The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pics!! - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 05-16-2011   #1
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Default The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pics!!

Hey Guys,

Haven't posted anything to the install log section in about two and a half month; mainly because since the last project, I have been working almost nonstop on the biggest project I have ever taken on by myself. Just finished the car and had a great competition debut at my Norcal MECA event this past Saturday. With my long awaited vacation coming a few days away, I figure I better finish this humongous install log and post it up before I leave.

The car is one that long time members will recognize, it is Mike (ChicoOG)'s 2005 Acura TL, it is the third time I am working on the car and the fourth or maybe 4.5th system in total. But I am fairly certain that this time, I will be the last iteration...maybe small pieces will change, but the bulk of it is gonna stay.

Before getting to the log itself, I want to make sure to thank the following people, for without their guidance, support and expertise none of this would have been possible:

• Scott Baughman for setting up the entire deal with ORCA• Nalaka and Duane from Orca for all their technical and sponsorship support
• Scott Welch for his superb tuning ability and dedication on working deep into the night.
• Justin and the team from Oznium.com for their help with LED lighting products
• Steve (Whiterabbit) for his awesome soldering skills in fabricating RCA cables for the project.
• Lucky from AAMP for providing us with Stinger products at a sponsored rate
• Natan Budiono for providing us with the internal schematics of the OEM TL headunit
• Matt Roberts for working his magic using those schematics and supplying us with the "best sounding Acura headunit in the world"
• Kirk Proffit for lending us his old stock HU to modify
• Clay with Polaris for his help setting up with AAMP
• Shelly and Aaron from Zapco for their help with the dual dsp6 and simblink products.
• Jeff from photoshootmycar.com for making such an awesome display and system diagram.
• Various guys on DIYMA such as Niebur for helping with tips and tricks.
• Robert Rugani for additional help with Zapco related questions
• Various installer friends like Jon Kowanetz, Jon Webb, Troy McGregor, Brittney Parker and other for offering their help and encouragement during the project.
• And last but not least, Mike for trusting his car to me once again.


I am sure I forgot some people, so for that I apologize.Let’s get to the system itself.

As usual, goals:

1. To create a system with a high level of sound quality and a car that we can eventually take to world finals and SBN.
2. To create a system with a classy visual appearance augmented with a few unique touches throughout.
3. Focus almost obsessively on attention to detail, things that are beneath the surface but can be fully appreciated by fellow installers and install judges.

In other words, we wanted to build a car that can post very respectable scores for SQ and install, and look good doing it. That’s it! My common MOs such as stealth and space savings were completely thrown out of the window… Very quickly I realized this would be the most involved project I have ever taken on since I started working by myself; with many challenging aspects that I would need to overcome as a one man operation, but in the end, it is just about keeping my head down and keep on working until it’s done. I truly believe that given my very limited ability and experience, this IS the best effort I can put forth at this time.

I want to warn you now that there are well over 500 pictures in this log...and because of that, I will not be able to devote as much info to each picture or the whole thing will take forever. I will also break down the log into a few sections, with the completed pics first, and then followed by various sections of construction pics.

The project involves quite a few brand names and products, but partial sponsorship came from Focal, Mosconi, Stinger and Oznium.com.



COMPLETED PICS

The signal starts with what appears to be a normal OEM Acura TL headunit, all the stock functions will work as before, rear view camera, radio and CD play back:



Pop open the glove box and a rack housing a Zapco DRC-SL remote control unit and a digital voltmeter is revealed. The outer portion is trimmed in OEM cream ivory vinyl while the trim is a red suede like material. Having the DRC up front enables front seat tuning and instant preset adjustment:



The front stage utilizes Focal's Utopia Beryllium No.7 three way component set. The 6w3 Be woofer is installed into fiberglass kick panels, molded off the stock panel and wrapped in ivory tan vinyl. Here they are with the Focal grilles snapped in place:





The 3" Utopia midrange and the TBe tweeter went into a set of custom molded A pillar pods, with the two drivers on the same plane firing across. The mod is trimmed in tan grille cloth. Here they are with the Focal grilles in place:




A shot of the entire front stage with grilles attached:


And here is everything with the grilles removed, showing off the Be drivers in all their glory:









Moving onto the trunk, here is what you see when you lift up the lid. A complete boxed trunk design with all new panels was fabricated. All the outer panels are wrapped in graphite colored Alcantara, while the trim is the same red suede like material found on the glovebox rack. Three Mosconi amplifiers reside in a vertically oriented U-shaped rack, with a AS300.2 on the left sending 300 watts RMS to each kick panel mounted Utopia midbass woofer, a AS200.4 in the middle powering the midrange and tweeter with 200 watts a piece, and another AS300.2 on the right sending 1100 watts RMS bridged (4ohms) to the subwoofer. The sub – a Focal K2P 33KX 13” subwoofer, is inverted on the floor, while dual Zapco DSP6 signal processors take up the rack in front. All the major pieces of equipment sit in their own wells lined with red “suede”, with vertical sidewalls that is interrupted by a layer of frosted Plexiglas. On the roof of the trunk there is another panel with a small red strip at the back trimmed by more red “suede”; (We will get to that later) while a opening on the room panel allows bass to vent into the cabin properly.

It’s a bit hard to proper describe the overall look with words, so I will just post the pics…it was hard for me to find the right angle to make it look right, and I do believe that this pics really don’t do this one justice.























So now let us take a closer look at the lighting. The frosted Plexiglas rings are all edge-lit with Osmium’s Million colored RGB water proof LED ribbons. Over 40 feet of the stuff was used throughout the trunk. A two channel RGB controller allows me call up virtually any color under the sun via credit-card sized remote control. The Little red strip at the top of the trunk is actually a programmable LED signboard I took out of its original casing and molded into a new rack. Using another larger remote control, I can program up to 9 custom messages to be scrolled across the screen…a feature that I haven’t really seen before in car audio and something I thought could add a little creativity and uniqueness to the overall project.

Here is everything fired up:



Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 05-16-2011   #2
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

OUTSTANDING!!!

The trunk seems a bit out of place, but, the fit and finish is typical Bing, so well done! that car should do very well in the lanes if tuned properly. the A-Pillars look excellent and so do the kicks! Well done Bing, well done!

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Old 05-16-2011   #3
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

holy cow Bing. thats one amazing looking install! i bet it sounds amazing with the product choice and locations. i'd be more than proud to get those scores. Keep it up man, enjoy your vacation

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Old 05-16-2011   #4
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

beautiful! great install and love the detailed description. this is 'build log porn' for me!
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Old 05-16-2011   #5
 
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

I have a 2006 TL and I have to say, very impressive. Lots of detailed work in that car!

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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Top draw Bing !!!!!
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Old 05-16-2011   #7
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

But of course, this kind of display is best seen at night or indoors, so here are a bunch of pictures taken in semi-darkened garage, showing off the few basic colors of the lighting and with the message “install by simplicity in sound” scrolling across the signboard:












Here pics fall a little bit short in conveying the full effect, so here is a video I made up of the lighting, complete with a song from my favorite artist, for your viewing pleasure.

[YOUTUBE]
[/YOUTUBE]


OEM Source Unit Modification

Learning from our experiences on the previous installs, we felt that one of the biggest limitations to sound quality was from the OEM source unit. The signal voltage coming out of it is VERY weak, verified to be far under a single volt of maximum clean output, with high level background noise and just in general, not very detailed. So we focused our attention initially, on integrating an aftermarket source unit to the car. While this solves a lot of our problems for SQ, it does present other issues, chief among which is cosmetic integration, as no matter how much we try, it won’t look that stock with a unit placed below the stock screen, single or double din. By talking with Kirk Proffit, a SQ world champion running the same car, he mentioned that Matt Roberts (MATT R) can build a very good line driver unit for the car. So the conversation started with Matt on that basis, it soon evolved into upgrading the entire unit to become a true audiophile source while still retaining full stock cosmetics and functionality. I then contacted fellow Team Lotus member Natan Budiono, also a SQ world champion, to help with coming up internal schematics for the unit, as Natan was heavily involved in the design of the Acura OEM source unit (and also the new VW Fender audio system). Soon, Matt got the schematic in hand and started working his magic.

The series of pictures below documents the awesome work that Matt did, being a total NON-electrical guy, I have almost zero idea what they do except that they really seem to make the headunit sound much better. As the headunit was the LAST thing that went into the vehicle, I had a chance to A/B demo the original unit in the car and the one that Matt modified on an otherwise completed build. The difference, to say the least, awesome! The new deck almost doubled the stock voltage, the noise floor is much lower, but listening to highly detailed tracks such as Keith Don’t Go, what appeared to be a series of muffled and jumbled notes all of a sudden came out crystal clear, I started noticing detail in the music I never even realized was there. And keep in mind that NOTHING else changed, no tuning, no placement of anything, just headunit swap…wow…

Anyway, here are the pics, I tried my best to make the descriptions accurate based on Matt’s notes, but since I don’t understand them at all, I apologize if I made any silly mistakes

Photos below are courtesy of Matt R.


Stock Circuit board prior to modification


Stock circuit board with the mute circuit on the left and original op-amps


New Texas Instrument model # TI burr brown OPA 4820 op-amps installedMute circuit removed to simplify signal path


Stock coupling capacitors


Stock coupling capacitors removed (above) and comparison with new Panasonic WFA 2.2uf polypropylene coupling capacitors


stock analog power supply filter capacitor


Nichicon Muse Power supply decoupling capacitors installedPanasonic FC power supply filter capacitors installed



Close up of Panasonic FC 3300uf power supply filter capacitor


Elna Silmic II and Panasonic ECQ capacitors were used for local decoupling of the output devices


Epcos MKP 22uf polypropylene final output coupling capacitors



New remote turn on circuitry added



Various capacitors and devices installed and glued to circuit board




Factory signal tapped at pins to provide new simblink signal output


Construction of new simblink output cables


Construction of simblink output cables soldering point at terminal end



New simblink output female ends



Central grounding location


Pass through point for simblink output cables on back plate of chassis


New simblink cables being route through the chassis back plate



Reassembled OEM Acura TL Headunit with new simblink and remote-turn on output cables





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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 05-16-2011   #8
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi


Front Stage Construction

The key difference this time around for front stage was the placement of the midbass and midrange. Previously, the midbass have always been in the doors and the midrange in the kicks. We decided that this time, the midbass would go into the kicks, pushed far forward, as it would eliminate the buzzing that the doors sometimes suffer despite an insane amount of sound proofing, it would also help in creating a deeper stage. The midrange on the other hand, was molded into the A pillars close to and on the same plane as, the tweeter.

The balance was still to achieve a high level of SQ while not looking too weird, bulky and vision blocking…so after some listening with the old system, and following what Focal suggested, I came up with a design that faces roughly 30 degrees off axis with the opposite listener. It achieved a very deep and high stage with a solid center and not looking too protrusive.

Effort was spent on decoupling the midbass kick panel from the floor to reduce tactile vibrations, an issue I know well from my own car, and also just over build everything and make things as precise as possible in terms of fit and finish.


So here goes:

OEM carpet and padding trimmed around kick panel areaMetal cleaned for better adhesion


Layer of blackhole 5 sound proofing installed to decouple kick panel from floor


Closed cell foam installed over blackhole 5 and surround areas


Identical procedure on passenger side




OEM kick panel snapped in, area masked off and marked


Identical procedure on passenger side


OEM kick panel scuffed with 36 grit sand paper to promote adhesion15 layers of 7.6oz fiberglass cloth laid down


Once cured, layer of duraglas/resin mixture brushed on to prevent warping


Identical procedure on passenger side



Kick panel base mold removed from vehicle


Base molds trimmed to desired shape and cutout for ventingAdditional layer of duraglas applied to smooth out the shapeHoles drilled into kick panel to allow duraglas to securely bond with OEM plastic


Two layers of Second Skin Deamplifier Pro installed onto base mold


Base mold approximately 3/8” thick of solid fiberglass


Ring baffles for Focal Br woofers aimed and attached to base mold


Final test fitment of base mold/baffle in the vehicle


Mold cloth pulled across the frame, stapled to OEM plastic where need be


Resin applied and allowed to cure


Pods trimmed and sanded to form basic shape


Combination of Duraglas and body filler applied to smooth out overall shape


Another view of sanded kick pods


Interior of kick panel reinforced with chop-strand matAdditional quart of Duraglas/resin mixture per pod poured into cavity for extra strengthWalls of pod over 3.8” thick


Modeling clay applied to all interior surfaces of pod


Later of Deamplifer pro sound proofing placed over the clay for additional resonance prevention and to hold clay in place


Make-your-own-thread inserts secured to mounting baffle


Closer look at inserts


Pods wrapped in tan vinyl and dyed to match with SEM Classic Coat Acura Ivory Interior paint


Focal 6w3 Be woofers wired with proper termination and Techflex


Woofers installed into kick panel pods with supplied hardware


Another view of kick panels with woofers loaded



Focal grilles snapped into place


12 gauge speaker cables leading up to driver side kick panel properly labeled and terminated


Driver side kick panel wiring connection


Identical procedure on passenger side



A-pillar pod mounting baffles precisely fabricated


Test fitment of Focal Be Midrange and tweeter cup


Focal TBe tweeter cup bonded to baffle, top surface ground down to promote adhesion


Focal tweeter cup molded into baffleInterior wall of cup ground down to allow room for upholstery

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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 05-16-2011   #9
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Another view of prepped a-pillar pod baffle


Baffles precisely aimed and attached to OEM a-pillar cover



Mold cloth pulled across frame and stapled to OEM plastic



Resin applied and allowed to cure


Pod trimmed, body filler applied and sanded smooth



Interior walls of pods reinforced with ½ quart of Duraglas/resin mixture each


Layer of modeling clay installed to reduce resonance


Additional later of Deamplifier pro installed into pod to further reduce resonance and to hold clay in placeLayer of Deamplifier pro also applied to back surface of OEM pillar trim


Pods painted tan to prevent body filler from showing through upholstery


Pods wrapped in light tan premium grade grille cloth for best OEM appearance



Focal Be midranges and tweeters properly wired up and terminated


Focal Be midrange and tweeters installed into pod using supplied hardware


Another view of loaded a-pillar pods



Focal grilles snapped into place


Close up of focal grilles


Back side of loaded a-pillar pods


14 gauge speakerwires leading up to the driver side a-pillar properly labeled and terminated


Driver side a-pillar pod wiring termination


Identical procedure on passenger side


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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi


System Wiring


I have always been pretty careful to wiring organization and tie downs, but this car I decided to take it up another notch. Other than routing things carefully and precisely, I wanted to focus on two key points.

1. Virtually EVERY INCH of wiring has been wrapped in techflex, terminated with heatshrink and junction points at connectors or barrier strips labeled for easy identification. And by every inch I mean it, even down to something as small as power/ground cables for the LED lighting strips, remote turn on wire and system control cord for the DRC is done like this. Out of hundreds of feet of wiring I added to the install, total non techflexed cables add together to a few inches, and those are at places that are impractical or impossible to slide the right size sleeve over.

2. This point continues to the trunk fabrication, and is a total first for me. There are ZERO SCREWS in the entire install, not very few, but ZERO. Even a tiny barrier strip or wire tie down clips, basically where ever a screw can be used, has been done with a T-nut or threaded insert and then cap bolts. Structural items are always done with lock washers and washers, and the main pieces of gear are installed with higher security bolts with a trapezoid shaped head and center pin. In all, I used:

43 T-nuts
99 threaded inserts
142 threaded cap bolts
81 washers
81 locks washers

This turned out to be quite time consuming as you can imagine, instead of 10 seconds it takes to shoot two screws to secure a simple barrier strip, the MDF have to be first parked and punched precisely at the mounting holes, then pilot holes drilled, inserts tapped or screwed into place, the wood sanded to get rid of any lift, vacuumed, and then the piece can be mounted with the bolt. Took about 5 minutes for each item. Total hours spent on just wiring related items (not counting for the amp racks themselves), was roughly 40 hours.


Dual 0 gauge main power cables with techflex


14 gauge speaker cables for midrange and tweeter with techflex


12 gauge speaker cables for woofer with techflex


Main Zapco simblink cables with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Zapco simblink cables between line driver and headunit with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Zapco simblink cables ends for unused outputs on DSP6-SL with techflex, heatshrink and labels


14 gauge main remote turn on cable with techflex


Zapco control cable for DRC-SL with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Stinger SPP2150 battery in custom tray with quad SHT303 dual 0 gauge battery terminalsAll engine bay cables ziptied and secured to car every 8” or less


Close up of Stinger battery and terminalsAll connections terminated with heatshrink


Dual Stinger 200 amp circuit breakers within 18” of battery


Upgraded grounding point number 1


Upgraded grounding point number 2 at driver side strut mount


Upgraded grounding point number 3 at passenger side strut mount


Upgraded grounding point number 4 at engine block


Custom fabricated battery tray utilizing stock mounting bolts


MDF baffle for circuit breakers attached to tray


Tray coated with roll on truck bedliner for durability


Stinger battery prepped with terminal grease


XS-power 556 dual top post adapter plates installedTerminal grease applied


Quad top posts installed with supplied hardware


Threaded inserts for circuit breakers installed into mdf baffle


200 amp Stinger circuit breakers installed with bolts


Stinger circuit breakers wired up


Dual 0 gauge main power cables pass through firewall via plastic grommets


Driver side wiring bundle containing speaker wires run back, ziptied to factory wiring loom every 8” or less




Dual 0 gauge main power cables run back, secured to car every 8” or less




Passenger side wiring bundle containing speaker, signal, control and remote wires run back, ziptied to factory wiring loom every 8” or less




Driver side wiring bundle entry point into trunk


Passenger side wiring bundle entry point into trunk


Wiring bundles routing to correct entry points under rear seat cushion




Wiring bundle inside trunk secured to back amp rack every 8” or less



Date and signature on back amp rack

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Old 05-16-2011   #11
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Wires passing into main floor area via slots built into amp rack



Threaded inserts for subwoofer speaker cable barrier strip


Threaded inserts for power distribution block


Threaded inserts for ground distribution block


Threaded inserts for wiring bundle holders at front of trunk


Subwoofer speaker cable barrier strips wired upColor coded heatshrink terminated and labeled for easy identification


RCA to simblink adapter cables from processors passing into main floor section via pre-cut holePower, ground and remote cables for processors, along with subwoofer speaker cables passing into main floor section via pre-cut hole



Dual Zapco DSP6-SL wired up


Barrier strip for midrange and tweeter wired upColor coded heatshrink for easy identification


Threaded inserts for midrange and tweeter barrier strip installed


Threaded inserts for woofer wired up and threaded inserts installedColor coded heatshrink for easy identification


Barrier strip for midrange and tweeter installed with boltsLabeled for easy identification


Barrier strip for woofer installed with boltsLabeled for easy identification


Threaded inserts for remote cable barrier strip number 1 installed


Barrier strip number 1 for remote cable installed with bolts and labeled for easy identification


Threaded inserts for RGB LED lighting barrier strip installed


Barrier strip for RGB LED lighting installed with boltsColor coded heatshrink and labeled for easy identification


Threaded inserts for auxiliary power/ground barrier strip installed


Barrier strip for auxiliary power/ground cables installed with boltsLabeled for easy identification


Threaded inserts for remote cable barrier strip number 2 installed


Threaded inserts for lighting/sign board/processor fused distribution block installed


Main system grounding point – solid piece of metal uni-body sanded down to bare metal


Dual stinger SPT8212 0 gauge grounding terminals install via bolts


Dual 0 gauge main ground cables with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Dual 0 gauge main ground cables secured to Stinger grounding terminals
Dual 0 gauge main ground cables passing into main floor area via pre cut slots on amp rack



Custom built stinger HPM RCA cables (courtesy of Steve/Whiterabbit) soldering point at male end


Heatshrink at male end of RCA cable


Custom built stinger HPM RCA cable soldering point at female end with heatshrink


Male end secured with heatshrink applied


Female end secured with heatshrink applied


Female end labeled for easy identification


Completed Stinger HPM RCA cables for subwoofer amp


14 gauge remote cable for subwoofer amp with techflex and heatshrink


12 gauge subwoofer speaker cables with techflex and heatshrink


4 gauge power/ground cables for subwoofer amp with techflex and heatshrink


Completed Stinger HPM RCA cables for woofer amp


Dual 12 gauge speaker cables for woofer amp with techflex and heatshrink


14 gauge remote cable for woofer amp with techflex and heatshrink

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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 05-16-2011   #12
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

4 gauge power/ground cables for woofer amp with techflex and heatshrink


Completed Stinger HPM RCA cables for midrange/tweeter amp


14 gauge remote cable for midrange/tweeter amp with techflex and heatshrink


4 gauge power/ground cables for midrange/tweeter amp with techflex and heatshrink


14 gauge speaker cables for midrange/tweeter amp with techflex and heatshrink


Dual 12 gauge speaker cables for dual voice coils with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Dual 16 gauge power/ground/remote cables for Zapco DSP6 with techflex, heatshrink and labels wired to Zapco terminal


Zapco Simblink to RCA cable, network cables for DSP6-SL with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Remote and LED wire bundle at the back of trunk, secured every 8” or less


Complete driver side wiring bundle, fully secured and bundled, RCA connection points reinforced with heatshirnk






RGB LED remote control module installed and wired up


Complete passenger side wiring bundle, fully secured and bundledDual SHD-21 distribution blocks for main power/groundSPD5622 MAXI fused distribution block for lighting, signboard and processors






Wiring bundle organization behind driver side amp rack



RGB LED control cables twisted and passing through grommet


Quick disconnects in place for easy service and replacement of LED strips


Wiring bundle organization behind passenger side amp rack



RGB LED control cables twisted and passing through grommet


Quick disconnects in place for easy service and replacement of LED strips


RGB LED control cables twisted and passing through grommet on center amp rack


Remote IR eye for RGB LED controller secured to trunk sill panel


Remote eye for RGB LED controller visible through trunk sill panel


Wiring termination of Focal subwoofer



Main floor panel can be removed with no tools in under 30 seconds for full access to key wiring points

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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi



Trunk Fabrication



After removing the old system, I was left with a few challenges. There was no OEM trunk carpet left for me to pull cloth to and form the shape, so everything has to be fabricated new. I also had quite a bit of gear to fit properly, three big amps, two dsp6s, a big sub and all the lighting enclosure and cosmetic spacing requirements. After a good two days of trying out multiple layouts, in the end this was basically the only one that worked well. Thing had to be very precise as if I am off by more than 1/8 of an inch in many places, things wouldn’t look right or fit right. I thought about tilting the side amps a lil bit, but that would leave not enough room for the wiring bundles on either side of the sub and processor racks. There are a few key points I wanna focus on this aspect of the install.

1. All the outer trim panels are wrapped in a single piece of Alcantara, no stitching. This was especially difficult on the two side pieces, where there are multiple compound and concave curves and two basic dimensional planes…took about 3 hours for each side to figure out. All the outer panels are also attached via quick release snaps, so everything can be removed by hand.

2. For trim, I decided to use flocking. Cardinal red nylon fibers were used on 21 pieces total in the trunk. Each well for example, is actually four separate pieces, a base plate to mount the equipment on, and series of match routed rings to build up the side wall. Two of the ½” mdf rings were mated together to form a 1” ring at the bottom, and then a layer of ½” match routed Plexiglas that’s 1/8” smaller on the outer diameter to allow for the LED strips, and then another layer of ½” mdf flocked, and finally a top opening that has to be match routed as well. Everything was built down to 1/16” tolerances, and I wasted a ton of wood on stuff that was off only marginally.

3. Each flocked piece had to be prepped this way:

A. The wood sanded smooth and any imperfections or scratches removed
B. The surface was then sealed with resin to prevent the flocking adhesive to soak in
C. On the double ½” mdf rings that are joined, the joint had to be filled with filler and smoothed out to make it appear like a single piece
D. Then all the surfaces was hit with red primer so the color of the wood doesn’t show through the end flocking color
E. Finally all the surfaces were flocked individually.In all, about 40 hours was spent on just prepping and flocking the pieces, going through roughly 4 lbs of the fibers.

4. Again, no screws used at all in the build
5. The LED signboard has to be very carefully taken out of its original casing, and a custom rack made for it, since the IR eye is on the front of the sign, the outer opening had to be made precisely so all the lettering show through and the IR eye exposed. Routing such small pieces to fine tolerances took me a few tries.


Trunk floor sound proofed with two layers of Second Skin Deamplifier ProOEM navigation module wires repaired and extended


Trunk lid sound proofedPower/ground and video cables for reverse camera repaired, extended and bundled to factory wiring every 8” or less


Power/ground and video cables for reverse camera repaired, extended and bundled to factory wiring every 8” or less


T-nuts bonded to floor using HD epoxy-weld for OEM navigation module mounting


Rack fabricated for OEM navigation moduleOEM navigation module mounted and wired upNAV-TV video interface module mounted and wired up

Trunk roof panel cut and assembled


Slanted transition piece added to trunk roof panel joint


Trunk roof panel test fitted in vehicle, attached with bolts


LED sign board in original casing


LED sign circuit board removed from original casing


New casing for LED sign board fabricated out of ½” MDF and test fitted


New casing for LED sign board


Front cosmetic cover for LED sign board fabricated out of ¼” MDF


Front and back casing for LED sign board


Low heat plastic flush mounting boarder attached to casing for LED sign board



Test fitment of LED signboard to new casing


LED sign board casing attached to trunk roof pane
l



Completed trunk roof panel attached to vehicle and mold cloth pulled across frame, secured by OEM weather stripping


Resin applied to mold cloth and allowed to cure


Trunk roof panel piece removed from vehicle


Trunk roof panel trimmed and sanded to desired shape


Filler applied to panel and sanded smooth



Trunk roof panel wrapped with single piece of alcantara





LED sign board attached to casing and wired up



Grille mesh attached to cut out for proper venting of low frequency energy


Front trim panel for LED sign board sanded smooth


Front trim panel for LED signboard sealed with resin


Painted with red primer to prevent color differential post flocking


Flocked with cardinal red nylon fibers


Spare tire well cleaned up


Spare tire well taped off


One cubic foot of volume measured out with Styrofoam peanuts


Two cubic feet of airspace measured out in the spare tire well


20 layers of 7.6oz cloth laid down into well

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Old 05-16-2011   #14
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Cured mold is removed from vehicle



Mold trimmed to desired shapeSupport platform for top baffle temporarily glued into place


Mold trimmed to desired shapeSupport platform for top baffle temporarily glued into placeVerified with level to be precisely flat


Subwoofer enclosure top baffle fabricated and outer edge rabbet-routed


Top baffle secured to enclosure aligned by support platform, verified to be flatSupport platform then removed from enclosure


Mold cloth pulled over the entire frame


Once cured, the enclosure is trimmed and rough sanded to the desired shape


Subwoofer enclosure removed from vehicle




15 layers of cloth is used to reinforce the sidewalls of sub enclosure


Enclosure sanded and smoothed out with body filler



Holes cut out for subwoofer and ports




Spacer/mounting plate for subwoofer fabricated


Spacer/mounting plates for ports fabricated


Outer port flanges attached with HD epoxy-weld


Port mounting plates secured and sealed to subwoofer enclosure




Threaded inserts for attachment of main floor piece installed



Port flange counter sunk into panel



Port assembly attached with HD epoxy-weldDual 3” ports x 13.5” - 34hz



Clearance holes drilled for subwoofer mounting bolts


Threaded inserts for subwoofer mounting installed onto spacer baffle


Hole drilled for subwoofer enclosure mounting bolt


Mounting bolt, lock washer and washer inserted from inside of enclosure


Nylon lock nut attached from below the vehicle floo
r

Bolt and nut Sealed against the elements with undercoating


Initial fabrication of main floor piece


Mounting strips for side amp racks fabricated with 8 t-nuts per side


Mounting strips secured to main floor piece


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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:16 PM..
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Side amp rack mounting baffles lined up with mounting stripsBlack spray paint used to locate t-nuts mounting points



Side amp rack mounting baffles with spray paint markings


Side amp rack mounting baffles with holes drilled out for bolts


all mounting points test fitted with bolts, washers and lock washers



Front amp rack mounting baffle fabricated with holes for t-nuts/bolts


Back of front amp rack mounting baffle with support bracket and t-nuts attached


Black spray paint used to locate t-nut mounting points for front amp rack mounting baffle on main floor


t-nuts for front amp rack supports installed into main floor piece


t-nuts installed into side amp rack mounting baffles



Center section of main floor piece cut out



Front and side amp rack mounting baffles secured to main floor piece using brackets, bolts, washers and lock washers







Fully secured main floor piece with all three amp racks






Center floor baffle with holes cut out for sub and portsThreaded inserts installed for attachment of equipment and sidewall ring baffles



Close up of various threaded inserts for attachment of equipment and sidewall ring baffles


Spacer ring for subwoofer attached to bottom of center floor mounting baffle


Support beam for center floor baffle added to main floor pieceMain floor piece attached to sub enclosure with bolts, washers and lock washers


Close up of bolt, washer and lock washer


Center floor baffle test fitted in vehicle


Stack of ½” MDF pieces cut to appropriate dimensions for side wall ring baffles


Jigs for various side wall ring baffles measured out


Jigs for side wall ringbaffles fabricated


Stack of mdf rings match routed to jigs for side wall ring baffle construction


Match routed ½” Plexiglas rings for side wall ring baffle lighting

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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Amp rack side wall ring baffles test assembled


Mounting holes drilled through side wall pieces for bolts


Side cosmetic trim pieces fabricated


Amp racks with sidewall baffles and side cosmetic trim pieces test fitted to vehicle.


Holes drilled into side cosmetic trim pieces for quick release snaps


Additional attachment pieces for mold cloth secured to side cosmetic trimOuter edge of trim pieces rabbet routed


Mold cloth stapled to side trim piece, pulled and secured with OEM weather stripping




Resin applied to mold cloth and allowed to cure
Additional layer of Duraglas/resin mixture brushed on to prevent warping



Complete side trim piece removed from vehicle


Both side pieces molded to shape and sanded smooth with Duraglas and body fillerTest fitted in vehicle



Center floor and front trim panel fabricated and tested fitted in vehicle




Front amp rack mounting baffle sealed with resin


Front amp rack mounting baffle after red primer to prevent color differential post flocking


Driver side amp rack mounting baffle sealed with resin


Driver side amp rack mounting baffle after red primer to prevent color differential post flocking


Passenger side amp rack mounting baffle sealed with resin


Passenger side amp rack mounting baffle after red primer to prevent color differential post flocking


Center floor trim sealed with resin


Center floor trim after red primer to prevent color differential post flocking


Subwoofer mounting/spacer plate sealed with resin


Inner edge of single piece sections of sidewall baffle rings sealed with resin


Dual piece sections of sidewall baffle rings bonded together, sealed with resin and then blended with body fillerProcess is repeated 10 times for all 5 double stacked baffle rings


Inner edge of side wall baffle rings after red primer to prevent color differential post flockingProcess repeated 10 times for all baffle rings


Front amp rack mounting baffle after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers


Driver side amp rack mounting baffle after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers


Passenger side amp rack mounting baffle after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers


Center floor trim baffle after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers



Subwoofer mounting/spacer baffle after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers


Sidewall baffle rings after flocking with cardinal red nylon fibers




All Plexiglas rings are clouded with 60 and 150 grit sandpaper


Assembly of front amp rackFirst, a double ring baffle is placed onto the main mounting board


Next is the Plexiglas ring


Topped by a single ring baffleNote male snaps attached to the outer ring


The rings are test secured to the main amp rack board with 2.5” bolts, washers and lock washers


Sidewall ring baffle ready for LED strips


HD double sided mounting tape is placed onto the outer edge of the Plexiglas rings


RGB LED strips are then secured to the tape


A layer of electrical tape is added to prevent light leaking through

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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Completed structure is secured back onto the main amp rack baffle for test fitment


Trapezoid-head high-security bolts used to mount all amplifiers


Mosconi AS200.4 amplifier for midrange and tweeters secured to front amp rack baffle
All wires attached to amplifier with proper termination


Side wall ring baffle is bolted back in place around the amplifier


All wires are bundled and secured to the back of the amp rack every 8” or less


Entire process is repeated on the driver side amp rack
















Entire process is repeated on the passenger side amp rack













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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:17 PM..
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Entire process is repeated also for the subwoofer and processor sections on the center floor trim

















All wires for processors and subwoofer routed to their correct locationDual Zapco dsp6-sl mounted and wired up
Grille mesh secured under port cutout
All cables bundled and secured to the bottom of center floor trim every 8” or less
Grille mesh secured under port cutout



Dual Zapco dsp6-sl mounted with trapezoid-head high-security bolts


Focal 33KX subwoofer mounted with trapezoid-head high-security bolts


Female snaps installed onto side trim piece





Female snaps installed onto front trim piece



Female snaps installed onto floor trim piece



Front of panels blended in with body filler, test fitment onto amp rack




OEM trunk sill piece installed, edge contours matched with additional layer of Duraglas


Completed passenger side trim piece




Passenger side trim wrapped with a single piece of AlcantaraExcess material for pulling over the edge of trunk to be tied down by weather stripping



Completed driver side trim piece



Driver side trim wrapped with a single piece of AlcantaraExcess material for pulling over the edge of trunk to be tied down by weather stripping



Completed front trim piece


Front trim piece wrapped with a single piece of AlcantaraTop portions hide trunk roof mounting bolts


Completed floor trim piece with raised front corners to accommodate wiring



Floor trim piece wrapped with a single piece of Alcantara

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Last edited by simplicityinsound; 05-16-2011 at 02:17 PM..
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

MISC

Here are some various install pics that didn’t fit into the other categories.



The Matt Roberts Modified (MRM) Acura source unit installed in OEM bracket


Simblink balanced output and remote turn on cables from MRM source unit connected


Simblink connection reinforced with heatshrink


Dual Zapco SLB-U line drivers secured showing wiring organizationSimblink cables with techflex, heatshrink and labels


Zapco DRC control cable and power/ground cable for digital voltmeter routed to glove box with techflex, heatshrink and label


Zapco DRC-SL and digital voltmeter connected


Front fascia for glove box rack for DRC-SL and digital voltmeter


Mounting baffle for DRC-SL and digital voltmeter


Mounting baffle sealed with resin


Front fascia wrapped In tan vinyl and dyed to match OEM interiorMounting baffle flocked with cardinal red nylon fibers


Two pieces joined, DRC-SL and digital voltmeter installed


Rear view of glove box rack


Test fitment of rack in glove box


Fuse box relocated to gain room for kick panel enclosure (done previously by another party)


Alarm system brain tucked high near firewall behind dash (done previously by another party)


Bottom of under dash panel lined with foam to reduce reflection (another party)


Various interior panels lined with CCF to prevent rattles (another party)





Rear deck sound proofed (another party)




Remote controllers for LED sign board and RGB lighting



So That’s it…a whopping 540ish pics

Basically everything in this install tested my ability experience, and most of all, patience and attention to detail to its limits. Sitting there with a half built trunk, looking at the six bags of inserts, t-nuts, bolts and washers after spending 10 mins doing just two tends to give you a sinking feeling But now that it’s done, I am very happy to say that the effort was well worth it.

Just this past Saturday the car debuted at my first car audio competition here in San Jose, where working with unbroken in speakers and a awesome baseline tune by Scott Welch, the car easily won his class and scored the second highest SQ score out of the entire show of more than two dozen cars with a 84.0 (second to Scott’s own badass charger by just .25 pts and destroying my own car by a good 6 pts). Giving the complex presentation for the first time ever, Mike also did very well on install and scoring a 93.5, good enough for second place behind Steve’s insanely engineered Mazda 6 (those who know that car knows what I mean ?)…and again beating my own car, which usually ranks among the top 2 or 3 cars in terms of install scores at comps, by a healthy 6 points! With more tuning and practice, I hope to see both scores improve as the season goes along…and hope to make it there to finals and SBN!

If you have managed to read the words of this entire log, I cannot thank you enough, as it took me three full days just to organize it and put it up

I leave you with a pic that my friend Jeff at www.photoshootmycar.com designed for the project, it is printed on a pedestal stand next to the vehicle at shows…simply gorgeous!

Now I am ready for my long awaited vacation to the OBX of North Carolina!

Cheers,

Bing


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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

I think you need to pay more attention to detail.
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Old 05-16-2011   #21
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

OMG this is awesome
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Old 05-16-2011   #22
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

After seeing all of the hints about what you were working on, I was really looking forward to seeing this. Incredible work - huge amount of pride on this one. You deserve a vacation! Loved the video by the way - great way to show the artistic value of the build. Great Job!

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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

Bing, Truly amazing work. I'm impressed.
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Old 05-16-2011   #24
 
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Default Re: The Biggest Project I Have Ever Taken On by Myself :) SQ TL version 3.0 - 500+ pi

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Originally Posted by Tambiengabriel View Post
I think you need to pay more attention to detail.
dammit Chavez!!! I blew coffee all over my office
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Old 05-16-2011   #25
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Can't wait to get home to check this out. My Tapatalk app is about shutdown the entire CDMA network... Lol!

2015 Lexus GS350 F Sport - Stock

2007 Chevy Tahoe Z71- Alpine X009-GM / Focal ES 165K2 / JL Audio SB-GM-TAHOCNSL-10W1v3 / Arc Audio 1100.5
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