Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Stereo Install in SAAB c900 Complete

Well, I finished the stereo install, put the seats in and the whole thing works!

I was moving quickly so I didn't get a lot of pictures, but most of the assembly was just the reverse of disassembly.  What I did was get the console back in, with the new stereo head unit in it.  Then I wired up my new Rockford-Fosgate amp, tested that the stereo worked, and then put the seats in.

So here we go.

Here's the console going back in.  I had a thought at one point that I should fasten the bottom half to the top half and put it in as one whole unit.

Good thing I didn't.  Just as with removing it, you need to do a bit of maneuvering to get it in place...this is during the process.

I have to say that most all of this work was so much easier with the seats out - lots of room to move around.

You may recall the plan was to put the stereo into the DIN-sized slot in the lower console that formerly housed a storage bin.  And that's what I did.

This is the back side of the stereo head unit.  It looks like a jumble of wires (and it is, I suppose) but it's not too bad.

From the top left: the blue arrow is the antenna lead from the stereo.  It runs down to the bottom bin of the console, where it connects to the factory antenna lead.  It actually connects to an extension lead, since the factory lead is short and ends up behind the factory radio location high in the dash.  So the extension connects the factory lead and the stereo.

The red arrow points to the component connectors that run under the carpet and back to the amplifier.  This end goes the the preamp out on the stereo.  I used Stinger interconnect cables and I really like the looks of them - nicely made with a lot of shielding.

The green arrow points to the Kenwood connector.  This is the connector that carries 12v into the radio and also has the illumination, dimmer, and speaker leads.  The connector is the radio end of the harness I made up that connects the radio to the factory plug in the dash with the same connections.

The brown arrow is for the rear USB port.  I ran this out to the front of the console.  There are 2 USB ports on the stereo - one on the face and this one.  You can access files from a USB drive or iPad, etc., via these ports.  Wow.  How modern.

And the grey arrow is where the Bluetooth microphone connects.  I decided to hook it up and run it to the front of the radio in case I ever use it.

After I got the console in, I went down to The Dungeon and prepped the big cables for the amplifier.

Both of the cables are pretty large - 4 gauge.  You can see how thick they are - about 9mm or almost 3/8 of an inch.  They're so thick, in fact, that my tin snips wouldn't cut them.  I used a small razor saw to cut them to length.

The amp needs at least an 8 gauge cable due to the power it draws.  I figured I'd just go a couple sizes larger to be safe...and in case I ever were to need that large of a cable.  I don't want to do this wiring again.

Here's one of the terminals I put on the cable - this one will be the ground end.  They are crimp terminals, but I crimped and soldered them for an extra measure of reliability.  I used my 175 watt iron to solder them.

Here's a test run for the ground.

The bolt is one of the bolts that hold the passenger seat in.  It's fairly large, and with the weight of the seat on it, will not shift.

I just ran it under the carpet and up to the bolt.

Here's what it looks like with the carpet down - pretty tidy I think.  Although no one will see this once the passenger seat is back in.

This is a view looking down at the amp after connecting it all up.

This is on the floor under where the passenger seat is.

The wiring from the far left is the ground, the turn-on lead from the stereo, and the B+ (12 volt hot) from the battery.

The other connections are for the 4 speakers, and the interconnect cable from the stereo.

I mounted the amp on a piece of 1/2 inch plywood.  It's bolted to that, and once I get all the settings on the amp correct, I'll semi-permanently attach the plywood base to the carpet with heavy-duty Velcro.  (There are some settings for bass boost and filters that I'll play with over time, so I need to have access to it in the short term).

The big fin on the top of the amp is a heat sink - it needs 1 inch of clearance.  I'll have about 5 inches of clearance under the seat.

The last bit of wiring is to connect the B+, or hot, lead, to the battery.

You can see the blue cable that runs to the positive terminal on the battery.  That cable runs up to a fuse holder that's mounted to the side of the engine compartment.  That's the fuse for the amp - 50 watts.  Then the other end of the fuse runs to the B+ cable which goes down the fender, and into the car, under the carpet and to the amp.

You can see why I did all of that wiring beforehand - I routed it where it worked best, and now I just connect everything up!

And guess what?  It works!  :-)

I really didn't expect any problems, but you never know!

It's so much easier to have the luxury of making assemblies - such as the radio harness - that will pretty much ensure everything is done right.

So then I put the seats back in - about 8 weeks after I took them out.

The passenger seat works great.  I did some work on the driver's seat to untwist the back, but I'm looking for a better one to replace it.  The seat bottom and back are not in good shape.  But it's functional for now.

Here's a shot of the dash with the new gauges and the stereo in place.

I still need to hook up the oil pressure and water temp gauges.  I'll do that in a couple months when the weather is better.  The wiring is already in the engine compartment, so that should be straightforward.  And I want to get a dimmer for the gauges - they have LED lighting and they're TOO bright!


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