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A good properly tuned h/u may help. What are you looking to be louder? Bass, highs, etc.
Maybe not just louder but clearer at high volume. Didn't really want to change the h/u but if need be I will. Not possible to just amp the existing system further?
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Your options as I see it:
  • Replace Head Unit - Make new harness (I have one made if you would like to buy it)
  • Replace Amp - Again you will have to make a harness of some sort or hack into the wires. It will be best to rewire all the speakers with higher guage wire and you have to somehow work the sub into the equation
I would personally just replace the head unit. If you get a good one it will increase the quality of the sound at any volume and also increase your flexibilty in tuning the speakers.
 

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hey im new to this forum but i put a pioneer avic n3 in my buddies ss and i used the 100 dollars harness it works great i no i no its mad exspenive but that his money not mine but in my car i didnt run the wire to the front fuse box that would be a pain if you go on the side of your center consol you can just tap the thin or thick pink wire thats a rms and it is meant for the radio too
but i have a question why did you splice rcas on to the back of the radio you would have been better just soldering the wires straght on to the adjecent wires its better sound qiuality caue the rcas on the headunit are meant for amps whcih has a certain voltage running through them but hey do what is easy i guess
 

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Discussion Starter #45
hey im new to this forum but i put a pioneer avic n3 in my buddies ss and i used the 100 dollars harness it works great i no i no its mad exspenive but that his money not mine but in my car i didnt run the wire to the front fuse box that would be a pain if you go on the side of your center consol you can just tap the thin or thick pink wire thats a rms and it is meant for the radio too
but i have a question why did you splice rcas on to the back of the radio you would have been better just soldering the wires straght on to the adjecent wires its better sound qiuality caue the rcas on the headunit are meant for amps whcih has a certain voltage running through them but hey do what is easy i guess
My headunit does not have the wires that you speak of... because it doesn't have an internal amp. My sound quality is very good besides. Sounds like you know a bit about amps; depending on the amp it can take a low voltage signal (RCA) or a high voltage signal (speaker wire from an amp) or it may have inputs for both. I believe this amp takes low voltage because I did not drastically lose volume control (I can turn it up louder than before without distortion - better SQ?) and the sound actually comes from the speakers. GM just happened to use the same wiring that would normally go to speakers, in other cars, for the low voltage signal.

Besides until recently the voltages of the RCA outputs on headunits had been steadily increase from 3 volts when I started into car audio to 5+ where there are recently. They are not designed for a specific voltage, but rather a voltage range (low vs high).

Thanks for the pink wire tip. Do you have any pictures?
 

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Hey, just a quick ? I have an 07 SS S/C and i have noticed that the factory h/u as well as the steering wheel controls are different, do you have any experience with this or do you know of any differences? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I know it is different, but I don't know how much. The harness I made might work, but I would have to take a look at it.
 

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I was looking at this how-to and was really impressed. I have an 07 SS/SC with the 6 Disc in dash MP3 CD Player, XM Radio, and Aux Input so I don't want/need to change the HU. However I do have a problem with how distorted the sound gets at higher volume so I wanted to install an amp or two as well as some subs. I'd like to use the existing speaker wires if possible.

After reading this article and a few others on other sites I was thinking that I can some how get a harness that would allow me to take signal out of the HU and put a line converter in and run the RCA's to my amp(s) then somehow run speaker wire back to the factory amp (most likely bypassing the factory amp) so I can use the existing speaker wiring in the car to get to all the speakers. I've installed HU's with amps and subs into my other cars in the past but I also ran new wires to each speaker when I did those so I'm not a complete noob but I'm a far from an expert. I would really like to avoid cutting any of the factory wires if possible. Any suggestions or if I missed something while reading this article would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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i would just get a new head unit, and the wiring harness for the car. then use the outputs on the harness for the amp, speakers, subs. this way here you can replace the wiring to hadle more current. otherwise you may start a fire. it sounds like you want to kick it up a noch or to so replace the wires to the speakers to.
 

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hello all, I work at Circuit City as a installer, and I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt SS, with the pioneer factory system in it. I now have a Pioneer Avic D-3 installed. When I was putting the unit in, I could not find a harness anywhere for the factory harness that would match up right with the speakers. I then took the factory amp out and bypassed it running 4 speaker wires from the amp to the radio. It sounded like crap and the sub didn't work. After a few days I came back up to work and decided I was going to somehow get this amp hooked up again. I took the unit back out of the dash and found 4 rca's laying around in my toolbox. Each rca had two wires coming off of it. I then found the speaker wires behind the radio, each one was twisted together. I then wired each rca into the speakers. When I got the rca's plugged in it sounded great and the sub worked too. There were two plugs on the back of the radio when I unplugged it, and I thought one of them was for the subs, but I guess I was wrong. Just make sure when you do put a radio into your ss that you have a radio with two sets of preouts for front and rear. My door chimes also worked fine after I did all this. When you do put a radio in, it shouldn't cost no more than 50 dollars for parts if you can do it yourself. The dash kit will run about 20, antenna adapter 15, and the harness will run 20. What I would do, if you were going a cheap way out, I would buy a harness with the rca's ends on them and cut them off, and wire them into the speaker wires behind the radio. Then wire the yellow wire into the 12 volt constant which will be red/white. Take the ground and do the same thing wiring it into the black/white wire. You will then have to run a switch wire to the fuse box and put it in a fuse that reads 12 volts when the car turns on. You will also need to hook up the pink wire to the switch wire so when you turn your car on, the amp turns on. Doing it this way can save you a lot of money if the regular harness is over a hundred dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
hello all, I work at Circuit City as a installer, and I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt SS, with the pioneer factory system in it. I now have a Pioneer Avic D-3 installed. When I was putting the unit in, I could not find a harness anywhere for the factory harness that would match up right with the speakers. I then took the factory amp out and bypassed it running 4 speaker wires from the amp to the radio. It sounded like crap and the sub didn't work. After a few days I came back up to work and decided I was going to somehow get this amp hooked up again. I took the unit back out of the dash and found 4 rca's laying around in my toolbox. Each rca had two wires coming off of it. I then found the speaker wires behind the radio, each one was twisted together. I then wired each rca into the speakers. When I got the rca's plugged in it sounded great and the sub worked too. There were two plugs on the back of the radio when I unplugged it, and I thought one of them was for the subs, but I guess I was wrong. Just make sure when you do put a radio into your ss that you have a radio with two sets of preouts for front and rear. My door chimes also worked fine after I did all this. When you do put a radio in, it shouldn't cost no more than 50 dollars for parts if you can do it yourself. The dash kit will run about 20, antenna adapter 15, and the harness will run 20. What I would do, if you were going a cheap way out, I would buy a harness with the rca's ends on them and cut them off, and wire them into the speaker wires behind the radio. Then wire the yellow wire into the 12 volt constant which will be red/white. Take the ground and do the same thing wiring it into the black/white wire. You will then have to run a switch wire to the fuse box and put it in a fuse that reads 12 volts when the car turns on. You will also need to hook up the pink wire to the switch wire so when you turn your car on, the amp turns on. Doing it this way can save you a lot of money if the regular harness is over a hundred dollars.
Pretty much what I did in a nutshell. Good work.
 

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Great post Harley. I am hoping to put something similar to this together for subs, amps, and speakers...all with keeping the factory H/U. Just waiting for my speakers to arrive....very patiently...
 

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Harley I have a 05 ss and keep getting told I need a interface to run a aftermarket radio and im thinking about getting a touch screen is there any difference in how a touch screen would be hooked up vs a regular cd player? And I tried that fuse u used under the hood and my gauges didnt work put stock one back in and the gauges work fine now but im sick of the stock unite im ready for something better but I want to keep all my stock audio working the pic u have of how u cut the jacks and used them what did u hook those to on the adapter harness
 

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The remote wire is run through the firewall behind the clutch pedal. Pull out the gasket/grommet and find a second grommet there. Pok a hole slightly upwards and push the wire through until it can be reached. It may be dificult due to the engine bay being cramped in this area. Just a warning.


Onto the most challenging part of the wiring: sending signal to the factory amp. Four RCA connector ends need to be purchased. They need to be soldered to each positive and negative speaker lead on the adaptor harness. Soldering them to wire and then soldering that wire to the leads is recomended. Plug the preouts into the back of the h/u. This picture should help, if it doesn't let me know and I will try to explain it better (Brown wire is the RCA's).


Essentially this will convert the preout signal to a line level signal, which is how the stock reciever communicated with the factory amp. The Pioneer system is designed to use a common wiring harness and thus both the speaker and the power antena leads are utilized to control it. I am under the impression that the stock reciever is sending a higher voltage to the amp through the speaker leads (12v most likely), but mine is sending a cleaner signal and I am thus able to turn it up louder w/o distortion than the stock setup.

A few suggestions
-Solder and heat shrink all of the harness to harness connections. Soldering provides a stronger signal transfer and higher durablity than any connector.
-Use twist connectors on the remote line out to the amps and ignition lead into the reciever. This will help if you ever have to pull the unit out. No wires will need to be cut.

Here is a shot of all the wires run. I have an extra remote and rca ran for another amp in there too. The black wire on the left comes from the ignition fuse and the blue on the right is the remote line to the non factory amp I plan on installing.


Lastly the h/u needs to be mounted in its adaptor plate and installed. Once again i picked mine up for a deal, $15 at a local place. I had to use the spacer, the cobalt does not have much mounting depth for h/u's. Something to be aware of. Mine turned out fine, but thats it. My cables all got in the way and made it dificult to get it all the way in. But it is there now. Use the original four screws to mount the new plate and assemble all the trim pieces in the oppisate order.

Here are some finished shots.




Using the Alpine deck I have been able to increase the output of both the components and my sub without distortion. I'm certain I could achieve higher SPL numbers than the stock h/u, not neccesarily huge but better. The sub is able to go louder with less distortion.

Now some interesting things I found.

I pulled the factory amp out just to look at it and how it was controlled.
It is located the lower left of the steering wheel behind the drawer with the trunk release button.


I am reaching up for it here


Here are two shots of the bracket. First has the amp still installed and the second the amp is removed.



And the amp on the floor.


It was very difficult to remove. The amp is wedged against the dash and everything else really well and i tore up the surface of the insulation pulling it out. I think it was worth it to take a look, but now you all can see, so don't do it :eek: haha. I will also note that the rear speakers read as 2 ohm. If the amps output is 270W at 4 ohm we are getting double the power claimed publically. 270W always seemed too little to be running all those components especially now that I can turn it up.

Another cool thing I found under the dash was the electronic steering controller and mechanism. Its nice to know where that is. I just think it was a cool find.


Lastly here is my trunk. I will let you guess what is going to happen.


More photos can be found here

Amy comments, corrections, questions, or criticisms are welcome. If I get good feedback I can make this how to easier to read and understand.

Thanks,
Harley
Hey so I'm having trouble installing a aftermarket hu you soldered rca Jack's to the speaker output on the adapter and did you hook those to the hu speakers wires or plug them in the bk of the radio
 

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The remote wire is run through the firewall behind the clutch pedal. Pull out the gasket/grommet and find a second grommet there. Pok a hole slightly upwards and push the wire through until it can be reached. It may be dificult due to the engine bay being cramped in this area. Just a warning.


Onto the most challenging part of the wiring: sending signal to the factory amp. Four RCA connector ends need to be purchased. They need to be soldered to each positive and negative speaker lead on the adaptor harness. Soldering them to wire and then soldering that wire to the leads is recomended. Plug the preouts into the back of the h/u. This picture should help, if it doesn't let me know and I will try to explain it better (Brown wire is the RCA's).


Essentially this will convert the preout signal to a line level signal, which is how the stock reciever communicated with the factory amp. The Pioneer system is designed to use a common wiring harness and thus both the speaker and the power antena leads are utilized to control it. I am under the impression that the stock reciever is sending a higher voltage to the amp through the speaker leads (12v most likely), but mine is sending a cleaner signal and I am thus able to turn it up louder w/o distortion than the stock setup.

A few suggestions
-Solder and heat shrink all of the harness to harness connections. Soldering provides a stronger signal transfer and higher durablity than any connector.
-Use twist connectors on the remote line out to the amps and ignition lead into the reciever. This will help if you ever have to pull the unit out. No wires will need to be cut.

Here is a shot of all the wires run. I have an extra remote and rca ran for another amp in there too. The black wire on the left comes from the ignition fuse and the blue on the right is the remote line to the non factory amp I plan on installing.


Lastly the h/u needs to be mounted in its adaptor plate and installed. Once again i picked mine up for a deal, $15 at a local place. I had to use the spacer, the cobalt does not have much mounting depth for h/u's. Something to be aware of. Mine turned out fine, but thats it. My cables all got in the way and made it dificult to get it all the way in. But it is there now. Use the original four screws to mount the new plate and assemble all the trim pieces in the oppisate order.

Here are some finished shots.




Using the Alpine deck I have been able to increase the output of both the components and my sub without distortion. I'm certain I could achieve higher SPL numbers than the stock h/u, not neccesarily huge but better. The sub is able to go louder with less distortion.

Now some interesting things I found.

I pulled the factory amp out just to look at it and how it was controlled.
It is located the lower left of the steering wheel behind the drawer with the trunk release button.


I am reaching up for it here


Here are two shots of the bracket. First has the amp still installed and the second the amp is removed.



And the amp on the floor.


It was very difficult to remove. The amp is wedged against the dash and everything else really well and i tore up the surface of the insulation pulling it out. I think it was worth it to take a look, but now you all can see, so don't do it :eek: haha. I will also note that the rear speakers read as 2 ohm. If the amps output is 270W at 4 ohm we are getting double the power claimed publically. 270W always seemed too little to be running all those components especially now that I can turn it up.

Another cool thing I found under the dash was the electronic steering controller and mechanism. Its nice to know where that is. I just think it was a cool find.


Lastly here is my trunk. I will let you guess what is going to happen.


More photos can be found here

Amy comments, corrections, questions, or criticisms are welcome. If I get good feedback I can make this how to easier to read and understand.

Thanks,
Harley
How do you hook up the radio so the factory amp worked
 
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