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Hey gang,

its been a while since my last E90 build, and i have been eagerly looking forward to this for a while, as its my first project on the M3.

lets get started shall we?

Goals:

1. Achieve a good level of SQ
2. Maintain stock locations on the interior
3. build a trunk set that is stealthy and retain as much cargo space as possible

so in other words, its a bit similar to my other two E90 builds posted here. :)

So first, here is the car itself, looking fast just standing still :)





The car features the premium system, and based on past experience, i once again chose to use the JBL MS8, as i feel that given the less than ideal stock locations, the center channel ability of the ms8 really helps to pull the stage up and forward. Except this time, the signal is tapped via a Mobridge DA2 pre-amp instead of directly from the headunit since this car has the MOST link in it.

I installed the ms8 remote display in the glovebox, and also ran an extension for the MS8's mic cable there for easy plug and play tuning:



A set of Morel's new Hybrid 4" midrange and MT230 tweeter went into the stock locations in the doors, first, two pairs of speaker wires were run into the doors, whcih goes into the cabin above the molex plug:



I choose the MT230 tweeter because the Morel is almost like a stock fitment on the BMWs...so here is the oem tweeter in the sail panel mount:



and here is the MT230 in comparison:



snapped in place:



and the stock foam cover back on:



I then fabbed up a pair of mounting rings for the morel midrange to go into the stock location, there were coated on both sides with truck bedliner to protect them against the elements, though no water should hit them at all due to the sealed nature of the door, the morels were then mounted to them, a foam gasket was added to the edges to prevent any rattling of the speaker against the door:





This was then bolted back in place using the OEM hardware, and the area around the speaker sound proofed with STP Gold damper, this also marks the start of my relationship with STP...so far its working great, soft and doesnt cut my hands while using it. :)



a close up of the mid:



the same process is then repeated on the passenger side, and if you are wondering why the STP damper is silver, i had two sample sheets of the same material one in black one in silver, so i figured i wouldnt let them go to waste:













Moving onto the undseat woofers, the oem ones were really the achilles heel of the stock system IMO, they have very little output and virtually no extension...i even had the system powered up off the new amps on them...same deal...

so here they are:



the speakers were unbolted and STP sound proofing was applied inside and out:





The Audio Systems OEM replacement woofers were then bolted back in place, and pre-wired:

 

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and both sides were installed back into the car, perfect fitment and the bass output and extension is beyond night and day:













The OEM center channel was also replaced with a Morel Hybrid Integra 4" point source speaker, two pairs of speaker wires were run into the stock location:



here is the OE driver next to the Morel replacement:



and the Morel secured in place with some STP sound proofing around it:



and finally, back in the car:



next are some wiring pics of the two bundles going from the front to the rear, really hard to see, but they are tied to the stock bundle every few inches or less.

Since the E90 (and many other late model german cars) are EMI bombs, all the speaker wires are run down the driver side as far away from the stock main power cable as possible, while the passenger side had only the MS8 display and mic cable.

they entire the trunk just like the OEM bundles and are once again ziptied down every few inches until nearing their final destination:























 

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Now lets take a look at the main attraction, and that is the trunk.

again the idea is to be stealthy and clean and dont take up a big amount of trunk space. so here ist he normal view. anyone familiar with a stock E90 trunk will know that a new fake floor has been build that is about 2.5" taller than before, and a side enclosure with a grille cover is on the driver rear section.



remove both grilles and here is what you see...three Mosconi Gladen one amps run the entire system and are at the back, a 120.4 powers the midrange and tweeter with 120 watts a piece, a 120.2 sends 120x2 to the underseat woofers, and a 240.2 is bridged powering an arc audio black series 10" sub with 700 watts. The ms8 powers the center channel and the oem door speakers.

the ms8 and the amps are all flush mounted and trimmed in white vinyl, and there is a little monochromatic M emblem at the middle trimmed with brushed aluminum vinyl.

the Arc black series sits in a sealed enclosure of approx. .65 sq feet.















now onto some build pics of the trunk. first the area for the subbox was heavily tapped off, and then 8 loayers of fiberglass cloth went on, note the bottom of the enclosure is a piece of 3/4" mdf matching the shape of the stock floor cover:



when this cured, it was removed from the car and trimmed to the desired shape. it looks a lil thin but more glass will be going on it later:



the mounting baffle for the arc sub with flush mounting wall is then aimed and secured to the mold:



Fleece was the pulled, resin applied, allowed to cure and here is what you get:



then, to reinforce it, i cut the back open so i can access the interior walls:



10 layers of mat went onto the interior walls:



and then a duraglass/resin mixture was poured into the box to give it further strength and seal any possible leaks:



the back was then reinstalled, and then sealed off and strengthened with five more layers of cloth:

the exterior shape was fillered up and sanded smooth to the desired contours and the edges cleaned up:





silver trunkliner was applied:



and then i gently dyed the carpet with a touch of white to make it lighter and closer to the OEM trunk color...

though due to different lighting, i think this picture acutally makes it look darker lol FTL:



the arc audio sub was then installed, and also note the hard metal strip (not plumbers tape) at the top of the enclosure:





this is there to secure the top of the enclosure via an OEM clip, while the bottom of the enclosure is held extremely tight by the fake floor, so zero drilling is required.

 

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moving onto the main floor. one of the ideas for this build is to make it easy to return to stock and drill virtually no new holes in the car.

so the idea i came up with was to put thick walled threaded spacer rods onto the OEM studs in the floor tray, and then use that bolt down the foundational piece of MDF.

so here are the spacers in place and a close up:





here is the aforementioned foundational board, with all the spacers in place and ready to go. note the holes where a piece of bracket will bolt down to the spacers...(more of this in the wiring shots later)



this is the main cosmetic trim panel before and after vinyl application:





i took a piece of 1/8 hardboard and covered it with 3m brushed aluminum vinyl to trim the M emblem:





this was then secure to the main cosmetic trim, andt he M emblem stuck in place:



basically i did this becuase i realized i had an extra half a day to spare and whats a 15 dollar emblem and materials to give it a lil extra touch? :)

this is the main fake floor before and after carpet, like the sub enclsoure, it was also dyed lighter:





and the vented grilles before and after the same process:





and finally some wiring pics...

instead of tapping into the stock wiring bundle for the rear and underseat woofer wires, i got one of Technic's adapter harness and used that instead, again, the goal is keep stock cutting to a minumum, here is those speaker wires etended and lead out to the amps:



and the wiring of the system. now if you were paying attention, you will realize that the number of channels i got exceeds the number of avaiable outputs on the MS8...so a oldie by goodie Arc Audio DXE active electronic xover is used to divide the signal for the midrange and tweeter. you see it in between the amps and the ms8.

the reason why i dont like to use the morel passive is that in ths car, passive xovers are a huge magnet for EMI interference, i have experience issues with all sorts of passives inducting alternator whine. i also like the ability to adjust the xover freq and experienting with waht sounds best.

the Mobridge DAII is at the driver side front...while some may say with the ms8, such a piece is not needed, but for me, having done enough MS8 installs both with a clean and factory signal, i think there is still quite a bit of advantages to be had. instead of washing the signal post BMW amp, when its not the cleanest and already have some OE processing built in, this ensures that we get a flat absolutely clean signal into it.

all the wires are secured and bundled every few inches or so, and note that the power and signal wires are kept as far away from each other as possible:









so thats it...the end result interms of sound is quite big...there is no real impact in the system, both in the midbass and the bass department. the new Morel still impresses by offering IMO more detail while still no where near harsh, than before. the audio systems woofers, like i have said in the past, really gives some great midbass omph. the black series sub has a lot of output and extension and in a car with a sealed off trunk, thats important.

imaging staging is similar to the other E90s i have done and other MS8 cars...good solid unwavering center of course, good width and okay depth...not bad at all considering where the speakers are :)

got two pretty interesting projects coming up so better get back to work :)

cheers!

Bing
 

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Bing your make this look routine....And it is not in any way...As usual clean, neat and I am guessing awsome in the sound department...Great work , can't wait to see whats next..
 

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Great install! (and car)

I saw you used the Gladen One amps. Have you checked out the 120.4 that has the DSP in it? I just saw it on their website and thought it was interesting.
 

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i am on e90, but i usually like to have the customers post, i dont want to run foul of the forum rules :)

i never used the ones with the built in DSP becuase at the price they are at, and the power coinfiguration they offer, i feel better suited using an external dsp and just the normal amps :)

gives me a bit more flexibility.

now if they can build the DSPs into the AS line...i may just have to change my mind :D
 

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Unreal, u make it look so effortless. Beautiful install.


I know its been asked, but i couldnt find it in ur other threads. Where do you get the blue plastic you use around the speaker rings?
 

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i get low heat platic from selectproducts.

i dont know where else you can get it but ia m sure its out there.

but i would say, find your local stinger dealer and ask to buy a sheet from them.

One time a bunch of people asked if i can order a bunch of sheets and they would buy them, but by the time i got em here, only one person ended up taking one...so that was my last attempt at ordering for people haha, its been a while and i still am burning through that extra stock :D
 

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Bing,

When you say "less than ideal stock locations", are you referring to the midbass under the seat?

It would seem like the tweeter in the sail panels and the midrange high up on the door would work well.
 

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Bing,

When you say "less than ideal stock locations", are you referring to the midbass under the seat?

It would seem like the tweeter in the sail panels and the midrange high up on the door would work well.
yeah midbass underseat for sure, i also dont like the halfway up the door location for midrange, to me thats the most important driver in the whole set, and i would like to have better PLD for it ideally :)

b
 

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I have to say, you might do the most amazing and clean installs I've ever seen. I love your attention to detail and how everything looks so stock. I wish I could find someone who does half of what you do in my area!
 

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I have to say, you might do the most amazing and clean installs I've ever seen. I love your attention to detail and how everything looks so stock. I wish I could find someone who does half of what you do in my area!
thanks :) I just try to make up for my relatively lack of fabrication skills with as much attention to detail as my mind can muster :)
 
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