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My Mk3 ZS - Audio System


Ubetcha
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Sorry I haven't been online recently, it's been mad busy at work and although financially that's a great thing, it's a trade off against my time.

So, I've retired the 2002 1.4 Petrol Focus CL which was my run around daily driver. Primarily I used it to drive to a location and then take the dog for walks. It didn't matter if the dog got back into the boot soaking wet as it was the old car. The problem comes now where does the dog go in the newer car? The Zetec-S!

Well I had a bit of free time today so I got my hands on an 8' x 4' sheet of 9mm MDF, I had already removed the fabric boot floor and thinking of a wet dog, measured and cut some plywood sterling board as a new boot floor. This sits on top of the foam which raises up to cover the height of the space saving spare wheel.

I partitioned off the left side for the dog, I intend to cover the MDF here with black lino (wipe clean) and the right side is where I'm  going to start to install my audio. A sub and an amp has been buried up in my loft for the last ten years. It used to sit in my Pug 306 GTi-6 that I used to own many moons ago in my youth. I've actually placed the sub and the amp in the car today and secured them to my MDF build. The right side has been raised up a few inches so that I can run all of the cables underneath. Eventually when I run the cables I will just drill them through the top MDF layer so it'll all look neat and tidy (Hopefully) and I intend to carpet this right side the same (or as near to it as I can) as the rear boot carpet.

  • Stage 1 of this project is just to have my current Speakers (6) un-amped and as is,  with my 2 channel amp bridged into mono for use only by my subwoofer.
  • Stage 2 of this project is to have a 4 channel amp powering the current 6 speaker system. I say 6 because the front Speakers have tweeters so I presume as there is only one pair of wires going to the front Speakers from the head unit there must be a crossover somewhere in the door and a second pair of leads must come from that to go to the tweeter?

Obviously thinking what I do next, I'd like to think about Stage 2 when buying equipment or installing Stage 1.

Now talking equipment wise I need some help and advise. I am aware I need a LOC spliced into the front speaker wires from the head unit. Actually I intend to splice into a parrot wiring harness rather than the original audio loom. However I am unsure with which one to go for?

Options seem to be (I've spend the last two days attempting to research all of this) Alpine PXE-H660, Alpine PXA-H800, AudioControl LC2i (£120), JL Audio CleansweepJBL MS-8, Audison Bit-Ten, Audison Bit-One, Metra Axxess AX-ALOC648, DS-18. However the prices really do vary and I kinda feel £120 is about my limit so my current favorite is the AudioControl LC2i. However there may be lots more tech that I'm unaware of and maybe you guys will be able to tell me?

Here's a rather bad photograph taken in almost pitch darkness with a lamp behind me to my right, I'll get some proper photos online tomorrow to display exactly what is what.

IMG-20181025-WA0010.jpg

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Thanks for the like Lenny, actually you'r probably the man with the answers as I've been reading other threads and you really know your stuff.

Sorry I didn't get chance to get back on line any earlier today, another busy day. I did however have time this morning to take the photos I promised.

As you will see I only have to undo three small screws and the whole lot will slide forward for spare wheel access.

Comments are welcome but also an answer to the question in my first post would be really appreciated! Thank-you in advance.

 

Car Boot Install 02.jpg

Car Boot Install 03.jpg

Car Boot Install 04.jpg

Car Boot Install 05.jpg

Car_Boot_Install_01.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was in town today (unexpectedly) so I nipped Halfrauds and got one of their Vibe Sub Wiring kits.

When I returned home I thought I'd remove the glove box for a while to make things a little easier for the upcoming wiring.

Question - I am just wondering roughly where I need to be looking for the grommet to the engine bay?

Behind the fuse box i'm guessing but I didn't want to start pulling bits off blindly without knowing..

Thanks in advance

Where's Grommet.jpg

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OK, so it looks like I'm going to have to answer my own questions 😲😡

After a little exploration I found this comment:

"Remove glove box

- remove fuse panel cover under glove box (pull off the retainers)
- Open glove box, remove torx screws in the front on the top panel
- crawl under glove box, remove two more torx screws 
- All torx screws are black oxide, hard to spot but look for em

upper right of fuse panel.... slits in jute padding
Rip the jute padding open to expose...
wiring harness coming in through a guge rubber grommet

take sharp tip knife and stab the rubber grommet like this \
remove knife and stab same point, like that /
makes a nice X

poke wire through x"

Which was kinda correct, even though it sounded a little vague to me at first. I've uploaded a few photos and you'll see the location of the wiring harness below..

Ammended.jpg

So after I pierced the rubber I inserted a straightened out wire coat-hanger from the passenger foot-well into the engine bay. Then taped my amp power wire onto the coat-hanger and pulled it back through into the passengers foot-well. Note this was a two man job, one pushing the wire through from the engine bay and one pulling the wire through from inside. It probably could of been done on my own but I felt it was easier to get someone to help for 5 minutes. A few pictures to show this.

Passenger Footwell Coathanger.jpgRubber Grommet Coat Hanger.jpg

Engine Bay Coathanger.jpg

Engine Bay Coathanger with Power Wire.jpg

Once the power wire was inside the cabin it was time to attach the fuse holder (fuse removed). I decided that I wanted to mount the fuse holder onto the side of the battery box using bolts from the inside of the battery box outwards. Thus to removed it's just a case of removing the nuts. Of course I didn't have any suitable nuts and bolts so I've temporarily bodged these using what I could find but I will go back and change these once I've got the nuts and bolts I want.

Battery Finished Flash.jpg

Additionally I'm going to be changing this stock fuse holder too for a better one which doesn't need actual fuses. it's more like your home RCD with a little switch on it if it was to blow. A quick picture attached of that and the eBay link should anyone else be interested here.

Fuse Holder.jpg

In terms of running the power wire, I had initially planned to go down one side of the car with the Speakers down the opposite side however the power wire has come into the cabin almost central so I decided to run it down the middle of the car. It was a quick job and only really involved removing the two rear seats in order to lift the rear carpet up. Of course the two little side trim trays needed to be removed but they just pop off.

So I now have my power wire run to the tray under my amp. It's looks quite tidy and I'll keep this thread updated with details of my future progression.

Battery Finished.jpg

Finished Power Wire Going Down Centre Console.jpg

Edited by Ubetcha
Reordering photos
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Looks excellent mate, 

Just thought I'd mention from my own experience with installation; when choosing the correct fuse fit one to match the amp to eliminate risk of overload on the amp, 

Generally a 400 Watt amp gets a 40Amp fuse or  trip switch as I see you have a 60Amp there for a 600 Watt amp, 

I've fitted a 30Amp and a 40Amp myself for a 300W Class D mono amp and a 400W 4Ch full range Class D amp. All documented in my build here from page 30-50: https://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/41443-taking-oval-to-blue-horizon-lennys-build-thread-2010-2015/?page=30 

I also recommend tuning the amps for optimum results, 

I have a syn wave audio CD there and a multimeter if you want to borrow..

IMG_20150419_183818_zpsdedsxx4j.thumb.jpg.72e7d4b3cdab00c2143886e6c44b5844.jpg

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Cheers Lenny, I appreciate the information and I'll probably even take you up on your offer sometime in the future! However I feel that I need to revisit my first post on this thread as I'm unsure exactly which way to go and what equipment to buy? 

Currently I am considering buying a five channel amp to sit up front, under the stock head-unit if possible? (should such an amp even exists? dimensions will be tight?)  The reason I'm thinking five channel is obviously I have four speaker inputs which I will be cutting. Then amping each of those and using the fifth channel to go down towards the boot to supply that amp kind like a pre-amplifier. If I'm honest I have no idea what to buy, once that's been sorted I can probably work the rest of it out.

In terms of LOC, I do like the idea of getting the AudioControl LC2i instead of a cheap £5 eBay jobbie. However the rest of it I'm unsure exactly what to go for?

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11 hours ago, Ubetcha said:

Cheers Lenny, I appreciate the information and I'll probably even take you up on your offer sometime in the future! However I feel that I need to revisit my first post on this thread as I'm unsure exactly which way to go and what equipment to buy? 

Currently I am considering buying a five channel amp to sit up front, under the stock head-unit if possible? (should such an amp even exists? dimensions will be tight?)  The reason I'm thinking five channel is obviously I have four speaker inputs which I will be cutting. Then amping each of those and using the fifth channel to go down towards the boot to supply that amp kind like a pre-amplifier. If I'm honest I have no idea what to buy, once that's been sorted I can probably work the rest of it out.

In terms of LOC, I do like the idea of getting the AudioControl LC2i instead of a cheap £5 ebay jobbie. However the rest of it I'm unsure exactly what to go for?

Hi, 

I've read your first post there and had a look at the images of your existing install which looks really good👍

The AudioControl LC2i looks like a good choice to keep the stock headunit and get RCA outputs for your amplifier, 

The stock Speakers are good for 25watts but there made of paper, There not designed to take an amplifier and the cone will split at 75watts or less, 

You have done a great job with the boot install but you need to change the plans a bit to get the best results from your install, 

Here's my suggestion fof install;

and also please take some time to read my build thread from page 30 onwards as I've documented a lot of information there regarding audio upgrade which will also best assist you.

For best results on your install while keeping costs down;

I'd fit the AudioControl LC2i and cut the cables from front Speakers using the parrot iso block as you've said, 

Fit the AudioControl LC2i in the boot compartment possibly on the mdf there behind the seat, fitting in the boot offers you easy access to adjust the gains aswell as preventing the cost and reducing the bulk of fitting two RCA cables from the front of the car to the boot compartment, 

You just need to run speaker cables from the front speaker outputs on the parrot loom; back to the AudioControl LC2i in the boot compartment,

I recommend using Vibe FlatFlex these audio cables should be routed on the drivers side of the vehicle to keep them away from the power cable to prevent audio interference.

Run another two lengths of speaker cable; back to the headunit feeding from the amplifier to the other end of the speaker feeds on the parrot loom.

Then purchase short RCA cables to feed from the AudioControl LC2i in the boot to the amplifier, You can pick them up for under 20 pounds for both left and right set.

Next let's talk about that amplifier mate, looks like a class B, I mentioned all this in my build regarding the different classes and if I was you; I'd sell it and fit a class D, 

My personal favourite brand is JL Audio amplifiers and Speakers because there very well built and deliver the promise, they can take a hammering beyond there rating and last forever, 

I've fitted an XD400/4 a XD300/1 and two sets of C3 650 Component speakers, 

A Class D amplifier is the most efficient on the market today aswell as being half the size of your existing amplifier, There also silent in operation with no fans, There digital output not analogue meaning they use less power and produce less heat, but they still require a minimum of 8" clearance on top for ventilation which you will see in my build; I've had to create 45 degree brackets to mount an amplifier where I wanted in order to remain compliant with ventilation, I won't put images on your thread as it will ruin your thread for others following as they become confused with your build and others but you will see in my build. 

Anyway; I'd fit a 400watt 4 channel Class D amplifier in place of your existing amplifier, feed 2 channels to the front speakers that's 100w to each front speaker, 

Upgrade the front speakers to somthing capable of handling 120w or more personally I've fitted JL Audio C3 650 

Leave the rear speakers stock and leave them connected to the stock headunit just as they are, 

Then bridge the other two channels on the amplifier and connect to your sub in the boot compartment that's 200w to the sub set the Audio filter on the amplifier to cut 50hz and below sending those frequecys to the sub and anything above 50hz goes to the front speakers, 

Moving on from this mate; 

The stock front speakers don't have a separate cross over box, the crossover is built inside the tweeter housing, 

A full range audio feed from the headunit goes to the 6.5" speaker in the door then daisy chains on to the tweeter. 

Overall the stock speakers won't take an amplifier and an amplifier definitely won't fit or function under your dash without suffering serious heat damage.

I can advise you on the full install as I've taken a week off work back in 2015 I stripped the entire car and fitted full audio upgrade with two amps a 10" monitor tv tuner, reverse camera and dual dash cam with a flip down screen hidden in the glove box I think my build will help you A lot, 

A 5 channel amp is another option but your looking at 800 pounds for one with any descent power per channel, and from experience there's no real need to upgrade the rear speakers or amplify them as you won't hear the difference when the front is amplified and a sub kicking in the boot. 

Overall I don't think the alterations will increase your initial budget much if you factor in; the sale of the existing amplifier and the fact your looking at a 4 channel instead of a 5 channel amplifier.

 

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12 hours ago, Ubetcha said:

So I now have my power wire run to the tray under my amp. It's looks quite tidy and I'll keep this thread updated with details of my future progression.

Also ment to ask if you fitted 8AWG power cables or 4AWG ? 

4AWG is bigger diameter and can be split in the boot to provide two 8AWG feeds, If you were powering two amps you wouldn't have to run two 8AWG cables front to back just run a 4AWG to the boot then use a special splitter to provide two 8AWG sockets then fit trip switches to those.

Personally I've fitted Vibe Flat 4AWG and borrowed a crimper from work. 

The size of amplifier will require certain gauge of cable, but Class D amps use less power so there happy with 8AWG compared to older amps.

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Brilliant Lenny.. that's exactly the kind of information I was after. Concise, functional (and cost saving) with lots of useful information and guidance! :cool:

So it looks like I've got some Christmas shopping to do! I'll get my sub out, boxed up (it's near mint condition with the original box and manuals etc) and get it for sale hopefully soon.

Actually the cars going in for a service in the next week or so, it'll also have the work done for the Clutch recall at the same time. Therefore today I uninstalled my boot install :ohmy:

Can't be confusing them, especially after the saga of the last recall (although this time I'm trying a different Ford dealership, especially after last time)

So I'll pause my thread here then for now.. I appreciate you post, thank-you Lenny. As for the 8AWG/4AWG cable question it's the larger 4AWG wire that I fitted. My theory is, I'll only be doing this once so I may as well try to do it the best that I can. Thanks again buddy.

 

IMG_20181112_131703.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, so I had a little time to spare today and started to look into this amp that I own..

According to this 'instruction' sheet from Audison (pic attached) I've already got high level speaker wire inputs.

Now admittedly I am being lazy and because it's coming up to Christmas I don't really want to be shelling out for a new amp and having to sell my existing amp so I began to think about doing this until new year..

  • Adding some type of parrot wiring harness/loom so that I'm not cutting car speaker wires (I've no idea which one to source, so I would appreciate suggestions please)
  • Cutting the two rear speaker outputs of the harness.
  • Buying some more Vibe flat speaker wire, something like this. Not needed specifically for this but useful to run now (for later use).
  • Running my two separate speaker wire runs (taped together) from my boot to head unit.
  • Connecting one pair of speaker cables to the parrot harness (as source) into the high level inputs on my Audison amp.
  • Connecting my sub to my Audison amp in single channel mode.

In (my own) theory this will all work and yes I'd loose the rear Speakers but gain a sub. Am I right?

 

Destructions.jpg

5059ec874ae7b7916ad87b94a957.jpg

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5 hours ago, Ubetcha said:

Christmas shopping for myself on a Saturday morning and with help from the reseller I've just ordered...

Parrot Wiring Harness

Despite what they've advised I'm still keeping my fingers crossed it's the right one!

 

Hopfully works, 

Says focus 2011 onwards on the description so i don't see why it wouldn't 

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  • 2 months later...

UPDATE : Sorry I've not been online much lately, busy with work / home etc. I am making some (slow) progress and I am happy to tell you I've finished (well, almost) my boot build. I've a few little niggles to iron out but it's definitely getting there.. 

One side of the boot is for the audio, hence is carpeted. The other side is primarily for my dog but it can be used for other carrying duties like normal boots. I fitted lino to this half, here's a couple of pictures..

I've purchased this quick dis-connector it seems better than the Vibe Fastplug in customer reviews. I've also purchased a few connectors to quickly disconnect my speaker wires.

I've already ran four speaker wires into the boot, unfortunately I needed to run six so I will endeavor to get those in as well (annoyed)

I'm going to add a boot switch on my remote power lead, to easily switch the sub off when my dog is in the car.

Next up, will be connecting everything.. I'll update again once that's done..

Bits 1.jpg

Bits 2.jpg

Nearly ready.jpg

Car in bed.jpg

Seats down.jpg

Done (almost).jpg

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On 2/13/2019 at 3:36 AM, Lenny said:

Cruising with the sub and the Bitc* in the back👍

ROFL! haha!!

Now to a slighly more serious note.. gonna need a little help here please.

So today I ran my extra pair of speaker wires from the head unit to the boot, I cut into my parrot wiring harness and wired the new speaker cable into the rear Speakers connections, I soldered quick release connectors onto the boot end of the new speaker cable, did a few more bits and bobs but...

..No head unit! I'm only getting the time and date on the center screen. Pushing the volume button does nothing 😱

I'm also dying from a hangover and have come onto the computer to check the fuses to see which ones to inspect.

Seemingly #79 is the Audio Unit, but I don't think that's gone (haven't looked yet) as it's shared with the emergency hazard lights and the door lock button, both of which are working, so that leaves #85 which is the radio. I'm hoping it'll be that one.

I'll update this once I've checked, in the mean time if anyone else has any other suggestions? (PLEASE!!! lol)

EDIT Checked both fuses, both looked fine but I double checked with my meter and both had continuity 😱

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17 minutes ago, Ubetcha said:

.No head unit! I'm only getting the time and date on the center screen. Pushing the volume button does nothing 😱

I'm also dying from a hangover and have come onto the computer to check the fuses to see which ones to inspect.

Seemingly #79 is the Audio Unit, but I don't think that's gone (haven't looked yet) as it's shared with the emergency hazard lights and the door lock button, both of which are working, so that leaves #85 which is the radio. I'm hoping it'll be that one.

I'll update this once I've checked, in the mean time if anyone else has any other suggestions? (PLEASE!!! lol)

Sometimes these iso adapter blocks are labelled incorrectly; I suggest temporarily removing the Parrott adapter and try the headunit directly,

 

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Yes Lenny, thanks for coming back so quickly. Whilst I was on the school run I removed the parrot in the car park and wired in directly (as it was previously) and nothing, exactly the same.

EDIT :  A few photos from today..

Rear of Headunit.jpg

Parrot_Cut_Into.jpg

Parrot Installed.jpg

Boot Wiring.jpg

 

EDIT, EDIT :  Suggestions please to why my head unit  wont turn on or do anything even with my aftermarket parrot wiring harness removed

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58 minutes ago, Lenny said:

Try swapping fuse with another one of the same amp from the wipers or somthing 

Could be a hairline fracture in the fuse preventing current 

Good idea Lenny I'll try that in the morning, I've had it for today as my lower back is sore and my head is pounding.

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5 minutes ago, Ubetcha said:

Good idea Lenny I'll try that in the morning, I've had it for today as my lower back is sore and my head is pounding.

Voltarol gel Is great stuff for back pain, available in chemist or Tesco relieves pain and doesn't give off any smell like deep heat 😵also sleeping on stomach with no pillows is hard to get used to but helps alot

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If I didn't live out in the a*se-end of nowhere that could be an idea! Closest Tesco's is 76KM away 😓

We do have a couple of chemists locally but looking at the time I'd guess they'd almost be shut now, and knowing my luck they'd definitely be shut if I decided to drive up there!

Early night and a hot water bottle I think. 😫

EDIT : I just re-read your post and noticed the bit about sleeping on my stomach, hmm that could be an issue as I broke my neck when I was younger :ouch

IMG_20190215_165104.jpg

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10 minutes ago, WES180 said:

I can't help with the excellent install sorry but I did find these available  online!🤣

Screenshot_20190215-185643_Gallery.jpg

ROFL, this just keeps getting better. That's the dogs birthday present sorted! Well done Wes! hahaha

EDIT : I must also try fuse #67 - Sync / Multifunctional display

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All fuses just checked, #67 / #69 / #79 / #85 all good ☹️

I did have a slight issue to when fitting the parrot earlier today with exactly the same symptoms as what I'm facing now, it turned out when I pushed the parrot connector onto the cars connector the parrots yellow wire (one of the end spade connectors) pushed back so obviously wasn't making a connection. I disassembled and spotted this and when I reconnected everything was fine. Of course this doesn't explain how when I take the parrot away it still doesn't work.

Tomorrow I must check the radio connector ISO again and I will try without parrot again, see what happens.

Here's a quick video of my symptoms.

Quote

 

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