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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, after getting back into car audio earlier this year with my MK7 Golf R build, I decided my '17 Ford Fiesta ST needed an upgrade as well. Car is very lightly modified with a Cobb Accessport, Boomba short throw shifter, GT500 shift knob, GarageLine accelerator pedal mount and Sparco wheels.
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I started off by choosing a front stage that would allow mounting the mids/tweets relatively on-axis, and the Illusion Audio C3CX's fit that bill nicely. These were paired with the Illusion C6 mids that serve as midbass drivers in this fully active 3 way front stage.

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Discussion Starter #2
I fabricated the a-pillars to house the C3CX's in a mostly on-axis configuration while keeping the overall shape and size relatively low profile. I covered them in a grill cloth that blends in with the Fiesta interior.
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I really like your work on this build and the Golf R, really clean and well done. How do you like the sound of the Illusions vs. the Morels?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Based on my recent experience with a 3-way active front stage, I knew I wanted a good amount of power going to the midbass drivers with at least moderate power to the mids/tweets. Achieving that in a car with such limited space is challenging, and I needed to fit a DSP as well. The combination of JL Audio XD amps and the Twk88 processor seemed like a good match. An XD700/5 powers the mids/tweets with 75 watts each, while the 5th channel will be used to power a Dayton shallow mount sub (after I build the enclosure). An XD400/4 was bridged to provide the C6's with 200 watts each. Amp rack was fabricated from PVC board and HDPE and was bolted into the hatch floor using nutserts with stainless bolts and washers. I'll get better pics of the amp rack to post soon. Weather has been bad and I've had to work on this at night, so all the pics I have of the trunk are "light challenged"... :rolleyes:
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Discussion Starter #6
I really like your work on this build and the Golf R, really clean and well done. How do you like the sound of the Illusions vs. the Morels?
Appreciate the compliment! I've had very little time to tune the new Illusion set-up, so it's hard to compare to my dialed-in Morel's at this stage. I did manage a quick tune this evening on the Illusions and they sounded terrific. I suspect the Morel's will still have an edge even after I get the Fiesta tuned, but they're both great. I really like the C3CX's small footprint and integrated point-source tweeter for an a-pillar install. It's perfect for this particular application.
 

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Appreciate the compliment! I've had very little time to tune the new Illusion set-up, so it's hard to compare to my dialed-in Morel's at this stage. I did manage a quick tune this evening on the Illusions and they sounded terrific. I suspect the Morel's will still have an edge even after I get the Fiesta tuned, but they're both great. I really like the C3CX's small footprint and integrated point-source tweeter for an a-pillar install. It's perfect for this particular application.
Very cool. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the work and hearing your thoughts after you get everything dialed in!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some pics of the install process:
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Power starts with 1/0 gauge power cable running through a Stinger fuse holder that's secured to the factory battery tie-down bracket via a mount I fabricated from ABS and HDPE.
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I cut 2 separate pieces of HDPE and attached to an ABS base that slides under the factory battery tie-down. A top portion of ABS was then added on top on which the fuse holder is mounted. The entire assembly easily slides on/off the bracket after it's loosened, but is ultra-secure when the bracket is tightened.
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Discussion Starter #12
P.S. Getting 1/0 cable through the firewall and along the factory wiring loom to the trunk in this tiny car was a huge PITA...🤬
Even after removing the battery for access, the large factory grommet in the firewall is VERY difficult to get at, and there's not a lot of space through it. After...err...improvising with a number of cable-fishing implements in my garage, the most effective ended up being a 2 ft. piece of wood dowel around 3/8" OD. After carefully impaling the grommet from the floorboard side, I then split the power cable sheath, removed a 6" section of bare wire and inserted the dowel inside the cable sheath. This was then taped securely around the sheath and to the dowel and then pulled back through grommet. No pics of this part, unfortunately.

The 1/0 cable was too large to fit inside the crappy factory plastic wire 'cubbies' along the door sill, so I removed the one on the driver's side. After doing so, I'm convinced they served no purpose other than they're likely cheaper and faster during car assembly than looming and securing the wires in a more traditional manner.
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1/0 gauge power wire was covered in TechFlex and is accompanied by 4 runs of speaker wire (two runs of 16 AWG to the mids/tweets, 1 run of 14 gauge spliced into the door speaker wires in the kick panel, and 1 more run of 14 gauge spliced to the speaker outputs in the kick panel for signal into the JL Audio Twk88 DSP). All wiring zip tied to the factory harness.
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Factory plastic wire cover was retained on passenger side since it was large enough to accommodate the 4 runs of speaker wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Couple pics of the Illusion Audio C3CX's with pigtails applied. Tweets received inline capacitors for protection since I'm running fully active, and all connection points were made with soldered XT60 bullet connectors. Speaker connectors were soldered, attached to the speaker terminals and heat shrink applied.
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
A-pillar fabrication: I wanted to get the C3CX's more on-axis than in previous a-pillars I've built, but also wanted to keep them relatively low-profile. I started with making the mounting rings from MDF and low heat plastic.
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Next was in-car test fitting.
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Recessing the speaker rings in the a-pillars required creating a scallop in each pillar, both to smooth out the transition and to provide a clear line for the sound to pass. I used low heat plastic to achieve a bend to the scallop beds and attached them to the pillars at the back with hot glue.

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Discussion Starter #16
Stretching fleece and applying fiberglass resin.
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Applied Rage Gold body filler and started the sanding process...
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After a LOT of sanding and copious amounts of Rage Gold and Easy Sand.
First pillar wrapped with black grill cloth.
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And finally, both pillars wrapped and speakers installed. The sanding and wrapping process required removal of the pillar "base", which was attached with plastic "rivets". I used a butane torch to heat these rivets and removed the bases, then re-attached the bases with screws.
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Discussion Starter #17
Couple early pics of the amp rack:


The rack surface is constructed from 1/2 inch PVC board and backed by 1/2 inch HDPE for strength and to provide room for the 1/0 ground cable to be routed underneath. It’s secured to the trunk floor with nutserts and 1/4-20 stainless bolts/washers. I’ll take more pics after I install the amp covers.


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Looks great! Really nice work on those A-pillars. 👍

Where did you pull signal from to feed the JL Twk?

And did you do any sound treatment/deadening to the front doors and/or door panels?

I did a similar install in a friend's 2015 Fiesta ST. He didn't believe that the OEM Ford MySync source unit would be as bad as I said it would be until I hooked up my portable Sony Walkman CD player that has a mini-Toslink optical output and fed it directly into the DSP's digital input.

We compared the same music files via both sources and he was shocked...Night & Day difference in SQ using the direct digital input. It instantly improved the tonality, clarity, separation, and focus, as well as vastly improved the soundstage & imaging.

I'm not sure how different the 2017 Fiesta ST OEM HU is, but I can't imagine it is much different. You might also check to see if one of the PAC Audio AmpPRO Ford interfaces will work in your Fiesta. Highly recommended.

So if you haven't already, you may want to just test using a DAP or another clean source with a digital output fed directly into the TwK. Or even a DAP with an analog Line Output sent directly to the TwK via an RCA adapter.

You might lose some gain using the digital inputs on the TwK (and possibly fader control if you are using rear speakers), but the digital signal has way lower SNR, so you can gain it up on the back end quite a bit without any ill effects.

...Just my experience. Looking forward to what else you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
@bbfoto - Thanks! I pulled the signal from the factory front speaker leads at each kickpanel. I used NVX sound deadening on the doors and on the door panels just in strategic locations rather than a full covering. So far it's sufficient to tame any resonances. I may do more deadening later, but I'm kinda torn on the idea. The Fiesta ST isn't the quietest car, but that raw, go-kart nature is part of it's charm.

I've been toying with the idea of using a quality DAP as my primary source since doing my Golf R install earlier this year, but I've found the VW head unit sufficient with FLAC files on SD cards, with Tidal streaming my secondary source. The '17 Fiesta has Ford's Sync 3, which has a nice Apple/Android interface, but I haven't had a chance to really test it for audio fidelity since I just did most of the install last weekend. The Fiesta doesn't have it's own SD card reader, meaning I can't share my music library between the ST and my R, so I'm probably a lot closer to picking up that Fiio M11 now... ;)

I'll have a few more pics to post probably tomorrow. Installed the remote for the JL Audio Twk88 in the lower front dash today. Looks great, but that little LED is BRIGHT!
 

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Great work. I've wanted to run the C3CX's on the dash, but I just don't think I can deal with that bulky of a speaker on the dash. You did a good job keeping the obstruction to a minimum, but I'm still not sure I could deal that bulky of a speaker on the dash. Clean work though, looks good!
 
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