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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This build has gone through phases so I will run through them quickly:

Phase 1: Replace factory H/U with Pioneer AVIC-D3 (May '08)

Phase 2: Add Cadence SQA-4 60x4 amp and Cadence CWM-6KIT components (January '09)

Current Install:
-Pioneer DEH-P880PRS H/U (from forum member katodevin, installed May '10 when the D3 died on me, it has since been repaired and sold)
-Front stage:
  • Cadence CWM-6 mids
  • Tang Band 25-1719S tweeters (installed May '10)
  • US Acoustics USB-4085 (4x85) from ebay seller 'audioclinic' (installed May '10)
-Sub stage (installed January 2010):
  • (2) DLS W308B 8" subs running IB in stock rear deck 6x9 locations (from nismos14)
  • US Acoustics USB-2080 (80x2) from audioclinic (installed May '10)

I am not a photographer and my install skills are definitely not up to par with many on here, but I figured I would share now given where the install has progressed to.

Head Unit installed - nothing too exciting here (but I just realized how poor this picture is)



Mid installation - the Altima doors are pretty nice for audio (well sealed)


Inner panel comes off fairly easily (and has a nice sticky sealing foam around its edges)- I installed 3-4 SDS CLD tiles to each outer door skin (unfortunately I did not get a picture of that)


Inner skin with some CLD installed - I applied only where I had resonance


The inside of the door card also has a couple of CLD tiles and spot application of CCF in a few places (sorry no pics)

Close up of mid - there is SDS butyl rope between MDF baffle and door and CCF gasket between baffle and driver


The Tang Band tweeters are installed in the factory dash locations at the corners of the windshield firing straight up. I made hardboard mounting baffles using the factory speaker as a template (no pic of that, sorry).

The original install had the Cadence tweeters installed in the kicks off-axis.

I liked the tonality but was struggling with stage height. So when I got the Tang Bands I put them in the dash (plus they do not have any grille), I may experiement with them back down in the kicks.

That's it for the front stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sub install

About a year ago I was going to mimic Chad's spare tire sub setup with a single 10 and started taking to nismos14 on a Nissan forum he and I both belong to. After a lot of discussion with him I went with 2 DLS 8" subs in an IB rear deck configuration instead. The OA8's were out of my budget but I have been happy with the W308's although by T/S parameters they are not 'ideal' IB subs. The subs are 4 ohm SVC and get 80 watts from each channel of the USB-2080.

On to build pics!

The underside of the Altima rear deck is heavily ridged, making it difficult if not impossible to have a single continuous, solid baffle for both subs as I had hoped to do. So Step 1 was cardboard templates (with the assistance of the family dog who will not leave me alone when I am in the garage, he usually sleeps in the car while I work on it)


A 2-part baffle was constructed with 1/4" hardboard against the deck metal conforming to the ridges (and 6x9 cutouts), this is glued/screwed to 3/4" MDF that the sub will be bottom mounted to:


The baffles were thru-bolted to the rear deck using 1/4-20 bolts (with lots of butyl rope sandwiched in between) and the subs installed. Left Sub:


Right sub:


Both subs have a CCF gasket spray glued to the baffle. The holes in the deck were sealed up using aluminum flashing tape and the sheet metal was dampened with a total of 5 CLD tiles. The rear deck cover also got some CLD love and a layer of CCF between the deck and the cover.

I was going to do the work to completely seal off behind the seats (which each fold down) but after talking it over with nismos14 who has IB in his own car and has done similar installs in this same car, decided to hold off on that. Shortly after this install I had the opportunity to listen to Dave Edwards' Camry and found his IB set up is similar (as far as not blocking off the rear seat pass through) which showed me I don't need the 100% seal that everyone on here says is mandatory for IB. In any case, I am happy with how it sounds and for what I was after I feel like this works well for me.

Finished sub install:



Through the rear window:



Next up is amp mounting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amplifier Mounting

When I first put the Cadence amp in, I did the easy thing and attached it to the back of the back seat. One of the reasons I went IB was to not lose any trunk space and the amp location conflicted with that. When I made the jump and went active, the Cadence came out and was replaced by 2 US Acoustics amps which would go in the spare tire well. So, the next few pics detail the initial install of those:

I did not have enough room to put the amps over the spare tire without an elaborate rack or false floor, so I made a decision to go under the spare. So first thing, something was in the way:



Nothing that this can't fix:





After a bit of grinding it was gone. I also drilled through the trunk floor and installed a stainess steel bolt for a ground lug.

The amps were then mounted to a 3/4 piece of particle board (I know, I know) which was also screwed to the trunk floor. A rudimentary beauty board was made of 1/4" hardboard and carpeted and eyebolts installed in the floor so that the spare could be strapped down on top of it all (can you say ghetto):





While this worked from a functional perspective, this has always been a part of the install I have been less than proud of (and not because of the rat's nest of wires I left hanging around). I put the setup to the test this summer when we drove home to NC from MA (Cape Cod), 14 hours straight in 100+ degrees for at least 9 of it. The stereo was playing the entire time and about half way through we stopped. While my wife and 14 year old twins sprinted for the restrooms, I hurriedly unpacked the trunk (which was stuffed full with 2 weeks worth of luggage for the 4 of us) to check on the amps. They were at best warm, not hot like I had expected. The best part was my wife yelling at me in the parking lot when she came back about my "obsession" while I tried to repack the trunk before I peed my pants :laugh:

With this configuration, I had about a 2 inch hump in the middle of the floor which always bothered me. So the next project...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
False Floor

Most of my major car audio work always happens this time of year. I take the week between Christmas and New Year's off and work on my car. A few days after Christmas I started work on building a false floor. This year I had the assistance of my 14 year old son who is starting to think about getting his drivers' license in a couple years (gulp) and is already asking me what I plan to install in his yet to be purcahsed vehicle. I should say that I had his assistance a couple of hours a day because he is deep in the clutches of puberty and normally will sleep until noon on weekends and days off...

Anyway, not many in-process pictures of this as I was more focused on getting it done. I used one of Bing's recent installs on a Subaru where he kept the spare as inspiration for this project.

Here is the foundation of the floor (with temporary speaker wires run, all wiring has since been cleaned up):


I used 1/2" MDF, this picture is a "base" piece and a hinged amp rack. The base is bolted to the car in 4 places at the front of the trunk, Nissan was nice enough to include 6 M8 threaded holes up there, I used 4 of them. The base is also secured to the wheel well sheet metal using a couple of L-brackets.

The rack is a bit over 4" high, the bottom side is covvered with CCF to provide a bit of cushion between it and the tire. The wood at the front of the rack where the hinge attaches is 2 pieces of 1/2" MDF sandwiching a 3/4" piece. This is glued and thru-bolted with 2" 1/4-20 bolts. It looks a bit sloppy up there because I had to trim the 3/4" piece a bit to provide clearance when it hinges up. There's (3) 1-3/4" holes on each side panel to provide airflow (and in case I need fans). The amps are raised 1-1/4" to mate up with the beauty panel. I would have preferred for a lower profile, but I had to make it this high to mate up with the base.

Closer view of amp rack:



Un-upholstered panels installed (beauty board looks like crap, needs to be re-done, I may try to repair with some wood filler):



First test fit (it fit! The side panels are still unsupported):



Still to do is to build the cover with grill mesh inserts and the side panel foundations which will not be hard. The side foundation will mate up with the amp rack and a pin/barrel lock for a screen door will be installed on each side to hold the amp rack securely down against the spare tire.

Then it is on to upholstery, I am thinking of doing the beauty board in a gray textured vinyl and the floor panels in trunkliner to match the rest of the trunk.

The US Acoustics amps are pretty heavy, but the rack is not difficult for me to lift and get the tire out. Cutting out the tire hold-down makes this a lot easier.

I will update further in the coming days as this gets finished up. Thanks for reading my rambling narrative here...
 

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Looks good. I look forward to more progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got the cover vented and carpeted last weekend as well as building the side floor supports, planning on picking up a few rolls of carpet and doing the rest this weekend, will post pics. I think I am going to do it all in black carpet (trunk liner is more of a dark charcoal) as it is readily available and a factory carpet mat will be covering the whole works 99% of the time anyway.

Anyone know if a fabric chain like JoAnn's or Hancock carries suitable vinyl to cover the beauty board? Looking for something in a gray with some texture to it. I want to try to get everything done this weekend so it is presentable at our NC meet next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I give you respect for that install! Looks good, and I bet stages well!
It might when I finally learn how to tune and use the RTA stuff I have lol. Thanks for the compliment!
 

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Got the cover vented and carpeted last weekend as well as building the side floor supports, planning on picking up a few rolls of carpet and doing the rest this weekend, will post pics. I think I am going to do it all in black carpet (trunk liner is more of a dark charcoal) as it is readily available and a factory carpet mat will be covering the whole works 99% of the time anyway.

Anyone know if a fabric chain like JoAnn's or Hancock carries suitable vinyl to cover the beauty board? Looking for something in a gray with some texture to it. I want to try to get everything done this weekend so it is presentable at our NC meet next weekend.
If you call an upholstery shop local to you they may have some vinyl leftover from a project car or something. I have found good stuff that way, I have never had any luck at fabric chains :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More progress:

Cover over amps opened up and steel grill material primed to prevent rust and mounted to board



I used some black carpet (from Wal Mart I think) that I had laying around to cover this



I found a local upholstery/hot rod shop and picked up a good sized piece of black vinyl yesterday. I was planning on just picking up some more of the black carpet that I had used on the cover and just have a black floor (even though it wouldn't quite match the trunk), but while I was at the shop I asked them if they had any trunkliner. They did and I picked up a large piece of THICK trunkliner that is pretty much an exact match for my factory liner. If I had to guess it's over 1/4" thick (it is at least 4 times thicker than the Wal Mart stuff) but it has no backing so it stretches and conforms easily.

Here's the rest of the floor upholstered







I didn't have enough charcoal liner to re-do the lid, but I kind of like the contrast that is there now (plus with the black carpet it is a very tight fit). The shade differences between the pieces in the pictures isn't nearly as bad in person. I think that the center piece of carpet somehow got spun around between when I cut the pieces and when I upholstered the panels. Everything came from one piece, but I think the center is against the "grain" of the 2 side pieces if that makes sense.

Waiting for some wood filler to set up on some repairs to the beauty board before I try to apply vinyl to it. The vinyl is backed so I may have some small gaps in the inside corners (any tips appreciated) but the end is near as far as the trunk build, I am very happy so far with how it has come out. Overall the floor is raised about 2.75" over stock.

I like it so much I may put the factory trunk mat up on a shelf, didn't expect that it would come out looking this nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got the beauty board done last night. First time working with vinyl, it came out "good enough" :)





Also got a photo of the support for the side sections (the center is completely supported by the amp rack structure), velcro is secured with 1/2" staples applied with a pneumatic staple gun



The support to the rear of the car is screwed directly to the floor pan with 1" stainless steel screws. The front support is nailed to the frame structure. Not pretty but it seems to work well on both sides. I may add an additional brace between the two that are there but for now it seems to work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Couple small updates...

We had a local meet a few weeks back and I got lots of good feedback - stage depth, midbass presence, etc. But something still seemed off to me, I also noticed that after the meet I was getting just a hint of static from the left mid, figured I had a connection loosening up so I decided to go in this weekend to replace the crimp connections to the speaker terminals with soldered connections.

Driver side went fine, I did notice a bit of evidence of water getting into the connection; I made good solder connections and used heatshrink to protect it.

When I got to the passenger side, I found that my MDF ring had some serious issues. When I did the initial install of the comps, I bought the rings from an eBay seller - they are a 2 piece ring with a 1/4" MDF "base" and a 3/4" ring glued and nailed to it. The base ring has the mounting ears to match up with the factory speaker bolt holes. Well, the glue had let go between the pieces and the ring had separated.

I found how strong the bond can be using SDS's extruded butyl rope - it took a LOT of effort to remove the thin MDF ring without damaging it. In the end I decided to reglue the pieces together (using plenty of Titebond) instead of fabricating another baffle as the wood was not compromised. I also shot about 3x the nails that were originally used to make sure eveything is together now. Seems like it worked OK and I remounted the right mid yesterday (with a fresh bead of EBR between the baffle and door skin). I had intended to get a real professional looking picture of my soldering/heatshrink skills :laugh: but once I found the damaged baffle I was in triage mode and forgot to get pictures.

I also took the opportunity yesterday to start over as far as tuning, got some intersting results when I pulled out the RTA. Got levels matched OK by driver/side, then did an overall L/R RTA to take the first shot at getting a center image. All adjustments were minor (+/- 1 or 2 db each side on less than half the bands, others were right on already) except for:

315 Hz - Right side was 14db less than the left
500 Hz - Right side was 10db less than the left

When I tried to EQ for these differences the image was pulled way right, so I tuned these 2 bands by ear and I am continuing to tweak. Overall I think this is the best it has sounded yet, a bit puzzled at the big gaps on these two frequencies though.
 
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