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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am showing my new E to my brother in law at my parents' lake house this weekend, and he likes it, though he points out (accurately) that the speakers are no good from the factory. So we go into town (about 200 miles from my actual home) and talk to a nice kid who digs up some 6" JL Audio. (Yes, they're 6", not 6.5".) Sells them to me for $240 for the set of 4 and even agrees to install them.

Once he does, when I first turn them on, I get nothing but the sub. I turn off the ignition, turn it on again, sounds great, I thank the kid and drive away.

I'm driving home today and and they cut out again; sub only is audible. I am able, by cycling the radio once, to get them to come on, but they quickly cut back out.

I pull the grilles when I get home and start disconnecting and reconnecting speakers. Get down to one or two and you can always get the thing to come back to life. Noticing a little bit of exposed metal near the speaker terminals, I put a strip of elec tape on the terminals and on the exposed metal, thinking a short may be dropping the head unit or amp into some sort of auto-protect. Using this method, I am able to get back to three speakers. Though as I clip the grille on the third operating speaker and close the door, cutout. Do I have a mechanical short here?

What's the deal? I will say that these were deep enough that the kid cut the plastic "basket" in the door mount, but they're not so deep as to be hitting the metal on the other side.

Second, there are four wires on the left front. Why? are these supposed to be in parallel? Why?

Any help appreciated.
 

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I hate to say this because you've already tried it but it really does sound like the terminals are shorting out on the door openings. This seems to be a really common problem with the E probably because people are reluctant to cut enough of the plastic basket away. Make sure you really insulate those areas thoroughly to isolate the problem. When in doubt, pull all four speakers and lay them (still connected) on 4 milk crates or something and test. If they work, this is likely your problem, but read on...

Another possible problem could be just 6-12" a little further down the wire. Some installers don't have the proper factory plugs to connect the aftermarket speakers up so they cut off the factory plug and connect a short length of speaker cable so they have room to work. This is because after cutting off the plug, the remaining wires are very short and difficult to work with. You might be getting a short at that splice point.

And one other possible problem could be that the speakers you had installed have a funky impedance - like 2 ohms - and the factory amp cannot handle 2 ohms. This is pretty unlikely however since 99.99% of speakers are 4 ohm.

Also the driver side front speakers have 4 wires because the tweeters are junctioned there as well.

Take your time, be thorough, - and get your money back from that installer! Or better yet, take it back and have him fix it (if of course you still trust him).

Good luck - hope this helps. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, here's the latest. After I posted I went back out and was short-chasing. I noticed at one point on the right front door that with the ignition off and the key out, there was VOLTAGE across the speaker terminals. VOLTAGE! The speaker crackling when I hook it up to a car whose power is OFF! Something's rotten in Denmark, and a local pro-shop is going to run this down. I'll get the other guys to pay.

EMass, thanks for your help. I'll let you know what the pros say -- this one is over my head.
 
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