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2020 Giulia TI,1988 Milano Gold Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone replaced the stock LS radio with an aftermarket unit? I have an Alpine head unit that I want to install. My question is, will it just be a plug&play, or do I need to bypass the amp under the right seat? An ex-Circuit City employee tells me I have to run new wires to connect to the output wires from the rear of the amp. I'd appreciate any help as I don't want to damage any components. Thanks in advance,
John
 

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2020 Giulia TI,1988 Milano Gold Auto
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump. Need help!
 

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ISO plugs

I don't have an LS but as far as I know it uses an "ISO" configuration plug. These were also used in other import cars in the 1990s. Your installer should be able to recognize a match when he sees it. He will then be able to find an appropriate adapter. This way you don't need to cut into your wiring harness.

Based on my limited knowledge (remember, I never owned an LS), the amplifier may be a "booster" rather than an amplifier. You could leave it in place if it still works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm the installer;was getting "advice" from ex pro installer. Without looking at wiring diagram and based on previous experience with Toyota systems he thinks
that the Alfa amp would be overpowered by the Alpine head unit. I'm trying to collect any information that would help me avoid any major problems.
John
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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My nephew, when he managed the car audio department at a local Circuit City, showed me a guide which listed all the available radio/car combination wiring patches one could buy to install pretty much any radio in any car. You should be able to peruse the web to find the information you need.

I cheated and installed used Chrysler radios in the 164s I have. They work well, don't cost much at all, nobody wants to steal them, they have AM/FM, CD, and tape, don't have the distracting light show, and the plugin wiring is the same. Did make a change in the lighting wiring for the radio, but that was no big deal at all, don't really have to. The rest is all the same, including the power antenna. Actually, have no idea whether or not the OEM amplifier is still in the LS, as it is carefully hidden beneath the rider's seat, and haven't looked for it.
 

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I'm the installer;was getting "advice" from ex pro installer. Without looking at wiring diagram and based on previous experience with Toyota systems he thinks
that the Alfa amp would be overpowered by the Alpine head unit. I'm trying to collect any information that would help me avoid any major problems.
John
I have had car audio as a hobby for many years. In 2000 I sat for, and passed the MECP professional installer test, just for my own enjoyment.

Car radios all have very similar "op amps". There are two basic configurations, bridged or non-bridged. Because the amp is limited by its supply voltage (the 12 V system of the car) the power is pretty similar for all models, even those that are rated at "4X45 watts" have about (4 X) 7 real watts when played in 4 ohms (this has to do with Ohm's law and the 50% efficiency of the amp). Unless the Fujitsu Ten original radio in your LS uses a non-bridged amp section, it probably has the same power as the Alpine.

If in doubt, you can compare the two radios in a bench. You don't need fancy measuring equipment just hook them up to a speaker and see if they don't play about the same volume on FM.

You probably won't damage the Alfa amp unless you can hear it is overworked or it gets very hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I don't have any aftermarket audio experience since my "76 Alfetta in the 80's. I got he Alpine head unit in a parts car and was able to download the wiring diagram from Alpine'e website. I have the 164 diagram fom Cardisc but that doesn't seem to show an amp.
 

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On the LS you unplug the factory amp and use the wiring harness from it for your speakers. The wiring is also long enough to reach back to the dash/head unit if I remember correctly. Real easy overall job.
 

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PO removed the factory amp on my 94 LS when installing new radio and speakers. Sound quality is poor..probably combo of cheap radio/speakers.
 

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On the LS you unplug the factory amp and use the wiring harness from it for your speakers. The wiring is also long enough to reach back to the dash/head unit if I remember correctly. Real easy overall job.
Did you try not bypassing the factory amp? You might getter a better result leaving it in place.
 

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If you hve an LS it must be a 94 0r 95, right? These are equipped with Eclipse (premium Fujitsu) that are equivelent performance wise to Alpine. The output is Line Level (about 2V - Eclipse had a low impedance output - good- and higher than normal voltage) which requires a separate power amp under the seat. This is the way high end car audio is done - line out of the head unit to a separate power amp. I wouldn't replace it unless it is broken. Eclipse is considered VERY good by car audio guys. I think the Eclipse used a unique multi-pin cable that may need to be cut with an adaptor crimped or soldered in to adapt to other brand components. You want to be sure you keep +/- correct for each channel or you can get some weird sound even if it plays. Messing up channel assignements or phase (+/- reversal) can make the sytem sound terrible with less bass and poor location of instruments and voices. Wires are color coded, but I don't have the code table. This might be available from Alfa or Eclipse.
 

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Did you try not bypassing the factory amp? You might getter a better result leaving it in place.


No I bypassed the factory amp and the sound was much better.
 

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Picture of connectors?

While I am intimately familiar with the details of the radio installation on US 12V models, everything I know about the LS/Q I have learned second-hand.

There are still some holes in my knowledge. While I strongly believe the stock Fujitsu Ten/Eclipse radio has ISO connectors, it would be interesting to have this information confirmed. Because not everybody would know what ISO connectors look like, I have attached pictures. These pictures are just the first ones I could find. They are from a Web page on VW installs, so they may not reflect Alfa Romeo pin allocations. From what I know, Alfa is using ISO standard pinouts whereas VW has switched the location of one or two pins.

Also, to Greg, when you say that the stock head unit has "line-level outputs", do you mean to say these outputs share a common ground, like RCA outputs on aftermarket radios?

To 164 Family: I meant, did you actually make an "A/B test", trying both with and without the factory amp in place? Based on Greg's information, the amp should be connected to the RCA outputs of your aftermarket unit (which would have common ground outputs). Connecting the amp to "floating" speaker level outputs could be what caused the bad sound.

Here is a UK source for ISO connectors.

http://www.nexxia.co.uk/products.asp?section=CAR AUDIO&category=ISO Connectors
 

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While I am intimately familiar with the details of the radio installation on US 12V models, everything I know about the LS/Q I have learned second-hand.

There are still some holes in my knowledge. While I strongly believe the stock Fujitsu Ten/Eclipse radio has ISO connectors, it would be interesting to have this information confirmed. Because not everybody would know what ISO connectors look like, I have attached pictures. These pictures are just the first ones I could find. They are from a Web page on VW installs, so they may not reflect Alfa Romeo pin allocations. From what I know, Alfa is using ISO standard pinouts whereas VW has switched the location of one or two pins.

Also, to Greg, when you say that the stock head unit has "line-level outputs", do you mean to say these outputs share a common ground, like RCA outputs on aftermarket radios?

To 164 Family: I meant, did you actually make an "A/B test", trying both with and without the factory amp in place? Based on Greg's information, the amp should be connected to the RCA outputs of your aftermarket unit (which would have common ground outputs). Connecting the amp to "floating" speaker level outputs could be what caused the bad sound.

Here is a UK source for ISO connectors.

Buy Car Radio ISO Connector parts online at Nexxia


Thats the harness for the ls. It is German style like om Blaupunkt and also recently seen a Jensen with those connectors. I never tried to incorporate the factory amp in in any of my installs and have not seen it done. But it would not be that hard at all. One thing to note the factory amp had a DIN? plug input on it.
 

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Back when I was looking for a car, I tried a Citroen CX. It had a Alfa Romeo radio on it I liked. Later I saw the 164 in the same spot and eventually bought the Alfa with the condition I could have the radio fitted on the Citroen so they gave me the car with the radio out. I saw then the connectors on the harness weren't ISO. Eventually I made an adaptor and got a Blaupunkt London MP35 for free and that was an easy fit. What brand speakers came with yours? Pionners like mine?
 

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Just reviving an old thread on the same topic. I was looking at the under seat amp I have in my Q to see if I can use it or if it is already being used. Previous owner replaced the original headunit with a kenwood which I then replaced it with a pioneer a while ago, but didn't remember if I bypassed the amp. Anyways I am wondering if anyone has a wiring diagram for headunits with amp in our cars.

There are a bunch of wires under the seat which are for seat motors/heaters along with amp wiring. I am attaching few pictures just to see if someone can recognize the connectors.

thanks



 

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Hello Pavan the amp has been bypassed as you can see in the pic.
 

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Hello Pavan the amp has been bypassed as you can see in the pic.
Thanks Lenard. Is your old phone# still active? I tried to call you couple of times when I was around your area about couple of months ago.
 

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Yes it is still the same. I am just really busy with the new business and all.
 
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