My headless Samurai stereo install.
This was painfully simple and sounds very good and plenty loud enough to be heard in my ragtop Sami, even at speed. My goal was initially to conceal the head unit for theft prevention, then I realized I'm off the pavement enough with high levels of dust and vibration, even in my 3 mile dirt driveway is pretty rough. For these reasons I decided to do it without the use of a head unit at all. Lets face it, terrestrial radio is all but dead at this point. At the very least you will be constantly annoyed with advertisement. I cut the cord at home and in the cars to. I live a relatively advertisement free life now and it is blissful! This system works by recognizing my phone (or any android device with the isimple app installed), I play my FLAC files or stream Tom Leykis or Adam Carolla. Its effen great. It would also be super easy to just use the RCA in on the knob to a headphone adapter and plug right into your phone bypassing the Bluetooth part altogether but I dont like wires stretched across the interior. The knob is necessary if you want to adjust volume as if there were a head unit in place, otherwise you will have to use your phone to adjust and its awkward, ideally you will never have to touch the phone while driving.
(1)8g Power cable from batt, inline 40a fuse at battery and RCA patch cable.
(1) iSimple ISFM21 (because I'm an android user, different part # for Apple victims) This thing is smaller than a deck of cards and very light so easy to stuff anywhere behind the dash.
(1) PAC universal volume knob LC-1, super cheap on Ebay and has RCA in/out
(1) Old school Kicker 250.2 amp, also cheap on ebay.
(1) Alpine SPR-60C component speaker set. I got them so long ago the box is long gone, I"m sure this is the right part number. Whatever you use here should be of some quality and power handling as it must overcome significant road noise in the Samurai. The speakers were the most expensive part at around $150/pair.
The Bluetooth receiver ISFM21 is made to go inline with the antenna and ad Bluetooth functionality to a vehicle that did not have it. I used one in my 2005 Saab 9-5 Turbo to keep factory head unit and link my phone to stream music, it worked so well that I bought another one for the Samurai to be used independently of a head unit. Fortunately these Bluetooth receivers also have RCA outs so you will not use the antenna in/out line. I have no antenna or head unit so the RCA are the only used connection besides 12v. The RCA outs from the Bluetooth receiver plug directly into the LC-1 volume knob RCA in, the RCA out on the volume knob goes directly to the amp RCA in. If you get the knob and Bluetooth unit close they plug directly together with female/female RCA adapters but no need for a patch cable.
This particular amp fits quite well under the drivers seat (Sidekick seats), It is very difficult to see and the front seat mounts must be undone to get the amp in or out, making it a tough snatch and grab if it is seen. This is really a great amp, plenty of power and cheap to buy. It fits well enough under the seat that there is no sliding around and it is not mounted but my under seat area is carpeted so it doesn't rattle or slide around.
I went to a local stereo shop and got a 8g power wire and an inline 40a fuse and brought that from the battery through the firewall and behind the drivers side speaker, through the sill and out through an existing hole beside the drivers seat. This hole is big enough to run your RCA cable, 12v, remote power and speaker wire back but a grommet is a good idea here. I used a short length of 8g wire to ground the amp to the seat mount. The amp remote and Bluetooth receiver are together on a single dash mounted switch so they can be manually switched on/off together. I have them fed by 12v keyed so I don't need to flip the switch every time I get out of the car.
I cant recall if I needed to trim a little to mount the speakers but I dont think I did, I installed them years ago but only finished this project last week. I used a little silicon around the speaker diameter and they are held in with 2 screws each. Run the wires before you install the drivers side speaker, pull the wires through using utility wire as a guide/hook to pull through.
So how does it work? Pretty effen good. It sounds very clear and is more than loud enough for me. The bass is adequate keeping in mind it has only 2 6.5" speakers, I can feel it punching a little and maybe when I dial it in better it will be deeper. I considered a 8 or 10" sub under the other seat but that would require a 3ch amp instead of the simple 2ch amp. I stuck with simple and it really sounds nice. I did not expect much in the bass department as I have twin 18" subwoofers in my home with 3000 watts going to each one (dedicated home hardware, not car stuff). This works great for a Samurai, its simple, cheap and effective with no fugly head unit begging to be stolen or damaged from the harsh conditions within a Sami. I have been collecting the parts slowly over the last few years with a bunch of other stuff for this vehicle and I only just now installed the rest of it, I want some audio for this winter. it really works great, especially for a Sami. Enjoy!
87 Samurai ragtop, 16v 1.6L MPFI, Thorley header, 2.25" exh w/magnaflow cat & muffler, full custom dash & instruments, PS, AC, 410 Toyota axles w/rear lockrite and front ARB, Jeep YJ springs, Missing links, 6.4:1 xfer gears with twisted T conversion, early 5 speed, 35x12.5 Wranglers. .