What wire is the positive wire on the factory subwoofer?


Jerry Bransford

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The black wire with the red tracer is connected to a switched +12 volt source, it powers the subwoofer amplifier when the ignition switch is on. I don't see any brown wire with a grey tracer in the Mopar schematic for your 2003 Wrangler.

Subwoofer 1.JPG
Subwoofer 2.JPG
 
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SCLynnie

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The black wire with the red tracer is connected to a switched +12 volt source, it powers the subwoofer amplifier when the ignition switch is on. I don't see any brown wire with a grey tracer in the Mopar schematic for your 2003 Wrangler.

View attachment 57674 View attachment 57675
The black wire with the red tracer is connected to a switched +12 volt source, it powers the subwoofer amplifier when the ignition switch is on. I don't see any brown wire with a grey tracer in the Mopar schematic for your 2003 Wrangler.

View attachment 57674 View attachment 57675
 
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SCLynnie

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Jerry, I pulled the blown factory sub from the center console. Beside the bundled wires going to The 12-pin connector, coming from the factory amp, are two pairs of wires that connect to the subwoofer. One pair per voice coil is black/red, the other grey/brown. I want to install my new sub using the factory wires. New sub has marked + terminals. My dilemma is which factory wire in each pair is +??
 

skrelnik

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Do you have a multimeter that you can use?

If yes, set the multimeter to measure DC voltage, and touch the speaker wires to the probes. If your probe is touching a wire with an opposite polarity, such as the positive probe to a negative wire, you will get a negative numerical reading, or a negative zero depending on your multimeter. Try switching which probe you're using to get a positive reading instead, and you will then know which is the positive.
 

Jerry Bransford

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First, even if you got the polarity reversed for the wiring leading to the subwoofer no damage would result. The subwoofer would just be out of phase with the other speakers and simply wouldn't sound quite as good.

But even with a lot of research, I couldn't determine if the black/red or the gray/brown was positive. Not even Crutchfield could tell me.

If you know which speaker lug on the factory subwoofer those wires came off of, here's how to get them connected to the new woofer the same way so the polarity will be correct. Go buy a 9 volt battery and connect a pair of wires to it so you can touch the other end of the wires to the sub woofer. The speaker coil will either move in or out when the 9v battery is connected to the speaker lugs. Note which way the speaker cone moves in or out. Do the same thing with the new speaker. If the speaker cones move the same direction connecting the battery to the same lugs respectively, connect the wiring to the same (left/right) lugs as the OE. If the two speaker cones move opposite to each other when you connect the battery to them, just reverse the wiring to the new speaker.

Or if you don't want to mess with a battery, here's how I determine polarity with my ears... since you're only worried about the polarity to one speaker, this is relatively easy. Temporarily connect the wiring in either direction to the subwoofer and turn on a news or talk radio program on your the AM band of your car radio. Listen to the sound and while sitting between all the speakers, does the sound sound "centered"? Then reverse the wiring to the subwoofer and listen to the same thing as before. Did the sound/power seem to get better or worse? Did a 'hole' in the sound in the center appear or go away? This is a very subtle effect but if you reverse the wiring to the subwoofer a couple times you'll soon hear the difference and you can pick the polarity that sounds best. The correct polarity will produce as slightly louder bass/power sound though it is subtle.

Even if you got it wrong it's not a huge deal, the difference is very subtle when a speaker is wired backwards.

A DC volt meter won't work to determine speaker wiring polarity since the voltage that produces the sound coming through the speaker wiring is not DC, it is constantly alternating its polarity.... it is AC.
 
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S.McArthur

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The terminals on the wires should be two different sizes, the bigger one is (+), smaller is (-).
I have not messed with my sub, but I need to fix a front speaker and may take a look later. Hopefully, you've figured this out by then.
 
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skrelnik

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A DC volt meter won't work to determine speaker wiring polarity since the voltage that produces the sound coming through the speaker wiring is not DC, it is constantly alternating its polarity.... it is AC.

The Alternator produces A/C which is rectified(converted) back to D/C to charge the Battery with D/C voltage, so a DC multimeter will work for this exercise.

Just like your 9volt batter tip, these are great methods to figure out which wire is positive and negative when they are not properly marked.
 
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Jerry Bransford

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The Alternator produces A/C which is rectified(converted) back to D/C to charge the Battery with D/C voltage, so a DC multimeter will work for this exercise..
She's asking about her subwoofer's speaker wiring, not power wiring. Audio via speaker wiring is not DC, there is no DC in speaker wiring. Period. She's talking about the speaker-level output wiring from the amplifiers that connect to the subwoofer speaker itself, not the power leads providing 12 volt power to the amplifier.
 
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SCLynnie

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Do you have a multimeter that you can use?

If yes, set the multimeter to measure DC voltage, and touch the speaker wires to the probes. If your probe is touching a wire with an opposite polarity, such as the positive probe to a negative wire, you will get a negative numerical reading, or a negative zero depending on your multimeter. Try switching which probe you're using to get a positive reading instead, and you will then know which is the positive.
She's asking about her subwoofer's speaker wiring, not power wiring. Audio via speaker wiring is not DC, there is no DC in speaker wiring. Period. She's talking about the speaker-level output wiring from the amplifiers that connect to the subwoofer speaker itself, not the power leads providing 12 volt power to the amplifier.
 
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SCLynnie

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A huge thanks to all who answered. I tried two multimeters without success. But I’m learning and your detailed reply is so appreciated! The 9volt battery suggestion worked like a charm. The old raggedy sub jumped up like a rabbit! Many many thanks to ALL.
 
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SCLynnie

SCLynnie

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First, even if you got the polarity reversed for the wiring leading to the subwoofer no damage would result. The subwoofer would just be out of phase with the other speakers and simply wouldn't sound quite as good.

But even with a lot of research, I couldn't determine if the black/red or the gray/brown was positive. Not even Crutchfield could tell me.

If you know which speaker lug on the factory subwoofer those wires came off of, here's how to get them connected to the new woofer the same way so the polarity will be correct. Go buy a 9 volt battery and connect a pair of wires to it so you can touch the other end of the wires to the sub woofer. The speaker coil will either move in or out when the 9v battery is connected to the speaker lugs. Note which way the speaker cone moves in or out. Do the same thing with the new speaker. If the speaker cones move the same direction connecting the battery to the same lugs respectively, connect the wiring to the same (left/right) lugs as the OE. If the two speaker cones move opposite to each other when you connect the battery to them, just reverse the wiring to the new speaker.

Or if you don't want to mess with a battery, here's how I determine polarity with my ears... since you're only worried about the polarity to one speaker, this is relatively easy. Temporarily connect the wiring in either direction to the subwoofer and turn on a news or talk radio program on your the AM band of your car radio. Listen to the sound and while sitting between all the speakers, does the sound sound "centered"? Then reverse the wiring to the subwoofer and listen to the same thing as before. Did the sound/power seem to get better or worse? Did a 'hole' in the sound in the center appear or go away? This is a very subtle effect but if you reverse the wiring to the subwoofer a couple times you'll soon hear the difference and you can pick the polarity that sounds best. The correct polarity will produce as slightly louder bass/power sound though it is subtle.

Even if you got it wrong it's not a huge deal, the difference is very subtle when a speaker is wired backwards.

A DC volt meter won't work to determine speaker wiring polarity since the voltage that produces the sound coming through the speaker wiring is not DC, it is constantly alternating its polarity.... it is AC.
 
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SCLynnie

SCLynnie

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A huge thanks to all who answered. I tried two multimeters without success. But I’m learning and your detailed reply is so appreciated! The 9volt battery suggestion worked like a charm. The old raggedy sub jumped up like a rabbit! Many many thanks to ALL.
 
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