I started with box full of stuff from Crutchfield (thank you 4-easy-installment-plan) and a car full of Bozo audio. To wit: Kenwood 907 CD head unit (preamp out only), Kenwood 810 10-CD changer, US Acoustics 4x80w amp, Polk db 4035 4" midwoofer/ tweeter separates for the front, Polk db 6930 6x9 3-way for the back.
Saturday morning. Time to rip apart the car. I started with the rear Bozo speakers, curious about the tweeters shown on the Bentley wiring. I also thought I needed to take the rear deck cover off as per Bentley, but it turned out I only needed to remove the Bozo speakers from in the trunk, and my Polks bolted right up to the adapters on the 6 1/2" deck holes. I pried the paper-laminate baffles off the Bozo speakers and reused them to fill the same 3/4" gap between adapter and speaker. Of course I did need to take the back seat out to run wires anyway, so I left the deck cover in there when it seemed to be very attached to the CHMSL wires. Ok, the back speakers actually went in pretty easily. Just left the Bozo connectors dangling there, ran the supplied Polk wires down behind carpet to the spare-tire area. Surprise! No tweeters in the back, just a set of single-paper-cone "woofers."
Next I tackled the doors. Driver's first, I can almost get that armrest off with my eyes closed now. Got off the enclosure and opened it up to take out the amp and paper-towel speaker. Then picked up my component woofer and began trying to fit it in. Of course it's not a direct fit, because the Bozo is a 3-hole pattern as opposed to a more normal 4-hole pattern. Which the Polk was. Also the Polk was a bit deeper, so my first attempt at using one mounting hole on the same plane as the Bozo mount (with some plastic cutting thanks to a flat-blade soldering iron) wouldn't quite let the back of the enclosure get back on. So I ended up mounting the Polk 3/8" out on the front of the enclosure, one hole matching and three others drilled. Had to "solder" the plastic pieces back together first, then filled the gaping holes between enclosure and speaker with half a (small) tube of silicone caulk just for fun. Wire it up, slap the enclosure rear panel back on, hey, that might just work. Now the passenger door enclosure (after taking off the door panel of course) went faster without the plastic cutting, just drilling and the other half of the silicone.
The kick panel covers were already off, along with the driver's kneecap crusher and both side panels. So taking a handy piece of semi-stiff wire I fished the speaker wires through to the vehicle interior and slapped the door panels back on - I did need to *not* put back the pretty white and red washers under the enclosures to make them fit again, the Polks stick out just a little bit.
Hmm, now tweeters. The dash grilles show a hole for a 4"/5" driver and another 2" mount, which would be great except it's covered by the grille mount plate (plastic) which is held by screws that I didn't have a sideways screwdriver to remove; didn't want to remove the windshieldjust for that either. So I zip-tied the tweeters in their little basket-mounts to the underside of the grilles, or the plastic frame thereinunder. Dropped more wires down right at the sides of the dash. I did get the zip-ties a bit too tight, so the grilles are a bit distorted and the passenger one doesn't lie quite flat - I'll fix that later when it bugs me.
Just wiring left now, right? Amp power wire through a hole from the trunk to back seat, conveniently right to the battery there. Amp ground wire I stuck on the anti-theft alarm horn mounting bolt. Amp turn-on lead goes up to the front along with three sets of RCA patch cords (front L+R, rear L+R, and non-fading/sub though I'm not installing a sub at this time) and the changer cable - which includes a ground for the changer unlike the Panasonic in my GTI, a bit neater anyway. Also noticed the changer has a cable output so you can daisy-chain another one, in case 10 cds are not enough. Rear speaker wires are already right there in the trunk - I've decided to put the amp in the spare tire compartment, two screws through the platic tub supporting it as it hangs out over the spare. Front speaker wires get run under the door side floor molding and through some convenient rear seat wall holes. Now the fun begins as I need to get that other big bundle of wires up to the front.
It looks good to hit the middle of the back seat and head for the console under the carpet there, but that means I get to take apart the console. So, front side console plates come off to allow access to the shift boot bolts (looks pretty easy to get at the radio from the side too, not up in the top of the dash like a VW) because the shift boot hides a holddown screw for the rear part of the console. Then just two screws at the back of the console, as I zip the seats forward to get at them it turns out one is missing anyway. Ok, console is sort of loose, but the parking brake cover needs to come off and seems to want to hold on. It's coming OFF! And as I suspected a little plastic rivet is sacrificed. How was that supposed to come off there without breaking? Now the armrest is of course blocking the escape route of the console, so I has to come off. Unplug the diff-lock button, and the console is free. As I hoped, the carpet stops where the console takes over so I only have to fish for a foot under it on the driveshaft hump. Fish, fish, fish, and one by one the five cables come across and run up to the head unit location.
Ok, the Bozo head unit was really the first thing I demounted, with my $3 Crutchfield DIN tool. But it's been dangling until now. At this point it was getting pretty dark, and dewy for some reason, so I threw everything back in the car and called it a night.
The next morning I began pondering where to get my switched power for the new head unit, since the manual warned that failure to properly wire the battery and ignition-switch leads might lead to a drained battery - more so than any other radio that could be left on in this way? Anyway, it was still a bit nippy out and so I perused the Bentley, looking for some nice "X" wires from the load-reduction relay to serve my purpose, while the last of the frost on the car windows melted away. Luckily it turned into a fairly nice day again in an hour or so, as I identified the seat-heater switch power as my primary candidate for the radio turn-on. I went nuts with the no-strip wiretaps and wired up the radio harness to the seat-heater switch, battery, ground, and antenna amp turn-on. Then of course I had to try it, and realized I got the battery and ignition wires swapped (red and yellow, the wrong colors because of course I would wire red to red instead of yellow to red). Fixed that. Radio turns on, the motorized faceplate does its hiding thing, only there's no sound because, well, I haven't hooked the amp up yet.
Wire up the component crossovers, first setting the appropriate jumper inside them, then hook up all the speaker wires to the amp. Now the amp needs its power wire connected, and just plug in the patch cables and changer cable. Time for the first test listen.
It works, but sounds a little...tinny? Push some crossover buttons on the amp, turning off the amp crossovers, and fiddle with the levels on the head and amp. Now sounds GOOD. Sitting there listening, Dad brings out the phone and it's a friend who wants to arrange a drive to Jackson for dinner, with other friends who happen to have an A4. Can you say Audi convoy? Turbo quattro convoy, even, since Terry's is a 1.8T q. This gives me about 90 minutes to put all the trim back together - pretty much everything inside except for the dash is apart. Good thing I put the doors back together yesterday. All of it goes back together pretty well, except the rear seat headrests which will *not* go in the holders backwards no matter how hard you push on them. Component crossovers and all that extra wire I couldn't bring myself to cut get stuffed behind the driver's kick panel cover and the glove compartment. I now drill the actual holes to mount the amp, and then mount it. Hide the wires under the trunk carpet, plug the changer in and set it in the driver's side storage bin with a piece of speaker packaging to keep it from flopping around.
Raid the GTI for CDs, shave and shower, and I'm off - stopping for gas on the way for my thirsty Audi. On the way to the rendezvous, it sounds GOOD. Or did I say that already? Even with tone controls at flat, sounds really good. But having had a subwoofer, I will probably want one agian although this bass is pretty nice as is. I pick up my couple of friends, and we set off with Terry and his wife in pursuit. It seems that an A41.8Tq is a bit slower than a 20020vtq. Heh. We promise to wait at the top of Pine Creek and Teton passes if his wife makes Terry slow down.
Here we are in my first road trip, and the car cruises really well. There's an unexpected clunk in the steering wheel over bumps that bears looking into, but later [floppy airbag/horn module]. Tunes are still going great. There is a faint alternator whine, constant volume so it's audible only under conditions of low volume or quiet passages in program material. The head has what looks like a choke on its power wire, should I find one for the amp power wire too? The head unit also has a choice of green or orange illumination for the buttons, while the lcd display remains yellow with green. The orange goes fairly well with the dash lights. The seat heater switch lights (always on with ignition, i.e. non-light-switch-dependent, before) are not lit, but the heaters seem to work. Am I providing a more seductive current path through the stereo than the switch lights offer? The seat heaters actually seem to remain on a low setting after turing the switch down, but it's hard to tell once the hvac has stabilized the interior.
There is only a dusting of snow in shadowy spots at the tops of the passes, and none at all on the road, providing no test for quattro. :( The climbs also seem to provide no test for my car, since the water and oil temps just barely move off normal after Teton Pass's 10% grade. It also doesn't seem to engine-brake too well, after I wind up to 90 in 3rd going around a Cherokee on the way down the other side. The car seems, what's the word I'm looking for, heavy? in lane changes at speed. Where can I get Bilsteins for Audi applications?
After our pleasant, and on occasion speedy, trip we arrive in Jackson for a pleasant and leisurely dinner. We have a few minutes to kill before the restaurant opens so I lead the group over to an S4 spotted while we were driving around. It looks a bit smaller than my car. A new A8 drives by, also looking deceptively small. Hmm. Those Jackson people (two of my car's three previous owners among them) and their fancy cars. Also very many loaded Suburbans, of course.
Terry wants a chip for Christmas, it seems. I told him about the q-list but he seems satisfied with a4.org. After dinner we do not plan to travel together, so I take off. Since it's now dark I get to whine about my sucky-to-the-max DOT headlights, and can't wait to install the nice euros sitting at home. But I suppose I will wait until I get the stick-on chip guards which are supposed to be in mid-week, and since it's dark after work anyway that looks like next weekend's project.
At the conclusion of our little jaunt, the trip computer reports 23mpg - lots better than the 18 for the earlier fillup. I don't think I reset it, though I did pull off the battery terminal breifly to stick on the amp wire - but the dash clock retained its setting, I didn't check the trip computer...
Can't think of anything else...
Another weekend, time to tear apart the Audi. This gets much faster with practice, though I don't really want to make a habit out of it. Today's task was to reroute the audio signal cables away from the central console/driveshaft hump area, hoping this will get rid of my alternator whine.
It was sunny, but not quite warm enough to do this at home so I went to work and pulled into our multipurpose building (office, machine shop, storage, assembly) through one of the garage doors. It's nice and warm in there, if not lighted as well as the outdoors.
Out with the back seat, off with the dash sides, console sides, kick panels, and as always the driver's lower dash. Then I just loosened the back of the console and was able to pull the front and rear RCA cables out of there. I decided to leave the non-fading RCA in the center because any whine there will be taken care of by a low-pass filter when I put in a sub, and the DIN cable for the changer because there didn't seem to be any extra whine from changer source compared to head source. And I was pretty worried about being able to fit just the front & rear RCAs under the side molding.
First, a test: feeding the two RCAs through the rear bulkhead hole with the left speaker wire already going though it, I connected them to head and amp, put them on top of the side molding, and started up. No whine! Success!
Now while I was at it, I pulled out my long ground wire from the head to the trunk, rerouted the changer cable through a different bulkhead hole to keep it away from the power wires, and since it looked like the battery positive cable went to the front along the passenger side somewhere (it went off toward that side before disappearing from view under the bi-pressure pump, anyway), I yanked that side's front speaker wire from under the door molding and went across the front under the dash, then back with the RCAs and other front speaker wire. I neglected to reattach a ground wire after the head still turned on without one, the chassis must be touching somewhere. Good enough.
The tricky part. Stuffing all these wires under a single door molding along with what I had been thinking of as the rear antenna cable, but since there's one on the other side and they go into the B-pillars, must be a seatbelt pretensioner cable. Just stuffing didn't seem to work, so I yanked the molding and found a nice spot for the speaker wires on the outside, put the RCAs in the pretensioner cable's spot in the middle channel, and moved the pretensioner cable to the inside where the single speaker wire had been, at least until it went into the B-pillar. It was just laying there in the channel, so I believe that it achieves its effect like a bicycle brake cable, relative to its shielding rather than by absolute position. And I'll try not to get in a serious accident just in case I'm wrong about it still working with the cable in a different location. :) So it was a tight fit, but it does mostly fit - the preten cable peeks out when looking from over on the passenger side with the door open.
I even had enough slack in my rerouted speaker wire to avoid having to make a splice, so now I just threw everything back together.
And went for a drive, sans whining. I am now very happy.
When I got home, just for fun I took off the right front door panel. Well, the lock was making a large click. The Polk woofer still looks happy in the ex-Bozo enclosure, despite those nasty silicone sealant curing fumes - whew. I'm not sure what was making the click, unless it was the plastic "fingers" guide for the lock rod that the lock rod somehow escaped from and then jumped back into when I first touched it inside the door. The click disappeared, anyway, so I had no choice but to reassemble the door.
Now all I need is new shocks, and I'll be satisified. Of course I will also need to pay off all the car expenses on that Visa bill so Citibank will satisfied...
I did manage to find the wires for the rear defroster, it appears. There is a slight whine when the rear defroster is on. Still pretty happy though.