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Stereo starts to hiss, crackle and pop.

I will do the best I can to explain a possible cheap fix for the Delco bose amps that has worked for me several times.

I cannot guarantee this will fix all of your amps but I believe its worth a try, worst case you spend a little time, about $5.00 in parts and have to buy a new one if it doesn't work. Best case you fix your amp cheap and have a feeling of having accomplished something. I have fixed several amps with the following problems successfully.

  1. amp does not play at all.
  2. amp plays at much lower volume than the rest.
  3. amp squeals.
  4. amp cracks hisses or pops intermittently or always.

The tools you will need; a pencil type soldering iron, solder, small pliers (needle nose) and or tweezers, exacto knife, solder sucker (not a must but really helps), steady hand and patience (must).

The parts you will need; a few (usually no more than 6-8 per amp) tiny single axial capacitors (looks like a can with both leads coming from bottom). You will need to look at your amp for the specific size and values. They do not have to be the exact same size (physically) as long as the values are the same, however they must still be small enough to fit in the proper spot on the circuit board. The following are the values I have most commonly needed.

1. 1uF 50V

2. 4.7 uF 35V

3. 10 uF 16V

4. 47 uF 16V

5. 1000uF 16V (this ones a little larger and only needed a couple of times)

There may be some other values needed depending on the year and model of your car (coupes and convertibles use slightly different amps). You will need to look at your amp module to determine this. You are looking for the tiny green chrome looking capacitors. They look like little shiny green cans and usually there are 6 to 8 of them.

The amp modules themselves are located in or on the speaker enclosures in all four corners of the car. They are attached to the enclosure with (4) 1/4 inch screws. The later models have a white quick disconnect at the amp, the earlier models do not. If you have the earlier models 90 to 93 (I think) do not cut your wires, you can follow the wires out of the enclosure about 6 to 12 inches to a square black connector and disconnect it there.

Once you have the amp module out you can easily see the little green capacitors that are usually the culprit. These particular ones are known to fail in all kinds of car stereos, cellular phones, CD players etc. Do not buy the shiny green ones as replacements, avoid them at all costs. You will be able to find the capacitors at almost any good electronics supply store for less than 50 cents a piece, however I have not had any luck purchasing these from Radio Shack.

If you hold the amp with the components up, and the wiring connection to the top you should see the shiny green capacitors mainly in the center and toward the lower right. I would replace them all. There are usually at least 2 that are bad but if you only change some of them you will probably have to replace the others soon afterward. Most are easy to get to except for the ones in the center near the 3 large coils with the goop on them. The goop is kinda like a hot glue they pour on the heavier components to keep them from breaking off the circuit board. You will have to carefully cut or melt some of this away to get to the center capacitors.

By careful heating the leads from the bottom of the board you can use the pliers or tweezers to pull the component out.

IMPORTANT make sure to note the black stripe or arrow on the side of the cap and orient the new one the same way! When you put the new one in you should need very little solder if any, so be careful not to glob or drip any extra onto the circuit board. Try also not to touch or overheat the chips (these are the ones that say Bose on them) they are very susceptible to damage from static electricity and excess heat.

I believe this will fix a lot of your amps. This is really not as intimidating as it might seem.

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Author: Ray Russell
Posted in: Electronics
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