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So I cracked the dash for a bit as the sun was going down yesterday. I wanted to ask you guys in the picture below, is this green wire the same thing as the "blue" wire that would power the antenna amp? This appears to be part of the factory install, and if you unplug the white connector, I lose all radio reception, am and fm, EVEN THOUGH the motorola antenna connector (part of the same harness) is still connected to the radio.



It also appears that the radio REFUSES to even turn on, if the antenna isn't plugged in to the radio.

Here's a zoomed out shot of the same area:




Finally, I noted that when best buy did the install for the prior head unit, they left 2 orange wires disconnected. Therefore I didn't connect them either. Are they required for my 03 altima's radio setup?

Picture here:

 

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Your radio will usually only turn on (in most Nissans) with the antenna plugged in because it grounds through the antenna. Even with the ground wire connected to the harness.

My head unit is grounded to the center of that metal bar that runs behind the radio.
 

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First and foremost - if the radio cuts off when you unplug the antenna, you need to ground it to that nice big metal tube behind the radio and not ground it through the harness. That means the harness ground goes nowhere and grounding through the antenna goes all the way to the back of the car through antenna shielding...that will cause a lot of that noise you have.

I always grounded my in-dash decks to something better than stock ground. It helps the internal amp and runs cooler. You never know how long that factory 24 gauge ground wire runs or how much resistance it may cause.

The wire in the white plug is the same wire as your blue harness wire. I tested mine the other day and it showed continuity. That's the "booster" power wire that hooks to your radio's power antenna lead.

The orange wires are dimmers. If your radio has an internal dimmer, it would change the lighting when you turn on your lights. Usually Orange w/black is a negative dimmer lead and Orange or Orange w/white is a positive dimmer lead. If your radio doesn't have an orange lead, don't sweat it.
 

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First and foremost - if the radio cuts off when you unplug the antenna, you need to ground it to that nice big metal tube behind the radio and not ground it through the harness. That means the harness ground goes nowhere and grounding through the antenna goes all the way to the back of the car through antenna shielding...that will cause a lot of that noise you have.

I always grounded my in-dash decks to something better than stock ground. It helps the internal amp and runs cooler. You never know how long that factory 24 gauge ground wire runs or how much resistance it may cause.

The wire in the white plug is the same wire as your blue harness wire. I tested mine the other day and it showed continuity. That's the "booster" power wire that hooks to your radio's power antenna lead.

The orange wires are dimmers. If your radio has an internal dimmer, it would change the lighting when you turn on your lights. Usually Orange w/black is a negative dimmer lead and Orange or Orange w/white is a positive dimmer lead. If your radio doesn't have an orange lead, don't sweat it.
Thank you, this post is VERY helpful. I definitely will reground the radio to the metal bar behind the radio and report my results.

Also, my radio doesn't have a dimmer (neither did the old head unit) so that explains why those wires weren't hooked up.
 

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Update: SUCCESS.

It was the ground. While the radio was on, I unhooked the ground in the harness... NO CHANGE. So indeed, the ground in the wire harness was really doing nothing.

I pressed the ground wire to the metal stabilizer bar and immediately my AM reception improved. Remove it from the bar, more static/ electrical hum.

So I drilled a pilot hole into the bar, and using an eyelet header permanently attached the ground wire, using a screw.

AM Reception is now what it used to be in my old car using the same radio.

Thanks everyone!

Now my next job will be to figure out where to drill through the firewall to run a power wire from the battery into the trunk for an amplifier :). Off to the "search" feature I go.
 

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Update: SUCCESS.

Now my next job will be to figure out where to drill through the firewall
Success is such a beautiful word. :)

If you have an automatic, from the inside of the car, look up and to the left of where the brake goes through the firewall. There should be a small pre-cut circle-ish shape in the padding. Pull this off and you'll see the painted firewall behind it. Drill a hole here and it should come out (Looking into the engine compartment) to the right of the master cylinder. I used a stepping bit I got from the local Harbor Freight for about 3.99 and then snap in a grommet so the power wire doesn't get cut from the metal. Always double check before you drill.
 

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One of my favorite all time links now. HAHA So here is my question.

If we must connect this blue wire of the "factory booster" to the power antenna how does it work??? I was under the assumption the blue wire for the pwr ant. on a aftermarket deck only provides power for a short time to power up the mask of a antenna and then the current stops? If we are powering a stock booster wouldnt it always require power? If thats the case wouldnt you want to connect the blue factory wire to the AMP power wire on a aftermarket deck???
 

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If we must connect this blue wire of the "factory booster" to the power antenna how does it work??? I was under the assumption the blue wire for the pwr ant. on a aftermarket deck only provides power for a short time to power up the mask of a antenna and then the current stops? If we are powering a stock booster wouldnt it always require power? If thats the case wouldnt you want to connect the blue factory wire to the AMP power wire on a aftermarket deck???
 

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If we must connect this blue wire of the "factory booster" to the power antenna how does it work??? I was under the assumption the blue wire for the pwr ant. on a aftermarket deck only provides power for a short time to power up the mask of a antenna and then the current stops? If we are powering a stock booster wouldnt it always require power? If thats the case wouldnt you want to connect the blue factory wire to the AMP power wire on a aftermarket deck???
There are sometimes two wires on decks. A Blue, and a Blue/White. In the case of only one wire, you would connect the only blue one as this is the remote turn on and power antenna (12V when the deck is on).

In the case of separate wires, blue will give 12V whenever the deck is in tuner mode. Blue/white will give power at all times the deck is powered on. You would only need the booster powered on in tuner mode, therefore connecting the blue wire is in order. It will work both ways, but only blue is necessary. (why power a booster that's not being used?)
 

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You learn something new everyday. HAHA I have installed at least 100 stereos for people and never knew the blue/white was also constant power. I know the voltage is much lower tan the Amp turn on but thats great to know. Thanks
 

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Good info guys. Love reading this site.

My aftermarket head unit has been working great, and got the power wire run through the fender for my amp in the trunk.
 

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So heres my dilimmna. I dont have a aftermarket harness from the car. Since all I needed was a acc and a constant + I tapped those 2 wires and rewired all the speakers. Looking at the harnesses I have on my 05 I see one harness with 3 wires one which is blue/white. I tried that one but it did not seem to make a differance for me. I also noticed I have a GREEN wire running next to my antenna wire. Is that my power booster wire? I did not try that one.
 

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So heres my dilimmna. I dont have a aftermarket harness from the car. Since all I needed was a acc and a constant + I tapped those 2 wires and rewired all the speakers. Looking at the harnesses I have on my 05 I see one harness with 3 wires one which is blue/white. I tried that one but it did not seem to make a differance for me. I also noticed I have a GREEN wire running next to my antenna wire. Is that my power booster wire? I did not try that one.
Going off memory, I'm almost positive that is the wire that needs to be hooked up to power antenna lead. I remember tracing mine back and it followed beside the antenna.
 

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Nope. I actually did a search and found it is the green factory wire on the main harness and not the green wire by the antenna wire unless the 2 are the same and meet somewhere. I just tapped off the green from the main harness and it worked perfect.
 

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I'm pretty sure that when I tracked it back from the main harness, after it took a couple turns in the harness, it was the same wire. Good info for anyone who is weary of just splicing into a wire they are not sure of, though, which is a good fear to have! :eek:

Edit - Oh yeah, and glad you got your booster working! Reception's better, huh?
 

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I hope someone reads this & gets back to me... i just bought a used 2017 nissan altima sr midnight edition w/36k miles. My FM reception is horrible... dont know much about stereos but i always wrench on my own cars. Need to know what to do/look for.

Note: its stock radio but all the windows alrdy had a very dark tint. Also i read on here something about window defroster... well my rear window dont defrost... & ive had the car for about 2 weeks.. starting to wish i didnt buy it even tho i do enjoy it

-Thanks
 
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