Stereo and Amp Mods
This page Copyright June 07, 2003 , gregp@greghome.com 
Visit my home page at http://www.greghome.com

1990 Oldsmobile Delta-88

Interior & Exterior Photos ] [ Stereo and Amp Mods ]

 

This page shows modification and installation work I performed on the audio system.  I did not intend for this system to require power from a nuclear reactor, nor did I want it to shake loose the foundations of buildings or be obnoxious.  The purpose was to add CD-capability to the car while upgrading all of the components to a higher fidelity level than the stock system.  All of the components installed came to almost exactly $700, and were purchased from Crutchfield http://www.crutchfield.com.
JVC KD-SX940.jpg (181764 bytes) Within 2 months of buying the car I had gutted the entire factory stereo system.  I replaced it with a high-quality JVC receiver, external amp and speakers.  The system sounded great, but it had no built-in CD player, as this was a luxury in cars back then.  In January 2000, I gutted the entire system again, replacing every single component with what you see on this page.  The new receiver is a JVC KD-SX940, 16 watts RMS with CD-Changer controls. Delta-88 Dash Right Side (1).jpg (104443 bytes) Reference view of the passenger-side dash opening.
JVC KD-SX940 Flip-Down Faceplate.jpg (159628 bytes) From looking at the front panel, you can't tell this receiver has CD capability.  The entire faceplate flips down to reveal the CD opening.  The faceplate also detaches completely to prevent theft. Delta-88 Dash Right Side (2).jpg (113848 bytes) Passenger-side dash opening looking toward the driver's side.

Receiver Remote Control.jpg (71925 bytes)

Did you know car audio systems have remote controls now?  All I need is some popcorn and a TV, and I could live in this car.  The ultimate couch-potato audio system. Streetwires Amp Wiring Kit.jpg (119880 bytes) A Streetwires wiring kit was used to wire the external Kenwood amp.  The red cable is power and goes straight from the positive battery terminal to the trunk.  Blue is remote turn-on lead which is wired from the power antenna line to the amp.  Brown is the ground.  Power and ground cables are heavy-duty 10-gauge wire.
JVC KD-SX940 CD Receiver - Back Wiring.jpg (98724 bytes) This is the backside of the receiver before installation in the radio opening.  The big purple cable is the pre-amp output which goes into the trunk and connects to the amp.  Crutchfield wiring harnesses were used and all connections from the radio harness to the Crutchfield harness were soldered with high-quality bullet connectors.  No factory wiring was cut or spliced. Amp Power Battery Connection.jpg (188064 bytes) This picture shows the amp power cable attached to the positive battery terminal.  A 30-amp waterproof fuse is used at the terminal in addition to the 25-amp blade fuse built into the amplifier.  I guess this fuse at the battery should theoretically never blow.
Delta-88 Radio Opening.jpg (92804 bytes) This is the radio opening before installation of the receiver. Kenwood KAC-608S 50 Watt x 2 Amp.jpg (120836 bytes) This is the Kenwood KAC-608S 50-watt per channel RMS amp that powers the rear speakers only. 
Delta-88 PreAmp Wiring.jpg (101535 bytes) A view of the preamp line cable on its way from the dash to the trunk. Kenwood Amp Line-In & Sensitivity Conns.jpg (107850 bytes) The right side of the amp has both line-level and speaker-level inputs.  I used the line-level inputs for a cleaner sound.  Input sensitivity is also adjustable.
Pioneer TS-A878 3.5 Inch Speakers.jpg (172414 bytes) For the front speakers I used Pioneer TS-A878 3.5-inch two-ways.  The sound that comes out of these little monsters is amazing considering their size.  I am having a minor vibration problem when the speaker grill is in place, but only when I play "Crush" by the Dave Matthews Band.  The opening base is shaking my car apart.  I will have to insulate the grill a little better. Kenwood Amp Power & Spkr Conns.jpg (116757 bytes) Left side of the amp has connections for power, ground, remote turn-on and speaker outputs.  Note also the 25-amp fuse.
Kenwood KFC-6986 4-Way Speaker.jpg (135167 bytes) For the rears I chose Kenwood KFC-6986 4-ways.  They pack a lot of base, especially with the external amp. Installed Amp.jpg (212111 bytes) Completed installation of the amp, mounted underneath the parcel shelf in the trunk.  No trunk floor space was sacrificed.  Installation was clean.
 

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