If you want to upgrade your sound system in your car by adding a sub woofer or speakers powered by an auxiliary amplifier without having to get a new head unit then hopefully this should help you :)

I decided to keep my standard head unit because it looks well in the car, is less likely to attract thieves than a shiny after-market unit and it is a factory upgraded unit anyway and i find it gives pretty good audio quality, it works with the steering wheel controls and has bluetooth and aux-in, so an after-market unit wouldn't offer a substantial upgrade.

Factory head units rarely have RCA or "Low line" outputs which your amplifier will need for it's input signal.
A "Low line converter" is a device which will piggy back your speaker outputs from your head unit and convert them to Low Line RCA outputs for your amplifier

The converter i bought also gives you a "remote wire" output which tells your Amp when the car is on so it doesn't drain your battery, if you get a converter without this option you can just join the remote wire to the Acc circuit of your car, or the 12V circuit with a switch (you will have to remember to turn it off though or your amp will drain your battery)

The methods i used will require an understanding of car/car stereo electrics so just be careful so as not to damage your car or yourself :)

Step 1: Bits and Tools

Bits You'll need:

Low Line Converter, I got mine on Ebay here for £6.00
Stereo Keys to remove your head unit, you may not need these depending on the manufacturer and fitting type in your car
Wire Cutters
Sharp knife
or wire strippers

Electrical tape or heatshrink tubing
Wire to extend the piggyback cables on the converter (i used around 20 AWG)
Soldering iron to solder extension wire if needed
Scotch Blocks i ended up using 6
Cable ties not essential but handy for keeping wiring neat

Before you unplug your factory fitted radio, make sure you have the "unlock code" usually in the owners handbook. If you dont have it then you should acquire it from your car manufacturers customer service phone number, your local dealer or the internet.
Getting them online can be a bit unreliable and expensive. I already had mine but i certainly wouldnt pay more than £5 for the dealer to look it up on a database. If you dont have the code and you unplug your stereo it will not allow you to listen to it as it will assume it's been stolen. Don't guess the code as you usually only get a few attempts before it will permanently lock it'self!
<p>Seems you know your stuff maybe you can help me out with this problem???</p><p>Will it work in reverse, I have a new head unit going to a 97 SC400 OEM Nakamichi Amp? There is only front and rear speaker input but the amp also supplies a woofer? If not what would I need to get these two systems working, was also hoping to get the 12 Disk CD changer connected up -- trying to keep the system with original OEM harness as much as possible..easy or a challenge?</p><p>Thanks in advance if you can help</p><p>Frank</p>
Very cool, but one contemplation here. <br> <br>You are basically parallel-connecting the 4ohm speakers with the Low-Line converter. Assuming that the converter's inputs are 4ohm themselves, that leaves 2ohms of resistance for the stereo system to power to. Not all stereo systems can power to 2ohms without simply burning over the circuits. <br> <br>Have you encountered any issues with your system after doing this?
I need some advice. I keep getting a humming sound from my subwoofer. I have used a speaker 2 rca with auto remote on a 4 guage wire kit. Any ideas on how i could stop this noise??
<p>HI i have the same with my sub at home. its the poer going in is to high for the amp and results in a humming sound for the extra power. try turning the AMP down and your stereo up </p>
I've had no issues at all, the converter doesn't put a load worth considering on the rear speaker circuits as it's only really &quot;listening&quot; to the signal, it draws all its power separately from a 12v feed. so it's not like adding an extra speaker to the circuit. hope this helps :)
Very cool, thank you. <br> <br>I have a low-level converter here (not that exact brand you're using, but surely they must all behave the same way) that I'm going to be installing in my car, but I didn't want to lose the 4 in-car speakers (regardless of how weak and pathetic they are) in the process.
I would expect that they're all based around the same circuitry regardless of brand. all of my original speakers work still, whether the sub is on or not. As i say its not really influencing the signal to the rear speakers, i doubt it makes any difference you could detect with your ears even at high volume. Good luck with your install, it took me a couple of hours, but you won't have to keep stopping to take photos ;)
Hmm.. previous comment disappeared :S Take two: <br> <br>Thank you :) <br> <br>I may not need to stop to take pictures of the process, but in addition to the RCA outputs I also need to create and install a 12V-&gt;5V converter, a 7-port powered USB hub, headphone-&gt;radio transmitter, and other assorted goodies. All that stuff plus the amplifier, power capacitor, noise filter and extra speakers will probably take me YEARS :)
A power cap? how big an amp are you running? if you're venturing that far into car audio it's probably going to be worth a new headunit
Well, it's not so much that the amp is huge (it's only 4x100W RMS), but that the Yaris' battery is TINY. I'm thinking that a small-ish power capacitor (maybe 0.5F or so) would help with the spikes and not render the poor battery empty with every kick of the bass :D
You do realise that it's the battery that charges the capacitor, right? ;)
Yes? Do you realize what the power capacitor does in a car stereo system? It helps the system cope with the spikes in power required to punch the bass, by reducing the load on the alternator and car battery. :)
This is the 1 i used.
I have connect a speaker to rca with remote turn on/off. Everything works fine but sometimes i get a loud humming sound from the subwoofer. This happens when i switch the car off or when i open the door. Any ideas on how i can prevent this from happening??
<p>and the REM wire is which one? i was thinking of hooking it up to the ignition wire so it is turned on and off with the turn of the key, any problems with this?</p>
<p>I have installed a kit like you are talking about, it was 4 or 5 speaker wires that were spliced total. For the REM wire, I recommend wiring it to a fuse in your fuse box to prevent battery drain. Make sure the fuse you choose is only active when the car is on.</p>
<p>How many wires needed to be spliced in the end? And I'm having trouble getting my power wire from the battery in my mk6 fiesta to the boot, any ideas?</p>
I thought about this but was worried about losing sound quality and I wasn't sure how well it would work with my 5-channel amp. (Besides, the stock radio didn't have as many options as yours.)
I was really surprised at how good the sound quality is, I only run a sub through it but I tested some speakers and I couldn't pick up any signal loss, if the radio isn't as complicated it should only really make it easier to work out which wires are which, but obviously don't chop into them if you're not sure. Thanks for the comment

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