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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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  #11  
Old 11-11-2011, 01:26 AM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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Not much to report. I've now got 3 of 4 doors wired and Dynamatted as well as the right dash speaker. I should be finished all Dynamatting and running of speaker wire by tomorrow.

Damn it has taken me long. It's like I've had 2 jobs the past week. I know all the security guards patrolling the parkade at my work now on a first name basis. Wow.

As it turns out, I'm ahead of schedule. Apparently my speakers (XR6.5Ms in the doors and XR3Ms in the dash - see Frank Drebin's recent posts in his build thread) are on the slow boat from China. Literally. I understand they are scheduled to "be in port" sometime next week. That, plus shipping time, plus an inevitable 1 to 2 weeks extra for whatever, means that I will be very lucky to see them before December. I sure hope they are good cuz they were not cheap and the time it's taken to get them has been brutal. I will be watching Frank Drebin's thread to see how they sound.

I am becoming pretty good at dealing with those Molex plugs and rubber hoses between the doors. The rear doors are a lot easier. You have access to the Molex from inside the truck (with the B pillar panel removed), there is way more room to work between the door and the frame, and the white plastic pieces on the door side come off (I couldn't get the ones on the front doors off). I've got the Molexes beat. Bastids. Every last one of them.

Riding home tonight, I turned on some tunes for the first time in a week. Holy crap. Five Finger Death Punch was hammering in the door speakers. I have grown to despise the Dynamat but unless I'm really tired, there was way more midbass and volume tonight. Not just a little bit. A crapload. Maybe the Dynamat is actually helping the stock system.

I'm getting closer. I'm starting to get mildly excited. I have not enjoyed the DIY part so far. I am way more of a pay and get it done kinda guy. Oh well. I've learned a lot so far and I'm sure I will feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm done. Not to mention I saved myself between 3 and 4k.

Edit: I'm not sure if I can post a link to another forum (Ford) that has awesome pics of the Molex process (except do NOT remove the Molex plug and there is no need to drill the Molex plug - there are empty holes already there - the difference between the Ford and the Ram is that the Ford has a way easier set up on the door side - no dreaded white plastic piece that you have to fish the wire through). I will post the link because it's a good summary with great pics, but only if a moderator okays it first.

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-11-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:36 AM
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Today I pulled the pin on a new battery - XS Power 6500. I sure hope it fits. I didn't have a lot of choices. The battery tray and room up to the hood is very limited. The tray has a bizarre little piece that sticks up 3/4" along the side facing the engine. Damn Chrysler - why do you do stoopid shit like that?

Anyway, if it doesn't fit I'm out $500. It's going to be close. Drama right to the last moment. Haha!

I am getting so sick of this install. This system better be as good as sex cuz it has basically consumed me for the past week. Can hardly wait to finish it...

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-13-2011 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:31 AM
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It took me over a month just to get working parts. It will be worth it in the end!
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbkr123 View Post
Today I pulled the pin on a new battery - XS Power 6500. I sure hope it fits. I didn't have a lot of choices. The battery tray and room up to the hood is very limited. The tray has a bizarre little piece that sticks up 3/4" along the side facing the engine. Damn Chrysler - why do you do stoopid shit like that?

Anyway, if it doesn't fit I'm out $500. It's going to be close. Drama right to the last moment. Haha!

I am getting so sick of this install. This system better be as good as sex cuz it has basically consumed me for the past week. Can hardly wait to finish it...


I had no idea batteries were that expensive. I think I'll just keep the gains down.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:12 PM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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I now see that for whatever reason, Chrysler chose to install a reverse polarity battery in our Rams. Thanks Chrysler.

Seeing as though a ton of stuff is taped/attached/ secured to the battery leads, there really is no way to un-reverse them. Choices now are laying the battery on its side (which poses its own challenges) or attaching foot long extensions to each battery lead and either criss-crossing them or installing the battery backwards (with the terminals facing the outside of the engine bay). Unless anyone says it's a dumb thing to do, I suppose I will add foot long attachments, taping the life out of the bare metal unions between the old leads and the new extensions.

If you look, you will see on the end of each lead a metal plate bolted to a female attachment that slips over the battery post. I intend to remove that female piece and bolt on a foot of 4 GA with a ring terminal.

More complications.

If anyone has any comments/criticisms/random musings. I'm all ears.

EDIT: Just traded emails with XS Power. They highly recommend NOT criss crossing the cables. Instead, lay the battery on its side and get the I-Bar 555 terminal expanders - that way there will be one terminal on top and 2 on the side for each of the positive and negative terminals. Polarity will no longer be reversed and I'll have lots of terminals to use. Problem solved. I think.

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-13-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:57 PM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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I cancelled my battery order. I need to think about this a little bit. $500 is a lot for a battery, especially for one that I have to lay on its side to get proper polarity.

Is there any doubt that at 2400 watts, if I don't replace the stock battery and/or alt, I'm going to have dimming headlights or worse, even with the Big 3? I assume that this is a given, although maybe I should wait and see what happens after I finish the install (which is on hold pending receipt of my speakers).

Apart from waiting and seeing, 2 battery options I have are these:

1. XS Power 6500 from Sonic - This is a BCI Group 65 AGM battery (AGM = absorbed glass mat - XS, Kinetic, Suriken, Stinger, etc. are all AGM; BCI Group is standardized battery sizing). We need a BCI Group 94R for our Rams (at least the 2011s), since the terminals are reversed. I'd be running the 6500 on its side, with the terminals on their side, in order to match polarity. XS says no problem - 100% leakproof. The 6500 should fit, upright or on its side. It's powerful. 1000 CCA (not that CCA has much significance in this application). 1 year Sonic warranty which may as well be 0 given that I'd have to ship a 60 lb battery back to Sonic from Canada. $475 all in.

2. Diehard International 9AGM94R - This is plug 'n play - it's the exact replacement for 2011 Rams. Terminals are aligned correctly. 85 month full replacement warranty. 800 CCA. Not so much power - the stocker is 700 CCA (although the Diehard is AGM which I understand makes a huge difference for audio applications). $350 all in.

I'm quite sure the XS will erase any dimming lights or other issues. The guys at DIYMA love the Diehard Platinum, which is a more powerful AGM, but unfortunately it's not available in Canada. Not much out there on the International.

For my US friends needing a battery, check out the Diehard Platinum. It's universally loved at DIYMA.

I'm not sure how much better than stock the Diehard International will be, although given that it is an AGM, I have to think it will be a decent improvement, regardless of the numbers. If I knew the Diehard would be strong enough to address whatever electrical issues I may have, it's a no brainer. My problem is that I don't know how much better than the stocker it will be.

Anyway, I measured the stock battery and tray countless times this weekend. I can tell you that for 2011s at least, we need a BCI Group 94R battery, although I am quite sure a 6500 will fit, as will a 3400, although both of those would have to be laid on their side to match polarity (or else you'll have to make extensions for each lead and either criss cross them, or connect them at the terminals on the far side of the battery, against the body, which raises space issues since the hood lifter arm is in the same place and there appears to be less clearance between the battery and the hood on the body side, compared to the middle of the engine).

I suppose I should think about the option of replacing the alt with a HO model from Mechman or somewhere else, although my bet is that the battery is the weak link (my 1500 has a 160 amp alt, which isn't so bad - an HO alt may get you 250, although that's assuming that number isn't BS - I believe the 1500s without heated seats have a 130 amp alt).

I think I may wait til after the install and see how bad it is with the stock alt and battery. If it's bad, and I bet it will be, I think I'll spring for the Diehard and see if that solves things. I do not want to add a second battery since I don't want it in the bed and I really can't see anywhere else it could go.


PS - in case it's not already clear, the 94R is not a common battery size. It's almost always found in import cars, some (most?) German. Perhaps this is another Daimler hangover, like the cruise control stalk. And not only is it not common, but most of the batteries that do exist in this size are less powerful than the more common Group 65 batteries, for example. And guess what. The 94R Diehard International is $130 more than the same Group 65 battery, that is MORE powerful. Why? Because Group 94R batteries are not common. I love my Ram but the deeper I get with this install, the more I really have to question certain aspects of its design. Why reverse polarity? Why a 94R size? Why Chrysler? Why? Seriously. What on earth could be a good reason for this design decision?

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-15-2011 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:43 AM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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I am re-wiring all my sepakers using 16 GA wire from KnuKonceptz. I am still waiting for my speakers to arrive so I am leaving the new wiring in place but using the old speakers and old wiring for now.

How I re-wired the center speaker:

Remove the grill with a pry tool and the 2 screws securing the right dash speaker and set the speaker to the side of the hole (the leads on all the dash speakers are short, but you don't need to unplug them to re-wire). Remove the right front kick panel (start at the B pillar and using a pry tool, lift the trim running along the side of the door, and then pull back to unsnap the kick panel). Now remove the grill and front screw for the center speaker. After you get that bastard of a rear screw out (I used a traditional 7 mm open end wrench), set the speaker to the side. Take a coat hanger and bend a tiny loop in the end with a pair of pliars. Take the speaker wire and thread the loop and then tape the end with electric tape to secure the wire in the loop. Work the hanger straight up from the front right corner of the floor following the existing wiring and the hanger and speaker wire will hopefully pop out the top (this is obviously how you wire each of the dash speakers). Pull the wire out the hole 6 or so inches and disconnect from the hanger. Take the hanger and tape electric tape around the loop (if you push the hanger in the wrong spot and have to pull it out and start over, God help you if you haven't taped over the loop - that thing is like a barbed hook - don't ask). There is a hollow channel running from the center speaker to each dash speaker about an inch or so under the surface of the dash. Push the wire through to the right dash speaker hole. Remove the tape and connect the speaker wire to the loop and re-tape. Go to the center speaker hole and pull the wire from the right dash speaker to the center speaker.

Done.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:54 AM
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Just a quick question, not so much from a stereo standpoint but a few years ago i had this jeep and when deciding on what would be the best battery after tons of recommends i went with a yellow top optima. it had the best reputation for a winching battery at the time, now with a stereo i would imagine its a large draw like a winch so the 2 might be not so uncommon. nice thing about that battery is you can mount it upside down if you wanted too since its what i was told a solid core battery. Also while i was trying to remember what the damn brand is called i found it on a JK site and they were talking that the diehards are re branded as sears battery's up here...hope i could help, sorry if i wasted your time.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:30 AM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollateralDamage View Post
Just a quick question, not so much from a stereo standpoint but a few years ago i had this jeep and when deciding on what would be the best battery after tons of recommends i went with a yellow top optima. it had the best reputation for a winching battery at the time, now with a stereo i would imagine its a large draw like a winch so the 2 might be not so uncommon. nice thing about that battery is you can mount it upside down if you wanted too since its what i was told a solid core battery. Also while i was trying to remember what the damn brand is called i found it on a JK site and they were talking that the diehards are re branded as sears battery's up here...hope i could help, sorry if i wasted your time.
Hey - good crossing paths with you again. Thanks for the input.

I am new to the car audio scene. And the battery scene. And pretty much every other mod as well. LOL.

FWIW, I understand that Optima's quality went down when the company changed ownership a little while back. I read that Johnson Controls now owns them. Before that the Yellow Top was the battery of choice for audio applications. You used to be able to buy Optima batteries at Costco. I knew a guy who bought a Yellow Top 5 years ago for audio and had nothing but trouble with it.

As far as being able to mount it any which way, I understand that all AGM batteries are leak proof and can be mounted upside down if you prefer. I traded emails with XS Power on this. Unfortunately, Sears Canada sold its Diehard battery line some time ago. Now you can get them at Kal Tire and perhaps other places as well. I understand they are manufactured by Enersys and are a rebranded Odyssey battery.

Our friends to the south have it easy - get a Sears Diehard Platinum for $225ish and be done with it (that said, I don't know what a 94R Plat goes for).

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-15-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:06 AM
mtnbkr123 mtnbkr123 is offline
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This weekend I worked on my amp board. It's a good fit in the truck (see pics below). I got all the power wiring done (except for the 0 GA feeding the distro block in the upper right hand of the board). The power wiring is about 80% of the battle since there are no inline fuses on the grounds. I will hopefully finish the board tomorrow. The distro block for the grounds will be on the extreme left of the board, between the wall and the sub amp.

My measurements of the amp board were screwed up, including the measurements for where the seat belt retractor is. Disregard all my measurements when you do your board. I took most of them from the sides of the truck interior, not the edge of the board. So everything was off on my boards. Yes, boards. Thank God I bought a 4x8 sheet, cuz it took me 3 tries. Rlandon posted his measurements and I'll post mine once I am absolutely sure they're right (i.e. when I have it installed with rear seats in).

EDIT: Holy $hit. I'm just looking at all my hard work sipping a beer and I must say that I'm not so happy with how that board is turning out. I thought it would look really cool with the wiring running in and out of the board from the distro blocks to the inline fuses to the components. Not really feeling it. It kinda looks like a bad nightmare to me right now. Shoulda kept it nice and simple and clean. Maybe tomorrow I'll like it more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg ampboard.jpeg (109.5 KB, 115 views)
File Type: jpeg ampboardintruck.jpeg (90.0 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg ampboardwired.jpg (42.5 KB, 127 views)
File Type: jpg ampboardwired2.jpg (47.8 KB, 119 views)

Last edited by mtnbkr123; 11-21-2011 at 01:49 AM.
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