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Discussion Starter #1
Been researching and discussing options in many threads on many forums but am putting a stake in the ground to centralize my build thread in this one place.

I've got a 2013 500E. While there are three different audio systems in the 2013 MY 500 cars, there was only one choice for the 500E -- the so called "Alpine" system.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The amp in the trunk appears to be a moderately powered, possibly EQ-ed unit. On the one hand, it's annoying the it uses two obscure plugs to connect all the inputs and outputs. On the other hand, it's possible one could find some plugs that allow one to hijack the OEM connections without any splicing.

The amp:



The connections close up, while still connected to the amp.



And unplugged, the large one:



and the small one:



And then close ups of the wiring.



and the reverse side



and the other one



and its back side

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Large Plug -- Power and Line Level Signals from the Headunit

I have NOT tested this, but the large plug (which has the relatively larger black and red wires on the ends) appears to be the "source signals" in addition to power.


Another forum member has indicated that:

RED on the left is the power to the amp.

BLACK on the right is the ground wire.

RED/YELLOW next to the BLACK wire on the right is REMOTE turn on/off.

ORANGE wires are for the LEFT REAR speakers (this is the line level output from the headunit) -- Gray Strip+ & Blue Strip-

GREEN wires are for the RIGH REAR speakers (this is the the line level output from the headunit) -- White Stripe+ & Red Strip-


TBD:

YELLOW WIRES (1 gray stripe, 1 green stripe)
PURPLE WIRES (1 white stripe, 1 ?)
BROWN WIRES (1 yellow stripe, 1 ?)
WHITE WIRES (1 green stripe, 1 blue stripe)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The SMALL Plug -- output to the speakers

The smaller plug appears to be the output to the speakers.



I need to test these, but one might GUESS that:

ORANGE pair is left rear
GREEN pair is right rear
PURPLE & YELLOW are the front speakers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The smaller plug appears to be the output to the speakers.



I need to test these, but one might GUESS that:

ORANGE pair is left rear
GREEN pair is right rear
PURPLE & YELLOW are the front speakers
Another member has determined:

Purple / Orange is Front Right +
Purple / Black is Front Right -
Yellow Front is Left +
Yellow / Red is Front Left -
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Benefit from the learning of others:

I'm not sure if this ever got posted in the forum, but here are the wiring colors/signals for the stock Alpine stereo:


*Head-Unit connector, speaker-level outputs to amp in trunk:
Orange/brown = left rear positive
Orange/blue = left rear negative
Yellow/gray = left front positive
Yellow/green = left front negative
Purple = right front positive
Purple/white = right front negative
Green/red = right rear positive
Green/white = right rear negative


*Wiring in trunk:
**Big Connector with #1-12 on top row and 13-22 on bottom row:
1, Ground
2, blank
3, Red/yellow = remote turn on
4, Orange/brown = LR+
5, Green/red = RR+
6, Yellow/gray = LF+
7, Purple = RF+
8, Brown/yellow RF+ tweeter output
9, White/green = LF+ tweeter output
10, blank
11, blank
12, +12VDC Power
13, blank
14, blank
15, Orange/blue = LR-
16, Green/white = RR-
17, Yellow/green = LF-
18, Purple/white = RF-
19, Brown/red = RF- tweeter output
20, White/blue = LF- tweeter output
21, blank
22, blank


**Little connector, pin # 1-8 top row, 9-16 bottom row. Amplifier speaker outputs [except tweeters]
1, blank
2, blank
3, Gray/white = Subwoofer for Beats option [n/c on non-Beats]
4, Green = Right Rear
5, Orange/black = Left Rear
6, Green/gray = Subwoofer for Beats
7, Purple/orange = Right Front mid-bass
8, Yellow = Left Front mid-bass
9, blank
10, blank
11, Green/white = Subwoofer for Beats
12, Green/black = Right Rear
13, Orange = Left Rear
14, Gray/brown = Subwoofer for Beats
15, Purple/black = Right Front mid-bass
16, Yellow/red = Left Front mid-bass


FYI, I didn't trace the polarity of the stock amp outputs. Since I replaced all the hardware, I re-used the wiring and assigned the top output row as positive and bottom output row as negative. As far as I can tell, the subwoofer outputs are not populated or programmed on the non-Beats amplifier, as they have no signal or amplified output.


I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have NOT tested this, but the large plug (which has the relatively larger black and red wires on the ends) appears to be the "source signals" in addition to power.


Another forum member has indicated that:

RED on the left is the power to the amp.

BLACK on the right is the ground wire.

RED/YELLOW next to the BLACK wire on the right is REMOTE turn on/off.

ORANGE wires are for the LEFT REAR speakers (this is the line level output from the headunit) -- Gray Strip+ & Blue Strip-

GREEN wires are for the RIGH REAR speakers (this is the the line level output from the headunit) -- White Stripe+ & Red Strip-


TBD:

YELLOW WIRES (1 gray stripe, 1 green stripe)
PURPLE WIRES (1 white stripe, 1 ?)
BROWN WIRES (1 yellow stripe, 1 ?)
WHITE WIRES (1 green stripe, 1 blue stripe)
CORRECTIONS

Since I cannot edit the original post, please note that the signals from the head unit are not line level, they are speaker level. Many amps you'd choose will be fine with that but make sure the one you choose is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Putting the photos up as attachments in case the URL's break in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Removing the a pillars for tweeter replacement:

Removal of the A-pillar trim is pretty straight-forward:

1. Starting at top edge, carefully pry out pillar trim panel to release clip. (Headliner is inserted into slot in pillar trim panel - you kind of have to push it up out of the way as you go)
2. Push down on end of pillar trim tether to release, then push tether up to remove
3. Lean trim towards center of dash, and pry tweeter out of clips. Disconnect harness, and remove tweeter

View attachment 3701 View attachment 3702

I actually ended up *NOT* replacing the factory tweeter. It appears to be roughly a 1" tweeter, but it's got an integrated "ring" on it that lets it snap into the plastic fingers on the trim piece. Since I didn't have a way to remove that little "ring" to use it with another tweeter, I decided to take a bit of a chance:

Tweeters don't actually require all that much power to drive them. As a matter of fact, most tweeters, if properly crossed over, can be run with rather low wattage - even if they are rated for high wattage. So I decided to give re-using them a try!

Since I'd already taken the trim off, I could now see that the tweeters' wiring actually went to the BOSE harness and connected right to the amplifier. I ran 18-gauge wire from the amplifier to the wiring harness directly. Yes, I know this is in the back of the car... but knowing that BOSE typically uses very low impedance drivers, I figured a little extra impedance in the wire wouldn't hurt. I didn't see any type of crossover on them, so I made a rather simple 6db crossover using a 30uF capacitor connected to the positive feed. I tinned the ends of the wire to make them stiff, and inserted the wires into the harness where the tweeter wires connected.

View attachment 3703
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Replacing the read panel speakers:

This step was quite a bear, and easily took the most time in the entire process. It's not horribly difficult, (once you know what to do), but there are so many steps involved and such limited space in which to work that it ended up being the least enjoyable part of the process.

I've posted some of this before, but now I have pictures to back it up. ;)
1. Remove center push pin clip and Phillips screw on door scuff panel. Pry panel up to release clips & remove.
2. Remove 2x Phillips screws exposed by removal of scuff panel.
3. Remove 2x 16mm bolts below front edge of rear seat bottom cushion. Lift up to remove seat cushion.
View attachment 3689
4. Pry out front seat belt lower anchor trim cover to remove. I believe that you could also insert 2 small screwdrivers into the holes on the side to release it, but I opted to leave it fastened.
5. Remove Torx T-50 bolt securing rear seat belt lower anchor to body.
6. Fold both seats down. Remove 2x 16mm bolts on each side holding seat back to car body. Remove 1x 13mm bolt from bracket in between seat backs. Lift bracket upward, then lift out and remove seat backs.
7. Start at lower edge of B pillar, and pull outward to release clips. Continue up through seat belt trim to roof. Pull downward along roof to middle of backseat window, then remove seat belt trim. **BE CAREFUL when removing! The green clips that hold the panel in place are quite flimsy, and break easily!!
View attachment 3690
8. Remove Torx T-10 screw and 1 center push pin clip exposed by removal of seat belt trim
View attachment 3691
9. Pull slightly forward on friction clip securing rear ledge to rear seat belt trim on C pillar to remove clip. Carefully pry downward and towards the rear of the vehicle, and pull to remove 2 green clips. Feed rear seat belt through and remove trim. **AGAIN: Be careful with flimsy green clips!
View attachment 3692 View attachment 3693
10. Remove push pin clip exposed by removal of C pillar trim.
11. Starting where B pillar trim was removed, pry along top edge of rear panel to release clips holding panel in place.
12. Pull the panel straight out towards center of car.
13. On driver's side, unclip power wires from trunk light - skip step on passenger side
14. Panel may now be rotated/folded out of the way - front seat belt still attached through trim.
15. You can now drill through rivets securing speaker to factory bracket.

Once I got the panel off, you could see the strangeness that was the BOSE rear speaker. It looked to be about a 3" driver, mounted in a large plastic adapter ring to a 6.5" bracket. The wires running to it were absolutely tiny - no chance of re-using them even if I wanted to! They are attached in the back with a clip similar to the one on the front speaker - a little press with the screwdriver and they came right off.
View attachment 3694 View attachment 3695 View attachment 3696

I drilled the 4 small rivets holding the adapter ring to the 6.5" bracket, and was able to remove the whole assembly. DO NOT drill out or remove the 3 silver rivets to the 6.5" bracket! (At least, if you intend on using that bracket)

I chose the Kicker 11DS652 6.75" component speakers for the rear panels. Even though they say 6.75", the woofer fit perfectly in the factory bracket. I chose to run the separate tweeter up along the B Pillar, and mount it with double-sided tape right below where the seat belt trim panel meets the roof liner. Just pay attention to where the rear panel's clips connect back to the car - have to make sure not to run your wires through a hole that is already being used! I used double-sided tape to mount the crossover at the bottom of the cavity where the speaker is, lined the cavity with some sound-insulating material, ran some new 16 gauge wire to the amp, and was then able to start putting everything back together!

View attachment 3697
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Replacing the door speakers:

Contrary to some people's suggestion, I started with the window UP and kept it that way for the whole project. It worked fine for me.

First, remove the panels. troy_audi0 has done an excellent job with his post, so I'll just add my simple notes:
1. Insert small screwdriver between door handle and trim ring. Apply light pressure against door handle - bottom part of trim ring will pop out. Lightly run screwdriver along top of ring to release.
View attachment 3682
2. Remove 5mm hex screw exposed by trim ring removal
3. Using small screwdriver, apply light pressure to top edge of cover panel in the door's armrest handle. Cover will swing down, exposing 2 more 5mm hex screws. Remove them.
4. Remove 2 screw covers on rear edge of door panel, and then remove the 2x Phillips screws exposed by cover removal.
5. Pull gently outward on bottom of door panel, starting from the back and working foward to release retaining clips.
6. Door panel will swing out when all clips are released. Lift upward to remove from window sill.
View attachment 3683
7. Use small screwdriver to push plastic retaining clip straight out from the rod connecting to the door handle. Lift rod from pivot hole.
8. Use small screwdriver to press tab release holding rod guide from door panel.
9. On driver's side, use small screwdriver to press release clip from the wiring to the power mirror controls. Remove wire harness.
10. Door panel is now free. Remove it.
11. Use small screwdriver to release wire harness from top of speaker assembly. Harness should come off easily if the release is properly positioned.
View attachment 3684 View attachment 3685
12. Door speakers are now exposed. Drill out 3x rivets holding the mounting bracket to the door using 1/4" drill bit. (WARNING: These rivets are in tight - be prepared to sacrifice the existing bracket while drilling them out!)
13. Speakers can now be removed.

You can see that the BOSE door speaker looks a little "beefier" than the non-BOSE. I've posted pics of the BOSE and the Kicker that's replacing it side-by-side... you can see that the BOSE may *look* beefy, but it's really pretty wimpy compared to the Kicker.
View attachment 3686 View attachment 3687

I chose the Kicker 11DS60 6.5" speakers for the door. Since I got my Kickers from Crutchfield, they included these brackets free to make them fit the Fiat. You could make something, but these worked like a charm and fit just right. The hardest part (besides drilling out the old rivets) was having to tear through the cheap foam insulator on the door and reach behind the speakers to hold the nuts in place while tightening them from the front. The shape of the panel is such that you just can't use the included speed nuts.
View attachment 3688

I ran new 16 gauge wire to each of these speakers, lined the door with some sound insulating material, tightened everything up, and then put the door panel back on. The door panel may seem a bit intimidating, but it's actually the easiest step in the whole process. The whole door panel can be easily removed in just a few minutes, once you understand how to remove the door handle's trim piece. Just be careful not to apply too much pressure, or the little hook on the front of the trim ring may snap off. (seems pretty flimsy)
 

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Has anybody figured out how to add a powered subwoofer to the system? I know this research helps, but I need the subs for dummies version.
 

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One thing to be careful of when installing a more powerful sound system in the 500e is overdrawing the DC/DC converter. I believe the DC/DC converter is only rated for a few kW so if you are running your HVAC, lights, wipers etc AND your powerful stereo you actually may run the risk of draining your 12V system. Just food for thought...
 

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One thing to be careful of when installing a more powerful sound system in the 500e is overdrawing the DC/DC converter. I believe the DC/DC converter is only rated for a few kW so if you are running your HVAC, lights, wipers etc AND your powerful stereo you actually may run the risk of draining your 12V system. Just food for thought...
New to the forum but have been reading the threads on upgrading stereo. I read a thread on another site of a user easily installing a 50w Bazooka Tube by tapping into the input wires on the amp. Does anyone have experience with how much power is too much power on the 12v battery system? Would the 100w Bazooka Tube be too much? 50w all good under normal use?

Thanks in advance!
 
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