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Installed a new radio but output is too low

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Kindred1313
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:15 pm
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Taurus SES

Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Kindred1313 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:30 pm

Hello everybody. I hope you can help me.

I have a 2004 Ford Taurus I picked up an aftermarket radio install kit (Metra 99-5717) I ran the wires to the back and plugged it all in like it shows. I wired the harness. My radio had 4 wires besides the typical speaker wires. (Black, Orange, solid blue, yellow). I hooked up all the wires except the solid blue, since I was told that was for the electric antenna and I don’t have one on my car and on the harness so there’s a blue wire I did not hook up either. There was no blue/white wire coming from the Head unit to hook up to an Amp.

Everything works except the volume of my radio is extremely low I have to crank it up to 30 to get a decent sound quality. Can somebody help me diagnose why this is?

Thank you all


Deckard_Cain
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Deckard_Cain » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:24 am

Sounds like a factory external amp is not powering up. Usually that's what that solid blue wire is for. That's exactly how other vehicles I've wired with this symptom have been, and on my Jeep (I know, not exactly the same thing), I had ZERO output until I connected the blue wire for the factory amplifiers in the doors, despite my Pioneer HU having twice the RMS power output of the OE radio.

So if you look at all the wires in the factory harness coming out of the dash... look at that plug, does each and every single one of them have a corresponding wire on the Metra harness? And do each of those corresponding wires on the adapter harness connect to a wire on the new stereo?

Kindred1313
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:15 pm
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Taurus SES

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Kindred1313 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:12 am

Yes they all do. The only one I don’t have connected is the blue one. I didn’t think to wire it since it’s the PA wire.

In the trunk of the car I had to unplug the factory harness from the box and plug the Metra harness into that harness like the installation told me to. So is there an amp besides that box? Because if not I don’t see how that wire would be used if there isn’t an amp.

Deckard_Cain
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Deckard_Cain » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:42 am

Generally if there is no external amp, then no... that blue wire (sometimes labeled "remote") would not be used.

The unplugging/bypassing of harnesses in the trunk sounds like that is the aftermarket metra wiring adapter to bypass and eliminate an external amp- which would be because the aftermarket stereo typically provides enough power (and would not be sending a line level input to the external amp anyhow). That's what I remember reading when preparing to install my Pioneer HU in my old 94 Grand Marquis with premium sound from Ford.

Interestingly, I did not bypass the factory amp in that car at all when I did the install. I simply installed the single DIN stereo and new speakers- left the factory amp in the trunk connected and had no issues. Sounded amazing.

Perhaps, just for giggles and testing, undo that Metra bypass adapter in the trunk and plug the factory harness back into whatever box you removed it from.

Kindred1313
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:15 pm
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Taurus SES

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Kindred1313 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:10 am

If I do that then the radio wouldn’t be plugged into anything at all.

Deckard_Cain
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Deckard_Cain » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:15 am

Kindred1313 wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:10 am
If I do that then the radio wouldn’t be plugged into anything at all.
DO you happen to have any pictures of the parts and install? I guess I'm confused as to how your install is unique to those I've seen in the past.

You're saying that the radio plugs into the box in the trunk directly... all the way from the dash back to the trunk space?

Typically, the radio will interface with plugs/vehicle harness up inside the dash... then back in the trunk, if there is anything back there radio related (usually an external amp), that get's addressed separately with a bypass harness (like from Metra) so that you aren't sending aftermarket stereo amplified signals into a factory amp and blow out the pre-amp circuit. The bypass kit would make it so that you are connecting the output of the radio in the dash to the old amp's speaker output wires...

But on my Jeep... I found that the speakers were powered by the external amps- they were actually mounted in the doors next to the speakers. So even though I have a 45wx4 RMS Pioneer sending out amplified signals, I still needed to power up the door amps to have any output at all. That was done by connecting the blue "remote" wire. "Remote" in this case referring to remote power on.

Kindred1313
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:15 pm
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Taurus SES

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Kindred1313 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:26 am

Ok go I have a 2004 Ford taurus. I had to get a Metra bash kit for it. The kit comes with a face plate, a wire harness and a antenna wire. The wire harness and antenna has to be fed to the back of the car and plugged into the speaker harness there that is normally plugged into the “factory radio box” (witch I did) and the radio wires are spliced into the other end of that harness in the front of the car at the dash. (Witch I did) the model of the Metra kit is 99-7517, the back of the kit I had 4 wires 1) red 2)yellow 3) black 4) orange.

On the radio I had 1) red 2) yellow 3) black 4) Blue

On the harness I had all the topical colors I had on the back of the radio.

I spliced all of them except the blue one on the back of the radio and the blue one on the harness since they were booth labeled “power antenna”, I don’t have a power antenna. I also don’t have a Blue and white wire on the back of the radio that would go to an amp.

I noticed I got power and sound but I had to crank up the volume to past 30 to really hear it well.

I then decided to go back in and Connect the two blue wires and see what happens. Nothing changed

Now it seems I get a buzz behind my bash when I turn my headlights on. No matter if the radio is on or not.

I need help here

Thanks

Deckard_Cain
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Deckard_Cain » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:09 pm

Did some looking up on this one, wow these 4th gen Taurus are a pain, wiring wise for the radio.

Finding wiring diagrams for this system online is difficult too. If I had a Haynes manual in front of me, we could see exactly what wires were what, and then you just need to connect them appropriately to the new stereo (regardless of color).

Best I could find is this, which may or may not be the same as on your car depending on different options:

2004 Ford Taurus Car Radio Stereo Wiring Diagram
Car Radio Battery Constant 12v+ Wire: Green/Black
Car Radio Accessory Switched 12v+ Wire: Black/Pink
Car Radio Ground Wire: Black/Green
Car Radio Illumination Wire: N/A
Car Stereo Dimmer Wire: N/A
Car Stereo Antenna Trigger: N/A
Car Stereo Amp Trigger Wire: N/A
Car Stereo Amplifier Location: N/A
Car Audio Front Speakers Size: N/A
Car Audio Front Speakers Location: N/A
Left Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): Orange/Green
Left Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Blue/White
Right Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): Tan/Green
Right Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Green/Orange
Car Audio Rear Speakers Size: N/A
Car Audio Rear Speakers Location: N/A
Left Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Gray/Blue
Left Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Brown/Yellow
Right Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Black/Violet
Right Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Orange/Violet

Does your wiring look anything close to that list? Are there any wires from the vehicle side that are not hooked up to the Metra harness?

Trying to help best I can, this is a fairly dead web forum... so chances are slim no one else is coming around. Sadly.

Kindred1313
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:15 pm
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Taurus SES

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Kindred1313 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:31 pm

Everything looks right and nothing looks unconnected. That’s what is confusing. I think I might just need a secondary small amp to boost the watts. But that’s something that’s out of my wheelhouse

Deckard_Cain
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: Installed a new radio but output is too low

Post by Deckard_Cain » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:47 pm

Kindred1313 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:31 pm
Everything looks right and nothing looks unconnected. That’s what is confusing. I think I might just need a secondary small amp to boost the watts. But that’s something that’s out of my wheelhouse
Well that was where I was going next.... It may just be that your aftermarket stereo isn't as powerful as we think it should be.

Are these also the factory speakers? They could be much higher impedance than what your new stereo is rated to be matched to. An 8ohm speaker will be half as loud at any given volume setting than a 4ohm speaker.

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