2000 Corolla new stereo getting engine (alternator?) noise

Figured Id post to see if anyone has any suggestions other than what Ive tried already. Installed a new stereo system in 2000 corolla.
New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a Dual subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I have regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight connection and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare metal - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery with 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, but have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, also routed up through top of door panels away from any other cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of car underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps directly from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks
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Does the engine have aftermarket spark plugs, or ignition parts?
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Have already replaced the plugs with Denso Iridium plugs - the ones specd by Toyota. Ill work on it some more this weekend and post back with my results. Thanks for all the suggestions.
"Ray O" wrote: > "MD99"
> > > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions other > than what > > I've tried already. Installed a new stereo system in 2000 > corolla. > > New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts in the front, > polk audio > > speakers in the rear, profile amp driving the four speakers, > another > > profile amp driving a Dual subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. > Am getting > > engine noise (whine, gets louder and faster as engine > accelerates). I > > have regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight > connection > > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare > metal - have > > tried different ground points. Put in new battery with 2 > guage ground > > strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - head unit is > grounded to > > chassis same as battery point, but have tried different > points. Have > > upgraded to top-grade twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge > speaker wire, > > rerouted speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no > other > > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, > also > > routed up through top of door panels away from any other > cabling - > > power cable to amps runs down through center of car > underneath carpet > > - have tried running power to amps directly from an outside > battery - > > no difference, have run power to head unit directly from > battery > > bypassing wiring through firewall - no difference. My next > step is to > > replace the spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. > Any > > thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks > > > Does the engine have aftermarket spark plugs, or ignition > parts? > -- > > Ray O > (correct punctuation to reply)
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I just put new spark plugs in it - They are Denso Iridium. It did not fix the problem. Im convinced now that its something related to the ignition system - its more like a "ticking" noise that gets faster-paced along with acceleration so its in timing with the engine. My car has ignition coil packs instead of wires, so....Im thinking now it might be one of those causing the problem. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot which one is the culprit? Theyre close $100 bucks apiece new so Id rather not just replace them all. Thanks for your help.
"MD99" wrote: > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions other > than what I've tried already. Installed a new stereo system > in 2000 corolla. New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts > in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp > driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a Dual > subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise > (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I have > regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight connection > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare metal > - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery with > 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - > head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, but > have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade > twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted > speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, > also routed up through top of door panels away from any other > cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of car > underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps directly > from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to > head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through > firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the > spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any thoughts? > Suggestions? Thanks
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I doubt if replacing the coil packs will make the noise go away.
As someone asked before, does the noise come on both CD and radio?
Try unplugging one speaker at a time to see if one or more of the speaker wires are picking up the noise.
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Ive tried shielding the head unit with foil - no difference. The amplifiers are in the back trunk. I havent tried shielding them. I guess I did leave out an important part of the equation - sorry! I am getting driveability problems also - particularly in wet weather - seems like a misfiring, rough running. Im guessing that the problem may have been present with the old factor radio but its just that now with the new upgraded equipment being much more "sensitive", it is simply picking up the noise now and you just couldnt hear it previously because of the poor factory radio and speakers with no amplification. It also seems as if you can hear the same kind of "ticking" noise if you listen to the engine itself. Im not a mechanic by any stretch so I could be completely off here. I do have a new coil coming which I figured Id use to troubleshoot. Its easy enough to replace one - Ill just go down the line one at a time and see if it makes any difference. If not....its probably time to bring it into a professional. Thanks again
"Ray O" wrote:
wrote in message > > >I just put new spark plugs in it - They are Denso Iridium. > It did not > > fix the problem. I'm convinced now that it's something > related to the > > ignition system - it's more like a "ticking" noise that gets > > faster-paced along with acceleration so it's in timing with > the > > engine. My car has ignition coil packs instead of wires, > so....I'm > > thinking now it might be one of those causing the problem. > Any > > suggestions on how to troubleshoot which one is the culprit? > They're > > close $100 bucks apiece new so I'd rather not just replace > them all. > > Thanks for your help. > > > > I doubt if replacing the coil packs will make the noise go > away. > > As someone asked before, does the noise come on both CD and > radio? > > Try unplugging one speaker at a time to see if one or more of > the speaker > wires are picking up the noise. > -- > > Ray O > (correct punctuation to reply) > > > "MD99" wrote: > > > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions > other > > > than what I've tried already. Installed a new stereo > system > > > in 2000 corolla. New Pioneer head unit, component > blaupunkts > > > in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp > > > driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a > Dual > > > subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise > > > (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I > have > > > regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight > connection > > > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare > metal > > > - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery > with > > > 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - > > > head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, > but > > > have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade > > > twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted > > > speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other > > > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > > > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise > rejection, > > > also routed up through top of door panels away from any > other > > > cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of > car > > > underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps > directly > > > from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to > > > head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through > > > firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the > > > spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any > thoughts? > > > Suggestions? Thanks
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Yup, mentioning that the car has a drivability problem would help diagnosis big time! Start with the coil..
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On Mon, 05 Mar 2007 05:30:23 +0000, MD99 wrote:

First, Ground EVERYTHING to the same point! Now, unless it is in a totally plastic housing, the radio will ground through the frame it is mounted to. If the screws holding the radio into the dash are metal to metal, then get yourself some wire (you said you're using 12 ga...make sure it is WIRE and not 'embedded' fabric type wiring they like to sell 'cause it looks cool...) ANY wire will do. Run 12 GA wire from the ground terminal on the amps to the head unit in the front of the car, crimp some round lugs on the ends of the wire, loosen one of the bolts at the radio, and also run the Ground wire from the head unit to the same point. Also, if you have any other electronics (EQ, Active Crossover, etc) run the grounds from them to the same point. Ground everything together and tighten the screw/bolt, being careful not to overtighten! You don't want to strip it. You could even put an additional nut behind it to make sure it's good and tight. You might still get a little hum (you also have to take into account you're putting a load on the alternator, and they get noisy when loaded down!) but it should be less noticeable, and should go away with a little more volume (that's how *I* take care of it! ;)
Also, do you have any filters on the amps? Any good amp will have a built-in filter, but adding one to each amp won't hurt. Just remember to Ground them ALL to the same point!
Save a few bucks, try the grounding first. This will probably do it. You don't mention what you're running for wattage, but I have a 4-channel 100W per running MB Quarts all the way around, and then a bridged 300W running a 12" woofer; I get a little noise, but it's not annoying. I also had very bad spark plugs and wires that I just got done replacing, so we'll see what it sounds like this year!
Good luck. Report back with results... ;)
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Thanks again. I didnt see any prior post asking whether the noise was from both CD and radio? But...the answer is yes...as well as from the Aux input. I have a satellite receiver hooked up to the Aux input. The same noise is present regardless of the input. Im pretty sure Ive troubleshot by disconnecting the speakers one at a time at some point, with no difference. The speaker wires are routed up through the tops of the door frames so there is no other wiring present to be causing interference. The noise is present through all the speakers. This is the 3rd Amp Ive had in and the second head unit, with no change. Im convinced its engine electrical interference being picked up by the head unit and then amplified through the speakers. Im curious...why do you think the ignition coil wouldnt fix the problem? It is a "ticking" type of noise, in time with the engine timing...
"MD99" wrote: > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions other > than what I've tried already. Installed a new stereo system > in 2000 corolla. New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts > in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp > driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a Dual > subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise > (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I have > regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight connection > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare metal > - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery with > 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - > head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, but > have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade > twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted > speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, > also routed up through top of door panels away from any other > cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of car > underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps directly > from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to > head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through > firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the > spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any thoughts? > Suggestions? Thanks
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 06:29:12 +0000, MD99 wrote:

Well, you've done your homework! I would still ground everything to the same point.
Note that I wrote the rest of this and added this later...what are you using for ignition parts? Genuine Toyota? You describe spark plug noise, this can be caused by the plugs, wires or cap and rotor. Since Ray mentioned something about coil packs, what are you using for plugs? I use NGK R-Type (not "R" as in 'ricer'(sorry...) but "R" as in Resistor) If you're using Split-Fire or any of those other supposed 'hot' plugs, trash them and use NGK or Nippon-Denso.
OK, now onto the rest of my "Best Guesses"...
The only other thing I can think of, and I have never tried it because a little noise doesn't bother me (and, I don't have the snapping sound you're describing...now) is to try a cap on all the inputs. I think these things are bling, too, but what you're describing is an AC type sound (as opposed to DC) and the job of a cap is two-fold: it provides 'hold-up' during large voltage spikes, but also, a cap with the + side tied to a DC power source and the - side tied to ground passes AC 'noise' to ground (A capacitor used as a filter passes AC and blocks DC). I don't know if this will do it, and large caps are expensive, but for the amount of current you'll be passing to ground you can use something like a 10 Microfarad. Or get some of those toroidal choke coils at Radio Shack and wind the power wires to it.
It also help to isolate where it's coming from. This is going to be a pain! You'll have to connect the speakers to the head unit, bypassing the amps and see if it goes away. Then add the amps back in and see if it comes back. You said you put a filter on the head unit; try one on the amps.
Also, check with a local stereo shop. They may have seen this in this car before and have a quick solution for it.
I *HATE* this problem, since there are so many variables it's hard to determine what will fix it. I would still start by running all the grounds together, and then work from there.
At least when this guy posts, he makes it a toughy!!! ;)
Again, if you resolve it, let us (or at least, me!) know! I've been doing car stereo installations for about 25 years, and only had this problem once...(and can't now remember the solution...)

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I do not think it is the ignition coil because it would have caused the same problem with the factory radio, which it apparently did not, and you did not mention any kind of drivability problem.
This sounds kind of stupid, but try shielding the head unit and amplifiers with foil and see if the sound changes at all.
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 11:24:18 -0600, Ray O wrote:

Oh, great! Ray's advocating Tin Foil Hats now... ;)
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<snipped>
Sometimes you gotta think outside the box to find a solution!
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 13:27:35 -0600, Ray O wrote:

HAHAHAHA! I've been accused of 'thinking outside the box' since I was a kid...
It often involved suggesting counseling... ;)
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Thanks, but...sorry to say Ive already tried grounding everything to the same point. It didnt make a difference. Ive spent several weekends trying every possible ground combination and power wiring - even routing power wires and ground wires all the way outside the vehice to the amps, so they are not even remotely near any other wiring which could pick up noise. The amps (well...we can eliminate the one on the Subwoofer because the noise is still present even with that disconnected), but the amp driving the four main speakers is a Profile 80 W/ch. I dont have a filter on the amp itself but I do have one at the head unit. It did reduce the noise quite a bit, but...its still present enough to be heard and is quite annoying. I really would rather fix the source of the problem rather than cover it up with filters as that will ultimately degrade the sound quality at least to some extent. It really does now seem to be related to the engine firing and not the typical alternator "whine" that you hear or read about. As I said...this noise is more of a "ticking" noise that gets faster and faster as you accelerate the engine. Ive ordered a new ignition coil pack and Im going to use that to troubleshoot - hopefully one is bad and is causing the problem. Thanks for your help..
"MD99" wrote: > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions other > than what I've tried already. Installed a new stereo system > in 2000 corolla. New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts > in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp > driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a Dual > subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise > (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I have > regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight connection > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare metal > - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery with > 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - > head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, but > have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade > twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted > speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, > also routed up through top of door panels away from any other > cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of car > underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps directly > from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to > head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through > firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the > spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any thoughts? > Suggestions? Thanks
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Just following up with latest news. Still no fix. I tried replacing each individual plug coil one at a time - no difference to the problem. I also tried grounding everything together to the same point again - no difference. I did some messing around and pulled the head unit out to try once again rearranging or rerouting some of the wires behind it. Strangely enough...if I pull the head unit out about 4-6 inches from its resting place, the noise goes away. Now it has sort of morphed into more of what I would call a "radiated" noise. The noise is there with the engine off - just accessory turned on. So....it seems that some electrical component or wire bundle behind the head unit is generating an "RF" leak and is somehow being picked up by the head unit. Question is...how do you fix it? I tried shielding it with tin foil but that makes no difference. Is there some kind of lead shielding product I can purchase for this purpose? I also tried running a ground wire directly to the head unit chassis itself - no difference to the problem. I also tried putting an additional filter on the Amplifier end - no difference to the problem.
"MD99" wrote: > Figured I'd post to see if anyone has any suggestions other > than what I've tried already. Installed a new stereo system > in 2000 corolla. New Pioneer head unit, component blaupunkts > in the front, polk audio speakers in the rear, profile amp > driving the four speakers, another profile amp driving a Dual > subwoofer box with 2 12" subs. Am getting engine noise > (whine, gets louder and faster as engine accelerates). I have > regrounded my amps to the chassis with a very tight connection > and 12 guage ground wire, scraped all paint away to bare metal > - have tried different ground points. Put in new battery with > 2 guage ground strap, scraped to bare metal ground point - > head unit is grounded to chassis same as battery point, but > have tried different points. Have upgraded to top-grade > twisted pair, oxygen free 12 gauge speaker wire, rerouted > speaker wire up through top of doors in panels, no other > cabling is near, upgraded signal (RCA) cables to top-grade > rockford-fosgate braided cables for optimum noise rejection, > also routed up through top of door panels away from any other > cabling - power cable to amps runs down through center of car > underneath carpet - have tried running power to amps directly > from an outside battery - no difference, have run power to > head unit directly from battery bypassing wiring through > firewall - no difference. My next step is to replace the > spark plugs and possibly the alternator itself. Any thoughts? > Suggestions? Thanks
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Try shielding the wire bundles near the head unit in addition to shielding the head unit. Also make sure the power and speaker wires for the head unit do not run near the ECU. Instead of routing the right speaker wires near the right kick panel, fish them down the center of the car and cross to the side under the seats.
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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 22:21:51 -0500, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:>

I think what I would do is go to a local well respected stereo installation shop and have them fix the problem.
It might cost you a bit but you bet they will fix your problem.
--

Scott in Florida




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-- snip -- snip -- >> if I pull the head unit out about 4-6 inches from it's resting place, the noise goes away. There is your answer for were the noise is picked up.
-- snip -- snip --

There is your answer for what area the noise is from.
-- snip -- snip --

Find the source of the noise in the accessory circuts.
-- snip -- snip --

Test accessory circuits.
-- snip -- snip --

Anything that has been added or worked on in the accessory circuit's or near them would be a good place to start. Including ground paths.
GL Dan
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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 22:30:23 +0000, MD99 wrote:

Holy crap! When you pose a problem, you sure make it a good one!! Now when you say the noise is there with accessory on, is it also there with IGN on, and/or the engine running?
And, what do you have for accessories that would be powered up with ACC ON? Do you have phone chargers, XM or Sirius satellite receivers, GPS, etc? A dealer installed alarm system? (I trust you see where I'm going here...)
I don't think it's anything TOYOTA installed on the car, more likely something either the dealer or you added. It could be the dealer installed something behind the dash that is interfereing with a more sensitive radio.
Also, is it there no matter what the input source, or does it go away when accessing a CD or iPod, etc? Do you HAVE a direct iPod input? The JVCs require a proprietary cable to add a line in, and these can cause problems depending on what they're located next to.
Also, try turning on accessories one at a time; wipers, rear defrost, heat/fan, etc and see if it gets worse. Then I think you'll find the culprit.
Man, every once in a while someone pulls a real stumper out of the air...you win the prize this time!!! ;)
Good luck!
Oh...going over your original post, try swapping those Fosgate wires with...Playstation wiring...it's well sheilded for being located close to a large electro-magnet! ;) It doesn't have to be name brand; Wal*Marts mid-priced set will work.

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