I replaced both factory amplifiers and subwoofer (with bonus wire colors / wiring diagram)

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mr_dave

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I recently replaced the relatively weak factory amplifiers and it was actually a lot easier than anticipated! All of the wires (documented below) were very straightforward and it was not difficult to integrate aftermarket amps in the stock locations. I also replaced the 4 door speakers while I was at it, but I re-used the factory subwoofer driver which is actually not too shabby if you give it some proper power. I do have an aftermarket 8in subwoofer on order but I wanted to see what the original one could do, and it's actually not too bad after being properly adjusted.

I used a Kicker KEY 200.4 amp for the front and rear full-range door speakers and a Kicker KEY 500.1 for the subwoofer. These are similar physical size as the factory amps so I simply put them in the original locations. I also removed the subwoofer driver and added some internal bracing and sound deadening to the plastic enclosure.

Here are my findings:
- Sound clarity and volume are massively improved
- OEM subwoofer amp is garbage
- OEM subwoofer driver is better than anticipated but still can't keep up with aftermarket door speakers at higher volumes
- Also, the OEM subwoofer is DVC 1.3ohm so I wired it in series to get a 2.6ohm load for the aftermarket amp
- Wiring up aftermarket amps to the factory headunit was much easier than anticipated
- The small Kicker KEY amplifiers are perfect replacements with lots of adjustability
- The door speakers greatly benefit with a high-pass filter in the 60-80Hz range
- The subwoofer signal already has a low-pass filter, probably around 120Hz (estimate)

Front amplifier wires (large plug):
- purple/red +12v
- gray/blue right rear speaker (+)
- white/orange right front speaker (+)
- gray/yellow left rear speaker (+)
- white/black left front speaker (+)
- black/blue chassis ground
- yellow/purple +6v switched
- gray/white right rear speaker (-)
- white/purple right front speaker (-)
- white/green left rear speaker (-)
- white left front speaker (-)

Front amplifier wires (small plug):
Note these are the exact same colors as above, but it's the low-level (RCA) signal.
- gray/blue right rear signal (+)
- white/orange right front signal (+)
- gray/yellow left rear signal (+)
- white/black left front signal (+)
- gray/white right rear signal (-)
- white/purple right front signal (-)
- white/green left rear signal (-)
- white left front signal (-)

Rear subwoofer amplifier:
- brown/red +12v
- black/blue chassis ground
- purple/red +6v switched
- purple/green low-level sub signal (+)
- green/white low-level sub signal (-)
 

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mr_dave

mr_dave

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Today I replaced the factory subwoofer with a Kicker CompR 8in DVC 2ohm, which is perfectly matched to the Kicker KEY 500.1 since I can run it in parallel at 1ohm.

It's definitely better than the factory sub, but it's not a huge difference to be honest. It can hit lower frequencies better and it gets a bit louder, but again not a massive difference. If you don't need tons of bass you could easily use the factory sub and save a few $.

Also, an 8in sub is not a direct replacement. I had to fashion a ring to make the existing hole about 1in smaller diameter, as you can see in the picture.
 

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Ellison Brown III

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Good install. I like how your amp mounts in place of the OEM. I used a larger Alpine amp out of my ‘04 Expedition so I had to find another place… mounted it under the left rear seat. Used spacers between the floor and seat frame to ever so slightly raise the seat to make clearance for seat folding. Oriented the amp with control adjustments facing forward; just in case I needed to make any adjustments.
 

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