Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :) - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 10-20-2009   #1
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Default Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Been a while since i posted an install, acutally had two back to back big projects, the first one i never got a chance to take completed pics since i am waiting for a photoshoot...

this is the second one

after working on relatively compact imports for so long, it was a nice change of pace to do a big old school american sedan...the car is a 1996 Chevy Impala SS. asbolutely mint car with 17k miles on it!

the goals:

1. created a very good sound quality vehicle with the goals of competing next season. the goal also is to have some very decent low end output

2. utilize equipment that the customer already had (HU, two of the amps etc) with new gear

3. as far as cosmetics go...the original plan was just for a very simple and plain setup, rearward facing subbox and in floor amp rack, with carpet...

but...somewhere in between taking the interior apart and running wires, i realized just how mint the car is...i mean, not a single screw or clip was distrubed, not a single piece of debris under the back seats...the floor mats appears to have NEVER been taking from the car...the car is 100 percent like new condition...

couple that with the fact that i really like this gen impala SS, i decided on myself to do something extra for hte customer interms of looks hehe

4. having said that, the goal cosmetic wise for me then became doing an install that was both clean and cool, but also in the same theme as the vehicle itself. unlike most of my past jobs, this car was unique in that it was niether a show car nor a daily driver. the car is basicaly 100 percent stock with the only mod being a very moderate cat back exhaust system...so i didnt want to over do the cosmetics side to the point that it looked out of place.

stealthiness or usability of the trunk was NOT a consideration, as the car basically never gets driven, only weekend cruises and maybe to comps next year

so...enough backstory, lets get on with it:

gonna include a crap load of pics since i need to make a log book later on for him.

the first shot is of the battery. a HD replacement battery was provided by the customer, to whcih i added the positive battery terminal and the dual 150 amp circuit breakers. dual 0 gauge power cables were run back to the trunk. and a single 8 guage cable goes to the HU power supply. hard to see but all terminals are coated with terminal grease. (the stock wiring attaches to the side posts as usual)



moving into the interior, the signal starts off with a clarion 9255 headunit, we are using it purely as a high end signal source, not any of its IMO limited and extremely hard to use internal processing. the customer provided htis unit.



two quick shots of hte wiring harness and installation of the HU:





the power supply for the 9255 i mounted securely in the glovebox, about hte only place i found that was open and have enough space to mount solidly. cables pass through grommets. also note the USB tuning cable for the zapco DSP6 in the glovebox, to whcih we add an extension and tune.




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Old 10-20-2009   #2
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

the front stage consists of a set of Seas Lotus Reference 6.5" two way components, the midbass was installed into the door, new wires ran into the door of coures.

most of the door received a layer of foam to block road noise, and normal damping material was used around the speaker itself. a baffle was made up to house the 6.5" in the stock 4x6" hole after some minor metal trimming:



close up of hte baffle and the SS pad behind it:



wiring of the speaker:



and with the midbass installed:





the door car recieved its layer of damping as well:


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Old 10-20-2009   #3
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

same goes for the passenger door:











perhaps its a testament of how well the car was kept, but unlike many other GM cars i have worked on of this vintage, the doors came out 100 percent rattle free...even under high midbass output.

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Old 10-20-2009   #4
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

next comes the tweeters, which were molded semi-on axis facing the opposite listener, and trimmed in factory matching vinyl:









a quick shot of the front:



some quick build pics of the pillars...

first the mold was made, and then reinforced from the inside with a resin/duraglass "milkshake", hence the blue color...

somewhere along the lines, while lying in the sun, one of the pillars long thin extension inexplicably warped...so i cut it off, and made my own thin strip out of mdf that is separate from the pillar itself.



next the pillars were blended and sanded smooth:




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Old 10-20-2009   #5
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

then the vinyl went on...since i now went back to spraying HHR top trim adhesive out of an airgun, i can finally not worry about heat related failures anymore lol







wiring of the tweeters:





and a quick shot of the laptop tuning of the zapco DSP6 processor:


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Old 10-20-2009   #6
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

onto the wiring:

the dual 0 gauge cables were routed through the factory harness grommet:



while the 8 guage power cable for the 9255 went throught its own grommet on the passenger side:



the power cables and the driver side speaker wire went down the driver side of the vehicle, both are ziptied at 6" or less:





here is where this bundle passes into the trunk, the cables are wrapped in foam and secured to the metal to prevent slicing:



the signal and speaker wires, along with USB cable and remote wire, went down the passenger side, same deal as the driver side:





the rear deck speakers were removed and the deck treated with sound proofing:





and the stock speaker grilles were dampened as well to prevent buzzing:



onec again, i was totally suprised at the lack of rattles coming from the rear deck...

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Old 10-20-2009   #7
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

now...moving onto the trunk...so here is the theme i came up with.

the idea is to do an "old school" boxed trunk type of design that showcases the subs and the amps. using a mixture of dark grey carpet and lighter gray vinyl (same as interior colors), i hoped to achieve a look that is mild, but classy and blends well with the vehicle.

on the front wall facing rearward, are two IDmax12 subs in a 2.7 cubft sealed enclosure. on the floor, there are three zapco competition amps. two of them, a 9.0 poewring the subs with 2200 watts, and a 6.0 sending 150 watts to each tweeter, was provided by the customer.

this is why these two amps are mismatched, as the 9.0 is of an older vintage. we will be swapping that out with a new 9.0 in the near future for a fully matched look

the remaining amp, a 4.0, is bridged on the midbass, sending 300 watts RMS to each of the lotus 6.5"s.

the entire theme of carpet and vinyl on the same plane is kept throughout the trunk, same goes for the meshed vent theme.

the two side pieces hide the power/ground setup and DSP6, which i will show later.

though its hard to see, i also rewrapped the stock carpet on the back wall with the same material, so when the trunk is open, everyhting is the same color

anyway, enough talking, here are the pics of the finished trunk:












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Old 10-20-2009   #8
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)








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Old 10-20-2009   #9
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

now comes the build pics of the trunk, first the subbox is in place and the wiring bundle passes on either side:







here is the beauty board that goes infront of the subbox, two pieces that fit together:



one trimmed in vinyl and the other in carpet, and then attached together with mesh added. black grille cloth is placed on the back of the mesh so you cant see through it:



so here comes the fun part.

the customer also provided me with a smaller battery to put into the trunk, and with so many cables and such high power requirements, i decided the best course of action was to make a bussbar.

so here are the two bussbars i made using aircraft grade aluminum bars, i drilled them and put 5/16" and 1/4" bolts. i chose the coated aluminum bar so it would stand up to corrosion and ground away the surfaces where the terminals go in.



so this is the rack on the driver side behind the cover panel.

it houses the second battery, along wtih the two bussbars, one for power and one for ground, and also a 3 in 3 out fused distribution block for the amps.

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Old 10-20-2009   #10
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

so here is the thing wired up outside the car...all power and all grounds go to the buss bar, then output to the amps:











once again, grease was used on all terminals.

then this was secured to the car, and poewr/ground cables that comes from the caritself is attached to the bussbars:



once again, the grease:




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Old 10-20-2009   #11
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

i grounded the system to the vehicle frame, using a stock bolt, i ground way the coating to reveal bare metal:



then the gorunding cable was attached:



sprayed wtih truck bed liner:



and rounted into the trunk via grommet:



while the top was sealed up with silicone:



compared to the craziness of the driver side, the passenger rack, whcih houses just the dsp6, looks very simple. but of course the goal is to keep signal and power as far apart as possible:




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Old 10-20-2009   #12
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

now comes some wiring pics, of each amp and the entire set up, everyhting is bundled and organized. no flying wires
















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Old 10-20-2009   #13
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)









finally, the two side pieces wer build in the same manner as the front one:





and the floor:





phew, that was it...

overall, i am very happy with it both cosmetically and sonically.

infact, perhaps as a result of the equipment used, and the great interior (wide, fully open and almost flat dash), i strongly believe that wtih some more tuning...this could end up being one of the top 3 best sounding cars i have ever done...perhaps even close to being the best...

boy that was a long post, time to go to dinner, talk to you guys soon

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Old 10-20-2009   #14
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Looks great, Bing!
Looking at your crimped terminals, do you use Channel-Lock brand crimpers? The blue handled ones? Your crimps look just like mine and I've been using Channel-Locks instead of Kleins for 20+ years.

You mention swapping the one amp out for a newer one, is the only difference the different Zapco badge?
The reason I ask is I have 2 of the black plastic Zapco badges stuck on one of my tool boxes. They're a little faded but I can pick them off and send them to you if you want to use them to make the other 2 amps match the one with the black badge. Just a thought. Come to think of it you probably have extra ones but I figured I'd offer.
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Old 10-20-2009   #15
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Nice job. I like those cars to work on. One of my favorite installs I ever did was a '96 Imp SS, where I cut all the ribbing out of the rear deck, sandwiched it between 3/4 and 1/2 MDF and put 3 10" JL Marine woofers on it. It was the only free air sub available to us at the time...and it had the best bass response of any car I've ever builtm including my own. They're fun cars with lots of room.

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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

:sigh:

Bing is awesome, this guy has too many C2K's, ask him if he wants a matching 6.0 lol.

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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

awesome and clean install..tons of pics to luv..thanks for the build post!
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Great looking install! Another great example to inspire me for the job I've got coming up very soon on my own vehicle. I am sure the owner is glad he had you knock this out for him.
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

God I love these Impalas. Great work BTW.

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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Love it Bing That trunk is sexy!

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Old 10-20-2009   #21
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

thanks guys.

about the old vs new c2ks.

i thought its just the badge and the black inserts, but as it turns out...

its the chasis that is painted black on the old ones, grey/silver on the new ones. and there are acutally enough differences in the board and internal layout that swapping the internals to a new chasis is a mindnumbing amount of work...

i have had my crimpers for so long i forgot what brand they were...all i know is that the strap-on ones i had many many years back were terrible lol

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Old 10-20-2009   #22
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

Why zip tie the wires every 6 inches if they are not zip tied to the car every 6 inches? And not a t-nut or a threaded insert anywhere to be seen.
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Old 10-20-2009   #23
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

You have no fusing for the rear battery. And there is not any venting for the battery in the rear. The rear battery is not by any means secured properly either.

If you plan on competing, I really would address those issues. Cause if I were judging your car, you would get new ones torn for the battery stuff like that...cause that car is a serious fire hazard.

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Old 10-21-2009   #24
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

thanks bud for the suggestions...

agreed on the fusing on the rear battery, will add that in for sure. but as far as it being a serious fire hazard... either way, i will put in a fuse back there for sure.

the rear battery was thrown into the plans sorta last minute...and my inexperience with it definetly shows as far as the venting goes and securing goes, we talked about it, and didnt want to do do any more cutting in the car, afterall, it was my impression that the most you can deduct is 5 pts? the battery was given to me a week into the install, and with only a 10 day time slot (keeping in mind that the car was supposed to be a very simple intsall, non competition), i couldnt find a box that can properly accomodate that tiny battery...so i made the decision to make a hold down out of 3/4" MDF whcih IMO, is plenty strong (at least as strong as the stock tie down system under the hood) for daily driving safety needs.

i also wasnt aware taht tnuts and threaded insert is a REQUREMENT to get points in competition? i completely understand where you are coming from in regards to judging and docking, but give it a break, sq comps arent popular here...and i try to support guys like Todd by trying to get customers to go compete. most of them, prior to getting their car done, have never heard of or have any desire to do this "competition" thing.

IMO, if you hold everyone out here by the same standards as back east or back in the day, no one would want to get into it either beucase it just too darn intimidating or too expesnve to perform such an install.

afterall, i myself have always said, if installs such as my own car gets judged back east, it wouldnt even stand a chance. but out here, i think the important thing is to encourage people to get into the hobby of sq comps, to build a base. not to hit them over the head with the rule book and scare them away.

but again, i think you are totally right, i will make some changes for sure.

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Old 10-21-2009   #25
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Default Re: Kickin it old school...1996 Impala SS SQ install :)

by the way, if you came out west to judge us, i think most of us would just all go compete in SQC instead of SQi

IMO there is a reason why very few people bother with sqi anymore out here...espeically in the rookie class

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