Stereo Install (Wire Harness Diagram / Focal / Alpine / iPod pictures) - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Stereo Install (Wire Harness Diagram / Focal / Alpine / iPod pictures)

I upgraded my audio because mostly I wanted a way to have an iPod in the car because finding somewhere to put a CD case was getting annoying fast. Plus I wanted something I could hear "well" while driving on the highway.

Since this is an "exotic" car, I decided I had to go down the nicer path and get nicer components. I went with the usual Alpine and Focal units. Theres nothing wrong with other brands, I just wanted to keep the "ohhh, ahhh" response poeple give so frequently with this car

Headunit: Alpine CDA-9883 with KCE-422i iPod cable
Fronts: Focal 100CV1 4.00"
Rears: Focal 130CV1 5.25"
iPod: 30Gb

I did originally buy the 165CV1 6.5" speakers, but my Exige has the roll bar option, so the rear speakers are mounted on little pods, and the 6.5" just wouldn't squeeze between the pod and roll bar. Not without some descent amount of work. I didn't want to remove the panels, nor remove the harness bar.

I'll post pictures of the install, but I'm not at home to host them right now, so I'll attach a diagram of the wiring harness. I could never find a good graphical representation of the harness here on the forums...so maybe this will help future installers.

Removing Headunit

Use either the supplied Blaupunkt headunit removal tools, or make your own. Make a U shaped piece out of a metal coat hanger that as wide as the holes are on the sides of the headunit behind the faceplace. Bend the tips of the U inward a bit so that they push against the side of the headunit body when inserted.


Insert tool into these holes on either side



This is the retention flange that the tool is pressing back against the body so that you can pull the headunit straight out



With the retention clips released, the headunit will slide straight out.



Next you want to unplug the harness and antennea from the back of the blaupunkt.

Then remove the Blaupunkt mounting sleeve that the headunit slid out of. Next install the new mounting sleeve that came with the new headunit.


This is the one that came with the Alpine CDA-9883. The "fingers" pop in place once you push it all the way in and is very snug.



Alternative Power Source

I wanted something a little more beefy for the power cable for the headunit, plus I wanted some room in the future in case I decided to add an external amp down the road. I chose to run an 8 AWG wire (what I had laying around) from the battery posts on the front of the Exige. I do not believe Elises will have this option (or the task won't be as easy).

Battery terminals located under front driver side access panel on Exige





I ran the 8AWG wire from the positive terminal and added an inline fuse holder (came with 30A, a 10A would probably cover a headunit).

I ran the iPod cable and power cable behind the steering wheel. There is a channel behind there that you can run wires behind using a metal coat hanger (bent straight of course).






To get the power cable up to the battery terminals, I decided to use an old trick and run through the door grommet and up along the "fender".




Here you can see, I puncted a hole in the rubber grommet to run the power cable. Also you can see the iPod cable in its final location.




I then ran the power cable behind the door hinge. There have not been any noticable binding issues so far.




Harness

Nothing major here. Just follow the directions for splicing the wires. I soldered the wires then covered them in heat shrink. It gives the most secure and lowest profile connection, as opposed to bulky butt connectors or God forbid electrical tape (which unravels over time and leaves a sticky mess).

Since I was using a dedicated power source I did not put the power cable in the harness. In fact I removed the pin from the harness, just so there was no chance of a short or anything.




Heres a schematic of the harness so you'll know what to connect to what. This is looking at the Lotus end of the harness. So it will probably be mirrored if you have the female end in hand. But you should should be able to go by the pin layout and tabs. The "GALA" is a pin that may or may not be present.
Its what allows the headunit to raise and lower the volume automatically as you speed up and slow down. Personally it drove me crazy on the Acapulco and I turned it off within 2 days.




Heres the iPod cable in the drivers side cubby




Speakers

As stated I went with the Focal 4" 100CV1 in the front and 5.25" 130CV1. Some poeple have had luck with the 6.5" 165CV1, but because I had the factory harness bar option it would have required some extra effort to get the 6.5" to fit. Getting the grills over the 130CV1 was hard enough as it was.


Comparision of stock speakers and Focal speakers





I cut the foam in the back so that it sealed up the are where the harness bar passed through the panel. There were some large holes that would compromise bass output, plus it could cause shuffing from the speakers on heavy bass and air moves back and forth.






Rear speaker in place on the "pod"



Shot with both speakers and grills installed





The stock front speakers didn't even fit the actual hole.




Since the Focals put the grill retaining frame behind the speaker basket it seals the entire hole.


New Focals installed





Some finished shots of the dash




Overall Impressions

Having the iPod is nice. I couldn't find a good place to keep CD's in the car and digging around in the passanger foot rest area is not safe with the tight steering of this car.

I had a problem with the Acapulco where it would make this loud scratch sound every once in a while playing MP3's, so that was another reason I replaced the headunit, plus alot poeple (here and elsewhere) said the iPod controll was very lacking. One thing that did throw me off as with others is that if you have "M.I.X" mode on (shuffle) on the Alpine, you can't go back to playlist selection.

The overall sound more that anything, is that it doesn't distort when turning up the volume on the highway. That was the biggest problem with the Blaupunkt system was on the highway, it was just too distorted. Bass isn't great, but you can feel actual thumps in the seat now. If you were to fab up a custom panel in the back that was actually sealed, you could probably get descent bass out of these things.
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Last edited by Westrock; 05-01-2007 at 06:01 AM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 04:09 PM
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Hi Westrock,

I'm really interested in your system. Please post pics when you get a chance and give some details on your overall assesment of your system and how happy you are with your choice of speakers? Would you recommend going with the 6.5s if you had an Elise, would they fit in the Elise or are they too deep?

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 10:40 PM
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Just have a question.. I just got an iPod 30 GB. it looks like my alpine can't handle 30 GB of music (actually ~20 GB of music) as it can't search all the way (I can only go from A - G when searching for artist). can you please tell me if that's the case with yours as well?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Updated.

Edit: For the above, I only have about 14Gb on mine (it just has music for the car). And I usually just pick a playlist and turn on shuffle mode, so I haven't really checked it out. Do you have all the songs on one playlist? I have several (60, 70, 80, 90, etc) and I know for sure I can get to P's and S's (Porno For Pyro's, Stone Temple Pilots, etc...)

Last edited by Westrock; 05-04-2007 at 02:51 AM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 10:19 AM
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I dont want to be negative but I dont like your way of running the blue 8g power wire, too much chance for issues with door opening...I would find another way to run it..
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cory1000
I dont want to be negative but I dont like your way of running the blue 8g power wire, too much chance for issues with door opening...I would find another way to run it..
Nothing wrong with being too safe. I checked it multiple times though for that same concern, the hinge does not make contact and the wire is secure in its position. The grommet I used doesn't move either, so there is little chance of fatigue over the long run from the wire being moved around.

There are probably better ways, thats just an easy way that I have done in almost all of my cars and its relatively invisible.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 12:26 PM
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Running the power wire next to the door hinge is pretty scary... I hope that you have that wire fused directly at the battery (or at the post that you are tapping for power).

I once read that "many a car have been reduced to a smoldering heap of molten slag" by failing to grommet and fuse power wires!

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't take a picture but yes there is a fuse at the battery terminals.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 12:49 PM
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Great writeup, Westrock!

Especially appreciate the comparison shots of the Focals against the Blaupunkts.

torque (tôrk) n. - an excuse for the lack of momentum.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 01:10 PM
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Excellent post. The pics of the radio removal just helped me out big time.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 02:55 PM
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Yeah that wire next the door hinge is just asking for a car fire.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 03:05 PM
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hot wires and metal don't mix...thats why i ran mine through the fiberglass above the firewall and fused it at the battery, if it cuts through the wire then fiberglass isn't a good grounding source!! a bit safer.

plus it hides the wires COMPLETELY.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by &#174;ob
Yeah that wire next the door hinge is just asking for a car fire.

True enough. You would think the fuse would pop instantly. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

Nice install and pictures.

Last edited by Jim-C; 05-03-2007 at 05:59 AM.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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If your not comfortable with that route, you can of course still use the original +12V wire thats contained in the main stereo harness.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 08:16 AM
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Hey David,

Great system! I was wondering if you think that the 6.5" Focals would have fit if the harness bar wasn't in the way? I have an Elise and I would like to put 6.5" Foculs in the back but I don't want to make spacers. So, do you think the speaker hole depth is enough for the 6.5" speakers to work?

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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I had a hard time just trying to squeeze the original 6.5" 130CV1 in there (never got it in), and that was without the grill and the grills are hard to get on a 5.25". I didn't think to try and hold the grill just by itself up to the pod to see if the basic diameter was too big.

I'm under the impression, that those little pods are only on the harness bar equiped cars So I don't know what a normal non-harness bar equipped car has back there.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 08:43 PM
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Do any of you know if I can buy the entire Exige rear panel with speaker pods for my Elise? I have the factory harness bar but the speaker holes were cut out and it has damage near the top on the drivers side so I just want to replace the entire thing.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondock Saint
Do any of you know if I can buy the entire Exige rear panel with speaker pods for my Elise? I have the factory harness bar but the speaker holes were cut out and it has damage near the top on the drivers side so I just want to replace the entire thing.
Yes.

Mine was one of the Track Pack cars that came without a harness bar, so I looked into it before pulling my panel to fit the bar. I ended up just cutting my panel, which is really all you'll get from Lotus (one that they've cut). I'm not sure if the pods come attached - if not, you'll need a rivet gun to attach them (you should be able to reuse your pods, but not the rivets). If you want a new one, I'd highly suggest getting one already cut for the pods - it was a pain to cut, test fit the pods, cut some more, test fit the pods, wash, rinse, repeat.

Be warned, you'll have to pull the harness bar in order to pull the panel. The clearance between the firewall and harness bar bolts is small and the fitting is deep enough that a short socket won't reach. I had to cut down a deep-well socket to get on the harness bar bolts.

I had a listen to Westrock's set-up last night, as I'm trying to decide what steps to take with mine. It's good, certainly better than stock, but I suspect I'll have no choice but to go the amp route since I'm running a 2bular Ultra exhaust.

Still, you could feel the rear speakers through the seat shell, so I'm definitely planning on going the Focal route first. (I'm running an Alpine CDA-9857 HU.)

torque (tôrk) n. - an excuse for the lack of momentum.
- let's bring back CanAm & Group B!
- have you hugged your Exige today?
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 11:17 AM
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Thanks Codymac. Much appreciated.

Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals.You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as
your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 05:01 PM
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And now for my second mod of the weekend... (the weather is really crummy here in San Diego so I needed something to do).

Originally when I put in the rears, I didn't cut the stuffing behind the rear speakers the way Westrock did... I was in a hurry, and wanted to take a good look at the "pods" to see what its potential (or lack thereof) as a speaker enclosure was.

While the 4" Focals in the front sound great for their size, I was underwhelmed by the 5.25" Focals in the pods... they sounded vague and weak on bass. A sure sign that the enclosure was leaky.

To make them a bit more soundtight, I removed the stuffing, put two layers of rubber weatherstripping tape behind the speaker mounts on the pods, then cut a hole in the stuffing using the speaker bezel as a template. Then I tucked the stuffing back in behind the weatherstripping, and now it's a better sealed cavity for the speakers... with perhaps a little venting away from any easy air leaks.

Anyway with one done and the other in the original state, I thought there was a significant improvement in clarity and bass efficiency. Now that both are done I think it sounds great.

To those of you with subwoofers: maybe someday...

Pics:

1) Stuffing out, weatherstripping in.
2) Stuffing with speaker bezel as template
3) Stuffing after surgery
4) Pod with weatherstripping and stuffing
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