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Old 09-23-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
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Time to boot the Mach

Ight fellas its time to get rid of the good ol mach 460... a guy today at best buy told me the best thing to do is to start from scratch and replace everything from head unit to speakers... so, where do i start..? What head units are good and im tryin to stay cheap... im on the college kid budget and what size speakers do i need to replace the stock ones in the doors and the rear... the reason im getting rid of the whole thing is because the only speakers that do work are the tweeters in the front and rear... the fella who owned the car before me wired in his own amp so im guessing the stock amps are blown.
lemme know what ya know
thanks
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

This is a good website to start with. Some of the best prices around

Crutchfield.com
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

Just curious, have you tried to troubleshoot the amp and speakers? I just say this because a little troubleshooting for a few days sometimes pays off way more than spending a whole lot of money.

Now while the Mach audio system is probably one of the best factory set up out there, aftermarket is always considered to be better, although car makers are starting to wise up on this major industry for their cars.

Also if you are just going to replace everything because an amp is faulty it seems a little silly. If you want to just upgrade every component either for the sake of it, because you want the upgraded audio system, or even just because certain components of the Mach system are going bad than you can spend as little, or as much as you want, and then include any accessories or components that you also need. You better sit down for another long read. We'll start at the "typical" beginning assuming you are replacing all the factory equipment and I'll try and include the needed, and any optional equipment you may need. I am going to note here that because of the factory amps the install differs from most other cars, and your options aren't going to be as simple as just replacing the OE materials. I'll go in depth more when I get down to the amps and all.

Radio: You can spend anywhere from $100 bucks to $1000 on just a new head unit. 1998 had a single DIN opening which means any single DIN HU will go right into the original space. It may be possible to replace the radio trim with the trim from a '01-04 and go with a Double DIN unit. Now the '94-00 has two separate DIN units, the top is the radio and on the Mach the lower one is a CD Player. Going with a new radio will completely disable the CD Player, but a pocket is readily available to replace the defunct CD Player.

High end radios include Alpine and Pioneer. Kenwoods are another good brand. Sometimes their units are defective but I've seen it also with Pioneer and the store should automatically replace the unit within the radio's warranty period (~1 year). I can't account for the reliability for JVC although I'd say they are another good company. About two years ago they had some really good designs come out. Personally I'm not a huge fan of Kenwood or JVC because I don't like the user interface of the less expensive models. I would stay away from companies like Jensen and Dual.

Accessories: Besides the extra pocket you will need the Mach radio harness which any shop and BB will have. The harness has one skinny long rectangle gray plug which provides the power, ground and some other "utilities". The second part of the harness is a square black plug which is all the audio connections. Also a lot of radios don't actually have the features included out of the box that they say they do (i.e. "feature-ready"). So you will have to buy a BT adapter, iPod adapter (altough they usually include these now), GPS, etc..

Speakers: Ford decided that the best speaker size would be 6x8", not because of their physical properties but because no one makes 6x8" speakers so an replacements would have to be from Ford. Well it doesn't take long for the aftermarket to catch on. Pioneer, Infinity and JBL (same manufacturer), and I think Kenwood all make 6x8". Alpine makes a 5x7" which I believe has a bigger mounting surface around the speaker cone so that it will fill the 6x8" hole for Fords. Alpine, JBL/Infinity and even Kenwood make great-decent speakers. Pioneer's speakers tend to be of a decent quality. When choosing speakers you want a butyl-rubber and not a cloth (Pioneer is guilty here often) surrounding around the cone. If the speaker is on display push down on the cone and observe how the material around the cone flexes, you want to see little to no creasing and a uniform movement/flex around the cone as the cones moves. You can go with 5x7" and get a 5x7" to 6x8" adapter plate to mount the smaller speaker.

Also the Mach system has component speakers, or rather tweeters. You can try and find component speakers, meaning both the woofers and tweeters together, or just buy the woofers and tweeters separately. The tweeters should come with a cross over that should be installed, otherwise the tweeters are not doing the job they are designes to do.

Accessories: Besides the bracket if you need it, there aren't any other real accessories here. I do however recommend getting the speaker harness plugs for a few reasons. The first being it makes a cleaner, quicker install. Also if you decide to sell, or somehow have tp get rid of the car you can always downgrade to OEM or lesser quality much easier and you can keep the good stuff. Sound quality may even be better than just a simple splice. Finally the biggest advantage to the speaker harness is that you never know the installer. He could be the best in the region but since you'll never see the speakers installed, will just cut off the connector ends and splice right on. If you're okay with this then you don't have to get the speaker harness.

Amps: Now here's where the real problem is. If you decide to get aftermarket amps things will seem to be easier, but more expensive and the job will be longer to do (expect a few hours). It's easier in the sense the amp can be installed and using 9-wire, run the audio outputs from the amp back up to the HU where the outputs are connected to that previously mentioned black audio harness. If you decide to keep the factory amps and not anything aftermarket then the audio signal will still pass through the factory amps. If the amps are good then your new speakers will simply be amp-ed. However both of these solutions go through the factory amps and if one amp or more is no good than you just spent a lot of money for nothing and you still have the same problems after.

The other thing you can do is run from either the HU directly or the aftermarket/good amp(s) new sets of speaker lines to each new speaker. Directly from the HU avoids the amps and the problems you are experiencing. The preamp in the HU is enough to power the speakers. From the HU would probably be the cheapest and quickest. If you decide to go with subwoofers then you should at least plan ahead just in case you decide on changing the audio layout a bit (e.g. amp-ing the speakers, etc.).

Accessories: If you just do the simple rewire than all you will need extra of is some speaker wire, maybe some butt connectors. If you decide to go with amps you will want to get an amp install kit and probably extra sets of RCAs. If you go with multiple amps and/or a capacitor then also look into getting extra install kits for multiple amps/capacitors.

Now knowing all this it is probably a better idea to trouble shoot. One of the simpler methods is to swap the amps and see if the problems is reversed (woofers play but no tweeters) or to test the speakers individually by pulling them out and using a 9volt battery test the speaker leads and see if the speaker "pops". Also if you know which pins are what on the amp audio out puts you could just unplug the harness and "pop" the speakers from here.

You can go a step further and attach an independent speaker to the known audio inputs on one of the defective channels on the amp and see if the speaker plays. If the speaker plays, and the factory speaker "pops" all on the same channel then you definitely know the amp is bad. If the speaker doesn't pop, the problem lies after the amp and probably within the speaker (i.e. speaker not connected or shorted in the door). If there is no audio on the independent speaker the problem lies somewhere before the amp and can include a bad HU (radio) (or just the audio outputs) or even no connection behind the radio.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:23 PM   #4
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

Also, try Soniceletronix.com - car audio video Resources and Information.. They have everything that Crutchfield has plus more with lower prices.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

yea the mach system really cant be replaced in parts, you do all or nothing lol
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:14 AM   #6
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

Great information
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

If you wanted to keep the factory audio with the Mach system, but the head unit pukes, can you buy an aftermarket head unit and still get the nice OEM sound or must you replace it with another OEM? Would you need anything else to go along with a aftermarket headunit to make it sound decent with toher OEM stuff?
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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Re: Time to boot the Mach

You can certainly buy an aftermarket HU. I'm pretty sure Foxbodies are DIN radios. '94-00 Mustang radios are DIN units. No special kits are required for this installation. '01-04 requires a Double DIN kit, as well as '05+ requires the DDIN kit as well. They might be the same kit but I have a feeling they are two different models.

For any aftermarket radio it is recommended to get a radio harness for factory integration. New radios will work just fine with the stock parts for "normal" use. Anything I don't consider normal is listening to the radio at maximum volume at any point. The louder volume increases the chances of the stock speakers to be blown.
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