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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Time to pay it forward ... thanks to all those whose posts helped me get the job done right.

A brand new 2013 Ridgeline RTL should have a better sound system than a 160 watt 6-disc CD change ... and since I had done a stereo install in my previous vehicle (2005 Honda Pilot) I was confident I could handle this one as well.

For me, the most helpful post here in the ROC was this one:
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=45100
Anything that I haven't described or shown here ... is in that post.
FULL PROPS to @Razorback92 for his work.


The before ... still has the label on it (and it still does)


The materials ... I love Crutchfield. Such an awesome resource. Select your equipment, and they'll tell you what additional things you need (helpful if you didn't know you needed it!)

The most valuable tool I used in this entire process was a lighted pick up tool. I used this for pulling every single wire through a spot that I didn't want to have to take apart. You can see one here: http://tinyurl.com/pv2a4oo
The second most valuable was a telescoping magnetic pick up tool - very handy for when you drop the very last screw of the entire project into the backside of the dashboard. Yep. I did. http://tinyurl.com/n9s96a3

NOTE: For popping the dash off, first remove the tiny tab on the top of the steering column. Make sure the parking brake is set, and then push the ignition key down into that hole. This is the lock for the gear selector, or "Prindle" as my younger son always calls it (P-R-N-D-L)
While pushing down with the ignition key, move the gear selector all the way to the lowest position. Then it's out of your way.

Use a panel removal tool (or something as nondescript as a butter knife) to pop out the tabs on one side of the dash. Once you can get your fingers in behind it, you're home free. There are eight wire connections on the dash that you will have to remove before you can lift it up and out of your way.

I used Razorback92's post to figure out where to run the power line for the amplifier through the firewall, so use that link above for reference. His explanation and photos are top rate.


I eased into it with the left rear door. In this photo I haven't removed the handle yet. The plastic liner comes off very easily when the car is new ... I did not have to peel any adhesive off at all.



Right rear door, with the plastic liner still in place

Factory speaker on the left, replacement on the right

Any difference? Uh ... YEAH!!!


I used the brackets sent to my by Crutchfield as a template to mark where I had to drill holes for the new mounting screws.


Made a paper template for the spot where the speaker gets installed


After drilling the holes, I installed some Dynamat to size in that spot, then opened it up for the speaker to fit.



The mounting brackets that came with the speakers ... I busted them apart and took the nuts for use to attach the speakers to the mounting brackets Crutchfield sent me. Ultimately I had to go to Home Depot to get some machine screws that were about 1/2" longer, but the mounting worked perfectly.


New speaker installed, Dynamat had to be notched out as shown because the back of the door insert has a large plastic form that fits into that spot.


Old Tweeter, new tweeter, ... oh boy. What to do.

I really wasn't wild about the idea of cutting up the manufacturer mount to attach an aftermarket speaker, so I found a different way around it.
I used my power sander to sand down one side of the speaker mount for the new tweeters, and then inverted it and attached it on the back side of the manufacturer grill. I used electrical tape to hold the tweeter in place, then slid the speaker mount over that - and it was so snug nothing is moving.



Back seat removed, revealing the box holding the factory "subwoofer" ...
Wasn't long after removing this that I realized my plans for the subwoofer were not going to work. I have my own woodshop and could easily have built a custom subwoofer box to fit, but that became a function of time. I wasn't willing to leave this project unfinished for the time it would take to get that done (I work 1 full time and 2 part time jobs, so this project could not linger unfinished).

I stole an idea from another great post here - putting the antenna behind the cyclops brake light on the back of the cab.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=34647
I used the aforementioned lighted claw pick-up tool to effectively push the antenna wire into the cab, up above the roof liner. From there I could pop the liner down, reach and grab the wire, then pull it in and run it over to the side, down behind the pillar cover, and along the floor on the passenger side, bringing it up into the dashboard behind the glove box.

I posted a question last weekend in another thread about what to do as far as the driver's door -
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=68306
All the wiring for that door is in a Schoshe harness, and I wasn't sure what to do. After getting a few responses, and thinking about it, the first thing I did was cave to practicality - and take the driver's door off. It wasn't hard; five bolts and you're there.


With things exposed, it was much easier to get access through the rubber grommet, and get two speaker wires run through from the car's interior (one for the door speaker, one to attach the tweeter to that speaker).



After looking at the connections in the clips, I was able to figure out where I could go through these harnesses rather than try to go around them, or drill other holes in the door. So that's what I tried.


On the door side, I drilled holes through the plastic harness at the points where I have arrows showing on this photo. I did not contact any of the existing connections, and was abie to get the speaker wires run directly through into the door.
If you are using small enough gauge wire, you should be able to run both wires (speaker and tweeter) through the spot where the black arrow is.
NOTE: Where the white arrow is, that's actually where the bottom clip for the harness locks in place. You probably should try to run a wire through there. I figured that out after the fact, and just tried to force it back into place rather than start over. Fortunately, I got away with it, and everything fit back together properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
For the subwoofer ... it occurred to me about the third morning of my work that I had been planning to put the amp under the back seat and the subwoofer in the manufacturer location ... so I should just switch those, and I'd ultimately be happier. So I shipped back the subwoofer I had bought, and ordered a JL Audio Stealthbox to match my interior. Only downside is you have to drill a hole through the floor of your truck (and in my case the utility mat I had also bought), but doing so is critical to the subwoofer working properly (and not shaking itself to pieces). Installation was not complicated, and got done in less than an hour. The subwoofer blends nicely into the interior. All I have given up is about a third of my under-seat storage space in the back.


I have never had any trouble figuring out a wiring harness; this time wasn't any different. The trick for me is to just take it one step at a time. Many times I have to take a crimp cap off so I could add another wire, but crimp caps are cheap.
Since my Ridgeline's backup camera screen is in my rear view mirror, and that's good enough for me, I didn't mess with those connections.
I did install (and I HIGHLY recommend) the PAC SWI-RC universal interface for the steering wheel.
http://www.pac-audio.com/productDeta...&CategoryID=29
Their Website will give you specific connection instructions for your vehicle, and as long as you follow those it is a piece of cake. You can then control the steering wheel buttons to function as you would like. For me - I prefer to use the "Mode" button for mute, as it gives me a quick way to cut the volume down (since I do not have a dial on this head unit). I also use the Channel +/- toggle for Track Up and Track Down. Anytime I am using something other than my iPod, I am perfectly happy to use the head unit touchscreen or the remote that comes with it.





I still need to fine tune the audio, which I will take my time doing to make sure I optimize the sound for the vehicle. But the project is done now, save for that last step. Everything working well. Before my Ridgeline rolled over 300 miles, I had customized the sound system to a much more satisfactory level.

Note: a 500 watt subwoofer is an excessively large amount of thump!! I forgot to take into account that my Ridgeline's passenger compartment is not as large as the one in my Pilot (and the subwoofer in the Pilot is at the very rear of the vehicle).

I also built a notebook with all of the information I used for the process - separate tab for each component, and I included notes and any pertinent information I used in the process (including the notes from here in the ROC).


So there you have it. If you're reading this and wondering whether or not you could do it - you can. If you couldn't, you would not have gotten this far. It's not a difficult job, but from start to finish it is complicated. Having a resource like the ROC here is invaluable.

Oh yeah ... some brand new factory parts for sale ...

 

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Thank you so much, OP. This is by far one of the best posts here. Not because you did it and cared to post for others with pictures, what is very time taking. You also cared to read others posts and be grateful for their input.
This is what call comradery.
Of course, you ruined my day. I never realized, front door speakers are such a dinky little thing. OK, dual Polks it is.
I'll also toss my few pennies into this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess I could have posted what I installed ...
And thanks for your kind words. I drew a lot from others' experiences here, so it is only fair to pass mine along as well. :-D

Kenwood Excelon DNX890HD receiver
Alpine PDX-V9 Amplifier (4x100 + 1x500)
Alpine SPS-610C 80 watt speakers (all four doors + two tweeters)
JL Audio 10" Stealthbox
SiriusXM V200 Vehicle Tuner
Kenwood KCA-iP202 USB Direct Connection Cable
Metra Antenna Works HOnda Vehicle Antenna Adapter Cable
EFX 4 Gauge Single Amplifier Wiring Kit
TSpec V10-RCA-202 20' Quad Shield RCA Cables
PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel User Interface
Dynamat Extreme
Microbypass (go to microbypass.com; this bypasses the head unit's video lock for when the car is in gear)
 

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Hey, I just installed POLK speakers into the front doors. I used Scoche 6.5 inch Honda speaker baffle. They are like ten bucks on Amazon

And look exactly like what you decided to break into pieces.
How come? Mine fit right in, speaker fit right in, entire install was a snap with them. Why did you have to cut yours?

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Those aren't like the ones I broke apart. The best photo I've found where you can clearly see those brackets (other than the one of me breaking them up) is here:


The ones I busted up came with the Alpine speakers, but would not have worked on the install. They didn't have the clips for fitting the bracket on to the door, and if I had tried to use them for a flush mount (drilling holes in the door for the brackets, much like I did anyway with what I used) then the speaker would have been sitting too deep in the door well. I decided just to go with the brackets that Crutchfield had told me I needed to use ... they've never steered me wrong, and with this particular install every single piece went perfectly, start to finish.

In fact - the brackets that you used were the exact ones that Crutchfield sent me. :-D
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_142SAHR6/Scosche-SAHR6-06-Up-Honda-Ridgeline-Frnt-Dr-Spkr-Brckt.html
 

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Well, yeah, except that they are, as usual, more expensive. Yes, Alpine ones won't work.
I see. Now I understand where the confusion came from. So you DID use Scoche brackets.

Oh, and tell no one. I am likely to put OEM speakers back. I had better sound with them, than with those Polks I installed. Surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you replace the head unit?
The factory head unit only puts out 160 watts of power total - so with the OEM speakers it probably sounds okay, but if you install some high quality aftermarket speakers you might not get the sound you were looking for.

The speakers I put in the four doors were each rated for 80 watts, up to a maximum of 240 watts, and the subwoofer is rated for 500 watts. I have a 900 watt amplifier, so the sound quality is excellent. However, I have to think that if I were still using the original head unit, the sound would be awfully thin.

I don't know any of this for a fact - I'm just guessing. If it were my system, that's what I would look at first.

Good luck.
 

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I am yet to find out, but I am suspect, OEM speakers are 2 ohm and Polks are 4 ohm. This pretty much kills OEM HU for their use.
Yes, I do not have additional 4 channel amp to drive those speakers and rather not overtax the system by adding 2nd amp.
Truly, it is likely not fair to blame Polks when run by OEM HU. But for my purpose, I was much happier with OEM speakers than the way it is now.
 

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You know, I am selling my Polks. I pulled them out and reinstalled OEM ones. Polks had a little bit more punch, it's easily felt by keeping hand next to door grill. But that annoying bzzzzz is gone.
I actually found decent JBLs 2 Ohm, same size, with adjustable gain and 3 in 1 speakers - sub, tweeter and super tweeter - for less than Polks are. I have gut feeling, they will be much better fitment than 4 Ohm Polks.
 
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