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I myself don't own a malibu but my sister does and I joined this site to get/exchange ideas from other owners. Well she was unhappy with the factory stereo performance in her car.

First thing we do is we decide to replace all the factory speakers in the car. Come to find out there are 6x9s in the rear deck and some maybe 6.5s in the front doors and some tweeters in the windshield pillars. We decide on Phoenix Gold RSD components in the front and Phoenix Gold RSD 6x9s in the rear.

The front door speakers were funny to me. The basket for the factory speaker is actually the bracket too. I removed that and just traced the outline of the speaker/bracket and made a cut out from 3/4" MDF and then cut a hole out for the Phoenix Gold midbass. I screwed the MDF bracket into the door and the speaker to the bracket. I had just enough clearance for the window to roll down with no problems. I used the factory wiring to wire up the speaker.

The factory tweeter location was pretty easy. I unscrewed the factory tweeter and used hot glue to secure the Phoenix Gold tweeter on the pillar.

Now to wire up these speakers I used the factory wiring. There's a panel on the driver side of the dashboard that I removed and that's where I installed the crossover. It's a nice lil cubby hole just big enough for the crossover and in there you'll also find the door speaker, tweeter, and radio wires. It was confusing at first but I traced the same color wires(tan/gray) on the harness from the door speaker location. On one side of the harness there is one pair of wires and the other side is two pairs of wires. The one pair is going to the door speaker location. The two pair side is one pair going to the factory tweeter location and the other is wires coming from the radio. I made my connections to the crossover from there. Wires from the radio went into the input section of the crossover, door speaker wires went into the midbass output and the tweeter(windshield pillar) wires went into the tweeter output. The passenger side had pretty much the same scenario. I had to make MDF brackets, removed the panel on the passenger side of the dashboard to make the crossover connections. The wires on that side are green/light green.

The rear deck was challenging also. There was more trim to remove. The 6x9s back there had the same basket/bracket assembly as the front speakers. I had to drill new holes for the new Phoenix Gold 6x9s but you'll have to do that from inside the trunk because of the slope of the backglass. I wired them up using the factory wires. There was brown/yellow on the driver side and blue/light blue on the passenger side.

Well got everything back together and it's louder according to my sister but she says it's still missing something and I'm like yeah I know what you mean. She doesn't want spend alot of money on subs/amps. I suggest she go with 500rms watt amp and a single 12" sub.

We ended up going with a Sony Xplod 2ch. amp (1000 watts peak it says)bridged to a single 12" Kenwood subwoofer in a 1.3ft sealed box. I ran 4 ga. to the battery, 4ga. ground in the rear, and I got a remote wire from the airbag fuse location in the center console(so far so good). Now for signal I just used the rear 6x9 wires to run into the speaker level inputs on the amp. Everything's wired up and she was impressed with the outcome of the whole project. It has a pretty impressive amount of bass considering we're still using the factory radio.

This was my first and probably only 2008 Malibu install that I've done. I apologize for no pictures but any suggestions, questions, criticism???
 

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First off, nice write up!

Just some constructive criticism, I am in no way, shape or form disagreeing with what you did or putting you down. Just some thoughts:

So is it all wired to the factory stereo? I cant imagine a large gain of loudness from wiring new speakers to the factory radio, since the RMS on the new speakers is most likely way higher than the RMS on the factory speakers, I would actually expect it to sound a bit muted, distant and muddy. I will say that the Phoenix Gold RDS series are awesome bang for your buck speakers.

From my experience, nothing good ever came out of sony when it came to car audio.. so watch out with that amp. When you wired the remote line, does it turn on and off with the passanger airbag then? I know that the airbag is only operational if there is someone sitting in the front passenger seat. So will the amp only turn on if there is someone in the seat?

Quick suggestion: Get a good 4 or 5 channel amp to power the speakers + the suwoofer, and if you want to keep the original stereo, just get a JL cleansweap, or a 4 channel line output converter, and run the RCA's from that little cubby hole.
 

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Sorry about no pictures but I'm working on that. I don't get to see that car too often.

As far as it sounding better it does. It doesn't sound like my wife's car (Aveo). She has aftermarket CD player, linedriver, a 4 channel bi-amped to a set of Boston components, and a 2Ch running to two 12" Boston subwoofers. That's a different story all together.

BUT it does sound better even though we stuck with the factory radio. There is bass, loud enough for neighbors to call the police. But being it's the factory radio we can only get so much out of the budget equipment that we got. The owner is happy with what was installed so that's all that matters to me.

Reason we stayed with the factory radio is there's too much caca tied into it. There's the OnStar mess, the crazy door chime issue, and if it's like my '99 Deville it'll start acting crazy like going into sleep mode.

I feel maybe a JL Cleansweep like you mentioned or a Rockford 360 would definately bring out the sound but it's not my car or my money. Until I can talk my sister into getting it this is what she's rolling with at the moment.
 

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Oh the about the airbag thing. I found an airbag fuse underneath the radio/console. There are more fuses there. It's accessible from the passenger side. I took out the fuse stripped away enough insulation on the wire and slid the wire/fuse back into it's location. I know it's ghetto but it worked and used some tape to keep it secure. It works just like a regular remote wire. The amp comes on when you put the key in the ACC position, stays on in the ON position, and turns OFF in the OFF position. It'll even stay on with Retained Accessory Power ( i think that's the wording for it) until you open the door then it shuts off.

No gremlins came about. I called her asking about any weirdness since the install and nothing's came up.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Crossover in cubby hole.

Factory harness with factory speaker wires.

Sony's best (haha) 2 ch. bridged to a 12" Kenwood.


Trim moved under rear deck so you can see the 6x9s wired up.
 

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Still plenty of room left over.

Box I constructed myself:D

What do you think?

After looking at these pictures I think I should clean up the wiring.
 

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that's a neat looking trunk :) nothing like mine :)
 

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Oh the about the airbag thing. I found an airbag fuse underneath the radio/console. There are more fuses there. It's accessible from the passenger side. I took out the fuse stripped away enough insulation on the wire and slid the wire/fuse back into it's location. I know it's ghetto but it worked and used some tape to keep it secure. It works just like a regular remote wire. The amp comes on when you put the key in the ACC position, stays on in the ON position, and turns OFF in the OFF position. It'll even stay on with Retained Accessory Power ( i think that's the wording for it) until you open the door then it shuts off.

No gremlins came about. I called her asking about any weirdness since the install and nothing's came up.:D


There are 2 fuses for the airbags one is marked AIRBAG(IGN) the other is marked AIRBAG(BATT). Which one did you use to allow the retained power? I will be hooking up a bluetooth system and would like to use the retained power for it. Thanks
 

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i love da 08 ltz but the trunk is so dam small...i have 2 orion hcca 12s n they charged me 800 jus for da box cuz they had to build it inside...succs
 

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There are 2 fuses for the airbags one is marked AIRBAG(IGN) the other is marked AIRBAG(BATT). Which one did you use to allow the retained power? I will be hooking up a bluetooth system and would like to use the retained power for it. Thanks
X2 I have the same question/problem,

I actually ran it to both of them, on the 'batt' stays on all the time and on the 'ign' it comes on only with the ignition on, not when on acc; so again, which one and how did you get it to work like you said it did?
 

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You should NOT be connecting anything to the airbag circuits. That is one of the main rules for mobile electronics certifications. If your device shorts it could cause the airbag to go off. Airbags are not cheap. Do NOT do it. Stay away from all yellow wiring looms and anything marked airbag.
 

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the remote/trigger wire for the amp.
yes, I just did what the original poster did, I hooked an amp to my original hu, so i need to find the fuse to connect to my amp as the remote so the amp would come on, I guess it needs a constant 12v or something like that.
 

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First let me state that I would not do it the way I am about to tell you. I would buy the Pac Audio AOEM-GM1416A Link Here which can be had online for less than $30. It gives you four channel RCA outputs and a remote turn on wire out of the factory head unit.

With that being said, if you still insist on running this to the fuse box, I would use the power windows. They are powered whenever the Accessory Relay is energized. It is the pink square 30amp fuse. A wiring diagram that I have shows a pair of yellow wires coming out just to the left of this fuse which are for the power windows. I have two pairs of yellow wires in my 09 LTZ, the second is for the power seats which would always be energized. There are other yellow wires coming out of the fuse box there, but none of them are in pairs. Unfortunately, I can't tell you which pair of yellow wires to use because my multimeter is broken and I haven't replaced it yet. If you have a multimeter you should be able to probe the pairs of yellow wires and find the one that has +12v on it after you have turned off the car and before you open the door. Once you open the door the wire should be dead.

You need to remember that if you hook up your amp up this way, it will always be turned on when the car is running or the Retained Accessory Power is on. It will continue to draw power from your battery even if you turn off the radio.

I will probably buy a new multimeter in the next couple of days and I can verify this information and post pictures if necessary. Let me know.

Steve
 
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