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Old 08-14-2019, 10:45 PM   #1
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Audio problems

Hello Iím a new focus owner, I drive a 2014 Focus titanium. I had a bunch of car audio installed by reputable installer Iím running 1600 watts through 4 gauge power wire. I got 4 door speakers that keep cutting out. But all the factory speakers do not I brought my car back to the shop to get checked out they say there is nothing wrong with the install and my alternator isnít charging my battery enough and itís only putting out 60 amps. I talked to the dealership and they said the alternator is 150 amps stock. I got my charging system checked and there is nothing wrong with my alternator or battery does anyone else have this problem. I have also brought my car to other install companyís and they also say that they canít find anything wrong with it..


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Old 08-15-2019, 02:02 PM   #2
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Way too many variables to track that down easily.

I'm trying to understand what your install looks like. Youmention 4 door speakers that cut out, but the factoyr ones do not. Does that mean that you have 4 additional aftermarket speakers installed in addition to the existing factory ones, or does that mean that you have replaced the door speakers, with aftermarket, and they cut out, but other ones do not. If you have the Sony 10 speaker setup, there's a small 3.5" (I think) in the dashboard.

When I was building IASCA cars, 1600W is probably more than I would use 4AWG wire for., but maybe if 1000W of that is a class-D subwoofer amplifier, it might be okay. In those days, I never used anything other than class A/B, which draws a lot more battery current.

So, let's start with some basic information. You mention that it's a Titanium, so there are some different possibilities.

So, you have aftermarket amplifiers, how about head unit? Are you using the stock Sync or Sony, or has it been replaced?

If you had the premium 10 speaker setup, and are using the factory head unit (With MFT or Sync3, it is most likely, since the head unit/screen also controls other functions.) then the first thing to look at is how the amplifier remote turn on is handled. If the amplifier is not getting a consistent signal, then that's the first problem. There is no real "remote out" for the factory system. Since it also handles things like chimes, it's always on, but that's not how aftermarket amplifiers are generally designed to work.

Another possibility is thermal cut-out. Most aftermarket amplifiers have protection circuitry designed to shut the amplifier down if it gets hot. Does this happen after the system has been on for a while? Keep in mind, that because of the way that the stock system uses the head unit, it might be powered on as soon as you open the door, and may remain on for up to 20 minutes after the last door closes. If the amplifier is installed in the stock location, that's a lot of power to try to cool with little or no airflow.

Lastly, a wiring fault. This is unlikely to affect all 4 doors, particularly simultaneously, and triply if it's been checked out by a competent tech.

If your head unit has been replaced, then all bets are off, as the install then becomes a very much customized thing, and will be extremely difficult to diagnose over the Internet withot a great deal more detail than you've given.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:23 PM   #3
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Hello, thanks for getting back to me.
To get into more detail I bought 4 jl coaxial door speakers that are powered by a 400 watt jl amp. 2 12” alpine type r subs that are powered by a 1200 watt alpine amp both amps are class d. My head is a stock Sony with the 10 speaker system they tapped into the stock Sony amp for the connections to the amps. So here is the problem when I’m driving my new door speakers cut out but only while I’m driving never while I’m parked. I put a multimeter on it while I’m playing bass the meter says my battery volts are 12.4 at the lowest but when I do the same to the smaller amp it says 10.2 volts and the big amp is 11.6. I keep telling the installers it’s the 4 gauge wire is not thick enough to run that many watts bet they keep telling it’s more than enough. I talked to another company about it and they say the same thing. I’m kinda at a loss and don’t know what more to test. Thank you in advance..
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focused1983 View Post
my battery volts are 12.4 at the lowest but when I do the same to the smaller amp it says 10.2 volts and the big amp is 11.6.
I would also be checking the remote turn on. I don't know what they tapped into to turn the amps on, but that low battery voltage is likely the issue. How did they split the incoming 4 gauge? Check voltage before that (hopefully a distribution block) versus the voltage read on the amps. If the voltage is low on the incoming side of the (hopefully a distribution block), then they spliced 2 short (maybe more) runs of 4 gauge wire to make a long one, and did a piss poor job of it.

Is the 12.4 with the car running or just on accessory?
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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Yes they used a two way distribution block And everything was spliced off of the stock Sony amp. And it was on accessory’s because the speakers won’t cut out while parked. when the car is running the volts are in between 12.4-14.6 and at the amps are right around the same. No mater how hard I try to make them cut out while parked it just won’t. The place where I bought everything just keeps telling me it’s the alternator and to get a beefed up one but my car is under warranty so I can’t install a new one my self and from a garage it’s over $750 so I’d like to know for sure it’s the alternator

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Old 08-17-2019, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focused1983 View Post
Yes they used a two way distribution block And everything was spliced off of the stock Sony amp. And it was on accessoryís because the speakers wonít cut out while parked. when the car is running the volts are in between 12.4-14.6 and at the amps are right around the same. No mater how hard I try to make them cut out while parked it just wonít. The place where I bought everything just keeps telling me itís the alternator and to get a beefed up one but my car is under warranty so I canít install a new one my self and from a garage itís over $750 so Iíd like to know for sure itís the alternator
Since voltage seems good, try and shake some stuff my hand? Loose set screw on distro block, or on fuse block by battery? Fuse caps not screwed on tight?
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:50 PM   #7
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First, you cannot accurately measure voltage at the amplifier with a basic multimeter. The sampling rate of 99% of multimeters is simply not fast enough to display quick voltage transients(swings) created by music. You'd need a meter with 1ms or quicker sampling. Fluke 87V for example. But rest assured, if your meter is displaying 10.2V, that's enough many amplifiers to enter undervoltage protection. Could be one shitty connection, could be a shitty ground, could be shitty wire.

But before we get specific, can you tell if the smaller JL Audio amplifier is in protection when the audio stops? Or is it completely powered off? There should be some LEDs on it. What is the model number of the amplifier?

What brand is the 4 gauge wire? Do you know the model number of the amp wiring kit that was used? Maybe it's marked on your receipt? 4 gauge is starting to walk the line for those two amplifiers. Fine if it's true-spec OFC. But if it's cheap underspec wire made from copper clad aluminum, ain't no way in hell it's sufficient and you've found your problem.

I hate to point fingers, but if the installer is indeed as reputable as you say they are, they should be able to figure this out for you. The alternator in the Titanium Focus is in fact damn strong. It's only one of the two amplifiers they installed having a problem. Nothing else in the car. Something is wrong with what they did and it's their job to figure it out. Was it a chain store? Can you take your car to another location and have them troubleshoot for free?

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Old 08-19-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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4AWG should be good for that much from a class D amp. It would not be for class A/B. Class D amplifiers are very efficient power wise.

10.2V is not enough. There is a problem there. It could be any number of things, but for sure that's not good. Since the big amp seems to be okay, I'd check for resistance from the distribution block to the amplifier terminal. It should be practically zero ohms, or read zero on most multimeters. Anything over 1 ohm is a problem on what should be a short run. Check the physical connection for issues as well. Ground wires are often overlooked. Look up "the big 3" in this section, too. It's worth checking your ground connection.

Most amplifiers have an LED for protection status. If it's only while you're driving, that could be a problem to check.

Also, installation location, Pics would be helpful.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:52 PM   #9
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4AWG should be good for that much from a class D amp. It would not be for class A/B. Class D amplifiers are very efficient power wise.
You're assuming it's real actual 4 American Wire Gauge and that it's actual pure copper. If that is the case, then yes, the wire should be sufficient. But the car audio industry is fraught with shitty wire. The package claims 4 gauge, but it's actually not. Wire composition isn't mentioned on the package, which generally means it's aluminum wire clad in copper, which can't carry the current of full copper wire. I don't think you can even buy proper wire at WalMart anymore...
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:34 PM   #10
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When you said a reputable installer in your OP, I didn't think that Wal Mart figured into it in the slightest. :)

So yes, I did assume it was actual 4AWG copper wire, which should be sufficient.

Still, if you're getting different voltages at each amplifier on the power connection, then it's that last bit from the distribution block that I'd check first, as well as the ground connections.
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