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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to go ahead and start a build thread, having read through countless others.

A little back story. I've been into car audio since high school in the late 80's. Yea, back in the heyday :) I've had the truck 2 1/2 years or so. When I first got it I put in a JL 13TW5, two used rockford amps, a P500 and P600. I also got a set of Focal KF165's. All in all it isn't too bad of a set. The amps and sub is behind the seats and the focals are in horrendous looking kick panels.




Other than relocating the head unit to the top of the dash, it sat that way for a while. During that time I had a blown head gasket, which ended up in a complete engine build. A 500hp 383 went in, 3" exhaust, spintech mufflers and a complete rebuild on the trans to handle the pwer. Got that running this past summer. Still need to upgrade the rear end, but so far it is holding together.




Anyway, I decided I wanted a custom dash to house a full set of Autometer gauges. Spent a lot of time on it, but never did like the way it was turning out. I put it in the truck before finishing as I was going to run it at the midnight drags before the end of the season. Here it is as of today:



The open holes are for the AC ducts when I haven't hooked up yet. From a distance it looks, well, ok I guess. But up close it sucks big time. After doing a WHOLE lot of reading and research over the christmas break, that dash is coming out in prep for a whole new custom one along with all new audio equipment. Yep, the audio bug caught me again.

So, what is going into the truck is an iPad for source, probably a BitOne for processing. The front stage will consist of a set of HAT L3SE, midbass a set of HAT L8's and for sub either a pair of I6SW's or a single I8SW.

I listened to the HAT speakers at a local dealer and holy cow do they sound good. he didn't have the SE speakers in, but I decided to step up anyway.

For the sub, I bought an I6SW just to see what it would do. Built a test box today using the supplied specs (.36 cubic feet) and wow, what an awesome little sub. I'm toying with either putting two of them in the custom dash or in a custom console or even on the doors. Yep, took some measurements and I can get the airspace needed. If anyone is interested, I'll put up a video of it. Watching that little thing move is quite a site.

For amps I'm still on the fence. I'm leaning towards something like the JL HD900 or other 5 channel for space reasons, but I hear the Arc Audio amps are really good, so who knows yet.

The first thing I'll probably do is swap in the bucket seats I bought a few months ago. They came out of a 90 suburban that I picked up for $25 a piece. Then the dash will come out for the new custom one.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Amplifier choice has been made. Buying a set of used Tru amps from another forum member. An S25, S45 and another S45 that currently has a known toroid issue. so as it stands right now the S25 will run the subs and the S45 will run the mids and highs.

If I get the other 45 working I have a couple options. One would be to run it and the other 45 in a vertical amp scenario. One for each side running its own sub, mid and high. Or if I went with 4 subs, I could do the 25 to two, and the 45's vertical or something like that. In that scenario each sub would get ~250 watts each instead of 125ea.

Either way it should be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So I picked up an I8SW late last week and built a quick test box this weekend. It obviously has a little more output than the 6.5, requiring a bit less bass boost to achieve the same results.

I plan on building a transmission line enclosure for the 6.5 to see what that is like. Either way, I'm still undecided on which route to take just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
PWK enclosure

I got my enclosure design for my I6SW from Pete at PWKDesigns.com. I was halfway expecting a basic transmission line, not unlike the one he built as a test box that he has a video of. I'm not at all unhappy, actually excited that it is something different. This will be part of my center console (well, most of my center console :) ) so given the location of the sub I don't think I can have it anyway "viewable". Oh well.


i6sw_enclosure

Looking at the design, I'm guessing this is not too different than the enclosure that Pete built for Scott's G35 in that it is a ported enclosure firing into another ported enclosure. What is that, a 6th order band-pass?

Here is the FR. I asked for 40hz-60hz, gave him my music prefs and that I really wanted this for a little extra "bump" but not boomy. I have a set of Legatia L8V1's on the way also for bass-midbass duties.


Performance Data
 

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Sweet, can't wait for your review on the enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Assembled the enclosure last night. Here it is before I put the side on and the back piece. I caulked the inside right after this photo. You will note that I didn't round over the vent panel from the first to the second chamber. The plans did call for that, but I was lazy and this is only a test enclosure for now. The plans also called for a couple of 45* angles where the back piece mounts but I didn't do that either. I will on the final construction however.


test_enclosure_assembly

The side that it is standing on has the vent and is now facing the firewall. The top in this view I made removal so I can take the sub out later on. What I ended up doing was laying a bead of caulk down like I was going to glue it, then put the panel in place and screwed it in on all sides. I then caulked the outside as well. My thinking was that I can just unscrew it and it should come out fairly easy. Maybe slide a razor blade through to cut the bead of caulk. I couldn't think of a better way at the time.

Here is a photo with the completed enclosure next to my previous test box. The previous one is what was recommended in the manual. .32ft^3 tuned to 38hz.


enclosure_comparison

So, the big question... how does it compare?

Well, I let the glue and caulk cure overnight and put the enclosure in this morning before work. I was rather impatient to say the least. To give a quick background, I had the smaller enclosure in for a couple weeks, alternating between that one and another which housed the I8SW sub. With the engine off and just a little bass boost, both sounded pretty good. With the truck running, well it took more boost to make them noticeable. The problem is that my exhaust is quite loud and I have yet to put in any sound deadening.

So, I took out the 8" this morning, put in the new enclosure, wired it up, set the bass boost back to zero and headed out. Brought up my first song on my iPhone and... Holy Hertz! What a night and day difference. This thing rocked. I had to put in some negative db on the bass boost for the first few songs. It just hit that hard and loud. I was amazed.

In the 20+ minute drive to work I quickly went through a variety of songs just listening to a minute or so of each. The difference was just unbelievable.

I might also add that when I filled out the form for Pete for the design, I gave him freedom to choose the i6sw or the i8sw and any number of each up to four. I was kind of hoping for dual speakers just so I could get the full power of the amp bridged into 2ohms. He gave me a design for a single 6 and I couldn't be happier.

Amazing what a purpose built enclosure can do for a given speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Started work on the drivers side front stage. Here are some mockups:




I took a big chunk out of the lower dash with the good old sawzall :)

While it doesn't look like it in the 2nd pic, there is a bit of an angle on the woofer, but not much. The new dash will come out much further than the stock one did so all of this will be hidden. I could have gotten some more space by moving the L3SE up and making more of a dash/a-pillar pod, but I really want it hidden and not drawing attention to itself.

I still drive this every day to work, hence the temp gauge cluster :)

I hope to start glassing this thing this weekend.
 

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I have an '85 SWB and have been lurking around these parts for months now, gathering ideas and info. But after seeing this thread I just had to say wow. You're a madman, lol. I am definitely gonna be watching this one. I can't imagine what your dash is gonna look like now.

Regardless, you get an "A" for effort so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have an '85 SWB and have been lurking around these parts for months now, gathering ideas and info. But after seeing this thread I just had to say wow. You're a madman, lol. I am definitely gonna be watching this one. I can't imagine what your dash is gonna look like now.

Regardless, you get an "A" for effort so far.
THanks :)

My first attempt at the dash was basically modifying the original. The concept was ok, but my execution was horrible. Once I decided to get these speakers I thought I go all out with a fully custom dash. The center part will flow into the center console and house a few more gauges, an iPad and whatever else I throw in there. I'll also be converting from a column shift to a floor shift, so that will be on the console as well.

I'll tell ya though, I sat in the truck just staring at the dash for a long time before finally saying screw it, and got the sawzall before I talked myself out of it :D
 

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I saw your post on PWK. I got my design for my two american bass xd65. built the box but have not put it in the car and checked it out yet though. looks good though.
 

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I really like where this is going. Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I saw your post on PWK. I got my design for my two american bass xd65. built the box but have not put it in the car and checked it out yet though. looks good though.
I'm sure you'll be happy with it :)

I really like where this is going. Keep up the good work.
Thank you. I meant to get some of the glassing done this weekend, but I blew off saturday and sunday I spent all day building and enclosure and hooking up a sub in my daughter's car. Wore me out... I'm getting too old to stick my hands up in to tight dashes, snaking wires around and all that. She was thrilled though so that made it all worthwhile.

I have to order some mat, but I have enough to at least get started, which I plan to do tonight after work. I'm getting anxious :D
 

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my czr is a 89 civic sedan. the box will be hung from the rear deck in the trunk. i am looking for someone to fabricate it for me today. then i need to buy my wiring and set it up. and take a listen to it. nice truck by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So it was busy last week, with most of the work happening this weekend.

Here is the driver side L3. Pretty ugly looking glasswork, but it works. I'll probably clean it up before too long:


Passenger side. Looks a tad prettier , but the pic is fuzzy. Lousy phone cam :)

I need to remove some more metal here as almost half the speaker is blocked when viewed from the driver seat.

Here is a mockup with the L8:


Wrapped:

I used jersey material here and on the driver side L3 pod. Much easier and nicer than trying to use fleece.

The L8 in place:

I still need to reinforce the inside of the enclosure which I'll do when my supplies arrive later this week. I also need to seal off the enclosure to the side of the cab, as it vents into the fender area there. I stuffed some paper towels in the space between the enclosure and the cab and it helped a little, so I'm sure I'm losing some output.

I listened to the L3's without the L8 for a good hour or so. What a difference over my Focal's, even though I was missing basically all my midbass. I also went ahead and hooked up my Tru Tech Steel S45 amp, setting the crossover at ~350hz and up for the L3's and 350hz and down for the L8.

When my supplies come in later this week I'll do the passenger side L8.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Things have changed just a tad. I got good deal on a set of L4SE's, so those will be replacing the L3SE's I did have.



I decided to quick thinking about how I'm going to do the dash and just start actually doing something. SO, the first thing was to break out the sawzall and body saw :D



Got it all cut out, stabbed myself in the hand, bled all over the driveway and took a break :eek:

Here you can see a template mockup that I'm going with for the shape of the new dash. Being as this a square body truck, I didn't want to get too "swoopy" or all crazy curves with it. I just didn't think it would go well here. So I looked at some modern truck dashes and based the new one loosely on the newer F-150 style. The Chevy HHR was a close consideration as well. I just didn't like the new Chevy truck dashes.



In that picture it curves back under and meets the console, however I'll actually have it go straight to the console with no curve under, and the rest of the dash will have this template. That will allow me to place the iPad, some extra gauges, switches, etc. in the center piece.

When I removed the kick panels I found this little gem, the factory vent hole is nice a big. I'm going to vent the L8's into this area. The driver side will need to be cut however, and I'm kind of tempted to remove the e-brake as well.

 
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