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2022 K5 GT-Line FWD
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Let's face it; the stereo isn't great. It's all mid, some peaky highs, and almost no floor - especially at low volume. The K5 is our fuel-miser for kid hauling and grocery getting, so dumping thousands into some crazy stereo in the econo-cruiser isn't exactly saving us money.

But years of driving with decent systems, and good stereos in the other cars, my hope is a reasonable subwoofer will give the body/floor it needs without huge expense, liability, and not compromise any of the OEM equipment.

It's also, as mentioned, the grocery getter, so filling up the trunk with subs is no-bueno por mi esposa. In my younger days, I didn't mind my arms itching for a week after doing a custom resin enclosure and cutting / sanding it down and shaping one for the side pod - but that's too much mess, too much work, and too much itching.

So that narrows it down to a spare tire subwoofer. And there are options. A lot of them.

I decided on the JBL BassPro Hub 11 for the following reasons:

1. Built in amplifier with line level inputs. No extra amp to hide, wire and hang.

2. It's JBL/Harmon amplifiers and coils - so it's really a 200 watt RMS Class D amp at 2 ohms, unlike all the knock-off brand stuff, where you don't really know what you're getting, but it's a safe bet it's 50% or less of what it says on the box, and an even better chance it'll white smoke before the first year is up.

3. An 8 doesn't have enough punch. A 10 is probably plenty. If an 11 fits, then you buy the 11.

4. Stealth / completely clean installation. Does not obstruct trunk use or spare tire used - HOWEVER - you will need a plan to relocate your jack and tire changing wrench / tools (which I have).

What you will need:

The sub:

JBL BassPro Hub 11 (on Amazon) - they (at time of purchase) were 31% off, which puts them at $344.

An 8 gauge (per JBL) wiring kit:

Boss 8 Gauge Wiring kit (Amazon)

Some T Taps to tie into the speaker positive, speaker negative, and an ignition power source for the remote wire:

Random T Tap Set (on Amazon)

Diagonal cutters, trim removal tools (plastic pry bars) wire strippers, screwdrivers, electrical tape, a roller tool, heat gun and general hand tools.

Sound Deadening Material (on Amazon)

Evening 1

The goal was to get the DynaMat installed on the decklid without going too crazy, but make sure we have a good sound space and no trunk rattles.

Pop the trunk and remove the lid liner retainer clips with trim removal tools or a small flathead screwdriver. They don't fight - don't lose them or break them - take your time.

Vehicle Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Using the sound deadening I have listed, I cut a sheet in half right down the middle to cover each side, and then cut another in half to do the center section, using the other half for the rear facing portions of the trunk lid. Take time, work the material over all the gaps and get good adhesion. Once you have it stuck, with the heat gun on low - because you can cook the paint off a car with these things, heat the material and roll each place with pressure to smooth it and cover all gaps. Bonus points if you cover the holes that the clips go into, as this will result in a more snug fit once reassembled.

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Bumper

Reinstall your cover.

Test Fit the Subwoofer

Take everything out of the trunk, remove your weather mat, and the lower cover, as well as the tool bin. Unscrew the spare tire fastener, and remove it, but leave the tire in place.

The BassPro Hub sits inside the spare tire, and includes a bolt, to secure it to the stock mount. What I found in fitting though, is it was just shy of half an inch too long.

I marked the bolt where it was running bottoming out, removed it, and using a carbide blade and cutting oil on an oscillating cutter, zipped the bolt off. Hacksaw / dremel, whatever will work. Cutting oil is your friend.

Head Wood Sculpture Snout Pattern

Now if you performed an amazing cut, you won't need to retap it - but most likely, you're not that lucky, and you will. The bolt is M8x1.25

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Pull the bolt out of the vise and screw it into the tap gently, it should bite right away. Run it over and back a few times until the bolt exits the tap and back it off. Oil is your friend here, again.

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Give it a test fit on the spare tire mounting flange, and then test fit your subwoofer.

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When the bolt is all the way seated, the nut resides inside the speaker magnet and the wingnut is slightly recessed. Reinstall your floor and make sure everything is sitting correctly, and put all of mama's stuff back where she had it. :)

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I'll tackle the wiring (maybe all of it, maybe some of it) tomorrow in a day 2 posting. It looks like you can pull a nice short ground wire (shorter the better, less noise, less resistance, less wire, less whining, fizzing, etc.) off the back plate behind the plastic guard and use a stock screwhole.


2022 K5 GT-Line FWD
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Connecting Everything Up

The speaker line level inputs can be tapped in the lower pillar next to the drivers seat. This is removable, with no airbag present in the lower portion, by pulling the weather stripping and lower door trim aside.

Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive design Automotive exterior Vehicle door

This is a photo of the cables exiting to the connector that goes into the rear driver door. Note the black and yellow pair twisted together. That's your speaker leads.

Where do I get speaker signal?

The Black wire and Yellow wire that are twisted together heading to the door harness are the speaker leads. The black is positive. The yellow is negative.

Where do I get remote signal?

Pop the fuse panel cover open on the drivers side. In the harness on the lower right block, there is a white connector. The orange wire in the lower right corner is a remote tappable wire (what Kia has you use to add the homelink mirror).

Electrical wiring Computer hardware Cable Audio equipment Networking cables

How do I run power to the battery?

You’ll need to remove the battery. The front brace bolt is 12mm and the post nuts are 10mm. Once the brace is removed and the cables are disconnected, slide the battery forward and then lift straight up.

Behind there, you’ll see a wire loom pass through to the cab, that comes out under the steering wheel. I used a flat head screwdriver to puncture the boot, and then a wire fish tape to push through; pulling the wire from the amplifier to the engine bay.

Leg Bicycle handlebar Automotive tire Rock-climbing equipment Bicycle part

Use electrical tape and tape about 2-3" of the wire against the fish tape, spray a little WD40 on the taped edge that will be pulled through the hoop, and pull the fish tape back through the hole. Now your power is to the engine bay, and you can zip tie / route your power wire inside the car once you have your length figured out.

Best practice is to have a power lead less than 9-10" from the post to the fuse.

I ran the power wire along the drivers side edge of the battery tray, under things where I could and brought it alongside the air filter box. After measuring everything out, I cut it, put wireloom around it, hooked the fuse block up and used good 2-way tape to affix it to the side of the airbox, where it doesn't impede access to the air filter, or the headlights.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive exterior

I reinstalled the battery, then hooked the posts back up, and found the included smaller battery terminal was perfect for the positive post with the 10mm nut.

Electronic instrument Motor vehicle Office equipment Auto part Musical instrument accessory

Sort of the lone ugly problem here, is the positive terminal cap won't close without doing some dremel surgery on that cover, which I'm not willing to do - so I'll figure out a cleaner way to do this and wrap the hot lead with the rest of the wiring later, but for in a hurry, it's clean enough, it's not going to fall apart, and it isn't obstructing anything.

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Running the Subwoofer Remote Control To the Front

Seeing that there was no clean way to get into the center console without cutting holes or breaking plastic, I ran the subwoofer remote control down the passenger side to the glove box. Put the remote in the glove box, measure out enough cord so that you can use it from your seated position, and then tuck it under the door and footwell trim, bening mindful to go behind the seat belt, and back to the lower back seat. From the back, you can pull your fish tape under the back seat easily, and then carefully taping over the RJ11 jack on the remote, so as not to break the tooth off, pull it under the seat with the fish. The end result I had was a single wire loom running down the middle of the back of the trunk, that I tied all together, and positioned the subwoofer so the connector was pointed at the back seat. It's all set for quick disconnect if needed.

Motor vehicle Product Automotive design Steering wheel Communication Device

Additional Observation on Power Staying on After Shutoff

I was a little freaked out I had a bad unit, because when testing my wiring with my jumpstarter box as a power source, when I would take the remote lead away from power, it would not immediately de-illuminate the remote as I expected. I suspect there's either a serious capacitor or two in the amplifier discharging and keeping the LED illuminated or there's some shutoff logic in the controller that keeps the immediate on/off stuff from happening, but it does turn off after a few minutes, and does not turn back on again without 12V on the remote lead. So if you're testing, don't let it trip you up.

General Impressions After Installation

This is a TON of BASS. It's not particularly clean and punchy like a 10 with a good box and amp on RCAs. But it fills the car with low tones, has bass hits for songs with bass lines and hip hop bumps. It vibrates the mirrors on even low settings. We're old and in our 40s, and just wanted a better stereo as the kids love music, and leaving this on say like 1-2.5 out of 10 levels is plenty. But if you're going old school and want to bump - it'll bump. I have a punchy 10 in my convertible in a downfiring box with limited space on a 600w class D pioneer, and it doesn't hit like that hits, but it's much louder with low tones.

It also makes it evident that the door speaker amplification / range / volume are pretty pathetic. I'm debating on putting an old set of pioneer 2-ways I have laying around on the rear doors to get something besides the slushy muddy whatever that comes out of them, but the front doors desperately need some brighter high/mids with more volume. There's no easy solution to that one without a big operation.

It fills the largest void in the stereo and it's a cheap way to do it. I would do it again, and time will tell how well this thing is built, but it's a much cleaner approach than a box and an amp, and a cap, and, a wiring mess plus a box eating up trunk space.

It also is 99% factory looking. The only giveaway is the power wire under the hood.

6 Posts
Looking forward to the rest of this tutorial. Thanks for being the guinea pig so I wont have to be as I was thinking of a setup like this too. I travel for work a lot so having the room in the trunk for luggage and other things is a must. Almost thought about the 600w version without the built in amp and trying to find an amp i could possibly mount where the typical bose one mounts (tucked in behind the trunk lining on the passenger side but not sure its worth the effort as im just looking to add that lower end to the stock system.

2022 K5 GT-Line FWD
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looking forward to the rest of this tutorial. Thanks for being the guinea pig so I wont have to be as I was thinking of a setup like this too. I travel for work a lot so having the room in the trunk for luggage and other things is a must. Almost thought about the 600w version without the built in amp and trying to find an amp i could possibly mount where the typical bose one mounts (tucked in behind the trunk lining on the passenger side but not sure its worth the effort as im just looking to add that lower end to the stock system.
Updated with pictures and impressions. Good Luck!
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