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Old 03-24-2013   #1
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Default 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

I swore this time it would be a, "Wait until it's finished, and THEN do a Build log" - but just can't resist posting this up for the interested Subaru owners out there.

We recently acquired a 2012 Subaru Forester, and even my wife admitted during the test drive that the radio, had to go. Since I had quite a bit of items left over from the WRX Build that wasn't ever completed, it was decided to try and incorporate most into this build. After multiple listening tests, back and forths, and a few stalls - it is decided. The list of equipment being used, is as follows:

Eclipse CD8443 as the source unit, with CH3083 8-disc CD Changer
JL audio C3-650 Component Set
JL audio C2-650x Coaxial Speakers
JL Audio XD-PCS4-2B Dual amplifier Wiring Kit
JL Audio XD-PCS4-1B Single Amplifier Wiring Kit
JL Audio XD-BTS Battery Connector with red logo for positive terminal
JL Audio XD-BTS Battery Connector with black logo for negative terminal
JL Audio XB-CLRAIC2-18 RCA Interconnects (three of these)
JL Audio XA-CLR9CON-20 9 Conductor Speed Wire
JL Audio XA-SWA-SX16 16ga Speaker Connectors
Tidal Audio MB-S5800 Five-channel amplifier
Helix Esprit E12W 12" Shallow Mount Subwoofer

The plan is to install the coax in the rear doors using Birch baffles, the C3 mids into the front doors with Birch baffles, and then mold the C3 tweeters into each front door sail panel.

The amp and subwoofer will be installed into a false floor enclosure, replacing the underfloor storage tray above the spare tire. Keeping the spare tire is a must, no compromises here.

I will be using Sound Deadener Showdown Products as much as possible during this build. Don has always treated me right, and his products have never done wrong by me.

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Old 03-24-2013   #2
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

I'll get started with some pictures of installing the C3 comps - here is what was started with, just some 3/4" Birch plywood:



Using a combination of the supplied template from JL Audio, and the factory speakers - an 8" round circle was determined to be the best starting point:



From there, it was just a matter of using a circle cutting bit in the drillpress, and then a bandsaw to cut out the rough shape. A few minutes on the belt/disc sander cleaned everything up:


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Old 03-24-2013   #3
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Some Butyl Rope Adhesive from Sound Deadener Showdown provides the perfect decoupling material, plus providing an excellent seal around the baffle:



Predrilled the door mounting holes, and countersunk the screw heads because the frame of the C3 woofer would be touching, and not seal properly:



Ran new Wire from the crossovers to the mids and tweeters. I am using the factory Wire as the input to the crossover. Went ahead and ran the 16ga wire here though, in case an upgrade to the factory harness is needed in the future:



And here is the C3 mid mounted in the baffle:


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Old 03-24-2013   #4
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Pictures of the storage tray that I will be using as a template for the false floor enclosure:








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Old 03-24-2013   #5
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Head unit has been swapped out already so I could familiarize myself with the Eclipse CD8443. I'll be going back in and modifying the harness, and running the new wires and RCA's soon though.

Factory stinker:



And the CD8443:


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Old 03-24-2013   #6
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Pictures of the sail panel modification. This is just temporary, don't be too harsh on me yet. This was just to get the aiming proper. They are positioned a different angle now.



Marked for drilling using a hole cutting bit in the drill:



Slow and steady paves the way:





And epoxied the tweeter cups to the sail panel cutout to try and get the best aiming.




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Old 03-24-2013   #7
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Guess I can throw in some pictures of the Tidal amp:





Got Power Supply?


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Old 03-24-2013   #8
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

So that's where we stand right now. Waiting on the last pair of RCA cables, and still need to order more dampener. Planning to seal up the doors with access panels, instead of just covering them with dampener like I usually do. My wife has decided we are keeping the Forester for quite some time, so I want it to be repair friendly if need be.

Looks like the positive Power cable will need to be tweaked just a bit in order to use the JL Battery Terminals, but shouldn't be too bad. I found a great spot to route the Wire into the cabin, and a handy bracket that will make the perfect spot for mounting the JL fuse holder.

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Looks good man. Wish I had that much room on top on my spare tire in my 05.
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Old 03-24-2013   #10
 
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

looks real good chithead, and yeah thats what my sail pannels look like maybe we can put those tweets in there, not sure how big the rf tweeters are though. i really like that butyl rope, i think i am going to put a piece of dampener between my spacers and doors.

That amp is impressive too holy crap Power supply.
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Old 03-24-2013   #11
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Those Fosgate tweeters are pretty big, but I think we can make them fit. Butyl Rope adhesive is my duct tape. I use it more than any other adhesive, that's for sure.

Can't wait to get started on your install too!

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

that forester is going to be a nice setup. mine wont compare it will be budget as all hell
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Old 03-24-2013   #13
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Some of my best sounding installs have been budget builds. With the solid equipment you've picked put, I think it will be very enjoyable.

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

i just want to hear this forester when its done.
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Old 03-24-2013   #15
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

See, this is why I should wait on the Build logs. Now I'm debating on whether it's worth swapping out the Tidal amplifier, for the Arc XXD5080 I also have. It's smaller, and uses less amperage. Which is a plus for the 90amp alternator the Forester comes with.






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Old 03-24-2013   #16
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Oh and for anyone curious how to strip the outer jacket of the JL Speed Wire - well, I can't say the best method. But this is the only way I could do it without nicking any of the inside wires.

First, take the strippers and score a thin line around the jacket, not just to mark how far down you need to go, but for help here in a minute:





Once you have that line marked, and made sure not to nick any inside wires by cutting too deep, then it's time to open up the jacket down to that line. I have a very small pair of cutters that worked very well during this. The blue Wire works perfect every time, there is enough room around it to get the nipper in there (or a knife also, but just be VERY careful not to cut the wire, or your hand!):



After carefully cutting down to your line, then pull the wire bundle away from the outer jacket:



Using the cutters, you can then make a nip right on the line you scored earlier:



Once that is done, simply grab the outer jacket, and tear it along the scored line (this is the real reason I did this, makes it much easier to remove):



And there you go! 9 wires now accessible, and ready to be connected:


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Old 03-24-2013   #17
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Quote:
Originally Posted by chithead View Post
See, this is why I should wait on the Build logs. Now I'm debating on whether it's worth swapping out the Tidal amplifier, for the Arc XXD5080 I also have. It's smaller, and uses less amperage. Which is a plus for the 90amp alternator the Forester comes with.
Leave your wires long, try the Tidal, then try the Arc.
Once you are happy with 1 or the other, do the final install.
Problem solved

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Old 03-24-2013   #18
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notloudenuf View Post
Leave your wires long, try the Tidal, then try the Arc.
Once you are happy with 1 or the other, do the final install.
Problem solved
Ok Good advice


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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Quote:
Originally Posted by chithead View Post
Ok Good advice

Sweet! Either will have their ups/downs you get to decide

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 obs View Post
i just want to hear this forester when its done.
You don't understand how funny this statement is considering who's doing the build.

It will be great. I'm ready to see the finished product.

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

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Originally Posted by Notloudenuf View Post
Sweet! Either will have their ups/downs you get to decide



You don't understand how funny this statement is considering who's doing the build.

It will be great. I'm ready to see the finished product.
ohh i do he was working on that wrx for like a year and got maybe 1/4 of the way done
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Old 03-24-2013   #21
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Well technically, this Build has been going on for quite some time behind the scenes. I just wanted to wait until all the final decisions were made before starting the log. The amp debate has been going on for quite some time now. Still leaning towards the Tidal though, because the Arc can always go into a family members Build later on.

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Is th arc apm hooked up? I was looking at that earlier today as an option for my next build, but found some reviews/posts about some noise in them. Have you noticed any of that with the amp?

I've never used the birch for spacers, but is there any concern with moisture being in the doors? I mean I know it is wood, but I'd think that over time it could still be affected by moisture in the door.

Last edited by crx4luke; 03-24-2013 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 03-24-2013   #23
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

You're the second person that's told me that actually. It's only been on my test bench, but I have roughly eight hours listening time with it, and have never noticing anything strange at all. No turn on/off pop, white noise, humming, anything. It's a stout little amp for sure.

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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Cool. I hope is good obviously. I look forward to hearing your review of it in the car.
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Default Re: 2012 Subaru Forester Install - JL Audio, Tidal, and Helix

Yeah I'm curious now. I'll have to get it installed into the Forester and take a listen and find out if it indeed has any issues.

Oh the birch! Definitely do plan on weatherproofing those. But they turned out really great, and I got a bit anxious to install them. They will be coming out and getting treated, once it's sound dampener/deadening time.

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