Got the amp installed last weekend, dash off and managed to find a decent space for it as below. The kit has a ton of wiring which I didn't really need, but managed to get it tucked under the dash top.
It looks precarious I realise, but it's actually quite well wedged in there and doesn't move about and it doesn't touch the top of the dash, nor is it touching the airbag or anything there.
At first I turned off "Power IC" in the settings menu on the head unit, which in the manual says is the built-in amplifier, which I assumed should be turned off, but I didn't get any sound output from the speakers. There's also a switch underneath the head unit, so may try switching that off too and see what happens, but perhaps because it's an Alpine specific head unit amp it's supposed to be left on. Either way, when I turned the internal amp back on I got the speakers going and they sound great, far more volume and the clarity is excellent, even at speed at half volume it's plenty loud enough. I've not pushed it yet though, as I've still got the factory tweeters in and a 10amp fuse for the head unit, the KTP-445A instructions say this needs to be a 15 amp fuse and I didn't have any lying around.
Haven't installed the tweeters yet as I completely forgot to order loom adapters for these (same as the door speakers) and I've misunderstood how the factory loom is wired. The new speakers have a filter on the door speakers which is supposed to then be wired to the tweeters, but running wires out from the door looks to be a nightmare, so I'm going a different route.
The factory wires for the tweeters just come from the head unit and are filtered at the tweeters, so I've ordered two in-line high pass filters to use instead so that I can use the factory wiring. Once those arrive I'll get the tweeters and 15amp fuse installed for the amp.
Onto this weekend, my headlights have gone really cloudy again over the last month or so, I could restore them again, but to be honest I'm bored of doing it and I was very jealous of @SharpyClio
's new headlights so I decided I fancy the same. Plus my passenger side headlight has some cracking where it looks like the reflector has melted a bit around the xenon lamp, it's been the same since I got the car, so I assume it's had the wrong type of bulb in there at some point.
As luck would have it a brand new passenger side headlight came up on Facebook, just had a broken adjuster and was less than half the price posted of a new Hella unit. It's even a Renault boxed one dated 2005, but clearly never used. Easily fixed with a pack of BMW e39 adjusters and this great tutorial on YouTube here:
Old, brittle adjuster out.
New E39 adjuster installed.
Now I just needed to find a new headlight for the driver's side, but this was far harder than I expected. They were out of stock on eBay, Autodoc and anywhere else I looked. After a bit of searching I found a single Hella unit (part number 1DL008461-781) on cars245.com, not a website I trusted massively, and it was coming from Latvia so would need EU import fees paying. It was the only one I could find though and all the signs point to Hella stopping production of the grey insert xenons to me so I ordered. Just over a week later I had the unit, the cars245 website now shows that part as "Out of Production" too, so I got lucky there I think.
New driver's side headlight, fresh from Latvia, adjuster intact.
Now to install them you need to get the bumper off, again I followed the excellent YouTube guide for the headlight adjusters to take the bumper off which isn't something I've done before. I only had one issue, the bumper bolt that's in the drivers wheel well wasn't the factory bolt and instead was an abomination of nut bolt and washers, so it was far harder to remove than it should've been.
Bumper off and stored safely in the garage with a sheet, cloudy headlight showing. It was pretty grotty behind there as you can see, so I gave it a good clean with engine bay degreaser to get the heavy grime off. Was pleased to see no signs of previous bumps there either, no dings in the crash bar etc., which is the sort of thing I was almost expecting to find on a car of this age and mileage.
Old headlight vs new:
The plastic mounts on both the old headlights were cracked and had definitely seen better days. I swapped over the xenon adjuster motor, ignitor units and xenon bulb from the old lights (would've been a good time to put new ones in, but I didn't have that much foresight so I'll be annoyed when one inevitably dies in a few weeks). Also swapped over my silvervisions and LED side light bulbs.
The driver's side headlight hadn't ever sat quite even to the passenger side relative to the bumper, it's a tiny imperfection really, but there was a bit less of a gap under the headlight. I was half hoping this was the headlight itself, or the mount points, but they were all perfect. So it seems like it's the bumper that doesn't sit quite right.
After installing the new lights, I also installed the alternator splash guard I picked up a while ago and failed to put in with the bumper in-situ. It's not so obvious where it clips into the grille, but I figured it out and I'm very pleased to not have my alternator quite so exposed to the elements.
Alternator plastic guard installed.
The lines for the headlight washers were also not installed in the right place, they were in the gap where the crash bar goes instead of in their channel higher up the bumper, being crushed a bit on the driver's side. I'm fairly sure the headlight washer pump is dead anyway, but that certainly wasn't helping.
Car was also covered in wood dust and dead insects, although it wasn't massively dirty thanks to the mostly dry weather recently. I gave it a quick clean and I'm really pleased with how the front looks now.
Ignore the whopper parked next to me.
The fog lights stick out a bit to me now, so new fogs are on the cards I think, fortunately I believe you can get to them by removing the arch liners, so no faffing taking the bumper off. My 3/4ths plate is also a bit damaged on the top, like it's delaminated a bit. I got it from fancyplates about two years ago, so a bit disappointed it's dying already. Any recommendations for where I can get a better quality one?
Bonus photo, really like this one, shame I framed it like a blind man.