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Custom Dodge Ram Interior Modifications - Custom Audio / Video All custom mods on the interior of your Dodge Ram. Dodge Ram stereo mods, alarms, electronics, shift knobs, upholstery, etc.


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  #1  
Old 06-15-2011, 02:57 PM
SFTrainer SFTrainer is offline
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 1

Hey Guys,

So the title may be a bit of a stretch, but after getting my truck back last night from Bing at Simplicity in Sound I'm at a loss for words. The look and sound of this system is beyond description, the pictures don't do it justice. I'm just throwing this up quickly before I head back to work but I'll be sure to do a more in depth review when time allows. But for now....Enjoy.
A style of vehicle that I don't get to do often is a great way to kick off a new install session following my vacation to the OBX. In this case, it’s a 2011 Dodge Ram reg cab belonging to our member SFtrainer.

Goals for the install:

1. As this is his work truck, the install needs to be durable and hidden out of sight
2. No loss of seat movement fore and aft ; seat back must still go pretty much all the way back. (Not the easiest considering the amount of gear we needed to fit back there)
3. Obtain a decently high level of sound quality for daily listening and the occasional MECA competition
4. Still have a little bit of flash built into the design

Though the newer gen Ram have a lot of room behind the seat for a reg cab, the requirements above still made for a pretty challenging install space wise...but in the end, what surprised me the most was how this truck SOUNDED given the locations of the various components. I will touch on this more at the end.

Let’s get started:

The headunit and a small interim system was already installed by the time I received the vehicle, the headunit is a Sony XNV-770BT all in one NAV piece, the dash opening has been nicely trimmed by another shop to make for a precise fitment around the fascia, I went in and redid some of the wiring to accommodate the new system:



As the system uses Zapco DC reference amps, all tuning is done via Laptop from the front seat via the USB cable that is run into the glovebox:



It was decided a long time ago that this car was going to run a set of Audible Physics XR Duo...the advantage of having so much of the freq range above the dash cannot be overstated in a vehicle like this...we toyed around with the stock top of the dash location or A pillar mounting for the XR3...but in the end, after consulting with fellow Team AP member Chefhow who has a similar vehicle, we decided on the much simpler and stealthier stock location approach, not to mention wrapping the pillars with their integrated grab handles would present quite a challenge.

The XR6 midbass went into the stock lower door location, the customer had previously gone in and sound proofed the inner and outer door skin from the inside...I ran a new set of speaker cables into the door and reorganized some of the alarm related wiring:



Here you can see the ensolite install onto the outer door skin:



I then fabricated two sets of mounting baffles for the XR3 and XR6, the XR3 out of 1/8" hardboard so the phase plug can still fit under the stock grill, and the xr6's out of 3/8" MDF:



The midbass baffles were then coated with truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:



And the XR6s were bolted up:



Here is the termination point on the driver side midbass:



And the speaker fully secured:



The same procedure followed on the passenger side:









Next, the plastic door cards received a layer of Deamplifier pro to stop it from buzzing and resonating:



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Old 06-15-2011, 03:02 PM
SFTrainer SFTrainer is offline
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 2

The XR3s were then secured to the mounting baffle and wired up:







And then bolted to the factor dash locations:





Here are some wiring pics of the bundles traveling from the front to the back of the vehicle:









Now comes the completed pics of the install...due to the vehicle's small interior, it was almost impossible to snap a good picture, but I tried my best hehe...also anyone know how to clean sand particles from the INSIDE of a camera's lens? We managed to pick up some on the beach while on vacation and now it shows up in all the pics

Here is the view normally, as you can see, nothing can really be seen and the seats are at their full back positions:





Slide both seats up and fold the seat backs forward and here is what you see, a single amp rack/sub enclosure runs the entire width of the cab, with a slight backward tilt. It is wrapped in carpet closely matching the factory finish. A series of vent holes help heat escape from the amp rack, and three covers covered in breathable black trunk liner hide the components from view. Also note that the front fascia of the rack has raised rings sections to highlight the openings:







Pop off all the covers and here is what you see, two Morel Ultimo SC 10" subwoofers are placed behind each seat in .55 cubic foot sealed enclosures, while the center features an amp rack housing TWO Zapco DC reference amplifiers, a DC650.6 sends 180 watts to each midbass and 150 watts to the XR3, while a DC1100.1 powers the subwoofers with 1100 watts at 2ohms...it’s really hard to see the two amps but you will get a sense in how they are fitted in the build pics to come.

Everything is actually oriented vertically at a perpendicular angle to the floor, with a slanted space in front. I did this in order to space the subwoofers as far away from the seat backs as possible to reduce tactile vibrations against the seat backs...learning from my experience with my first ever vehicle-- an 89 Toyota reg cab pickup; also to give the subs the same visual angle cues as the amp rack.

The inside of the racks are lined with silver 3M Di-noc CF wrap, and three pieces of 3/8" plexi covers the openings, each with circular cutouts with polished inside edges for venting purposes:

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Old 06-15-2011, 03:04 PM
SFTrainer SFTrainer is offline
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 3

The inside of the racks are lined with silver 3M Di-noc CF wrap, and three pieces of 3/8" plexi covers the openings, each with circular cutouts with polished inside edges for venting purposes:















Close up pics to show the centered hole in the plexi for the subs and amps, as well as the raised rings around the cutout:







Now comes the build pics.

Each sub enclosure/rack is made up of several pieces of MDF in varying thickness...here you see them laid out:



The surfaces that will be seen are wrapped in Di-noc:



And the whole thing put together:



Same goes for the other enclosure:





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Old 06-15-2011, 03:06 PM
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 4

The center amp rack is also done in a similar fashion; note the slot for passing wires through and the top panel with its vent cutout for heat to escape:



Wrapped in Di-noc:



And put together, with the bottom piece not yet secured:



The bottom amp - DC650.6 is then secured to the rack, to get the tightest fit possible, the Zapco logo was removed from the top of the chassis cover:



The wires are then secured to the back of the rack traveling to their respective locations:



The DC1100.1 was then secured over the first amp at a slightly lower position, the amp is secured via two pieces of CF wrapped 3/4 “ MDF spacer and two metal spacer rods with a bolt traveling through it:



And the new wires are bundled and secured as well, note the bolts and lock nut with a big washer to provide additional support for the bottom amp:



The bottom piece was then secured in place and the amp rack is ready for installation into the vehicle:



Two side pieces were made out of 1/8" hardboard and wrapped in graphite carpet:





And secured to the outer sides of the sub enclosure, these will be the sides of the finished rack:



The amp rack was then put into the vehicle and wired up, due to the angle it was impossible to show the connections, so here is the best I could do:







The master ground cable travels through a sealed grommet on the driver side and is bolted directly to the frame, the point of contact is then covered with undercoating to protect it against the elements:



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Old 06-15-2011, 03:09 PM
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 5



The two sub enclosures were then secured into the vehicle; each enclosure is anchored to the floor MDF board via 6 screws, and they in turn sandwich and secure the amp rack from both sides with 3 screws each. Here is the naked view before the top cover goes on, showing all the trim:









The main outer cover is made out of three sections; here is the forward facing portion, before and after the cutouts are made:





Next, the rings were routed out, the outer edges received a round over and the inner edges have a slant cut on them. The rings are sized so there is 3/4" of MDF to attach the plexi to all around the opening:



The rings were then secured to the front main panel, and the top panel is then fabricated with the vent holes cutout and routed; there is also a small 1" vertical strip attached to the bottom of the front panel at the appropriate angle...though it can be a bit hard to see:



Next the top and front panels are mated together forming the top cover:





The entire panel was then wrapped with graphite non-backed carpet:





And the plexi secured to the openings via HD plastic epoxy:





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Old 06-15-2011, 03:10 PM
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Default The Best Sounding/Looking Dodge Ram Stereo Ever? Part 6

The grille covers were then fabricated and wrapped in black trunk liner:





So that’s it...I was quite pleased with the cosmetic outcome, being my first regular cab install in a long time...but the biggest surprise was when we got down to tuning...and here a big thanks goes out to Scott Welch (fellow MECA SQ competitor and judge with consistently one of the highest scoring cars on the west coast) for his awesome tuning abilities

Out of the box I thought the truck would sound decent, but with never having installed this set of speakers in the stock locations like this, and the fact that the subs were located directly behind the seat, I was worried about how it would all stage, image, and how well the sub will blend with the front.

But all my concerns evaporated quickly, right off the bat with no EQ set, the truck already showed a very neat curve on the RTA...surprisingly, there passenger side has more reflection issues than the driver’s side but it was far from being bad...in fact this truck perhaps needed less work than most of my previous installs from a tuning standpoint.

After a few hours of tuning by RTA and by ear, I popped in for a listen and was quickly BLOWN AWAY...

Tonality wise, it was very pleasant to listen to, smooth yet details highs, superb midrange resolution and the midbass was very punchy. The stage was quite deep; to me it was slightly past the windshield and with such a massive dash and faraway seating position, it only made things seem deeper. ..seemed like 5 or 6 feet in front of me; the width was within the pillar but still good considering the locations, and height was very good as well...the one part that really blew my mind was the bass response...despite the subs being so close to you, it was REALLY anchored upfront almost centered in the dash...on most songs, you hardly feel the vibrations to your back, and I even cranked up the techno song "Havana", where the opening drum line features a very punchy midbass portion with a fat bass line; this track can easily expose a lack of integration between the midbass and the sub, resulting in what appears to be two separate notes...but man...in this truck, even turned to a really high level, it was solidly one note and right in the middle of the dash...and its kinda funny because at this high output level, you can feel a bit of vibrations in the small of your back, but your mind distinctively says "upfront!"...I previously thought my own car was pretty good at this track, but I jumped into it later to listen to it and it wasn’t even close.

Once again I am very impressed with the XR Duo...and these subs...and for just an initial baseline tuning session, I already think this truck is going to be quite competitive in the Street class in MECA...I wouldn’t be surprised if it consistent scores higher than my car (a mid to high 70s car).

Here is a snap shot of the RTA curve we achieved in the end...with really NOT a lot of movement on the EQ



Now I really want to do more of these trucks...

Cheers,

Bing
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:18 PM
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Wow!! great job.....this is one CLEAN install.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:38 PM
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Always have been a fan of Bing's installs. Very clean as always. Install came out great, no lack of attention to the details. Very nice curve on the RTA as well, considering using stock locations. Great job Bing, and congrats SFTrainer!
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:55 PM
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That is amazing!!!! You got quite an install there!!!
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:15 PM
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since u want to do more you can do my truck please and thank u
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