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Discussion Starter #1
{copied from my site, www.fbodyaudio.com}

It began in 2006

I’ve always had a bad habit (that I share with many other car audio competitors), or rebuilding and redoing things in my car, often without a good reason.

This was the case here. I just took 3rd place in IASCA’s Expert Street 601+ at the 2005 Unified World Finals show in Kansas City. Got the car home, and started changing some things around for the 2006 Spring Break Nationals. Most of my rebuild work was behind the scenes, focusing on amp rack wiring. But the hot Daytona Beach sun was too much for my vinyl job on the dash, and it started peeling up. At this point, I knew I had to pull the dash out to re-vinyl it, and began thinking.. “If I’m gonna pull the dash out, perhaps I should rebuild one that’s a better shape and blends in the car better”. Well, you can’t rebuild the dash without also redoing the center console, and if you are going to redo the center console, I might as well redo the …. etc … etc …

So, before long, I made the decision to start it all over. See, most of my rebuild work was always in sections at a time. This is the first time I decided that I was going to strip the car and start all over on a clean sheet.

Oh, and you need to keep in mind, that as of September of 2006, I became a father of a little boy. So trying to be a new dad, while also building a car, well, needless to say, it was not done in time for the 2007 competition season.

More to come…
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The Thought Process

Flash back to summer of 2006.. I decided it was time to redo the entire car. Well, you need to have a plan, or at least some idea of what you want to do.

First, some ground rules. Keep in mind that this build has been an on again, off again work in progress over the past 6 years, so some of these rules have evolved over that time..

  1. Car must remain street drivable, with seat belts, airbags and HVAC all fully functional. Install elements must keep occupant safety in mind.

  • Back seat is not required. The back seat in these cars is very cramped as it is, so sacrificing the back seat for equipment install is a viable option. (prior installs had the back seat removed as well)

  • T-Top storage must remain usable.

  • No needlessly added weight. Now, to clarify, this is not a light weight install by any means. Between the batteries, amps, and sound deadening, I’m sure a few hundred pounds were added. But fabrication techniques and materials were selected that maximize strength the weight ratio and fit within budget.

  • No wood. Semi related to rule #4, many cars, including my past installs, made liberal use of 3/4″ and 1/2″ MDF to make everything from amp racks, sub boxes and trim panels. (average 4×8 sheet of 3/4″ mdf is 75 to 90 lbs.) In addition, wood has the potential to absorb moisture and fall apart. So for this build, all materials consisted of steel, plastic, and fiberglass.

  • Multichannel audio. The car was being built to take advantage of JBL’s MS-8 processor, so the plan is for a full 7.1 system.

  • Non-flashy install. While I appreciate the art and creativity in a full flash install, my install skills limit me to OEM like, understated fabrication. This does not mean that the car must look stock, as my plan was to prefabricate nearly every panel in the car. But the end result must look like something that you find in a new car show-room, with a few tasteful highlights of the audio equipment.

  • Budget.. I’ve spent more money then I can count into all of my installs. However, my funding is not limitless. Materials and install techniques must keep costs in mind. For example, this is why all of my metal fabrication is with mild steel, as opposed to aluminum, which would require more expensive welding gear, as well as having a higher material cost.
So… with all of that said, on to the fabrication..
 

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Use wood but unread of mdf use birch plywood, its less than half the weight of mdf, nuch much stronger
(so you can use less and have the same strength, ie amp racks) oh and its doesn't absorb moisture, even less with a light cost of rattle can paint
Sent from my LG-MS910 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The front stage

It was April, 2006. Just returned from the ’06 Spring Break Nationals, ready to redo everything. The first thing would be the front stage. I had already had speakers mounted in the kick panels, playing into a fiberglass enclosure. But I only cut small vent holes in the kick panel / firewall area, limiting how deep I could place the speaker. Now it was time to get serious, but some metal, and weld new enclosures.

First, a before shot, this is actually a before shot from circa 2003, before I made my first kick panel enclosures.



Now, some views with the metal cut.




I used an air saw and cut out the bottom corner of the firewall / wheel well area. This metal was surprisingly thin. I made it a point to only cut out this thin metal, and I left the thicker, more structural areas intact. I also make it a point not to cut through any welds in the area.

The discoloration you see is left over adhesive from the last wheel well enclosures, which were made of fiberglass and just glued and screwed in place. These pics were also taken at night, which accounts for the poor quality. Before welding, this whole area was cleaned up with a sander, wholes from prior install work welded back up, and sprayed with primer.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As I thought of cutting 1/4″ thick steel plate with a jig saw was not fun, I built mocks of the kick panel enclosures using 1/4″ thick mdf, using dabs of super glue to hold them together (sorry, don’t have any pictures of this). Then each enclosure was broken back down into individual pieces, traced onto paper, and sent to a metal supplier who cut these pieces out for me with a water jet. Then I welded them up, welded them to the car, and painted the whole area inside and out to prevent rust. The enclosures extend under the car along the frame a bit, bringing each one to about 3/4 cubic foot each.




Next up, we move to the interior side. The speakers will be mounted on 1/2″ thick aluminum baffles. These took a bit of time to make. I cut them myself using a jig saw as close as possible, then finished them on the router table. I used a fresh flush trim bit for each one, with plenty of oil and a very steady hand. They came out pretty good. I then drilled and tapped the speaker mounting holes.

MDF mockup baffles with a laser pointer was used to ensure the aiming on the left and right kick panel were the same, and then a steel mounting frame was welded inside the car. Fiberglass was laid over this frame to form the interior part of the kick panel enclosure, and the whole thing was secured to the body with urethane adhesive. In addition, the aluminum baffle screws down to the metal frame, sandwiching the fiberglass enclosure facing in-between.

Next up…. center channel.
(give me a day or two to get my next set of updates posted...that's all for now)
 

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Very nice, keep it coming...
Beautiful car too!
 
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