Alright, so I decided to make a thread about this. I just upgraded my system and I made some stupid mistakes and learned some things along the way. Some of you car audiophiles will probably think I'm an idiot, but hey-- if this helps somebody out it will have done its job. If anyone actually takes the time to read it all. (By the way, I have a year 2000 extra cab)
I had, and still have:
Pioneer DEH-3300UB head unit
Pioneer TS-A1674R door speakers
I used to have:
Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 shallow mount subwoofer (in a sealed box)
Kenwood KAC-8105D "1000W" amp (not really 1000W)
I now have:
Alpine Type-R SWR-10D4 (in a ported box)
I started with the new subwoofer, a 10" Type-R. I built a custom ported box for it that sits on the back seat behind the driver's seat. It was being powered by my Kenwood amp which was pushing out about 300W RMS (supposedly). It wasnt enough for me and I didnt want to underpower my sub, so I forked out 300 bucks for the Kicker DX 1000W mono amp, which was actually rated at 1108W RMS. (First mistake; I later learned that Kicker didn't do as good of a job on the DX series as they did on past ZX series. I couldnt tell, but that's what an expert told me; I have never tried an older ZX amp.)
When I installed the amp, I originally kept the wiring from my old amp: 8 gauge power and ground wire, and a 50A fuse. When I went to connect the negative terminal of my battery, I saw the fuse flash and when I went to inspect it, saw that it was blown. I found out that this was because... I had switched the power and ground wires on my amp .
Then I got a new fuse, but this time 100A, as it was what Kicker recommended for this amp. I went to go turn up my music, and saw that the protect light kept coming on on the amp, and every time the light got to red, the amp would cut out. I found out that the ground wire had come loose during the install, and was no longer tight against the metal of the car.
I tried turning up my music again, and it was not nearly as loud as I had hoped. My old kenwood could push the sub harder. So, I checked my connections and found that I had shitty RCA's. I replaced these with Kicker ones.
Tried turning up the music again, and again the protect light would come on and the amp would cut out when it got to red. I thought it might be because of the power wire, so I upgraded to 4 gauge power and ground wire. This turned out not to be the problem either. So, I took it in to an audio shop and had the guy take a look at my system. THIS was the solution to my problem. He pointed out that my sub was facing directly into the back wall, and since the box was right up against the wall, the woofer didnt have enough room to move when I turned it up. This was causing the sub to have a greater resistance at higher volumes, and the amp couldn't handle it-- so it would go into protect mode and shut off.
The audio guy also said that I needed a bigger box, and a better amp, but he may have just been trying to sell me stuff. In any case... my problem is solved and my shit bangs