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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I've had this thing for a few months now and am no longer willing to deal with the miserable excuse for an audio system that Nissan put in here.

Goals:
I want to make this sound as good as I can while still retaining all the stock locations and making the system as invisible as possible. I've hacked up cars in the past and want to avoid that this time. I want be have the option of returning the whole thing to stock sometime down the road.

The plan:
Phase 1 -- the head unit has to stay, but everything from there and back will be replaced. Wire everything, sound-proof and install the amps and speakers.

Phase 2 -- build the enclosure and and install the subwoofer

Phase 3 -- permanently mount an iPod Touch (or similar) in the console's ashtray and hook it up via the aux input. Thanks to Nissan for failing to include any kind of iPod integration on a luxuryish vehicle in 2007. Sheesh.

Equipment:
Speakers: Morel Virtus 603
DSP: Helix P-DSP
Amps: 2x NVX JAD 800.4 (another of the PPI, Hertz, Polk clones)
Sub: IDQ12v2 that I rescued from my old car

No speakers yet, but rest of the big stuff is around the house somewhere...



Let's get to work!

The trunk in stock form. That stupid CD changer is the first thing to go:



The trunk, cleaned out. Driving the car like this didn't lead to a major increase in road noise. Encouraging.



With a 10-month old running around, trunk space is at a premium, so false floors or anything else that takes up an significant amount of trunk space is out of the question.

First plan was to mount everything symmetrically under the rear deck:



No-go...seatbelts got in the way. Arts-and-crafts time: some cardboard mockups can fit under the rear deck, but it's pretty tight. Wiring everything would be difficult. Making changes later would be worse. Hmm...need a Plan B.



Plan B: mount the amps to the back of the seat. Not ideal and a little more visible than I'd like, but maybe I can do something interesting here. DSP stays up top, along with the power and ground distribution.



A bit of Raammat on the back seat. Sound proofing in the G is actually pretty decent and with the stock system at least, no rattles. In the interest of keeping the weight down, a minimal application here for now.



And beginning work on power. A little convincing with the Dremel and Channellocks and the lug fits perfectly.



Tomorrow: the door cards come off and more sound proofing goes on. Molex connectors fill my nightmares and swear jar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A bit of minor progress, along with a significant change in plans.

Pulling the door card revealed at least a little bit of happiness: there are no holes that need to be sealed. This must be about as closed-off as a door can get.


That was the end of the good news for the day. I knew there were only two sets of speaker wires for each side coming from the Bose amp, but 3 speakers in each door, so it must be getting split/crossed over somewhere. Where? Right here, in the door.


So I need to run a set of wires. This is how much space I have to work with in the door:


Worse, there is no room on the driver's side molex:


Best as I can tell, the only possible way to run new wires to the doors would be to completely remove the doors from the car. I'm not doing that. So, my initial plan of using the stock locations and keeping it all invisible is dead. Looks like tweeter pods just got added to the build list. ::sigh:: This little chunkster was pretty upset about it too. Baby! Y U NO NAP?


Moving along, got some Raammat stuck onto the outer door skin.


And on the rest of the door. After spending hours laying on sheet after sheet of this stuff on my previous cars, I'm a real fan of this new way of doing things.


Now on to the MLV. First thought: wow, this stuff is heavy. Second thought: how the heck am I going to fit this to the door?


My approach...tape an outline on the door card where the MLV should sit.


Then transfer it to the sheet and rough cut


On the door, about halfway done


And finished trimming for now. Will do some final adjustments when the speakers are in place and everything's clipped in.


Now to deal with the CCF and some velcro to attach. Turns out the wrong foam was shipped, and I got one with an adhesive already applied. The velcro has an adhesive too. The package says it's not for use on dashboards or vinyl. Uh oh. Better test this out first. I put a strip of both on a scrap of MLV and stuck in a low over for about an hour. The foam mat looks good. The velcro is a disaster. That black stuff is the melted glue.


If anyone knows of something heat resistant that'll stick to metal, vinyl and velcro, I'm all ears! :D


Next up: the UPS Fairy be delivering a bunch of miscellaneous installation bits in the next day or two so I can start running some wires and putting stuff together.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Parts Express, Sonic and Amazon are all conspiring against me...none of the orders that I placed last weekend have been delivered, so I'm still unable to get the wiring in place.

But a phone call on Friday afternoon made me forget about all that for a little while, since these guys showed up! :D











I won't be using it, but it looks nice:



Main focus for this weekend was to get the mounting plates for the amps cut out and installed in the trunk.

Had to fashion some kind of brackets to secure them to the rear seat support. I'm decent with wood, but metal working is most definitely NOT my thing. Fortunately I found some sheet aluminum in the garage that was soft enough to cut with a jigsaw (sadly, the only saw I have :( ) and bend by hand.

Cut:


Bent:


Hammered flat:


And drilled. For those who don't know, Home Depot sells an 8pc set of Quick Grips for $30. Maybe the best $30 I've spent lately!


The mounts were cut out of 1/4" MDF and the back lined with CCF to avoid any possible squeaking when they're up against the rear seat:


And installed. Finally, I put something in the car! The amps are considerably smaller, but I plan on fashioning covers for them later, so I went big to give those a place to attach to.


A look at the other side. The brackets are free to move, but the bolt heads are fixed with construction adhesive. The idea is that once the seat goes back in, the plates can be adjusted from the trunk without having to take the rear seat out.


It's been about 100 degrees in my part of SoCal this week. I gave up and found something that could be done indoors. So the door card was stripped and CLD tiles were added wherever the knuckle test failed:


Finally, I made a real effort, but at this point, I think I have to abandon any pretense of organization.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Progress this week went a little slower than I'd have liked. Some delayed installation hardware finally arrived on Friday, and as soon as I manage to drag out my workbench and tools, it started raining for the first time in 4 months. In Los Angeles. In JULY. If I were a more egotistical person, I'd swear the universe had it out for me...

Got to work cutting some baffles, which mate up to the stock adapters. The woofers have a fairly shallow mounting depth, so one layer of 1/2" MDF was more than enough to clear the door.



Cut and drilled



Then given a few coats of some rubberized undercoating I had in the garage.


I still haven't taken off the driver's side door card since I'm driving the car, so the second baffle is just a mirror of the first. I'm confident that I won't later regret this decision...


Started work on power and ground. Fuse holder was attached to the main fuse box. It's a *really* tight fit in here and I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took to finish this.



On to tackle some speaker wiring. I've been on a mission to figure out the wiring for the stock tweeters. Here's a look at the harness for the Bose output.


The big wires on the left are for the woofers; they're about 14AWG and go all the way to the speakers, so they're being reused. The small ones on the right are probably 22AWG and are for the tweeters, but somewhere in the car, they get bumped up to ~18AWG. Not great, but usable if I could find where to splice into it, especially since running wires into the doors is so difficult (see post 2). I've been unsuccessful the last three times I went looking; today I would not be denied. More stuff out of the car:



I finally found my answer. And of course, it happens at the door molex, worst of all places. I really don't want to use the puny wires for my midranges, so I bit the bullet and decided to run new ones



I wish I had the success picture, but after the time spent, I guess I forgot. But I DID IT! The much-tougher driver's side still waits. Send help.


Oh yeah, and I put the amps in. They're held on by bolts and lock washers. At least that part was easy.





Coming up this week: more wiring! I might even get to put a trim panel or two back in. Then I'll really feel like I'm getting somewhere!
 

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nice build.

why not tap into the stock speaker wire at the door. it would save alot of head ache


every time i see a build for a g35 i hope to see someone go with huge midbass in the doors but it never happens. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
why not tap into the stock speaker wire at the door. it would save alot of head ache
I'll probably have to do that on the driver's side, since 1) the molex connector has very little free space, and 2) access looks much more limited (unless I remove the whole dash, which I don't really want to do!).

I couldn't tap in on the passenger side because the wire bundle runs across the car behind the dashboard. Not many good options here. Now I know why Bing puts everything in the A pillars! :D


every time i see a build for a g35 i hope to see someone go with huge midbass in the doors but it never happens. :(
Ahh, sorry to disappoint! I originally considered putting some bigger drivers in there, but decided to go with a packaged set. Not ready to go that far into the deep end yet!
 

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nice job so far...if your car has the same options as the late model Gs i have worked on, i found that the passenger side molex has plenty of room to run wires into, but the driver side molex is stuffed and almost every pin used...so...let us know how it worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Another weekend gone, but some decent progress made. Between work and family obligations, it's tough finding large blocks of uninterrupted time to work, but the wife and I have a little road trip planned for Thursday, so I parked my butt in the driveway all weekend and got down to business.


The midranges are staying in the stock location. The driver fits perfectly between the mounting studs with no room to spare.



A bracket was cut out of 1/4" MDF. Without much room for error, this turned out to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. 3 failures later, and I got it right.



And from the front. Nice fit. Lines up perfectly with the opening in the stock grill.



Some beginning work on the the power/ground distribution and DSP installation. They'll be mounted underneath the rear deck on MDF. Used existing holes and glued in the bolts so everything can be put in/out from the trunk.



In case anyone else is planning on hanging equipment upside down in their trunk, I would like to take a moment to officially discourage them from doing so. There is nothing fun, easy or fast about this.


Time to tackle the driver's side door. The card was it's own special project (below), but the door got the same RAAMmat treatment as the other side. Also, it was 5pm on Friday and about 100 degrees...beverage time! This stuff from Rogue is easily in my current Top 5. The door is back there, too.



Now, about that door card. I'm the 3rd owner of the car, and while it looks like it's been treated pretty well, somebody went HULK SMASH on this door some time ago. The armrest had collapsed and the top and bottom were coming apart:





Let's find out how bad the damage is...well, hoever pulled the card before did a ham-handed job of it. 3 broken clips, a broken pin, broken screw stud and 2 missing screws!



Door surgery. The broken screw stud was reattached with CA glue. The broken piece from the armrest was also glued back into place.



The armrest needed to be reinforced, so a matching piece was cut out of 1/8" MDF.



And glued into place. Tough piece to clamp!



Some CA glue and plastic epoxy to fix the connecting piece for the top and bottom halves. The finished door card, about 95% as good as new for about $500 less!



Door and wiring update coming up...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Finishing up the door baffles. Decided on t-nuts held in with a dab of CA to mount the speakers. Put a layer of RAAMmat on the back and gasket tape to get a good seal on the stock adaptors. CCF mat on the stock adaptor as well.



Wrapping up the doors. The glue that came with the velcro wasn't able to handle the heat of a car interior, so the velcro strips were soaked in lacquer thinner and the glue removed. In case anyone's looking for adhesive solutions: CA glue on the MLV side. Epoxy on car side. CCF mat was added to the MLV and cut to expose the velcro.



Then some final trimming to fit on the doors.





As soon as the heat shrink I ordered shows up, the speakers can be installed and the doors finished.


Took care of wiring from the front doors. Right side: power and speakers along the rocker, zip-tied to the stock wiring.



Left side, I had to tap into the midrange speaker wire, where I made my first bonehead mistake: tapped into the wrong end. Whoops. Speaker wires and the USB cable for the DSP were run along the rockers and zip-tied to stock wiring, same as the other side.



Last bit from the weekend: USB jack for the DSP. There's an empty switch plate on the lower steering column trim. Taped out the area to remove:



Used a Dremel and drill press to remove the bulk of the material, and a box cutter to clean up the edges, then hot-glued the cable into place. I'd like to finish the edges somehow, but don't have a plan yet. Oh well, a project for later.



That's all for now. Hoping to have the speakers in and power/ground to the amps finished tonight, leaving two days to get all the signal and speaker wiring finished.
 

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Nice work, I'm subscribed. Really makes me regret selling my '07 G; really fun cars to drive and own. I had to replace my door handle trim pieces due to that soft touch black paint scratching off.
 

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does the head unit have to stay because of aesthetic reasons? There is nothing like a good clean signal coming from the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice work, I'm subscribed. Really makes me regret selling my '07 G; really fun cars to drive and own. I had to replace my door handle trim pieces due to that soft touch black paint scratching off.
Yeah, Infiniti really blew it with that paint on the 07's. I also bought new switch bezels to replace them. $35 each, which is well worth it, IMO. They're getting installed in a day or two.

does the head unit have to stay because of aesthetic reasons? There is nothing like a good clean signal coming from the source.
Technical more than anything. Nissan/Infiniti uses CANbus in their cars, so removing the head unit would muck up (if not outright break) other systems like HVAC. Like anything else, I'm sure it could be done with the right combination of money, patience and know-how, but I certainly don't have it, and actually, I haven't seen anyone who's done it yet. That said, I do have a clean low-level signal that I'm tapping into. Probably not perfect, but probably good enough.
 

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I agree, my dealer actually replaced my steering wheel under warranty due to the issue, but the door trim was cheap so I didn't mind doing it myself to avoid arguing with the service manager again.

Also second your choice to retain the factory head unit, the signal from the deck should be fine with a quality interface/converter and replacing it would be a nightmare; especially if you have the studio on wheels option, which actually has a nice DAC in there, I had no complaints with that headunit and the nav was good too. Wish I could have gotten that option on my FX also just for the headunit.
 

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So you guys are saying that the driver side door is a no go for running new wire? I want to place my midbass in the doors and comps in the kickpanels. I was able to run a new wire to the passenger side and squeeze the wire through a small grommet but that grommet on the driver side has no opening to the kickpanel as near as I can tell...

This is on an '03 G35 Coupe btw.

Not sure if what you mentioned is true for all G35s or the later models but I did replace my headunit with a Pioneer 8400. The JDM dash kit cost more than the headunit... it was $350, but the bulk of that expense is the new HVAC controls they include... Don't even ask what I did to the old headunit that came out. Needless to say, this Pioneer head will stay in the car when I sell it... the old one can't go back in...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So you guys are saying that the driver side door is a no go for running new wire? I want to place my midbass in the doors and comps in the kickpanels.
...
This is on an '03 G35 Coupe btw.
I have the 07 sedan with Bose, nav and premium, so your car is obviously going to vary from mine -- the only way you'll be able to tell for sure is by digging in.

That said, it was impossible for me to run a new wire to the driver's side because there was literally zero open space in the molex. Also, I've seen some people on G35 Driver who have run new wires to both sides so in some cases, it can be done.

Also, if your issue is just finding a hole to go through -- that's what drills are for ;)
 
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