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2014 Avalon Limited Build

24891 Views 412 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  StaudiA6
So I literally just picked this up a few hours ago. Since I work at the dealership I got it from I went right from signing papers to the back for applying ceramic protection. One old lady owner, loaded and only 35k miles.

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For the first 2 months or so it’ll move a little slow but after the VA meet in September the Malibu will finally be retired and most of the equipment will get transferred into this car. It’s also going to be my daily driver so down time/disassembly will be minimal.

2014 Avalon with JBL/nav system

Supreme SQ while keeping as much useable/cargo space as possible and use OEM speaker locations and minimal modifications

Head unit: Kenwood Excelon Reference DMX-1057XR
Processor: JL TWK88
Amps: Alpine PDX-V9 & F4
Front Stage: SI TM65mk4, SI M3 Carbon, SI M25mk2
Sub: SI… either SQL 15 or SQL 12

All of the equipment, with the exception of the front stage & subs is currently installed in my Malibu. Once the Sept VA meet is over I’ll start pulling gear.

The decision on sub will depend on where there’s available room for it. I’m hoping for spare tire well but I’m limited on mounting depth there (I’ll measure that out in the next few days), if that doesn’t work either side of the trunk might work.

Most people will say you can’t replace the
radio in the JBL/Synthesis cars and, from what I’ve read, it’s because the circuit board for the passenger airbag light is integrated into the board with the tuning knob so it can’t be transferred to the new dash kit. So after some investigation I am under the understanding that the plug for the airbag light is the same for all models of radios so I procured a non-JBL radio so I can dismantle THAT & I can keep my original radio intact.

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I should be able to start accruing install parts for this over the next few weeks so this will hopefully start moving along about the end of September. I’ll update as it moves along.
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I’m only using the airbag light from the non-JBL unit. I’ll be using my Kenwood as the new source, bypassing the OEM amp completely. On the non-JBL radio the passenger airbag light gets removed and installed into the dash kit when you replace the radio. On the JBL radios the airbag light is part of the circuit board of the radio and cannot be removed without really hacking up the original. Without that airbag light plugged in the car gets all confused and throws error codes. This way by using a donor airbag light I should be able to replace the radio without throwing codes.
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From what I’ve read, yes, the airbag light is the only restriction. The heat/ac is separate. With the Maestro RR any functions that run through the OEM radio are able to be accessed through the Kenwood… so I’ve been told.

I don’t have the SQL yet and I’m still on the fence between the 12 & 15 but all the modeling I’ve done shows a decent volume (and low end extension) gain with the 15 in 2cf sealed so that’s the way I’m leaning. I measured approximately 2.6-2.8 cu ft in the spare tire well but the depth is only 8”. Raising the floor 2” or so will get me the depth clearance I need PLUS allow me to mount the amps & DSP in the floor too.

As far as the car… yeah… it was TOO clean to pass up. Financially it was NOT the best time but I’ll never see a car this nice with that low mileage. It’s got no dents, dings, scratches or even stone chips. No wear on any of the seats or floor mats.
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My understanding is that he will mount the stock head unit out of sight but wired in to preserve air bag function and keep the annoying extra lights off in the cluster.
Nope. OEM unit will be completely removed. You can check out the Avalon install on 5-Star’s YouTube for a better description but it’s like I said above. For the non-JBL radios you have to unscrew the airbag light from the radio housing and mount it into the new dash kit. So I had to buy a different radio because the airbag light in the JBL radios cannot be removed. My Kenwood unit is the big 10” floating screen model and has the ability to access things like tire pressure, gauges & other car functions using the Idatalink Maestro RR. Therefore I do not need to keep the OEM radio for those functions.
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Got it tinted today

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Still moving slowly but some slow progress is being made. I’ll be purchasing the rest of my SI speakers this weekend at the Sundown show. I’m not going but the prices are too good to pass up so Naiku will get them for me and I’ll pick them up at his meet in Sept. I already have a set of TM65MkIVs so this weekend I’ll get the mids, tweets & the SQL-12 (I don’t quite have the room, or amp power, for the 15).

The plan is to put the sub in the right rear corner of the trunk. I’ve estimated there’s about 1.3-1.4cf in that spot, so the 1cf sealed I’m aiming for shouldn’t be a problem. Does anyone have any tips/tricks on how to apply mat on this area without it falling off…
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I’ve glassed stuff before but I’ve never had to apply it upside down. I want to do the first layer IN the car until it hardens to make sure it holds shape.

Other than that, my new remote starter showed up today.
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It’s a simple 30min plug & play install so that’ll get done this weekend. I might get frisky and start glassing this weekend, we’ll see.
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I did think about a stack-fab but to be honest my router skills are rudimentary at best and the fiberglass can be a lot thinner than the wood would have to be which gives me a little more wiggle room with airspace. I’m by no means a master at fiberglass work but I’d rather deal with the smell (call me weird but I like the smell) of that than the wasted wood plus sawdust mess. Not to mention the cost of wood these days…
I do. I think I have at least a gallon of resin. I’m not positive on the amount of hardener but I’m confident I have enough. I would just need to get some cloth and/or mat and some brushes.
Nice work! I just hope mine looks 1/2 as good when I’m done.
Got a little bit more done this weekend. I had a bit of deadener left over from my last car so I thought I’d use that up to get something done. I ran out part way through the floor but I’ll finish that up once I get more.

Trunk lid before & after:
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Trunk floor before & after:
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I’ll get my new speakers at the VA meet & I get paid 3 times in September, plus I’ll be selling the Malibu so progress should start picking up this coming month.


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Giorgio, the peanut butter box is here.

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Obviously it’s not really the peanut butter box, but I couldn’t help myself, for some reason I love that commercial.

I’m still waiting on power wire & the USB adapter to show up and I also have to order a few more things yet but progress should start picking up in the next few weeks.

For the next 7 out of 12 Saturdays I’ll be busy, so time will be limited (I have season tickets to PSU football), because of that I’m really contemplating taking maybe 3-4 days vacation over an away game weekend to knock this biotch out. I figure a good Th-Tu stretch at the end of the month should be enough to get the majority done. I guess we’ll see how frisky I feel until then.

See y’all in a week or so in VA. Deuces!
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Todd, I'm going to go ahead and throw this out before you start on a sub enclosure...

Two SQL-12 s on a trunk baffle.
I would absolutely LOVE to do that but not sure how it would work being that the seats don’t fold and the only opening is either the very small 7x8” ski pass or the 6x9 rear speaker openings. I’m still entertaining the idea of the single 12 firing through the ski pass. We can discuss it further at Ian’s this weekend.
I have a 2013 Touring (same color) yours definitely looks mint.
Thanks. I can’t wait to get the install started in about 3 weeks. I scheduled 4 days vacation over the Columbus Day weekend and a buddy of mine is going to help me knock this out.
My ski pass is roughly that size and it works just fine…
For 2 or just 1? I’m still heavily contemplating using the 1 through the pass but I’m not sure I have enough power for two. 500w off the sub channel of my Alpine V9.
Some small progress has been made.

The idea was to put the control knob for the TWK in a blank switch plate on the dash. Only problem is there’s no empty spots.

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So the plan is to remove the one for the Blind Spot Monitor as that’s the only one I see myself not needing to operate. It stays on all the time and I like it that way. I’ll double check the wiring but if it’s as easy as jumping some wires I’ll do that and remove the switch completely. If it’s not that simple, I’ll just tuck the switch up somewhere behind the dash. With that decided, I acquired a blank and proceeded to drill a hole dead center and mount the knob… only to notice AFTER the hole was drilled that the shaft is actually offset on the actual knob and it BARELY fit.
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Who designed that thing? The next obstacle is finding a place to mount the obscenely bright LED so it’s not blinding at night.

I also started the sub grille this evening. Took one of my SI stickers and stuck it on the grille. The plan is to paint the grille gun-metal grey to blend into the grey trunk, then I’ll peel the sticker, leaving a black logo.
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Everything was going according to plan until it started raining a few minutes ago so that will wait until tomorrow. I also ordered some brushed metal vinyl to wrap my dash kit to more closely match my dash so I’m going to try to get that done by this weekend as well.

A big decision with the sub has been made at least. I went back & forth & back & forth between sealed, IB, 4th order bandpass & ported. In the end I’ve decided to do ported behind the rear seat. Given I’m only running 500w or so I went with ported to gain a little efficiency over the sealed and ease of build over the 4th order. According to my modeling a 1.6cf tuned to 26Hz gives me the relatively flat response I’m looking for with really good low end extension.

I took the weekend of 10/6-10/11 off work and a friend of mine is going to help me knock this thing out so a lot of progress will be made in a few weeks.
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Didn’t get any painting done today. No rain but steady 10-15mph winds would’ve made painting difficult. So I focused on the dash kit tonight. So the OEM dash has a brushed metal look to it and the dash kit is gloss black and I hear that it scratches VERY easily so that’s a big nope.

Here’s the OEM finish (ignore the greasy fingerprints) with that pesky aforementioned airbag light
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And the dash kit finish
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So I got myself some brushed metal vinyl and wrapped that sumbitch. It’s not an exact match but it’s close enough that it’ll work.
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And I did get those small bubbles out.
So here’s the back of the donor, non-JBL radio I mentioned in the beginning of the thread.
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After disassembly this is what I’m after. In the top left corner is the circuit board for the pass airbag light. That’s what needs transferred over to the new dash kit.
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In the JBL radio these 2 pieces are 1 complete board which makes removing it extremely difficult.
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So I got the airbag light transferred over and got it all buttoned up for now. Maybe later this weekend I’ll mount up the new head unit and prep it for install.

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Todd, Im enjoying your build. I was hoping you would have gone sealed sub box in right side of trunk. Then I could copy you. I almost had a poop when I opened up the si 12” sub. Didnt realize how deep and large the magnet is.
Thanks. It really was a LOT of flip flopping between that corner sealed and the ported. The other reason I had for not doing the sealed in the corner was because my trunk floor is all one piece so if I ever needed to access the spare area I’d have to tuck that “wing” back under & I also wasn’t sure how easily would come out & go back in.

That sub? No kidding! I took it out of the box to line up the grille to make sure my logo would be straight and my wife goes “Holy S**T! What are you doing with THAT?” It’s easily twice as heavy as the 15 that came out of the Malibu.

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It really is a thing of beauty isn’t it?

Currently getting ready for a day of football in State College, then I’ll try to get some more tidbits done tomorrow.
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Got home from the game, painted the grille, peeled the sticker, took a picture
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Then promptly hit a motivational wall. Sitting in the sun all day takes a lot out of you. I’m a tad burnt even with sunscreen. Hopefully will do more tomorrow.
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Got a little bit more done today while dodging rain storms. Stupid Ian… at least all we got in PA was rain.

Pulled the panel just forward of the shifter & under the HVAC panel and removed the OEM “mood lighting” LED.
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Made a small piece of ABS and hot glued it in place and installed the LED for the TWK
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It’ll have to wait until everything is in and operational before I’ll know if it’s too bright mounted there. If it is, I found a solution but we’ll see how it goes first. Sitting in the car you can’t even see the panel so you shouldn’t even know it’s there until it’s lit up.
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I also got the drivers side sail panel mocked up.
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I managed to get it on-axis within a degree or 2 so we’ll call it on-axis. That’s where I left off before I got tired of being rained on from the trial fitting in & out. I’ll try to get the passenger one done in the next 2 evenings then Thursday begins the sub box & amp rack/wiring.


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So when u do the passenger tweeter do u do an angle symmetrical to the driver side or do u aim it at the driver (person).
In the Malibu I did symmetrical. This one I’ll do on axis to the driver. Since I’m tuning it to the driver’s seat I may as well aim them at the driver’s seat. The tricky part with these is the fact that over 1/2 the sail panel (the part covered in blue tape) is covered by the a-pillar, and there’s no gap so I have to make sure my glassing doesn’t go too far AND worrying about the corner of the dash that covers part of them too.
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