Adding subwoofer to stock car radio?

SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
edited March 2014 in Car Subwoofer Talk
Hi,

I was wondering how difficult it is to add a sub to a factory car radio? In Home Audio subs can be hooked up with speaker-level connections; can this be done in the same manner with a car audio setup? And if so, would you have to run wires from the door speakers to the sub location, and then another set of wires back to the doors to the speakers?

Thanks!
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Post edited by Serendipity on
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Comments

  • LenLen Engineering Technical Services Manager Posts: 44
    edited June 2008
    You can P/Up a line out converter that converts speaker level to rca... or some amps have a high level input. You would be best to tie into the rear channel, this can be done @ the stock head unit. Good luck it will make a huge improvment. PM me if you need more help
  • TNRabbitTNRabbit Posts: 2,220
    edited June 2008
    How old is the car? Are you certain it doesn't have a sub or preout on the back??
    TNRabbit
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  • millerman 3732millerman 3732 Posts: 1,487
    edited July 2008
    I had the same question about installing a sub to factory radio, my wife has an 05 Altima with a factory Bose 6 speaker system that I really don't won't tear into, and it sounds pretty good, I would just like to alitte low end maybe a 8'' or maybe a 10'', not looking for a ground pounder , There is what looks to be a small amp mounted under the back deck lid, could I just tie in to the wiring harness there? Anybody have any idea which wires I would need to tie in to?
    Casey
  • pentavolvopentavolvo Posts: 68
    edited July 2008
    if you tap the input side of the amp you dont even need a line out converter you can just splice some rca plugs in and get your signal there

    pm me ur email address and i can get u a diagram
  • millerman 3732millerman 3732 Posts: 1,487
    edited July 2008
    pentavolvo wrote: »
    if you tap the input side of the amp you dont even need a line out converter you can just splice some rca plugs in and get your signal there

    pm me ur email address and i can get u a diagram

    PM sent.
    Casey
  • SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
    edited August 2008
    TNRabbit wrote: »
    How old is the car? Are you certain it doesn't have a sub or preout on the back??

    2000 Nissan Maxima. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any pre-outs; it's the stock system.
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  • exalted512exalted512 Posts: 10,774
    edited August 2008
    Most amps have high level inputs but most of the time I prefer to use a line out converter. Your rear speakers are on the rear deck, so its easy to tag on to your speaker wires there. These converters are around 25 bucks from your local car audio shop.
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it
  • SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
    edited August 2008
    exalted512 wrote: »
    Your rear speakers are on the rear deck, so its easy to tag on to your speaker wires there.

    Huh? There are no speakers on the rear deck, all of the speakers are in the doors.

    Maybe you were referring to earlier Nissan Maxima's? I know for sure that the speakers were on the rear deck in the 1989 Maxima we had, but definitely not on the 2000.
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  • exalted512exalted512 Posts: 10,774
    edited August 2008
    Hmm...couldve sworn I just worked on an 01 the other day and the speakers were in the rear deck. Oh well, you can just pull the radio and tag the speakers there, you'll have to get an ignition source for the remote wire and its all behind the radio.
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it
  • SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
    edited August 2008
    exalted512 wrote: »
    Hmm...couldve sworn I just worked on an 01 the other day and the speakers were in the rear deck. Oh well, you can just pull the radio and tag the speakers there, you'll have to get an ignition source for the remote wire and its all behind the radio.
    -Cody

    That 01 must've had the Bose system then. According to Crutchfield, if you don't have a Bose system, the rear speakers are in the doors.
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  • exalted512exalted512 Posts: 10,774
    edited August 2008
    That's what is was.
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it
  • SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
    edited August 2008
    IMO, the Bose system isn't that great. That's why we went with the standard system :)
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  • exalted512exalted512 Posts: 10,774
    edited August 2008
    Bose never is :)
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it
  • SerendipitySerendipity Posts: 6,982
    edited August 2008
    exalted512 wrote: »
    Bose never is :)
    -Cody

    But isn't Bose always the BEST? ;)
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    Front projection, 2 channel, car audio... life is good!
  • average_guyaverage_guy Posts: 277
    edited October 2008
    appadv wrote: »
    But isn't Bose always the BEST? ;)

    Yes, and so is socialism....

    Signed:

    The Liberal Media
  • goingganzogoingganzo Posts: 2,797
    edited October 2008
    i want to add a sub to my is 250 awd but it came with nav and you can not replaace the radio with out loseing your hvac controls.
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  • average_guyaverage_guy Posts: 277
    edited November 2008
    exalted512 wrote: »
    That's what is was.
    -Cody

    Cody:

    I've got a 2000 Toyota minivan that I want to use the head unit (6 CD changer AM/FM [preamp onhly] by JBL) for the appearance of stock (so nobody jacks my system - live in a rental community w/high crime) but repace the stock amplifier with a 5 channel amp. I'm going to try to build a box that fits in the space in the rear where the tire jack equipment is now and put a 10 inch sub in there and mount some MOMO 6 1/2s in the factory mounts in the front doors and mid panels. Are there wiring harnesses out there that will allow me to do something like this with my factory head unit?

    I have measured the space where the current amp is (center of the dash at the bottom, behind a storage compartment) and I may need to do a little trimming to make an aftermarket 5-channel fit. The sub would be a long way from the amp but I could fit a decent size box with a port in the location in the back. I will be running video (movies and PS2) at times and tunes at other times.

    By the way, I saw your pics of your truck in the link in the "subwoofer to amp wattage thread". I wish I had the time to tear mine down and start from the bare metal like that. Pretty sweet and thanks for sharing.
  • only126dbonly126db Posts: 157
    edited November 2008
    pentavolvo wrote: »
    if you tap the input side of the amp you dont even need a line out converter you can just splice some rca plugs in and get your signal there

    pm me ur email address and i can get u a diagram

    Hopefully his head unit doesnt put out more power than his amp is capable of taking through the rca input...
  • GeoguyGeoguy Posts: 6
    edited December 2008
    Len wrote: »
    You can P/Up a line out converter that converts speaker level to rca... or some amps have a high level input. You would be best to tie into the rear channel, this can be done @ the stock head unit. Good luck it will make a huge improvment. PM me if you need more help

    Len, please forgive an ignorant newbie question, but is there a reason the rear channel is better than the front? I only ask because I just recently (this past weekend) installed a mono amp in my son's Dodge Dakota, used the "amp-supplied line out converter", but spliced into the front channel (it's a quad cab truck with four door speakers-all the same). It sounds great, but could it have been better if I had used the rear channels?
    Thanks,
    Geoguy
  • MacLeodMacLeod Posts: 14,362
    edited December 2008
    A lot of newer cars have a lot of EQ'ing in the factory head unit. Since they want to put together the cheapest stereo they can and charge a boat load of money for it, they use crappy speakers and EQ them to sound better. Generally the rear speakers have the least EQ on them as the higher frequency stuff doesnt matter when the speaker is 4' behind you and firing into the back glass.
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  • rubicrawler_ljrubicrawler_lj Posts: 11
    edited February 2009
    Ditto what MacLeod said!

    Option 1:
    You pick up an "all in one" powered bass enclosure, since most will have level speaker inputs.
    Many manufacturers offer these, below are a few that offer them:
    Bazooka
    Clarion
    Infinty
    JVC
    Kenwood
    MTX

    Option 2:
    You pick out an enclosure (custom, vehicle specific or universal) that fits your vehicle, add the recommended subs and use an appropiately sized amp that has speaker level inputs.
    RubiCrawler LJ
  • lifesagamelifesagame Posts: 1
    edited December 2009
    Hey, I have a 2003 chevy silverado with the bose radio. Can i hook a sub up to that or do i need to get an aftermarket radio? Thank you.
  • rubicrawler_ljrubicrawler_lj Posts: 11
    edited December 2009
    lifesagame wrote: »
    Hey, I have a 2003 chevy silverado with the bose radio. Can i hook a sub up to that or do i need to get an aftermarket radio? Thank you.

    Regardless of whether you choose to go with a self powered line level subwoofer or with a custom enclosure powered by an external amplifier (w/line level inputs) you can still use your stock (OEM) radio.
    RubiCrawler LJ
  • 1978NovaCaine1978NovaCaine Posts: 3
    edited February 2010
    ive got a 98 subaru legacy wagon. i wired the amp to the battery grounded it, wired the remote on to a 12v source in the fuse box. and got a audiopipe rca converter and hooked it up to the rear speaker wires behind the head unit and ran the cable to the amp.. the amp is on. and getting power but no sound is coming from the sub:mad:.. idk what to do now.. i checked over everything :confused::confused:
  • bigmike441bigmike441 Posts: 1
    edited February 2010
    All you need to do is get a rca wire, cut in half, strip both the outer and inner wire. then take a piece of speaker wire, strip and slit about 2 inches. take the outer cover off your back speakers and connect the two ends of the speaker wire to the stock speakers, one end to possitive and one to negative. then attach the other ends of the speaker wire to each end of the stripped rca's. repeat to the other side and now you have to rca wires to plug into your amp.
  • AgentAgent Posts: 65
    edited March 2010
    Len wrote: »
    You can P/Up a line out converter that converts speaker level to rca... or some amps have a high level input. You would be best to tie into the rear channel, this can be done @ the stock head unit. Good luck it will make a huge improvment. PM me if you need more help

    Yes, what he said. I tied into the rear channel of my old ranger and that worked perfectly.
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  • mlepore3mlepore3 Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    i have a 96' Volkswagen Passat with a stock deck, hoping to install two subwoofers and an amp. Will i need to buy a new deck, http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/sony-mp3-wma-cd-car-deck-with-aux-input-cdxgt240/10130574.aspx?path=dcd23133cc0cf54c33aa2873ae6869a6en02, or can i just use my stock radio deck?
  • MTSMTS Posts: 1
    edited July 2011
    Hi guys, I just got a sub 6" or 8" with a maximum of 160 watts, amp integrated with RCA slots and integrated fuse. So i have a 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander LS, 6 Standard speaker with radio 140 watts. and i already have an auxiliary connection but it can only be used to play music from ipod, phone or any 3.5mm jack to RCA directly to the speakers using the radio as a medium.
    Question is:
    1. Can I still add the sub to the stock radio?
    2. Will that fry my radio?
    3. what are the adverse effect this can have on the electronics and warranty?
    4. I will need major help if possible to get a diagram as how I can implement that with the stock radio.
    5. Do you know if the stock speaker have connection for a Sub?

    Your help is greatly appreciated

    ..by the way, I got this sub free..

    thanks,
  • drewrealtydrewrealty Posts: 1
    edited March 2012
    I just purchased an 2006 Infiniti G35x Sedan with the Bose Radio, was wondering if anyone would know if it has preamp out? And/or is there any resource I can go to online to find out what I can or cannot add to that system? I don't want to redo the whole thing, but would like to add a sub ( and amp? if need be ) without going crazy in labor..Thanks
  • johnn34johnn34 Posts: 1
    edited March 2012
    For adding sub woofer you need adapter that converts speaker output into RCA connections. For this you need power amplifier and speakers etc.
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