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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another vehicle… another build/install log lol. This X5 F15 one is a newer version of my previous X5 E70 vehicle… so, some parts from there work here too (recycled/reuse my own gear). It took over a year to get these installed :D

Here’s two recent photos of the vehicle. Has plenty of features. The dealer also installed the MPPK (tune) and MPE (exhaust) sometime ago.

This is the picture of the rear with all the stereo parts installed. The rear suspension didn’t sag because it has the Adaptive M suspension with rear air bags and self-levelling.

Here are just some random pictures of the screen/display. We can get navigation, music, video, internet news, sports gauges, etc on it.

The big knob on the center console is to pick the features or audio/video tracks…

The steering wheel has some controls for the stereo too (no big deal).

This one is interesting :) … when we use the steering wheel controls, the audio stuff is projected on the windshield (head-up display). Normally we just see the speed/navigation info there.

The headunit is the latest option 688 Harmon/Kardon with a big amp and many speakers. Has DSP and Logic 7 too. It’s plenty loud for a mini concert.

The first thing I did a year ago after getting the vehicle is the license plate mod.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To make it sound clearer I changed all the 16 speakers. Already had most speakers from the last vehicle… just re-installed it here. Here’re the empty boxes lol.

Had to buy the new Eton B100W2 speakers for the front doors because the mount/shape is different from the previous vehicle. The Eton B100W2 is made for this vehicle/series.

The center channel is the Eton B100N and it looks like this.

Decided to make new brackets for the center channel. This is to angle/point the tweeter at the people (not point at the mirror/windshield/roof). Also, it’s to point/guide it out from under the grill.

Had to trim the factory foam under the grill because it’s not as transparent as we think. After modifying (removing the foam works too) the middle of the 7-snare imaging/test track sounds well anchored in the middle of the dash/windshield. Other beats are all nicely spread across the dash/windshield. This multi-channel setup is for all seats/all passengers… not just the driver or having to sit too far back.

After modifying to fit and sanding/painting the top surface … it looks like this after installation (next picture below).

All the various 3D printed parts in this vehicle are the nylon type that can withstand high temperature, etc. These are printed by Shapeways using their SLS (selective laser sintering) machines (professional/commercial equipment, not the home/toy 3D printers).

Next is underseat speakers. These are located under both front seats. There’s a tunnel/line going down the cavity that ends up somewhere else in the vehicle. I just used 4 paint cans to prop up the seat (don’t have to take the seats out of the vehicle). These are the Eton B150USB bass speakers here (using it as midbass, will describe more later in another section). The black brackets are the factory ones.

Now to the rear door speakers. They are supposed to use the same type as the front doors (Eton B100W2). Since I already have the Eton B100N I just designed some speaker rings/brackets to make the B100N emulate the B100W2 form-factor. There’s a notch on one lower side for the speaker cable/wire to escape.

The 3D prints that came back from Shapeways….

Into the rear doors….
The tweeters are next to the speakers (forgot to take photos of many tweeters).

The rear D-pillars have speakers too and it’s the Eton B100N model here.


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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
To add an amp, we’ll need the Technic cables because it plugs right in and works without modifying the factory harness. He sent over this set of cables/parts. It’s easy to install and setup since he provided all the instructions too.

I saw the extra connector in the Technic set and this is to amplify the front underseat speakers (bass/midbass). That will be way too handy ha ha… and here’s the JL Audio HX280 amp for the underseat midbass speakers!!

Looking for a place to put the LOC and amp. It’s in the same corner next to the factory amp. I found some attachment points suitable to put a bracket/frame for these parts.

With some crude measurements from the above corner I came up with an assembly drawing. This assembly has all the parts in there.

After hiding the various components/parts, the thick custom steel bracket looks like this below. The irregular/strange shape is to clear the various metal parts/structure in the car body/area, and also to fit the new add-on parts.

There are many PEM fasteners/nuts on the custom bracket for the screws/parts.

The custom bracket arrived and did a test fit… surprisingly it works without any modifications. The metal house/supplier powder coated it black per the design specs/drawing.

Next is to use some card/paper to find the exact mounting point for the bottom part of the main bracket. This can only be done with the actual bracket that just arrived.

Designed the new metal bracket…

The Shapeways people printed this too. This was 3D printed in stainless steel/alloy, and with a black finish as a secondary process.

Also fits perfectly and attaches to the point on the car body….

Under the main bracket I put a secret switch to disable the subwoofer/amp. It’s for service/valet reason.

The custom cover arrived and it looks like this. The holes are in case the parts get hot and for vent purpose. But the JL doesn’t get hot even after an hour of use.

The inside looks like this rendering. The irregular shape is for strength and to clear the various audio parts.

There are 2 level controllers hiding in there. These are the set-and-forget type. One controller is for the subwoofer (will describe in another section later), and the other controller is for the JL Audio amp (easier to reach/adjust this PAC level controller than the JL ones hiding behind/inside the amp). Both controllers have different knobs and I just designed two new ones so that they both look alike. The red one is for the subwoofer (Eton ECS 1200.1 amp with JL Audio 13TW5v2-2), and the blue one is for the midbass (JL Audio HX280/4 amp, for the Eton B150USB front underseat speakers doing the midbass duty). There's plenty of strong upfront bass for sure). Then there’s that yellow thing and it’s just a spacer so that both knobs line up horizontally (because these 2 boxes are different shapes/sizes).

The 3D parts arrived and they look like this…

At the back of the main assembly, at the side, there’s a gap for the cables to enter/exit. There are square mounts and more custom brackets for cable management (places to zip tie or hang cables so that they look neat/hidden).

The custom U- and J-shaped bracket are here in these photos…

There are three 1/4”-20 screws for the main assembly and another two 1/4”-20 connecting bolts for the cover.

Everything fits well in that corner.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The AGM battery is in the trunk and nearby it there’s a spot at the distribution block to hook up 12V power. There’s a large storage bin/bucket near it and this means we’ll have to make it right-angle. So, here’s a little box to get power for the amps/etc and to insulate/hide the connections.

That thick aluminum piece is a leftover from another project…. cut/trimmed it to the correct shape for use here.

That little black box/enclosure is a Hammond part from Digikey.

This is how it looks like after install. The various fuses are near there too.


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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Here’s the last section and it’s about the subwoofer box. I took the old box (from previous vehicle) and modified it to fit a new Eton ECS 1200.1 amp (just had to try it ha ha). The 13.5” subwoofer is the same JL Audio 13TW5v2-2 as before.

Here’s the updated enclosure design…

Then started modifying it to match the new design….

Also put in a new top surface too.

A quick raw test fit ….

There’s a new RJ12 Leviton port for the Eton ECS 1200.1 amp (the remote level controller extension cable plugs in here).

On both sides of the amp there are channels/tunnels for cable management. The RCA-type audio and level-controller cables to pass thru the two channels here. Also, these cables all become hidden from view when the top cover is over it.

Made a new top cover for this box too…

The gap at both sides of the amp are for the heatsink (cooling/breathing purpose). The extra little horizontal blocks there is just for visual purpose (so that it doesn’t look like there are 2 big long holes lol). This Eton amp doesn’t get hot even after an hour of use.

This is the bottom side of the cover. There are some 3M rubber bump-on stuff here. This is so that the cover does not stick to the main box! That happened with my previous box/vehicle… the paint on one side sticks to the paint on the other side…. so, the 3M rubber foam here is to keep them apart.

This is the top bar for the rear part, and all the main parts after modifications.

These are the various paint stuff. First I brushed it black (several thin layers). Then sprayed the black stone texture (several layers). After that, several light layers of clear coat too.

Also decided to add more braces inside the box.

There’s some fiberglass wool in there too.

The volume excluding the speaker is 1.078 cu.ft. (already deducted all the braces and large parts inside).

The various electrical connections are at the back.

The top bar at the back has 2 purposes. One is to cover the electrical connections even though they are insulated. The other purpose is to provide the proper space/height for securing the box to the vehicle.

The top cover uses the same connecting bolts as the JL Audio amp assembly earlier. These bolts are recessed to look neat.

Somewhere along the way had to drill 4 new holes to mount the box. This is so that the box is secure and doesn’t slide or move. The box actually sits on the floor (not lifted up by the bolts).

This is the 5th bolt and to hold down a spare tire (don’t have a spare tire). Had to cut a hole on the carpet/felt for the M8 screw to clear.

All together there are 5 screws to hold down the box. Four are the 1/4” type and the 5th one is an 8-mm bolt. This 5th bolt goes in before the subwoofer/speaker.

After it’s installed, the subwoofer box looks like this…

After the cargo cover is closed, everything is hidden!

Bye. Thanks for reading!

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Amazing... Great work! :thumbsup:
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I've always loved the approach and execution on your builds Phil. Very nicely done, once again. I would love to check this out in person some time. Where are you in CA?

You didn't reuse the DSP 8 CAN that you had in your previous build? I appreciate that you have gone out of your way to bring the Eton equipment over from Europe. Do you go through Extreme Audio?
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Dustin, thanks too! I'm located in Di... wait a minute i'm not supposed to tell everyone ha ha (will pm you and will be happy to meet you whenever I see you). Yeah... I didn't reuse the DSP8CAN since this thing has the logic 7 already and the time alignment should be ok. The interface is different too (fiber optic) and it wouldn't quite work. The new RTA scan looks fine too with no big dips/peaks that I would object. The band/bark to band/bark test on an autosound/something test disc sounds fine/balanced too since the tweeters and mids are all matched pairs. Will keep the DSP8CAN for the other bimmer but i'm kinda lazy with that car. Anyways yes many of these Eton parts are from Extreme Audio and i've also ordered from a different store there too. Thanks!
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