My New Speaker Install (with pics!)

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
As with many other Trailblazer/Envoy/etc... owners, most of my stock speakers bit the dust and I needed to replace them. I wanted to do a "Sneaky Pete" install, or a full speaker upgrade that at least looks as stock as possible. I feel like I really achieved that with this installation.

I did not upgrade the head unit strictly out of necessity at this time, as replacing the speakers was the highest priority and my budget did not allow for the HU I wanted. I hope to put in a double-din NAV/Bluetooth HU soon (fingers crossed on a good tax return!).

What I went with:
Speakers: (4) Infinity Reference 6032cf 6.5" 2-Way (60 Watts RMS each)
Amplifier: (1) Jensen Power 760.4 4-Channel Amplifier (75 Watts x 4 RMS)
Subwoofer: (1) Sound Ordnance B-8PT Powered Subwoofer (120 Watts RMS)
Wiring: (1)Stinger Battery Terminal Adapter (Should be a SHORT adapter for Trailblazer), (1) dbLink PK4Z 4-Gauge Kit (Amp), (1) SCOSCHE EFX-142PA8 8-Gauge Kit (Subwoofer), (1) SCOSCHE SLC-4 Speaker Level Converter (Line Out Converter)
TrailblazerStereo009.jpg

TrailblazerStereo012.jpg


Tools needed for an identical install (especially for you fellow newbies/first timers):
  • Metric Socket Set (7mm, 10mm, and *preferably DEEP/LONG* 15mm, with extensions)
  • Flat and Phillips Screwdrivers
  • Standard TORX Bit Set (Bit T15H, spectfically, IIRC)
  • Wire Stripper
  • Wire Crimper
  • Razor Knife
  • Quick Terminal Disconnects OR Soldering Iron/Solder
  • Quick Splices
  • Add-A-Fuse (OR Add-A-Circuit) for a 10amp mini fuse (for remote turn-on)

Start by removing the cables from the battery. ALWAYS remove the (-)NEGATIVE (black) cable first. I remove both the NEGATIVE and POSITIVE cables to be safe when working on anything in the electrical system.

Next, remove the seats. This is simpler than I would have thought. On newer models there will be small plastic caps that cover the seat bolts. Use a flat head screwdriver to release the tabs (gently, these will break under pressure) and pull off the covers. Then use a 15mm socket (a deep/long socket will be easier) to loosen the 3 nuts and one bolt (the one closest to the console on each seat will be a bolt).
On my LS model (no power seats) there were two electrical connectors on the front of the seats under the "slide forward/back" back bar on the front. Remove the connectors and pull the seats out.

The Kick Panels/Door Sills and B-Pillars are held in by standard automotive clips, and easily removed. Search YouTube or Google for step-by-step, there are many videos out there on this step.

Now run the power wires. Find a suitable location (close enough to the terminal for the pre-cut wires to reach) to mount the fuse blocks on the driver side of the engine compartment. You may want to simply mark these locations first, then screw them in later to ease running the wires through the rubber boot.
NOTE: I happened to already have 2 separate wiring kits, however, it would have likely been easier to just run one 4-Gauge wire through the boot, and then install a distribution block in the cabin.
TrailblazerStereo014.jpg

TrailblazerStereo037.jpg

TrailblazerStereo038.jpg

TIPS:
  • I used a small knife to cut a "starter hole" in the rubber boot. I felt like this was easier than forcing a screwdriver through, as the screwdriver wanted to pull the whole boot through while pushing on it. I decided to cut above and to the left of the stock wires as I felt that was the easiest place to pull the new wires through.
  • AS PICTURED BELOW: I taped two zip ties together and taped over them on the end of the power wire to give myself a tapered point to pull through the boot. This was BY FAR easier than trying to force the blunt end of 4-Gauge wire through.
  • A small amount of liquid soap applied to the end of the power wire will do wonders to aid in pulling through the small hole in the boot.
2012-01-28_16-51-56_903.jpg


Next, loosen the center console. There are (2) 7mm bolts under the two front rubber cupholders, (4) Phillips head screws under rubber inserts inside of the storage compartment, and (2) more 7mm bolts under the compartment liner. There is also a Torx screw in the front of the shifter you can undo to move the console more freely. I did not completely remove the console, undoing these screws/bolts game me enough freedom to lift/move the console around to feed the wires where they needed to go. There are other posts/videos you can look up online to get more detailed instructions on this step.

Once I had the power wires inside the cabin, I (after running them 3 different ways and changing my mind 3 different times!) ran them under the carpet behind the pedals and down either side of the center console. At this point it becomes obvious how helpful the "split" carpet pattern GM utilized at the factory can be. The carpet is cut in two sections horizontally in the vehicle. Pull the back portion of the carpet up to help in running the power wires under the carpet, out through the factory slits where the OEM seat harnesses come through the carpet.
CarpetSplit2.jpg


Vehicle cabin with everything removed:
TrailblazerStereo016.jpg


Next, I ran my ground wires for the amp and powered sub. There are many opinions on the best ground location. I had originally planned on grounding to the seat bolts, however, decided against it when I realized the bolts were too large for the terminal connections I had on hand to fit around. Instead, I used existing OEM ground locations on the B-Pillars (not ideal being that these locations are not in direct contact with the frame, but after install I have found I have minimal accelerator "whine" and they seem to be good enough). Be sure to sand away any existing paint and place your ground wires underneath the existing factory ground wires.
GroundLocation.jpg


Now, you can run the remote start wires to the fuse box under the rear seat. Replace fuse #47 (10amp) with your "Add-A-Fuse"/"Add-A-Circuit" wire. Twist the ends of your remote wires together and crimp in to the end of your "Add-A-Fuse" wire. This is the first time you might find using a wire hangar helpful to pull wires from one side of the vehicle to the other (straighten the wire hangar and make a small loop at one end, tying the tag end of the passenger side remote wire to the loop, and pull underneath the carpet).
TrailblazerStereo044.jpg


(Continued)...
 

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
Finally, tapping in to the factory input source - wiring the Line-Out-Converter (LOC).
First off, be sure to double check the wiring diagram for your model year vehicle. Frequent poster MAY03LT was a huge help to me linking this Speaker wiring COLORS?? that perfectly matched the wires I needed to tap in to for my Trailblazer.
MAY03LT pointed out http://gmtnation.com/f35/wiring-line-out-converter-1582/#post30548 that there would be duplicate color wires in the RF and the LR (two browns in the LR and two Dark Greens in the RF). I found in my Trailblazer that the speaker wires inside the taped factory wire bundle were running alongside one another, making it easy to decipher which Brown/DarkGreen was the correct wire.
I used quick splices to tap in to each wire, although you can certainly strip the factory wires and use Butt connectors or solder if that is your preference. If done correctly, quick splices should be secure enough and provide a good signal.

I chose to place the LOC under the rear seat just to the left of the rear fuse box. I removed the plastic trim there to make it easier to move the carpet around in order to run the speaker wires to this location.
TrailblazerStereo027.jpg

There may be a more central location, however, I felt that this placement would help me in running my input/speaker wires as far away from the power wires as possible (to avoid any noise/interference).
TrailblazerStereo034.jpg

TrailblazerStereo035.jpg


For the front speakers, I tapped in to the factory wires under the door sills before the B-Pillars, hiding the quick splices under the carpet/front door sills. This was FAR AND AWAY easier than trying to reach up to where the wires enter the rubber door boots/behind where the kick panels would be.
TrailblazerStereo026.jpg

For the rear speakers, I tapped in to the factory wires halfway up the B-Pillars, where the factory cut-out is for the wires to run in to the door boots. This gave me ample room to crimp on my Quick Splices and move the OEM wires around as need be.
TrailblazerStereo022.jpg

TrailblazerStereo021.jpg


Next, place the amp and powered sub in their locations underneath the seats. I chose to mount the amp under the driver seat and sub under the passenger. Hook up the RCA cables from the LOC to the amp, and then the RCAs from the amp's preamp outputs over to the sub.
AMP
TrailblazerStereo029.jpg

SUB
TrailblazerStereo031.jpg


Remove the speaker mounting plates from the front doors using a 7mm socket, then remove the speakers from the mounting plates using a Torx bit. Cut the factory wires and mount the new speakers in to the mounting plates. Using quick connects or solder, attach new speaker wires to the new speakers. I ran the new wire through a factory hole in the door and behind the rubber door jam on the chassis side, wrapping the aftermarket wire in electrical tape wherever it was pinched by the car's trim.
TrailblazerStereo028.jpg

TrailblazerStereo046.jpg


The rear speakers do not require the removal of the entire mounting plate, simply back out the Torx screws on the speakers and remove. Then, mount your new speaker wire and replacement speakers as you did in the front doors.

Run your new speaker wire from the new speakers back to the amp, and attach according to your amp's instructions.
From here you should be ready to fire up the system and tune it in!
BE SURE TO TURN EVERYTHING ON, TEST, AND PREFERABLY TUNE THE SYSTEM IN BEFORE RE-INSTALLING THE SEATS, DOOR TRIM, AND CENTER CONSOLE!!!!
Nothing is quite as disappointing as re-installing all of those car parts thinking you are done only to have to remove all of them all over again only to check connections.

Finished Product:
AMP
TrailblazerStereo033.jpg

SUB
TrailblazerStereo036.jpg

LOC
TrailblazerStereo030.jpg


I'm sure I missed a lot of details in this write up, so if any of you need help or have questions please do not hesitate to send me a PM or ask questions here. It took a lot of time to get this done right (the way I wanted it done), but in the end it was well worth it. This setup SCREAMS and I only have my gains set at about 25% or less.
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,697
Tampa Bay Area, FL
:goodpost:Very thorough write up :yes: I don't know if those with power seats would have enough clearance to mount their amp and power sub there, but good work on that. Nice and clean. :thumbsup:
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
BMAMGR said:
MAY03LT pointed out http://gmtnation.com/f35/wiring-line-out-converter-1582/#post30548 that there would be duplicate color wires in the RF and the LR (two browns in the LR and two Dark Greens in the RF). I found in my Trailblazer that the speaker wires inside the taped factory wire bundle were running alongside one another, making it easy to decipher which Brown/DarkGreen was the correct wire.

Awesome! That's a cool tip that I'm sure some people will find useful:cool:

Also, good job on your install!:thumbsup:
 

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
Blckshdw said:
:goodpost:Very thorough write up :yes: I don't know if those with power seats would have enough clearance to mount their amp and power sub there, but good work on that. Nice and clean. :thumbsup:
Thanks!
Yeah, unfortunately I have never taken a good look underneath the powered seats in a Trailblazer to know if it is feasible or not, but I do doubt it. MAYBE those with powered seats could do the amp, if it's a size similar to mine, as I have ample breathing room and clearance for it.
With the sub I had clearance issues as is, so I doubt it. With both seats all the way back in normal riding position, the sub sticks out about 1/2" from the base of the seat back. Not a huge deal, as any adult riding comfortably back there will have both feet spread wide on either side of it. I don't have rear seat passengers often, so when I do (especially if raining) I will just have to be conscious to ask the passenger to be careful with their feet. :wink:
 

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
MAY03LT said:
Awesome! That's a cool tip that I'm sure some people will find useful:cool:

Also, good job on your install!:thumbsup:

Appreciate it, yeah hopefully it can help save some guys some time. It took me a while to get the courage to start splicing as I am all but colorblind and have a difficult time with browns, greens, and reds LOL. Colors change drastically for me with different light and backgrounds - in the RF door at first I couldn't fine ONE wire that looked dark green to me. I eventually figured it out.

Thanks again to you, you were a big help through this process. :thumbsup:
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
Very Nice looks clean :thumbsup: Butt thumper sub lol
 

Short Bus

Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
STLtrailbSS said:
Very Nice looks clean :thumbsup: Butt thumper sub lol

I bet the ladies love the vibrating seat :biggrin:
 

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
Short Bus said:
I bet the ladies love the vibrating seat :biggrin:

:rotfl: Haha yeah man that was half the reason I put it there! Reminding me of a certain scene in "Howard Stern: Private Parts"...lol.

In all seriousness, if anyone is looking for a powered sub or just looking to add bass in a small package, I highly recommend this Sound Ordnance unit. I believe it is a house brand for CRUTCHFIELD, as I didn't see it for sale anywhere else. For the size, and the price ($159) I don't think it can be beat. I haven't heard an Infinity BassLink in action, but this thing is about half the size and I was still very impressed.
 

armymp90099

Member
Dec 7, 2011
22
Looks great man! How did everything fit? Did you have to mod the rear mounting plates to fit the 6.5" speakers in there?
 

BMAMGR

Original poster
Member
Jan 29, 2012
10
armymp90099 said:
Looks great man! How did everything fit? Did you have to mod the rear mounting plates to fit the 6.5" speakers in there?

Got lucky, everything pretty much fit like a glove. There were 2 plastic "guide pins" (for lack of a better term) sticking out of the rear mounting plates that I had to cut off with a razor knife. I also removed one connector from each door panel so I could run the speaker wires out of its respective hole on the inside of the door. The sub is not completely concealed as you can see in the picture, but I don't have rear seat passengers very often so it's no biggie to me.
 

Dalton27

Member
Jan 19, 2020
1
Hungary
@BMAMGR that's a nice setup. How much do you know about subs?

Sorry for being off topic. I'm looking for a good sub for my truck and can't wrap my head around which would suit me best.

Do I need to spend over $1000 to get some decent sound? I've been reading the reviews all over the internet and I didn't get closer to finding a solution. Plus most reviews are hype. Blatant copy of manufacturer's features that's it. Now I've found a different site which writes more on our language. Still there are 10 subs on the page and it's hard to choose. Found this info on greatestspeakers.com. What I loved about the reviews were that he highlights many negatives. Best of all they are not watered down.

What are the most important things when you're looking for a sub? Any tips?
 

xavierny25

Member
Mar 16, 2014
6,347
Staten Island, N.Y

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