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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Something I've always wanted to do, since I started coming to this site, is do my own build log. I was going to do one on my last car, the 2014 Chevy Cruze, but due to the need to have it done for a Winter GTG (thanks Notloudenuf), I rushed through it really quick and took minimal pictures. Oh well, maybe next time.

Welcome to next time.

Here is my victim (beside my baby), a 2015 Kia Forte5 SX (w/Premium Package).





Next up - Stock driver / source locations.
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So the KIA is awesome. Super fun to drive, and looks to be a great candidate for my build.

Here is the stock FALSE FLOOR!!! (yeah, I love how this worked out)





There is a top tray that fits over this piece, but I took it out because this sits at about the height I want the amps to be:



So here is my current idea. I'll have the amps laid out like this, with a second battery (and isolator) between the amps.



I'm not 100% sure I'll be complacent with the AVH-X5700BHS's processor features, so I placed the 3Sixty.3 in to see if it would squeeze in. Maybe...



So I took everything out to verify that the battery would clear the false floor.



Checked the cover and it fits with probably 1/2"-3/4" of space above the terminals (which will be removed for this anyway.

I think it's going to be a super-tight fit to get all of this to fit. Yeah, looks great right now, but I don't have any primary #1/0 power and ground or #4 amp power and grounds attached to anything yet. My concern is that once I get them in there, it won't be doable.

If all of that works out to be too little space, I might remove the side trays to give myself the needed room, and then create some bracing to shore-up the false floor. It needs to be solid, because 2 x JL Audio 12w6v3's will be perched on top of it all (unless I can work out a trade with someone for some different subs). I would love to do something like a pair of SI BM MKIV's or something like that.
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So that's where I am currently. About to order some install items I need (like dash kit, harness, door speaker adapters, etc).

Another thing I have going on right now is I need to finish installing the OEM body kit on my Camaro. Need another pair of hands to get that done though.
 

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sub'd because i have a similar car also with 2 mosconi amps and a second battery in the hatch. I cant wait to see what you do. Its still a little chilly in VT to do all the wiring in mine, so i am watching this for inspiration:D
 

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My Rio will be 3 years old on 4/4. I'm still rocking the stock UVO HU (until I finish my tablet install). It is tough to switch. The UVO does AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM/Jukebox/Aux/iPod (and Zune)/USB/Streaming and a backup camera.
Combined with a processor, it's a pretty good combo.

Nice color choice, BTW. lol

Jay
 

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885 Posts
I'm sub'd, just simply because its a Kia and there aren't many of us out there using their vehicles. Plus, you are an awesome designer and I know you'll come up with something really cool in that space.
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Got the radio wiring harness and battery isolator delivered today.

Anyone have any thoughts on best location for the isolator? Are there any issues to look out for if I decide to install it in the engine compartment?

I got the PAC SPR-200 battery isolator with the BG12 battery monitor module. My plan was to install the isolator in the engine compartment and then have the monitor module LED on one of my empty dash button slots (the little slots beside the traction control and heated steering wheel buttons) like the picture below.



Thoughts?
 

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I was looking to get one of these but I couldn't find a 6 speed manual in California, at least not in Southern California. I found some in Northern California but I needed to get the price around $16,000 and I don't know if I could have gotten an SX for that even if it was base equipment which do exist.

Not sure I want to sub however, seems like another surfboard amp build and Kia's for some reason were given different hatch treatment over the Hyundai versions which allow for a cargo tray just above the spare tire.

I have the same lack of a spare with a flat repair kit instead. Because the Elantra/Forte twins are physically larger, 'glassing in the hatch floor for a sub would yield more available air space over the Accent/Rio twins.

Good Luck
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Whew - 2 rough days working on this car and not much progress.

March 29, 2015
Had a busy Saturday, so figured I would take it easy and probably just work on getting the engine bay done. I decided to start with the Big three upgrade. Then I spent over an hour looking for my multimeter. So yeah, not a good start.

Here is what I was working with.


The battery terminal has a 150A fuse between the Alt and the battery. Wonder why they put one there.


Yeah, I took that off. It takes up too much valuable space anyway. I usually like to "double-up" the stock wiring, but in this case I had to replace.


The other end attached to the Alternator. Easiest one I have ever had to get to. It's literally on the front of the alternator between the motor and the radiator fan.


Next upgrade is the grounding. I was able to just "double-up" for the ground strap.


The engine ground strap attached to an intake stud. There is a metal sleeve in the composite intake that can't be seen, but it's there.


A little farther back view.


I couldn't locate a suitable place for my battery isolator. Looks like it will be installed inside the passenger compartment, probably in the back with the second battery and the amps, etc.

That's all I got done last weekend.
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
April 4, 2015

Today I was feeling ambitious. I figured I would go crazy and try to get the head unit wired up/figured out. The Metra harness only has the basic pins for basic connections. This will not do for me. My replacement unit has aux-in and USB and my car has matching ports in the console. They WILL be connected and operating as if the Pioneer was the stock head unit.

So, step 1. Remove stock radio. So much easier said then done. I'm jus sayin there was some swearin done at the direction of Metra manual editors.





So I spent the next 2 hours disassembling / de-pinning the Metra Harness that I had in my 2014 Cruze to salvage and re-purpose the pins for the new harness. I believe I actually pulled it off. I still need to make a USB cable, but I actually got almost everything else working. Steering wheel controls work (that took way too long to get straight - again, swearing at Metra), stuff turns on and off as it should, etc. Then, I hit another impasse. I could not figure out why I could not get the factory backup camera to work. I knew it was getting power and that the signal wires were correct, but something wasn't right. I wasn't getting anything from it.

After troubleshooting for a while, I discovered that the stock backup camera is only getting 7V from the stock head unit. I guess it didn't like the 12.6V I was sending it. I didn't mess it up (lucky, I know), but I currently have nothing that could drop that 12.6V down to 7V. So, I went upstairs to my PC and ordered a variable-voltage regulator from Amazon. Sadly, it was too late in the day to overnight it, but they should have it here on SUNDAY... Yeah, Sunday. So, that part got put on pause.

I decided to see how far South my luck could run in one day, so I popped off the tweeter grills in the dash. Looks standard fare, so no real surprises. I may have to modify my plans for the pods I had in mind, but it doesn't look insurmountable.

Them stock tweets are so cute! :laugh: The ML280's are enormous in contrast.



Next up was the door panels. I removed the passenger side door panel to reveal this beauty.


A giant, plastic, pain in the bottom. I have the stock 6.5" removed for the above photo. There isn't a lot of clearance between the plastic panel and the window glass - probably only 1.5" - getting the Hertz ML1600's to fit may take something akin to a miracle. I really do not want to have to cut the dor cards, but there may not be much choice in the end.


The speaker adapters I bought do not fit. They do not flush against the plastic. I may be able to trim them down, but I'm afraid if I trim them too much that the magnet will be rubbing glass. It may be moot though as the adapters might be too tall to clear the door card.

The stock speaker is on the right, the Hertz ML1600 on the left.


So, that's pretty much how I ended a pretty rough day. It wasn't a rough day because of my fight with my car though.

While I was in the garage, One of my neighbors came over to talk to me. This neighbor I rarely ever talk with. He's just not my kind of people. Anyway, he told me that my other neighbor's 21 year old daughter was killed in a car wreck this morning. I really like those neighbors, and I was gutted when I heard. She was a beautiful girl, and her parents are just awesome people. Her mother told my wife later that when the Trooper came to their house this morning at 5AM that all she kept thinking while descending her stairs to answer the door was "please let her be in jail." That really makes my frustration with my build seem so small and insignificant.

Hug your kids and family and tell 'em that you love 'em.

Until next time, here is a picture and a message from my sad Camaro that has to sleep outside tonight.


I'll be back at it tomorrow.
 

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More ambition than time
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Ok, so my previous post should have been - APRIL 3RD - and not the 4th....so anyways....

- April 4th -

So, not a lot of progress was really made today. I had an idea of a way to make the door speaker adapters work, and it ended up actually working. I had to shave down / cut the tabs that were closes to the door hinges, but it worked and the ML1600's squeezed in.



The I got the tweeters to sit in the dash temporarily until I can get started on making some pods.



That's it for the 4th. Couldn't go much farther as I was waiting on the voltage regulator for the rear camera, but it was to be delivered on the 5th.
 

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More ambition than time
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Discussion Starter #19
- April 5th -

More fun.

Got the voltage regulator in today and got the voltage dialed in to exactly what the factory voltage was and........ still got no video.

Turned out that the wiring diagram I had was incorrect. Figured that out by tracing wire colors to the front harness. I switched the pins and WOOT!!! It makes me wonder if I really even needed the voltage regulator and if the stock camera would have worked without it. Eh, better safe than sorry, so I left the regulator in the circuit.

I was also having trouble with the USB in the console. I had spliced a cable into the factory wiring. Everything I plugged into the console would get power, but nothing would communicate with the head unit. It was like the TX and RX lines were not getting a good enough signal.

I found a higher quality USB cable and....... still nothing. It makes me sad really. I really have a thing about cables hanging out of my console. I believed that I had the Aux cable working fine, but I didn't. More on that later...



I didn't put the trim pieces back on because nothing had be connected in the rear, and I didn't want to damage the pieces too much by taking them in and out a lot.



That was it for the day. This also started my week of suffering. Not having music in my car is just miserable for me. I have a relatively short commute (25 miles or so) but the traffic can be horrendous. I almost took an iPod speaker dock and put it in the car just so I could have something.
 

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More ambition than time
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Discussion Starter #20
- April 11th -

I went over to a buddies house - he has an awesome wood shop, and he's a talented carpenter. We trade favors a lot, and he's a music lover, so he loves to help me do this stuff.

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but here is the progress.

We started by building a super strong amp rack / battery case. This thing is much more sturdy than I had imagined. It has a 2x4 frame with 5/8" MDF screwed to the top.



Just a quick photo showing his shop.



We also made a trim panel to go over everything. My plan is to provide some nice LED backlighting around the view ports (probably go with red to match the rest of the interior lighting.



That's pretty much as far as we got. We started on the frames for the tweeter pods, but ran out of time.

- April 12th -

We finished up the frames and got the tweeters mounted. With the base being round, I can position the tweeters almost perfectly on-axis with my ears. That should help with imaging and response a lot (or so I hear....har har har). Here are some pics:





I was pretty excited at this point. I could see things coming together and I liked what I was seeing.
 
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