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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, here is my 400hp grocery getter.
A 2006 Subaru Forester XT/"STi"

I have "STi" in quotes because the Forester was not available in the USA as an STi variant. However in Japan, Australia and a few other places, you could get it as an STi which stands for "Subaru Technica International" and basically means it comes with the extra handling and go fast bits that make Subaru a wildly popular brand amongst the tuning and rally crowd.





Here is a build journal on the car if you are interested in seeing what I have done to this car since I purchased it last year from a 33 year old woman.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/team-screams-06-fxt-sti-project-73362/

Yes I am "Team Scream" on Forester.org and Nasioc.

Anyway, on to the build...

I have several goals with this build:

(1) I need good tunes, I have always had good tunes in my rides and now that I am pretty much done with the mechanical aspects of building the car, ICE is one of the final steps.
(2) I need another hobby, and I want to start honing my skills as a custom installer (primarily because I have 6 cars, 3 of which are Subaru's).
(3) I am getting older and I need to have some sort project going all the time, so I don't start getting senile and forgetful. (brain exercise).

TO begin with, I called Rick at RAAMmat and ordered up about double of what he told me I would need, that way I was sure to have enough, and I could use whatever was left over for my 2001 Subaru RS coupe project which is next on the list. It too will become an STi by the end of the summer.

Here are pics of the process on one door. It took me 4 days, but I got all 4 doors, the rear hatch, the rear compartment, spare tire well, rear quarter panels and everything around the rear windows done. It would take 40 pictures for me to show it all to you so I will spare you and show you a door.

Also, I added CLD to the outer door skin as well, but I was selective about it. I tend to get the occasional door ding and I have it removed within a week of getting one, so I did not want to bone my paintless dent guru too bad. I would say that a bit more than 30% of the outer skin is covered, and there is an 8-10" area behind the door speaker(s) which is covered and has a layer of Ensolite on it for back wave elimination.

I should note, that I also ran my new speaker wire (as seen in the pics) and because I am anal, you will see a gray wire along with the speaker wires in my hand. That wire is a "pull" wire I ran to each door and left in place in case I ever need to upgrade a wire, or a wire gets damaged, I have the ability to connect the new wire to that gray pull wire and get it through and into place without having to take everything apart. That was a trick I learned while rebuilding my house. I know at some point it is going to save my ass, and they will be taped down out of the way and nobody will ever know they are there.

The giant opening(s) that needed bridging to support the CLD.





Butyl rope to seal them up





A slot cut for the door latch cables



Same thing on the rear doors



Solidly in place with CLD (RAAMmat).



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Door mostly done with CLD.





The extra "pull wire" I mentioned.



A layer of Ensolite (once I confirmed the door panel fit, I added an additional layer to ALL doors).
Yes that is the STOCK speaker still.



This is my first effort, but I am sure that I will continuously improve things over time as I get better with different tools.
Right now I have a jig saw, a miter saw, brad and staple nailers, belt sander, orbital sander and crap loads of hand tools. I am in the market for a decent table saw + some kind of router set up, and may sell my miter saw in favor of a decent radial arm saw at some point.

For this build I borrowed my friends table saw to make a few cuts and the rest I did with a jig saw and belt sander.

This will be a simple build with a sub floor/amp rack, an enclosure for (2) 10" subs that fire toward the rear glass of the Forester, (2) 8" mid bass woofers in IB mounted under the front seats (ala BMW), 6.5" components in the front doors and tweeters in the sail panels modified to fire off axis slightly.

Here is my gear list for this build:

Zapco Reference 750
Zapco Reference 350
Zapco Reference 360BK
Zapco Reference 150BK
Zapco DSP6-SL
Zapco balanced Line transmitters
IDQ10v2 (x2) (subs)
Oz Audio 200H (x2) (mid bass)
RS Audio Pro165 (mids)
Vifa D26NC05 (1" tweets)
Clarion NX501 (dd head unit/nav) <-- not purchased yet!!!


Here is the beginning of my amp rack/sub floor:



What you see is 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood. (chosen for weight and finish).
It will be attached to the floor of the car. I intend to sand and (analine) dye the wood black and then use matte clear coat on top of that for the finished look. I want to see some of the natural grain, but I want it to be black or as close to black as possible.


Here are some pics of teh amp rack farther along in the process. I am taking all of the pieces to work tomorrow to have the guys in the paint shop help me dye them and get them ready to assemble.









SUB BOX:

Here is how the sub box will be made.
I designed it to give me "large" sealed box volume, as indicated on Image Dynamics .pdf for my subs. It will be divided down the center so that each sub has it's own separate (sealed) chamber.
I intend to build the box out of 3/4" MDF and seal/coat the interior chambers with 2 coats of resin. I will also place 11" diameter pieces of Ensolite behind each sub to break up the back wave, (although I am not sure that is really necessary since the subs are angled compared to the back plane of the enclosure) ?



The box is shaped like it is for a few reasons. (1) I needed it to fit below the rear cargo cover. (2) I wanted the subs to be aimed at the rear glass for the 3db gain. (3) When the rear seats are in the up/seating position, the back side (of the seat back) is angled and I needed to account for that.
Notice how I designed the sides of the box to extend past the back plane?
This will give me a small discreet storage space between the rear seat and rear of the sub box.

Signal Path/Speakers

Here is a diagram of how I see the signal path layout.
The idea is to have a fully active system, with a 3 way front stage, and DSP.
The cross over points are simply starting points, and listed to give you an idea of where I plan to begin.



If you pay particular attention to the colored lines and arrows, you will see how I believe the signal path should be. This is where I fall off the face of the earth (if you will), in that I am NOT convinced that this is the IDEAL set up.
Since the HU I have selected in my gear list has 3 pairs of pre-outs, and I am running 4 sets of speakers, this is the best I could come up with.

The concept is to use the "sub" out from the head unit, run it via Symbilink transmitter back to the amp rack and then use a Symbilink "Y" splitter. From the "Y". One side will go to the DSP6 for the mid bass channels and the other side will go straight to the sub amp. ALL sub processing would then have to take place at the sub amp. The Clarion NX501 has 8 pairs of 4v pre outs but 2 are slated for the rear "zone" and designed so the rear passengers can listen to/watch something different than the front passengers. It may be that these (rear) outputs can be used as discreet sub outs, but I have yet to determine that.
 

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Looks good! I wish they made the STI forester in the US. I would have bought one instead of my WRX I think. What was the material you used to close up the holes BTW? I am gonna do something similar, but use duct seal to hold it on, then tiles over that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks good! I wish they made the STI forester in the US. I would have bought one instead of my WRX I think. What was the material you used to close up the holes BTW? I am gonna do something similar, but use duct seal to hold it on, then tiles over that.
I actually used some plastic sign board that my wife brought home a couple years ago and I had sitting in the garage.

It is corrugated and really very stiff.
Once I got it roughed out and stuck in place with the butyl, it was pretty solid by itself.

After I covered it with RaamMat it was as solid and dead sounding as the rest of the door skin.

It would have probably been just as good and as easy if I were to use some thin aluminum, or heavy screen of some kind, but I had this, and it made sense once I roughed one hole in, so I went with it.

Man, the Forester doors are much less resonant than WRX doors (at least my 2006 STi). I have the luxury of comparing the 2 side by side and the Forester is much more solid. Probably because of the body contour lines in the doors.
 

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I was so close to getting a Forrester XT before I bought my Mazdaspeed 6. I definitely miss having the utility of a hatchback.

Install is looking good, keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was so close to getting a Forrester XT before I bought my Mazdaspeed 6. I definitely miss having the utility of a hatchback.

Install is looking good, keep up the good work!
Thank you so much, I hope it turns out well.
I am seriously thinking about going car-pc now that I have seen and touched a few nav head units, the more I read up on reviews and having played with a Z120, and NX501, I am less inclined to buy one of these (nearly thousand dollar) items than I am to just build a full tilt carputer.

I just read through your whole build journal on SF.org..

It is completely amazing what you've done with this car :shocked2:
Thank a lot man, I really appreciate it. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like when I started, and I got pretty close.
I am a bit anal about a lot of things, so I put that energy into building the car.


Here is a pic of the amp rack lower all boxed out, dyed and cleared.
The clear came out a bit more glossy than I wanted but I think it looks alright.




The smaller amp (reference 150bk) in the lower right of the box may be eliminated, I figure I have the reference 360bk which is a 4 channel amp and I can use that for mids/tweets and by eliminating the reference 150bk, I can place the DSP6 right there in that spot and make the layout a lot cleaner.

Once I get the DPS6 in hand, I can see if the cable layout makes sense, and commit to a 3 amp or 4 amp system.
 

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Cant wait to see what the under seat mid/bass looks like and how the tweets turn out as well.

You should through this on NASIOC as well
R-
 

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Wow, amazing ride and clean install thus far.

Good idea on the cardboard for covering the holes. I am gonna borrow this idea. Just need to pony up more moola for some deadener.

Good job and sub'd!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Cant wait to see what the under seat mid/bass looks like and how the tweets turn out as well.
Well, I am going to use my old school Oz Audio 250H's, they are designed for infinite baffle as I understand it, and that is how I am going to run them.
I think they will sound great under the seats, I am going to try and face them forward ever so slightly.

Wow, amazing ride and clean install thus far.

Good idea on the cardboard for covering the holes. I am gonna borrow this idea. Just need to pony up more moola for some deadener.

Good job and sub'd!
Thank you!!! stay tuned!

dude I LOVE your car, if i didnt have my car, your car would be exactly what i have, though i prolly wouldnt go quite as insane with the swap mods as you did...wow...

if you ever get bored of it let me know, my LGT is gonna get old someday :)
Will do Bing! man I would love to have your skills!, this is my first attempt at a sound system build, and after today, I find that I really LOVE working with these materials and building things like this. I think I may have found my new passion. !

damn, awesome proejct..

can i ask what you do? great skills
Thank you man, I was a master mechanic back in the day, and I have always been pretty mechanically inclined. I have been working in the movie business for the last 15 years now. (video engineer).

Ok so here is today's progress!
I got a late start, it looked like it was going to rain, and it was cold so I was lazy until about noon.

I had to completely remake the top portion of the amp rack because like an idiot, I cut the back part of the top piece 3/4" too short. :mean::mad:

So, I had to bust out another sheet of ply and redo the whole thing.
Anyway, once I got started, I got on a roll and every cut I made was right on the money. :)

Cut all 3 pieces, beveled the front edges @ the rear hatch door opening for a nice smooth transition. Test fitted everything, sanded, filed and cleaned everything up.

Once I was sure that I had enough clearance between all 3 parts (including carpet thickness), I went to town carpeting everything.

I think it came out FANTASTIC for my first attempt ever at building an amp rack. I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment when it all went together.

Here are a few pics.

Here is the new top section all cut and roughed in place:



Here is the left segment, and the first piece of carpet I have ever installed in a car in my life (i've always let someone else do it!)








It came out perfect, and I thought to myself, "I got this!" so I was all fired up to do the rest.

Here is the right piece in progress:





The side pieces I did not bother carpeting the bottoms since those will be screwed in place once I get the system integrated.

(continued)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The center piece was a lot more difficult because I completely covered it on both sides. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out how I was going to go about it, and because the leading edge is curved, I decided to make the bottom piece NOT wrap up around the sides and back. Instead it covers the flat part of the bottom only.

The top section wraps around the sides, front and back and came out really good I feel. After I got the bottom "skin" in place, I taped the all around the edges to protect the carpet from glue spray. This allowed me to spray the sides and face (including the edges of the bottom piece of carpet) so that when I wrapped the top skin around and down the sides/back carpet was bonded to carpet so there are no visible seams.

I was really impressed with myself when It was all said and done, and my wife was really impressed too (double win!).









Anyway, it was a very productive day, and one that left me feeling really good about myself.

Now I need to build the sub box and start integrating things.
I have ditched the idea of a car-pc for now, I am not convinced they are the way to go for me. I love to tinker, but I do NOT want to be messing with a car-puter every other day because of this-that-or the other problem(s) that seem to be the norm for car-pc's.

So, that leaves me in a quandary over what DD nav-unit to buy.,..... argh... I think I am going with Kenwood because of the Garmin nav.
 

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That looks really good. I still have to do the cover panel for my install. Right now I still have the factory cover in place. What carpet did you use to cover the ply?
 
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