Speaker Wiring


camron

New member
I have heard that the 85 Westy has the ground wires tied together for the rear speakers and that this configuration will not work with newer stereos. I just purchased a new Clarion MiniDisc player that has not arrived yet. I installed a new set of speakers in the rear AC cabinet and noticed that one speaker had a second ground wire spliced in. What will happen if I try and hook up my new stereo like this. Do I need to run new speaker wires all the way back there? Is there an easy way to isolate the grounds wires without running new wire? Thanks for any help.... Camron
 

ben

New member
Hi Camron
DON'T use the old speaker wire with any new good quality Stereo, this is not just a "common ground" question. The old wire are 16 years old and are subject to wear & tear. A faulty speaker wire could easily damage the new radio. I have just finish installing a CD player with 2 power-amp and a kenwood equalizer, the new rear speaker wire are following the fridge positive wire, from the fuse boxe in the front (under the front carpet, sink, closet) to the rear speaker.
Remember that this is NOT the usual way (dificult on the right side), any signal wire (RCA/power amp) or speaker wire should never be close to any power wire (positive and negative wire), power wire should be on one side of the car/van and speaker/RCA wire on the other side. This is done to get rid of the high pitch engine noise (in the speaker) when the engine is running, especially when the head light are ON. But if you don't use a power amp or a high power radio, there is no need to for that step.
Ben
 

camron

New member
Thanks for the tips. I had dreaded the need to run new wire, but I guess it is going to have to happen. I am using a Clarion MD player with 45W peak (20 RMS) to power these speakers. I think it shoul dbe plenty for me. Is there much room to run these around the fridge, if so, I could get some shielded cable to help the noise issue, but it is thicker.
 

ben

New member
Hi agan,
behind the fridge there is the water line tube (coming from the water tank), i use this tube to pull the speaker wire behind the fridge, this is the only problem you will have, the rest is a easy job.
Note: i live in Canada and my water pump is under the sink, so it is easy to unplug the tube and use this one to pull the wire...
Don't worry about the high pitch noise, if you don't have a power amp it won't be a problem!!!
Good luck, Ben
 

mvt6

New member
I am trying to rewire the rear speakers as well right now on my 84 Westy. The two speakers do share a ground and my deck will not work like that. It has definitely not been enjoyable. The thread on 9/25 addresses this issue. I am running them where they are originally placed in my 84 (above the sliding door) and it is a tight fit. To get to the wires, I took off the side inside liner without a problem. Then, I had to remove all the screws in the top liner when the wires got stuck, to see what was going on. After the first squeeze in front of the sliding door, it isn't too bad until you reach the slot going between the windshield and the passenger window.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I'm not into turning my Westy into a Walkman, but there are TWO different stereo wiring setups for Westies. One (Bentley 97.195) is for the standard stereo and the other (Bentley 97.197) is for the stereo with amplified speakers. That may be applicable to or explain your aftermarket setups.
 

camron

New member
Yes, I just ran into that portion. I am using a wire snake and I cannot get it past the bend at the top of the windshield back. Aiighh!!!! I hate speaker wires. Why did they just not just run wires to each speaker? Was there an international wire shortage? I am thinking of giving up on this side. I have the wires up to the passenger roof line now, but it is getting dark and I am getting angry, so I figure it is best to stop for the night....
 

camron

New member
I left my manual at home, I am at work now. I have the fancy stereo, the digital cassete/AM/FM version that came with the Westy as an option I believe. It was still only 9.5 Watts max per channel. I would think that all speakers are amplified speakers. I am worried now that I may have torn the insides of my Westy up for no reason. This was not the bsaic radio, but a factory upgrade. Did perhaps the factory upgrade have seperate wiring? I have what appears to be:

Passenger rear: One red wire, two gray

Driver rear: One blue wire, one gray

Any insight? Are these gray wires the grounds and are they tied together? Thanks....
 

camron

New member
OK, Success. The wires are pulled and there is no more question of which is what. Now to tackle the spare battery today.... :)
 
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G

Guest

Guest
To replace rear speaker wire, I would recommend attaching the new wire to the old wire and installing it as you pull out the old. Just make sure to remove the jacket and twist the wires together really well, then taping with electrical tape. Make sure they are attached well so they do not come apart midway. You can actually pull two new wire sets through while just pulling out one old wire leaving a wire in place to use to install any other wiring you may want to run to the rear of the vehicle. This is the simpliest way by far in my opinion.
In my case, the previous installer left in place a few wires to nowhere, which made it confusing. Once that was sorted out, installing new speaker wires was a snap.
 

icarus

Moderator
It is a major pain, but if you remove the curtain rod cover (over the sliding door, pass a electicians fish tape in, following the wire bundle that carries the rear speaker wires and the rear wiper wires, eventuly it will run down the window channel and out behind the glove box. I too replaced the head unit with a higher powered unit and the common ground would not carry the signal above about 1/4 power.

After you get the fish in, you can pull one wire out with the fish, (tape it very well and cleanly) then use the first wire, to pull the second, and so on until you get them all. I pulled 16g heavy jacketed speaker wire (2 pairs) It was a bit of a sweat, but well worth it. While I was at it I did the fronts as well.

Now I can go down the road, Ipod plugged in to the head unit slicker than snot, and hear whats being played. (Pioneer head unit with ipod kit, about $250, way nicer than the original)

Icarus
 

Abquid

New member
Running wire to rear speakers-alternate path?

No success running new wires along the old path (above curtain rod, over door, down windshield pillar). I first tried tying new wires to old wires and pulling-unfortunately they pulled apart at a spot where I couldn't reach, so I had to pull both out completely. Then tried fish tape, but as others have experienced, it could not pass over the door, whether I started from under dash end or over sliding door end. Funny how it's never the thing you expect that ends up taking hours...

So does anybody have an alternate path they recommend? I'm thinking now either under sink/fridge, cabinets, backseat and up cabinet wall OR under passenger seat, under floor panels, under backseat, etc. OR, is there a better way to fish the @#%@* where it's supposed to go?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
What year & model? Guideline #3!

Assuming Vanagon, there is a large major harness running from forward to aft alongside the left fore & aft frame. You should be able to run wires through the floor at the grommets where the feeds for that harness go through. Then you can take this supplemental harness back to where the original enters the engine compartment. From there, you can run them up the left rear pillar via the same route as the A/C harness.

Caution: That area alongside the frame is subject to road damage and abrasion from thrown up sand & gravel. It's like sitting in a sandblaster if you spend any time on dirt roads. Be sure you put the speaker wires in a durable harness cover. You might be able to run this secondary harness in the same harness holders as the main.

If desired, you can drill new harness holes in the front floor and rear engine compartment for the pass through and fit them with weather-proof grommets.

Out of curiosity (because I don't know) have you investigated wireless speakers?
 

Abquid

New member
Alternate wiring path

(For the record, this is an 86 Westy with Air Conditioner. The rear speakers are mounted on either side of the AC outlet vent panel)

I ended up running the rear speaker wires under the carpeting next to the passenger seat, over the wheel hump and down the back (behind the fire extinguisher). I then unscrewed the metal floor corner rails and removed the white plastic step guard. I ran the wires along the edges of the linoleum floor pieces, then replaced the step guard and metal corner rails (being careful not to screw through the speaker wire!). The wires then run into and across the back seat storage, and enter the closet through a small hole I drilled. From there they goes up between the closet and window, over the top of the cabinet and through to the speaker area. The only hard part was along the floor--I had to hacksaw/file little slots in the two metal spacers that divide the linoleum floor panels so that the wires could more easily pass along.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Turning speakers off in rear

twinsor
Junior Member

We have a 1999 Eurovan and the sound from the speakers is extremely loud in the back. How do you turn the sound off in the back but still hear it in the front?
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
All factory OE radios since the late Type II's with f & r speakers have had a fade contol built into the radio controls, often in conjunction with another knob. Read your owners nanual.
 

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