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Old 02-18-2019, 01:25 PM   #1
BayAreaRider
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Dizzy Another audio question!

Well, I installed a very nice audio system in my girls 2002 L300. Originally it had the Advance Audio crap, but we ditched that. Everything sounds great right now, but I was in her trunk and I noticed the factory sub is still rattling around! I know for a fact I only hooked up 4 sets of wires to her system and they run to the doors. Two sets I ran to the tweeters with new line, and two sets I reused for the 7Ē midbass drivers in the doors.

How is this sub still getting a signal? Iím concerned because I installed 4ohm drivers thinking just the head unit would provide the DSP and power to drive them, but if ALL of these speakers - not just the sub - are getting power through an amp, Iíve got more work to do!

Can anyone clue me in with how Saturn designed this? I looked at a post with schematics just a few down front this one, but I donít see where the factory sub comes into play.

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Old 02-18-2019, 03:50 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Another audio question!

If you're not using the separate Advanced Audio Amplifier then the sub woofer shouldn't be powered up. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234102, post #2 for schematic.

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Old 02-18-2019, 11:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Alright, Iím unclear about where the twisted pairs terminate in that schematic. Looks like it goes directly from the head unit to the amplifier. Is that correct? And then I see that the signal goes to the subwoofer from the amp, but Iím not seeing where the door speakers are in this diagram.

Does the advanced audio amplifier itself power just the sub, or the door speakers also? And if it powers both, do you know what impedance the speakers in the door are wired for?

The strange part is, the sub in the rear deck makes no noise until you turn it really loud, and even then it just rattles around.

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Old 02-19-2019, 02:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Another audio question!

The easiest way to rid the subwoofer from running is simply disconnecting it and either tape or cutoff the terminals and tie them off.

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Old 02-19-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The easiest way to rid the subwoofer from running is simply disconnecting it and either tape or cutoff the terminals and tie them off.
Thanks, I understand that. Iíve got (2) 10w3v3 Iím getting ready to replace it with too. Iím in the process of building a box right now. Should do the trick. Hah!

What Iím concerned about it whether or not the door speakers are running through the amplifier. Because the head unit puts out 4ohms, but if the amp is just using the signal and is delivering a different impedance to the door speakers, then I could be in trouble eventually.

Do you know whether or not the door speakers run through the amplifier? This would also explain why the sub was getting a signal...but that aside from the point.

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Old 02-19-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Another audio question!

All speakers are driven from the separate audio amp. Although the wiring diagram only showed the sub woofer, all speaker output signals from the radio go into the audio amp. The amp outputs to every speaker. Below is the other diagram.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
All speakers are driven from the separate audio amp. Although the wiring diagram only showed the sub woofer, all speaker output signals from the radio go into the audio amp. The amp outputs to every speaker. Below is the other diagram.
Damn it. Thatís what I was afraid of. Thank you kindly for the diagram.

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Old 02-19-2019, 05:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Another audio question!

There is an amp harness behind the stereo and the speaker harness. The two plugs are the same color, blue if I recall correctly. Just disconnect the harness and use the other plug, this should disconnect the amp and the rear speaker.

...
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
There is an amp harness behind the stereo and the speaker harness. The two plugs are the same color, blue if I recall correctly. Just disconnect the harness and use the other plug, this should disconnect the amp and the rear speaker.
Well, I understand that, but the issue is that I used the original speaker wire in the door to power the 7Ē mids, thinking that it ran straight to the headunit from the mids, and then ran new wire from the headunit to the tweeters to run an active crossover. So if I turn off the amp then I turn off the mids in my front stage.

So at least the ohms are correct (4ohm) on the new drivers, but now Iím running 30watts to the tweeters from my DSP, and the 30watts that WOULD be going to the mids from my nice DSP is now being wasted on the crappy auto EQ, quality-killing junk digital signal processor in the factory amp, which is also putting out an unknown amount of watts to half the drivers in my front stage.

Does anyone know how hard it would be to access the factory amp and bypass it? Running new wires was a pain in those doors, and Iím not wanting to peel open all the sound proofing I did.

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Old 02-20-2019, 04:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Another audio question!

The car has a speaker wire set in it already. I see that you have run new tweeter wires. Remove the head and unplug the factory harness. Now find the other plug and disconnect the harness coming back from the amp. Look at the schematic posted above it shows each plug. Just take the amp harness out of the loop and connect the mids through the factory harness.

...
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Ok, Iím goin to have to dig into that when I install the subwoofers next month. Iím thinking that Iíd have to access the amplifier itself to pull the plugs out and bypass it, but I guess Iíll see. Thanks for the info again.

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Old 03-05-2019, 08:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Well, I couldnít find these plugs anywhere I could reach behind the head unit, so Iím leaving it in for now.

On another note - does anyone know where the chassis to engine ground is located? I see the chassis to battery of course and itís a tiny little wire maybe 6-8 gauge. I want to upgrade these to 4 gauge along with the alternator positive lead.

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Old 03-05-2019, 09:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Another audio question!

According to service manual descriptions, battery grounds are chassis and left upper frame tail and transaxle case.

WARNING It's not a good idea to upgrade the fusible link wire between starter and alternator. The calibrated wire gauge is the fuse, to protect against short circuit damage if the alternator shorts out. What's never discussed in that alternator (frame) ground supplies all the current for the vehicle electrical system while recharging the battery, not the fusible link wire which is sized to carry up to 30 amps. Input power is always lower as the alternator draws only enough battery amperage to operate. When the engine runs above idle, output amperage is higher than input current and always goes thru negative connections. Replacing this HOT wire with larger gauge wire eliminates fuse protection to the alternator input side. Your choice to ignore this and risk future damage if the alternator internals short circuit, resulting in damage to the battery and other wiring. The fusible link wire burns open when a short occurs inside the alternator. Alternator frame ground to the engine is guaranteeing more than adequate power output. Address main battery negative to chassis and engine block to larger gauge if you need to.

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Old 03-06-2019, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Awesome thanks again fdryer. What is the left upper frame tail? As in the rear of the car?

I donít want to upgrade the alternator negative, instead Iím looking to upgrade alternator positive that runs directly to battery. And of course I would never replace the fusible link. Thanks for the heads up!

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Old 03-06-2019, 10:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Another audio question!

After re reading what you wrote Iím starting to think that you mean the only positive wire running to battery would be through the starter first. Is that correct? If so, how would running a direct connection from starter to alternator work?

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Old 03-06-2019, 11:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Every starter has three wires, a large gauge red battery cable and a smaller gauge (fusible link wire) together connected to the outer terminal on the starter relay. A third wire (purple? ) is connected to a small terminal on the relay - the START signal from the ignition switch. Since the red battery cable feeds power to the engine and interior fuse panels, the large gauge cable goes directly to the starter (HOT). The fusible link wire simply takes this HOT wire and feeds it to the alternator. Alternator circuitry is grounded thru its frame, bolted to the engine block that's grounded back to battery negative. The fusible link wire protects the battery from alternator short circuit damage if internal circuitry fails. The fusible link wire is the only fuse between battery and alternator. If you replace this fusible link wire with a plain 10, 8, 6, or 4 gauge wire, this removes fuse protection. And it does absolutely nothing to guarantee alternator efficiency. Ground is where power is generated. Electrical basics - power flows from negative to positive.

While many may disagree with electrical fundamentals, ask yourself a simple question. If an alternator has a rating of say 165 amps, how can 165 amps feed thru a small fusible link wire rated for 25 amps? The fusible link wire is fused to restrict power on the input circuit of alternators, not the output circuit The output side is thru ground to allow maximum(165A) amperage output to the electrical systems.

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Old 03-06-2019, 02:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Oh oh I see. So tell me if I got this right -
Thereís a large gauge positive running from the alternator to the starter relay, then to the battery- this provides the charge for the battery. Then thereís a fusible link running separately from the starter relay positive to a seperate port on the alternator that provides the input signal to tell the internal voltage regulator when to charge the battery and when not to. If the fusible link blows, the the alternator will NOT charge the battery? Then the whole thing is grounded through the alternator frame, to engine block, to vehicle chassis via transaxle ground to chassis.

So all in all it would be safe to upgrade the main charging wire from alternator to battery but do not touch the fusible link. I would link to fuse the main power wire when I do this of course.

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Old 03-06-2019, 03:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Another audio question!

If you examine starter wiring, a small gauge wire shares a terminal on the starter relay with the large gauge battery cable. This small wire is a calibrated fusible link wire between starter and alternator. The starter needs the large gauge (4 or 6) for direct battery connection with starter frame/ground as the other electrical connection for starter operation. The fusible link wire is the fused line from battery to alternator. There are other wires on the alternator used for signaling to the bcm and battery indicator on the instrument panel. No large gauge wires to the alternator.

This fusible link wire rarely fails. You would have to search every thread here in Saturnfans for a blown fusible link wire. In general, alternators fail, not fusible link wires. When poor electrical connections occur or alternator failure occurs, the battery indicator turns on. Alternators are self regulating, requiring nothing more than stock wiring.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: Another audio question!

Alright. I appreciate you thoroughly explaining this to me. Iím going to leave the fusible link alone, but add a 4awg wire direct to battery from alternator with a maxi fuse of 50amps. Or should I run a fuse rated for the same size that the fusible link is? This should be the safest and most effect way to increase the charge rate of the battery, without putting the rest of the systems electronics on jeapordy. What do you think?

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Old 03-06-2019, 07:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Another audio question!

There is no additional wiring needed to increase alternator output. GM alternators are self regulating to a maximum of 120 amps.
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