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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been done, actually created an account to see what others had done. It was by reading your threads and comments that shaped the direction of my system. It's my first box build so not entirely sure how it's going to turn out, and currently waiting on the amp (backorder) to really get it figured out.

For starters, 2nd gen Ram quad cab. 2001. Wanted stealth and a bit of base. Currently in the process of redoing the entire system with an Alpine head unit, 6.5" components up front, 6.5" coaxials in the rear. 10" sub in a custom build box to replace the center seat. All speakers/sub are Infinity Kappa, amp will be an Infinity Kappa 5 channel. Everything at 2 ohms. All wiring came from Knukonceptz. Only going to sound deaden the doors for now, with second skin.

Goal of my system is 'premium' factory sound. Obviously it's going to be better then any factory system, (hopefully), but I'm not a hard core car audio guy. Wanted to try this for the hell of it and see how it turns out. Posting here so you can give your input and criticism, but again, I'm not an expert, and not trying a show quality system.

First, the box. After reviewing different designs online decided to go in a slightly different route. I wanted (personal preference) a box that would be flat across the front of the seat, didn't care if it was elevated in the back since it is slightly from the factory. Decided to utilize all factory brackets for mounting purposes, and everything will bolt together as stock.

Started by gutting the factory center seat:


My focus was to keep everything strong. Have dogs that bounce over the center seat/console, and was worried that excessive weight on the center console in the down positions would mess with the mdf box. (might be over thinking it, but i've worked with mdf in the past, not blow away by how it holds up over time). For that reason, focused on modifying the factory seat frame and build a sealed enclosure to drop 'into' it. My sub has a box size recommendation of .53 to .98, 'ideal' is .75 with poly. My final box dimensions are .72 with this design, built out of 3/4" mdf. Should also note, no one will ever sit on the center seat, so I didn't care about comfort. No padding will be used outside of to help shape the factory seat cover to the box.

First, factory seat bracket before/after.


I welded 'caps' on the front/back edges of frame first. I don't own a welder, rented one for $30 from Home Depot for this work. After that was done, used a grinder to cut out all the tubing from the bracket, which is what helps keep the factory cushion in place. Also did grinding on the base flange of the bracket, taking out excess material in order to help myself to some extra cubic area. Since I want to make the bracket bolt up factory, I need to allow the box to drop through the bracket. I've read on here, and heard from others, a 10'' should have around 2" for clearance on a down fire application such as this. Since the factory brackets are 3-4" off the floor, obviously an issue. The design should take care of that.

Next, box design. Little different I know, but everything I've read seemed to indicate that box shape for a sealed enclosure would give minimal effects on sound. Made the top a '+' pattern so it would drop through the bracket, as shown. Left is just cut out and set together, right shows the bracket dropped over the top.



Finally, seat cover/sub set in and test fit in truck for my dimensions.


Still have a lot of work to do on cutting out foam to help it fix the seat cover, need to secure it to the frame (with toggle bolts). But overall, you get the idea. Won't know how it sounds for weeks since the amp is on backorder though.

Other little things I've done was to replace factory 'Infinity' system with new. Components up front provided the first challenge, due to the size difference.


Had planned on keeping everything in factory locations and hidden away so, outside of head unit, looked factory. Obviously couldn't hide those tweeters. Messed around with the factory trim pieces and eventually used a dremel to open the factory opening up large enough to press the tweeter in from the back. The new tweeter had a slight taper, and I tipped it into the opening. Right now it's held in place by the back metal pillar from the windshield. This is a tight fit and it can't move, and I like having it partially sunk to make it stick out less. Noted on another forum a guy using factory matching trim paint to brush the mesh so it blends in more, might do that.



That's it for now. Plan for this weekend is to yank the factory wiring and run my aftermarket. Also want to install the front door speakers/crossovers and get to work on soundproofing. Hoping to have all the speakers and wiring run by the end of the weekend, and just wait on my amp to arrive for final work.

Also, current deck is a Alpine x001, "multimedia" head unit. Planning on bumping up to the current version "x100", which is currently being closed out for next years model. Like the button layout, basically, plus it's all black which will look better with my factory dash. kicked around a double din project, but having found some pics, don't care for the look.

Fire away with the criticism...lol.
 

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Very nice

I'm going to be doing a center console myself soon enough so seeing different variations of the same thing is always refreshing. I'll be aiming for a stealth install aswell

I'll be looking for an update this weekend:)

Good fab work btw
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, been very interesting to take this on. When you do yours, stare at the seat brackets for hours, amazing the crap you'll dream up..lol

Should have said, overall dimensions of the box are 19x12.25, by about 6.75" deep, with the obvious cut outs. With this design, was able to get everything cut out of a single 2x4x3/4 sheet of mdf, which ran me 10 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a change of plans. Figured this would be a month long build due to the amp backorder, however got a call this a.m. that the Kappa 5 amp I was planning this build around is now at least 2 months out. Ended up switching the amp to a Kicker 08zx700.5, which is a bit bigger dimension wise, but slight bump performance wise. Don't know anything about Kicker amps, but then again, really don't know what the hell I'm doing, so we'll see.

Also changed head units, bought an Alpine ida-100x today. Current head unit was the previous gen, x001. Only listen to my ipod, and this seems to be the best single din unit for it. Had been waiting for the replacement for the 100x to come out, but chose to stick with 100 because of the black appearence. Figure it will blend in better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just an update on this weekend.

Made adapter plates to replace the factory 6x9s up front with the 6.5's, and sound deadened the doors. Installed the 6.5's and in process, yanked factory speaker wires to run the 12 gauge stuff. Installed the front crossovers up under the dash, and ran the new speaker wire up to the previously installed tweeters, which had been running off the factory harness. Ran a temporary set of speaker wires to the front components to see how it sounds so far, definitely better...

Door 'finished'


Also worked today making the final tweeks to the sub box. Cut the factory foam cushion to use to make the original seat cover fit better. Secured the box to the original seat frame and did a test mount. Happy with the final product, assuming it sounds decent...


Sound deadened the back doors and ran the new speaker wires for the 6.5's there as well. Have the wiring for the rear speakers run to the amp location. Had planned on running all wiring to the amp location so it was ready for the install next weekend, but ran out of speaker wire. (amazing how fast 40' goes in a truck cab). Plan on pulling the front buckets out next weekend to pull the carpet up for a better cabling run up front, and get the amp in. Should be finished next weekend.

Researching on here how to tune an amp, can admit I'm clueless. I know this isn't comparable to most of the components/installs on this forum, but hoping it'll suite my tastes.
 

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Researching on here how to tune an amp, can admit I'm clueless. I know this isn't comparable to most of the components/installs on this forum, but hoping it'll suite my tastes.
box looks good. nice and stealth. You cant tune an amp without some other equipment. I had an audiocontrol EQX in the center console of my 95 ram
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ahh, probably going to have to wait and see how it sounds before deciding what to do. Kicked around the Imprint add on for my deck but read mixed reviews on here. Just wait and see I guess.

Also should note a mistake earlier, used T nuts to secure the box to the metal seat frame, not toggle bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is where it starts on the final day (hopefully) of the stereo install.



Got home from work around 3 yesterday and immediately started removing the interior. Ran the power wire from the battery back through the firewall (which wasn't fun). Decided on a final mounting location under the passenger seat. Wanted to put it behind the back seat on the rear cab, but not enough room, and was worried if I rigged something up to make it fit, wouldn't have enough airspace to cool. My first plan was for under the seat, but the original amp in this process was 6" shorter and would have been completely out of site. With the longer amp, worried about feet kicking it should there be someone in the back...but in the year and a half I've had the truck, only had someone back there once, so I'll get over it.

Can't quite figure out how to switch the amp from 4 ohms to 2 ohms, and the directions are kinda vague. Also, something isn't quite right, because I have a 2 ohm sub, but seems the amp only has a 4 ohm output for the sub channel. Hoping this is wrong because it looks like a typo, but hard to find decent specs on this amp.

Just going to hook it all up and see what blows. Place your bets...

(Edit, looks like it's default a 2 ohm amp)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, it's done. Mostly happy with it.

Final shots of the amateur amp rack, will redo it at some point, but it was pooring and my truck won't fit in the garage very well.






Got everything wired up and up and running. Figured out the amp after some playing, amazing how many mistakes are in the Kicker instruction manual. It references images that are mis labled, typos on the specs of the amp...just unreal. Since it was my first amp install, probably took longer then it should have.

Final thoughts on my first build... Think the sound deadening definitely made a difference on the doors, getting a lot better sound out of the door speakers. I didn't do the floor, but honestly not sure how much of a difference it would make. Love the box and sub, think I got that right. I wasn't trying for the 'boom boom' you could hear for miles, but it will do it. Just very pleased at how nice a stereo sounds with a subwoofer. Not sure how Infinity rates among the pros, but for my install it was sufficient.

Had been worried about tuning the system when I was done, but not so much anymore. Kappa speakers all had the little button to knock the highs down a bit, which was definitely needed, but after that, really sounds great. I can definitely see where it would be nice to have more options then you get with a simple component speaker set up like I have for tuning purposes. That being said, though, probably got lucky that it turned out as well as it did, and I really don't feel the need to do anything further.

Going to do more research for the next project, went into this one blind but learned a lot from it. The wife really likes the system in the truck, and I'm going to have to do something with her car to stop her from stealing mine all the time.

(carpet had some wet spots from trying to do an install in a storm)
 

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It all looks good! I like what you did with the sub uses the available space really well. The only suggestion I might make would be to paint/seal the MDF you mounted the amp onto just for some protection from possible moisture.

P
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the tip, I'll do that when I redo the mount. This was a quick thing because I wanted to get it done yesterday, but I didn't know about sealing the mdf. Definitely will do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just to update this.

I did make a mistake that I'll be rectifying soon. Did all my sound deadening on the door exterior, ignored the inside of the door. After playing with the system for a couple weeks, realized I'm not getting as much out of the door speakers as I should be. Previously said I was getting good sound out of the door speakers, but it was more the tweeters then doors. 'Rookie' mistake.

Truck is going in for body work in a couple weeks and they are lining the inside of the doors with a rust proof compound. Instructed them to leave the door panels off and I'll fix my screw up then.
 
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