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Old 03-19-2012, 09:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Amp wiring ?

I am upgrading the stereo in my insight and I want to put the amp in the spare tire well. Since the IMA and DC-DC converter are back there is there somewhere I can tap into for high amperage 12V?

I'm not going crazy or anything - Just a small 4channel amp powering 2 speakers and an 8" sub, so it shouldn't need ridiculous amounts of power.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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After I took the lid off the battery pack I found a +12V cable on the DC-DC converter, so I added a cable lug to my amp wire and used that.

Works great so far!
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you go into the IMA box you should see 4 orange cables from the big orange conduit. The largest of the wires is for the battery from the 12 volt dc to dc converter. The ground is on the first rail that mounts it to the rear of the car, at least for the i2.

Makes for some really long cables to do a "big 3" upgrade.


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Old 10-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bumping this because I don't see the 4 orange cables (haven't really looked at the front-side though). Where is the 12v out from the DC-DC?
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, I think I found them under a cover in the corner by the driver seat. I only see 3 cables though, and they're equal size.

Are these outputs to the motor, or is one of these 12v to the battery? I don't think I should be probing random wires to find out.

(pic taken from outside/through the triangle window behind drivers seat)

edit- Nevermind, I guess this is the motor drive module.. Probably not what I want.

Last edited by GuySmily; 10-27-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Those are the three phase wires to the IMA motor, dont get anywhere near any of the orange wires .
The IMA motor starts the car, so the 12V wires from the IMA box are way too smallfor powering a big amp.
Best solution is to run big dedicated wires directly from the battery to the amp, and put a big cap right at the input of the amp. The dc/dc charging wires for the 12V battery are not very big, and I believe the DC/DC is rated for a max of 75A.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Is this it underneath the red rubber cap?


I was really looking forward to running a short length of cable to the IMA box instead of running one all the way from the engine bay. I figured it was ok since someone else did it this way, but if it's a bad idea I'll take your word for it.

btw, I'll let you know when I'm ready for that charger - probably after I have the sub in position. Would have been nice to go with a simple charger, but the rapid charge is a necessity with all the hills around here.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not quite sure I understand Mike's train of thought here. The DC-DC is rated at 70A.. There should be no problems running your amp from the DC-DC if you hook it up directly.. you'll be using your own wire, right?
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I tapped the wire under the red cap, but on the outside of the housing. The white wire exits on the driver's side and runs to the 12v battery under the hood. I cut it a few inches up and used a distribution block to connect my 12+ input to my 900-watt class A/B amp and it's working very well so far, driving 2x woofers, 2x tweeters, and a 10" sub. The ground point you see under my red wire is the PERFECT ground since this is the DC-DC converter's output from just about the red rubber cap. I added my ground here after this pic was snapped.

Here's what the wire looks like with some of the loom stripped back:


I was toying with the idea of running my amp power wire to under the rubber cap- hence why you see the red wire running into the housing, but I decided tapping it on the outside was the better way to go since the distance was so short.

This is how it looks at the moment:


I have not permanently mounted the distribution block yet since I plan on replacing that red-jacketed copper-clad aluminum wire that's marketed to car audio installers with 4 gauge Radaflex copper welding wire from cableyard.com: RADAFLEX® #4 AWG Black Welding Cable.

I found it silly to run a power wire from the 12v battery under the hood all the way back to my amp as is done in a traditional installation. The 12v power source for the Insight is in the back (the DC-DC converter) and my amp is going to be installed right behind it.

Running a capacitor is a debated subject in car audio forums. This one has the most meaningful information I have found so far:
Capacitor Myth - DIYMA Car Audio Forum

Most will tell you they are a waste of time, especially since most modern amps have a bank of capacitors integrated into the design already to steady the input voltage during moments of peak current draw. I have run capacitors in previous installs, but the money would have been better spend on a battery instead. I will be installing a 2nd 12v battery in the rear of my Insight, but it will be an AGM type and I'll exchange the front 12v battery for the same. Mine's an '03 model and the old-school lead-acid unit is probably due for the recycle bin anyways.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Is that under the styrofoam on the driver's side? That's perfect - I was going to put my amp right next to it where the stock CD changer goes. Need to figure out where the changer bolts down and see what it would take to get the amp mounted there.
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