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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a complicated tale, but here are the essentials:

- I thought my Element is an LX
- I ordered a Pioneer AVH-1440NEX radio from Crutchfield
- I also ordered their ReadyHarness service to wire up the harness for this with a steering wheel control module (Crux SWRHN-62D)
- The kit they sent did not have a separate subwoofer connector
- It all works, except that my subwoofer is silent.

- I then realized I have an EX, not LX
- Crutchfield sent me another prewired kit
- This kit came with a separate subwoofer connector
- I hooked it all up and the sub works
- But the SWC does not work, because it has a wire that needs to connect to pin 3 on the Element's radio harness
- The Metra 70-7863 harness doesn't have pin 3 in its plug, so Crutchfield didn't connect that wire for me

- I reconnected the first kit, and added the subwoofer connector from the second kit
- I enabled the subwoofer in the radio's settings
- But the subwoofer still does not work

So I've got a couple of questions.

- Why wouldn't the sub work with the first kit's harness and the second kit's subwoofer connector? I've made sure it's plugged in well. I'm really in the dark here because I don't know how it should be wired up, but I can't figure out any reason why it *shouldn't* work.

- I'm trying to convince Crutchfield that if I paid them to wire up the harness with a steering wheel control for me, then they should have used a plug that has all of the pins to connect the steering wheel control, and not left the job unfinished because the Metra plug doesn't have all the pins. Is this reasonable?

- If I do decide to patch in to that one wire in the Element radio harness, how do I go about doing it? Are there any recommendations better than cutting the wire and stripping it? Can I somehow add a pin to the Metra plug?
 

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Allright, I don't know why it's not working, but I have a similar radio (2300-NEX) and a '08 EX. I assume you using the stock speakers? But please confirm that

If my memory serves me correctly, the 70-7863 kit has a single mono rca for the sub which goes to your sub output on head unit, and then it has a connector (black square shape) for the Honda's sub connector.

Please confirm that both of your harnesses came with four RCA's for the speakers as well so I can be sure they are getting the same signal. (The LX harness might not have RCA's?)

So if you connected that, then the factory amp should be receiving the subwoofer's signal, assuming it is indeed putting out a signal at all, which you should probably test while using the first harness to make sure. I'm not sure the best way to test it, maybe get a RCA to female 1/8" cable and plug it into some headphones, or use a multimeter or something. If it has a signal, then I don't know how it could not be working... unless...

All I could think if is that when you use the LX harness, perhaps Crutchfield did not rig up the remote wire (It would be kinda pointless on an LX harness, since the LX does not have any amp and uses the HU to power the 4 speakers).
But even if that scenario was true, then I can't explain why then you would still get sound out of the speakers. Cause in the EX, the factory harness goes right to the factory amp and not to the speakers. So the amp would have to be on, I think, for you to hear the speakers.



Side note- I found splicing into the factory harness to make the aftermarket SWC unit work a real pain in the ass. Hopefully you can figure out a way to make the first harness work. I didn't enjoy splicing into three wires on the factory harness and then trying to solder it while sitting in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you so much for replying - I'm relieved this makes sense to someone! I'm very glad I found this forum.

- Yes, my Element EX has the stock speakers (7-speaker system). I'm the original owner and haven't upgraded anything at all on the vehicle before now.

- You're correct that the Metra 70-7863 comes with that separate subwoofer connector. I've got that connected right now, in conjunction with the first wiring kit (and the sub is not working).

- The first wiring kit that Crutchfield sent me (Crux SWRHN-62D) does NOT have RCA connectors for the speakers. It has the right/left front/rear wires directly on the harness going into the radio. This *does* work to give me audio on the right/left front/rear speakers, but not the sub.

- The second kit they sent me (Metra 70-7863) does have the RCA connectors, and it also works with the right/left front/rear speakers. (And with the subwoofer, with that extra wire with the RCA plug installed.)

There's something about the way that the first kit's wiring is done that's preventing the sub from working, seems like.

The rest of what you said, I'll give that some thought ... and I also appreciate your feedback on how annoying it is to splice into the factory harness. I'm annoyed with Crutchfield right now. The Metra 70-7863 doesn't have all the pins that are needed for SWC, but the plug in their other kit does, and I'm paying for their wiring service ... it just doesn't make sense that they'd give up and use the plug without all the pins and make me have to finish the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I found a solution that doesn't involve cutting any wires inside the vehicle!

I bought another Metra wiring harness from Amazon for $5. I don't care what harness it is, only that it has the same kinds of pins as the Metra 70-7863. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002BF09S

I also bought a set of auto terminal removal keys: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CHF74S9

After a few minutes of figuring out how, I easily used one of the keys to pop each of the pins (with attached wire) out of the random Metra harness. Now, I should be able to simply click them into the Metra 70-7863 harness, and voila! All the pins I need, and then I can simply solder together the wires I need. When I'm done, I'll just plug it into the Element's radio harness and be done!

One more question (for now): Where can I find a pinout listing or diagram for a 2011 Element EX's radio harness? I need to know which pin is for the steering wheel control, which pin is for illumination, and so forth. I found a few photos of instruction manuals, but I'm hoping to find an actual list of what function is on what pin, 1 through 20.

https://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42074 doesn't make it clear which pins are which ... https://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3065&page=6 might be what I need, as long as it applies to my 2011...
 

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I found a solution that doesn't involve cutting any wires inside the vehicle!

I bought another Metra wiring harness from Amazon for $5. I don't care what harness it is, only that it has the same kinds of pins as the Metra 70-7863. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002BF09S

I also bought a set of auto terminal removal keys: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CHF74S9

After a few minutes of figuring out how, I easily used one of the keys to pop each of the pins (with attached wire) out of the random Metra harness. Now, I should be able to simply click them into the Metra 70-7863 harness, and voila! All the pins I need, and then I can simply solder together the wires I need. When I'm done, I'll just plug it into the Element's radio harness and be done!

One more question (for now): Where can I find a pinout listing or diagram for a 2011 Element EX's radio harness? I need to know which pin is for the steering wheel control, which pin is for illumination, and so forth. I found a few photos of instruction manuals, but I'm hoping to find an actual list of what function is on what pin, 1 through 20.

https://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42074 doesn't make it clear which pins are which ... https://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3065&page=6 might be what I need, as long as it applies to my 2011...
See here, the third image. Likely pin #3 and pin #14.

https://imgur.com/a/nwRS7vE

But by simply inserting the missing pins, you are going to miss out on the extreme fun of splicing and soldering inside your car
 

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This is a complicated tale, but here are the essentials:

- I thought my Element is an LX
- I ordered a Pioneer AVH-1440NEX radio from Crutchfield
- I also ordered their ReadyHarness service to wire up the harness for this with a steering wheel control module (Crux SWRHN-62D)
- The kit they sent did not have a separate subwoofer connector
- It all works, except that my subwoofer is silent.

- I then realized I have an EX, not LX
- Crutchfield sent me another prewired kit
- This kit came with a separate subwoofer connector
- I hooked it all up and the sub works
- But the SWC does not work, because it has a wire that needs to connect to pin 3 on the Element's radio harness
- The Metra 70-7863 harness doesn't have pin 3 in its plug, so Crutchfield didn't connect that wire for me

- I reconnected the first kit, and added the subwoofer connector from the second kit
- I enabled the subwoofer in the radio's settings
- But the subwoofer still does not work

So I've got a couple of questions.

- Why wouldn't the sub work with the first kit's harness and the second kit's subwoofer connector? I've made sure it's plugged in well. I'm really in the dark here because I don't know how it should be wired up, but I can't figure out any reason why it *shouldn't* work.

- I'm trying to convince Crutchfield that if I paid them to wire up the harness with a steering wheel control for me, then they should have used a plug that has all of the pins to connect the steering wheel control, and not left the job unfinished because the Metra plug doesn't have all the pins. Is this reasonable?

- If I do decide to patch in to that one wire in the Element radio harness, how do I go about doing it? Are there any recommendations better than cutting the wire and stripping it? Can I somehow add a pin to the Metra plug?
Hey,
I think I may be able to answer some of your questions:

1. The reason the sub works with one harness and not the other is that one harness is wired to retain the factory amplifier (which powers the sub) and the other is not. I don't know all the specifics about it, but technically your speakers can run directly from the head unit (with no amp) but there is no way for the sub to run directly from the head unit. So the amp is essential for that and that's why you need the amp retention kit.

2. Crutchfield isn't at fault here. The reason that wire wasn't pre-wired for you is because with the steering wheel control adapters certain wires need to be connected directly on the factory side of the wiring and not on the harness/adapter side. There's no way Crutchfield can wire directly into your factory wires. So, basically, you need to find pin 3 on the plug that goes from your Element to the Metra harness and tap into that wire on the Element side of things. When I ordered from Crutchfield they sent me a little bag with enough posi-tap connectors to connect any wires I had to do on my end. They are blue cylinder looking things. Did you get an of those? They are pretty easy to use. If you didn't get any you could ask them to send you some but I suspect they were included. They are pretty easy to use and should come with instructions or you can find them online.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the tips!

1. Hmm, maybe the first kit I have isn't wired to retain the factory amp, then, which is why the sub doesn't work even though I'm providing it a signal ... I'll look more closely at that wiring.

2. I don't quite follow - you're saying that I need to tap directly into the wire on the Element side that goes to pin 3 of the harness, and that it won't work if I add a wire to the Metra connector to get the signal from pin 3?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I stuck with my idea of pulling pins from another Metra harness and adding them to the Metra 70-7863, and that worked! (Once I sorted out my other wiring mistakes.) So I think I'll stick with this approach in the future - no need to cut/splice wires in the vehicle itself. :)
 

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I stuck with my idea of pulling pins from another Metra harness and adding them to the Metra 70-7863, and that worked! (Once I sorted out my other wiring mistakes.) So I think I'll stick with this approach in the future - no need to cut/splice wires in the vehicle itself. :)
Yes, technically you're supposed to tap on the Element side of the wire which is why Crutchfield didn't wire it for you. I've heard of people having it work fine by tapping right into the harness so if that works for you then no biggie. I still would look into posi-taps. They make things a lot easier.
 

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Im impatient and only skimmed the text, but this is a classic problem when people mix up harnesses between amplified & non-amplified systems.

The reason you think the sub isnt playing is because you have mismatched audio sources feeding into the OEM amplifier. The OEM amplifier is expecting low level signals for all audio (fronts/rears/subwoofer), which the EX harness should be using for all channels. (speakers wires coming from the new radio should not be used at all). With the LX harness you are connecting high voltage audio signals to the OEM amplifiers' low level input which is basically the same as screaming into a megaphone. The sub is on but you cant hear it because the rest of the system is playing exponentially louder than the sub.

You need to use all 3 RCA outputs from the new deck to run the entire system, which will bring the fronts & rears back down to match the level of the subwoofer.

If your deck does not have 3 sets of audio outputs then you need to use the LX harness and then modify the EX subwoofer harness to splice it into the rear left speaker wires. (pos to pos, neg to neg)
This will boost the subwoofer up to the high level output the rest of the system is getting, but you will loose the independent subwoofer control from the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Aha! Thank you very much! I suspected it would have something to do with the amplifier, but I hadn't found this level of detail.

I'm all good now, having used the EX wiring kit (and sent the LX kit back to Crutchfield). I'm using the RCA connectors for FR/FL/RR/RL/Sub. The subwoofer still seems a bit faint, and there doesn't seem to be any way to goose it up other than the radio's equalizer, but it's definitely functional.

I appreciate the information and I'm really glad now that I didn't blow anything!
 

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If the deck has a dedicated subwoofer output it should also have a subwoofer specific gain/boost option, allowing you to turn up the bass without over driving the equalizer options.

Also check the crossovers, because it is a tiny 6.5" sub you want it crossed over very high (150hz or higher) and could honestly run it full range since the sub is in the front anyway.

Explore the menus and features of the radio, or maybe read the owners manual.... :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry to thread hijack but how does one tell if they have the factory subwoofer? Where is it located?
I believe you have a factory sub if you have the seven-speaker system, which is standard on the EX. I don't know if the seven-speaker system was an option on the LX.

Easiest way to know if you have it: put your hand on the center column below the gear shift, turn up the volume, and feel for the thumping.
 

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Got it... thanks so much! I saw the grill there but wasn't sure if that was just part of the normal speaker system. Based on what you're telling me I do have the subwoofer version! Just wasn't sure because the actual head unit doesn't seem particularly high end. Planning on upgrading some stuff and just wasn't sure what was going on. Thanks again!!
 
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