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no more whiny-o in the audi-o

Another weekend, time to tear apart the Audi. This gets much faster with practice, though I don't really want to make a habit out of it. Today's task was to reroute the audio signal cables away from the central console/driveshaft hump area, hoping this will get rid of my alternator whine.

It was sunny, but not quite warm enough to do this at home so I went to work and pulled into our multipurpose building (office, machine shop, storage, assembly) through one of the garage doors. It's nice and warm in there, if not lighted as well as the outdoors.

Out with the back seat, off with the dash sides, console sides, kick panels, and as always the driver's lower dash. Then I just loosened the back of the console and was able to pull the front and rear RCA cables out of there. I decided to leave the non-fading RCA in the center because any whine there will be taken care of by a low-pass filter when I put in a sub, and the DIN cable for the changer because there didn't seem to be any extra whine from changer source compared to head source. And I was pretty worried about being able to fit just the front & rear RCAs under the side molding. 

First, a test: feeding the two RCAs through the rear bulkhead hole with the left speaker wire already going though it, I connected them to head and amp, put them on top of the side molding, and started up. No whine! Success!

Now while I was at it, I pulled out my long ground wire from the head to the trunk, rerouted the changer cable through a different bulkhead hole to keep it away from the power wires, and since it looked like the battery positive cable went to the front along the passenger side somewhere (it went off toward that side before disappearing from view under the bi-pressure pump, anyway), I yanked that side's front speaker wire from under the door molding and went across the front under the dash, then back with the RCAs and other front speaker wire. I neglected to reattach a ground wire after the head still turned on without one, the chassis must be touching somewhere. Good enough.

The tricky part. Stuffing all these wires under a single door molding along with what I had been thinking of as the rear antenna cable, but since there's one on the other side and they go into the B-pillars, must be a seatbelt pretensioner cable. Just stuffing didn't seem to work, so I yanked the molding and found a nice spot for the speaker wires on the outside, put the RCAs in the pretensioner cable's spot in the middle channel, and moved the pretensioner cable to the inside where the single speaker wire had been, at least until it went into the B-pillar. It was just laying there in the channel, so I believe that it achieves its effect like a bicycle brake cable, relative to its shielding rather than by absolute position. And I'll try not to get in a serious accident just in case I'm wrong about it still working with the cable in a different location. :) So it was a tight fit, but it does mostly fit - the preten cable peeks out when looking from over on the passenger side with the door open.

I even had enough slack in my rerouted speaker wire to avoid having to make a splice, so now I just threw everything back together. 

And went for a drive, sans whining. I am now very happy. 

When I got home, just for fun I took off the right front door panel. Well, the lock was making a large click. The Polk woofer still looks happy in the ex-Bozo enclosure, despite those nasty silicone sealant curing fumes - whew. I'm not sure what was making the click, unless it was the plastic "fingers" guide for the lock rod that the lock rod somehow escaped from and then jumped back into when I first touched it inside the door. The click disappeared, anyway, so I had no choice but to reassemble the door.

Now all I need is new shocks, and I'll be satisified. Of course I will also need to pay off all the car expenses on that Visa bill so Citibank will satisfied...

Henry Harper
1991 200 quattro, 79k, euro-aero H3/H4s, non-whiny audio, Hakkas still waiting in the garage, might snow tonight...
1988 GTI 16v, 173k, euro-aero H4s, non-whiny audio with a sub, Blizzaks in the garage, de-chin-spoilered for the winter