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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Equipment choosing thread: LINK

Hello everybody! I have a 2008 Milan, 6 speaker without SYNC.

The plan is to make this a straightforward as possible:
1) Install head unit
----1a) position microphone
----1b) figure out Google Now + bluetooth
2) Run RCA, power, speaker wires
3) Install door speakers
4) Install amps
5) Dynamat doors and trunk
6) Install sub-woofers
7) Build amp rack
8) New sub enclosure


The equipment:
Headunit: JVC KW-R900BT
Door speakers: Alpine SPR-68
Door speaker amp: Alpine MRX-F65
Subs: 2x Alpine SWR-1242D
Sub amp: Alpine MRX-M110
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Installing the deck:

Here's the before



The silver trim panel is just clipped in - it's a cinch to remove. Just *gently* pry up, starting at the bottom. There are two 'L' shaped tabs at the bottom holding the panel in, tilt the panel outward and it should come right off.

Unhook the three plugs for the clock, dash, and warning lights.


These plugs are a PITA



Four 9/32" or 7mm bolts hold the factory deck in place
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After removing the bolts comes the most difficult part so far, unhooking the factory deck. There are three plugs to unhook, but the one on the bottom right is so short you can't pull the deck forward until it's unhooked. Why is this one so short and the others have some slack?!




The factory mounting brackets on either side of the deck are held in place with Torx 10 screws. There are two nubs on each bracket I took a hacksaw to so they would fit the R900BT. Also had to enlarge the screw holes.



It's a tight fit with the PAC piece and all those wires behind the deck




There are gaps to either side of the dash where wires can be easily run to the floorboard. The red piece with a hole is one of my trim tools sticking up from the passenger floorboard. I'm running the signal wires on the passenger side and the power wires on the driver's side.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's a slot on the left side of the glove box where I ran the rear USB connector and the Bluetooth adapter. Comes right out that gap in the trim easy as pie.


The KW-R900BT installed. I set the colors to match the factory green pretty closely. Bluetooth audio streaming works great, control my DROID Mini from the deck, which is nice. I want to figure out how to use Google Search/ Google Now from the deck.




I'll get a daytime picture up later today or tomorrow along with where I mount the microphone, probably be on the trim next to the deck on the driver's side.

Time to run wires!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Daylight picture of the installed deck




I'll probably mount the microphone here:




Rear USB cable (and the Bluetooth adapter with it) runs into the glove box quite easily

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On to running the RCA cables and remote turn on lead!
Three sets of RCAs - front, rear, sub.

The carpet pulls out easily in the passenger footwell.






I bought proper trim panel removal tools, made gently prying up the trim along the door much easier!



To remove the center pillar panel, I gently pried outwards along the bottom.
At the top are some different clips.





I used a straightened wire coat hanger to fish the cables from the cabin into the trunk. The screwdriver is pointing in the direction of a small gap I ran the wires through.



 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Door panel removal guides are attached
View attachment Front Door Panel Removal.pdf
View attachment Rear Door Panel Removal.pdf

I had to use a pick type tool to remove the screw cover, couldn't get it with a screwdriver. That's a Torx 15 screw.


Underneath the rubber bit in the door handle is a 9/32" / 7mm bolt


On the rear of the panel is another Torx 15 screw.



Now gently pry out the door panel, 10 clips hold it in place.
Two stayed in the door, I'll have to get those out to reassemble the door. Any advice for preventing that from happening?



A clip slot broke when I removed the panel, any tips on preventing that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't know why these kind of plugs are popular, they're a PITA.
There's one in the door, unhook it.


Remove the weatherstripping


The outer piece of the connector has a tab on both the top and bottom that need pressed in order to remove it from the frame.


More updates and pics in a few hours...
 

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Now gently pry out the door panel, 10 clips hold it in place.
Two stayed in the door, I'll have to get those out to reassemble the door. Any advice for preventing that from happening?

A clip slot broke when I removed the panel, any tips on preventing that?
No and No :( :blush:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Correction: The Torx screws in the rear door panels are Torx 20, not 15.

Putting that weather stripping back on the rear doors has been the biggest pain so far!

Running power cables:
After removing the battery, you can see a white plug at the back of the engine compartment; I had a tough time finding it because of the angle of the sun.


I popped it off and drilled through it, I've heard of people just removing it entirely.

It enters the engine compartment behind this bracket, tough to see since it's covered with the factory sound dampening. I stuck a pick through from the engine compartment to make it easier to find.




Rear speakers are in, I sealed them to the baffle with duct seal from Lowes - credit to Notloudenuf for that idea.



A single layer of Dynamat Xtreme covers the inner door skin.



Here's the birth sheet for my MRX-F65:



The rear speakers are hooked up to the F65, it definitely works! Overpowers the front, which is still running off the deck. Still need to set gains and such too. Label any wires you run! I forgot to label my RCAs and had to figure out which was which by trial and error!
I haven't made an amp rack yet, so it's just sitting there. I was thinking about mounting it to the back of the rear seat on the 40 side of the split.



I need to splice in some more cable, I didn't realize they were so short until I had the panels closed up - I'm not dealing with that weatherstripping again!



I also hooked up my subs, so nice to have plenty of bass again :p I still want a different box, this one takes up too much space. It's actually too big, but I added 3/4" MDF to the center partition and sides a while back to bring it into spec.


I need to decide where to mount the RUX knob for my MRX-M110.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I'm liking the KW-R900BT a lot so far!

The interface is very intuitive, easy to use - everything is labeled for which buttons change what in the menus.

The Bluetooth music streaming is great, I can launch Pandora on my phone from the deck. The hands free commands via Motorola Touchless Control (DROID Mini) are pretty good, but there seems to be a slight delay in when my phone starts recognizing input from the mic.

The time alignment works great, the defaults for mid-size sedan work great. I'm told the microphone is pretty good too, I have it duct taped to the left of the steering wheel for now - I'm going to play with the positioning a bit before I mount it permanently.




Of course I like the display customization, the deck looks pretty darn close to stock coloring, and I like being able to set independent brightnesses for the display and buttons for both day and night.


///
All I have left are the front doors (speakers, wire, dynamat), permanently mount the amps, make a new sub woofer enclosure, dampen the trunk, and close up the trim panels. Running wires to the front doors looks like it'll be the biggest pain yet - I hope I don't have to tear apart the dash to do it.
 

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All I have left are the front doors (speakers, wire, dynamat), permanently mount the amps, make a new sub woofer enclosure, dampen the trunk, and close up the trim panels. Running wires to the front doors looks like it'll be the biggest pain yet - I hope I don't have to tear apart the dash to do it.
I think the time/money spent on dampening the trunk will be a big waste. Can I suggest that you listen to it for a while before you leap into deadening a non passenger compartment?

You don't have to tear the dash apart to run wire into the doors. The plug is up above the kick panel. Chuyler's Mazda6 build log shows a pretty good step by step about running wire into the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think the time/money spent on dampening the trunk will be a big waste. Can I suggest that you listen to it for a while before you leap into deadening a non passenger compartment?

You don't have to tear the dash apart to run wire into the doors. The plug is up above the kick panel. Chuyler's Mazda6 build log shows a pretty good step by step about running wire into the doors.
I'm always glad to hear suggestions! :)
Dampening the trunk is definitely the lowest priority right now. I was looking to more to reduce rattles. I think the stereo sounds pretty good so far.

As for tearing apart the dash, I'm more concerned about being able to see and reach the wire at the driver's door. There are a lot of black boxes in that area :(


Updates:

Everything's on hold for now until this weekend when it warms back up.

I made another goof! I only did the inner part of the rear doors, even though I bought enough dampening to do the inner and outer for all four! :dunce2:
So now I'm going to wind up with at least 6 ft^2 of extra Dynamat Xtreme, where should I put it? Double layer the front doors? Under the carpet? In the headliner?

This weekend I hope to get the amps permanently mounted, fix the wire lengths.
Next weekend I want to get the front doors done, after that comes a new sub enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No progress these past couple weeks, aside from lengthening the wires running to the rear doors - I've been swamped with schoolwork. I hope to be able to finish this weekend, after I get the car back from the shop (tires & routine maintenance).

I've been playing with the position of the microphone and the receiver settings. It sounds great on the other end when the car isn't moving, but when I'm driving I'm told it sounds like an old/cheap speakerphone. Maybe it's road noise, or maybe it's the trim it's mounted on vibrating. I'll try mounting it on the headliner, see how that does.

To-do:
1) Front speakers/wiring
2) Amp rack
3) Sub woofer enclosure
4) Time alignment and tuning
5) Position microphone
6) Dampen trunk?
 

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Great build so far. The front doors are easy compared to the backs IMO. You might want to think about running the mic up the A pillar and mounting the mic to the visor. It has worked well for me and no one ever notices it. If I could go back, I wouldn't have dampened my trunk. It is too isolated now. I'm going to have to pull some of mine down soon. I would do at least the trunk lid as it just made the car feel more substantial. It made a much more noticeable thud when closing the trunk lid.
Again, great job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I finally got around to doing the front doors, unfortunately I lost some photos of the process. I'll post what I have then retake the missing ones tomorrow.

The front doors came off near the same as the rears, there's another screw on the bottom of the panel - T20 just like the rest.



There are some more sets of wires in the driver's door - mirrors, window locks, door locks. All the plugs are unique and they only reach to their mate, so no worries about hooking the wrong thing up :laugh:.




The inner part of the front doors have been covered in a single layer of Dynamat Xtreme. The car is noticeably quieter going down the road. I think I'll use my second door kit (and part of the trunk kit if needed) to cover the floorboards - that seems to where the lion's share of the road noise is coming from.

After setting the gains on the MRX-F65, I must say I'm very impressed with these speakers and the amp. Very clear, well rounded sound even at high volumes. The SPR-68s don't go as low as I'd like for a lot of music, but I haven't fiddled with the equalizer yet - it sounds pretty good on 'natural' and 'flat' - besides, that's why I have subs :D.

I'll post more pics tomorrow.
 
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