Out with the AM, in with the AM/FM stereo

Discussion in 'Car and Home Audio' started by MaxInValrico, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,957
    After much research, anxiety and general farting around I've decided it's time to put a decent sound system into the Ranchero. As such, I'm going with this setup:

    • RetroSound Zuma headunit
    • JL Audio C2-690tx coax three way speakers
    • JL Audio JX360/2 amp
    • Absolute 2SW6X9 speaker boxes for behind the seats

    All total, this will come in at right under $500 which is not bad given the JL Audio gear which is top notch.

    Here's my questions for anyone who may have already gone through this.

    1. What route have you taken to tie in the amp cabling to the battery?

    2. What size alternator are you running and did you change that out? This is of particular concern since now that I have my voltmeter working I have noticed that there is a drop in voltage when the headlights and turn indicators are on while idling. Maybe this is normal. Currently I have a 55amp alternator.

    3. What exactly did you have to do to tie in your head unit? Did you bypass factory wiring or use it?

    As always, thanks is advance and feel free to comment.
     
  2. Rancherous

    Rancherous Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,641
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Max I do a lot of stereo installs.

    I never worked on a 68 so the exact amp line run I can't tell you. You need to look on the firewall and see where you have a place to come through hopefully without having to drill a hole and use a rubber grommet, most cars will have some wiring going through, simply follow that. If it's tight use Dawn or similar dish soap to lube the wire to get it to slide easier. Then simply run it under the carpet by pulling a door sill plate off and run it to where needed under the carpet. I tend to run the wire a little farther to avoid drilling, there will be access to the cabin somewhere on the firewall.

    Your radio should be a piece of cake. Does your new radio have presets or a clock? I ask because that is usually a Yellow wire for constant power which your original radio does not have. If you only have the Red and Black they can be ran off of your existing radio wires, just follow suit, power to power, ground to ground. If you do have a Yellow wire you need to connect that to a constant power source, the easiest way yo do that is simply take the wire and slide it behind the fuse for your cigarette lighter(accessory fuse)basically that fuse is always powered so it will store your stations, clock without draining the battery.

    These old cars do not have many accessories to run so I would hook it all up, start the car and turn up the music :D if you don't dip under 12v you are good to go. If you do then you could either try a capacitor or run the next size up alternator. I have a Police Interceptor alternator in my car and I still get voltage dips but I am running big power, 1 amp should not be a huge strain on the system.

    If you run under 4 ohms it strains the electrical system and uses more power.

    DO NOT RUN YOUR RCA CABLES WITH YOUR AMP WIRE TOGETHER. Keep them separate and far apart.


    Sorry I can't give you specifics as I have never installed a 68-69 Chero.
     
  3. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,957
    I've been scratching my head looking for a good route to the battery. There are a couple of knockouts with plugs in them that seem to go right behind the heater core assembly on the inside of the firewall.

    From the diagrams, they look to be for heater hoses on a non-A/C car, I have factory A/C so the hoses are connected in a totally different place on the firewall, I don't know if I can get to them or not but they look like the primo spot to run the amp cable since they are in a direct line with the battery down the passenger side of the car.

    I'm probably going to put the amp under the passenger side of the seat and route the speaker wires straight back to the speaker boxes which will sit behind the seat, not optimal but it's better than nothing. I was trying to find a good spot for a second pair of speakers but other than the kickplates, there really are not any good spots for some small two ways other than the door and I simply don't want to cut out my door panels.

    And yes (thanks though) on the routing of speaker cables away from the amp cable, I've done a few stereo installs myself.

    I have pegged the clock and lighter circuit for the constant feed, since there is only about 6 fuses, couldn't miss that one.

    And I tend to think you're dead on, the head unit should be a snap and probably the easiest part of the whole install.
     
  4. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,734
    Location:
    California
    My system needs a lot more power than yours, but originally I mounted the amps in the cubby behind the seats and used battery bulkhead connectors and power wires along the frame rails.
    Routing the speaker wires under the carpet close to the doors ensured that they would not be damaged by being stepped on.
     
  5. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,957
    I think the possibility for getting the speaker wires stepped on is pretty much eliminated since they'll be less than a couple of feet from the amp with it under the seat.
     
  6. Rancherous

    Rancherous Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Max the RCA cables you are going to need a set from the rear of your head unit to your amp. You said speaker wires just clearing it up if you meant RCAs.
     
  7. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,957
    Yes, low level RCA out from the HU to the amp, those will be going right down the hump to the amp. Speaker wires go from the amp to the speakers respectively. It's a 2 channel amp so there's only one set of L/R wires. I'll also be cleaning up the seat tracks and the retractor spring with the seat out.
     
  8. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

    Messages:
    808
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    You should like that stereo.

    I have one in the 66 Elky and it is soooooo much better than
    the Custom AutoSound in the 59 Elky.

    Personally---I don't believe you will need an amp---small cabin--limited space.

    I don't have one in the Elky and the stereo is just fine without it.

    Recently bought one for the 65 Ranchero, but have not yet put it in.

    Have to say tho----al three of these cars have been completely rewired
    and the harnesses built for the stereos.

    I did prewire for an amp----doubt I will ever put one in----in both of the Elkys
    and ran the RCA cables along side of the tunnel on the passenger side, Speaker wiring (from head unit) went down the passenger side sill, and all of the power wiring went down the driver side sill.

    Speaker harness is part of the dash harness on the 59, but on the other two
    "one piece pickups" speaker harnesess are separate.

    Just thought I would let you know that the RetroSound in the 66 is plenty powerful enough without the amp enhancement -- and clear.
     
  9. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,957

    I could not find any good reviews for the Custom AutoSound units while I did find numerous decent reviews for the RetroSound HUs. I'm going with the amp since the JL speakers don't do too well with low power. The more power they have the better they sound, found this out the hard way and since I got a really good deal on the amp (like half price, same with the speakers), why not?
     
  10. eqshadimar

    eqshadimar In Overdrive

    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Austin - TX
    I saw your post in my thread about the same sort of thing. Do you have any pictures you can share? RetroSound does not list an install kit for the 1967 model year and I was wondering way that is.

    Thanks!
    Jeff
     

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