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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
‘Sup. So in the 5 or 6 years that I've been really into car SQ and competition-level systems, I've never done a build log. I took the year off from competing in 2012 so that I could re-focus myself (and my money) and decide if I wanted to continue in the hobby, and if so how to raise the bar. The Highlander was very good, but I was never completely satisfied with it (are we ever?) and I was just driving it temporarily anyway. So I built a competition system in it (actually it evolved into one, but wasn't originally planned) just because it was what I had to drive. Well now my wife is driving it again, and I was able to get a much manlier vehicle with a size that "fits" me better.


Enter my new ride, a 2008 Toyota Sequoia, affectionately called Big Tree (Sequoia is the name of the huge redwood trees found in California). If you saw the Highlander you know I had to put some BBS's on this beast too:




For this build I wanted to build it very close to completely stealth, and not sacrifice any cargo space. I also wanted to build a high quality minimalist system that could hopefully compete and sound great with very few components. Most importantly, I wanted to do it all myself in my spare time just like my past builds. I literally have blood, sweat, and tears into this install. The equipment has changed a couple of times and still may change again before its first show, but I'm pretty happy with what's in there now:

Clarion DRZ9255
Zuki Eleets 5 channel
Zuki Eleets 2 channel (custom)
Audible Physics Nz3 wideband 3" drivers with AMT transducers combo
Dynaudio 20W75 8" drivers
Image Dynamics IDQ10 v.2 subwoofer



The DRZ may get modded or swapped to an HX-D3, and I might get a separate processor, but I'm not really stressing it right now. No other changes are planned.

So I'll get all the photos loaded and add to this log as I have time. Again this is a stealth install, so on the surface the pics will look stock. Thats the point though. Behind the scenes is a different story. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So I should probably start with the wiring since that's what I did first. I didn't take many wiring photos anyway since wiring is pretty straightforward and there isn't much show to mine. But here's my installation products list:

Stinger and Rockford 1/0 Gauge OFC Power / Ground Wire
Streetwires 4 Gauge Power / Ground Wire
Stinger ANL Fuse Holder
Stinger Distribution Blocks
Streetwires ZN9 RCA Interconnects
Streetwires 12-gauge speaker cable throughout
Raammat BXT II and Ensolite IUO sound deadening (Thanks Rick!)
Optima D27F Yellow Top Battery




I'll update this post later when I install my new battery and how I modded the fuse box cover to accept the 1/0 gauge wire and fuse holder in the factory location. Also holding place for a picture of my engine bay and firewall pass-through. (*updated)

Here is my engine bay:









Here is my amplifier ground location:



 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Let's move on to the door speakers since that's where I spent the most time (aside from the sub enclosure). First of all the Sequoia and Tundra come with 6x9" speakers in the door from the factory. However the doors are big and would house an 8" driver without cutting metal, so that's what I wanted. Initially I wasn't going to do a sub at all so I wanted a rock-solid midbass stage. Ultimately my inner audiophile kicked in and I installed a sub anyway but more on that later.


First the tear down (I'll just show driver's side):



The plastic lining was cut away and discarded.



Then Raammat applied to the outer door skin.



And the big holes were sealed with pieces of .25" acrylic.






Then the inner door skin was generously covered in Raammat.




And the same done on the passenger side.





 

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Curious to see what u do in the doors. Should b the same door panel as my Tundra. I know depth can b an issue.
Definitely the same doors as the Tundra. I've recently upgraded my door midbasses to HAT L8's (V1). It was definitely a challenge.

Really looking forward to seeing this build.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Okay I've got a little more time so let's continue...

As I stated above, initially I wasn't going to run subs at all. So I knew that I wanted a solid 8" midbass that could handle lots of power to mount in my doors. Problem is ther is only roughly 3" of mounting depth in the Tundra/Sequoia door so that drastically limited my choices since cutting the door panel was out of the question. I wanted my install to look almost virtually stock, with no hint of custom work visible to the naked eye. So I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an usused pair of old school Dynaudio 8" drivers, the first of the Esotec series I believe. They are the 20W75 which preceeds the MW170 which preceeds the current (and still aging) MW172. So yeah, this speaker is ancient, but it has a rubber surround, no blemishes, and the suspension is tight. The best part is that it happened to be the 8-ohm version, which has great specs for an IB door installation (Fs 30Hz, Qts .50). Most importantly, the mounting depth is a mere 78mm. So all that I needed to do was build baffle and go right? Not so easy...

The truck comes with 6x9s from the factory, and the door panel is cut with an oval hole because of it. So I needed a baffle to match that shape and still fit a 172mm cutout. Moreover, the cutout had to line up and be thick enough so that the speaker magnet cleared the window track that happens to conveniently pass right through the speaker mounting area. On top of that I had to make sure the speaker would be centered with the factory grille on the door panel. And when it's all said and done I have to make sure the door panel doesn't contact the speaker frame or surround, particulary at full excursion. Needless to say I ended up building more than one set of baffles before I got it right.

First baffle made of 3/4" mdf. You can see the silver window track in the hole. Notice how the cutout is offset in the oval:





And passenger side:



Problem is that I need the baffle to be thicker than 3/4" if I want the speaker to clear. I needed to build a spacer ring. Most people would do this out another piece of mdf. I couldn't use two layers of 3/4" mdf because a 1.5" baffle would've been too thick to fit under the door panel. I needed another 1/2" (so I thought) but I wanted the most dense material I could get. I can't stand rattles and vibrations. At the sound pressures I was aiming for and knowing that I would be playing sub-bass from the doors, I had to have something solid. I researched materials and found Corian to be intriguing, so I found a supply of 1/2" Corian slabs that would work perfect for my baffles. Corian is dense, a royal pain in the ass to cut, and is very messy in the aftermath. But it does cut, rout, and sand just like mdf using common hand tools. It just takes three times as long...







 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So while I was waiting on the Corian / MDF baffle stack to dry, I decided to cover the door skin with Ensolite IUO peel and stick. A big shout out to Rick of RaamAudio for the great deal on the product.



And with the baffle mounted:





That was an adhesive silicone sealant I used to bond the Corian to the MDF by the way. And the MDF was coated with spray polyurethane to seal it.


Here's a quick shot of the speaker wire terminations:



And the speaker mounted:



 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well I thought I was done. Except...the dang baffle was too thick and I couldn't fit the door panel back on! I thought I had measured carefully but alas I had not. I compensated by cutting notches in the MDF to allow the door panel to fit around it, and that did work to get the door panel to fit. But, under hard excursion the surround was contacting the back of the panel and it would make a flapping sound. Totally uncool.

So I had to reduce the thickness of my baffle. I had several options and I chose the most time-consuming yet best performing one. I decided to remake the 3/4" MDF baffle out of 1/2" Corian instead. So after countless hours (days of procrastination) and lots of white dust later, these were born:



There is a layer of Raammat BXT II in between the Corian layers. Yah, it's dense.





I trimmed some of the ribs on the door panel so that the baffle cleared. I also put a layer of Raammat on the door panel as well as more Ensolite. Don't have a pic right now but I'll take one in the next couple days. So that's it for the doors. What you didn't see is that I ran the wiring through the existing factory grommet hose, and tied it off with wire ties so that it doesn't rattle or interfere with the window mechanism. These are big doors and are real easy to work in. Next up, dash speakers!
 

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It's looking great Mike!!!
 

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This turned out really SLICK!

I really wish I would have gotten the peel and stick from rick vs the
regular CCF. Good move.
 

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good move on the corean for the whole baffle

mdf just turns to mush over time - the corean will last for the lifetime of the car!

do yourself a favor and get some duct seal. lowes\home depot has it in the electrical supply section... looks like a brick of C4. its grey and sticky, it never melts from in-car temps and a brick weighs 1lb. get 3 or 4, then buy some BB's or lead fishing weights and start sticking this stuff around the baffle as much as you can, then stick the bb's or lead weights into the stuff to add even more mass.

i did this with my exodus anarchys, and it helps mass load the doors like nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wanted to expand on the door panel deadening a bit. These panels are big with large flat areas so it's important to get some Raammat on them. Additionally the armrest assembly is screwed to the door panel itself, making the whole thing an assembly of parts. What I found was that my screws had loosened over time and this caused the two pieces to resonate against each other at certain frequencies. So I tightened them and I was liberal with the Ensolite and stuffed it between adjacent edges, in nooks and crannies, and along the edge of the switch panel assembly so that no two plastic pieces could vibrate together and cause a buzz.

Bare panel:



Notice the parts screwed together-
Before:


And after:



Raammat being applied:



Ensolite covered the Raammat:



And don't forget the connectors, wires, and switch panel:



Door panel back on and looking stock:

 

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As a Tundra owner, this build log is awesome.

Yeah, it was a bitch getting the 8"s into my door as well. :x
 
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