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Thanks for chiming in!

I might like you, do this in stages. Head unit and speakers first.. and then later add the JL sub and amp the door speakers. This is all so expensive!!

I will also do the adapter so my steering wheel controls work.. I use them a lot.


If it were me and i was trying to do this on a budget i would do it in 3-4 parts, with part 4 being optional.

Part 1, replace the radio, install the pac harness and that will get your working for right now with steering wheel controls. I would still bypass the bose amp as discussed earlier in this thread. The aftermarket radio puts out the same power roughly as the bose amp (its within a few watts, and its more than half the power so theres no audible difference). That way you dont have any issues with the amp failing and your ready for further steps. You should also replace the speakers in this step if you can, these 2 things will make the largest improvement in audio quality in your truck.

Part 2, install the sub amp, power wire kit, capacitor should you choose to then install the sub amp and the sub box. This is the next largest improvement in audio quality

Part 3, install the 4 channel amp. This is the least benificial step in terms of over all audio quality, especially if you dont intend to crank it up. Note that something like the alpine powerpack might also be a good option for you since your not trying to win a soundoff competition.

Part 4 (optional), the last thing that you can do to improve the sound quality past this point is to reduce ambient noise and vibration. This gets expensive quickly. This step would entail adding Dynamat or the like to the doors, floors, roof, rear cab wall and then dynapad over some of that. The purpose of Dynamat and similar products is to add weight to the panels. The panel is going to vibrate, there is no stopping that, but if you add mass to it, it lowers the frequency of the vibration and if you add enough mass to it, it will drop it below the audible threshold for our hearing. The dynapad is there to keep the plastic door panels from buzzing against the metal (loose clips and such) as well as to keep the wire harnesses from making noise. It also reduces engine, road and air noise inside the cab which effectively adds power to your audio system.

Say that your ambient noise is 70 dB and your system can produce 90 dB. If it takes 100 amps to generate that 90 dB, then it will take 200 amps to generate 93 dB, 400 amps to generate 96 dB and so on. However, if you were to add dynamat to the truck and lower the ambient noise to 61 dB, you would effectively add the perceived audio power of 600 amps more input power with no extra load on the charging system. This too has diminishing returns though, you can only add so much mat in the truck, and adding more on top of that does not change anything significantly but the weight of your wallet.

Typically, i consider there to be 3 levels of sound damping installation

first, you buy a single door kit (usually like 4 sheets) and you cut them up into strips, and place them in key areas that are prone to flexing (the inside of the exterior sheet metal of the door for example, and the interior metal that supports the speaker. This is your best bang for the buck option, your maybe 100$ in materials and you get a good improvement in audio quality.

Next would be to cover every sheet metal surface in a layer of dynamat, i think this is excessive, and very expensive as your probably looking at close to 1500$ in materials to do it, but it does offer better noise reduction than just doing the strips. That said, you do not get a 15X improvement in audio quality, where as you do get a 15X increase in price.

Lastly would be to add dynapad over the mat, this is the final step and is one of the things that separates a "luxury" vehicle from a commuter. Adding a layer of this to all the interior panels will really quite the trucks ride down. The padding though is quite expensive as well so all said and done, it would not be unheard of to spend 2-3 K on sound damping. Personally, unless you have a hookup that can get you cost on the materials i would do the first option with some strips in strategic locations. This is a really good way to improve sound quality without breaking the bank, and you can always add more later.

a warning though on dynamat and pad and similar products (its more or less all the same stuff...) you do NOT want to put it over wire harnesses. That is to say that your dynamat should be atatched ONLY to sheet metal, and should not cover any wire harnesses. It wont hurt them, but if you ever need to get in there to replace something or need to get that harness out for any reason you will invent profanity never before imagined. Once bonded, dynamat is essentially forever, it is not meant to come off, even if baked in the Arizona sun. The pad is less of an issue, however what i like to do is put a strip under the harness, and a strip on the plastic door panel so that the harness is uncovered but sandwiched between the foam when the panels on. Ive been on the receiving end of a bad dynamat job where you have to dig wires out, i can tell you from experience that your bill will go up drastically if someone has to dig through that mess.
 

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the 4 guage wire is Rockford Fosgate kit, and it says " Full US specification CEA-2006 compliant AWG 4"

The 8 guage wire is "Streetwires originals powerstream 8 car audio connectology manufactureed by esoteric audio usa"

If I remember correctly, I did some math when I installed this system and concluded I needed a smaller fuse, therefore I put in the 60 amp fuse. But this was 3-4 years ago, so I don't really remember.


ahh, ok that makes more sense. rockfords wire at least the last time i saw it is good quality stuff, you will be fine with that. The fuse in the fuse holder though is not there to protect the hardware, its there to prevent a fire, so typically you fuse the power wire as high as it will safely go (without being ridiculous) so that you have less voltage drop and heat across the fuse. I would re-fuse the main power wire at 100 amps, your totally safe there on the 4 gauge and the 8 gauge so long as the run is less than a few feet on the 8 gauge, and the total length 4 and 8 combined is less than 25 ish feet or so.
 

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I cannot speak to your amp system, Im not that much into audio to spend money on that. I do have a Pioneer AVIC 7200NEX and I LOVE it. It will allow Apple Car Play with its Google Maps. I actually use that and the GPS in the unit at the same time because each have different functions that I like.

As for a backup camera I bought this one for my license Plate mount. I liked it best because the mounting was all metal and not cheap plastic which the sun here in Louisiana would make brittle after time. Installs easy and plugs right into the back of the Pioneer.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Auto-vox-170-Car-Rear-View-Reverse-Backup-Camera-License-Plate-LED-Night-Vision/282669856312?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Since you just got the truck you may also find this thread interesting and useful.

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/maintenance/988217-maintenance-info-suggestions-new-owners.html
 

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Discussion Starter #25
If it were me and i was trying to do this on a budget i would do it in 3-4 parts, with part 4 being optional.

Part 1, replace the radio, install the pac harness and that will get your working for right now with steering wheel controls. I would still bypass the bose amp as discussed earlier in this thread. The aftermarket radio puts out the same power roughly as the bose amp (its within a few watts, and its more than half the power so theres no audible difference). That way you dont have any issues with the amp failing and your ready for further steps. You should also replace the speakers in this step if you can, these 2 things will make the largest improvement in audio quality in your truck.

Part 2, install the sub amp, power wire kit, capacitor should you choose to then install the sub amp and the sub box. This is the next largest improvement in audio quality

Part 3, install the 4 channel amp. This is the least benificial step in terms of over all audio quality, especially if you dont intend to crank it up. Note that something like the alpine powerpack might also be a good option for you since your not trying to win a soundoff competition.

Part 4 (optional), the last thing that you can do to improve the sound quality past this point is to reduce ambient noise and vibration. This gets expensive quickly. This step would entail adding Dynamat or the like to the doors, floors, roof, rear cab wall and then dynapad over some of that. The purpose of Dynamat and similar products is to add weight to the panels. The panel is going to vibrate, there is no stopping that, but if you add mass to it, it lowers the frequency of the vibration and if you add enough mass to it, it will drop it below the audible threshold for our hearing. The dynapad is there to keep the plastic door panels from buzzing against the metal (loose clips and such) as well as to keep the wire harnesses from making noise. It also reduces engine, road and air noise inside the cab which effectively adds power to your audio system.

Say that your ambient noise is 70 dB and your system can produce 90 dB. If it takes 100 amps to generate that 90 dB, then it will take 200 amps to generate 93 dB, 400 amps to generate 96 dB and so on. However, if you were to add dynamat to the truck and lower the ambient noise to 61 dB, you would effectively add the perceived audio power of 600 amps more input power with no extra load on the charging system. This too has diminishing returns though, you can only add so much mat in the truck, and adding more on top of that does not change anything significantly but the weight of your wallet.

Typically, i consider there to be 3 levels of sound damping installation

first, you buy a single door kit (usually like 4 sheets) and you cut them up into strips, and place them in key areas that are prone to flexing (the inside of the exterior sheet metal of the door for example, and the interior metal that supports the speaker. This is your best bang for the buck option, your maybe 100$ in materials and you get a good improvement in audio quality.

Next would be to cover every sheet metal surface in a layer of dynamat, i think this is excessive, and very expensive as your probably looking at close to 1500$ in materials to do it, but it does offer better noise reduction than just doing the strips. That said, you do not get a 15X improvement in audio quality, where as you do get a 15X increase in price.

Lastly would be to add dynapad over the mat, this is the final step and is one of the things that separates a "luxury" vehicle from a commuter. Adding a layer of this to all the interior panels will really quite the trucks ride down. The padding though is quite expensive as well so all said and done, it would not be unheard of to spend 2-3 K on sound damping. Personally, unless you have a hookup that can get you cost on the materials i would do the first option with some strips in strategic locations. This is a really good way to improve sound quality without breaking the bank, and you can always add more later.

a warning though on dynamat and pad and similar products (its more or less all the same stuff...) you do NOT want to put it over wire harnesses. That is to say that your dynamat should be atatched ONLY to sheet metal, and should not cover any wire harnesses. It wont hurt them, but if you ever need to get in there to replace something or need to get that harness out for any reason you will invent profanity never before imagined. Once bonded, dynamat is essentially forever, it is not meant to come off, even if baked in the Arizona sun. The pad is less of an issue, however what i like to do is put a strip under the harness, and a strip on the plastic door panel so that the harness is uncovered but sandwiched between the foam when the panels on. Ive been on the receiving end of a bad dynamat job where you have to dig wires out, i can tell you from experience that your bill will go up drastically if someone has to dig through that mess.

I love this. Again, thank you for taking the time to explain this to me.

I think I will be on stage one real soon. I wanted to do it for my trip to Sturgis Bike Week, but I am now out of time. Because of that, I am going slower and doing it right. Head unit and speakers now.

I also want to do this dynamat for the doors. What kit do you recommend specifically? I will do all 4 doors. I probably won't do anything else, not worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
ahh, ok that makes more sense. rockfords wire at least the last time i saw it is good quality stuff, you will be fine with that. The fuse in the fuse holder though is not there to protect the hardware, its there to prevent a fire, so typically you fuse the power wire as high as it will safely go (without being ridiculous) so that you have less voltage drop and heat across the fuse. I would re-fuse the main power wire at 100 amps, your totally safe there on the 4 gauge and the 8 gauge so long as the run is less than a few feet on the 8 gauge, and the total length 4 and 8 combined is less than 25 ish feet or so.
Got it. I'll change the fuse to a 100 amp fuse this time. :)

which battery should I run the wire to? the one on the drivers front, or passenger rear in the engine compartment?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I cannot speak to your amp system, Im not that much into audio to spend money on that. I do have a Pioneer AVIC 7200NEX and I LOVE it. It will allow Apple Car Play with its Google Maps. I actually use that and the GPS in the unit at the same time because each have different functions that I like.

As for a backup camera I bought this one for my license Plate mount. I liked it best because the mounting was all metal and not cheap plastic which the sun here in Louisiana would make brittle after time. Installs easy and plugs right into the back of the Pioneer.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Auto-vox-170-Car-Rear-View-Reverse-Backup-Camera-License-Plate-LED-Night-Vision/282669856312?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Since you just got the truck you may also find this thread interesting and useful.

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/maintenance/988217-maintenance-info-suggestions-new-owners.html
Thank you for the report on the Pioneer. I do think I am leaning that direction now. I have always loved Pioneer single DIN units, so I guess there is no reason to go away from Pioneer on the double DIN unit.

I put that camera in my shopping car on ebay for future research. I will probably do this as well!!

Thanks for the link - and for the help!
 

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I love this. Again, thank you for taking the time to explain this to me.

I think I will be on stage one real soon. I wanted to do it for my trip to Sturgis Bike Week, but I am now out of time. Because of that, I am going slower and doing it right. Head unit and speakers now.

I also want to do this dynamat for the doors. What kit do you recommend specifically? I will do all 4 doors. I probably won't do anything else, not worth the effort.

It depends how much you want to put into each door. If you go dynamat they make kits specifically for the doors. these kits are measured out to more or less completely cover 2 doors so if you want full coverage you need 2 kits, or if you want to use the patch and fill method where you use strips and dont get full coverage then 1 kit will do all 4 doors. Im sure other brands make the same kind of kits but my experience is largely with dynamat.




Got it. I'll change the fuse to a 100 amp fuse this time. :)

which battery should I run the wire to? the one on the drivers front, or passenger rear in the engine compartment?


which ever is easier to get to, usually id go to the passenger battery just due to it having less crap on it and theres already wires along the firewall to zip tie your power cable to but it really doesent matter either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
bypassing your amp is super easy, there is a plug with a christmass tree style retaining clip on the back side of the radio basket behind the HVAC controls, disconnect it and connect your radio harness to that instead and wire the harness as if it were not a bose truck. thats all you have to do to bypass the bose amp, no extra wires run, no pulling the amp out.

i would not personally install a sub in the center console, not a lot of air volume and its prone to rattling, id mount your amps to the back wall behind the seats so its nearly impossible to grow legs, put your sub box under the rear seat, run 3 sets or RCA cables back and a run of speed wire back up to the radio harness for your amplifies speaker return. you do not want to run amplified audio into the bose amp, you will have a bad time.

i had not posted to this earlier as i did not see a specific question asked, the hardware you have and the radio your looking at seem like reasonable options for the truck. If you have questions, ill try to answer them. Also, as far as the radio goes i would personally go Pioneer over Kenwood but thats my preference. The pioneers have a faster operating system and there settings are a little more intuitive to navigate. I also think they look better but thats subjective.


if you cant find the plug im talking about, pull your radio and HVAC controls (you dont need to disconnect them, just remove them from the dash and let them hang, 2 7mm screws and you need to pop the 4 white lock tabs in to remove the panel) out and take a picture, ill point it out. It should be pretty clear but ive done it probably 500 times and sometimes i forget not everyone has that much touch time on this kind of work.
Coming back to this...

Does the PAC RP5 GM11 harness allow me to plug into the connector behind the HVAC control to bypass the Bose amp? I am on their website and it says the following:

Retains OnStar® and functions when the factory radio is replaced
Retains steering wheel controls (pre-programmed)
Retains factory Bluetooth (2009+ model vehicles)
Retains rear seat audio controls
Retains all warning chimes (chime module included)
Retains back-up sensors/park assist
Retains factory BOSE and premium Bose audio systems (does not support fading)
Compatible with non-amplified audio systems

Supports dual zone audio functions
Chime volume adjustment (factory buttons)
Rear Seat Entertainment Retention
Retained accessory power output (RAP)
Reverse Wire output
VSS (Vehicle Speed Sense) output
Illumination output, Parking brake output
Includes antenna adaptor

Will that work correctly for what I am trying to do?

I have settled on the following:

Kenwood Excelon DDX8906S
PAC RP5-GM11 wiring interface
Metra 95-2001 dash kit
JL audio Stealthbox inside center console
Rockford Fosgate Punch P300X1 amp for sub
JL Audio C1-650x speakers front and rear doors
disconnecting tweeters in A pillar
Rockford Fosgate Punch P400X4 amp for door speakers
20 foot 9 wire 18 gauge for wiring amp to speakers
 

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Coming back to this...

Does the PAC RP5 GM11 harness allow me to plug into the connector behind the HVAC control to bypass the Bose amp? I am on their website and it says the following:

Retains OnStar® and functions when the factory radio is replaced
Retains steering wheel controls (pre-programmed)
Retains factory Bluetooth (2009+ model vehicles)
Retains rear seat audio controls
Retains all warning chimes (chime module included)
Retains back-up sensors/park assist
Retains factory BOSE and premium Bose audio systems (does not support fading)
Compatible with non-amplified audio systems

Supports dual zone audio functions
Chime volume adjustment (factory buttons)
Rear Seat Entertainment Retention
Retained accessory power output (RAP)
Reverse Wire output
VSS (Vehicle Speed Sense) output
Illumination output, Parking brake output
Includes antenna adaptor

Will that work correctly for what I am trying to do?

I have settled on the following:

Kenwood Excelon DDX8906S
PAC RP5-GM11 wiring interface
Metra 95-2001 dash kit
JL audio Stealthbox inside center console
Rockford Fosgate Punch P300X1 amp for sub
JL Audio C1-650x speakers front and rear doors
disconnecting tweeters in A pillar
Rockford Fosgate Punch P400X4 amp for door speakers
20 foot 9 wire 18 gauge for wiring amp to speakers



The RP5-GM11 has 2 plugs on the side of the module, one for amplified one for non amplified, you can use it to bypass the factory amp as described above, you would just plug into the unamplified connector on the blue module instead of the bose amp plug.

 

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Discussion Starter #31
The RP5-GM11 has 2 plugs on the side of the module, one for amplified one for non amplified, you can use it to bypass the factory amp as described above, you would just plug into the unamplified connector on the blue module instead of the bose amp plug.

fantastic, thank you!

Will it be apparent where to wire in the radio to this and then the 9 wire to it? or is there a writeup somewhere that I can't find on the Google Machine?
 

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fantastic, thank you!

Will it be apparent where to wire in the radio to this and then the 9 wire to it? or is there a writeup somewhere that I can't find on the Google Machine?
i think that it is apparent, but i also did this for a living for quite a few years. Google will almost certainly have this answers for you as well but ill give a summary of how the wiring should be done.



from the radio connect RCA cables to the 4 channel amp. This is your low level signal into the amplifier (if your amp supports high level input you can do that too if you like, that is up to you and there are good and bad reasons for both options)

From the 4 channel amp to the harness, connect speed wire to each of the 8 outputs on the amp, run the wire up to the radio cavity, and connect it to the color coded speaker wires that plug into 1 of the 2 ports shown in the picture above. Alternately you can omit that harness all together and hardwire the speed wire into the factory wiring, but running through the pac module should be fine unless your are exceeding 50 watts per speaker, which if memory serves is all the module is rated to pass through it. If you are exceeding that you need to hardware the speed wire into the factory speaker wires behind the radio.

You need to run the blue/white wire from the radio to the amp, there is a blue wire in the 9 wire that is intended for this, connect the blue/white at the radio to the blue wire in the speed wire, and the other end of the blue wire to the remote input on the amp, connect power and ground on the amp.

plug in all required connectors

Connect power, ground, accessory on the radio

you should be ready to tune the system now.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
i think that it is apparent, but i also did this for a living for quite a few years. Google will almost certainly have this answers for you as well but ill give a summary of how the wiring should be done.



from the radio connect RCA cables to the 4 channel amp. This is your low level signal into the amplifier (if your amp supports high level input you can do that too if you like, that is up to you and there are good and bad reasons for both options)

From the 4 channel amp to the harness, connect speed wire to each of the 8 outputs on the amp, run the wire up to the radio cavity, and connect it to the color coded speaker wires that plug into 1 of the 2 ports shown in the picture above. Alternately you can omit that harness all together and hardwire the speed wire into the factory wiring, but running through the pac module should be fine unless your are exceeding 50 watts per speaker, which if memory serves is all the module is rated to pass through it. If you are exceeding that you need to hardware the speed wire into the factory speaker wires behind the radio.

You need to run the blue/white wire from the radio to the amp, there is a blue wire in the 9 wire that is intended for this, connect the blue/white at the radio to the blue wire in the speed wire, and the other end of the blue wire to the remote input on the amp, connect power and ground on the amp.

plug in all required connectors

Connect power, ground, accessory on the radio

you should be ready to tune the system now.
Thank you.
yeah - I meant the speed wire, where I connect that. I know how to plug in the rest. But, since I am bypassing a portion of the factory system, I just want to make sure I do it right so nothing gets effed up.

The Rockford 4 channel amp I will use is 50w RMS per channel, so it should be fine to run through the PAC unit. Going through the PAC unit allows the Onstar to work properly, right?
 

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Thank you.
yeah - I meant the speed wire, where I connect that. I know how to plug in the rest. But, since I am bypassing a portion of the factory system, I just want to make sure I do it right so nothing gets effed up.

The Rockford 4 channel amp I will use is 50w RMS per channel, so it should be fine to run through the PAC unit. Going through the PAC unit allows the Onstar to work properly, right?

im not 100% on the onstar just because you have an 06, which would have been analog and discontinued. There was a conversion for them to the new digital system but those early onstar systems are kind of an anomaly, ive seen very very few that were operational even before the radio swap. However yes, it SHOULD work if you go through the harness. if you do not go through the harness though it wont work for sure.
 

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The wire colors on the input harness to the pac module will be color coded the same as the wires on the speed wire, so you just need to connect them 1 to 1, i would solder and heatshrink, or butt connect the harness. Both options are fine, butt connectors are faster, easier, and require less tools and skills, but they are kinda ugly. The soldered harness is much cleaner but required more time, soldering skills and more materials.
 

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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
Well, I got everything installed!
I am very happy with all of the pieces I have purchased for this build.
I did initially struggle with the Rockford amps.. when I went through their setting up for clipping, it didn't make any sense. It had me stop at 9 volts input.. but I couldn't even hear the sub. Called Crutchfield, and they told me I could turn that way down. The Kenwood puts out 5 volts preamp signal. I have them at 2 now to get some noise out of the speakers. :)
Only thing I am struggling with now is to decide if I let the 4 channel amp send only high pass signal to the four door speakers, or leave it on AP for all pass.

Here's a couple pics of the amp rack I built, and install.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
the rest of the pics
 

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Nice job man! Looks like a nice clean install!
Thanks! It definitely took a lot of time to do it right, but I am really happy with how it turned out. :)
 

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Looks good. Personally the way i have always tuned amps is to put on a series of songs across several genres that im very familiar with, turn the radio volume up to 75% and then adjust the gain output on the amp until it clips, then dial the gain back a little. That gives you some head room in case a song comes on that's really quiet. I would tune the door speakers with the sub turned off, and i would tune them with the amp in highpass mode at something around 60-80 hz. Filters are not a clean cut, so a filter that cuts everything at 80 hz will still play lower than that, just at a steeply reduced level. so if your sub amp is set around the same, you will get some cross over between the speakers at the point where the high and low pass meet. once you get the door speakers sounding good, turn the sub on, and tune that, which should be much easier. Then give everything a listen to and make fine adjustments as needed.


NOTE: if you have access to an RTA, there are better ways to do this, but i am assuming that you, like 99.99999% of the people on this forum do not own an RTA so the above is the best way to tune the system. Should you for some reason have an RTA laying around that would be more ideal to tune the system.

Also, not that it matters at this point, but you do not need those speaker brackets. They are not the correct bracket for that truck anyway. Wont hurt you to leave them in there though so long as the speakers not rubbing on the back of the door panel.
 
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