I tend to write novels on these things, so I'll try to keep this as short as possible.
PICS COMING SOON!
I looked all over trying to find someone who had either replaced or added to the existing amp/sub combination in the Fender Audio System. I searched these forums, as well as every other possible place on the interwebs I could to look; all to no avail. Now, that's not to say there isn't another guide out there somewhere, but I sure as hell couldn't find it.
Long story short; I decided to tackle the custom audio setup myself. I didn't really want to replace the existing system, but add onto it. Hopefully this guide will be helpful to you whichever you decide to do, but let me give you a small warning here:
I HAVE ADHD! This means I probably bounced around this whole thing taking more time than was necessary and you may be able to do it better using a different order of steps. I would suggest reading this DIY all the way through before doing any actual work.
Tools to get started:
Torx Bits - Mostly you'll use a T20 (you'll need a driver for these unless you have a...)
Ratchet - 10mm socket (and can use for Torx bits with the adapter)
Flat Screwdriver/Butter Knife (Only if you plan to get to the back of the head-unit)
Probably won't hurt to have a phillips screwdriver for your amp install, but it's not necessary for this part
Fische Tape (however you spell it)
Wire coat hanger (handy, but not required)
Sticky Velcro - Can buy at Walmart or Home Depot - about $10-15 bucks for same amount in ft
Wire Taps - Autozone or Walmart - I bought a pack that had 10 I think
Line Out Converter - Get this if your amp doesn't have input for normal speaker wire...You'll need it to hook up RCA's
Speaker Wire - I used about 3 feet, but I have a combined amp/sub unit (Basslink)
RCA Cable - Dual Male/Male cable for Left/Right - I used a 6 ft cable from Radioshack
Power/Ground wire - I used 8ga wire since I ran directly from the battery - Probably better to err on the long side and get about 20ft of both here...gives you more options on placement
Remote Wire - Get 20ft if you want to run from your amp to the fuse box, get 6 feet (or less) if you want to do as I did (through Line Out Converter)
This will be fairly specific to my amp/sub combo as they are a combined unit (Infinity Basslink), but there is no reason you couldn't alter this a bit for your setup.
Lay the rear seats forward using the controls in the trunk.
Remove the stock Fender Subwoofer Dash to give yourself some room. You'll need your Ratchet and 10mm socket for this. There are 5 bollts that hold this in place in the trunk, 3 up by the back seats, 2 by the trunk opening. You can take these out, unplug the subwoofer plug (behind driver side rear seat) and slide the dash out the trunk opening.
(OPTIONAL) When I had this out, I took the Fender Sub out of the dash and padded the inside of the dash with some auto-upholstery foam for sound deadening (I hate rattle)...if enough people are interested, I'll add a section for this.
Remove the plastic Torx Rivets (1-2) that hold the carpet lining the wall (drivers side). You'll need the T20 bit for this, and they are a pain. You have to apply pressure to these while unscrewing, but not too much otherwise they will pop back in. I spent quite a lot of time cussing these damn things. Removing these are going to make your life easier when it comes to running your power/ground wires.
Need to splice into the existing sub wires for your Line Out Converter (if you need one). I checked all 4 of these wires on the plug and found them all to be dead when the car was off...and all hot when it was on....No idea why all would be hot. I had to pull the stock sub out and figure out which terminal they connected to there to figure out what was neg/pos. On the female plug on the sub dash, the black and white wires were positive, the solid black the negative.
You need to determine where you want your equipment in the trunk and cut your speaker wire accordingly. A little extra never hurts as you can trim it later. I cut about 5 feet here and spliced the speaker wires into the male plug of the fender sub using the wire taps (should be 4). I'll get the color coding on this male plug for you when I can.
Hook up your Line Out Converter if you're using one. I got a Scosche one at Walmart. The connections for this should be easy as you just hook positive speaker cable to the positive termails on the LOC and negative to negative. I used the 4 far left terminals on the LOC (pos/neg, pos/neg). You may need a small screwdriver set for these terminals; luckily I had a set around the house, but you could probably use a regular small flathead if you have one.
Once you have your speaker wires hooked into the LOC, you can throw some sticky Velcro on it and mount it where you like ( I put mine right behind the driver side rear seat).
I was going to wait to add this part, but I'm going to put it here so you don't waste time like I did.
Even though this is a factory stereo, it still has an amp, so I'm better it still has a remote wire, even though most factory head units don't....I couldn't find it. I looked at a wiring diagram for the head unit and it didn't list one. So I thought, ok, well, let's just connect one to the factory amp and run it to the back...same thing, I couldn't find it and didn't want to cut the sheathing around the cable harness to the amp.
In the end, I came up with a much easier solution anyway. Remember those 4 sub wires that I said were hot? Well, remember they weren't hot when the car was off? BINGO! Perfect for my remote wire. I just connected the remote wire to one of the positive speaker cables on the LOC and screwed it down into the terminal.
I thought this was a little odd at first, but I asked 2 different audio shops in town if there was any problem with this and they both said no. One told me that the LOC usually has a Remote-In terminal anyways...I just made my own.
With that said, you are welcome to run your remote wire all the way up to the head unit or the fuse box, but I won't be detailing how to do that here. Hell, the manual doesn't even have a fuse-box diagram, and when I asked the dealership, they gave me a 20page document listing the layout...Enough said.
Time to get ready to run the power(and possibly remote) wire.
The easiest way I found to do this was to undo the plastic trim in the back on driver side where the seat belt comes down. To maneuver this, you have to open a small panel on the side with the flat screwdriver. This allows you access to another lovely Torx Rivet. It's hard to see, so you might need a flashlight. Once the rivet is removed, you should be able to pull outwards (toward the driver seat) on the plastic trim and it will come lose. There is a metal/plastic clip that hold it to the frame underneath, but it pulls off easy. Now this won't completely remove this trim piece (there's still a bolt under the seat), but it lets you move it around enough to get your cable/fische tape in there.
You'll need to pry the bottom door trim up from the floor a bit in both doorways. It won't come completely out (catches in the center where the driver's seat belt mechanism is), but it's enough to see what you're doing. Just pull gently in the middle and it will come up. Once you have the trim pulled up, you can see the carpet and metal underneath. You should also notice a metal channel where wires are currently running. Now, you can do one of 2 things here. You have the option of running your wires either through this channel or on top of it. I chose to run them on top of it, mainly because it is easier to find the tape at the front of the car this way.
Either way you choose is fine, just might be a slightly larger headache if you go through the channel. Now you get to maneuver the fische tape down through this opening to the front of the car. You'll hit some snags, but just take your time and you'll get it. You should come out behind the panel with the hood latch in the front of the car. I couldn't find a way to get this panel off, if you can, more power to you. Otherwise, you'll have to reach in behind the panel and pull the fische tape out to where the pedals are.
Congratulations, once you reach this point, you are halfway done with running the wires!
You now have to get the tape through the firewall somehow. If you have the Automatic, this is easy as you can run it through the rubber gromet where the clutch pedal would go. If you're like me and have the manual; go ahead and get the drill out as you'll need to drill a hole big enough for the 8 gauge power wire (and remote if you want it up here). The best inconspicuous place I found for this is next to a rubber gromet where the hood release cable comes through. Drill from the outside, make sure you drill through the internal insulation also, but MAKE SURE NOT TO DRILL ANY WIRES! With your hole drilled, feed your tape through and tape your power wire to the fische tape with enough electrical tape to hold it on there.
Note - If you want a more low-profile hole, you can use a coat hanger for this part instead of the fische tape to pull it through.
You can now pull the power cable all the way back to the first piece of trim you pulled loose. Make sure to leave enough slack at the front to connect to the battery.
Here is another place the coat hanger comes in handy. You can attach it to your power cable and use it to make the bend around the fender and into the trunk over the carpet wall you removed the rivet(s) from earlier.
Now it's time to run your ground wire. You can either locate a bolt on the frame behind the carpet wall, or you can drill a small hole and put a bolt in yourself for ground. I did the second option behind that first piece of trim and ran the ground cable around the same bend as the power cable to the trunk.
At this point, you can start popping your trim back into place and reapplying the rivets. You can put the Stock Sub Dash back in now, or leave it out until you get you cables managed if you like.
The only thing left to do from here is to hook up your wires to the battery, amp, and subwoofer (and remote wire to the fuse box for the amp if you chose to go that route). All this should be fairly straightforward; you just use the wire rings and connect them to the terminals and plug in your RCA cables if you used the LOC. If you have any questions about this part, pm me and I'll see if I can help you out.
Damn...so much for not writing a novel....A couple of finishing notes and I'll say ado.
1. I definitely suggest using an inline fuse for the power wire. You want to hook this up no more than 18" from the battery.
2. Pics to come soon. I work the next 3 days and its been snowing like a banshee here, so I don't have much time/initiative to take the pics.
3. If you got gripes with this, oh well. I know it's not the greatest DIY, but I don't usually write these. Hopefully someone like me that is hunting out there for this DIY will find this somewhat useful.
Last edited by dwnocturnal; 01-14-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: note about pics
Great information! I don't understand, however, what you mean by 'Hot.' Do you mean that they get 12v DC when the car is on?
I checked the (4) wires going to the Fender Sub in the trunk and determined that they were (2) sets of speaker wires for a dual voice-coil subwoofer. If this is true, how can they be 'hot,' as you say? The wires can't carry 12vDC and the AC audio signal at the same time....
Just a little confused.
2012 GLI Autobahn w/Nav
2005.5 Jetta 2.5 (died)
How did it sound? It's nice that the Fender Amp has a dedicated subwoofer output, but would be even better if it had a dedicated low level output so that you don't have to use the LOC, which degrades the quality in my opinion.
I would LOVE to see a wiring diagram for the Fender amp. I'd bet VW has one in a service manual somewhere...
Maybe when it gets warmer, I'll do some investigation. It's too cold/windy right now.
2012 GLI Autobahn w/Nav
2005.5 Jetta 2.5 (died)
I went a different route and fished a 4 gauge power wire down the center console area and under the rear seat straight down the middle , in my opinion it was much faster than going down the drivers side, I will be running a remote bass Knob for my jl audio amp so since I plan to put it In the center console switch cluster it was just a more logical option for my ibstall
Piecing together my set up now, have always had subs in my cars and this write up will def make things go smoother with my install. thanks a lot!
sub'd for pics
MKVI GLI, APR s2, 034 catless DP, VF Engineering intake, Solo Werks coilovers, Forge short shifter
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch VCDS in CT¡!¡!