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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

Getting around to replacing the stock Clarion AM/FM Casette player in my car. I picked out a new Alpine this afternoon. After ripping out the original radio and cage, I was informed that this car has something known as a common ground. I was told that the new headset would not work with this and that the all new speaker wires would need to be run throughout with a ground at each speaker. Before I shell out another $150 for labor, can I here from some of my fellow Alfisti with some experience on this matter ? My neighbor has a 91 Veloce and he told me some kid from Best Buy popped his right in. Perhaps their was a change between the S3 and S4 configurations.

Also, the rear parcel shelf that hold those puny 5 1/4" speakers. Can someone tell me what is underneath that ? Would I be able to sink a low profile subwoofer in there ? I am not looking to shatter windows or keep up with the kids in their tricked out Escalades. I just want to improve the sound somewhat.

Many thanks all.... I continue to appreciate and love the Alfa automobile more and more with your help...

Regards

Jeff
 

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Trained (ex)Professional, , 1953-2018 RIP,
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I've no personal experience with the 86 Spider radio but the wiring diagram shows two wires to each speaker; blue & blue/black to the left speaker and gray & gray/black to the right. This does not sound like a common ground system to me.
 

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The rear shelf covers the ECU, some relays, a fuse or two, and a wad of wires on the passenger side.

Drivers side is pretty well empty except for some support braces.

You're looking at about 3 1/2 - 4 inches of clearance between the bottom of the panel and the car underneath on the drivers side and about 1 1/2" on the passenger side due to the ECU (which I wouldn't get a magnet near anyway)

If you look at the back edge, you 'll see two screws, then pull up the velcro flap on the front where it drapes down behind the seats, 3-4 more screws.

Take all those out and the whole panel will come oup out of there so you can measure, or fabricate something more suitable for your needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
By the way - my story has a happy ending.. I have a wonderful mechanic who knows the Alfa well. He referred me to a shop who was quick to see and inspect my vehicle and give me his prognosis. He did confirm that my radio was in-deed a "common gound" type radio, no wiring or modifications would need to be made. I ended up with a much more expensive Alpine head unit than anticipated as I opted for the I-pod cable. The 86 still had the antenna built into the windshield so, as youi might imagine, does not pull in the signals as well as a 30" mast. The I-pod would be graet for a constantly reliable, seamingly endless source of music.The install came out great and the 5 1/4" replacements I put in 2 months ago, sound so much better now than the stock Clarion unit I had. I pulled back the rear shelf to see what room I had to mount a set of 6X9 speakers. Exactly as described by Tifosi - I do not see where even the existing 5 1/4" cutouts can be expanded to size the 6X9 without hitting/ or coming too close in my view to the ECU on the passenger side. I've had my fair share of electrical gremlins with her. However, be it not for the resources available to me on tbis forum, I would not have been able to overcome and learn along the way, my cars particular personality. I would still like to research a non-evasive 6X9 system without tying up my shelf for enclosures. I need that shelf so I can take my wife food shopping every so often and fit some bags back there - This is how I can justify the expenses on her. Bottom line is my car's wiring did not need to be messed with by a 16 year old kid and the radio install just fine. Anyone have any 6X9 mounting stories ?
 

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6 x 9 Mounting

I'm thinking about putting some in speaker enclosure boxes and carpeting the outside to match my carpet. I'll set them on the parcel shelf and have plugs on them so I can remove them and put them in the trunk when needed.

Soundwise, a speaker enclosure will be much better than mounting them under the parcel shelf anyway. Also you don't have to cut up the parcel shelf, just plug them into the existing plugs that are under there. My '90 Graduate currently doesn't have rear speakers installed, but it came prewired for them.
 

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6x9s in the rear packing shelf....

By the way - my story has a happy ending.. I have a wonderful mechanic who knows the Alfa well. He referred me to a shop who was quick to see and inspect my vehicle and give me his prognosis. He did confirm that my radio was in-deed a "common gound" type radio, no wiring or modifications would need to be made. I ended up with a much more expensive Alpine head unit than anticipated as I opted for the I-pod cable. The 86 still had the antenna built into the windshield so, as youi might imagine, does not pull in the signals as well as a 30" mast. The I-pod would be graet for a constantly reliable, seamingly endless source of music.The install came out great and the 5 1/4" replacements I put in 2 months ago, sound so much better now than the stock Clarion unit I had. I pulled back the rear shelf to see what room I had to mount a set of 6X9 speakers. Exactly as described by Tifosi - I do not see where even the existing 5 1/4" cutouts can be expanded to size the 6X9 without hitting/ or coming too close in my view to the ECU on the passenger side. I've had my fair share of electrical gremlins with her. However, be it not for the resources available to me on tbis forum, I would not have been able to overcome and learn along the way, my cars particular personality. I would still like to research a non-evasive 6X9 system without tying up my shelf for enclosures. I need that shelf so I can take my wife food shopping every so often and fit some bags back there - This is how I can justify the expenses on her. Bottom line is my car's wiring did not need to be messed with by a 16 year old kid and the radio install just fine. Anyone have any 6X9 mounting stories ?


This can be done by using a spacer provided by a company called Metra. Metra is my company of choice for most install needs. They manufacture a 6x9 spacer that you can screw to the packing shelf that will allow you to mount the speaker. You may still have to open the original hole, but the job is possible. ADVANTAGES: Much better sound. , DISADVANTAGE: Kind of ugly to look at. Your other option would be to go with a quality 6 1/2" coax, which will give you a greater range of sound and can be shoe horned into the existing location. Again, you may have to open the existing hole slightly. To really enhance the audio I would recommend a 50x4 amplifier which would compliment your new head unit and guarantee you an audible improvement. Metra can be found at most car stereo store, but 6x9 spacers may be a special order item. Metra also manufacturers a factory replacement antenna for the Spiders. It was really designed for the Miatas, but fits in the factory location. (Model PW-32, retails for $70- $80 I think).
 

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the ipod cable-equipped Alpine head unit with two blaupunkt 5 1/4" down by the footwells coupled with an Alpine 300 watt bridged digital amp and bazooka in trunk is the ultimate solution. Phenomenal sound!!! I want to drive all night.
 
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