Amp Installation to Factory Head Unit

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by THarper5555, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. THarper5555

    THarper5555 New Member

    I have a 2011 Crew Cab Z71 LT model and wanted to keep the factory head unit but install an amp and a sub. I thought I had RCA inputs on the head unit but this was not the case. So my question is how do I go about hooking up the amp to the factory head unit? I would think there would be some sort of harness but I am having problems finding any info on the topic. Any help is appreciated.


  2. FrigginNoodles

    FrigginNoodles Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Hey THarper,
    Welcome to the club, I'm sure you will see that this site is a great source for any questions you could ever have regarding your gmc/chevy.

    What you want to get is called a "Line Out Converter" (LOC). This is a small block (about 1"x 4") that has wires on one side and RCA plug on the other. The basic idea behind the LOC is to tap into your rear speaker wires and convert the signal to go through a RCA cable leading to your amp. I have not done any installs in a new body style truck (NBS since it's your first post), but have done this in my 03 & 07 silverado.
    If you have the bose stereo package it is very important that you connect the LOC to the rear speaker wire prior to the factory amplifier. If you don't then the bass will automatically decrease as you increase volume and your subs won't work too great. In my 03 & 07 the factory amp is located under the center console, I tapped into the wires right before they reached the stock amplifiers input harness.

    If you don't have the bose package.... I think you can tap into the wires just about anywhere. In my old truck I took off the rear door panels and tapped the speaker wires inside of the rear doors. The rear doors were extremely easy to take apart so this was a breeze.

    If you aren't sure you could always tap into the speaker leads coming out of the stock head unit. I do not recommend this for two reasons: 1. It is a pain to work in the constricted area behind the dash when you don't need to & 2. I have heard it recommended to have the shortest speaker wire to LOC distance possible.

    Good luck on this and I hope I made it clear enough. If you have any questions just post 'em up. I haven't worked on a NBS truck yet, but hope it is similar enough. I have my stock radio hooked up to my system so you will get there no problem.
    1 person likes this.
  3. THarper5555

    THarper5555 New Member

    I appreciate it FrigginNoodles! I am headed to get the LOC this morning! Everything seems clear with the exception of can I tap into just one of the rear speaker wires or do I have to connect to both sides? Thanks so much for the help. I was pretty discourage when I found out I didnt have the RCA output on the factory unit. I'll let ya know how it works.
  4. FrigginNoodles

    FrigginNoodles Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    You tap into the both rear speaker wires. Best of luck, hopefully you will be bumping this afternoon!
  5. THarper5555

    THarper5555 New Member

    One more quick question.... Where do I plug the remote wire into? I have heard several responses but wanted a definite "this will work and be fairly easy" one. Thanks again for the help!

  6. kburb

    kburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    the remote wire goes to a switched 12v, tap into the fuse for the radio in your fuse box. The remote power is what supplies poswer to the amp and causes it to "turn on" when the radio or car is on. What kind of amp did you purchase? I have a JL amp that came with the line in converter built in, maybe yours does too.
  7. THarper5555

    THarper5555 New Member

    Perfect! I tapped into the 12V power wire to the factory head unit.... Hopefully this isnt continuous power. I suppose it isn't since the head unit turns on and off with the ignition. I am bumping now though... Finally! I bought a JL Audio 10W3 4 Ohm and have a Rockford Fosgate Punch P300-1 powering it. The sub is mounted in a ProBox they call the little slammin box. This sub amp combo slams! The sub is very impressive sounding in the truck. I couldn't be happier! Thanks for al the help everyone!

  8. FrigginNoodles

    FrigginNoodles Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Glad everything went well.
  9. Where did I buy ur box?

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