Wiring speakers, amplifiers and tuners can be a little intimidating. That’s why I like “plug and play.”
Basically, the manufacturer does the hard work for the installer. Components plug into OEM-type sockets. There’s none of the old school soldering using black electrical tape, or tapping a battery for a power source in a slip shod manner.
Shelby Performance Parts’ new “Kicker Audio Kit” is a great “plug and play” 21st century kit. Mustang & Ford’s editor, Denise Rounds spied this trick audio system on display in the Kicker booth at the Mustang 45th Anniversary celebration in Birmingham this past April. She was intrigued with the “Plug & Play” of the installation, in addition to the major league sounds coming out of the seven speakers.
To set up an install, I counseled with Glenn Martini and Kenny Northrup at Quantum Performance in Dallas, Texas. This is the Shelby Mod Shop for the Southwest.
Technician A.J. Downes installed the complete audio system in a Mustang Terlingua. I was intrigued with the built “boom box” because I recall my nephew having to build a box to hold his subwoofer. But, his time was the dark ages of 1999.
An extra amp and a subwoofer vastly improve the base tones. Tweeters do the same for high frequencies.
This new system from Shelby and Kicker has both high and low frequencies, and two amps. The 284-watt amp boosts the 6x8 inch speakers (one per door) and the two 6x8 inch speakers in the rear package tray. The 200-watt rear amp boosts the 10-inch subwoofer mounted in the box in the trunk. The 8-inch door speakers are run off the factory amp. The kit also comes with a pair of wiring harnesses to power the amps and plug into the tuner.
Once installed, the system is out of sight. There’s no big screen navigation or obvious aftermarket tuner to invite thieves. The stock tuner integrates seamlessly with the upgraded plug and play audio system so the factory controls work like they are OEM. To me, that’s why this system is really trick.
The installation took A.J. about three hours, which included numerous time-outs for photo snaps. In my opinion, the hardest part of the job is removing and replacing the door panels. A.J. also had to pull the stock tuner, which he did easily enough, being a professional. Pulling the glove box and some plastic instrument panels would have taken me much longer.
Removing the back seat and package tray (to install the rear seat speakers I thought was very easy. I was also amazed how simply the inner fenderwells came out to access the factory wiring harness route to the inside of the cab.
Here are the salient details to install this new and big time audio system from Shelby Performance Parts and Kicker.
Editor’s note: For Gen 5 Coupes with Shaker 500 or Shaker 1000 Sound Systems. For Gen 5 Coupes with base audio systems–disregard any info concerning the 8-inch speakers. This system will not fit convertibles due to the 10-inch woofer.
A.J. Downes (left) laid out the components of the kit on a table and scanned the installation instructions. He works for the Quantum Performance, which is the Shelby Mod Shop in Dallas, Texas.
The kit includes these four 6x8 inch speakers. Two go in the tops of the doors and two mount in the rear package tray.
The system comes with a “4.1 Channel Amp,” which actually delivers 284 watts to drive the four 6x8 inch speakers.
The 8-inch round woofers mount in the bottom of the doors.
This box, with 10-inch subwoofer, mounts in the trunk.
The back of the box mounts a 200-watt amp to drive the 10-inch subwoofer.
To remove the door panel, first pull the triangle-shaped trim piece from the top of the door.
Unplug the electrical connection to the side mirror.
Use a pick tool to remove the screw cover from behind the door handle.
Remove the Torx screws.
Pry up the console power window switch plate and disconnect the wiring.
Remove the 7mm screw located behind the switch plate.
Pry off the plastic screw cover behind the door release lever. Then, remove the Torx screw.
Remove the factory wiring linkage to the door release lever.
Remove the lower speaker grille. Then, remove the trim screws to the speaker.
Remove the eight 7mm trim screws around the side and bottom of the door panel.
Pull back the door panel and unplug this speaker wire.
To remove the lower door speaker, take out the screw on the backside.
Although this install is plug and play, we do have to cut a couple wires for the bottom speaker in each door.
Strip the insulation off the solid white wire (with black stripe) to expose copper to make a good connection. Tape up the other pair of wires (white with blue stripe) because you will not use them.
The exposed copper wiring easily fits into these push connectors for a good connection.
Snip off the two plastic locating tabs for the factory speakers.
Use the factory subwoofer bolts to secure the spacer ring to the door panel.
Bolt the upgraded Shelby speaker into the factory lower door opening using bolts supplied in the kit.
Use the supplied nut and washer to secure the backside of the speaker into the door panel.
Four Phillips head screws attach the Shelby grille over the speaker.
Remove the factory top door speaker by removing four Torx head screws.
Unplug the factory speaker and plug in the new Shelby Performance Parts speaker.
Reverse the disassembly steps and the door panel is complete. Repeat this procedure for the other door.
Remove the back seat. A tab under each seat position releases the lower bench cushion.
Pull the doorsill plates. They simply lift up with pressure, starting at the back.
Pull these vinyl loops to release and remove the seat backs.
Use a trim tool to pull the plastic pins that bolt the rear seat plastic panels in place.
Pull the rear seat side panels.
Pull the plastic push/pull pins and remove the rear seat package tray to expose the rear speakers.
Remove and replace the rear seat speakers, plugging them into the vacated factory wiring sockets.
Pulling the inner fender housing looked like a tough job. It is literally a snap. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to back out the four Phillips head push/pull plastic pins.
Remove the battery and pull the fuse box cover. Then, attach the metal wiring loop for the front amp under this 10mm bolt at the end of the fuse box.
Feed the wire from the fuse box through the rubber grommet that carries the factory wiring harness. (NOTE: A.J. snipped a small slit with a pair of wire cutters in the rubber grommet for entry.)
Pull the passenger side plastic kick panel.
Inside the cab, pull the shifter ball, shifter boot, console, and the dash trim on either side of the upper console. Remove four screws and slide out the tuner.
Feed the power wire off the fuse box to the back of the factory tuner.
Plug the amplifier harness from the kit into the factory radio harness.
Plug the power wire that you fed from the firewall into the amplifier.
Use the factory bolts to mount the amplifier under the glove compartment.
Ground the front speaker amplifier on the lower door pillar using the existing factory bolt.
Run the power wire (supplied in the kit) for the rear amp starting at the same location on the back of the fuse box under the hood, then through the firewall grommet and into the cab.
Run the power for the rear amp under the doorsill plate, following the wiring harness into the trunk along the inside wall of the body.
Cut a slit in the carpet with a box knife to feed the wiring harness into the passenger side of the trunk.
Plug the wiring harness into the rear subwoofer assembly.
Install the rear subwoofer box with the supplied top and bottom brackets and use existing bolts from the trunk.
This is what the 8-inch round woofers look like mounted in the bottom of the doors.
Mounted in the trunk is this box with the 10-inch subwoofer. The installation is complete and we’re ready to take the Terlinqua out for a spin and enjoy our new Kicker system.
Shelby Performance Parts