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As most of you know, my personal favorite type of build is the fake floor, its not that i really love that style for any reason other than the fact that i like to do hidden builds that take away as little trunk space as possible and the spare tire well and floor lends itself well to that design...i am sure the day spare tire wells disappear from cars would be the day i start doing a lot less of them :D

the biggest disadvantage of doing fake floors is usually the loss of the oem spare tire...for the most part, our customers are fine with it and understand that it is a trade off between having most or all of their trunk space and having the system be completely hidden.

but once in a while, a client would like to do something in the floor but still retain the spare. now in paper this usually doesnt sound all that hard...simply build everything above the spare and its good to go. but for me, the two main things working against this design is the need to have the spare easily accessible and removable, and not raise the floor too much to the point it becomes very obvious that there is a lot of things hidden below the floor...this second point often works against the need to have an adequate enclosure for the subwoofer which causes the entire floor to come up.

one of the first attempts by me to do something like this was in a 2010 STi from about 4 and a half years ago, which i built whole rack that is designed to pivot up and allow access to the spare:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/84949-2010-sti-stealth-sq-install-slight-twist.html

when the customers of this 2014 model contacted us and mentioned that they would like to have something similar, i set out to design something that addresses the short comings of that design, which was that in the end, the entire structure was very heavy and bulky and hard to maneuver, and the fact that all the tools required for removing the spare had to be stowed in the interior.

so, lets get started with the goals:

1. achieve nice level of sound quality throughout
2. achieve a decent amount of bass and maintain as much usable cargo space as possible
3. retain spare tire and allow quick and easy access to it in case of a flat

the customer supplied us with most of the gear other than the front speakers and subwoofer.

lets get started, first a shot of this car, still pretty new from the dealer lot, and driven up from San Diego :)



as usual, i welded a steel bracket to the top of the battery tie down bar and it houses a stinger fuse holder:







the customer supplied us with a Alpine 920HD double din headunit and a JDM finisher:



one of the things the customer wanted was both a front and rear camera, so here is the front camera, secured to a abs plastic spacer, and then stuck to the center of the front bumper area using 3M VHB body bolding tape, no holes were drilled in the front bumper:



here is a better look at the camera and the spacer plate:



and here is the image on the alpine from the front camera, clearly showing the edge of the front bumper:



the customer also supplied us with a rydeen duo rear camera, so i installed that in the rear hatch door:



and some pics of that process, whcih involved taking the little panel above the license plate off, mounting the camera, and routing the wires in the hatc, through the factory rubber hose, and into the interior and onto the headunit:











and here is the image of the rear camera:



to control the switching of the front and rear cameras automatically, i used a beatsonic camera controller, and wired it up to both cameras, this switcher will automatically switch to the front camera when you slow down to a certain point, or, you can trigger the front camera at any time for 3 seconds by pushing a button:





moving onto the front stage, which is a set of Morel Titanium Elate 603 3 way component system.

the midbass was installed in the stock lower door location, first jesse sound proofed the outter door with blackhole tile, ran new speaker wires into the door, and sound proofed the area around the speaker mounting with STP CLD damper:






then he fabricated some spacer adapter rings for the morel elate midbass and coated them with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





the rest of the door was then covered with stinger foam barrier, and the spacers were then installed using oem hardware and location:



and the morel midbass wired up and secured:



the same was then done on the driver side:





the inside of the plastic door card also receive their treatment of STP CLD damper:





the morel cdm880 and MT350 tweeter were molded into the a pillars, aimed semi off axis, and wrapped in black vinyl:



















some build pics of the pillars.

first the pillars were rough sanded, holes cut out, and the mounting ring baffles aimed and secured:



then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, allowed to cure. and the structure was reinforced from the inside using a combination of filler and resin:



when that drived, a few layers of body filler and sanding later, we have a smooth and blended shape:



the pillars were then wrapped in black vinyl, the tweeters press fitted in place, and they were ready to go into the car:







due to the space limitation in the back, we installed the mosconi 6to8v8 dsp on the floor below the driver seat, Jesse fabricated the mounting plate while i wired it up. since it was completely hidden after the seat went back in, here are some of the finished pictures with the seat removed.







this was a relatively simple rack that involved first trimming the carpet and mounting four rivet nuts into the steel floor below:



and then a plate that had four match holes that will allow it to be bolted solidly onto the floor:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
next comes a series of pictures that shows the wiring bundles as it travels from the front of the car to the rear, wire tied to factory looms every few inches:















again due to the space restriction of the design i had for the hatch, i chose to locate all the power distribution under the rear seat cushion, so there was quite a bit more going on than normal down there. the good thing is, everythig is still easily accessible in a matter of seconds by pulling the seat cushion off.

first, i made a little plate to house the two distribution blocks:





and then i wired everything up as you see here:









so thats it for the interior, moving on to the hatch area. so here is the normal view with everything covered up. as you see, the floor has been raised about 4 inches or so and is now level with the hatch opening. the front part of the floor is raised slightly as the zapco amps that the customer supplied were pretty tall, and if i had to make the entire floor level, it would have protruded above the hatch opening threshold. there is also a small bump on the driver side floor panel, but more on that later:



pop off the two grilles and here is what yyou see, two zapco z150.4 amps are tucked all the way upfront, providing 6x150 watts upfront and over 500 watts to the sub...an illusion audio carbon c12 is in the middle of the floor, chosen for its super slim mounting depth. all the gear is trimmed in white vinyl. overall pretty straight forward and the locations dictated by mounting necessity.











a coupla shots looking back with the seats flipped down:





and the entire hatch:



so now comes the party trick moment, and i will show you how you can access and remove the spare tire in under 2 minutes.

first, you see the two side floor panels with little pull straps on them, simply pull and remove them and you see that basically all the tools for removing and installing the spare tire has been relocated to these two locations. all the tools have been wrapped in the hook side of velcro so they dont slide around, and here you see there was a bump on the driver side panel, it is to clear the factory jack:











then simply pop off the center portion of the floor cover, which is hold on by press fitting and small strips of velcro, and the subbox is exposed



then, using a philips screw driver supplied with the car, simply undo four bolts on either side of the enclosure, note the two smaller strips of mdf above the bottom ledge, these are grab handles so you can pull the enclosure out:





after the four bolts are loosened, and the quick disconnects are poulled apart, simply grab and pull, and this structure comes completely out of the car with ease:





and you are left with this view:



then, using a wrench i supplied and located in one of the side bins, simply undo the bolt holding down the spare tire, and bam, the tire can now be removed:





one thing you may notice is that the inside of the spare tire rim isnt really symmetrical but has a lot of irregular ledges and indentations...this means for the best fitment, the tire should always be oriented in a certain direction. to make that easier, i simply marked all the holes on the spare rim on the floor, with numbers marking them, so all the customer has to do is to line up the holes and the numbers and its always in the correct position.

i was able to remove the re install the spare 5 times over the course of the build to take pictures and to time myself, in the end, the removal process takes me about 1 and a half minutes, and the reinstall takes a little bit less.
 

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so now look at some build pics of the hatch, which turned out to have a lot of pieces and pretty complex.

first, the subbox. i trimmed out the flat portion of the enclosure so it lines up perfectly with the rim opening of the spare, and placed it over the spare tire:





the inside of the spare rim was tapped off, and 6 layers of fiberglass mat was laid down:





when that cured, i pulled the entire thing out of the floor, and i ended up with a fiberglass cake sort of thingymajig:







after test fitting the sub, i then fabricated a thin top trim panel, painted the entire bottom and side portion of the box with black trunkliner, vinyled the appropriate surfaces, and bonded them together to form the finished enclosure:











for the amp rack, i installed four rivet nuts into the metal covers on the front of the trunk:





fabricated the long and skinny amp rack, covering the bottom and front side with carpet, and bolted it to the car, note the big chamfered edge along the middle bottom side of the rack, to make sure the edge doesnt catch the spare as it is moved:







the two zapco amps were then wired up and installed:









here is the amp rack trim panel before and after vinyl, and a small piece of mesh was secured to the center opening as a cosmetic trim:





here are the two bottom side pieces that houses the tools and holes up the subbox, the tools sides were carpeted, while the other side was painted with black trunk liner:





these pieces were then secured to the car, bolted to the amp rack upfront, and to the oem cargo hook mounting mounts in the back, and the tools placed in them:









here are the top floor panels before and after carpeting:











and finally, the two breathable grilles before and after carpeting:





so thats it :)

a lot of different parts to consider but in the end, i am pretty happy with the outcome as the goal of maintaining a usable trunk floor AND having a easily removed spare tire was achieved.

this design doesnt lend itself to every car, but in the impreza hatch it works decently well if you dont mind loosing some floor height.

the car could be among the best impreza body styles i have done, since this is i believe the only one i have done a 3 way front stage in. the imaging and staging is all very good, depth width, and center, the morel set can dish out a lot of volume while remaining fully in control, while the c12, a sub we havent done in a while, reminded us fully why we love it...in a relatively undersized enclosure of maybe .8 cubic feet, it still can go low, remain smooth and fill the interior with a lot of bass.

so thats it...back to building more cars :D

Cheers,

Bing
 

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OMG. I was trying to figure out how to do a front camera interface, and was planning on modding a backup sensor kit and an arduino to do it. Now I don't have to. Glad I saw this build thread. I need to stop hitting my front bumper on the curb. lol

Also, I would have put candles on one of the inverted mold pics. :D

Jay
 

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OMG. I was trying to figure out how to do a front camera interface, and was planning on modding a backup sensor kit and an arduino to do it. Now I don't have to. Glad I saw this build thread. I need to stop hitting my front bumper on the curb. lol

Also, I would have put candles on one of the inverted mold pics. :D

Jay
yeah these are cool...some of the new headunits i think have that feature built in right? like the pioneer? this alpine even had it i believe but you have to spring for the ungodly pricey alpine cam. i have no experience if those headunits work also off the speedsensor though.

what i would like from the beatsonic piece is the ability to adjust the speed you want it to trigger at and how long you want it to stay on. ideally id say like 1 or 2mph and stay on until stationary. right now i think its like 5 mph and stays on for 5 seconds? but it is better than having to flip a switch all the time.

b
 

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I really like the build...pillars are very nice, the white/black contrast is sweet, as are the use of the templates for the shapes...and the tire thing is trick too.

Very nice build guys.
 

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Lovely build! I may try and figure something similar out for mine, since I end up using my spare often enough I want to keep it. Though I want mine to hinge for easy removal.

That said, something I have noticed in a lot of the builds, is the change to a different power wire size without re-fusing? Is there a reason for that?
 

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This trunk build is so full of WIN! I definitely wanna try something like that. The sub I have would never work sealed like that though, however I remember Chad did a very slick ported box there with glassed fitment into the spare similar to that.

Might have to do some math and measuring on sub depth and depending on volume of the glassed portion in the spare, go from there. I'm sure a Dayton HO 10 I think around 5" depth would be troublesome for sure.

May fair better to do the sub glassed and ported in corner (that sub likes .7cf @ 30hz), then amp rack over the spare like this, or amps vertically on the other side and a better than OEM cover over the spare.
 

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I know this has had to be asked a bunch, but are your RCA's home-built? If so, what are you using for end connectors?

 

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Love your writeups! You make it looks effortless which is not the case in reality.
 

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I know this has had to be asked a bunch, but are your RCA's home-built? If so, what are you using for end connectors?


those are both stinger rcas, the 2000 series on one side and 4000 series 4 channel on the other. :) we do make rcas on certain builds, and we tend to stinger raw ends as well.
 

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Lovely build! I may try and figure something similar out for mine, since I end up using my spare often enough I want to keep it. Though I want mine to hinge for easy removal.

That said, something I have noticed in a lot of the builds, is the change to a different power wire size without re-fusing? Is there a reason for that?
i generally dont use fused d blocks when there is onboard fusing from the amps. the risk is very minimal and it just makes for more breaks in the power stream to me.

but in the end, it doesnt make much of a different in real world either way :) do it the way you want to...that is the key.

b
 

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Funny that you should post this as I requested the exact same requirements for my RX. The difference is I opted to replace the scissor jack with a two ton bottle jack but keep everything else. It'll either be a double false floor to accommodate this or move the hardware in certain places as you just did. Also have to make sure the said items don't vibrate as it will be inches from the JL audio 10Tw3. I love challenges. (Wish I still had my Skills x-bench 3100. For a weekend warrior it was awesome)

Excellent work!
 

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I have a question, most of your builds use the same RCAs which appear to be the more basic RCAs from stinger. Is there a reason behind using basic RCAs? I assume you have great experience with them and honestly they aren't bad, but you guys usually do real high end gear (like above) and then use $20 RCAs. I am just super curious Because I know you guys have a good reason behind it.
 

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those are both stinger rcas, the 2000 series on one side and 4000 series 4 channel on the other. :) we do make rcas on certain builds, and we tend to stinger raw ends as well.
Thanks Bing.
Been googlin' but don't see where Stinger sells just the connectors.

Man I freakin' love this build!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a question, most of your builds use the same RCAs which appear to be the more basic RCAs from stinger. Is there a reason behind using basic RCAs? I assume you have great experience with them and honestly they aren't bad, but you guys usually do real high end gear (like above) and then use $20 RCAs. I am just super curious Because I know you guys have a good reason behind it.
the difference that rca cables on sound is one of those debates that has run for ever, will run on forever hehe.

i for one, am on the side that if you use decent quality ones, the difference is very very small, at least in a car environment, it is usually no where near the weakest link that is going to affect the sound.

funny thing is when i first got started in this hobby, i was obsessed with high end rcas, using ones that costs several hundred dollars per run and came in their own wooden boxes :) but then one time, and this may be hard to believe, i was so poor in college that i literally had to sell all the rcas in my car to someone to come up with food money (all the money went to audiogear that sat in my closet lol). i sold the four pairs of rca for a paultry 200 bucks, and bought some cheapy lighting audios for 30 bucks off a forum. ran them, and waited for the dreadful decrease in sq. well...as you can imagine, i didn gear ANY difference...i mean none. from that day forward, i kinda stopped believing in high end rcas, at least in a car environment.

so for us, the two grades of stinger that you typically see us use, the 2000 and 4000 series, are just what we have found to work well. we use the 4000 when there is a need for a tiny short end, and we use the 2000 in other situations. in some cars, where we know noise may be an issue, we sometimes have used the 6000 series. but usually we twist our own cables.

the issue i find with a lot of high end rcas, beyond the cost, is that they tend to very thick cabling and big rca ends or sometimes, a big knobby connectors at the end and then Y splits back into the two separate conductors. these little knobby things i hate for wiring organization, and space utilization.

perhaps one of my least favorite wiring jobs was this car from about 6 years ago, with decidedly high end customer supplied rcas...that was as struggle and literally, the amp rack had to be built around the flexibility of hte rcas :)

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/48310-its-big-tweetin-buildin-gs-feel-me-lol.html

i am in no way trying to convince anyone of my viewpoint, its just that my ears cant hear a difference. :D
 
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