version 0.9
Last updated: September 14, 1998
by Wade Lanham


I'd like to make a few things clear.

First, I would NOT recommend putting the Bose system into your car. I (as well as many others) am not happy with the stereo's sound. If you have heard it in several cars, listened to your favorite music, and been happy with its sound quality, then maybe it isn't such a bad idea for you. A big reason I installed it was because I wanted to keep that "original" look, and I also didn't want to get into the endless money-spending craze of constant stereo upgrading. I'd rather spend a little on a decent stereo and be done with it. I'll probably end up spending more money on this system trying to make it sound decent because it's below the minimum I can handle in a stereo system.

Secondly, it is very difficult to buy all the parts needed in one purchase, much less for a fair price. If you don't buy all the pieces at once, then you could easily run into the problems I had. It took me two months to get my hands on all the parts I needed. So my car's interior was half-assembled and looked like a pig sty for two months (not cool). Also, it's a LOT of trouble trying to find all the parts. I bought all my parts used for about as little as anyone could from rx7 list members, and I have around $600 invested. I could have bought a satisfactory aftermarket system for $600, IMO.

The only other person I have personally talked to who installed the system also had problems locating the parts, and is also dissatisfied with the sound quality.

Now that that's out of the way, if you still really want the system (some people just won't listen ;) ), the rest of this document should cover everything you need to know to install it (or to give to your trustworthy local audio shop to help them install it).


  1. Wiring diagrams (2) and pictures of car from manual (2). (These pics have been included at the bottom of this document.)

  2. Bose am/fm head unit (looks just like the factory unit except it says Bose on the tape door. Don't be fooled, it IS different).

  3. (Optional) Factory CD player. I believe this was available WITHOUT the Bose system (it also can plug into the standard head).

  4. Radio Relay. (Don't have the part number on hand, it's black and white)

  5. Driver's side and passenger's side door speaker units. There is more here than a speaker:
    1. speaker
    2. a large (~1 foot long) box enclosure
    3. an amp hidden inside the box. You need all these parts (not just the door speaker).

  6. Center channel amp. Looks much like the stock center channel amp, but reads 'Bose'.

  7. Center dash speaker. A little beefier and lower resistance than the stock speaker.

  8. Rear bose Acoustic Wave system. This includes:
    1. main sub tube (includes two 6.5" subs) with a small two-channel amp attached to the outer side
    2. The rest of the obvious tubing, including the two towers, the long wavy piece, and the rubber flexible boot, and a few extra curves.
    3. A plastic/metal latch that secures the two parts of the tube (make sure you get this!)
    4. Various 10mm nuts, washers and some wingnuts (both are at hardware stores).
    5. A small metal bracket, about 2 inches long with a hole in each end and a bolt sticking up from the center. It's easy for someone not to send you this.

  9. Bose-friendly rear carpet and rear cargo cover. This really isn't optional, unless you want your car to look gutted.

  10. Various wire connectors and wire. (Get at local electronics shop)


There is nothing really tricky about this. Just take your time and make sure you make all the wiring changes correctly. I wouldn't let a shop do it if you have any experience with car stereos or electrical wiring. I'm sure they'd charge ALOT to do it, and they might not even do it right, even with these instructions. At least, if you have this document, you probably have internet access and can always send questions to me or Carlton Spence.

  1. Get the wiring diagrams (attached below) or from the manual if you have it. The ones below are already marked with the changes. You'll need these to really be sure of what you are doing while adding all these wires.

  2. Put the head unit and cd player in the car. CD Player goes on top.

  3. Cut a couple of wires on the head harnesses. One is run to the relay in the front of the car in the Bose. It is an on/off +12v and is used to power the base center amp. On the Bose, it turns the relay on and off (the relay gives a 30A lead for the stereo). It is LG/B on the head harness (light green and black). Carlton spence located the wire inside the car (from the relay), so you can just run from the back of the head unit to the wire in the car. This is cleaner and much easier (though I haven't done it that way, yet). See the diagram.

  4. The power you'll need for all the amps comes from the same relay. CS also found this inside the car, also saving much time and effort. It is B/R on the diagram (Black/red). Tap into it from inside the car, and take it to the center amp harness. Also split it somehow and take it into both doors and the rear of the car for the Bose tube.

  5. Make a ground run to every place you have +12v. Find a good spot in the back for the tube and under the center console for those that amp. You'll need to run a ground out to the doors for the door amps in order to have a good ground. I wouldn't attach it inside the door. The ground for the center amp connects to the farthest side past the power lead. You'll probably have to look at the diagram to know exactly what I mean here.

  6. The outputs for the rear tube are the same as the rear speakers from the base unit. You'll have to remove almost every plastic panel on the inside sides of the car to get to these. Run them back to the tube, along with a +12 lead from step #3.

  7. Remove the grills and install the storage compartments if you want.

  8. Put the door units in. Be VERY careful when removing the door panels, since there are some fragile parts in them that can be broken easily. The B/R wire and B/O wire run right to the outside of the body, but don't come inside. You'll have to get them inside to your B/R +12V 30 lead. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can find your own if you want. See the TIPS part of this document. The speaker leads to the door units are taken care of from the base unit (no changes).

  9. Double check everything TWICE and power it up! I'd recommend making one step at a time so if you do make a mistake you don't blow up anything unnecessarily. I was lucky and didn't damage anything, but I basically installed one amp/speaker unit at a time and made sure it worked before moving on. You'll definitely want to use a voltmeter to check the wires you changed to make sure the +12v LG/B from the relay is giving +12v when the stereo is on. You'll also want to verify the +12 B/R wire is giving power only when the stereo is on (otherwise your car battery won't last long.