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Discussion Starter #1
Wow, I don't believe I am even starting this thread. I finally made a start at this project. A little background... A couple months after getting my car, I knew the audio system had to go. It's not a "bad" Bose system, but it's just not there for me. I also knew that I wanted to quite the car down. Many 8 owners try to increase the sound of exhaust or give it a deeper tone. Not me for my DD of 70 miles a day.

I am not a total SQ guy, nor a bass head. Just something in between. I set out over a year ago and I headed down the carpc route but after about 4 months planning, I scrapped that.

The most important part of this thread: THANK YOU to all the DIYMA folks that answered my questions and pointed me in the right direction.

I started off with building the box, after I decided on 2 JBL GTO1014D. The 8 is limited on trunk space and I still wanted to be able to have usable space. The car does not have a spare tire as standard equipment so there is a little room to work, but not much.

Planning the box:



To make sure I could get it in and out:


Building the box:


Stuffing and more stuffing:


Covering the box:


Completed enclosure:


I used black as I am still on the hunt for a true match to my carpet color. I have some samples on the way and I can rip this off and cover again if I find a perfect match.

While I was waiting on supplies and just resting, I constructed a solid state relay. Thanks much to The Tube Doctor for his help and feedback.


Now on to the amp rack that will fit in the trunk floor cutout.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Because of the limited space, I was limited on my selection of amps. I decided to go Massive NX-4 for front stage and center and an N2 for the subs. I made a small tray out of 1/2" MDF to fit in the "box" in the trunk floor. I had thought about glassing it and probably will before this project is completed. The most annoying part of this was all the kurf cuts to fit make the bends. Glue is curing as I write. Cleanup, sanding, lid building and covering comes later.



Oh wait, who is that I see coming of the street. Wait, is it brown? Yes it is. Come on, no, don't stop there. Dang, I thought the UPS man had something for me...... Oh wait, he's stopping at my house; whoo hoooo!!



The start of the sound deadening job. Damn, the MLV is HEAVY!!!! Still waiting on one more box due to a mix up in shipping. Overall, looks like the products that Don has at SDS are great and shipping seemed great. The only issue is the mlv seems to be a little messed up on both ends from being rolled around during shipment. The protective coverings are shredded. Doesn't look too bad and I'll have to see when I unroll it all.

More to follow as I start to remove the interior and the fun begins.
 

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Good looking start. I always wanted an 8. Looking forward to seeing it 'done'.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. The 8 is a fun car to drive. It's not the fastest car out there but they do handle incredibly well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I get tired of cars quick. I normally don;t stay in them more than about 3 years. I don't think I will sell this one when I am ready for a new DD.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More goodies came in today. I received a lot of the stuff to make my own RCA cables and the Metra face plate. I also finished up building the tray and the lid. I am waiting to wrap them in carpet until the amps arrive. This way I can lay them out and place the cooling fan and make a final cut. I plan to use the rotorary image for the cooling fan intake.


 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Before I begin the sound deadening project on Friday, I took some simple dB sound levels using my Atrix Android phone and Sound Meter Pro by Smart Tools. Several weeks ago, I was at Measurement Assurance Technology dropping off tools that needed calibration. We took a quick look at the phone and made a couple adjustments. It is calibrated from 40 to 95 dB to about +/- 5%. I was surprised at just how accurate the phone mic is. The phone is limited to 100 db and has a difficult time measuring under 40dB.

I plan to do the same type of drive after the project is completed.


Mazda RX-8 dB Levels.wmv - YouTube



What's the proper way to embed a video?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I spent some time the last several days working on the CLD/CCF/MLV application in the front doors and the trunk. I still need to do a little trim work for the front doors as the panels have a gap on the aft edge about in the middle. If I trim the MLV back by about 1/8" and remove the CCF about 1/2", they will fit snug again.



On the inner skin that only had one layer, I applied the CLD on the inside between glass. Where there were two layers, I added it to the cabin side. I was actually surprised at just has the inner skins had very little resonance to them. The outer skin, well, that is a another story.



Once I mount my replacement speakers, I'll trim it up with MLV.



Not yet finished with the trunk. The way I am doing this is that the strip that ties pieces together are not glued to both sides. This way, if I have to remove it at latter date I can.




I have found that using a heat gun at a high temp helps to make the bends and curves....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I used contact cement on both surfaces. Used a light nap roller. I have a spray gun but for the little there is I decided to roll it. Got to be light on the carpet side so it doesn't bleed through.

Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you. I got a little done this week. I finished up the sound deadening in the trunk. This weekend, I'll work on the main section of the car and run some wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've had some time over the last couple of days to get some more completed on the build. I made my RCA cables based on the RCA DIY thread. I think I did it right by soldering the sheild to only one end ground.


I'm going with Image Dynamics for the front stage.


The car has Bose 8.5" woofers there now so I had created an adapter. Don't tell my wife, but I stole her cutting boards to use for the adapters. :D I used a dremel with the circle adapter to make the cuts.


I also got the amps mounted temp into the amp rack. I couldn;t make the MS-8 fit in this, so it will be mounted under the rear deck.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
A little more work last night and this morning. No more work says the wife until I go to Wal-Mart and get her new cutting boards. :D I built up the wire harness. One end goes to the car side plug, to the radio and Axxess. The white plug will go to the factory radio when I need to adjust the clock. It'll stay tucked away when the factory is not plugged in.





I also modified one of the blank out plugs for the base boost switch. I don't know if I'll ever use it, but it'll be there.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lots of work since Friday afternoon. I ripped out the interior and started the install. As of now, I modded the shark fin Sat antenna to accept the Sirius. Ran most of the wires and got a couple speakers installed. Too tired and my back hurts too bad to upload pictures. I don't feel like going back out to the garage to get the camera. :D

I'll add them in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, I have been slow on getting you guys updates... So here it is.

I took the entire interior out, minus the dash and laid down the CLD tiles, CCF and MLV. As is the case with most cars, the floor had much of the area covered with vibration dampening and I left it in place. The most difficult part of the sound part was the transmission tunnel. There is just a lot of wiring and connection points to work around. I can't find the couple images I have of the MLV portion.



Some tips with this stuff. A heat gun does wonders helping to mold it. I found that the utility knife blades with the hook are the best for cutting MLV and commercial long shears for the CCF. Wear gloves when applying the CLD tiles as they can cut you quick. In my testing with the CLD, I found that more smaller peices works better than one large one. I used the plastic snaps to size of the cut out holes to minimize opening sizes.

The first thing I decided to do was to modify the shark fin antenna to use the new Sirius antenna.


Here is the factory antenna used


with the antenna removed


Bbase plate for the factory antenna that I modified to fit the new, slightly larger antenna


Here it is installed with a little JB weld to hold it in place. I didn't need to add the JB, just thought I would for extra measure.




Now on to wiring. I made a choice that I wanted to use existing holes and wire routing. When it came speaker wires for the door, it took a bit of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For the front doors, I used the existing harness. Since this car had factory Bose, I didn't have any open space in the plug unless I wanted to de-pin the Bose wires. I wanted to leave them there in case I want to switch back to sell the car.


By doing it this way, I had to trim into the car a little for the speaker wire. After I notched out an opening, I etched the surface and them primmed it. The notches hide nicely behind the boot.








After all was dry, I used liquid rubber on the metal and wrapped the wire in tape so I didn't end up with chaffing.

I used the existing firewall wire run to run my 0 awg wire from the battery into the cabin. I ran the wire down the left side.





I used the center speaker location to mount the nav antenna and the 3.5" speaker. The blue part is a scrap ferrous metal for the GPS antenna magnet.


Time to modify the battery connection. Here is the factory end used to connect the alternator input and the 60 accessory fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Cut off the side tabs so it'll fit the new battery connector.


Hooked up


Oh, just found a picture with some of CCF down. It's 1/2" CCF on the floor.


Here is the new unit installed with a custom boot screen.


I've uploaded the nav files with Garmin's newest files and activated the NavTeq and TTN traffic.

Here is the speaker box and amp rack. The MS-8 is mounted the rear deck and didn't take any pictures of it.




Amp cover


Ignore the RCA cables. I have to make some new ones as I changed the MS-8 location during intall and these were too short. I plan to do that this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I modified the aux input in the center arm rest to accept the new USB connections. I thought it would also charge my phone but is too slow. I think the amp output is low compared to using a standard accessory plug output.


I have to say that in the past, I used a DMM to set gains. I used two online calculators to verify proper settings and tried that first. Then, I used my oscope to set/check the gains. I was surprised that the DMM route was close but was still clipping. This is how far I was off.



So far, I am very happy with the system. I am still playing around with the MS-8 and have tried a dozen or so combinations. I have to admit, I have thought more than once to bypass it and use the sound features of the head unit instead. I think I need to get a RTA and set the eq with that. I still seem to have a little bit of hollow sound. My settings for the setup are:
Subsonic @35/12
Sub front @ 95/24
Front lo hi @ 4500/24
Center hi pass @ 150/24
Side hi pass @ 60/24

The only issue I seem to have is the volume of the head unit seems a bit low. I set the MS8 at -35 when doing the settings and then -7 for regular running.

Also, based on my crossover points, what test tones should I use to set the gains properly. I think I used 62 for subs, 200 for front lo and center, 6500 for front hi and 100 for the sides/rear.

Any thoughts on this would be great.
 
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