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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done a lot of builds on this car, I know. I have a baby on the way in a few months, and I've decided to make a completely flat floor without any sub box or other obstruction in the trunk, so full functionality of the trunk is retained for strollers, etc.

The equipment I'm using this time around was chosen for ultimate sound quality and relatively small size to fit in a false-floor environment. For those of you who have seen my previous builds, you know I have swapped from a stuffed trunk , to a full false floor, to a semi-stuffed trunk, and now we're coming full circle. This time around, I hope this to be the last one before I sell the vehicle. Despite being a 2008, the truck has been problematic and it is SLOW. At times, too slow for the highways of Las Vegas suburbs. The leaking trans fluid and generally crappy transmission is always a plus as well.

Anyway, in the spirit of going with what I know (audio), here's what I've done so far -

This is the trunk, covered in RAAMmat and it is showing some damage over time from the heat of Vegas, and the troubles of using an asphalt-based deadener. This gooey black stuff also causes my wires, my clothes, my hands, everything! Even got on my shoes at one point, and on my carpet and stone floor. Lesson learned, use butyl products only like the stuff at Sounddeadenershowdown.com, Secondskin, etc. It costs more, but things like this won't happen.


This is my ground point, which has been treated to a full grinding of all painted surfaces top and bottom. The big center ground terminal is under the seat bracket, the others are on top. I'm leaving this alone, because it works perfectly. If you do this, take the time to take it down to bare metal anywhere conductivity is important.


I took this chance to get in there and install a layer of 1/8" closed-cell foam. This solves my sticky-goo problem and also helps a bit with sound absorption and squeaks of the planned false-floor:


So these next shots show the gear going in the back, and at this point I have NO idea where I'm going to fit it all in. The circles represent the two subs I'm waiting for (a pair of Stereo Integrity BM 12"), but those circles are 10" in diameter so I have to think bigger than that.


I decided to angle everything to get a little extra space the sub box will need:


Something like this:


Oh dang, I realized that I haven't uploaded all the shots to shutterfly (my pic site) yet. I'll try to get those up for you tonight after work. There is a complete fiberglass tub done for the subs, and 1/2 the wiring nightmare is done.

Try to wrap your heads around this one, this is the most complex wiring system I've ever had to do:

Turn-on (switched 12V / Remote) circuit path:
The Pioneer F900BT navigation head unit sends a turn-on signal to a 12v relay, which then switches on a 6-tab ATC fuse block. On the block I have all three of my amp's turn on circuits wired in, my Rockford Fosgate 3sixty.2 processor turn-on, and my Phoenix Gold 2ch line driver turn-on, and finally my LED lighting circuit is wired in to the last spot. That way, when the head unit commands a turn-on of the equipment, it flips all amps on, the processor and line driver on, and lights up the LED's.

Power circuit path:
I have a 1/0 gauge cable run to the trunk, into my Scosche EFX 4-spot fused and metered distribution block. Fuse 1 runs the small 2ch Rock USA amp via 8 gauge, Fuse 2 runs the large 4ch Rock USA amp via 8 gauge, Fuse 3 runs the TREO RSX sub amp via 4 gauge, and Fuse 4 runs via 8 gauge to a separate distribution block. This block outputs two 14 gauge runs to the front of the car, one for the line driver, one for the processor.

Ground circuit path:
The HU is double-grounded for protection, since this head unit can get damaged by poor grounding in its wiring harness at times. In the E/M/T vehicles of this year, behind the HU dash area there is a robust steel structure with a grounding bolt already available. I scuffed that bolt and mounting surface down a bit, then installed the HU's wiring harness ground to it. Then I added another 14 gauge wire from the HU's own chassis to the same ground point for safety. This same ground point also is used for the line driver in the front dash to the right of the steering column, and the processor under the passenger seat, both with 14 gauge. For the amps, you've already seen the grounding block used in the back, which through another distribution block I will also ground my relay, lights, etc.

Signal circuit path:
I'm using 2ch RCA out from the HU to the line driver, which runs 2ch RCA out to the processor, which then sends out 5 channels of audio via RCA's to the amps. Channels 1&2 are tweeter signal, which runs to the small 2ch Rock USA, and channels 3&4 run to the larger 4ch. I have a set of splitters for this one, because that amp is bridged to produce more 2ch power for my mids. Channel 5 is a single RCA run to the sub amp, with a y splitter to the amp itself.

Speaker circuit path:
The HU powers the rear speakers with its own power. The 2ch Rock USA amp is strictly for the tweeters, maximum continuous power is about 70W x 2. The 4ch Rock USA amp is bridged, going from 65 x 4 to about 150 x 2 (conservative), which powers my midrange/midbass woofers. The TREO sub amp will power my subs, which will run a 1ohm load at about 1000W continuous. It is a little less power than I had before, but I doubt I'll ever notice because my last system was never actually pushed to its limits.

I'm using Techflex, heatshrink, barrier strips, and spade terminals all around for a clean presentation and safe install. I'll get more pics out to you very soon, including the critical ones everybody seems to ask about... which is how to build a subwoofer false floor! Hint: You need about a gallon of fiberglass resin, a bunch of mat fiberglass, a few paintbrushes, some cups, a mask, goggles, a lot of plastic sheeting, tape, foil, and a bunch of gloves. Stay tuned.
 

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Looks great. "Final" my arse. :hyst:

I abandoned my project because we're trading this weekend (99% sure). I started pulling everything out last night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are you swapping to? I have fallen in love with the 2008 Suzuki XL7. Just too much fun to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, grabbed my camera and uploaded the pics I've been hoarding. Here goes -

This is what I've got in the trunk at this moment






The sub enclosure, fiberglassed

 

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fourthmeal said:
What are you swapping to? I have fallen in love with the 2008 Suzuki XL7. Just too much fun to drive.
We wanted something bigger, and a 3rd row was mandatory if we traded. We found a new '09 Chrysler Aspen Limited Hemi 2wd. Sticker = ~$37K. Purchased price is $24.8K. Lifetime powertrain warranty. 365HP/390 ft-lbs. 19 MPG highway. I'll post pics in the "other" section if we get. It has the My Gig system, and I believe Alpine (factory) speakers. I probably won't do anything to it -- since the wifey will be driving it most. If it has a factory 8" sub, I'll probably stick my Sundown E8 in there, and I do have an extra US Acoustics amp if need be. We haven't actually seen it because it's 220 mi away. We did do the deal over the internet, and plan to pick it up tomorrow -- as long as we approve once we see/drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
sinister mob said:
Impressive use of space. Looks like you had zero extra room for the sub inclosure. You got it to sneak just under the plastic panels near the hatch. Very cool.
The top 3/4" MDF just barely fits under there, but it does. I'll probably use a bit of sanding to get it perfect once it is carpeted. The subs themselves will recess in there and still end up flush. There isn't much room though. As you can see, I used all the space I could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
head monkey said:
nice glass work
Thank you!

It is my worst fabrication skill. I hate FG.

More to come this weekend, assuming the rain doesn't stay all weekend.
 

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just some of my finding doing glass work... lots of rubber gloves, and a little trick I use. Put a little acetone in with the mix.. it will make things easer to work with and also if you are using brushes use two not just one and keep the other one in acetone, then switch between them... I have been working on my project for a few weeks now and still haven't taken any pictures... soon though. good luck hope this has helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
StruckBy99 said:
How much airspace will you end up with for the subs?

Jason
This is unknown, but I built it as big as I could afford to. I'll be stuffing it with foam peanuts and I'll measure the amount before I continue though. My plan is to go with the subs sunken in to this board, so they'll be flush with speaker grilles protecting them. So, I'm going to lose a bit more airspace. The solution I've come up with is to use only one sub if I have to, instead of two. One 12" will still keep up with the front stage, so I'm not worried if I have to "step down". The decision will be made once I got the measurement. I need ~.5 cubic feet per sub after the sunken-in area and subs themselves are accounted for. I know I'll get at least .5 cubes but I'm not sure about a full cubic foot. I do know that I'll probably not keep that 3/4" MDF board as the top of the box though. I'm thinking about using two 3/8" boards sandwiched together, one with the outline I need to maintain a good looking false floor, and one I need to seal to the box. Upon typing that, I realized that without a visual aid, this will not make perfect sense. So, just trust me, I have something up my sleeve.

In other news, in between the rain, I managed to rough-install all the wiring necessary to test my setup out. The relay works like a charm, and successfully powers up everything exactly as I visualized it. Without it, I'm sure the head unit wouldn't survive trying to turn on 5 things + some LED lights. Way too much draw. This coming weekend, assuming the weather is clear, should be a productive time for this build. My plan is to finish detailing the amp box, and hopefully the SI subs will arrive next weekend, so I can complete the build.
 

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fourthmeal said:
This is unknown, but I built it as big as I could afford to. I'll be stuffing it with foam peanuts and I'll measure the amount before I continue though. My plan is to go with the subs sunken in to this board, so they'll be flush with speaker grilles protecting them. So, I'm going to lose a bit more airspace. The solution I've come up with is to use only one sub if I have to, instead of two. One 12" will still keep up with the front stage, so I'm not worried if I have to "step down". The decision will be made once I got the measurement. I need ~.5 cubic feet per sub after the sunken-in area and subs themselves are accounted for. I know I'll get at least .5 cubes but I'm not sure about a full cubic foot. I do know that I'll probably not keep that 3/4" MDF board as the top of the box though. I'm thinking about using two 3/8" boards sandwiched together, one with the outline I need to maintain a good looking false floor, and one I need to seal to the box. Upon typing that, I realized that without a visual aid, this will not make perfect sense. So, just trust me, I have something up my sleeve.
I can picture what your talking about. Planing on adding bracing to your box? From your pics it looks like you'll have the room you need. Post when you come up with your final number on total airspace as I plan on copying your design pretty closely. :beer:

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
StruckBy99 said:
fourthmeal said:
This is unknown, but I built it as big as I could afford to. I'll be stuffing it with foam peanuts and I'll measure the amount before I continue though. My plan is to go with the subs sunken in to this board, so they'll be flush with speaker grilles protecting them. So, I'm going to lose a bit more airspace. The solution I've come up with is to use only one sub if I have to, instead of two. One 12" will still keep up with the front stage, so I'm not worried if I have to "step down". The decision will be made once I got the measurement. I need ~.5 cubic feet per sub after the sunken-in area and subs themselves are accounted for. I know I'll get at least .5 cubes but I'm not sure about a full cubic foot. I do know that I'll probably not keep that 3/4" MDF board as the top of the box though. I'm thinking about using two 3/8" boards sandwiched together, one with the outline I need to maintain a good looking false floor, and one I need to seal to the box. Upon typing that, I realized that without a visual aid, this will not make perfect sense. So, just trust me, I have something up my sleeve.
I can picture what your talking about. Planing on adding bracing to your box? From your pics it looks like you'll have the room you need. Post when you come up with your final number on total airspace as I plan on copying your design pretty closely. :beer:

Jason
If you compare this design with my last one:







Last time I ran under the amp rack with more airspace. These amps didn't take too well to that, so I went with plan-B.

But, if you need LOTS of airspace, you can do exactly this as long as your amps are of the slim kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh yeah, if I haven't mentioned it yet,...

Adding the line driver between the Pioneer HU and the processor made all the difference in the world. I was able to crank up the line driver to about 95% gain (no static or hiss increased when I brought it up, so it is a virtually noise-free component!) This, in turn, let me turn down the gains on the amps and the RF processor. Which gave me about 90% less hiss and noise than I had before. I would say it is inaudible now unless you press your ear against the tweeter. That's just about as good as it gets in the world of car audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a head's up, the master plan of stuffing 3 amps, a pair of shallow subs, etc. in the truck just wasn't working. The line driver added unnecessary distortion, presumably because the processor just couldn't take the increased signal (which is opposite of what I thought would happen.) The system just started to crumble in performance compared with previous iterations. SO...

The new system parts have arrived, and here's what I got:

Same Pioneer F900BT head unit w/ mods
Kenwood KAC-X4R main amp.
Kenwood KAC-X1R sub amp.
Stereo Integrity BM mkIII subs (pair)
H-Audio Ebony mid-woofers
Alpine SPX-17PRO tweeters

Now the X4R amp is special because it has on-board active digital signal processing. It gives me time alignment, crossover control, and minor EQ control. I can effectively ditch what I believe to be the weakest link, the 3sixty.2 processor*. Now I can run a highly simplified setup, with these TINY amps. This will let me build that false floor a bit more space for the subs, which ensures they will play better and more as they were designed to play. Win-win. The only penality I have is that my time spent fiberglassing (and a bit of money) is all gone, on to another design. Oh well, that's the game.

Anyway, with this new setup, I expect great things. I'll try to keep the pics flowing.

*BTW, it isn't that this processor is bad, it just introduces a background hiss that doesn't suit me very well. I like quiet when it is supposed to be quiet, and that few dB's of hiss just gets on my nerves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its coming together. This reminds me how much I hate working with fiberglass. Pics will come but pics don't come while fiberglassing I'm afraid.

The hardest part is ending up with a box that remains low to the floor height. Even with super-shallow subs, this is proving difficult.

BTW, Dayton just launched some nice super-shallow subs if someone wants to do this but with much less expense (and less performance proportionately.) Dayton sells at Parts Express.
 
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