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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick couple questions for people who has installed an aftermarket amp/sub in their escape/mariner....

-> First being that when my amp WAS working, I noticed mostly during extremely cold days, that my interior lights (dash lights mostly) started to dim due to power usage by the amp. Has anyone ever had to replace their Alternator with a high output model or used a capacitor for their amp?

-> And...here is one for the troubleshooters...The reason I said when my amp WAS working....was because for some reason my amp decieded to stop working a few weeks ago. I checked my connections, which seem to be ok, and I've tried two different amps, but can't seem to get power to them at all. I've used a multitester to check for power on my constant and turn on, and checked my ground and all seem fine. When I connect the amp I was using before, the only power I get is the very dim power light on my amp and it flickers. I've tried connecting both amps with or without RCA conenctions. The in-line fuses and fuses on the amps are not blown. Both amps could be fried, I wouldn't doubt it, but I dont know if anyone else had any ideas.

Thanks!!
 

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I would invest in 2 things:

1. New Alternator
2. Power Capacitor

I've had to replace an alternator in almost all of my vehicles...not my Escape yet
The power capacitor eases your electrical system by holding the charge needed for your amp to hit those notes that draw a lot of power. This allows the cap to just recharge instead of taking that power instantly from the alternator.
 

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Can you post more info on your setup? such as the gauge of wire you are running? The RMS power of the amp at what ohm load? and the specs on your woofer or speakers? Scooter Scott is right in a way but there might be an easier fix for this, for example a capacitor i really just a band-aid, it simply stores voltage to supply to the amp in the case of a voltage drop so there is enough to supply the truck as well as the amp, BUT with good grounds and the right size wire you can usually get off with out a cap, for example I ran a 1500 watt RMS (clean) through my 2/odd welding cable which can handle way more than 1500 watts, I have no issues with lights or anything... So give some more info because you may have a small problem that is putting the amp into protect mode or it could be your set up
 

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You need to do "The Big 3" first. Adding a Batcap will help, without having to strip your current wiring out(unless it's smaller than 4 ga).
 

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could also just be a crap battery, get it avr tested if there is a place that can do it for free for you.
 

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The big 3 would for sure help. but if the wiring is too small to being with or the amp configuration is incorrect could be another problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Specs

>Wiring<
-Rockford Fosgate Wiring Kit
-8 Gauge Power/Ground
-Sheilded RCA
-16 Gauge Speaker Wire
-Grounded at bolt underneath rear seats
-I will be honest, Circuit City installed this kit, it was too cold to do it myself.. :doh:

>Amp<
-Directed Electronics "Xtreme" 4 Channel
-600 Watt Total Power
-Bridged 2 channels to 1 other set not used...150 RMS x 2 at 4 ohms

>Blaupunkt 12 Inch Sub<
-50-200 RMS at 4 ohms
-Peak 600 Watt

This setup worked great before the amp started giving me trouble. All the fuses and connections look good, so I'm literally stuck. I want to just throw another amp in and see if my amp is shot, but I dont have any other amp to test with. All the amp I have now does is the power light faintly flickers when power is run to it. Another thought, could this be a turn-on wire issue? Any ideas? Thanks!
 

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ok so you have a 4 channel amp that is 2 or 4 ohm stable? And it's bridged?
Is it a single voice coil sub? if so does the wiring between sub and amp look like this:?


If it is dual voice coil does it look like this?:

or


I think you may be trying to get too much out of the amp causing it to go into protect mode... But also you said it's grounded under the seat, is it grounded to BARE metal or painted metal? is there any obstruction or rust??? Be wary of big box installers lol :)P
 

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You need to replace the 8 gauge with at least 4 gauge. On that size an amp 4 awg would be plenty. I dont see that amp pulling much current but get a small battery such as a kinetik 600 or a kinetik 800 and that should help. Make sure you have a very good ground connection and that it is as short a run as possible. A good spot in my Escape was the bracket where the back seat mounts to the floor. Take a grinder or sander and get rid of all the paint and ground there. Hope this helps
 

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It's probably that ground. The previous owner of my scape used that as a ground too without sanding the metal bare. I'm sure they had issues as well.
 

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Your ground is just as important as the power wire. Without a good ground you are going to have nothing but problems. Sand that down or if you want to get fancy run through the body and hit the frame. Once you do your ground turn your system on and put a dmm on your amp to measure your volts. Let us know where your voltage is at on your battery with you car off, and than where its at on the amp with just the power on, and than with volume at full tilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok well after reviewing what you guys said and going a little crazy with the multi tester, I think I found out what the issue is..

First I think you guys are right and I have a bad ground connection. I've tested the outputs on my power/turn on wire and they are both in excess of 14 volts. This test was done with a multitester grounded to the ground wire. My question is, could the ground wire currently be grounded well enough to work for the multi tester, but not enough to run the new amp I just bought today? I got the new amp all wired up but it still only gave a faint power light and no sound.
Any Ideas?

Oh and as a side question, where do you currently ground your amp(s)?

Thanks for all the help guys!

-Gerry
 

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Gerry,

Sorry to hear about your troubles man. Bad grounds can be the bane of any aftermarket system, considering something as simple as humidity can have a profound effect on how your system might perform from day to day if improperly installed. I was in the garage on Sunday finishing up the installation of my 12" so I happen to have pics.

A bad ground can show a connection, but when a load is attached to the circuit the ground may not be solid enough. This could explain your successfull testing of continuity but still having trouble.

1st, your ground cable should'nt be longer than needed. Typically kits come with a 3' or less ground cable, I created my own ground in the back right of the body panel. I have removed plastic molding from both sides to run power down the left, and audio signal down the right. Factory sub is visible on the right, which is the side I attached my ground


Ground installed right above red handle in lower right corner


Close up:

You can see 3 different colors - Black paint, Body Primer, and Bare metal being the lightest. I'm a computer guy, so I used some network component cage nuts to attach. Self tapping sheet metal screws will work perfectly also, drill a pilot hole.

2nd, these guys say 4 gauge wire and I agree. Can't have too big of a "pipe" for "water" to flow through. If you have 8, it may suffice but the more of a load you draw the more problems you'll see.

3rd, a clean connection to the battery as well.

I would say that you should properly address the ground and ensure that things are set on that front before moving any further with diagnosis elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow thanks for the all info bud! Well I went back in today and found a nice bare metal screw under the rear seats to ground to. Got everything wired up and good to go! FINALLY :yahoo: Thanks for all the help, really appreciate it!

Now that I've got the deck, 6x8s, and sub/amp all upgraded, I think I'm gonna be satsified for a while. :thumb: But I still can't help but think, what should I upgrade next? :angel: Ahh the joys of Escape ownership. :D

Thanks Again!!
-Gerry
 

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Bare metal is key... My ground is the battery.... but that isn't needed for your application lol, glad you finally got things sorted out!
 
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