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4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As a shop owner, one of the most gratifying things is to personally watch installers grow into a whole new set of skillset...I have worked with or employed quite a few over the years, and it is always interesting to see the difference in growth. Some people never seem to pick up anything new, others, perhaps like myself, are more progressive in their evolution and incorporate new techniques on a step by step basis, and then there are those who seem to pick up stuff at a quantum level and bursts through barriers really fast.

I have to say that our own Jesse, aka killahsharksjc, aka #loserobilt (funny story how that name came about lol) is of the last category.

For as long as i have known, Jesse has always had the attention to detail part down, something that i dont believe can be taught, you are either born with it or not...and in the coupla years that he has been with us, he has grown from someone who we only had cleaning the shop and very minor things such as sound proofing, into a true fabricator and professional in every sense.

These days, all i have to do is give him a car, a set of requirements, and sometime later, check out his work...knowing for sure that all my own personal standards have been met or exceeded.

With this Chevy Tahoe, i feel he has really stepped up his game to a whole new level. The truth is, out here we dont get to work on vehicles like this a lot, so there was very little experience and knowledge i could impart onto him before the start of the build...instead, i simply told him where the customer would have liked things to be, and walked away. When it was all said and done, I truly believed that what he came up with is something i would be immensely proud of if i was able build it on my own...and infact, if i had build it on my own, it may not have come off as cool looking. :)

anyway, enough gushing, lets get to the build of this 2001 Chevy Tahoe.

the goals:

1. obtain a nice level of sound quality

2. repair/replace previous work done on the vehicle

3. build a clean looking rearward facing ported enclosure for the JL subs the customer provided while maintaining usability of the cargo area

first of, the car, which of course is nothing exotic, but actually quite so for our shop :)

jesse did virtually all the work on the vehicle, the only part i helped out with was the upholstery and the fabrication of a simple fuse holder:

the customer already had a kenwood headunit installed, along with rear monitors and a wifi to hdmi input device in the center console, jesse cleaned up all the wiring and re did everything:

The customer also asked us to remove his factory DVD player in the lower center console, and instead build a plate that housed some USB input jacks and also his bass knob, so here is what Jesse came up with:

two pics of what the wiring of the headunit and input sources looked like BEFORE:

and what it looked like after jesse redid them:

to properly mount all the hdmi inputs, (they were just laying on the floor before), jesse built a custom plate that goes in the center console area, rewired everything, and and then a carpeted plate on top to give it a new false floor (i forgot to take a picture of this plate):

here are a few pictures of the new plate that went in place of the factory dvd player:

moving onto the front stage, which consists of a set of focal flax 3 way set. the midbass went into the stock door location.

first, new speaker wires were run into the door and the outer door sound proofed with blackhole tiles:

then the inner door received a combination of STP cld damper, and GP audio composite foam/cld damper:

a pair of spacer rings were fabricated to allow fitment of the focal flax midbass to the GM spekaer adapters, the mdf rings were coated with truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:

and then the focal flax midbasses were wired up and mounted:

the factory tweeter was kept in place to maintain the appearance through the stock grille:

the same procedure was then repeated on the passenger side, and this time we have a picture of the CLD that also went onto the door card:

moving onto the rest of the front stage. The focal flax midrange and tweeter were molded into the A pillars, facing about 60 degrees off axis, ficing acrosst he to opposite listener. it is wrapped in factory matching vinyl:

onto some build pics of the pillars by jesse.

first, he roughed up the factory pillars and aimed and secured the mounting rings:

mold cloth was then pulled:

then resin was applied, the inside reinforced with a filler/resin shake, and then the entire thing was fillered up and sanded smooth:

i then took over and wrapped the pillars in vinyl, wired up and mounted the focal flax midrange and tweeter:


4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
next comes some wiring pics of the bundles travel from the front of the car to the rear, ziptied every few inches:

so thats it for the main interior, moving onto the main attraction: the cargo area.

the goal here was simple, have a custom enclosure for the customers two 10w6s, ported, that also housed the amps. Jesse took upon himself to come up with that and quite a bit more.

so here is the normal view with everything covered up...grilles covering up the subs and the amps. most of the enclsoure is carpeted with a vinyl top:

pop of the grilles and here is what you see, two 10w6s firing backwards, trimmed in vinyl, flanking a custom pressed grille showing off a pair of slot ports. on top, two deeply chamfered openings show off two arc audio xdiv2 amps, a 1200.6 powers the front stage with 150 watts x 6, while a xdiv2 1100.1 sneds 1100 watts to the subs.

though simple in concept, i really loved the execution of the build from a cosmetic standpoint, it has that timelessly classy old school look that imo is perfect for this car.

the whole enclosure is also done to be fully presentable from the front of the car. here is the normal view with the seats up:

flip the seats down and you see a slanted and angled back piece that goes all the way to the edges of the truck:

for easy access and servicing, the top trim simple pops off via locating dowels, and you can look at the wiring underneath, along with the mosconi 6to8v8 controlling the whole system


4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
so thats it for the finished product, lets move onto the build pics from Jesse.

first off, a big thanks to Eric Cole from JL for providing us with a design spec drawing for the two subs:

so the enclosure itself involves a inside enclosure and then the trim pieces that go around it to form the overall shape. here are the various pieces after jesse fabricated them:

the enclosure itself was constructed, with the port area painted black:

for mounting of the entire structure, jesse fabricated a set of custom brackets that will bolt to the enclosure and stock seat mounting points:

here they are mounted to the car, ready to be bolted through the bottom of the enclosure:

the enclosure, now with the top panel secured, and the amps/dsp mounted and wired up:

this is the main trim panel around the subs and port, jesse made an insert piece, and then using foam tape to form a space, and built up filler to form a flush mounting opening for the grille over the ports:

the grille itself is a piece of mdf ring with a pressed raised grille attached to it:

and then he fabricated the main front panel with the opening for the subs and port, and test fitted everything together. note that the opening around the raised portion has been ever so slightly reduced to accomodate for the rise:

i then wrapped the trim piece and grille border in vinyl, and secured the grille mesh to the border, and fit everything together and bolted it to the enclosure:

then i wrapped the main front panel in black carpet:

and here is the top cover panel jesse came up with, before and after vinyl:

and here is the rather complicated rear covering panel that jesse built, before and after i wrapped it with carpet:

and finally, the three grille piece before and after carpeting:

so thats it...what may seem like a pretty simple design, in reality as i know from experience, requires a lot of forethought and pre-planning to ensure everything not only fit together properly, but also look great from a trim and spacing perspective.

IMO jesse knocked this one out of the part, and it is a built that IMO ANY installer should be happy to call their own...and it is for work like this that i hope yall remember him when the next Installer of the Year contest happens for 2016 :)

the car itself sounds really good...the focal flax set follows the same trend set by the two way set we have used prior, very natural smooth and airy, with good midbass impact and great smooth and detailed midrange and highs. the car stages pretty well, with height half way up the windshield, good depth, pillar to pillar width and a decently solid center image. the two 10s, which at the end of the day isnt huge for a big interior like this, did their part to produce a lot of low frequency response and fills the cabin well and really gives your hair a work over :)

overall, i think just a nicely balanced sq truck with above average low frequency capabilities. :)

Thats it for now, look for more #loserbilt projects coming soon! ;)


3,007 Posts
Damn that's clean. Your "shop hand" has really come into his you're very proud! I love the way that sub enclosure looks in there....

Premium Member
306 Posts
Seeing the work that comes out of your shop is very inspiring. Simple and elegant (to me), though I imagine a lot of this fabrication isn't simple. :p
Every time I read one of your threads, I'm always thinking "ughhhh dammit, I wish I could do that for a living!"

That box looks incredible, especially that sweet grill over the ports. I love itttttt :D
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