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As many of you know, we mostly focus on sound quality oriented, daily driven type of builds, even most of our show car builds has a SQ component to them. But once in a while, its just nice to do a bangin system that is more focused on showiness and output than the delicate nuances of a sound quality project.

This was quite a neat project for me for a few reasons, the owner of this new Kia Optima VIP style show car was a really nice guy, but sadly, his previous audio installation experience was for a lack of better word, Terrible. he came to us for a fresh start, with new gear and aim for a much nicer looking build. he pointed to a G37 sedan build i did years ago, with an inverted sub and two amps in a fake floor, as inspiration. What is also neat is that this is the first new generation Optima i have ever worked on, and being a fellow kia owner myself and a fan of this car, i was eager to give it a go.

the goals were simple:

1. completely redo all the wiring and other visible defects in the interior and trunk

2. build a new clean and showy design in the trunk featuring inverted subs and some accent lighting

lets get started:

first a quick shot of the car:



first up is a metal bracket holding a JL audio fuse holder under the hood, fabbed up by Joey:







the car already has some type of stock integrated aftermarket unit in place, i basically went in and rewired it and bolted it back in place:



by the time we got the car, the customer had already pulled the previous install from the trunk, so i dont have any pics of that, but a quick gander at the wiring job will probably tell you volumes about the quality:

here are the BEFORE pics :)























the focus was on the trunk for this build, but we simply couldnt let it roll out with the front tweeters surface mounted to the sail panel:



so joey took the extra time to fabricate up a set of pods that houses the JL C3 tweeterthe reason why the stock sail panel isnt molded directly is that its made out of polypropylene and nothing really sticks to it. the new pods were painted black and bolted to the stock sail panels for a much cleaner look:









here are a few build pics of the tweeter pods.

first the pods were formed using a piece of abs trimmed to a desired shape, the jl surface mounting ring, and body filler



here you see the back side of it with the studs and bolts that will secure it to the factory sail panel:



here are the pods after filler and final sanding:



and here they are, painted and ready for the tweeter to go in:



here are the pictures of the new wiring bundle as it goes from the front of the car to the back, zitped and secure to factory loom every few inches:

























 

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so thats it for the interior, the rear deck was already fully sound proofed so that was left alone. lets move onto the main focus on this project, the rebuild of the trunk.

so here it is. a new fake floor that is done in black vinyl, with a center section that features dark red vinyl trim (color chosen by the customer). two JL amps are at the front, a 300/4v3 powers the interior speakers, while a 1200/1v3 sends 1200 watts rms to two 10w7s mounted inverted. the customer also asked for a solid trim panel at the front of the trunk that act as a divider between the trunk and back of the seats, wtih a matchint two tone black and vinyl trim. I did that with the SIS logo in raise vinyl lettering.

really, a pretty basic and simple concept and appearance:





























flip a trunk mounted switch and the border of plexi between the top floor and red trim lights up red, here is the view in a dark garage:























 

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so lets get on with the build pics of the trunk.

first, to get enough air space for the two 10w7s, which wants about 1.25 ft^3 each sealed, i decided to go ahead and glass almost the entire spare tire well, whcih was nice and big:

here is what i started with:



after building a frame amount the opening that is bolted to the floor using rivet nuts, i covered the entire well with STP damper and then masked the whole area off:





then i fabricated the top baffle of the enclosure that sits inside the frame to properly locate it, filled in the big gaps with piece of cardboard, and then laid down 6 layers of mat. note the double recessed opening that allows me to attach the fiberglass to the wood but still retain a recessed surface to attach a top baffle. there is also a 3/4" MDF board that is on the backside of the baffle that acts as the back wall of the enclosure:





once that cured, the entire enclosure was pulled out of the car, the excess material grinded down and sanded smooth, and i am left with this monstrosity:



next, the entire inside of the box was covered with STP damper, and a middle support was fiberglassed in place:







next, the front half of the cnclosure was sealed off and then an extention board also glued to it, this now forms a combination sub enclosure and amp rack support structure...a somewhat awkward to handle piece lol









the bttom side of the amp support platform received some foam so it wont buzz against the metal floor, and now its ready to go back into the car:





this whole structure secures to the car via several rivet nuts upfront, and the main spare tire well retaining point in the well, once all secured, it is as solid as a rock:





here are two quick shots of the enclosure after its been bolted in place and the amps wired up:





onto the actual mounting of the subs...if you know the w7 then you know that the only way to reverse mount them is to first secure them to a baffle, and then mount the entire baffle upside down to the enclosure.

to ensure that the subs never tear out, and that the subs are spaced up to the same level plane as the amps, i fabricated a 2-3/8" thick mounting baffle for them. using a giant rounder bit, i put in a large smooth curved transition into the opening on the top side. to further ensure that it stays put, i allotted a total of 16 bolts that will go through the baffle and into threaded inserts in the enclosure top baffle below. you see the holes for them here:



then, i wrapped the top of the baffle with a single piece of all sport black vinyl. required quite a lot of pulling but i managed to pull it off :)





the subs were basically then secured from the other side, and the entire baffle bolted to the car.

this is the main trim layer before and after red vinyl:





this is the routered 1/2" plexi piece that has been clouded, before and after the attachment of a 16 foot red LED strip:





and here are the two pieces screwed together, wtih black duct tape on the outter edges of the plexi to prevent like leaking out the other side:



here are the two pieces that make up the top floor, before and after vinyl:







and here is the two piece front trim panel before upholstery:



with the raised vinyl letters secured to the trim board:



and upholstered:



and these are secured together, ready to go back into the car:





and finally, a few pics of the wiring beneath the floor, showing everything ziptied and secured every few inches:









so thats it...how does it sound? its quite loud, though i had mentioned to the customer that having a solid divider between the trunk and the cabin will hurt bass performance a bit, it is still one of the loudest builds i have done...it really can rattle your bones a bit :) but the main satisfaction on this build comes from the fact that the car now has a build that he can be proud of at car shows. :)

it was a lot of fun working on something like this, but i have to say, i prefer not to do too many w7 inverted installs, lifting that baffle/sub combo was not fun for my back! :eek:

man thats four build logs in one day...some kind of record i think :D

cheers,

Bing
 

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Excellent work as always. *insert repetitive comment about it making me want to work on my car*

How big a roundover did you have? 1.5" radius? That'd work nicely on flushed ports. :)
 

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Hmm.. lemme get my buddy Joey in here. I don't remember what the number was for that one, just that it was WAY bigger than anything Bing had, so I for sure needed it! hahah..
 

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first a quick shot of the car:

Thanks. lol

the car already has some type of stock integrated aftermarket unit in place, i basically went in and rewired it and bolted it back in place:

How did you feel about this? I had a customer order a similar unit some time ago, and even though (based on previous experiences with cheap chinese/korean factory fit units) we recommended against it, he had us put it in. It didn't last 6 months. Then he had to have us pull it, sent it back, and then ended up getting a refund instead of another unit.

There's a guy in on of the Kia FB groups I frequent that has an Android one for his 2013 Rio, and he's happy with it so far.

Jay
 

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Thanks. lol



How did you feel about this? I had a customer order a similar unit some time ago, and even though (based on previous experiences with cheap chinese/korean factory fit units) we recommended against it, he had us put it in. It didn't last 6 months. Then he had to have us pull it, sent it back, and then ended up getting a refund instead of another unit.

There's a guy in on of the Kia FB groups I frequent that has an Android one for his 2013 Rio, and he's happy with it so far.

Jay
to be honest, i think it depends on your goal and pickyness...if you want great sq, high voltage, fast reaction, good gui, etc etc...then this may not be your unit...butif you want to upgrade your non nav car to a nav one with way more features and looks and functions like oem...then this is probably about as good as it gets for now :)
 

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Very clean install. Couple of questions. I saw where you added the tweets in the sail panel so what other speakers were used, stock?

Second, non stereo related question. I have never really thought too much about Kia cars before but this one has some very nice lines and has a nice stance with those wheels. Do you know what size wheel package it had and do you have any more pics of the outside of the car?
 

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Kia/Hyundai are making some great cars right now. My last car was a Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which I replaced with a Kia Rio. I dig the styling on most of their stuff, and the build quality is as good or better than just about any asian car I've worked on. Better than alot of the USA made cars. Better materials, comes apart like you'd expect. Easy to work on.

Definitely worth a look.

Jay
 

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I work at a Kia store and before I worked here I openly scoffed at them coming from 6 years at a Nissan store. That does not happen anymore, they build very solid cars for the money. Just go take a look at the new K900, it is nicer than any 7 series or S car.
 

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Another stellar install guys! I do have a question though. I see in one of the pics you were pointing out how the ground was done previously and it got me wondering how you all do it?
I have always picked a nice hidden flat spot near the amp, sand back just enough paint for the size of the ring terminal, usually use a self tapping screw with a large head for good coverage and then sometimes I will hit it with a color match or clear to make sure the exposed metal does not rust.
Is that not the proper way? I know better than to use a seat mount or similar but that's just how I was told to do it 20+ years ago and always followed that way.
Not trying to steal any insider stuff but am I doing it wrong? Is there a better way?
 
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