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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Instalment 1 :THE PLAN

The planning phase is mostly over and I have ordered most of the kit I will need.

I decided I wanted a bit more Bass Power nothing crazy and did not want a SW to take away any boot or cabin space. This meant that the most feasible location was in the boot below the floor:

Leaving room for the toolkit and First aid kit the available dimensions are roughly : 320 x 220x160 mm
See Pics:

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The Head unit does not appear to have any RCS LL outputs so needed a SW Amp with Speaker level (High Level) inputs.

To keep installation as simple as possible I decided on combined Subwoofer and amp. There are loads on the market a and after a bit of research I decided to go for the Pioneer TS-WX400DA as it had an ideal size 300 x 200 x100 mm and had bigger Speaker than most and a bit more Power 250W/ 150 W RMS.

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Wire routing - My plan is to route all of wiring from the boot space under the trim on the LHS of the vehicle so only need to removed trim on one side. LHS chosen becuase this is the side where the fuse box and Infotainment unit are located and all cabling can be run together in a single loom.

Required Electrical Connection to the SW Unit are as follows:

12+ : To be taken from Fuse Panel at Glove Box
12- (Ground) To fixed local in Boot area (Still to pick actual location)
12v On/Off trigger - Not Require for High Level Inputs as Amp detects speaker signals and switched on/off automatically
Left/Right Speaker Input - To Be piggybacked off the Infotainment Unit Rear Speaker outputs

My golden rule are:

1.Modification beed to be 100% Reversible if I choose to sell the vehicle at a later date
2. No cutting or splicing into existing wiring
3. Subwoofer should not impact usable space in the cabin or boot
4. Power level needs to be sensible (not massive)

Next post will be the 12v Power supply
 

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ID3 MAX
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Instalment 2 :pOWER SUPPLY

Subwoofer

Got the Subwoofer on eBay for a princely sum of £189.99 (Free delivery and £10 Cheaper than most other retailers)

12V Power Supply

I wanted a Clean 12 V supply for the speaker and Amp Combo and found that the Glovebox fuse box is the best place to get that.
The SW needs a 12V Constant supply from the Battery (Terminal 30) not via switched ignition and on testing with a voltmeter it was clear there were a number of spare fuse location that would be suitable for use.

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I could not suss out how to remove the fuse box for access behind so decided not to. I did not like the idea of using fuse taps so decided that I would try to add the fuse cable with the fuse box in situ.

The ID3 uses MAXI+ Fuses and the would ideal to use a blank fuse location to feed the subwoofer from but I could not find anyone online who sold MAXI+ fuses

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So Instead I opted for F33 location instead which was an ATO fuse.

I decided on a 2.5mm feed cable (good for 30 Amps) where my SW is line fused at 20A so 2.5mm will be more than adequate for my needs. If you are adding anything more powerful I would go for a 4mm2 or even 6mm2 cable instead.

I ordered the VW repair wire :
  • 000 979 227 (000979227): 2.5mm wire
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If you want 4mm cya then use this part number
000 979 306 (000979306): 4.0mm wire

Installation of the wire took me about 30mm as it was quite fiddly.

Step 1: - Remove Glove box
Step 2. - Insert long tie wrap (cable tie) through the front of the fuse holder terminal
Step 3 - Disconnect Fuse panel feed from bottom of fuse box - Red Tab (for safety and better access)
Step 4 - Fish tie wrap end at bottom of fuse panel and connect repair cable terminal to tie wrap end
Step 5 - Slowly and carefully feed cable in and feed tie wrap out guiding terminal into dock location
Step 6 - Carefully push terminal into location from behind whilst pulling from front


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This in all honesty was fiddly and took me a few goes to get right. I would easier I think with 4mm wire as this would be easier as the wire will be stiffer when pushing from behind. The key is to pre bend the wire at the correct angle and gently move it so terminal is perfectly square at the slot. It will lock securely in place if you get it right.

Finally I managed to dock the terminal into place and trialed with an ATO fuse and was solid/secure:

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Finally I tied the new wire away ( taped up)
Reconnected Fuse Box Feed
Re- Installed Glove Box

All good so far!

The next post will be on the Subwoofer Installation and Cable run
 

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Thanks for all this info! I'm not handy/techie enough to do the same myself, but intend to show whichever 3rd party car audio company I use to upgrade this thread as it may help them out! :)

I posted in the other thread that I'm thinking about using this 2.1 amp/sub combo thing for mine. It's too big to fit into the space you're using, annoyingly, being 250mm wide. But as the alternative would be to have a separate 2-channel amp and amplified sub, taking up even more space in total, I still think it may be the right way to go. I'd just have them install it in a corner of the boot underneath the height-adjustable boot floor. Then I'll use the space you're using for your sub to store my type 2 charging cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all this info! I'm not handy/techie enough to do the same myself, but intend to show whichever 3rd party car audio company I use to upgrade this thread as it may help them out! :)

I posted in the other thread that I'm thinking about using this 2.1 amp/sub combo thing for mine. It's too big to fit into the space you're using, annoyingly, being 250mm wide. But as the alternative would be to have a separate 2-channel amp and amplified sub, taking up even more space in total, I still think it may be the right way to go. I'd just have them install it in a corner of the boot underneath the height-adjustable boot floor. Then I'll use the space you're using for your sub to store my type 2 charging cable.
Yes that would work. I did think about installing an amplified sub in that location as well and there were some good options but would be permanently giving up on the enlarged boot space.

So managed to find something that would fit the "cubby hole" and would hopefully be powerful enough for my needs. I did not want window pumping bass so hopefully 150w RMS will be enough.

Should hopefully get more done next week. Not sure how long my 52 pin Quadlock extension cable will take though as it is coming from china. I will install the Sub enclosure and then run the cables (back of car to front) before making any electrical connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Instalment 3 - REAR SPEAKER TAPS

Now the cheap and easy thing to do would be to simply tap into the rear speaker wiring using 4x scotch connectors.
I have used these in the past but I not really a fan especially for audio connections.

So how to tap into the rear speaker audio signal without damaging the original vehicle wiring:

Answer : 30cm Quadlock 52 Pin Extension cable curacy of Ali-Express - Ordered 2 weeks ago delivered from China today.

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So the plan is to tap into the speaker wiring of the extension cable and install the extension between the vehicle harness and the Head unit.


So here goes.........

The first challenge was to remove the 4x rear speaker pins from the head unit connector on the extension cable.
This was quite fiddly but I managed to find that my smallest 2 jeweller's screw drivers with a bit of fiddling I managed to push back the barbs on each side of the pin and the pins eased out of the brown coloured block:

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I then cut off the pins and crimped on new pins with the tap wires installed

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Now the simple job of re-installing the pins into the correct location:

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The pins simply clic into place - (Make sure that you get the location and orientation correct)

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Tape up the wiring harness with wiring loom tape (Available on Amazon) for the professional OEM look

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Now Ready to:
  1. Cut the tap wires to length
  2. Install connector plugs
  3. Install to vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Instalment 4 - INSTALL WIRING LOOM

The wiring loom for my Subwoofer contains the following Wires

10A Power +
Signal Wire
Ground
RCA Connector Right
RCA Connector Left

The Subwoofer is designed to use either Pre-Amp Signals(Low Level Input) or Speaker level Inputs (High Level Input)
I elected to use high level inputs so Soldered RCA Connectors to the ends of 5m of speaker cable


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The Ground cable is to be connected locally. There is an ideal M8 threaded connector at the bottom of the boot well More on this later:



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I wrapped the entire wiring loom in Automotive wiring loom tape: Well Impressed with the results the loom looks OEM. and now ready to install

Next step to take the car to pieces to install the wiring loom.

It is remarkable that hardly any tools are required to do this most of the fitting simply lock into place with the correct sliding action and applying pressure force in the right area:

However some tooling is required:
  • Plastic trim removal tools (Not 100% necessary but Strongly recommended to avoid any scratches on trim)
  • Torx Screw driver set essential
  • Strong but carful Hands
  • Patience

I started from the boot area and removed :
  1. The Adjustable boot floor
  2. The Base Liner
  3. The LHS Boot frame Panel

The LHS Boot Fram panel is removed by 2x Torx screws and Sliding forward
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I started installing the wiring loom from the rear boot under the boot lip (no need to remove anything)

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The cable is fed in under the LHS boot panel (removed -see above)
Then under the LHS rear seat wheel arch trim and down to the rear LHS door sill trim.

To do this you need to partially lift up the rear Bech set to access a trim locking plug:
There set is unlatched by pushing rearwards and the pulling the back f the Bench up and forward. Do both driver and passenger sides.:
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this to

When the seat base is unlatched do not pull up too far as there are cable connectors underneath. You only need access to remove the plate trim locking plug

I then carefully priced up the rear door sill trim just enough to gain access.nI used plastic trim removal tools for this. Essential to avoid scratches!

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I then pushed a fibregalss rod through from the boot space and through to prized up the rear door sill trim and fished the rod through. Miraculously the rod found its way there on 1st attempt. I taped the cable loom on the end and pulled everything through without any issues

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Then using the same technique I pulled the wire through to the front door trim.
I did. have to partially remove the front door trim (front section) and fully remove the passenger footwell panel.
This was really easy to do the panels simply pull off.
NB -There is a ton of space for wiring under the trim panels so cable installation is a cinch!

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The wiring loom can be fed through behind the cluster of wiring and connector plugs in the passenger footwell and then up towards the Fuse panel and the Infotainment Head unit.

I was expecting this to be the toughest part of the job and I was not really sure about trim removal but I needn't of worried the whole wiring loom install took only 30 minutes end to end.

Re-Installing the trim again is pretty much the reversal of removal. Just look carefully for where the clips are located, set the trim at the correct angle and apply pressure at the right places and it all clicks together again.:)
 

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My appreciation of your work keeps growing. Well impressed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Instalment 5 - Subwoofer Installation and Final Connections

Having done all of the hard work I just had the hardware install and to make the cable connections.

Firstly the ground connection: As mention previously there is couple of M8 blind tapped holes at the bottom of the well in the boot.

I elected to use the one on the RHS as it would be underneath the SW when after installation and would be out of sight.
I strongly recommend removing the paint around the tapped hole. I did this by using a rotational wire brush attached to my battery drill. You only need to remove enough paint for the serrated washer to bit into the metal body.

I used a blue 8mm ring crimp and used a serrated washer each side of the ring crimp to ensure good electrical contact:

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Once installed I checked electrical continuity with other metal touch point on the car:

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Now moving the the fuse panel area at the glove box:

I had the 2x speaker cable to connect to the Harness. Used M/F Spade crimps to make these connections:

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The finally I needed to connect the Power and signal wires to the new fuse wires that I installed previously:

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The wires were then tucked away neatly under the dash board and the vehicle was returned back to normal.

There is an argument to say that that these up front connections were unnecessary but I wanted to make the installation and removal plug and play.

This will be important if my car needs to go in for service / firmware update etc.

I did not want a VW service tech to find my 52 pin Harness adaptor cable installed.

I can remove and pretty return to OEM condition within 5-10 mins so no one will be suspicious if they need to remove the infotainment unit as part of the 2.1 SW upgrade.

It would be as if I hadn't been there ;)

Now for the Subwoofer install. This was a simple case of bending the brackets to suit the contours of the boot well as it is not flat.

Mark with a Sharpie marker.
There is not al lot of room for drilling so I needed to buy these combined short drill/Taps:
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And an angle adaptor for the battery drill/screw driver:

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Drilling and Monting the Subwoofer with the supplied mounting screws was then a cinch.

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Finally it's installed and feels rock solid Look pretty neat IMHO- Just need to tidy up the wiring.

Ready for Power up and sound check
 

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I'm honestly not sure I've ever seen anyone post such a comprehensive and helpful guide to this sort of thing on any car forum ever. Really really impressed by your installation and your write up of it.

Someone should pin this thread as I'll bet it will be useful for ID.3 owners for a long long time!
 

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Instalment 5 - Subwoofer Installation and Final Connections

Having done all of the hard work I just had the hardware install and to make the cable connections.

Firstly the ground connection: As mention previously there is couple of M8 blind tapped holes at the bottom of the well in the boot.

I elected to use the one on the RHS as it would be underneath the SW when after installation and would be out of sight.
I strongly recommend removing the paint around the tapped hole. I did this by using a rotational wire brush attached to my battery drill. You only need to remove enough paint for the serrated washer to bit into the metal body.

I used a blue 8mm ring crimp and used a serrated washer each side of the ring crimp to ensure good electrical contact:

View attachment 142030

Once installed I checked electrical continuity with other metal touch point on the car:

View attachment 142031

Now moving the the fuse panel area at the glove box:

I had the 2x speaker cable to connect to the Harness. Used M/F Spade crimps to make these connections:

View attachment 142032

The finally I needed to connect the Power and signal wires to the new fuse wires that I installed previously:

View attachment 142034

The wires were then tucked away neatly under the dash board and the vehicle was returned back to normal.

There is an argument to say that that these up front connections were unnecessary but I wanted to make the installation and removal plug and play.

This will be important if my car needs to go in for service / firmware update etc.

I did not want a VW service tech to find my 52 pin Harness adaptor cable installed.

I can remove and pretty return to OEM condition within 5-10 mins so no one will be suspicious if they need to remove the infotainment unit as part of the 2.1 SW upgrade.

It would be as if I hadn't been there ;)

Now for the Subwoofer install. This was a simple case of bending the brackets to suit the contours of the boot well as it is not flat.

Mark with a Sharpie marker.
There is not al lot of room for drilling so I needed to buy these combined short drill/Taps:
View attachment 142035

And an angle adaptor for the battery drill/screw driver:

View attachment 142036

Drilling and Monting the Subwoofer with the supplied mounting screws was then a cinch.

View attachment 142037

Finally it's installed and feels rock solid Look pretty neat IMHO- Just need to tidy up the wiring.

Ready for Power up and sound check
Brilliant write up!!

I feel as if I could actually do this myself!
And I am perfectly content with the sound system as supplied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Instalment 6 - Power Up and Puting into Service

So the time has come to switch it on, set up the sound and put into service.
The SW remote is pictured below:

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As well as the EQ adjustments and the sound focus adjustments on the head unit, there are a number of adjustments on the SW remote control.

Gain - Analog adjustment
Crossover - Analog Adjustment
Speaker Phase : NORMAL / REVERSE
Bass Mode : DEEP / DYNAMIC

As per manufacturer's instructions I turned the Gain to Minimum, Set the Phase to Normal and set Bass Mode to Dynamic

I installed a 10A fuse for the power supply and a 3A fuse for the signal.

I Started up the sound system:

Before turning up the gain I set the sound focus to rear jut to test the rear speaker sound without SW.
For anyone who does not have the rear speakers, setting the sound to rear only IMHO is far from impressive.

To my ear the RL is far clearer than the RR speaker as mid/high level frequencies from RR appear to be muffled by the drivers seat upholstery.
The same is true for the RL speaker if you are sitting in thee passenger set.

Although rear speakers may add some sound stage to back seat occupants, on messing around with the focus controls I have to conclude that the VW standard speakers seem to add very little to the front seat occupant sound experience.

Now on to the SW.
On turning up the gain all I can say is WOW!

This thing has plenty of power. Turning up beyond 50% resulted in some serious bass shudder through the chassis to the extent that Bass effects at these levels are OTT.

By trial and error and trying various tracks from DAB radio and Apple Music resulted in a well balanced sound output at around 40% Bass Gain in dynamic mode.
I found a crossover setting at approx 50% worked for me left the Bass Mode at Dynamic as Deep Bass really thumping but for my ear it was slightly too much!

So In summary and this is only my opinion:

If you really want to improve your ID3 Sound system:

Step 1 has to be to add a sensible sized powered SUB.
With the right tools it is certainly do-able as a DIY project and do-able without making any permanent changes to the vehicle. You don't need to worry about VW coding and IMHO the the Sub is far better improvement to the stock sound system than adding the OEM rear speaker alone.

Others may disagree and I cannot comment on how this would compare with expensive after market speakers like KLs but to my ear and wallet, the whole project cost approximately £250 and my time to install and sounds awesome.

We all hear differently of course and we will have different opinions but I can heartily recommend a powered SW to anyone considering a sound system upgrade for your ID3. I would certainly do this before anything else.

I am by no means a HiFi snob and I was 95% happy with sound system before (I would describe as Ok) but now I would describe as excellent. -Glad I did this Project!

🔉🔉🔉🔉🔉🔉🔉
:):):)(y)(y)(y)
 

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Although rear speakers may add some sound stage to back seat occupants, on messing around with the focus controls I have to conclude that the VW standard speakers seem to add very little to the front seat occupant sound experience
This was my feeling from playing with the focus on the Golf 8 courtesy car I’ve got at the moment.

Moving to rear only, it was quite feeble, moving to centre it was ok, and moving front only didn’t seem to be much worse.

I think doing what you’ve done is the way to do it if you’re going to bother at all, I would think that the sub with the rear speakers would be a noticeable improvement.

Well done with the ‘how to’ anyway, really useful and thanks for doing it.
 

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Hi! Thanks for this great guide, I'm thinking of doing this to my ID.3 Family.

Since I don't have any rear speakers I guess that I should splice it of the front speakers, this shouldn't affect the sound quality on the sound from the front speakers as far I understand.

As for the signal cable I don't see any mentions of where you connected that, is it the F41 fuse? Any reason for not going with the auto on/off?
 

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Great Write up! - Question for you @No_Petrol_Now - Are you happy for me to include a write up in the thread to upgrade the speakers too? I took delivery yesterday and will be installing 6 Audison components in place of front / rear and a pillar TW.
 

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Great Write up! - Question for you @No_Petrol_Now - Are you happy for me to include a write up in the thread to upgrade the speakers too? I took delivery yesterday and will be installing 6 Audison components in place of front / rear and a pillar TW.
Did you ever get that done?

I’m torn with adding just a sub or replacing the door speakers as well. However, I can’t seem to find anywhere that details how the centre speaker is driven. I don’t want to put good door speakers in and have it spoiled by the centre being unable to keep up.

I was lead to believe the centre is used for beeps, warnings and phone calls so don’t think simply unplugging it would work.

I’d contact a local installer, but unsure of who is any good near Leeds. I’ve used Leeds Car Audio before, but not sure I’d use them again.
 
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