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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know there are a million posts on stereo system installs, but I thought I’d make it a million and one for good measure. While I was installing all of this I lived on this forum looking at what people had done with their system install and it was immensely informative so I wanted to post this in hope I can provide something in turn for someone in the future.

I won’t spend a lot of space going over install details that other people have already covered extensively. If you have any question about how or why I did something just ask. I’ll just mention what I did and expand where I couldn’t find much info on the forum myself.

First and foremost, the breakdown of equipment:

This install is on a 2013 RTS with no factory nav.
Head unit: Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX
Steering wheel control adapter: iDatalink Maestro SW ADS-MSW
Antenna adapter: Scosche HAAB
Trim Bezel kit: Metra 95-7870G
Wire harness adapter: Scosche HA11B
Amp: a/d/s P440
Sound deadening material: Sounddeadenershowdown.com
Speakers (front): Boston Acoustics proSeries 6.5
Speakers (rear): Stock
Speaker ring adapter: Scosche SAHR6
Subwoofer: Pioneer TS-SW2502S4
Sub enclosure: homemade
RCA cable: Knukonceptz krystal kable
Power/GND: Knukonceptz 8 ga.
Speaker wire: Phoenix Gold 16 ga.
Battery Terminal connector: Knukoncpetz Bassik
USB/AUX jack: Axxess AX-USB-35EXT

• Sound proofing
When I first set out on designing this system I debated about whether to install any soundproofing material at all. I’ve done a number of auto stereo system installs in my day and I’ve never done anything other than some vibration damper here and there. In the end, I figured that I’m going to have the door panels off and back seat removed, so why not do something there.
I used the materials that Don Sambrook at sounddeadenershowdown.com sells. He’s incredibly informative and has a lot of actual data testing his products as well as data on other products on the market. He sells everything you need for a thorough sound deadening install. I used the CLD tiles installed at the recommended 25% coverage, mass loaded vinyl to block airborne sound and closed cell foam for decoupling. Honda already has the impact bars in the door decoupled with extruded butyl rope and acoustic absorbing material in the doors, so no need to add more.
My goal here really was to try and make the truck quieter, to the extent that that was possible, not just damp panel vibrations. Some of my motivation here was to make the truck quieter on the outside too. Nothing is more annoying to me than when I pull up next to a car and can hear their stereo as if I were in their car, and all their windows are up.
I have to say, even just doing the doors and back wall, this turned out to be the most cumbersome part of the whole install. It was *very* tedious and time consuming to get the material trimmed perfectly and to fit in the door so the panels would snap back on properly. Needless to say, I broke more door panel clips than I care to admit.

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CLD tiles for panel resonance on inner and outer door panels

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Honda already has extruded butyl rope between the impact bar and the outer door skin. This is a bar that goes across the middle of the outer skin of the doors. You want to make sure there is decoupling material between the bar and the door to prevent rattling.

P1040238.jpg
Rear passenger door with closed cell foam behind the mass loaded vinyl sheet

• Running cables
A lot has been said on where and how to run cables. The two difficult areas to run cables, imo, were the driver side door speaker wire and the battery cable, so I’ll talk mostly about those. I ran power, remote turn on and driver side speaker wire to the amp along the driver’s side under the sill plate, through the pillar and under the rear sill plate to the amp behind the back seat. (Amp is installed on drivers side, behind the back seat).
The passenger side speakers took the same path along the passenger side and then behind the rear seat. I ran the RCA cables down the middle, on the passenger side of the center console, underneath the passenger seat.
I originally had the RCA cables running down the driver’s side, because that was the easiest and seemingly shortest route from the head unit to the amp. Doing that though, I had some noise issues with engine whine that I ultimately debugged to the location of the crossover in the driver’s side kick panel. As a general rule you don’t want to run the RCA along with the power cable to the amp, and I knew I was going against that so I pulled the rca’s and decided to do it properly and run them down the middle. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought to run them there, and I should have just done that in the first place.
There is a lot written up on how to get the speaker wire through the driver’s side door. My 2013 RTS configuration was slightly different from what I read in others posts. Check out the pics. I had an extra white bracket that I couldn’t drill a hole into and made running the speaker cable really tight.
As for the battery cable, I ran it through the same grommet opening that most people used, however it looked like most people just popped it through the rubber boot under the hood. That’s fine as long as you tape it up real good after you’re done, but I got anal and didn’t want to cut the boot. So it took me a lot of time and finesse to fish a coat hanger through the boot without damaging it.

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Running the battery cable through the rubber boot on the drivers side firewall, seen under the hood.

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The grommet opening on the firewall on the driver’s side behind and to the left of the brake pedal, under the dash.

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With the rear seat removed…you can see the power (red), driver’s side speaker (blue) and RTO (yellow) cables run in the rear divers side sill plates. The RCA cable was run just in front of the seat under the carpet and back to the amp (in the upper left in pic)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
P1040266.jpg
Driver’s side wire harness—you need to fish the speaker wire through this rubber boot. Some people put their crossovers in the door, which works well if you’re going to mount your tweeters on the door too, but I was putting mine in the stock location. I would not have wanted to run two speaker cables through here, although I’ve read that people have done it.

P1040267.jpg
In this pic, the door is on the left side, the connector would connect into the white plastic socket harness on the door. This is where it seemed like mine was a little different from other pics I’d seen. Mine had the extra white harness clip (with the pointy crown on top) that the rubber boot fit over and then clipped into the harness socket. As with most people, I drilled a hole in the bottom left corner of the white socket to fish the speaker cable through.

P1040268.jpg
What it (driver’s side) looks like put back together.


• Installing speakers
I put 6.5” speakers in the stock location in the front doors and the tweeters in the stock location in the dash. Driver’s crossover is under the driver’s seat; Passenger crossover is under the dash just above the kick panel. I had the driver’s crossover under the dash too, but I had some noise coupling issues (which really surprised me) and decided to move it.

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The BA’s next to the stock speaker. It’s always funny to see this comparison to stock speakers.


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I fashioned a small bracket to hold the tweeters in place in the stock location. With a dab of hotglue to hold the metal bracket to the plastic, they fit very nicely.

P1040350.jpg
6.5” woofers installed in place
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
P1040352.jpg
Driver’s side door with sound proofing


• Installing amplifier
Removing the rear seat is 8 or 9 bolts and goes pretty quickly. You have to lift the whole seat up and out. Probably best to do with 2 people, but one fit person can manage it. Just take care not to scratch or ding anything taking it out of the truck.
Amp install was straightforward. I installed it behind the back seat on the driver’s side. I mounted it to a piece of plywood which was bolted to the back wall with three bolts.

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Behind the rear seat with black soundproofing removed. Stock sub is the black box top center.

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Behind the rear seat with everything in place


• Installing headunit
Taking the dash trim out and removing the stock head unit is pretty simple and well documented on the forum and on youtube.

P1040297.jpg
The stock head unit about to come out for good.

I spent a lot of time trying to find a pinout that matched the connectors I had, but I couldn’t find one. Maybe the connectors changed through the model years, and different models. Anyway, here’s what I found…. I didn’t connect 9, 10 and 24 on the 24 pin harness.

24-pin Head Unit Harness on Car
1 Black Ground
2 Brown w/White stripe Left R +
3 Red w/Yellow stripe Left R -
4 N/C
5 N/C
6 Red w/Blue stripe Right R +
7 Yellow Right R -
8 Brown SWC ground
9 Red w/White stripe Dimmer?
10 Lt. Blue K line?
11 N/C
12 Red Illumination
13 White +12v Battery
14 Lt. Green Left F +
15 Purple Left F -
16 N/C
17 N/C
18 Dk. Blue Right F +
19 Red Right F -
20 N/C
21 Green w/Red stripe Steering Wheel Control
22 N/C
23 Yellow w/Red stripe IGN/Switched Battery
24 Red w/Black stripe Illumination?


14-pin Head Unit Harness on car
1 Green w/Red stripe Sub -
2 N/C
3 N/C
4 N/C
5 Blue Aux GND
6 Red S GND
7 White L CH
8 Yellow w/Black stripe Sub +
9 N/C
10 N/C
11 N/C
12 Yellow AUX Det
13 Gray AUX Ground Shield
14 Brown R CH

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The 24-pin harness on the headunit. Pin 1 is the black wire in the lower left of this pic.

P1040303.jpg
This is the other side of the same harness. Pin 24 is the red/black wire in the lower left.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
P1040304.jpg
This is the 14-pin harness going to the head unit. Pin 1 is the green/red in the lower left.

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Same 14-pin harness, pin 14 is in the lower left

The only two connections that were a little tricky were the reverse signal and car speed wire. With the help of some posts by htaddict it was a lot easier to get those hooked up.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18624

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I have the blue wire wrapped around the white/red speed control wire in this pic. It’s located in the passenger side kickpanel. That’s not how I connected it obviously; I just wrapped it like that so I wouldn’t lose the wire after I identified it.

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The green wire sticking out in the bundle (center) in this pic is the reverse signal. The loose one to the left of the bundle of wires is the one I ran to connect to it. It’s in the driver side kick panel behind the fuse box.

P1040346.jpg

I tired both the scosche and the metra trim bezel for the head unit and found I liked the metra much better. It matched the surrounding trim better and was a cleaner look with no gaps. See pics in posts below.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
o Microphone

P1040587.jpg
 I mounted the mic for the hands free function just above the rear view mirror.

P1040403.jpg
I ran the cable for the mic and rear camera signal together inside the driver side of the dash and up the A pillar on the driver side and under the headliner over to the rear view mirror.

o GPS antenna
 I saw htaddict also had ordered the small Honda OEM bracket for the OEM GPS antenna and that seemed like a great idea to me. It was pretty easy to install, looks real clean and gets great reception. I didn’t have the factory nav, so my truck has no antenna and no bracket to hold the antenna, so I had to order it from Honda. The part number is 39836-SJC-A01 and it costs around $10-12. There’s a lot of room in the dash for the antenna so you don’t need to use this bracket if you don’t want, I just thought for $10 I’d do it the way Honda did it.

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The GPS antenna on the OEM mounting bracket directly behind the speedometer.


o Tapping rear camera signal
 Since I had a nice big 7” screen I was adding I wanted the rear camera view to show up on it too. I didn’t see much on this topic so I fumbled around with this trying to see where the video signal was routed to get to the rear view mirro. I took the rear view mirror apart to find out how the signal came in and what format it was. It turns out that I was able to tap the camera signal and ground at the mirror and ran it with the mic cable inside the headliner and down the driver’s side a pillar and inside the dash. I really searched to try and find a pinout and couldn’t find one, but ultimately it was pretty easy to figure out. There are only two signals you need, the video signal and ground. I made my own cable and put an RCA connector on one end to connect to the video input of the head unit and pin connectors on the other end. It was a pretty crude way of connecting the wires to the rear view mirror connector—the pins I used were just small enough that I was able to slip them into the top of the connector next to the wires that were already there.
 There are 12 spaces on the connector and only 7 wires. I don’t know what all the wires are but I know that pin 1 (black wire) is ground and pin 2 (white wire) is the video signal.

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The rear camera connector to the rear view mirror

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You can see the wire I added going into the back of the rear view mirror.

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Why did I want the image on both screens, you ask. The same reason George Mallory climbed Mt. Everest....because it was there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
o USB/AUX connector
 I debated awhile about what to do with these. I really wanted an accessible USB connector and, even though I don’t ever use it, I wanted to retain an AUX jack. Originally I made a new AUX cable to run from the stock connector over the glove box to the head unit, but I thought it would be a lot cleaner and efficient to have both connectors in the same place. So I thought of three possibilities:
Rig up a slot for the USB connector in the AUX jack stock location (that seems like a lot of work and I’d have to lean across the car to get to it);
Fit something into the small compartment just below the head unit (I almost went this route but I hated having to give up this little compartment);
Or use one of the blank panels just above the ‘not an ashtray’ and in between the power sockets.
Ultimately I decided to use one of the blank panels. On my model, all three panels were open for use.

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The back side of the blank panels in between the power sockets I used for the usb/aux connector

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The blank panel after I cut a hole in it. I used a dremel to cut the hole, then an exacto knife for some slight trimming, then I sanded the edges smooth.

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The USB/AUX jack installed. The part I used was Axxess AX-USB-35EXT.

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o Steering wheel control adapter
The Steering wheel control adapter wasn’t too complicated. I went with the iDatalink Maestro SW ADS-MSW. You can input your car on the idatalink website and it tells you exactly what wires to connect to what, however a couple notes here. The wire colors on their website are correct, but the pin numbers in the picture of the 24-pin connector are wrong. In the picture A5 is pin 8 and A16 is pin 21 on the harness. Just make sure you connect the control signal to the green w red stripe and the ground to the brown wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
• Sub box construction
There are a lot of really informative posts on the sub box construction. I suggest going through all of them before designing your box.

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Sub box during construction

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The new sub box next to the stock one

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Finished sub box. It didn't occur to me that 'mocha black' paint actually meant brown. I don't know why they don't just call it brown. I was expecting it to be more black. Doesn't matter though, its behind the seat.
I have the sub recessed below the face of the box attached to another piece of MDF behind the front face piece.

• Sub install
I put the sub in the stock location, as I didn't want to give up any of my under seat storage space. The outside dimensions of my new box are 12" tall, 23" wide, 4"top/5.5"bottom depth. I used 1/2" MDF which yields about 0.5cuft inside volume. I also stuffed it with polyfill.
There aren’t a lot of options for a shallow mount sub (which is a necessity behind the seat), and I went with the Pioneer TS-SW2502S4.
The sub sounds awesome, but I do have the problem that some have highlighted. When the volume is up quite high and there strong bass content, the excursion of the sub hits the metal bar on the back seat. I don’t know what else to do about this other than cut the metal bar off, which some have done without issue, or make a narrower box. At this point I don't really want to do either, and I don't really listen at the volumes where it becomes a problem, so I'm going to leave it as is.
I soundproofed the back wall with damper tiles, mass loaded vinyl, and close cell foam and I put the stock black sound proofing back in. I cut holes in that around the amp and the sub.

P1040468.jpg


The best part of this whole install is getting to listen to it. The sound is improved about a hundred orders of magnitude, especially in the high and low end frequencies. You just don't realize how weak the sub and tweeters are until you replace them.
I probably spent about 6 or 7 weekends working on this, in between family duties and such. Everyday now, when I'm stuck in god awful traffic for what feels like eternity, I recognize that it was well worth the time and expense.

Acknowledgements
As I said at the start, this forum was so immensely helpful, especially posts by Eagle8, Razorback92, laserguy, jgsouthard, htaddict, evltwn, hofffam, and many others. Many thanks to all of you and I hope this post gives other some ideas on upgrading the stock stereo system.
If you want to see more pics or more info on something in particular, just let me know.
 

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yh,

I waited until you finished your many post so as not to break up a great POST!

I really enjoy your picture in rear view mirror. Functional and looks OEM. What brand is the mirror?
 

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A lot of work done on the install, I am sure, that MLV I bet took time to install and and get the panels to fit properly. Did you do both front and rear doors?


Is your sub box about 24" long?

I figured that in order to get 1/2 cf of volume not only 1/2" MDF will be needed but, at least a 2 ft long box if it it fits back there.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The rearview mirror is the stock Honda mirror. The 2013 without the nav unit has the back up camera screen in the rearview mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
laserguy,
Yeah, I did both front and rear doors. You can really notice a difference in how heavy they are and how they close.

The sub box is 23" wide.
I updated the dimensions in my original post to make it more clear.
 

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Impressive job! The pictures should in a "How to Do It Right" book.
 

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laserguy,
Yeah, I did both front and rear doors. You can really notice a difference in how heavy they are and how they close.

The sub box is 23" wide.
I updated the dimensions in my original post to make it more clear.
Thanks for the info.

Don't you notice that the front doors are much heavier, and close much tighter and better than the rears?


I have a lot of Butyl deadener on my rears, sealed inner door openings with sheet metal screwed, and they still have minor issues closing tight and solid as compared to the fronts

Also did you close the inner door openings with sheet metal or other material or just laid closed cell foam and MLV over ?

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The front doors are definitely heavier, I guess just because they're a little bigger and have more material in them, but I don't sense that they close any better or tighter than the rears.
I did not close up the openings with sheet metal, just the CCF over the door. The MLV is held in place with heavy duty Velcro strips over the foam and once the panel goes on, the foam is pressed against the door pretty tightly.
 

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Thanks, it makes sense.

I expected my rears to match the fronts, they still close solid and tight due to the extra weight, no resonance when closing them, they just need to be pushed a bit harder while the fronts never miss just by letting them go passed the point where the weight just closes them

Any shots of the MLV on the rear wall? I had some much MLV that I got locally for $1.20 a foot I even put some in the rear seat cushions, and it helped a lot.


Another thing that was huge. The front window sail panels have some thinsulate or similar, but it does not help that much, there is a huge gap of air flow through the door panel and the area where those little panels go in and in between I simply put close cell foam on the door area with aluminum tape and filled that gap from that hole all the way up to close the gap between the little sail panel and the door. It's only noticed at over 40 mph, it made a difference although I do not have MLV on my fronts yet. It is hard to know if the air I heard before came in through the window door area or from the bottom up, I just noticed it was reduced quite a bit.

I can post some pics if anyone wants to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great point! Yes, I noticed something similar with the sail panels. i put the whole front doors back togehter, stereo fully installed and drove it for a week or two with the sail panesl still removed.
I wasn't expecting anything, i just didn't put them back on in case i had to take the door panel off again for something.
Anyway, I put the sail panel back on, then a couple days later decided to put CCF and MLV in the sail panels and definitely noticed a difference too.

I'd love to see the pics if you have them.

P1040462.jpg
Rear wall with MLV over CCF installed
 

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I wish, I would have been able to do my rear wall with all that MLV. I only did the part that connects to the bed. And sticking MLV behind the seat and covering the openings on the bottom, not the vents.

Some shots of MLV on the back. Bottom pic shows the sail panels, when I filled the big holes used to mount the tweeters with MLV
 

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More shots of the sail panels, notice the gap in the middle, I simply filled that, I think I used MLV taped over, then foam with aluminum tape over. This was a while back. Bottom shows the holes filled, color matches not quite smooth, just enough to avoid looking at a big hole.
I do not have shots of the the recent work done more foam and aluminum tape on the door area where the panel is mounted. I will get a couple of shots tomorrow. The last thing was what made most of the difference.
 

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Thanks for the great write-up! Was the "RCA cable: Knukonceptz krystal kable" used for the backup camera wiring splice? Also, any more info on how you spliced into the connector behind the mirror?

Tia

Mike
 
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