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How to Install Car Subwoofers

Required Tools:

    • Wire Cutters
    • Wire Stripper
    • Electrical Tape
    • Speaker Wire
    • Panel Remover

You may also need one or more of the following:  Screwdrivers (Flat, Phillips) and Screws, Right angle Phillips, Drill, Wrench, Pliers, Saw, Glue gun, Caulk, Wire ties, Soldering Iron, Knife, Flashlight

Subwoofers are vital to a car audio system because they reproduce low audio frequencies that give an overall depth to the sound of your music. Installing and wiring subwoofers requires numerous tools. You will need electrical tape, speaker wire, and a wire cutter and crimping tool. Depending on the extent of the install, you may also need a power drill, screwdrivers (Phillips and flat head), right angle phillips, wrench, panel remover, saw, pliers, glue gun, caulk, soldering iron, knife, wire ties and a flashlight.

First cut about 1′ in length of positive speaker wire and negative speaker wire. Depending on how you wire your sub, you may need more than one piece of each type of wiring. You need to strip 1/8″ to 1/4″ of insulation at the ends of the wire using your crimping tool. At this point you will run the wire through the subwoofer terminals. Turn the subwoofer on its face in order to access the wiring terminals. After you wire the voice coils, cut one additional piece each of positive and negative wire. Determine the amount of length you will need based on where you plan on mounting the amplifier. This wiring will connect to the first negative and positive terminals on the subwoofer and run through the box terminal to connect to the amplifier.

To mount the subwoofer, line up the subwoofer’s screw holes along the diameter of the enclosure’s hole. After you align the subwoofer to your liking, mark the screw holes with the drill. Remove the subwoofer and drill the holes into the enclosure. Now place the subwoofer back into the enclosure’s hole and use the drill to screw in the subwoofer. Note: before screwing in the subwoofer, you can add Poly-Fill to the inside of the enclosure using spray adhesive. This further enhances the sound since adding Poly-Fill it simulates a larger box.

Decide how to wire the subwoofer based on the subwoofer’s type and number of voice coils. Also consider the impedance and power ratings of the subwoofer and amplifier. To wire in parallel, simply connect the positive leads of both subs to the amp’s positive terminal and the negative leads to the amp’s negative terminal. Wiring in parallel will lower your impedance, and a lower impedance value will enhance your amp’s power capability. To wire in series, simply connect the positive leads of the subwoofers to the amp’s positive terminal, but then connect the negative terminal of one subwoofer to the positive terminal of the second sub. Then connect the latter sub’s negative terminal to the amp’s negative terminal.

If you do not want to bother with wiring and mounting a subwoofer, you can order preloaded enclosure packages. All you need to do is fasten the loaded enclosure and connect it to the amplifier using speaker wires. Powered subs are an even simpler option because they include both an amplifier and woofer inside an enclosure.

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Staff writers at Sonic Electronix are experts in their field. In addition to a complete in-house training program, these experts typically have many years of hands-on experience in their specialty. Some come from car audio installer backgrounds, while others come with extensive retail experience.
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