Lexus CT200h Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
leonar40's subwoofer installation / illuminated door sill installation

Hi everyone. I'm going to be installing a Rockford Fosgate P300-10 powered subwoofer soon. Because I am keeping the OEM head unit, which doesn't have any RCA outputs, I will need to tap the rear speaker wires. While I have everything torn apart, I am going to install the illuminated door sills, which requires some of the same panels to be removed.

This first section will detail performing the rear speaker taps as well as installing the illuminated door sills. There are already good instructions in the Lexus service manual and with the illuminated door sills, so I won't concentrate on those steps. But instead will share some of the tricks that I found and issues that I ran into during the installation. There is also a good thread on the rear speaker connector here:

http://www.ct200hforum.com/forum/lexus-ct200h-how-do-yourself/120726-tapping-into-factory-speaker-wiring-where-easiest.html

1. Tools

- Plastic trim removal tools
Astro Pneumatic 4524 Auto Fastener and Molding Removal Tool Set, 11-Piece - Amazon.com

- 18 gauge mini Posi-Tap connectors
Posi-Tap- No Crimp Tap

- Wire cutters, wire strippers, needle noise pliers, zip ties, electrical tape

2. Unplug the negative cable on the 12V battery.

3. Removing OEM head unit

The Lexus service manual does a good job of explaining this. I did not find the pieces too difficult to remove, but there are a lot of them so it is fairly time consuming. I really miss the days of just pulling the radio out with a radio removal tool like in my Ford Ranger. I can remove that radio in less than 1 minute. Once you finally have access to the head unit, you will remove it by taking out the four #10 bolts, and then pulling the head unit out. Lexus didn't give us a great deal of slack on the wires, but there is enough to work with. There are a lot of connectors to unplug along the way, but Lexus was good enough to make it such that no two connectors are interchangeable, which is very helpful when you put it back together. When you are done you will have a big pile of parts like this:


4. Run the speaker wires to the head unit location

You will be routing the speaker wires under the glovebox and along the door sills, which are the same panels that you remove to install the door sills. Pull them up and out of the OEM head unit location so that you can work with them. You will notice that I also took off a little panel on the left side of the footwell.


5. Tap into the rear speaker wires

As was pointed out in an earlier thread, the rear speaker wires are contained in their own connector. The color code is:
Left Rear + Green
Left Rear - Brown
Right Rear + Red
Right Rear - White

I used Posi-tap connectors which made the job fairly easy. You are still working in a tight spot, but it's about a good as it could get. I couldn't image trying to solder in that small of an area. Just a word of caution, when connecting in the speaker wire side of the tap, I ran into a couple of issues. On one connection, the Posi-tap connector actually cut the speaker wire in half when I was screwing it together. I just re-striped, tried again, and this time I was successful. Another time I had a connector where the threads were stripped. Not sure if I did that by tightening too tight, or it was faulty to start with. Give the speaker cables a good pull test and also check for continuity if you have a multimeter. You will notice that I am not tapping a 12V source for the amplifier as it automatically detects the signal on the speaker wires for turn-on.


6. Route the speaker wires to the back of the car

You will be routing the speaker wires under the glovebox, down to the front door sill, behind the "B" pillar, and along the rear door sill. After that it is personal preference about how you get the speaker wires into the trunk area. For me, I peeled back the rubber door seal on the right side passenger door, removed the grill for the hybrid battery fan, and ran the speaker wires up/under that large piece of plastic trim, over underneath the hybrid battery vent, and finally behind the right side passenger seat. Use lots of zip ties for strain relief. I also added a strain relief right after the wires leave the OEM head unit location using an existing bolt. Sorry it wasn't really possible to take good pictures of all of that, but here are a couple:


7. Reassemble the interior trim pieces around the OEM head unit

At this point I did a final continuity check between the speaker wires in the truck and the rear speaker wire connector. Reassemble the interior trim pieces by going in the reverse order as was done during the removal. I left the footwell trim panels and door sills panels off for use during the illuminated door sill installation.

8. Install right side Illuminated door sill

Everything was done according to the included instructions except that I cut off the "t-taps" and used the posi-taps instead. One tip, make sure that you are taping the wires with the connector in the correct direction so that the tap goes the direction that you want (to the right in this case). Luckily the illuminated door sill has a good amount of slack, so this was not a big deal.


9. Install left side Illuminated door sill

Installation is similar to the right side, except that the panel that you remove has two screws that need to be removed, and there is an extra connector that gets in the way. Routing the cable is a little bit trickier as you don't want it to interfere with the emergency brake or the hood release cable. I routed the cable in front of the emergency brake pedal (up in the plastic panel so you can't see it), and then used zip ties to work my way down to the door sill wiring run.

10. Install rear door sills

The rear door sills are not illuminated, so you just pull off the old ones, and put on the new ones.

That's it. The total operation took me about 5 hours. When I plugged the 12V battery back in, of course I had to reset the clock and my radio preferences. All of the car preferences (the ones on the dash display) where saved which was nice. I also noticed that the car ran strangely for about the first mile or two. I guess it has to re-learn it's idle settings and things like that? One thing that concerned me is that I noticed the hybrid battery was down to only one bar. I took it for a drive and within about 2 miles it was back up to normal (1 bar from the top). I doubt it was actually discharged down, maybe it just have to "re-calibrate" when you disconnect the 12V battery, I'm not sure.

I should have the subwoofer delivered and ready for installation in a week or so. I'll continue the write-up at that time.

- Jason
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
For your sub installation it seems like a lot of extra work to get at the head unit. Why didn't you just run a low line converter and tap the wires to the speaker that is already in the trunk area. That would have been a lot easier and cleaner. Since the battery is in the trunk already you could run and entire sub system and amp in an hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
For your sub installation it seems like a lot of extra work to get at the head unit. Why didn't you just run a low line converter and tap the wires to the speaker that is already in the trunk area. That would have been a lot easier and cleaner. Since the battery is in the trunk already you could run and entire sub system and amp in an hour
Would have loved to, but unfortunately the "speaker in the trunk area" that you refer to is the OEM subwoofer, and is only there on the premium audio system. For those of us with the standard 6 speaker system, there is nothing in the trunk. I had originally planned to try and tap the rear door speakers either at the speakers themselves or at the front door sill wire run, but after digging into it, this wasn't possible without tearing apart a lot of wiring (it's all in hard conduit) and possibly damaging other wires. So the OEM head unit seemed like the safetest, although possibly not the easiest, solution.

low line converter
Just a note that a line level converter is not necessary with the Rockford Fosgate P300-10 powered subwoofer that I will be installing. It has both high and low level inputs built right in. These days many amps are coming with high level inputs which is great for those of us that plan to keep the OEM head unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Got the Rockford Fosgate P300-10 in today and did a test fitting. I'm very pleased with how little space it takes up, and remember the 300W RMS amplifier is inside the enclosure, so this is really all the space that it takes. I wish it was about an inch shorter so that it would fit under the luggage screen, but oh well I seldom to never use that anyway. One thing to note is that I am using an adjustable bungee strap connected to the child seat anchors to hold the subwoofer in place. I measured before I bought it, and it turns out it is the absolute perfect size. Here's a link to those straps if anyone else wants to go that method.

Amazon.com: EK Ekcessories 19077P-BLK-AM Bad Bungee 18"-42" Black Adjustable Bungee Tie Down Strap - Pack of 2: Automotive

I'm not available to do the installation this weekend, so hopefully by next weekend I can have this up and running!

resize_Sub in Trunk.jpg resize_Mounting Strap.jpg resize_Mounting Strap 2.jpg resize_Control Panel.jpg resize_Gain Control.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Thank you for this how-to :) I do wonder how and where you mounted the volume knob. I found a place somewhere near the headlight hight adjustment, but I cannot seem to fit it right with tape. No matter what how toroughly I clean it, the dash keeps it's protective seal so that after a while, the tape just lets go. And I rather not drill a hole in my dash, even if it were out of sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I do wonder how and where you mounted the volume knob
That is a good question and honestly I haven't made up my mind 100%, but I am going to have to soon because I am doing the installation on Friday. I have looked at various options such as near the windshield wiper button, in the electronics holder slot, on the side of the storage console. Each would work but have their own drawbacks. Yesterday I just happened to notice a spot that might work the best. In between the two cupholders is a "mini" cupholder. It's really just a curved spot that you could possibly storage a narrow bottle in. Since the voltage knob for the Rockford Fosgate P300-10 is oval in shape, this seemed like it would fit there nicely. I did a test fit and it fits pretty well. It would also look very clean as you could remove the console with the cupholders, drill a hole for the volume knob wire, and then mount the volume knob such that it completely covers the hole. This places it facing up, easy to see and each to access with my right hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'll let you know after Friday. :) Based on all the reviews this thing kicks ***, probably way louder than I would ever set it up for. I listen to hard rock and metal, so I am mainly getting it for the bass drum. It's a sealed box, so it would be a poor choice for ghetto rap bass. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
How loud does a single 10 get in the CT?
I have never had a hatch before, so I have no idea
Loud enough :) I have a single closed 10" at 500W RMS, could show you a video of the rear windshield wiper dancing on the windshield. That was not intention with the setup, but it is able to do that. Used to own a 12" setup in a previous car, not any different. Only a 10" bass is a little tighter and with a closed case that was more like my goal. I'll post a thread on the how-to when I'm done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Hatchbacks are great vehicles to put small subs in, they make them sound so much louder then cars with trunks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I completed the installation of the Rockford Fosgate P300-10 yesterday. It wasn't too difficult, but like any work with the car, it's time consuming, and makes you sore as you have to hover over the trunk area for extended periods of time. Here are the steps that I performed:

1. Remove the trim / floor in the trunk so that you have access to the spare tire and 12V battery area.

2. Disconnect the negative lead on the 12V battery.

3. Ground connection: I found a #12 bolt on the left hand side of the trunk area that worked very well for me. If you push both rear seats forward you will see that there is a gap between the rear of the seat and the trunk to run the negative lead. There is a similar gap (although smaller and filled with OEM connectors and such) on the right side of the car that I used to run the positive lead. I ran cables along the bottom of the rear seats (facing the trunk) using the "flaps" that are present there. Hides everything very nicely.

4. Positive (12V) connection: This connection is made in two parts. First wire a connection from the 12V lead of the battery to one side of the fuse holder. Conveniently, if you pull back the red terminal cover, you will see that there is an unused bolt on the terminal that you can use. Not sure what that does normally but it's like they put it there just for us to use for stereo work. Also a little tip, with the new cable installed, the terminal cover won't close anymore. I cut out a square notch in the terminal cover to allow the cover to close again. I snaked more of the power cable through the right hand side of the trunk, up to the rear of the seat, and over to the middle of the trunk behind the seat flap. It definitely helped to have two people for this as there is very little room on the right side of the trunk. Connect this to the other side of the fuse holder. BTW, at this point I do not have the fuse installed. I waited until the very end of the installation to put the fuse in, that way the 12V cable is not live at the other end.

5. Crimp the speaker wires to the amplifier hi-level input harness.

6. Install the fuse into the fuse holder. You should now have 12V at the power connector. I verified this with a multimeter. I zip tied the fuse holder to an existing wire conduit. Put all the trim and the trunk floor back together.

7. Secure the subwoofer. I used an adjustable bungee strap and used the two anchor points on the back of the rear seat to hold it down.

8. Plug the power and signal connectors into the subwoofer unit and test it out. If it's working, start tuning!

Settings:

I found that while the rear speaker inputs do seem to be full range, they are pretty weak. That's not too much of a surprise as they seem really weak in the car as well compared to the front door speakers. Because of this I had to turn the gain of the amplifier all the way up and use about 30% bass boost to get the good "thump" that I wanted. I'm anticipating being able to turn that down some as the sub breaks in over the next couple of weeks. Because of this I did not bother running the remote control volume knob. That's something that I might do in the future.

Here are the settings that I currently am using:
Gain: MAX
Cross-Over: This isn't really marked well. I think I am using somewhere around 80Hz. I don't like a lot of "bleed through" on the higher frequencies, so this is mainly for the bass drum on rock songs.
Bass Boost: Again this isn't really marked well, but I think I am using around 30% at this time.
Phase: 0 deg
Input Level: Hi
Auto Turn On: This is important. I originally was using the "Audio" setting. It is supposed to turn on when it detects a signal on the speaker inputs. This technically worked, but it is way too sensitive. Simply closing the doors would produce enough signal to turn the amplifier on, and with no signal, it would go crazy and make all kinds of noise. So I switched to the "DC Offset" mode, which is similar but raises the turn on threshold to 6V. So far this has worked perfectly with no unintended turn ons. You could always run a 12V signal and use the "REM" mode also but of course that requires more wiring.
OEM Head Unit: So far I am using Bass: 3 and Trebel: 3. The bass control on the OEM head unit actually serves as a pretty function level control since I tapped the speakers for the subwoofer input. I anticipate being able to turn the bass level down on the amplifier once the subwoofer breaks in and starts to play louder.

Results:

Pretty much what I expected although I was a little surprised that I had to turn the gain all the way up. For rock songs it definitely provides a nice punch to the bass line and bass drum. For rap songs, it's enough bass to feel it in the seats and shake all the mirrors pretty good! The bass is tight with no audible distortion.

As always, I'll be happy to answer any questions that you have.

- Jason
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I have more pictures to go with this, but the forum is telling me I have exceeded my "quota". I'm not sure what is going on, I'm posting too much? Is that even possible? LOL I'll send a message to the admin and see what they can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hi Leonar, nice and clear explanation again, cheers for that :) I think that you might have had the same issue as I encountered. I think it is no so much to do with the level of the rear speakers, but more that I expect them to be filtered on the 6 speaker system as well. Since you don't have a stock sub I would suggest try to get the signal of the front door speakers to test how that works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Update:

After two weeks the sub has broken in and I am definitely enjoying the new bass! Works well on all inputs, even the XM radio which is pretty poor quality. I have adjusted my settings somewhat. I am now using bass setting 3 on the OEM head unit. I changed the cross-over from 80Hz to something more like 100-120Hz. I also turned down the bass boost to around 20%, with the gain still set at MAX. This seems to be a pretty good mix for me. I never did run the remove gain control as I found that I can control the bass through the head unit pretty easy. There is actually quite a bit of range between setting 0 and setting 5. One thing that is not so great is that it is pretty evident that the OEM head unit "trims" the bass when you turn the volume up. For instance if I have the volume at 20 I get one mix (with quite a bit of bass) and if I turn the volume to 30, the head unit reduces the relative level of the bass and so it's a totally different mix. I noticed this even with just the Infinity speakers, but now it's more evident with the subwoofer in place. Not sure there is anything you can do about that aside from changing the head unit or using some kind of post processing system. Overall I'm pretty happy though and would definitely recommend this setup to anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Nope not at all. I was pretty amazed by that compared to other cars that I have put subs in. Not a single rattle even when turned up louder than I normally would. I also got out of the car and listened from the outside and you can't hear any vibration from the rear hatch area.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top