Cool That Amp Down





Introduction: Cool That Amp Down

This is a how to for those who may not be technically inclined or just need confirmation on if it is possible to do. My amp would overheat and go into protection mode after 20 minutes, so i installed a 12v brushless computer fan which i had purchased from Radio Shack for a computer mod i did. Needless to say,i ripped it out of that comp and away i went.

Step 1: Preparation

supplies needed:
allen keys
phillips screw driver
wire cutter/strippers
dremmel or other metal cutting tool in your arsenal
brushless 12v computer fan and the 4 nuts and bolts
fan grill/cover

First things first,I reinstalled my amp upside down as there is no venting from the top.The bottom has slits so that should help a little as well. You should probably as a precaution,remove the power from the battery first. as you see i did not,but i am very cautious. remove the back plate. it should be 5 or 6 phillips head screws.

Step 2: Make Your Template

look inside where you want to mount the fan and make sure that no screws will touch anything when your done.Now make a template of the inner diameter of your fan. I used a dirty paper plate because i was too lazy to get something clean:)

Step 3: Transfer Template

figure out where you want the fan. I chose central to provide even cooling but your amp may differ. look for the heat sinks.
Trace with pencil,or in my case since the plate is black,i used a jewelers screwdriver to scratch around my template

Step 4: Cut,grind,drill Etc

double check everything before making any cuts!!!
Now use your dremmel and cut out the template from the plate.
Also make sure you deburr the edges to avoid loose metal falling into your amp. Drill your holes carefully so they line up right with the fan.

Step 5: Install Fan

It is very important to make sure you mount the fan so it is blowing into the amp. if its sucking out it will not be effective. If your not sure which way that is,continue with the next steps but carefully test it out before you tighten it up or secure the plate.

Step 6: Wiring Her Up

remove your ground wire(black) from the amp. twist the negative wire of the fan(black or sometimes black and red stripes) to the ground that you just removed. now reinsert the two twisted wires back into the amp.

Step 7: Positively Not

Very important that you do not remove your red(positive) wire from the amp.
We want to remove the blue remote wire instead. This will allow the fan to shut off and on with the amp. Twist the red(positive) wire from your fan with the blue remote wire and reinsert it into your amp.

Step 8: Finished

Reinstall the back plate,reconnect your battery,and off you go with a nice cool amp.(If you have a yellow wire on the fan too,you can cut it off and wire nut the end,or just leave it as is and tuck it under the amp out of the way.
I have 2 hours (maybe longer but i only tested this long)at full 600 watts instead of 20 minutes now.
My fan happens to have red leds so i took a night pic so you can see it working.
Hopefully this will be helpfull to someone.
Good luck



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i love my muic like my wife . kinda scared to cut my amp ive had stereos all my life put a fan on all 3 fine ive got a little truck with 1250 amps help

1 reply

ive got two batters for power amps are turned all the way down .10000 rockford 12 inch woofer 250 amp to kickers sounds great .the 1000 wat amp over heats in about 30 min

thank you for the pictures. I am going to do an amp cooling project soon. I have a question, if i connect the fan positive and negative to the amp positive and negative will the van turn on and off with the amp? My amp does have a remote wire connected to the head unit. Thank you, Guy

1 reply

You can connect the fan negative to the amp negative. Most people might connect the fan positive to the trigger wire. This usually works ok for one low power brushless fan, but is considered bad practice. The best way is to power a relay from the trigger wire, and have the relay take power from the amp positive wire to the fan/s.


To cool an amp efficiently, you can cut up old heat sinks to match the length of the transistor rows. Then, make holes in the heat sinks to screw them down. Apply thermal grease to the heatsink first.

WARNING: Transistors with metal need to be electrically iscolated from the heatsink.

This is a much more efficient way to cool an amp. Simply installing a fan alone only moves the air around and without any heatsinks to dissipate heat, it is a very inefficient way of cooling.

To further improve efficiency, fans should be placed at one end of the amp with intake or exhaust vents at the other end. The heatsinks must be inbetween this 'channel' of airflow.

In the photo, you may notice the heatsinks directly under the intake vents.


Will it still be able to pull air in even if its under a seat


really nice one. my amp has heatsinks on the outside (the whole body is heatsink actually ) so on zip tied a fan outside simply.

why would you want to cut out all the info on it. I understand the whole even cooling thing but I don't that was the best place

i think the fan would be fine pulling air out, cut some holes in the sides of the amp to draw air over the entire board. BTW - since you're pulling power off the remote wire, you're using power from your car's stereo, and running it over 15ft+ of tiny wire-- i would look into using a relay that is triggered by the remote wire.

The word you are looking for is 'impedance', when talking about speakers. Neat hack! I do this with my home-theatre amp, but I built a ghetto cardboard duct-tape air-injector on one side...I should post it. :) If I made it an exhaust, the hot air would melt the glue on the duct tape; and the assembly would fall off the side of the amp ;) I also drastically under-power (voltage) the motor to slow it down. its totally quiet at about 8 volts (requires '12'), but I was too lazy to build a pwm circuit.

They are 4 ohm i believe. It is hooked up to pull to much power,but even when it was set up correctly it still overheated. So this was my remedy.