mtnbkr123's Build Thread...finally...
I will use this thread to post pics and hopefully offer a few tips for others who may be as new to car audio installs as I am.
First off, hats off to Frank Drebin and rlandon. Frank has been assisting, encouraging and inspiring me more than I can even begin to explain. He has definitely earned his place in heaven. rlandon has also been ably assisting me. Thanks in particular to rlandon for the measurements for the amp rack. A big shout out for both those dudes.
My first tip is this - read their threads carefully. Think about what they are saying and do what they are doing, cuz they both know what's up in a big way.
Here's a large pic of the amp rack so you can see the measurements, again, courtesy of rlandon. In case it is not clear, the height measurement is 15" + 1" = 16" total. And as rlandon has pointed out, if you are using seat spacers like the 5/8" thick ones for the Fox Box, make sure to raise the bottom notches at least 5/8" higher than as indicated in the pic below.
My components are as follows:
JL Audio HD600/4 x2
JL Audio HD1200/1
Audible Physics XR6.5Ms x4 (door speakers) - still waiting for these
Audible Physics XR3Ms x3 (dash speakers) - still waiting for these
Alpine SWR 1243D x2
Fox Box 2-12 vented (and no, not referring to "my lady" like one poster was hoping - LOL)
All amps, MS-8, subs and DynaMat from Sonic Electronix.
Speakers from Mark at Audible Physics.
All power, ground and speaker wire, RCAs, distribution blocks, inline fuses, battery terminals, grommets and other install materials from Bill at KnuKonceptz.com.
Main power and ground wire - 1/0 AWG
4 AWG feeding the amps from the distribution block
8 AWG feeding the MS-8 from the distribution block
16 AWG speaker wire
8 AWG sub wire
240 Amp inline fuse at the battery
100 Amp inline fuse after the distribution block for the HD1200/1
2 x 50 Amp inline fuses after the distribution block for the HD600/4s
25 Amp inline fuse after the distribution block for the MS-8
See below for pics of the Fox Box (LOL) and components.
Yesterday evening and tonight I worked on my amp rack (see below).
The first step was to take the rear seats out. I had to use a home-made breaker bar (a dipping bar off my cage). The amount of Loctite on every single bolt was shocking. I hate Loctite and every single assembly person who was responsible for using gallons on those bolts, right down to the last threads. Damn that was a $hit show. So...do yourself a favour and get a breaker bar before you start.
Don't forget to disconnect the rear seat heat feeds (if you have them) before hauling the seats out.
Next, remove the felt liner behind the rear seat with an exacto knife. Watch out for the feed for the rear window motor (if you have it) which is on the passenger side of the felt. I sliced halfway through the wires and had to splice them. I was working in the dark (not a good idea for anything really). See below for a pic showing the felt liner removed.
Next I took my MDF 4 x 8 sheet and measured it out per rlandon's measurements. I took the bottom felt portion and traced it for the cut out at the top.
Tip - I bought 3/4 inch MDF. Don't, unless you want to test your strength. It weighs a friggin ton. I had to wrestle it out of Home Depot, into my truck and then into my garage. I actually had a few of my 80 year old neighbours come outside to watch the entertainment. My suggestion - buy 3/8 or 1/2 at most. You won't need 3/4 and besides, every little bit of space is critical, including clearance for cooling. And get the boys at Home Depot or wherever to cut that bad boy into a 16 inch strip from top to bottom. Get them to split the 32" strip in half too if you think you may need 2 or 3 cracks at the rack.
I hate MDF. Hate it. It stinks, and the saw dust will live with you forever. It's bad bad stuff.
Next, put your components on the rack and trace them. Watch out for the middle seat belt retractor which is 18.5 to 22.5 inches from the passenger side wall. You will not be able to put anything on the rack in front of that. Decide placement, and cut slots for the power wire, speaker wire, RCAs and other inputs and outputs to and from the components.
That is where I am at so I will continue tomorrow.
I hope to have the amp rack finished by Friday (carpeted, vent foam glued on the back, and everything locked down and wired on the board with the reduced AWG wire - I think I will use T-nuts for everything so I can remove things as often as I want). Saturday and Sunday I hope to have 10 hour days in my heated parkade at work. I hope to get the doors DynaMatted and all the speaker wires run (tapping into the factory speaker wires for the front door speakers and dash speakers (left and right) and running those wires to the rear to be connected to the MS-8, running speaker wire from the 7 speaker locations to the rear to be connected to the amps, and running a remote wire, bass knob phone wire, MS-8 remote wire and MS-8 iPhone RCA input from back to front).
After that I will tackle installing the new battery terminals, the power wire, the inline fuse, the ground wire, the Big 3, the subs and Fox Box and the speakers (when I get them). Hopefully tuning won't be a nightmare. If the MS-8 doesn't pull it's weight in spades, the tuning end could be a double flush wet steaming dump in a plastic bag, seeing as though I'll be running all 7 speakers actively *ho-lee $hit* And I don't even want to start thinking about a new HO alternator and a Shiriken or Kinetic battery. Maybe both. Maybe all 3. Damn. I've been livin larger with this whole build than P Diddy and Floyd Mayweather combined. I've spent more money in 2 months than I have in the last 2 years. It all started by wanting to add a sub...Damn those commission sales people at Sonic...just kidding - Sonic was great. So was KnuKonceptz. It's all good. Whatever.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions as to how you want me to organize this thread so that it's most useful.
Thanks for reading.
Subscribed! Nice work and great writeup!
Lookin' good, Mike! I love the detail you are putting into this thread. I'm sure other members will find it helpful.
Watching and waiting. Looking good so far! Just a suggestion, since you have the three amps, move the MS-8 under the power window motor and the amp to the left side. This will give you more room for the larger wiring needed and make it look slick.
This weekend was the shitz. I basically blew Saturday when I was missing my #20 Torx bit for the drivers side door panel and had to drive from my parkade at work to Cdn Tire. Then I had an incredibly brutal time trying to pry that biatch of a Molex apart in the armrest. Anyway, at least I got a breaker bar from Cdn Tire for half price. We'll see who gets the last laugh now when I take out those Loctite soaked bolts from the front passenger seat.
I redid my amp board following some suggestions by rlandon. Much much better.
I also got my drivers side door Dynamatted and wired, ready for when those XR Duos arrive, which I anticipate will be about 3 days from never at this rate.
I took a few pics (see below).
Incredibly, I actually managed to fish my speaker wire through the Molex in the drivers door. It was quite a long, tedious task, but it can be done.
This is what I did:
I started by removing the 2 #20 Torx screws holding the rubber hose in place on the drivers door. I then removed the rubber boot off the white plastic frame that is snapped in place in the door frame. I then removed the white plastic frame from the door frame by pushing on 2 tabs on top, 1 at the side facing me and 1 or 2 on the bottom. You can do it solo if you take your time and pull the frame out from where you released the last tab. Go all the way around the frame like this and after about 4 tabs, it comes out. There is no need to undo the molex plugs. In fact, don't. If you drop one or both into the hole in the door frame, you will be cursing for a long time trying to fish them out. Take the speaker wire and separate it into 2 strands. Pass each strand through a small hole around the outside of the Molex plug. Pick whichever holes you want. I could not fit both wires through, which is why I split them and used 2 holes. Now change your focus to the door. Pull the hose assembly out of the door. You'll see a white plastic piece attached to the end of the hose which is where all the wires pass through. Undo the electric tape around all the wires. Now this is where a prayer or two and lots of luck come in handy. Very carefully, fish a clothes hanger through the hole in the side of the plastic piece on the door side, through the hose and out the other end towards the frame. I made a very tiny loop on the end of the clothes hanger and tied a strand on. I pulled it through. I repeated this for the second strand. So far so good, but the wires are hanging out the side of the plastic piece. You want to get them to follow the other wires out through the top. I know this doesn't make much sense but you will know what I am talking about the first time you try this. So...I used tweezers, a pry tool and a clothes hanger and believe it or not, I was able to get both wires out the top, in line with all the other factory wiring. I then retaped the plastic piece and re-assembled everything.
It's tight in there. Scary tight. But it can be done so take your time and don't give up.
You will likely have to remove the weatherstripping a bit. Only take it off 1 or 2 tabs because it's a bit of a biatch trying to get it back on, especially after the whole Molex ordeal.
Anyway, just post any questions you might have and I'll try to answer them.
The Molex thing was a huge accomplishment for me. Easily the toughest thing so far.
I believe that in the next 2 evenings after work, I can finish Dynamatting and wiring the other three doors. I understand the Molex thing is much easier once you get past the drivers door, since there are a lot less wires jamming up the hose.
I promise to take a ton of pics when I do the front passenger door so you know what I am talking about.
Also, last night I decided to blow off having to splice the speaker wire from the front door speakers, dash speakers (left and right) and sub to feed the MS-8. Instead I followed rlandon's lead and ordered a PAC C2A-CHY23 and a ground loop isolator (PAC SNI-1). Now it'll be cleaner running RCAs back.
Anyway, that's it for tonight.
I did the front passenger door tonight. I thought it would be easier since there's a half a Molex empty, but I still ended up splitting my wire and running 2 separate wires through because I couldn't get the single wire through the white plastic piece that bolts to the door. I used the exact same technique as last night. It worked perfectly. I've attached some pics to hopefully illustrate what I did last night.
Wow - I know I'm tired but on my way home tonight, it sounded like a window was open in the back seat. The road noise was incerdibly LOUD. So much so that I pulled over to make sure I wasn't dragging a speaker or something. Could it be that the 2 Dynamatted front doors are now causing me to notice road noise in the back, that was always there before but not noticeable without the Dynamat in the front? Sounds crazy but holy crap was it loud on the way home. But only in the back. It sounded like my catback was in the back seat.
I sure was glad I put my key in my pocket when I was working on things tonight. I inadvertently locked the doors then shut the only door that was open. As panic swept through me, I felt my key in my pocket. Thank God.
One other suggestion when working with the Molexes - put the rubber boot back on the Molex plug BEFORE putting the plug back in the frame. There is no way you can get the rubber boot back on with the plug snapped in place.
I'm making progress. Slowly.
Looking good! Yeah, those rear vents let the noise through without the oem felt cover on. It's surprising how much does get in especially with an aftermarket exhaust.
edit: Can't you just remove that white plastic piece, instead of fighting with it? I'm sure thats what I did...
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