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Old 02-12-2014, 11:14 PM   #1
Siress
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Member#: 347295
Join Date: Feb 2013
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
Vehicle:
2013 Impreza WRX 5DR
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Default 2013 WRX amp installed beneath passenger seat

First of all, this is my first install. Secondly, I value your insight! Please point out any mistakes I've made, or improvements you would make to my system.

The scope of this project will be installing an Alpine MRV-F300 amplifier beneath the passenger seat of a 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX GRF Hatchback. Factory speakers, including speaker connectors, will be reused for this install.



The materials and methods of this install are as follows. All wire will be made of oxygen-free, high-strand copper with red being used for the positive current and neutral or black being used for the negative current unless otherwise noted. All components (e.g. fuse holder) will be mounted using black, industrial-grade Velcro. The speaker wire will be soldered to the speaker connector no more than 3” apart. A few inches of speaker wire slack will be left in each door panel for future upgrades. Copper hookup wire will be used for stand-alone tweeters. As the factory tweeters use a capacitor to act as a crossover, 12” or more slack will be included on these lines for future upgrades. All solder joints will be electrically insulated by one or more layers of mil-spec heat shrink. Additional heat shrink will be used to strain-relieve solder joints, keep wires organized, and to terminate braided conduits. Braided conduits will be used to protect wires from abrasion in areas exposed to frequent motion. All braided conduits will be made of flame retardant materials and be terminated by 2 or more inches of heat shrink to prevent fraying and unwanted movement. All wire will be, when applicable, routed beneath the carpet, within existing wire conduits, and/or beneath trim. No wire(s) will be bent sharply, left exposed, or compressed by rigid materials.

A <18in section of 4awg wire will be wired from the positive battery terminal to an 80AMP fuse located under the lip of the fender on the driver’s side of the engine bay. Contrary to color coding standards, this wire will be black in color for aesthetic purposes. The same wire type will be used to wire the fuse to a power distribution located in front of the shifter beneath the shifter trim piece. The power distribution block is suspected to be made of titanium nitride coated pot steel. An 8awg power wire will be routed from the distribution block to the amplifier alongside a, Subaru color-code matched, red 18awg REMOTE signal wire. These wires will be routed along the passenger side of the center console, beneath the carpet alongside existing wire conduit, coming out beneath the passenger seat. All speaker wires will be routed alongside existing wiring when possible. The factory door grommets will be used.


Sources of information I utilized:

http://www.bcae1.com/ Ramblings of a man that doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'basic.'
http://www.subaruaudio.net/installations/08-12-impreza/ The paragraph and picture just below the Tweeter header is of importance.
Easy method for door grommet routing, though I made some tweaks.
Power wire routing.
Note: It's unclear from the video, but you should reach between the fender and the wheel well trim to route the wire into the same grommet used by the ECU. This method is very easy, and only requires a small slit cut into the grommet; doing virtually no damage to the car.
Back seat removal.

My Photos, with commentary and more information.

My advice
Start on a warm day. The trim pieces, when cold, will be a bit easier to break.

Disconnect the negative, then positive, battery terminals before starting. (At least wait 1min before unplugging the passenger seat from the SRS control module to prevent SRS alarms/deployment/etc. This is advice per the owners manual...I'm still concerned if unplugging/replugging the seat, even in this manner, may have disabled a part/all of the SRS)

Power wire: If you have gravel guards, remove only the two outer-most bolts, then follow the instructions in this video. User El Wray shared his experience of the adhesive deteriorating on velcro used in the engine bay. I suggest adding a couple of zipties to the fuse block as added security. The velcro will still silence any vibrations.I then routed the wire beneath the center console trim, just in front of the shifter to a distribution block. This kept it away from my speaker wire to reduce the possibility of noise, and I can use this for all sorts of stuff in the future. If you can find one with built-in fuses for each output, that would be best. There's plenty of space in this location. It's loose, but it's not going far without help. From there, I continued under the center console till wires started going under the passenger seat. I simply followed those to an existing hole in the carpet.


Speaker wire: Follow the advice in the video, but there's no need to cut the door grommet. Remove the door sill trim at each door so that you can remove the door weather stripping. Then, using a small flat blade screwdriver, work the white plastic up from one end undoing the black snaps holding it down as you go. This process should require very little force. Within the channel you've now exposed, there are several black clips retaining wires in place. You can undo the closed loop on these pieces so to insert the speaker wire.

Ground Wire: I bolted it to the seat mounting post. So far, so good.

Mounting the Amp: Out of concern for a spilled liquid making contact with the unit, and to provide a layer of insulation for the carpet, I bolted the amp down to a piece of black lacquered cedar. I used industrial-strength velcro to fix that to the carpet. Again, it's not going far without help.

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Last edited by Siress; 02-13-2014 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:24 AM   #2
SF.WRX
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Member#: 316989
Join Date: Apr 2012
Vehicle:
2012 Impreza WRX
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Nice write up. Good work.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:58 PM   #3
Ralycar
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Member#: 381580
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Nice Job! I did mine the same way except underneath the driver's seat. It's the perfect spot, nobody even knows it's there. Wish I had these videos when I did mine.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
Siress
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Member#: 347295
Join Date: Feb 2013
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
Vehicle:
2013 Impreza WRX 5DR
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Default

Thanks!

Ralycar, I hope to put a sub in at some point, and since the Off the Shelf enclosures go on the driver's side I figure I'll be putting the monoamp under the driver's seat at some point. You're right, though. For devices this size, no where else makes as much sense in these hatchbacks. However, with mini-class D amps on the horizon such as the NVX MVPA4, I think they'd start to fit behind the dash very easily.

The only reason I didn't go with the MVPA4 is because, well two reasons really, NVX is a fairly unknown brand and the THD rating is too high for my tastes.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
El Wray
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Member#: 303030
Join Date: Dec 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: CA
Vehicle:
2009 STI
DGM

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Great write-up, diagram, pics. Only input I have right now is the industrial grade velcro in engine bay.

I've tried it in the past, with varying results. In my experience, no two places that I've bought from ever carried the same "industrial grade" velcro. With the heat, dirt, grime that gets generated in the engine bay I have seen the adhesive occasionally deteriorate completely, slowly slide or come loose. In all instances the fuse block tended to look rather ugly after a while.

Since then I've always tended to fasten a small plastic block somewhere with the fuse holder attached or mount the fuse holder directly to the engine bay fuse box using small screws.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #6
Siress
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 347295
Join Date: Feb 2013
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
Vehicle:
2013 Impreza WRX 5DR
dark

Default

I'll keep a watch on that, then. Thanks! I'm going to ziptie the fuse block on there as added security.
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