To be honest, if you asked me about when my own car was going to be done a coupla months ago, i would have given you a pained expression and uttered something along the lines of "who knows" or "uh probably never".
Work was getting to be really busy and it seems i can never find enough time to work on it, add that to the fact that i really tried to push myself in terms of design restrictions it really did feel like biting off more than i can chew.
I got the front midbasses and wiring done late last year, and then it just sat there for the next year...until about 2 weeks ago.
With a brief lull in the schedule, i was able to make decent progress on the trunk, and with our open house event scheduled for the following weekend, i decided to just push through and finish it once and for all...eventually, other than some small details that still needs to be taken care of, the car was completed friday late afternoon before the meet.
Before i get any further, id like to personally thank:
the great peeps at ORCA Design (Nalaka Duane, Jacob etc)
Casey with Morel
Theo and the guys at Arc
Byron with XS Power
Donnie of Intraphex
Scott our rep of RPM Marketing (PDWRX)
Of course JOey for his help and advice
and all the great folks here on diyma from whom i have learned so much over the years.
let us first take a look at the goals that made this a pretty difficult project:
1. obtain a decent level of sound quality utilizing oem locations (i have had non stock locations for virtually all my previous cars, but i feel that out here, having a nice sounding stock location vehicle may be a better selling tool, not to mention if someone wanted to sample a non-stock location vehicle, they can listen to Joey's truck )
2. obtain a decent amount of low freq output and extension (this meant a pretty big sub amp and two relatively powerful subs)
3. keep a 100 percent hidden appearance in the trunk with NOTHING outside of the spare tire well. (this presented quite a challenge as you will see later)
4. Focus on ease of adjustability and maintainence
5. Showcase various aspects and ability of our shop
6. maintain a permanent android presence in the vehicle while maintaining a audiophile quality cd headunit (this meant either an android headunit or a tablet mount, read more later)
so...thats about it...some of you may remember my previous subaru legacy wagon. at the time, i really felt like that was squeezing 10lbs of stuff into a 5 lb bag, but this time around, i was trying to jam almost twice amount of equipment into virtually the same space:
so, lets get started with it all.
first, some quick shots of the car, which is pretty much stock except for tint and clear bra. it has full bolt ons to stage 2, and honestly, isnt really much slower, if at all, than my old legacy with turbo/fuel/meth
moving to some quick underhood shots. I swapped the stock battery with a XSpower D2400 battery, pretty much the biggest thing that will fit, i also redid the wiring using a set of JL audio battery terminals, beefed up the ground, and the stinger 0 gauge fuse holder is located on a metal bracket welded to my tie down brace by joey. all the wires are organized and loomed with heatshrink termination:
some quick pics of the fuse mounting bracket joey came up with:
and a final shot of the engine bay, about the only thing visible is the racerX TMIC and charge pipe
Moving on to the signal source. This took a lot of thinking and searching on my part. Unlike my previous car, which featured a plethora of mechanical guages, i wanted to use an android device to run OBDII based apps like dashcommand or torque. I also knew i wanted this android unit to be permenantly mounted to my car...so basically, the choices were between doing a tablet mount and a android headunit. In addition, i knew i wanted to run a SQ specific headunit, which turned out to be once again, a Denford 8250.
each had its advantages and downsides. the tablet idea, while cool, would mean i have to loose my dash storage pocket to house the Denford, it would also be slightly quirky if i wanted to have rear view camera and steering wheel controls capability. An android headunit, like those commonly found online, did everything i want, but virtually all of them are unknowns when it came to reliability and sonic performance. While i do have my SQ deck for cds, i still wanted me other source to sound good when demoing digital media.
The answer came to me while visiting the AAMP of american booth at the 2014 CES. Intraphex, a company i have known and worked with before, is in the final stages of developing a unit called the prodigy pro that can plug into various environments, be it oem or aftermarket, and transform a otherwise benign touchscreen into a fully independent android device.
After some discussions at CES and realizing that it can work with any pioneer unit with a NAV port, i decided on a 7500 indash flipout unit to pair up with my Denford. I know flipouts are pretty much like dinosaurs and in a year or two, no one will be making them anymore, but for what i wanted to accomplish, it is exactly the right unit for the job. No extra cutting or molding, easy integration of rear view camera and steering wheel controls, all the reliablity and sonic output of a pioneer, but all the advantageous and capabilities of an android piece.
now, i want to MAKE SURE you guys understand that this is still very much in BETA TESTING, there are still bugs to be worked out to please dont ask me on the specifics of the unit or jump the guy on hyping or bashing what it can do. once i get the finalized software and get to play with it for sometime, i will post a very formal review with all the info. for now, i can only say its definitely on the right track.
so anyway, here is the resting view of the two units, stacked together in a metra dash kit...a big odd looking i know, but it is what it is and yes, i know the dash kit isnt fitting 100 percent correctly, but since i may have to take the unit a few more times to update it, i figure i will wait till the last time to properly space it:
here the pioneer opened up in normal pioneer view:
i also installed a low profile backup camera into the trunk lid:
and with a push of the Mode (nav) button on the 7500, the unit switches over to the android side. I want to make sure to let you know that it is NOT AT ALL tethered to my phone, and it does indeed have full touch screen capability. its basically mimicing the pioneer nav so all of those functions are working.
sample apps running:
here are some quick pics of the headunit install, which basically consists of stacking the two units and a heap load of wiring...but most of the wiring was covered in tesa tape, courtesy of our friend and my personal install hero Jeremy Katz (formerly of advanced audio designs in MA)...so that made it easier to organize things:
here is is the area behind the dash where everything plugs into everything else:
here is the intraphex prodigy pro piece that turns my pioneer flipout into an independent android device...again, more info and review to come later.
here are a few pics of the rear view camera install...first, i took off the trim panel above the license plate, drilled a hole and secured the camera:
then the trim piece was secured back onto the trunk lid, the point of entry for the cable sealed up, and then the cable was lead down, the video and power/ground wires connected to my own twisted primary wire, and passed into the car via the stock conduit:
i also took this opportunity to sound proof my trunk lid with a combination of blackhole tile and CLD damper, while the backside of the lid trim received full foam coverage:
backup front, the only other visible modification to the front is the bass knob next to the coin tray behind the shifter, and the usb port infront of the shifter: