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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going do this in parts as it's kind of long. Here it goes!

Kia Soul Friends,

PART 1 - Connectors
Over the last several weeks I have been working to install an aftermarket amplifier in my car without cutting any factory wires and without removing the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) head unit (HU). I have the infinity system with navigation and with an external amplifier. My car is a 2015 Soul + Caribbean Blue and it is currently leased. I will be buying this car, but just in case I did not want to do anything that would compromise it. I think to replace the HU and its functionality would be expensive. I also like this HU better than any other OEM HU I have ever used with maybe the exception of my dad’s 1985 Corolla, that thing rocked. Just a side note, I have a degree in electronics technology and worked on aircraft avionics systems in the USAF.

The largest hurdle was finding the correct connectors that would mate with the factory amplifier in order to use the speaker level outputs. It took three months of research and persistence to find the correct parts for this application. The head unit outputs an SPDIF signal to the OEM amp and there are other signals from the data bus and the navigation system that go to the OEM amp. My understanding is that the OEM amp also utilizes DSP before it outputs its signals to the speakers. I think it sounds good, I just want more power!

The connector on the OEM amp is a 12 pin TE Connectivity hybrid automotive connector. The Part number (PN) for the hybrid plug connector is 175442-1, the pins for this connector is PN 173630-1, last the connector header that connects to the speaker level wires is 175444-1. I ordered and received these parts from Mouser electronics. I have also contacted Metra in the hopes they would make a simple bypass harness with these connectors, but the volume is very low for this request at this time (I may be the only one).

Connector 175442-1
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Connector 175441-1, sorry camera wouldn't focus good
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Pins 173630-1
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here is a couple more picture I found on the internet. This is the OEM Amplifier out of the car. The connector I'm working with is the one on the left.

Amp4.jpg
Amp1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Part 2 – LOC Harness
I decided to connect the OEM amplifier speaker level outputs to a line output converter (LOC). My chosen LOC is an NVX XPLOC4 this is a 4 channel 150 watt per channel LOC so it can handle plenty of power. It also has adjustable gains. I realize that many of today's amps have high level speaker inputs, but I am hesitant to use them. I've read articles on going either way, I went with an LOC. Without an LOC the install would be much easier to wire up.

Since I am using an LOC, I chose to use the harness that came with it and connect the plug connector directly to it. The wires are about 8 inches long so I mounted the LOC directly on top of the OEM amp. I fashioned a bracket for this using Legos (for a bit of fun). It works very well, but will need a little tweaking to make it sit and mount just right.

The pins for the connector are open-barrel pins. You will need a suitable crimper for these pins. My first chosen crimper was an IWISS DR-1 crimper. This crimper proved useless and so after some research and a leap of faith, I ordered an HT-225D ratcheting crimper. This crimper is much better, not perfect, but the price is right. If you have never used this type of crimper practice crimping some pins on some scrap wire before doing the real thing.

Ok, so using the factory OEM pinout keeping in mind that the pins are marked as they go INTO the OEM external amp I wired the plug connector speaker wires directly to the LOC. The subwoofer connections were also connected but with just wire hanging out because I already have a subwoofer amp connected to my system. These wires I later routed back to the OEM speaker wires. I did this outside of the car before connecting anything. I did as much work as possible outside of the car in all areas of the install to make it easier. I also created block diagrams and wiring harness diagrams using PowerPoint.

NVX XPLOC4
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Diagrams
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2014 Soul Ext Amp Pins.jpg

Diagram I made of the LOC wiring Harness
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
PART 3 – Speaker Harness
Now moving on. The harness for the OEM speaker wires would come from the speaker output of the aftermarket amp and connect to the OEM speaker wire connector. I chose to use Stinger Speedwire. This proved to work well. It's 18 gauge wire, but is suitable. For a higher output system use bigger wire. The website Basic Car Audio Electronics Basic Car Audio Electronics has great info on wires, power, fuses and much more.
You can get multi-conductor cables in larger gauges and by the foot through Wire and Cable Your Way https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/ if needed. The signal loss from the 18 gauge speedwire is less than 1 dB which you cannot hear, so I used it. I soldered the wires to the header connector I got from Mouser Electronics. Again I did this procedure outside of the car. I cut off the portion of the connector not needed and straightened the pins. I soldered and heat-shrinked the wires directly to these pins.

I did not remove the seats or the center console. I did loosen the driver’s seat, but never pulled it completely out of the car. The speedwire has 9 conductors so I used the blue wire to connect the LOC remote wire to the amplifier to turn it on. I also ran a separate power and ground wire (for the LOC) along with the RCA wires (a single 4 channel NVX RCA cable). These wires I snaked between the seats from the passenger side to the driver’s side using the existing wiring channels. There is a small removable panel directly under the emergency brake handle. This panel was crucial to running the wires, without it, the center console and seats would have to come out.

Speedwire
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Harness Diagram
Slide4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
PART 4 – Amp Rack
The amplifier I am using is a Soundstream PN4.520d. I chose this amp for its size, its power output, its price and it received good user ratings. I mostly ordered all the parts needed for this project from Amazon, Sonic Electronix and occasionally from Crutchfield. Screws and some other items I sourced locally.

I already had a subwoofer in the cargo area and an amp in my car mounted under the driver's seat. I wanted to also mount the PN4.520d in the same location. I used two amps, but another user on this forum has used a 5 channel amp for their system and that is a very good decision for ease of mounting and complexity.

Now about the amp rack. Since I have two amps I needed a way to mount them. I also did not want to obstruct the heater vents under the seat. Last I did not want to put holes in the car. How would I accomplish this? I made a 3D model of the floor pan of the mostly correct dimensions and worked it out. I also made a cardboard template for the amp rack. I determined I would need a surface 14 inches by 12 inches to mount both amps. At first I was going to use wood and put carpet on it, but instead I used a black HDPE cutting board that required no covering and no painting. I got the cutting board from my local Target. It just happened to be 14 inches wide so I only had to cut one end. I mounted small wood legs on the corners to elevate the rack just above the heater vents. The front legs are 2 inches long and the rear legs are 3.25 inches (I guess due to the angle of the car or the floor, but that is what worked). Later I will run metal backstraps to the legs and mount them to the 4 vertical corners of the seat using steel hose clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
PART 5 - Hookup
Finally I was ready to hook it all up. My existing subwoofer amp was installed by Best Buy. They assured me there was slack and room for adding on. They were wrong. I did not have enough wire to place the amps as I had designed. I ended up putting the subwoofer amp on the left and the 4-channel amp on the right. This required remounting both amps and the power and ground distribution blocks on the fly. From the distribution blocks I used 8 gauge wire for the 4 channel amp and 4 gauge wire for the subwoofer amp. I would have used 4 gauge for both but the Soundstream amp terminals are too small for 4 gauge wire. I also connected power for the LOC through a .5 amp fuse and 16 gauge wire to the power distribution block. My power distro block is fused and there is also a fuse on the main power wire next to the battery.

Car Audio Fabrication (CAF) Car Audio Fabrication - Custom Techniques , Video Tutorials Car Audio and on YouTube has great videos. One of their videos talks about using wire ferrules to hook up amplifier wires. I did this and let me tell you it is the way to go! It's neat and very secure. I'd also like to mention that any and all pictures I could find from the forums and internet of Kia Soul installs were extremely helpful.

So now I have an LOC wired and hooked up, wires run and power and ground wires connected. Please be safe and make sure you disconnect the negative battery wire before doing any of this work. The last bit of wiring I did was cut the speedwire to length strip the outer jacket and connect all the speaker wires. Again I used wiring ferrules for these. Amazon has a good assortment of ferrules. I can't say enough about how much I like using the ferrules. I did not use heat shrink, but you can if desired.

I set the gains by ear last night. Wow! This thing is loud! After my ears stop hurting I'll let you know how it sounds! I'll post some pics of the installed system too.

Wire Ferrules
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Discussion Starter #7
If anybody is wondering I have some alternator whine and some static on AM stations. I think it is the Soundstream amp causing it. I've run some test as recommended on Crutchfield and it definitely looks like the amp (not sure about the speaker wires yet). Soooo, today I pulled the trigger on an NVX JAD 900.5 5-channel. I like TXChris install so much I'm going to go with a single amp!!!

Oh yeah last weekend I had some Kicker components put in the front to match the doors. I made a little bracket for them with plumber's strapping. I also had to sand the edges of the tweeter housing some so they would fit. They sound great when cranked up. Just need to get rid of the noise.

Here's a pick of the tweet!
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Great write ups jon! Most of it is over my head but I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see some pics of what this looks like installed.

I know you paid great respect to OEM (I totally admire that) & I'm trying to imagine how much different this will look, if much at all. I know the sound must be amazing.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Today I pulled out the Soundstream amp and my Rockford Fosgate amp and installed the NVX JAD 900.5. This was a quick install so please don't judge the pic! I'm going to work on a new amp rack and add wire looms and make it all pretty soon. LOL

It sounds really good. Yeah Finally! I'm very impressed with the NVX amp, its really very good. It sounds completely integrated, smooth, crisp and LOUD!

I think Infinity did a good job, the factory amp DSP is good too (sound stage, delay, balance etc.). With my setup I'm basically just amping it up and adding aftermarket speakers that can handle the power. If you have the Infinity system in your car I would say this may be a better option than replacing the HU and factory amp. If you don't have the Infinity system I would say go all aftermarket! If anybody else wants to do this in their car I will be willing to help out! I'll post a few more pics soon.

Here is the new NVX amp install
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so you just used the stock amp as the DSP of your setup essencily? did you gain any noise issues with the conversion? I should do something like this is my setup doesn't work. I probobly will if it doesn't work, you should check out my build :cool: you seem like a guy who knows a thing or two about car audio. im trying to take the digial out of the deck before the amp into a decoder, to get my channesl than another DSP i ahve a zapco z8. id be interested to hear your input.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
so you just used the stock amp as the DSP of your setup essencily? did you gain any noise issues with the conversion? I should do something like this is my setup doesn't work. I probobly will if it doesn't work, you should check out my build :cool: you seem like a guy who knows a thing or two about car audio. im trying to take the digial out of the deck before the amp into a decoder, to get my channesl than another DSP i ahve a zapco z8. id be interested to hear your input.
Yes, infinity boast about logic 7 surround, years of development & 1,000 hours of testing at Infinity Automotive Kia US. What I did here was keep all that, but by adding aftermarket speakers and amps, made it louder and rock out more to my liking! I'm still testing it out, but it sounds great!

Three is no noise with my new NVX amp. The LOC is low-distortion and it feeds the amp a nice clean signal. I'm very happy with the NVX components I used, (the LOC, the RCA wires and the 5-channel amp). I had a hiss, so I adjusted the gains this weekend and it is gone now. Not quite as loud, but that's ok, I don't want to go deaf.

I only know enough to be dangerous! I went for the output side because it was easier, but your install is far higher SQ. As long as your decoder is compatible with the car SPDIF signal it should work. Then it is just a matter of setting up your DSP and Amps for the vehicle.
 

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so you just used the stock amp as the DSP of your setup essencily? did you gain any noise issues with the conversion? I should do something like this is my setup doesn't work. I probobly will if it doesn't work, you should check out my build :cool: you seem like a guy who knows a thing or two about car audio. im trying to take the digial out of the deck before the amp into a decoder, to get my channesl than another DSP i ahve a zapco z8. id be interested to hear your input.
Yes, infinity boast about logic 7 surround, years of development & 1,000 hours of testing at Infinity Automotive Kia US. What I did here was keep all that, but by adding aftermarket speakers and amps, made it louder and rock out more to my liking! I'm still testing it out, but it sounds great!

Three is no noise with my new NVX amp. The LOC is low-distortion and it feeds the amp a nice clean signal. I'm very happy with the NVX components I used, (the LOC, the RCA wires and the 5-channel amp). I had a hiss, so I adjusted the gains this weekend and it is gone now. Not quite as loud, but that's ok, I don't want to go deaf.

I only know enough to be dangerous! I went for the output side because it was easier, but your install is far higher SQ. As long as your decoder is compatible with the car SPDIF signal it should work. Then it is just a matter of setting up your DSP and Amps for the vehicle.
Ahh yeah well I'm only a notch above that in skill I've been fiddling for over 10 years in cars audio systems I've gotten some experience and seen some weird situations but this ones new to me this logic 7 is dolbly but will a dolbly decoder decode it is the question i do not know :-/ maybe I could decode it with a resperry pie but I don't know any coding :/
 

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I think the SPDIF signal would be good for a coax input into your decoder.

Check out this thread, you should find it interesting SPDIF Demystified
Err from what I read their the volume controls done via the a can bus :-/ their does appear to be a can bus line going to the amp from the stereo I can only imagine that's it :-/

What's the name of the ports for the stock amp and those pins? (ediot sorry do see the info now XD ) finily got around to reading the whole thread :| sorry was allot to read at once.1 to much for me man :| i just get into the goodys and work my way backwards

anyways, ive figured out my plan but idk how im going to get the center channel feed, i dont think you got yours because you used the stock amp for center still? is that what happened in the end?

how cna i get that center channel for my zapco 6 channel input ive decided to keep the zapco in my plans and use it to tune the tune as it were. i can tweak it and such from their. ive heard it can get hairy with a stock EQ curve on these for a feed but its pretty much all i can do to retian stock stock like i want. like you did, but i might need to pull the pins and wires out of the curren harness and put them in with new pins on 2 wires to feed the LOC.
 

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Sadly I've not been very active here since getting my 2014 Soul (has the UVO Nav Infinity sytem), but came here today to see if there were any hints I could glean as to why my system stopped making sound yesterday.

This thread give me some hope, assuming the HU isn't dead (though all the visible functions are there), that if the amp is the culprit - I can maybe put in an aftermarket unit. Being an audio junky, I have a lot of aftermarket parts I'd like to/can install. And, like you, I have never quite felt this system was worthy of all the hype they gave it when I bought the car.

So, I'm going to post a thread on my issue, but wanted to say I appreciate your thread. I have not been able to see, though, images of the diagrams in a high-enough resolution to make out what you posted. This may be a setting I am missing here on the site, but when I clicked on the wiring pin-out images you posted - they were unintelligible. hopefully, if you are still active here, you will clarify what is there if I end up going down this route.

Cheers- Roger
 

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Very nice write up! It's all over my head but appreciate all the thoughts and effort that you have made on your project.
 

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Jonbourg, as I sit at the dealer awaiting diagnosis I'm reading your thread again. It appears you are not bypassing the factory amp, but rather augmenting the system to boost the output of the OEM amp. If so, and my amp is toast, I'm pretty much stuck getting another OEM amp. Do I understand this as what you did?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes that is correct I kept the factory head unit and amp. I used the output of the factory amp to send signals to an LOC then to another amp. I did it with connectors so I didn't have to cut any factory wiring. That is the gist of it. I also replaced the factory speakers except for the center channel and added a subwoofer.

Bypassing the factory amp but keeping the OEM HU would be on a whole different level than what I did as this system uses CAN signals.
 

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Hello

I have a 2013 Kia Soul+ w/Infinity sound and the same factory amp as you. I'm looking to use a LoC with the factory amp to run into my aftermarket amp. Which wires off the factory amp would I use to do this? I don't know if the wires running to the factory sub will be clean enough for a LoC. I can buy the same NVX LoC you used but for 1 amp instead. Is it safe to wire off the factory sub wires or should I use the rear speaker channels instead? Thanks!
 
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