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Why do subs keep blowing in my car?

Old 07-23-2012, 04:00 PM
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Why do subs keep blowing in my car?

I had a JBL GTO 12" 365w RMS paired with a 350W amp. lasted 6 hours, then went out with gross smoke. figured ok, cheap sub, ran it too hard.

4 months ago, bought a new kicker l3 12" and an alpine mrp500 amp. gain set a little on the low side, sub sounds great, nothing compared to my buddies single w3 though... anyways, yesterday with not even a pop, bang or smoke the sub locked up, i cant move it.

the first sub i tuned the amp, the l3 i got a pro to do it. when it locked up it wasent running hard, i just noticed... wheres my bass?

is there something wrong with my car? maybe surging power or something im missing? i build the boxxes myself, correct volume and modeled in winisd. and the guys at the local shop all said they were fine. this l3 with its hiogher wattage dosent compare to the w3 i heard. just wondering, i cant keep spending money to ruin speakers. my battery never has a problem starting the car, and seems ok. no dimming lights, although battery gauge wobbles under heavy bass,nothing crazy.

Apine CDE-9885 HU
MRP-500 amp
Kicker 12" L3
Box tuned to 36hz
8awg wires
+ on fuse box hookup (my battery is under backseat) and - is on back speaker deck.

sorry for the long post, just trying to cover everything. Thanks
any ideas?
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:15 PM
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Can you elaborate on the power wire, ground wire, battery-in-under-backseat situation?
"Positive on fuse box hookup (my battery is under backseat) and - is on back speaker deck."

Perhaps if you posted some pictures of how the amp is hooked up to the car, and how the sub is hooked up to the amp, we might see something that isn't quite right.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:32 PM
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Car is a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville SE. (GM designed it with blindfolds on, terrible)

Battery and fuse box #2 is located under the back seat.

The battery has a 1' positive 8awg that jumps to my fuse box that has the perfect nut on it to attach my amps positive.

The negative it attached to where the trunk lid hooks up, welded straight to the rear deck, i havent been getting noise at all so i assumed it was correct. to get every angle, here are a bunch of pics to explain. Sub is locked up solid, if i push any harder ill go right through the cone. no sound, not even a crackle now or when it went, just noticed i had no bass when it was playing low. i usually have it on 17 (pretty loud), i had it at 2 (whisper quiet) going through a drive through, it was when i turned it back to a cruising volume of 12 i heard no thump. i know the volume number mean nothing but it gives you an idea of how high to low it went.






dont worry about my "top fastened" sub box, lol,
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:02 PM
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So the positive power wire coming off the battery doesn't go into that in-line fuse, then into the amp. It runs to a fuse-box first, then to the in-line fuse, then to the amp?
Is that right? If so, I think that may be your problem.

I'm fairly confident that since this battery sits so close to the amplifier to could run the ground wire from the amp, straight to the Negative terminal on the battery. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken. The way the amp is grounded right now, judging by the picture, looks less than ideal.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:17 PM
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IIRC my kit is the StreetWires ZN-3, it has a 4' ground wire, just a little to short to route with the positive behind the back seat.

the 4awg wire off the positive goes to the starter, under the positive terminal on the battery the 8awg wire goes from the battery right to the fuse box, i just connected the amp to that 8awg lead running off the battery, before the fuse box.

god i hate this car.

how do you guys get a nice connection on the battery if its side terminals? all i see it top post connectors

Last edited by L1ability; 07-24-2012 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:20 PM
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Well if the sub is seized it sounds like thermal failure to me. I had a W3 on its last legs that I picked up (bought it just for the box), and I cranked it nice and loud. It played but after I turned it off and let it cool down, THEN it seized up.

Regardless that L3 is 400w RMS if I'm not mistaken, and the alpine will push at least the rated 500. If you crank it and send it into clipping, the sub will be seeing well over 500w and thus will heat up with time and fail like it did.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ancorp View Post
Well if the sub is seized it sounds like thermal failure to me. I had a W3 on its last legs that I picked up (bought it just for the box), and I cranked it nice and loud. It played but after I turned it off and let it cool down, THEN it seized up.

Regardless that L3 is 400w RMS if I'm not mistaken, and the alpine will push at least the rated 500. If you crank it and send it into clipping, the sub will be seeing well over 500w and thus will heat up with time and fail like it did.
This L3 was an impulse buy because i got 50$ off. damn. thought the square was onto something, guess i was terribly wrong. Hopefully with my 1 year warranty if kicker replaces it, i can sell it and get a RF Power 12" or go 2 rf punch 10's. not even sure about fosgate though...

but my main worry is if its my setup or some sort of surge in my charging system, and subs keep going ill be broke. no dimming lights, but is a bobbing battery gauge an indicator of something? does it with sub on or off.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:39 AM
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What kind(s) of source material are you using for music? CD? Ripped MP3?
Just because a pro set the gain doesn't mean you're not inadvertently sending a horribly clipped bass signal to the amp and on to the poor sub(s).
Do you know anyone local to you with a DD-1?

For years I ran my subs hard and never had a problem, cranking them only as far as my ears told me was safe. Now I have a clipping indicator on my sub amp remote level **** and I'm certain I would often exceed what it is telling me is clipped, had I just used my ears.
My $.02
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:30 AM
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perhaps somthing in the wiring thats shorting out your equipment , bad ground ? , also could be bad voltage drop , perhaps a cap or a battery upgrade is in order ? , i would rewire the stereo go from there , get a shop to do it that way your warrantyd
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:55 AM
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if you have a stock alt stock batts and you not dimming your lights theres a good chance that you amp is not getting enough ground to pull proper voltage and there for sending a cliped signal to your speakers causeing them to get red hot
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