage wire that won't fit under the doorsills.

    23. 01-25-2006 08:05 PM #23
      Just out of interest does the harness for the stereo detach completely so I can make modifications to it at my workbench? The colour of the wires look the same as something that plugs in under the glove box.

      I will be cutting the front speaker wires completely to run a line out converter and power the front components with the amp, so this will make it much easier if it is the case!

      By the way you can get the ignition signal from the CD changer port on the back of the headunit (not sure if the US model has this though).

      Cheers


    24. 01-26-2006 08:09 AM #24
      No, the harness doesn't come out unless you want to try to fish it all the way into the dashboard. I don't know about the cd changer port.

      BTW Use slot 41 in the interior fuse box for remote lead. I initially used a different empty slot for my remote, and this made the dealers scan tool unable to communicate with the ECU (don't ask me why). After tapping into slot 41, the dealer was still able to scan the computer


      Modified by blackvento36 at 7:15 AM 1-26-2006


    25. Member 2TrboA6's Avatar
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      01-26-2006 08:13 AM #25
      Very nice DIY. It will be good to have these threads around when i get my MK5.
      Quote Originally Posted by LSinLV
      I've been asked by the "Vegas Crew" to let "AZ Crew" know that Freddy is NOT allowed to attend....he's just too damn cholo!!!

    26. Member mreuro's Avatar
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      01-26-2006 08:31 AM #26
      Quote, originally posted by Just4u2c »
      WOW... drilling holes and running wire under car?? I must have a different car....

      Mine is a GLI 6-speed so if you cant find this spot then dont yell at me cause mine might be different (but I don't think so)

      pull out the battery and battery box (about 2 minute job, much easier than the mkIV).. to the right of the battery box on the firewall there is a wire harness going through a rubber grommit.. The hole in the firewall looks to be like say 2" and the wire harness is like 3/4" so what did they do with all that extra room... They put cow udders there???? what did I say.. no seriously, it looks like cow teats sticking out.. (possibly for other wires that might run through there for different options).. so I just used a razor blade, opened up the end of one of these and shoved the 4guage wire through.. it fit perfectly, almost like it was made for it... No drilling or running wires under the car here... when you pull the lower dash cover down you will see the harness coming through way to the left and see what I am talking about.. It puts the wire in a perfect position to run down the panel behind the hood release.... other than that, the DIY up top was perfect....

      I did the same thing....you cant even see the wire that is there....it is covered by the battery cover.


    27. Member Yevi's Avatar
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      02-01-2006 04:07 PM #27
      Well i didn't really do the sub, but that's how i wired my undercar lighting kit, there are gauges do drain water in case of flood underneath the spare tire, i ran wires through that instead of drilling

      -Yev

      -Yev


    28. 02-02-2006 06:31 AM #28
      Quote, originally posted by Just4u2c »
      WOW... drilling holes and running wire under car?? I must have a different car....

      Mine is a GLI 6-speed so if you cant find this spot then dont yell at me cause mine might be different (but I don't think so)

      pull out the battery and battery box (about 2 minute job, much easier than the mkIV).. to the right of the battery box on the firewall there is a wire harness going through a rubber grommit.. The hole in the firewall looks to be like say 2" and the wire harness is like 3/4" so what did they do with all that extra room... They put cow udders there???? what did I say.. no seriously, it looks like cow teats sticking out.. (possibly for other wires that might run through there for different options).. so I just used a razor blade, opened up the end of one of these and shoved the 4guage wire through.. it fit perfectly, almost like it was made for it... No drilling or running wires under the car here... when you pull the lower dash cover down you will see the harness coming through way to the left and see what I am talking about.. It puts the wire in a perfect position to run down the panel behind the hood release.... other than that, the DIY up top was perfect....

      Well I wouldn't recomend running wires under the car either for the stereo. I didn't see the cow udder grommet thing when I installed mine, Maybe I neglected it since it was mad cold out. Even still, Considering how sensitive this cars electronics are, I probably wouldn't run my power wire near alotta factory wiring anyway. It's probably fine, I just like the way mine turned out.

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      02-04-2006 03:44 AM #29
      Quote, originally posted by blackvento36 »

      BTW Use slot 41 in the interior fuse box for remote lead. I initially used a different empty slot for my remote, and this made the dealers scan tool unable to communicate with the ECU (don't ask me why). After tapping into slot 41, the dealer was still able to scan the computer

      i'm in the middle of installing an amp...could u elaborate on how exactly you 'tap' into a fuse? i've heard this term so often, but never really knew exactly what it meant. surely you don't just shove the wire into the slot and push a fuse in?

      i've never installed a sub on a stock head unit (always had aftermaket hus), so i've always got the remote wire off the wiring harness for the head unit.

      also, where did you ground your amp? as i mentioned in another post, i ran out of daylight before i could try and find one, and i would love it if i didnt have to rip apart the hatch trying to find a grounding bolt.

      one more thing, for those reluctant to run the power line because you have to drill, you don't HAVE to drill. like mentioned above, there's a grommet in the firewall where all the wires come out of the fusebox into the interior you can slit and shove the wire through. MUCH easier than drilling, which i am totally unwilling to do.



      Modified by AndrewT at 1:47 AM 2-4-2006


    30. 02-04-2006 04:50 AM #30
      Can you get a high pass filter (I don't mean going via an amp) for the front speakers so they aren't doing all the work you want the sub doing? Just figuring it will stop the door rattles and I have noticed they distort fairly early even with the EQ set flat.

    31. Member philf1fan's Avatar
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      02-04-2006 07:44 AM #31
      why not just get an multichannel amp with x-over or buy an external active x-over ?


      Modified by philf1fan at 6:46 AM 2-4-2006

    32. 02-04-2006 09:55 AM #32
      ...if you can find the factory amp, technically you could run an active x-over and set the high pass to 100 hz(or so)then run your aftermarket sub at 100 hz down...this would accomplish two things. Eliminate any speaker *rattle* in the doors and your system would play cleaner and louder...as the majority of the factory amps power is being used to drive the lower freq in the door speakers....or you could just go the cheap and easy route and buy some passive resistors and just solder them to the woofers of the factory doors speakers...I think the kids call em' *bass blockers*

    33. Member philf1fan's Avatar
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      02-04-2006 03:42 PM #33
      YES, and since there is now a mid-range speaker added to the A5 body, I would go even lower to say 80Hz x-over for the sub, given 'tighter' bass from the sub. I have held the mid-range speakers and even though they are lighter than I expected (magnet wise), they should be able to handle 80---->

    34. 02-04-2006 05:28 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by AndrewT »
      i'm in the middle of installing an amp...could u elaborate on how exactly you 'tap' into a fuse?
      Well I didn't feel like running out and buying anything in the middle of my install, so I took a spare fuse and soldered the remote wire to the backside of the fuse. You can go to radio shack and get a male spade terminal and stick it ino the fuse slot. You can also get one of those add a circuit things.

      You can pull the seat up and see the seatbelt bolts. they are good grounds but you need a large tripple square bit to get them out. Since I have no problem drilling holes in order to get a clean install, I switched it. I took the side seat trims out (The things where the rear seatbelts ride on) and I drilled a hole through the metal rail thing.


      Modified by blackvento36 at 4:36 PM 2-4-2006


    35. Member zbgli's Avatar
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      05-13-2006 01:09 PM #35
      So I'm confused, I thought a remote wire had to be hooked into the HU?? So If I just ran the remote from my amp into the fuse, it will turn on?


      Modified by zbgli at 9:14 AM 5-13-2006

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