notes from Harvster (Archived 2002-07)

Posted by Rachel on 5-Jul-2002 at 16:48:   (IP address

In Reply to: Sub between seats posted by karl on 4-Jul-2002 at 19:28:

I know *nothing* about this, but Harvster knows a thing or two about it... so he wrote me to post it... soon to be linked on Emmy's Fixit page on this archived thread....

"I have a 99 2.3 with standard stereo(8 speakers) and in dash CD, which was the lowest of the low in terms of sound quality. I was embarassed to play anything for passengers, unless the top was down, which is never.

I first replaced the kick panel speakers with MB Quarts RWC130. This made a major difference in the bass response, but the high range still distorted. Then, I got an HK amp. This cured the high range problem. Since I now had the extra channels for the subwoofer, I decided to try to add this to the system.

After many hours reading about adding roll hoops to HK and non HK systems, and especially Rich Cs step-by-step, I decided to gather all the parts from various buddies and BMW and do it. I knew the wiring for the sub was there as I could see the proper wires in the amp harness, but exactly where was a mystery. There as also the problem of the new top-did I really need one or could I use the existing one with the storage top hinges.

Parts I needed: Subwoofer box and speakers, various wires and spade connectors, subwoofer brackets, snorkel, HK front speaker grill(make sure it says HK), new lid bracket, new lid(if desired) various screws, bolts and fasteners, Torx 40 socket. (I have the part # for all these things although I was given some of them and bought others from buddies).

Disassembling car: I had to remove the roll hoops. This is easy. There are two access panels on the outboard roll hoop towers, and two in the storage box. Remove and back off torx screws. The hoops pull off. Next, remove the box lid(4 screws) inboard roll hoop trim, many screws from the storage box liner, and pull the liner out. The easiest way to remove the small box and lock mechanism is to pull the rear console. Remove the armrest and little black box or switch panel and undo two screws. Behind the console, pop off three trim caps and remove three screw. Lift out the rear console. Disassemble the small box and lock mechanism.

Wiring harness: I could see the wire harness through the access panel in the drivers side seatbelt tower. With the console removed, three screws with trim caps attach the top tower. You can remove this and slide it down the seat belt. Three more screws attach the lower tower trim. Remove this. You can now pull out two plastic plugs that attach the carpeting, one where the center console was, and one under the lower tower trim. Pull the carpet forward. You can now pull on the wire harness a pull it up. Route it under the trim pieces to the center. It is a Siemens type eight pin connecter. It is not worth trying to find the matching connector, so I just cut the wire and attached red bullet connectors. The harness from the amp has two blue and two yellow wires. Blue for the front-facing speaker, yellow for the rear. Blue/violet is +, Blue/grey is -. Yellow/grey is +,

Yellow/blue is -. Since I put in my own speakers, I did not have a harness. I wired them myself with spade terminals. If your sub has the same color wires on the harness, just connect color for color. If not, you must open the box. On each speaker, there is a large and small spade connector. Large is +, small -. For the front speaker, wire + to large, - to small. The rear speaker is the opposite. Wire + to small and - to large. If you do not reverse the polarity on the rear speaker, the sub will sound like nothing.

Replace carpet, plugs and tower trim pieces. If you are using a new lid, now is the time to cut off the lid hinges. You dont want to remove the entire bracket as the tenax fasteners for the boot cover are anchored into it.
Now for the brackets. You can reuse the storage top, if you are handy. The sub will not fit well with the black hinges in. It will distort the back and give a gap. So, when the console is off, remove the black brackets with the hinges by unscrewing the tenax fastener. Using a hacksaw, cut off the hinge to the outside of the first screw hole after the hole for the tenax faster. Leave the part at the bottom that fits under the screws that attach the console from the rear bottom. Debur the edges with a Dremel sander. Replace the brackets in the console. You need to do this to support the tenax fastener that hold the boot cover on. Now replace console, put in subbox. Test before you assemble.
Attach subwoofer mounting brackets. Replace center console and armrest.

You now need to cut the wings off the storage liner. You need these parts so the inboard roll hoop trim pieces attach correctly. Use a hacksaw and cut just inside of the rectangular slots that the trim piece fits into. Screw these down with the original screws. Mount trim pieces and replace roll bars. Tighten torx screws to 18 nms.

Fit the subwoofer box in the bracket. Attach the wires first and test. Screw down. Push in snorkel. Use a screwdriver to make sure the snorkel engages properly or the sub will buzz. Snap on HK grill cover. Attach the front mounting bracket for the lid. If you cut the hinges, snap on new lid. Replace all access panels and trim caps. You are done.

If you elected to use the original lid, do the following. You need to get the silver front bracket that holds the top down. I took the rubber gasket and installed it under the silver bracket as a seal. If you bought a new top, just pop it on. Otherwise, remove the plastic liner from the top. Buy two 4 mm hex head machine screw of several different lengths and screw two into the screw holes that correspond to the holes in the silver bracket. Buy two aluminum 3X4 in predrilled brackets(used for attaching wood). With a snips, cut a tab on one side to insert in the slot in the rear of the console. You will have to measure to get it right. Screw into one of the holes that held the hinge with hinge screws. Do both sides. Make the tap so the rear of the top is flush with the back edge of the console when inserted. Bend the metal slightly to create forward pressure. Insert tabs and close top so machine screws lock into the hole. Use the screws that are the proper size to lock in. You are done.
The sound is well worth it. With the MB Quart kick panel speakers, the HK subwoofer vibrates the entire car for a real surround sound feel. If you can get discarded parts from buddies, all the better. Otherwise, these are the approximate prices of the components:

Subwoofer box with speakers - $440
without speakers - $90

Lid- $70
Snorkel - $17

Front bracket -$14
Box brackets(2) - $10 each
Grill cover --$30"

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