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Wiring a sub / subwoofer and amplifier in 2015 F-150 (no door removal, how-to guide)

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Old 07-09-2015, 12:15 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Wiring a sub / subwoofer and amplifier in 2015 F-150 (no door removal, how-to guide)

I've been hunting for a long while for this guide, but it didn't exist. So I spent a lot of hours in the garage today and figured I'd put down on paper what I learned to make it easier on those wanting to do DIY subwoofer installs in their 2015 F-150.

Notes:
  • This was on a 2015 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat with MyFord Touch.
  • I have the stock audio system. No Sony, no navigation.
  • I wanted to keep the factory head unit so that all of my Sync and climate controls remain in tact.
  • This setup should work for anyone, regardless of what sub/amp you choose.
I installed a JL Audio ACP108LG-W3v3 (8" sub, amp, and box all-in-one), which I ordered from Crutchfield for $429. I measured ahead of time and knew that it would barely fit, but I didn't account for the change in space behind the rear driver-side passenger seat when you fold it straight up in order to access the flat floor for storage. So, while my sub fits snugly behind that rear seat and the rear seat latches properly, I cannot access my floor storage on that side. You can slide items underneath the seat when it's down, of course, but it won't fold completely upright.

Because of this, I would avoid the JL Audio ACP108LG-W3v3 (despite it sounding absolutely marvelous), and instead opt for a Rockford Fosgate PS-8 or Kicker Hideaway, both of which are slim enough to be mounted behind the rear seat and still allow for fold-up access to the floor.



JL Audio ACP108LG-W3v3 and install materials


Now, onto the install.


Tools used:
How-to Guide (you don't have to necessarily follow the steps in this order, but it worked for me)
  1. Pop your rear driver-side seat down (detailed guide with pics is here). To do this:
    1. Start with back seat up head rest down. Press the clip in on both the left and right metal rods and remove the headrest to get it out of your way.
    2. Reach in behind the head rest and lift up the tiny little metal cylinder on the latch on the seat side. (This is best reached with any wrench -- put the tiny latch nub in the wrench hole and yank upward to release.)
    3. Lower the rear seat using the unlock handle on the bottom of the rear seat.
  2. Use a molding removal tool to pry up the middle floor plastic plate in each of the rear door areas. (No bolts, just a few clips that take a little effort to pry up.)



  1. Use a molding removal tool to pry up the middle floor plastic plate in the front DRIVER SIDE door (leave the front passenger area alone).



  1. On the b-pillar, where the seatbelt enters the pillar area, there's a recess. Stick your fingers in there, wiggle strongly, and pull back. You'll unclip 4-5 clips along each side and free that up, exposing wiring that runs down the b-pillar.
  2. On the right speaker side, unwrap the tape holding the bundle of wires down the b-pillar and look for the two wires that are very obviously twisted around one another. The POSITIVE (+) speaker wire is Brown with White Stripe. The NEGATIVE (-) speaker wire is Brown with Blue Stripe.
  3. Run speaker wire from the rear of the back seat (where the amp will be) to the right b-pillar, hiding the wire in the door sills that you just uncovered.
  4. Using Quick Splice plastic crimps, connect the + and - speaker leads to your own speaker wire. (Just in case you haven't noticed, you don't have to remove the door panels and access your rear speakers -- just pick up these leads after they've entered the cabin at the b-pillar to make your life a lot easier!)



  1. Repeat this on the left b-pillar, but watch out for NEW COLORS.
  2. On the left speaker side, once you've unwrapped and exposed the wiring as it enters the cabin, the left POSITIVE (+) wire is White with Green Stripe, and the left NEGATIVE (-) is Brown with Yellow Stripe.
  3. [The reason I'm tapping you into the REAR speaker leads is because they're closer to the amp, easier to access (requiring no door panel removal), and don't have any fake engine noise pumped into them as is the case with the front speaker leads.]
  4. To run your 12v HOT wire to your battery, run your amp's power cabling from the rear compartment where your amp will be along the newly exposed door sill on the DRIVER side. Just to the left of the brake pedal you'll see a rubber grommet entering the firewall. This is the hood release cable. THIS is your easiest point of entry into the engine bay.
  5. Tug on that rubber lead from the interior cabin with a set of adjustable pliars as to not cut the rubber. It takes a good yank to break the seal and create room for a power wire to get through there.
  6. Once that plug is pulled, go around to the engine bay and tie a coat hanger or other stiff cable to your hot wire and pull it through to the engine bay.
  7. You can run your hot wire along the front of the engine bay, taping it up top near the windshield so it doesn't just drape across your motor. You'll want to find a good place to wedge or tape your fuse holder, but don't connect that hot lead to your engine battery just yet.
  8. Back behind the rear seat, which should be folded down, unbolt the little latch that you had to mess with initially to get the seat folded down. There's an annoying washer on the rear side, but if you take a hammer to it you can break that bolt free. This is an IDEAL place to attached your amp's GROUND wire. Place the ground ring around that bolt, then re-attach that metal latch to the rear of the cabin where it came from.
  9. Connect your ground to your amp.
  10. Connect your 12v hot power wire to your amp.
  11. Use wire caps to connect the high-level Left/Right speaker leads you spliced into to your high-level input wires that came with your amp. (You won't use the RCA connectors)
  12. Just FYI: buy an amp that can be triggered on/off via power sensing in your speaker wire. My JL amp does this PERFECTLY, thus you won't see anything here about running a remote wire. If you must run a remote wire, you'll need to buy an Add-A-Tap and use slot #38 in the passenger kick panel or slot #95 under the hood.
  13. Connect your 12v hot power wire to your battery and cross your fingers.
  14. If everything works, adjust your gain, situate your amp/box, put the seat back up, and enjoy. No wrench, no screws, no door panels to remove.


JL box installed with seat folded down.




Closeup of sub install + ground connection to rear seat latch.




Completed project with seats back upright.




I spent A LOT of time hunting for the ideal 12v power wire firewall point and the ideal spot to tape into the rear speaker leads, and I hope this saves all of you DIYers a lot of time and hassle.

My hands are shot, my back aches, and I'd probably recommend that really busy folks just take it to a professional and pay them to make your day easy. But for everyone else, it ain't too bad now that you've got the blueprint.

As for the sound quality of the JL: while I can't recommend it due to it killing your ability to access the lie-flat floor storage, it sounds amazing. Super clean, super crisp, and super tight. It won't "hit" like a 12" woofer would, but no 8" woofer by its lonesome will "hit" those really low bass drops in rap and EDM music. That said, it sure hits a lot harder than the factory woofer in a Land Rover LR4. Honestly, adding an 8" sub isn't about rattling the mirrors; it's about adding an element to your music that's missing from the factory. I love that my setup doesn't rattle my doors. Even at a loud volume, everything's tight, and I didn't have to add Dynamat to dampen anything.

Any other Qs, ask away!

Last edited by Southpaw1227; 07-10-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:37 AM   #2
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Great guide
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for this! Did you run a remote volume control for it? And was just the sub enough to make you happy with the stereo?

I guess that would be enough for me. I mean, I typically have the volume around the first tall bar, plus/minus a couple shorter bars (whatever value that is) so I don't need it louder. I just need bass I can hear or feel.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Yeah, I did run a volume remote. Haven't decided final placement on it, though. I's a great addition, as I generally turn the bass back on rock and up a bit on rap/pop.

For your second Q: yes, definitely. Completely satisfied now.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southpaw1227 View Post
Yeah, I did run a volume remote. Haven't decided final placement on it, though. I's a great addition, as I generally turn the bass back on rock and up a bit on rap/pop.

For your second Q: yes, definitely. Completely satisfied now.

Great! I'd love to see pics when you get it situated. And I'm sure this would be a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to do myself (or have some shop do it) vs swapping the speakers, installing an amp, or swapping the HU.

Although I'm really weighing the idea of replacing the HU. I'm getting sick of the thing acting like I ejected the SD card. Just today I got it to take my daughter to work, it started playing off the SD, and as soon as I shifted to reverse it acted like the card was re-inserted and started indexing it. Again. So I had to wait for it to finish to navigate back to what I was playing before. That's getting REALLY annoying.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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I have 2 of those EXACT same subs and a JL 500/1 amp (runs both of them perfectly bridged at 4 ohm)

Do you think that sub would fit behind the seat where the factory one was? I haven't had the time to try it myself.

GREAT write up BTW - I truly appreciate the time you took to do it. It will help a lot of people!

Last edited by iRub1Out; 07-10-2015 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piercedtiger View Post
Great! I'd love to see pics when you get it situated. And I'm sure this would be a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to do myself (or have some shop do it) vs swapping the speakers, installing an amp, or swapping the HU.
Done -- added some inline pictures to the first post. Please note that this sub box fits, but you'll notice the dent in the grill. That's because of the pressure that's put on the grill when you attempt to raise the lower portion of the seat up to access the fully flat floor. In other words, don't use the sub I used if you need to access that floor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iRub1Out View Post
I have 2 of those EXACT same subs and a JL 500/1 amp (runs both of them perfectly bridged at 4 ohm)

Do you think that sub would fit behind the seat where the factory one was? I haven't had the time to try it myself.

GREAT write up BTW - I truly appreciate the time you took to do it. It will help a lot of people!
I think one of those two would, yes, but only in a customized enclosure. That'd take some time to create for sure. Every single 8" prefab subwoofer box I've seen doesn't quite work behind the rear SuperCrew seat for one reason or another, but perhaps I haven't seen them all!

Thanks for the kind words; hope it's a useful guide!
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Yes, Thank you for editing to add those pics to the OP!

So you got ONE to fit where the OEM sub would be. The only down side was that it crushed the protective grille, is that right? I kind of wonder if there's any way to integrate the touchscreen bass control adjustment to act like the twisty **** that would normally be used? --that would be a damn good idea if it could be done.

I wish I could get my 2nd one back there... I *may* just put them under the rear seat like I had them in my 2012... idk yet.

Lastly, I have been hunting all over the interior around the drivers "reachable" area and can't find a good spot to mount the level ****. On the '12 I cut a hole by the "sync" sticker at the bottom of the center console.

However it appears that theres no ideal spot to put it give the curvature of everything in there. lol, maybe we can think of something that looks good.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iRub1Out View Post
Yes, Thank you for editing to add those pics to the OP!

So you got ONE to fit where the OEM sub would be. The only down side was that it crushed the protective grille, is that right?

I wish I could get my 2nd one back there... I *may* just put them under the rear seat like I had them in my 2012... idk yet.

Lastly, I have been hunting all over the interior around the drivers "reachable" area and can't find a good spot to mount the level ****. On the '12 I cut a hole by the "sync" sticker at the bottom of the center console.

However it appears that theres no ideal spot to put it give the curvature of everything in there. lol, maybe we can think of something that looks good.
Well, that's one downside. The other is that this box (5.125" thick) is too thick to allow the lower-half of that rear seat to fold straight up, which is necessary to access the fully flat floor. So with that sub back there, I can never fold that rear seat straight up for maximum floor storage. If you opted for a slimmer box (say, the Rockford Fosgate PS-8 or Kicker Hideaway), you'd avoid the problem I ran into.

I ran my remote bass control **** to the long nook beside the driver-side right leg. It's that long channel halfway down the center stack as it comes into contact with the footwell carpet. The **** is at the front, right where the front of the driver seat is.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:27 AM   #10
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any issue with the "fake" V8 sounds being pumped in? I also have a Lariat (501a) on order with whatever system It comes with and would like to add a little bass.
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