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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm about to upgrade the sound system in my ’09 BMW 325DAT M-sport E91 wagon.

I’ve been messing with car audio for nearly 20 years. Lately time hasn’t really been sufficient to do any larger installs. Most of the installs I’ve started hasn’t been completed before the car has been sold. However the BMW is a keeper, so I’ve decided to upgrade the 676 HIFI system.

I’ve been researching and buying equipment for the last year. After much searching for small footprint amps I decided to go with Zapcos new ST-D-series amplifiers. I’ve also bought their new DSP-Z8 which is in the post as I type this. I’ve had an Image Dynamics IDQ10D2V2 subwoofer for many years that I haven’t used yet so I’m going to use it in this install. A year ago the Norwegian importer had a 50% off sale on System Audio (Now GLADEN) so I pick up their GLADEN X-ION200 3-way system for BMWs consisting of tweeters, midranges and two 8” woofers. So the equipment list is as follows;

1x ZAPCO ST-D2 driving the Subwoofer
2x ZAPCO ST-D4 driving the front and rear components and the under seat 8” midbasses
1x ZAPCO DSP-Z8 taking the signal from the stock headunit
1x Image Dynamics IDQ10D2V2 subwoofer in a .5 cubic feet enclosure
1x Audio System X-Ion 200 BMW component set
Stock rear speakers
Stock Headunit

I started building the subwoofer enclosure from an original BMW storage troug. I then reinforced this internally with fiber glass and polyester resin mixed with cement to increase weight. I was originally planning to fit either an amp or the DSP to the same troug, but having been warned by John from Zapco ( zapco new product lines ) about the possible impact of the vibration to the electrics I’ve decided to fit the amps to the cover panel. I’ll fit them hanging from the panel and making sure the subwoofer doesn’t directly vibrate the cover panel. The enclosure is .5 cubic feet which should work fine with the IDQ. After removing the circumference of the troug it was apparent that I could have made it bigger if I had laid fibre glass directly into the cubby hole. I’ll try it as it is and see how it performs. If it doesn’t drop down low enough I’ll see if I can’t make another enclosure that takes up all the vacant space in the cubby hole.



So by changing the layout by cutting the troug I’ll be able to fit the two ST-D4 amps to the cover panel.



The DSP will be fitted where the original amp is installed originally. The ST-D2 I’ve fitted underneath the forward floor of the luggage compartment. I made a bracket that fixes to original attachment point in the car.



The fuse holder from Connection is mounted to a 5mm thick aluminum bracket that sits above the battery on the inner fender well. This will supply all the three amps and the DSP. Unfortunately my car did not have vacant slots in the original battery distro block like some has. Due to this I will have to attach the fuse holder to the main battery positive and negative terminals somehow (?). I’ll also be running the earth cables from all three amps and the DSP back to the fuse holder and battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks wdemetrius1

I hope to be able to keep this install going at a fair pace.

Next I'll have to decided what material to make the cover panel to fit the amps to.

I made a mock up in plywood, but I cut the opening in the wrong place and the plywood had started deforming due to moisture. So I'm considering having it cut in 4mm Aluminum or steel.

In the picture with the amp cut out you can also see the markings for the cut out for the subwoofer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What to do about too big power wires?

I've got some 1/0 gauge power wires that I'd like to use. However the terminals on both the fuse block and the amps are slightly too small.

I'm adding techflex to the wires so was wondering if it'd be okay to reduce the wire diameter by cutting of copper strands and then using the heat shrink to fix the techflex and neaten the ends of the power wires?
 

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What to do about too big power wires?

I've got some 1/0 gauge power wires that I'd like to use. However the terminals on both the fuse block and the amps are slightly too small.

I'm adding techflex to the wires so was wondering if it'd be okay to reduce the wire diameter by cutting of copper strands and then using the heat shrink to fix the techflex and neaten the ends of the power wires?
If you're going to start snipping off strands you might as well just use smaller wire because you're going to create a high impedance point and the connection. There are reducers available that you can put on a 1/0 wire to connect to the 4 AWG terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you're going to start snipping off strands you might as well just use smaller wire because you're going to create a high impedance point and the connection. There are reducers available that you can put on a 1/0 wire to connect to the 4 AWG terminal.
I didn't know that - thanks for sharing.

I'll see if I can't get hold of some 2 Gauge wire instead since I need to have a rather sharp bend straight out of the power connectors of two of the amps, so no space for adapters really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm considering making my own signal cables. Since the stock HU has balanced differential signal output and the DSP-Z8 and amps accepts this signal I'm looking for twisted pair cable.

Any suggestion where I might find this online where they'd ship internationally?

I've been looking at these RCA connectors at Parts Express - Gold RCA Plug For RG-59 Coax Pair

They are nice and short, but slightly worried about their metal body touching ground/car body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Made new cover panel today. It's 6mm MDF that will need some strengthening braces underneath once finished.

Mounted the amps from beneath using captive nuts and threaded rod cut into pieces.

Slightly worried abut cooling the amps, but I'll try with the stock cover panel first and see if they shut down due to thermal. If I need to vent it more I'll buy a spare stock panel and remove some material from underneath it somehow.

Will need to measure for the hole for the sub woofer to peek through.

Also considering making the cover panel in steel or aluminum.
 

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To close the gaps you could cover/masking tape the amps and then user fibreglass filler on the gaps so the filler sticks to the panel and not the amps. Remove panel and sand the filler until your happy with the finish.

What colour is the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
To close the gaps you could cover/masking tape the amps and then user fibreglass filler on the gaps so the filler sticks to the panel and not the amps. Remove panel and sand the filler until your happy with the finish.

What colour is the car?
Nice suggestion. I'll see what can be done by using some speaker cloth I've got laying around to see what shape that would give me.

EDIT: Would you go low or high on where the panel would connect with the amp?

The car is space grau (grey). Pic from the previous owners sales ad.
 

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