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hey guys,

well this one certainly took a while. :) as it turns out it could be more of the more challenging builds we have taken on. There are several reasons as to why i say this, but the key is that it involves mounting of rather unique equipment in pretty unique locations in a car that is not commonly worked on -- a 2008 Acura RL.

Before I begin, i wanna thank Southsyde for his build log and his time for answering a few questions Joey and I had for the car, as he was truly the pioneer for this model.

I also wanna say that the customer dictated what goes where, and will be the one doing the fine tuning, so any SQ specific questions, he would be far better equipped at answering :)

so the goals:

1. install all customer supplied equipment in customer specified locations in the car

2. maintain a completely low key, almost stock appearance in the interior

3. fit all the gear in the trunk but still maintain as much trunk space and utility as possible.
]
lets get started:

first up is the battery. The customer supplied us with a new battery, and we wanted to make sure it all fits under the stock battery cover:





lift off the cover and you see a diehard platinum battery with two new connection battery terminals and a stinger distribution block. We completely removed the stock positive terminal and the one oem cable that was on a fuse is still on the same amperage fuse. the other main 0 gauge cable goes to the system.






if you loose closely, you will see that the stinger distribution block sits on a fabrcated metal bracket that securely bolts to the car, here is the close up and while it was being constructed:







so that leaves one of the most straightforward part of the install and onto the complex stuff. It starts with the signal source, in this case, a customer supplied clarion 9255. with the RL, as you know, it isnt as easy as plug and play, and joey fabricated a mounting system that puts it at the bottom of the stack. at the same time, joey also fabricated a switch panel that houses three 3 position switches, the left two are for preset switching to the arc processors, while the third one is left blank for now incase if he ever needs another switch upfront. the stock side pieces has been cut and molded to precisely fit the 9255, and the switch panel is painted silver to match the rest of the dash:









one thing we wanted to be sure of is to able to eject and input cds wth the shifter in park, so joey placed the unit as high as possible, and as you can see this picture, it JUST works! :)



onto a few fab pics of this process. first the headunit was secured in place with custom fabricated brackets and the stock trim piece cut:



then the area was tapped off and filler applied, sanded and reapplied until the gap is where we want it to be. sorry but we forgot to take pics of the fillering process lol.



various cables are extended, inclouding cables that go to the seprate DC DC converter supply unitl, which was mounted under the front drivers seat:



here ist he build process of the switch panel, which is a two piece design carefully sanded to match the contour of the center stack:




here everything is test fitted one more time before painting:



and the pieces painted champaigne silver"





one of the design criteria required us to remove the stock parking brake pedal, so what joey came up with is a pretty cool way to activate the brake. on the left side of the dash next to the mirror controls, he installed a new momentary switch that controls an actuator that pulls and releases the parking brake cable. below that is a 15 amp resettable circuit breaker for protection. idea is that it looks almost factory:



then he came up with a mounting system for the actuator, here it is before and after priming:





when its painted, the actuator is then mounted:





here ist he whole assembly mounted in the car. not easily visible in these pics are two switches that the actuator will glide next to and turn on/off, one is for stopping the motor so it wont over extend the cable, the other is hooked to the stock sensor wires so when you engage the parking brake, the brake symbol still shows up on the dash. :)







finally, joey made this cover that goes over the entire assembly so that no loose things can fall down and foul the mechanism:



Moving onto the front stage. which is pretty unique in this car that it only contains a set of horns and midrange (no mdibass).

once again, the idea here is to make it very simple and dissapears into the interior for the most part.

so here are the finished products, a kick panel and a horn cover is all you see on each side. i thought about extending the horn cover all the way to the center stack, but realized that when you do, it really cuts into the shin room for gas and brake pedals, so instead, i did a simple upward shape. the horn mount has been wrapped with grille cloth so the grille never intrudes into the horn opening itself. there is also a small panel above each horn to close the gap between the top of the horn mouth and the edge of the dash.













this simple finished appearance doesnt show what it takes to actually install these. as this car has quite a lot of stuff under the dash and in the kicks, namely all the fuse boxes, the parking brake pedal, blower motor and various other modules, all of them have to be either relocated, or worked around.

lets go first to the kicks. instead of a normal kick pod, the customer specified that we mold them into the car after cutting out quite a bit of stock sheet metal. allowing them to vent into the space in the unibody. so first, i fabricated these ring baffles that flush mount the speakers:





then, following southsyde's example, i aimed and secured the baffle to the kick area (note the metal that has been cutout) via plumbers tape:



next, i gave it some shape using duct tape, to for a pod:



then 7 layers of cloth went on to fully reinforce the shape and it becomes a pod sealed against the metal:



then the entire area was covered with SDS tiles:



and then a layer of black carpet went on:



and what it looks like with the carpet back in place:



the speakers to be used in this case are PHL audio 6.5" midranges...something i am totally unfamilar with. but they are pretty unique looking with their big motor and flat surround :)



 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

the speakers were then wired up and mounted, and using a combination of open celled foam, i built a wall that helps guide the output of the speaker out of the kick panel cover. its hardly pretty but the idea is that they work to prevent any unwanted reflections behind the kick cover. (more on this later)



the same procedure was then performed to the other side, with the only difference being the different foam i used on the top part of the enclosure as i ran out of the other foam hehe. ths is actually a picture before i trimmed the foam down further to get it to where i wanted it.













next come the kick cover. the reason why this is done in a two part methoid is that with the metal recessed, the speaker sits way back in the car, and actually BEHIND the opening threshold of the door. we we just molded a cover that goes to the speaker, it would be quite weird looking as it concaves heavily from the door inward. not to mention all the wiring and bunldes would have no where go go.

so first, the area to be molded was tapped off, note that the stock kick panel cover has been cut so only the front lip remains, where it clips into the weather stripping and the door sill panel, to give us the shape we desire:





next, 8 layers of heavy mat was laid down as i needed the final mold to be as rigid as possible since its an open shape at first. here you also see the horns mounted via straps that attach to various parts of the dash. finding a good location in this car was not easy, especially on the passenger side. we cut out as much metal as we can on the kick panel area so the horns are as far outboard and up as we can make them. (more on horns later)






once that cured, it was pulled out of the car:



then i trimmed them to the desired shape, the two sides are slightly different as the floor of the car is shape quite differently from one side to the other. i then bent and attached a piece of low heat plastic to give it the desired shape across the top and back:



then i fabed these ring baffles with a rabetted back side:



and then aimed them and attached them to the floor mold:



mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, allowed to cure, and then the entire shape was reinforced from the inside via a duraglass/resin mixture, then it was trimmed and sanded:



then the panel was placed back in the car, and the edge blended with filler to ensure best fitment:





and the finalized enclosure before carpeting, with a layer of sound proofing ont he inside:





here is the test fit of the speaker on the foam guide, this is before final trimming but as you can see, it creates a wall so the energy of the speaker is directed only out of the grille opening.



the pod is then wrapped in carpet, and secured to the small left over kick panel:



a piece of metal mesh was cutout, and painted black so the silver of the mesh doesn show through the grille cloth:



the mesh was then secured to the rabetted inside edge of the ring, and the cover is now done and ready to go back into the car:



the same procedure was the done on the passenger side cover













moving onto the horns.

first, these is the gap filling pieces that go above the horn body to seal off the space behind the dash opening:





and here ist he driver side cover piece before and after carpeting:





and a shot of the horn with its mouth wrapped in grille cloth before the cover goes on:



the same procedure was then repeated on the passenger side:











now, in order to get all that space for the front stage, we had to relocate two full fuse boxes from each kick panel.

Joey took the time to all the wires, soldered, extended and heatshrink. here are the wires for just one plug:



they are taped and labeled to ensure accuracy:



and then soldered into place:





here is the finsihed proiduct before taping and protecting with split loom:




here is a three plug bundle on the passenger side done the same way, showing pics all the way to the finished bundles:





 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

and then joey fabricated some brackets that secures the fuse boxes to the back of the dash near the firewall, so they are firmly mounted AND still easily accessible but ducking under the dash, here is the finished product and the barcketry:









the main power cables for the fuse box had to be extended, so Joey opened up the stock plug, soldered new cable to it, and then reattached the molex:









now comes a whole bunch of sound proofing pics. the customer wanted the entire car to be done from the windows down with SDS products.

first shots are of the car with all the panels taken out:







then the carpet was removed, the interior cleaned and SDS tiles went on at about 30-40 percent coverage:











then a layer of closed cell foam went on:







followed by a layer of mass loaded vinyl:













here are the main wiring bundles as it goes from the front to the back of the car, all signal cables (speaker and rca) went down the passenger side, while the power and PS8 preset cables etc went down the driver side, secured to the factory bundle and car every few inches:



















 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

next are the doors, which are stripped bare, then followed by tile, ccf, and mlv just like the floor, while the door panels received 3m padding:









































moving onto the back part of the car. so here is the normal view with the trunk open. there is a back wall and a new fake floor, but everything is hidden behind grilles and the trunk is fully usable:







pop the two grilles off and here is what you see, three JL HD amps are in the floor, along with one of the two PS8s showing, trimmed in black vinyl, while two Acoustic Elgance 15" free air subs are on a baffle firing backwards. the front JL amp is a HD600/4, bridged powering a pair of rear deck mounted JBL pro audio 12" MIDBASSES with 300 watts each, while two 900/5s are at the back, one running each side of the car, 100 watts to the horn, 200 to the mdirange, and 500 for the sub (though real world wattage at various impedances may vary).


















a clarion CD changer supplied by the customer resides on the passenger side trunk in its own rack:



onto the rear deck. which was completely rebuilt and now has a balck carpeted top with two vinyl wrapped grilles. the idea is that while they are customer and required a lot of work, they are meant to almost be there from the start:









a quick shot through the firewall of the two AE15s:

 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

now you can get a better idea at the build via the fab pics.

first, as soon as the car got here, a window guy came and removed the rear window. so here is the car as it sits when we got it:











as you can see, a lot of stuff back on the rear deck that needs to go, pop off the rear deck and here you see the factory pieces and modules that needs to be relocated or removed:







with a deep breath, joey went to town with his saw, and we ended up with this: :eek:







he then begain building the enclosure for the JBL 12" midbasses, which is a composite of MDF and fiberglass, with ribbed support. it had to come together in a bunch of pieces to fit into the unique shape of the rear deck:























these are the brackets that secure the enclosure to the side of the trunk:













and T nuts was used so the enclosure can be bolted to the brackets:



here is the box test fitted to the car, you will also see the baffle for the IB AE15s test fitted:





happy that all the fitment is good, joey securfed the top baffle to the box:





then a top cosmtic cover was fiberglassed to the trtimmed out OEM rear deck cover:



and two grilles made up to go into the cutout. note rare earth magnets sunk into the wood which will secure the grilles:



after a lot of sanding, the rear deck is finished, and everything was test fitted with the speaker in place:













the final piece of that puzzle is the back trim panel which will hide the enclosure from view when the trunk is open, and it consists of a series of curved MDF strips secured together. it is here being built and secured in the car:



 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

and finally, the entire piece was done, wired up, and wrapped in carpet, and bolted to the car











here is the view of the enclosure in the car, with blackhole stuff inside, ready to recieve the sepakers:





meanwhile, the rear deck cover recveived some more sanding and trimming and it is then wrapped with carpet, while the grilles got vinyl and grille cloth:

















here ist he view of the jbl midbasses after the rear glass went back in:



and the bottom side of the rear deck cover reveived some foam to prevent rattling:





onto the sub baffle, first a series of big rivet nuts was intalled into the trunk that will secure various bafles and brackets:



a very heavy duty bracket was fabricated that will solidly anchor the sub baffle and provide support for the enclosure above:



here i have two pics of sometihng joey made up but i have no idea what they are lol, so joey can chime on these when he is back from K-fest :D





here are the side pieces of the enclosure being fabricated:



and here is the main support bracket after painting:





it is then bolted in place in the car:





and the baffle finished, painted and attached:







here is the grille as it is being finished and wrapped:




there were quite a few modules that had to be relocated and the wires extended, here is one:





the oem DVD navigation box was relocated to behind the seat, wires extended so that the customer can still access it via the center armrest:





 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

finally, onto the amp rack. first all the trunk was sound proofed at 40 percent coverage via SDS tile:











next, spacer baffles were installed via rivet nuts to provide a solid foundation for everything above:





here is the main trim panel before and after vinyl:





here is the top floor piece and grille before and after carpeting:









and then they were dyed to a lighter shade to better match the oem trunk:





and here is the construction, carpeting and dyeing of the cd changer cover:







and finally a shot of the wiring behind the panel. took me a while to figure out with two PS8s and three amps, doing L/R separate power schedme, but i managed to get everything to fit :)

as to why there are two PS8s, they combine to produce a main/delayed ambient signal for the sub and midbass...but the csutomer can provide the details there:







whew! so thats it! I hope through these pics you can appreciate the various challenges that were met and overcome, the final result is very low key, from the outside the car looks completely stock, and with some fine tuning, i think this will be quite a beast.

cheers, and now back to work after this 4 hour build log lol

b
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Another one knocked out of the park. Your work is nothing short of stellar, and always top notch, great job guys!
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Absolutely beautiful work... as always! I would love to hear the owner's take on the acoustics!

Also, can you tell me when drivers and wave guides were used for the horns?
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

I have to say I am in love with the throwback feel of this install! should prove very dynamic when tuned. great work guys!
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Incredible amount of work.

FYI, post #2 and #3 are duped...what worries me is, was post #3 supposed to be yet another entire chunk of work?! :)
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Bravo once again you guys have knocked it out the box. It amazes me hat builds like these are done on us average joes cars/trucks. Usually around here unless you are an up and coming celebrity, you won't see quality as such. If I were more in love with my Legacy, it would elevate to the next level. I'm just waiting for my daughters and wife to reach the level where they can appreciate keeping a car CLEAN before buying my Audi.
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Incredible amount of work.

FYI, post #2 and #3 are duped...what worries me is, was post #3 supposed to be yet another entire chunk of work?! :)
hahah not sure how that happened, took care of it :)
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

Looks great! Curious to hear the owners take on using two PS8s. Was it that one didn't have enough total delay? (you mentioned delayed/ambient rear midbass/subs) Because it seems there would be enough channels.
 

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Re: The Complexity In Sound Install - 2008 Acura RL :) (267 pics!)

WOW ....next level for SIS...This is Speakerworks stuff from the 90's...Just keeps getting better...
 
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