Complete Amp, Speaker, and Wire Install
Notes: Hopefully this saves someone some time, because it took me around ~20 hours from start to finish to remove trim, install amp, install speakers, run speaker wire, and reinstall the trim (not a single broken latch by the way).
NOT ALL OF THE PICTURES ARE MY OWN. I do not claim to have taken all these photos, but they greatly helped me when I installed everything. Hopefully the owners do not mind that I post them.
Links: Here are some important links that helped me immensely:
Component Speaker Install by SilverGLS
Amp Install by FlatLand2D
Crutchfield - Amp Install
A huge thank you goes out to everyone on this forum that helped me with my questions and especially SilverGLS and FlatLand2D for their guides.
Info: I have a 2012 Elantra. I installed Infinity Kappa 60.9 component systems in the front and Infinity Kappa 652.9i in the rear and a Pioneer GM-D9500 amp. I chose the amp because of it's tiny size and Class FD cooling and energy efficiency because I was planning on installing it under my seat. They we're all bought from various sellers on Amazon. I bought my 8 gauge amp install kit from KnuKonceptz because it had good reviews and was cheap for everything it included. It all sounds amazing. The most impressive feature is the volume. The same volume that happened on 25 on the stock system now occurs at about 11 or 12. I haven't put it past 14... yet.
Before we begin, realize that these are process photos and you should finish your wire with electrical tape, solder, loom, velcro, zip-ties, etc. so that everything is protected, covered, and not dangerous.
0. Roll the rear windows all the way down and the front windows about halfway down (it'll help later). Also, lower the volume on your head unit all the way down so that when you turn it back on it won't blast music.
1. VERY IMPORTANT: Pop the hood and disconnect the negative battery terminal on your car battery.
2. Start removing trim. With all of this, wrap a screwdriver in tape, cloth, etc. so that you don't scratch your interior. The plastic kickplates on the bottom of each side doorway pop off with sufficient pressure and a screwdriver (as does all of the trim, so don't worry about breaking them. It's OK to be forceful). You will have to remove the trim that hides the seat-belts, so you might as well do that right now as well. Again, just put a screwdriver in and wedge it open. The doors are removed by popping off 2 little trap doors, removing 2 screws, pulling the trim off, and then disconnecting all the wires and handle/door openers. Watch a video here:
. Once the door panels are off, you may want to remove the speakers now. There are many different ways of doing this, but I decided on the tried and true method courtesy of SilverGLS (his picture below). Cut the speaker with an Xacto right where the high-tech material *ahem* I mean paper, meets the rubber. He removed his speaker buckets, but mine were riveted (except for one which used T20 Torx for some reason...) so I decided to just cut them while still installed in the door so I could reuse the buckets as spacers.
The head unit trim is a little more complicated. Follow this link for a video of the removal process:
. Or, look at these pictures:
3. Run the amp power cable through your firewall. I used an existing hole suggested by FlatLand2D (these are his photos). The cable will share a grommet with the hood release cable. I used a length of bailing wire attached to the cable to fish the wire through the firewall, to a spot I could reach near the battery. You are going to do this a lot throughout the guide, so I put some yellow tape on the last 6 inches of the bailing wire so that I could spot it easier.
These photos were taken from where the driver's feet would normally be, by FlatLand2D.
4. Attach the power cable with a ring terminal to the positive side of the battery and install the in-line fuse holder. Do not install the fuse yet, as you will probably turn the car on/off a few times throughout the install. Another photo from FlatLand2D showing the best positioning:
5. Time to run some speaker wire. With all of these, keep some slack wherever they will meet the amp, so that you can always pull some through to the speakers if you need more. If you don't need the slack you can always cut them later. I decided on 12 gauge because I had a ton of it laying around the house. It is much thicker than the stock wire, but I don't know if it makes a difference in sound quality. All I can say is that it sounds excellent and I have peace of mind knowing that the cable can supply all the necessary power. Here's a diagram I made showing how I ran each wire:
You want the power wire to not run parallel with any of the other wires essentially. My amp is underneath the driver seat. Power cable goes through the firewall. Ground wire connects to the driver seat frame (scrape off any paint so that it gets a metal to metal connection). The Front Left speaker wire and the RCA/Line Level Input/Remote Turn On are on the driver side of the center console, tucked up into the console plastic and carpeting. They split from each other above the gas pedal, zip tied to some other wires behind the dash. The Rear Right and Front Right go under the carpet from the driver seat, to the center console, to the passenger seat, and split at the seatbelt column trim. Instead of going around the center console, which is difficult because the carpet is so tight, I ran it right through/under. If you open the console and lift off the small piece of carpet in the console, you will see some empty space inside along with the parking brake cable. I drilled two small holes in this piece of plastic on the bottom of the console so that I could zip tie the speaker wire above the parking brake cable (you don't want them touching obviously). For all of this, you want to use the bailing wire trick. It's pretty much impossible without it. If you have to cut a small hole in the carpet to guide your wires, go ahead. It's impossible to see a slit in the carpet once you just push it back together. The trouble arrives when you have to get the speaker wire into the doors...
6. Let's start with the rear doors because they are easier. If you open the door you will see a rubber coil and two grommets housing all of the wires. Pull the top rubber grommet off to access the terminal housing.
The terminal itself has a male and female connector, which can be disconnected with a screwdriver from outside the car by pushing in the clasps on the sides. If you open the front door, close the rear, and you can access everything easier. Once disconnected form the door, you want to remove the one still attached to the car frame. Again, use a screwdriver to push in the clasps on the top and bottom and it will then push into the interior. Run the speaker wire up the seatbelt column, and into the hole that this terminal blocked. On the exterior, use bailing wire to again pull the speaker wire down the rubber coil. This can be tricky because there isn't a lot of room, but it will work. Just be careful not to poke through the rubber. Reach into the empty speaker hole and pull your wire through. Just make sure to secure the speaker wire to the bottom interior (I used zip-ties) of the car door, because the window can rip out the speaker wire (more likely in the front doors). Now, reconnect the terminal housing. You probably won't be able to connect the housing back into it's slot on the column due to the speaker wire (I got 1 of 2), but as long as you clip the top of the housing back into it's slot, it'll stay secured. Clip the housing back together, and put the rubber grommet back in.
7. Time for the front doors. These ones have a similar type of terminal housing, except it's not a good idea or easy to disconnect them, unfortunately. Luckily there is a small EMPTY rubber grommet right below the rubber coil! On the interior, this hole is covered with a small, thin sheet of foam padding. Poke through with bailing wire and fish it through the grommet. It might not be the best idea, but I did this next part anyway. Cut a small slit in the rubber coil where it meets the wire. I later went through with some silicone to waterproof the coil, but it probably doesn't need it. Push your speaker wire through the coil, and into the door. If the front door windows are all the way down, you will notice that you don't have much room to reach inside, which is why I suggested only putting them down halfway, so you can make sure your speaker wont hit the glass, and have some wiggle room for running wire. Again, make sure that the wire is all the way down at the bottom of the door because if it's too tight at the top, the window can rip it out when it rolls down. Believe me, I did it. It sucked.
Interior through foam, taken on the passenger side feet level:
Exterior through the grommet and coil:
8. Go ahead and install the Rear speakers to have some install relief. I used a drill to make a small guide hole into the buckets, and then just used the supplied screws to go right into the stock spacers.
9. Now let's start on the Front door speakers. These are a little trickier because they are components, which have a tweeter and a crossover. I started with the crossover because I wanted it to mount to the door, not the door trim/panel, while the tweeters are mounted to the trim. The Infinity crossover is quite large and the place that made the most sense to me is the area on the door where the interior pocket ends. You may have to trim some of the foam off of the door panel. It's hard to explain, but it's right here:
The great thing about this location is that there is an unused rubber grommet right above it so you can have the Line In and Woofer speaker wires feed behind the plastic, while the Tweeter wire can clip into the existing brackets.
Remove the stock tweeter by means of the two screws and a wire harness. As you can see, the Infinity tweeters are much larger and don't fit in the same slot. I used a Dremel to grind down some nearby pressure points.
Again, I used a method by SilverGLS to attach the tweeters using plumbing strap. Don't be stupid like me, attach the speaker wire before the plumbing strap...
10. Time for the Head Unit Hack n Slash. With the head unit removed and all your cables run to the back, follow this diagram to find the necessary cables to splice:
A1-A4 are the Positives
A10-A13 are the Negatives
B11 is the Turn On Lead
Peel back the felt wrap about 4 inches to give yourself plenty of space. Cut one wire at a time as far from the terminal housing as you can (about 4 inches for me). Splice these wires to your Speaker Wires and Line Level Inputs accordingly. Take your time to make sure you connect the right wires. When you're done, don't be ashamed if it looks like crap like mine:
11. Connect your head unit when you are positive it's all connected securely.
12. Connect your speakers if you haven't already.
13. Connect all the cords to your amp. Trim long wires if necessary for a clean look. Mine was straight forward and just required some lugs and ring terminals and a good crimp (I used pliers).
14. Insert the fuse into the fuse holder first, and then attach the negative terminal to the battery.
15. Pray that it works when you power on your car. Start with a very low volume, because it will be quite a bit louder than normal. If one speaker doesn't work, check your connections. Roll each window up and down, one at a time to make sure none of the speakers go out (my Front Left did because I made the speaker wire way too tight).
16. If everything works, go ahead and reattach the trim while you listen to this song at blaring levels to get you pumped:
16. Adjust your gains, as per this site: Crutchfield - Tune your Car Stereo
That's it! Enjoy your stereo! Take a nice long drive and wakeup your neighbors since it's probably 3 a.m. when you finish.