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[Moderator's note: Emass's website is now a 404, so the images linked in this post and other below are gone. 10/26/2017]

This is a work in progress but I believe it is accurate. If I've mis-labeled something or left something out - please let me know. This diagram is a work in progress not a bible. :D

The main goal of this integration diagram is to show how an aftermarket head unit with RCA pre-outs, non fading subwoofer control, and an aux source can be fully integrated with the Element EX factory amplifier, subwoofer, speakers, and AUX jack without any special integration equipment such as line level converters, etc. All you need is some male RCA jacks and some patience.

Lastly, please be aware that the image below is considered intellectual property and should not be downloaded for the purposes of posting elsewhere or linked to elsewhere on the Internet. Thanks for your cooperation. :D

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just for reference - the following diagram will give you an idea of what the wiring on the back of an aftermarket head unit might look like. If the head unit below had an AUX source and non fading subwoofer control you'd see 2 additional pairs of rca pre outs...

 

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eMass you rock.

Thanks for this post, it'll make things a LOT easier!
 

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Thanks for the diagrams.

I have 2 questions.

1) I am using the metra 70-1721 harness adapter, but it DOES NOT have the Amplifier Turn on wire. Is the amp auto powered when there is a signal? There are only 14 wires coming, not 15 like in the diagram.

2) I have a left and right subwoofer RCA input on my head unit. How I connect it to the mono-subwoofer inputs? (just the left?)

:?: :?: :?:

edit: one more question

3) Does the PAC RCA to Line Level Adapter go in between the speaker +/- and the RCA plugs on the left side of the diagram?
 

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1. The Power Antenna lead is also the Amplifier Turn On. I had the same problem where the speakers came on only when I was in Tuner mode. I then connected the Element's Power Antenna to the Amplifier Turn On of my new head unit.

2. You mean left and right subwoofer OUTPUT right? I just connected mine to the left and seems to be working fine.

System:
Clarion ProAudio VRX935VD DVD/MP3 Receiver/7" LCD Monitor (sound processor under driver's seat)
Infinity Kappa 6.1 components (rear)
Rockford Fosgate Punch 801X 4 Channel Amplifier (under driver's side rear seat)
Existing Element's Front speakers and subwoofer.

Mike
 

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eMass,

Do you happen to know if the OEM unit has a mute-wire?

-brendan
 

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emass -

Three areas of concern:

1. The picture of the Metra 70-1721 on your diagram doesn't match mine. Is that the same part, or not?

Other than it being black (mine's white), the harness having an outer positive locking assembly (mine doesn't), it seems like the business end is exactly the same, but the wiring indicates it was *mirror image* flipped (like someone imaged a negative that was layed down on the wrong side).

Also, mine seems to be missing the amplifier turn on wire, all the rest are there. Is that needed?

2. The subwoofer (red/blue, red/white) cables: are those on the same harness, or elsewhere?

3. Related: on element-j's headunit page (http://www.re-vision.com/element-j/head_unit.htmlhttp://www.re-vision.com/element-j/head_unit.html), the blue plug is what we connect the 70-1721 into, yes? The white/black plug is, I assume, the aux socket plug, yes? But what's the green plug for??? Wait a sec, it matches the color of the socket at the amp. ugh, i think my assumptions are all wrong. :(

thanks for any help you can give...

-brendan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The pictures are for illustration only and do not represent the actual harnesses. The wiring diagram colors should match the diagram although it's always safer to match the functions - not the colors.

I believe he amplifier turn on wire for the Element is actually the antenna lead. If there's nothing to conenct the amp turn on to then don't.

The subwoofer cables should be on the same harness.

The harness plugs are all keyed so that you can't plug something else into it. It will all be much clearer to you when you take things apart and look at them although the guide above is no substitute for professional assistance from your local car stereo shop! :)
 

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eMass said:
The pictures are for illustration only and do not represent the actual harnesses. The wiring diagram colors should match the diagram although it's always safer to match the functions - not the colors.
Ok, good.

eMass said:
I believe he amplifier turn on wire for the Element is actually the antenna lead. If there's nothing to conenct the amp turn on to then don't.
Ok, I'll keep that in mind, and be prepared to do some last minute rewiring for that at the car.

eMass said:
The subwoofer cables should be on the same harness.
Oh. Huh. The 70-1721 I have doesn't have enough wires to carry a separate subwoofer channel. Great.

eMass said:
The harness plugs are all keyed so that you can't plug something else into it. It will all be much clearer to you when you take things apart and look at them although the guide above is no substitute for professional assistance from your local car stereo shop! :)
Ok, no guarantee, I understand. :)

One last question:

What's the green plug going into the stock EX headunit shown on Element-J's site? The larger white one is what I plug the 70-1721 into. I assumed the smaller white was the aux-in connector. That still leaves a bunch of leads on the green connector un-accounted for...

thanks again, emass,
-brendan
 

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u got a stock amp wiring diagram?
 

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Yeah, I've got the service manual now. You want the wiring of the stock amp sitting in the passenger side kickpanel, right?

-brendan
 

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eMass said:
Otherwise, take note that line level is the opposite of speaker level. Line level means an UNamplified signal sent over RCA cables at typically 1.5 to 7 volts.

Some of the posts here regarding 'line level' will have certainly confused audio novices...
Agreed...for the most part. I *think* most consumer line level signals are supposed to peak at up to 2V, though some peak lower (I've read that 0.3V is the minimum to be considered line level and not mic or amplified mic level).

However, *some* pro and/or pro-sumer line level outs are advertised to go up to 4V or 6V peaks. Typically these "line-level plus" outputs are used to fight noise interference in long cable runs to an amp.

And standard in-car speaker levels tends to peak at or above 20V (I think I read somewhere that 20V is typical for a 50W speaker). More if you're putting in high power stuff.

Then there's the stuff about input impedance and output impedance, which I don't have my head wrapped around yet.

But let's agree: "line level" is the voltage level typically seen on a) RCA stereo connectors, b) the line-in expected by an outboard amp and therefore generated by devices providing signal to an amp and finally, c) approximately the level given by the headphone outputs of a portable CD or MP3 player connected to an aux-in jack, provided that it's volume control is adjusted such that the loudness of the portable matches the loudness of the in-dash radio/cd-player when playing other material. :)

-brendan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Let me put this to bed since there seems to be alot of confusion about "speaker line level" vs. "preamp" outputs...

Many aftermarket car stereo head units have 2 different types of outputs.

One type of output (the preamp output) is designed to drive the preamp level input of an amplifier, crossover or equalizer. Preamp level outputs do not have enough output current to allow them to drive speakers directly. They are generally included on higher end equipment. In virtually all cases, they will have RCA type connectors. Some units will have only one set of preamp outputs while others might have multiple pairs of outputs for front, rear and subwoofer signals.

The other type of output (speaker line level output) is designed to drive a set of speakers directly and may also be (far less commonly) used to drive the audio input of an amplifier.

The main difference between the preamp signal and the speaker output signal is the current capability of the signal.

The preamp level signal is a very low noise, low current output. The speaker output signal is capable of supplying much more current than the preamp output signal.

The output voltage levels from the preamp outputs and speaker outputs MAY be approximately the same but the speaker drive voltage is usually higher. When the volume is low, the voltage out is low.

To increase the volume, you must increase the output voltage. You are controlling the output voltage level when you set the volume level.

Also, you can convert line level signals into preamp type signals. If you have a stock head unit and don't want to replace it, you'll likely need to use a Line Output Converter (LOC). This is a small box with line level wires on one end and RCA preamp outputs on the other with an adjustable gain dial on board. These units will convert the speaker level signal to a preamp level signal.

Maybe the best way for people to think about preamp vs. line level outputs is the terminology "high" and "low". Think high level output when you're talking about speaker line level leads and think low when talking about RCA style preamp leads.

Hope this helps! :D
 

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DIY - Aftermarket Headunits - How to bypass the stock amp to avoid distortion.

[Moderator's note: Sier's site is now a 404. Images linked in this post and below are gone. 10/26/2017]

Difficulty: If you have installed a few car stereo's in your life, this should be fairly self explanatory. If you are a novice to wiring, this might seem a little overwhelming. This modification does require a bit of work, but you will have a much cleaner, crisper sound with the results. If you have any questions about this, ask them BEFORE you attempt to do this.



After installing aftermarket headunits, a few people have asked how to bypass the stock amp that way they wont have to run new wire throughout the Element to the door and dash speakers to avoid distortion.

If you dont already know, the stock amp is located behind the passenger side kick panel. If you are sitting in the passenger seat, this is the plastic floor-panel on the right side of your right foot.(under the glovebox).

Remove this panel:




You will want to pull on this piece from the front - meaning the side that is up by the engine - and pull the panel away from passenger-side wall. Then you will see your stock amp, laughing at you for the distortion it has caused.

####### This section can be difficult, but makes things easier in the long run######

Remove the two bottom screws on the amp. There is a third nut on the top that is on a 2 inch bolt that is attached to the Element. This nut will be pretty difficult to remove without a socket wrench and a DEEP socket. I ended up winding my hand in there and using a pair of pliers to loosen up the bolt and untightened it by hand. If you dont want to remove this screw, you can still complete the bypass


######EDIT#######
I believe you can access the top screw if you pop the glovebox out. It's super easy to do. Here's a diagram on how to remove the clips in the glovebox. Make sure its empty, because it flips upsidedown:



#############################################################

If you removed the amp, the next section will be a snap. If not, you will have to do a few things first.

There is a black plastic sleeve (with clips) that fits over the wires leading to and from the amp that is attached to the side of the amp. You can completely remove this sleeve for easier access, but it is not needed if you removed the amp.

If you have removed the amp, take out the two plugs on the top.

If you have not removed the amp, feel around on the top of the amp and you will feel two plugs. In the center of each plug is a "release" tab (just like on the wire harness of a stereo). Press this center in and tug upwards to release the plug. Repeat with the other plug.

If you dont have enough slack on these plugs, you might have to release the clips on the black plastic sleeve that covers them (on the side of the amp...this will make sense when you are looking at it). Once the wires are free of that sleeve you should have more than enough room to do your splicing.

You'll notice that the wires leading into the amp are the same as the color configuration coming from the wire harness like this diagram:

http://home.comcast.net/~derek-kelly/element/audio/eaudint.jpg
(thanks to emass for that wiring diagram)

All you need to pay attention to are the colors of the front and rear spearkers (both positive and negative). Here are the front and rear colors of the speaker wires that come from the stereo:

amp input speaker wiring color codes (all line level - comes from deck):

front left + = white
front left - = orange
front right + = yellow
front right - = brown
rear left + = red
rear left - = green
rear right + = blue
rear right - = black

You'll notice one of the plugs that came out of the amp has all of these colored wires leading to it. This is the set of wires coming from the headunit.

Cut the wires that correspond to the speakers (listed above). This will stop the signal from going into the stock amplifier. Now, cut the following wires on the other plug:

amp output speaker wiring color codes (speaker level - goes to speakers):

front left + = green/black stripe
front left - = green
front right + = green/yellow stripe
front right - = blue/yellow stripe
rear left + = blue/white stripe
rear left - = blue/black stripe
rear right + = pink
rear right - = blue/yellow stripe

These are the wires that lead out of the amp and to the door and dash speakers. Now, all you have to do is simply connect each wire to its counterpart.
 

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Aftermarket Headunit - Bypassing the Stock Amp

These are how the wires should be connected when bypassing the amp.

front left + = white > green/black stripe
front left - = orange > green
front right + = yellow > green/yellow stripe
front right - = brown > blue/yellow stripe
rear left + = red > blue/white stripe
rear left - = green > blue/black stripe
rear right + = blue > pink
rear right - = black > blue/yellow stripe

Here is a picture of my wires before I crimped them. I would recommend crimping all the wires together, but electrical tape will work just fine.



And here is a diagram of how the wires line up with eachother when bypassing the stock amp.

You might notice that there are two blue wires with yellows stripes. To determine which is which, just look at the wire right next to it in the plug, and it will be the positive or negative counter-part. Then refer back to this list to see which blue wire with a yellow stripe you are dealing with based on its counterpart. Hope that helps.




If anyone has any questions, feel free to comment away.


Moderator's Note: wiring codes corrected 7/12/06
 

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Stock Wiring diagram

Does anyone have a diagram showing the stock setup? I see alot of discussions on this boars about what works and doesnt work, and its all very confusing.
 

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help - I'm tweeter-pated!

Forgive me if this sounds like I'm bringing up an old topic, but I searched high and low and read, I thought, every relevant thread.

Can someone clue me in to exactly _where_ the tweeter's wiring connects to the amp? Or do they?

I put in some infinity components, but for the life of me I can't figure out how/where the tweet wires run to.

also, if relevant, why are there FOUR speaker wires on the driver's door?
 

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Re: help - I'm tweeter-pated!

ok, thanks. but I've read through those post like a gazillion times and I still don't see where the wiring from the tweeters connects to everything else.

(please see attached lame diagram, and fill in the missing connection, if you can)
 

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Re: Aftermarket Headunit - Bypassing the Stock Amp

this is a major pain in the ass job, and this thread should be sticky. it'd be cool if someone posted the secret to getting the kick panel off without breaking it (like I did). the whole procedure of bypassing the amp and installing a new head unit that works with the sub is not a job for the faint of heart. just wanted to throw that out there. i'm in the middle of it now, and it's really cool that people have made the whole process do-able, but it seems like getting a professional to do it would've been smarter. i'm upset that i broke that kick panel and scratched a couple other things. it's really tough not to. oh well, hopefully i'll finish today and it'll all work!
 
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