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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > FULL SWS-8 sub and amp install, 34 pictures, step by step



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      08-14-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
azwillnj
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FULL SWS-8 sub and amp install, 34 pictures, step by step

I gathered a ton of information from this site about how to upgrade the stock subwoofers and amplifier. From this information I have created a full, step by step tutorial that will guide you through the entire process. It is 27 pages long and has 34 pictures included....

Check out the PDF below the pictures for the tutorial.

Here are some teaser pictures.





PDF

https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/47031/BM...%20-%20PDF.pdf



Let me know what you think or if you have any questions....

Note to mods: The place I have it hosted is pretty reliable, but... I wanted to upload this to the forums so the PDF would always be available, but the upload kept failing. If you could somehow get it on to your servers that would be great, thanks.

EDIT: if your having trouble viewing the PDF right click the link and go to save as.

EDIT2: as several have suggested I have moved the fuse to the other side of the car, right after the battery, I updated the PDF to show its new location...
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Last edited by azwillnj; 08-15-2008 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Updated PDF for new fuse location.
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      08-14-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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This is awesome! Thank you for taking the time to do this!!
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      08-14-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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Holy shit!

Good write up man, let's get the mods to put this in the DIY section.
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      08-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #4
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Damn, I didn't even think of the DIY section.. oops.
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      08-14-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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you sir are the man! I've been waiting for something comprehensive like this for a long time!! thanks for the informative pdf
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      08-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #6
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Excellent contribution...
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      08-14-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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Excellent write-up and nice PDF. You clearly took a lot of time to prepare that. Overall, you did a very clean, nice job, but I wanted to make one comment. It looks like you put your main power fuse across the car from the battery, near the amp. Please consider moving it to the side with the battery. That fuse is not to protect the amp, it's to protect the wire and should be as close to the battery terminal as possible. If that wire were to rub through where you ran it through the metal channel, you would have a huge, 10-gauge short with no fuse in it that could easily start a fire in your car.

Again, overall I think you did an excellent job and thanks for contributing.
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      08-14-2008, 09:36 PM   #8
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Great write up. Subscribed so that I have this when I install my subs. Thanks
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      08-14-2008, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emarkd View Post
Excellent write-up and nice PDF. You clearly took a lot of time to prepare that. Overall, you did a very clean, nice job, but I wanted to make one comment. It looks like you put your main power fuse across the car from the battery, near the amp. Please consider moving it to the side with the battery. That fuse is not to protect the amp, it's to protect the wire and should be as close to the battery terminal as possible. If that wire were to rub through where you ran it through the metal channel, you would have a huge, 10-gauge short with no fuse in it that could easily start a fire in your car.

Again, overall I think you did an excellent job and thanks for contributing.
That's a good point, I think it will be fine though, the insulation on that wire is about 1/8 inch thick. It was difficult to cut it with a razor blade.
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      08-14-2008, 11:16 PM   #10
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from one penn stater (alum) to another.... thanks!



oh snap i just noticed you're a central jersey'r!


you're even better in my book now!

so from one central nj stater to another... thanks!
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      08-15-2008, 12:55 AM   #11
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      08-15-2008, 03:42 AM   #12
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Can you give us a write up on how it sounds compared to stock?
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      08-15-2008, 07:40 AM   #13
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holy crap! pdf FTW!!!! this definitely needs to be in the diy section! good job!!
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      08-15-2008, 08:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
That's a good point, I think it will be fine though, the insulation on that wire is about 1/8 inch thick. It was difficult to cut it with a razor blade.
It's easy to say that, but consider the vibration of a moving car for the next few years. A slight burr in the metal could easily wear through that insulation. It would only take a few minutes to move it...

Not trying to push and you do whatever you're comfortable with. I just don't want to see anybody lose their car when it could be prevented. I worked in mobile electronics for quite a few years when I was younger, even owned my own shop for a while. I've seen way too many burned up cars because of a shorted power cable.
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      08-15-2008, 11:33 AM   #15
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Great work on the PDF! I really like your ideas on sealing up the small opening in the OEM sub box. I was going to use MDF but the clear look is really nice.

On a side note, I've installed a few systems too and ideally you want to keep the fuse literally a few inches from the positive battery terminal. I know it's extremely unlikely that there will ever be an issue but knocking on wood as I write this, if there were ever a vehicle impact or something that could damage that power line, there would be 4-5 feet of live power wire that could cause a major fire or with a prolonged short circuit cause the battery to explode.
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      08-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335 Trojan View Post
Can you give us a write up on how it sounds compared to stock?
The difference is night and day, the system hits much harder, and sounds much much cleaner. When I first started out doing this and looking into all the information about it I knew that there would be more bass and that it would hit harder in the low frequencies. But I never imagined how much of a huge difference this upgrade could make in the overall sound quality of the system. My music seems to be alive now, between feeling the bass and hearing all that extra bass spectrum that the stock subs just couldn't produce. In the stock system it was very easy to bottom out the stock subs with a slightly loud track from Disturbed, now you can crank the volume and the subs will just hit harder.

Another thing I have noticed after the install is how sloppy and loose the stock subs were, it seems now that they were just making noise in the general frequency. These SWS's hit hard and are very very crisp. The car does not at all sound like a riced out civic, it sounds like a rich silky smooth BMW sound system should, it puts a smile on my face.. really. I would actually venture to say that this is now the best sounding system I have ever encountered in a car, and I've been in alot of cars...


Note: Just to clear this up, I am not an employee of earthquake, I am just blown away by the quality of their products and outcome of this install and wanted to share the wealth with the rest of e90post.... enjoy!

Quote:
It's easy to say that, but consider the vibration of a moving car for the next few years. A slight burr in the metal could easily wear through that insulation. It would only take a few minutes to move it...

Not trying to push and you do whatever you're comfortable with. I just don't want to see anybody lose their car when it could be prevented. I worked in mobile electronics for quite a few years when I was younger, even owned my own shop for a while. I've seen way too many burned up cars because of a shorted power cable.
You've talked me into it, I don't want my e90 to be on fire.. I will move my fuse and update the PDF sometime soon.


Alex.
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      08-15-2008, 12:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emarkd View Post
Excellent write-up and nice PDF. You clearly took a lot of time to prepare that. Overall, you did a very clean, nice job, but I wanted to make one comment. It looks like you put your main power fuse across the car from the battery, near the amp. Please consider moving it to the side with the battery.
Great job with the writeup. I was going to respond with the same thing. It's such a good writeup that others will likely follow it so maybe update it with a best practice to fuse at the battery.

Those subs will seriously get overpowered by that amplifier so be careful. The subs are excellent but you don't want exceed their rated specs. Tom Nousaine discovered that when he reviewed the subs. 150 watts RMS each is all they need. Your amp is capable of pushing over 3x that power to each sub so be careful.
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      08-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooby9
if there were ever a vehicle impact or something that could damage that power line, there would be 4-5 feet of live power wire that could cause a major fire or with a prolonged short circuit cause the battery to explode.
I didn't even think of that, but I've witnessed this one before. I had a friend who worked for the local fire department and he brought me pictures of a car fire he worked. It had been in a pretty minor fender bender, but when the front fender crunched in, it pinched through an amp power wire with no fuse in it. The car burned badly before they got there. A minor fender bender turns into a complete loss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
You've talked me into it, I don't want my e90 to be on fire.. I will move my fuse and update the PDF sometime soon.
Good. I'm glad to hear it.
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      08-15-2008, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
Great job with the writeup. I was going to respond with the same thing. It's such a good writeup that others will likely follow it so maybe update it with a best practice to fuse at the battery.

Those subs will seriously get overpowered by that amplifier so be careful. The subs are excellent but you don't want exceed their rated specs. Tom Nousaine discovered that when he reviewed the subs. 150 watts RMS each is all they need. Your amp is capable of pushing over 3x that power to each sub so be careful.
Yeah I know its too big, but I have the level on the amp turned way down, and I figured I would get the big one so if I ever wanted to add another sub in the ski pass through I could. I also wanted one that could handle the 2ohm subs, and I wanted a digital one with a bass boost adjustment (which is cranked to max). All in all I'm very happy with the setup.


Quote:
It's easy to say that, but consider the vibration of a moving car for the next few years. A slight burr in the metal could easily wear through that insulation. It would only take a few minutes to move it...

Not trying to push and you do whatever you're comfortable with. I just don't want to see anybody lose their car when it could be prevented. I worked in mobile electronics for quite a few years when I was younger, even owned my own shop for a while. I've seen way too many burned up cars because of a shorted power cable.
I moved the fuse and updated the PDF, have a look...
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      08-15-2008, 05:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
I moved the fuse and updated the PDF, have a look...
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      08-18-2008, 07:39 PM   #21
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Awesome writeup OP, thanks very much for the contribution!

Does anybody know if there are other subs that fit in the stock location. I know there is a Morel but it is hellishly expensive.

Another question revolves around the vented enclosure specifications of the OEM enclosure. What is the volume of the box and what length and diameter is the port? Is the Earthquake well suited for this particular enclosure?

What about sealing the enclusure off and turning it into a sealed box?
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      08-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #22
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Damn that is alot of work. I think I'd rather have someone do it. But surely this is an excellent source of information you have made for the bimmer community. You have trully earned your keep!
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