Mach460 Metra question and CD Player Delete

anton_lor

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Hello!
I want to switch out my head unit for a new one in my 96 Cobra. I am not sure, if I need the Metra 5510 or 5511 wiring harness, but I ordered both (if anyone has a tip which to use to not get the pop of the amps, I am very grateful!)
Since the CD Player of the Mach460 system doesn't have any purpose anymore, I want to replace it with a storage cubby. Do I need a SN95 specific cubby or can I use any universal single din storage cubby, which I can get from Amazon?
Are there any good reproductions of the original ones besides the one on LMR? LMR sadly doesnt ship outside the US :/
Thank you!
 

ttocs

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any universal din pocket will work, but they really just turn into rear seat storage as if you get on it hard enough it just fly's right out. The turn on pop is because the amps use a 6v turn on, the amp gives a 12v turn on. You can use a voltage regulator to fix the pop if you have it, some do and some do not.
 
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anton_lor

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Do you mean the cubby will fly out or the things I put in it? The original one had an rubber inlay, I could also get something like this I think. I heard that the 5511 is used to remedy the voltage problem, is that correct or do I still need the regulator? If I heard correctly the head unit I want to get has 4v output for the chinch cables.
 

ttocs

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what is a chinch cable? I think you are confusing the audio signal output being 4v peak to peak, I am talking about the remote turn on/power antenna wire that that amp uses to see when the deck is on.

even with the rubber it is hard to keep things in the cubby. The pocket will not move but whatever is in it will be on the back seat floor if you have any power.
 

GTamas

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RCA cables are called chinch in Germany and Austria mainly. Where are you located Anton?
 
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anton_lor

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You got me, I am from Germany :)
Yes, i meant RCA cables, i am sorry, English is not my first language :) The head unit i want to use (Pioneer AVH-Z7200DAB) has 6 RCA outputs for Front, rear and subs, which should be 4v outputs if i remember correctly. The metra 5511 harness has the 4 RCA cables. Is it Bad if i try out the New stereo With the normal harness and if it pops just solder the Regulator into the harness or will i fry my amps the first time i try the stereo out without the Regulator?
 

ttocs

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I ran mine for years with no regulator and never had an issue. That does not mean it will not happen to you but
 
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anton_lor

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Okay, thank you for your help! Maybe i will just get a regulator and will be safe before i damage the system. It is still a 12v to 5v regulator, right? Can you remember if you used the metra 5511 or 5510 harness? I am still confused which one is the right one :/
 

PNW Mike

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Based on my old notes and purchases from my '97 Mustang stereo upgrade, Metra 70-5510 is for connecting an aftermarket stereo to the pre-amp inputs of the Mach system, this is when you want to re-use the existing Mach amps and speakers. It has the RCA/chinch plugs (I learned a new thing today!) that connect to the radio pre-amp outputs plus the second power wiring plug and pigtail to provide power and lighting wiring for the aftermarket radio.

The Metra 70-5511 harness looks like a direct wire version of a Metra 70-5510, it looks almost identical in the pictures I could fine, but it doesn't have the RCA plugs. I'm inferring that this would be useful if your radio doesn't have RCA plugs for pre-amp outputs?


The square factory harness plug behind the radio for the Mach system was super finicky on mine, this is what the square plug with the RCA cables in the Metra 70-5510 kit plugs into. The pins in the factory and Metra sides of the connection were prone to get bent, move out of place, and not make good contact, resulting in one or more speakers not working until it was fiddled with. Mine may just have been messed up, but from my admittedly limited data sample of one car, it did not seem to be a very good connector design.

I used a double-DIN kit for a new Edge SN95 to install a larger radio in mine. It's not quite right in terms of matching up to the color and style of the dash on mine, but I was OK with that in exchange for an easy double-DIN radio install. Your tolerance for the visual and style differences may not be as great as mine. :)


If you want to bypass the Mach amps, you may be able to use a Metra 70-5605 for part of it - that's what I ended up doing on my '97. The intended purpose of this adaptor is for bypassing the amplifier on the premium-but-not-Mach system that has just a single amplifier below the radio (where the tweeter amp is for the Mach system), but it can be also used to bypass/replace the amps in a Mach system, when combined with some other wiring work. On a Mach system, using this adaptor harness will provide the blue amplifier turn on wire to run back to your new amp(s) and a place to connect the tweeter wiring coming from your amp(s). The woofer wiring has to be connected to your new amps separately; for my case I was able to source the correct Ford pigtails to do so at the passenger's side rear speaker box and for the other three woofers at a connector under the rear seat just under the speaker box. This was for a convertible, hardtops use slightly different wiring and a different rear woofer box.
 

ttocs

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If I had to suggest a harness to use, I would say to NOT use the one with the rca inputs. Ford/jbl basically took their regular deck with powered output and made a few changes to the amp to accept the higher speaker power. If you take a true low output rca signal and feed it into the amps you will probably notice that the bass is lower than it was with the stock amps and often the treble starts to crackle earlier as well because of the mismatch. I have used something called a line driver on the rca's that will boost the output voltage up where the stock amps are happier but that is another piece you will need to buy and wire in.

I use to help people to tweek the mach system and with a couple of caps to take the bass out of the tweeters and a line driver/bass cube and you would be surprised it was stock amps/speakers. This was 20 years ago though and since then the speakers foam surround has more than likely dry rotted away and the amps are known to stay on and kill batteries. Today if someone were to ask me what I recommend I would say to replace the deck and speakers, throw a small amp/sub if you want the bass and you will be better off in the longrun.
 
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anton_lor

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You might be right that it would be wise to replace the amp and the speakers. But I am not keen on this task and would like to keep the factory setup as of now. I think the sound is quite good with the factory head unit but I am used to my BMW E36 sound of the 90s ;)
So I just want to ditch the factory head unit and cd player and replace it with a new head unit to get the same (or slightly better) sound quality. I want to do it properly, so without the amp pop for example, but I also dont want to rewire everything in the car. I guess I will try the 5510 harness first and hopefully everything works. Otherwise I am really grateful for tips on what else to get and how to install it or what to look after :) I will also get the 12v to 5v regulator just in case
Thank you very much for your help!
 

ttocs

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well then you will need to be prepared to tweek it a bit. I think it was a 1000 microfarad cap I used to take the bass out of the tweeters or else they will play full range. Any sound in them and they will sound bad. Be sure to use the speaker outputs, or else look into the line driver but getting sound as good as stock can be harder than it should be with the stock equipment
 

PNW Mike

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I too started with trying to keep the factory Mach system, but after realizing my Mach system was having some issues (dying woofer amp, IIRC), looking into improve it rapidly devolved into resigning myself to doing the work to swap to an aftermarket amp and speakers. And I'm very glad that I did. If you look in the car, other than the aftermarket head unit, you can't tell it's not stock. if you look in the trunk, well, it's pretty obvious that stuff is changed, but I'm OK with that.

While doing this I learned how the Mach system is a bit weird, which is why there were no aftermarket speaker choices for it that I could find. The "tweeters" handle a lot more of the frequency range than you'd expect, which really surprised me, and explained why it sounds the way it does - low and mid bass was muddy, but it did have had a nice thump from the low bass! I wasn't aware of the lower turn on voltage and the need for caps and such to try and integrate the factory amps and speakers with an aftermarket head unit, as I gave up before getting that deep into trying to reuse anything from the Mach system. Which reminds me, I have a box of used Mach 460 parts if anyone is interested. :) If Ford had used stuck with more standardized approaches it would have been much easier to upgrade, but unfortunately, they did not.

I used a 4-channel x 100W RMS amp and Kicker speakers into the factory locations. I also added a 100W powered sub in the trunk and liberally applied Dynamat to the floor, doors, and trunk. This turned out surprisingly well, despite being a rather limited investment in terms of amps and speakers and the total wattage of the system. It won't win any stereo volume contests, but that's not what I cared about anyway. It didn't cost an arm and a leg, and the install wasn't _too_ hard; it was mostly tedious, especially installing the Dynamat and tracking down the right connectors to connect to the factory Mach woofer harness so I didn't have to cut any wires, as that's a pet peeve of mine. IIRC, the Dynamat was the most expensive single thing - I went a bit overkill and used almost three boxes of Dynamat Extreme.
 
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anton_lor

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Another question regarding the stereo setup: I have seen many head units, that just have one RCA output for left, one for right and one for the subs. The metra harness has 4 RCA cables, do I have to get a headunit with 4/6 RCA outputs (Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right, Rear Left, Sub 1, Sub 2) or could i just connect 2 of the 4 RCA cables and get the same sound (or maybe 3 of 4)? I heard something along the lines of that the stock Mach460 system just has mono sound, so it doesnt matter, what output you connect where, is this true?
 

ttocs

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mach is not mono except for the bass which is common. You can always use a y-splitter to split the 2 channels into 4, you will only lose the ability to fade to front/rear. If that is something you mess with then you will want a deck with 6 outputs, 2 sub then 2 front/2 rear.
 
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anton_lor

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Ah thank you, then I remembered it wrong :) I cant remember if I ever used fade, so thats not something I really care about. But there is no negative sound impact by using a splitter, right? I am really a novice when it comes to electrics, so sorry if that question is dumb ^^
 

shovel

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I think it would be a good idea for you to download a factory manual that has the whole wiring diagram for the Mach system. Then you can be sure to understand it.

I have worked for an amplifier/speaker manufacturer that you would recognize for 20 years and worked on many Mustangs, what I have learned about these two things is that trying to help people work with Mach systems over the internet is an exercise in frustration for everyone involved, and that it is always a better idea to either keep it 100% stock or replace it 100%.
 
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