DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner
1 - 20 of 195 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm going to preface this thread with the fact that I'm NOT a shop.

I don't run a business, I'm just lucky enough to have enough garage/shop space at my house that will allow me to build/house my own cars and work on cars for friends.

The cars I get are typically cars that are the big projects that sit in the back of a regular car audio shop and collect dust. I have one that was shipped down from PA because the owner had spent so much time and money on the vehicle only to be disappointed in both the sound and quality of work. He knows I have a high level of attention to detail and won't let anything leave that I'm not happy with.

Other times I'll have people contact me to do things that they've been told can't be done.

When we first moved to the place (a couple of years ago this past March) I had a guy that wanted to have a vehicle delivered here. Told him to wait because I needed to get the wood shop built.

He didn't wait. lol I ended up going through his build while trying to make progress on the wood shop. Then the Audi showed up.

So before I go too far...

First few pics are of "the shop". This is the first floor of the house.

That's the front door on the right. The glass door goes upstairs to the living area.

305334


From the front door you see the 3-car bay.
305336


From the back corner of the 3-car bay looking toward the front door. you can also see the 2-car bay with the yellow-ish lighting in the distance. The area on the left of the image is where I planned to put the wood shop. In this state the place was a 7-car garage.
305338



The garage sink, some cabinets, and a 1/2 bath is down here. The walkway to the left of the sink/cabinet area was originally a doorway. The current 2-car bay was a carport when the house was built. The open wall on the left was an exterior wall when the carport was open.
305339


This is a shot standing inside what I planned to be the wood shop and looking out into the rest of the garage.
305340


Looking from the front of the 2-car bay towards the long, open wall and the space behind it where the wood shop would go.
305341


Getting tools situated and started work framing the new walls.
305343


305344


I decided to go larger than my original plan and 45 one corner of the shop. That gave me the ability to put a large double door opening in. Thanks to COVID the doors and windows I want are out of stock.
305347


So I'm re-uploading images that disappeared and now it'll only allow 10 images.

There's a full shop build album here. It's still a work in progress.

So anyway, that's a quick rundown of "the shop". I had two cars brought here before I could get fully set up. The Audi is the first "big" project. That's the focus of this thread.

I call it Batdog Garage because my service dog is a German Shepherd the Batdog nickname stuck.

Audi info incoming...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now...the Audi.

I first met Nick at the Sundown show in North Carolina. I had to drive down from Northern VA to compete at the Sundown show for the VA State Finals. I was competing with my '66 Chevelle that ran Stevens CompNeo mini horns, Stevens MB8-2s, and a pair of DD Audio 3015 ESPs in a 4th order blow-through in the rear deck.

Nick saw the car and introduced himself. "Hey, I'm Nick. From Stereo Integrity"

I was like "Cool" and kind of left it at that. I really didn't know anything about SI other than what I'd read here on DIYMA.

So that was pretty much our interaction. Just a "Hey" at the show and we moved on.

Fast forward to my wife and I moving to GA and getting the new place. Since we had the space to have a good-sized get-together I invited everyone here for BBQ and a meet. Also got a MECA judge to attend so guys could get points.

Nick asked if he could bring some stuff to display and I was like "sure".

So Nick is here, sees the big van project I have here, and we went over the equipment list that was in the monstrosity. He told me he has subs (HST-15s) that would walk all over the 13W7s that were in the build. I looked at them online, told him I didn't believe they're SQ subs, and would have to get hands-on before I could recommend/suggest new subs to the van owner.

A short time later I had my laptop and my SysTune rack loaded up and went to Nick's place to tune his Passat. Had issues with his Zapco processor and didn't get to do the full tune but he loved it.

I came back with a HST-15 to mess with.

Everything he told me about the HST-15 was true. Holy crap, what a sub.

A short time later he asked if I'd be interested in building his Audi.

Nick's plan was to run the SQL-15 in a 2ft^3 sealed enclosure in the spare tire well. Hidden, under the floor. Since the previous owner had cut openings for some 3-inchers in the kicks we discussed running a full 3-way setup in the front.

At the time Sundown's SALT monoblock amps were hitting the market but what people didn't know is that they were also working on multichannel amplifiers. I was given three Sundown SALT multichannels to power the car.

So...here's the guinea pig.

2006 Audi A4 Avant. Getting a full stealth build.

305349


The first step of the build was to drill out all of the spot welds that held the hump in the spare tire well in place. On the underside of that hump was the EVAP canister for the fuel system. Had to remove that as well and think about a future home for it.

It was at this point that I knew I couldn't just put a SQL-15 sealed in the car. It HAD to get an IB-24.

305350


And the IB-24 that's going in. You can also see in this image how the floor looked from the previous install. Ian had a suitcase sub in the car.
305351


Making a template for the subwoofer baffle.
305352


This template provided me with the OD and ID of the 24" basket. Put that in place to better lay out exact sub location. Flush trim bit and I have a better idea of how things are looking.
305353


Went to a local metal shop to get stuff cut on the CNC plasma from 3/16" steel plate. They made the sub cutout on the CNC plasma and the rest was cut on the shear so I could get exact fit at the house with my plasma cutter.
305355


Hand cutting the final perimeter shape of the baffle with the plasma. Mandatory safety sandals on.
305354


Upper baffle and lower ring dry-fit in place.
305356



A lot of you have seen this image. Insanity.
305359
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
Thanks for the awesome post, it was very cool the way you stepped thru everything!

Keep it coming...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
As much as Nick was hesitant to use a Helix, I convinced him it was the way to go.

One of the things I wanted to do to keep the stealth install was to hide the Director. I decided to put it in the factory ash tray/coin holder/whatever that sits under the HVAC controls.

I sent the Director housing through the table saw and cut it down to the point that there was just the face of it left with the chamfers at the top and bottom. Then the circuit board was reattached and I started the modification process of the Audi's ashtray/coin holder/lighter socket/whatever. The recesses on either side of the unit were filled in and I created an angled pocket for the Director to sit that would allow it to be seen from the driver's seat and allow the lid to open/close without issue. This is a LARGE controller to fit in here. Took quite a bit of work to make happen.

305360


305361

To make tuning easy I installed a mini-USB plug on the right side of the Director. Here's an initial shot with the dry-fit plastic filler panel with the plug dry fit.
305362


Progress.
305363



305364


305365
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
A shot I took for those that were worried about how much the IB-24 would hang down under the car. The mufflers are lower than the motor. I will be adding some layers of protection for the sub, but no big deal as far as clearance is concerned.

305366


305367


305368


The two main goals with this install was to keep everything stealth and keep it all serviceable. I welded nuts to the bottom of the baffle with the sub bolted in place to ensure that all of the nuts were located exactly where they needed to be and there was no chance of one being ever so slightly off if I had tried placing them without the sub bolted in place.
305369


The baffle was then welded to the car. I can't remember, but I believe this was after the first pass. Took forever to get this welded in. We made three passes on the top side and three on the bottom side. It was imperative to me that we had continuous metal and didn't have to go back with body filler to smooth things. This led to social media welding inspectors bitching about the welds being "bird **** welds with no penetration" without understanding that we were intentionally welding some passes with intent to knock it back down to have a smooth, continuous metal surface.
305370


I got curious and bolted the sub to the baffle and powered it up. The sub was getting between 60 and 72 Watts (measured in real-time using the AMM-1's live power feature) and was shaking the house.

The cabin vents in the back corners of the car posed a problem. When playing infrasonic frequencies they'd flap like mad.
305371
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
A buddy of mine, Sumo, is a boilermaker. Spends his days welding heavy wall pipe. He came to do welding in the back of the car.

It took a minute or ten for him to get over the silliness of what we were going to be doing.

This is his "Ooh, this is going to be fun" face. 😂

This image also shows the metal ring/flange for the bottom compared to the size of the opening from removing the hump in the spare tire well.
305372



When your subwoofer cutout houses a large Samoan...
305373


Had to remove a couple of odd bits from the bottom of the spare tire tub. The recovery point (long area removed on the right) was also removed to allow me to build things the way I wanted.
305374


Getting the flange welded in. Tacked it in a few places then re-worked the bottom of the spare tire well to re-shape it to blend into that lower 3/16 flange the way I wanted. Lots of work with an air saw and hammer/dolly to get it perfect.
305376


Bottom view with it tacked in. You can also see filler panels in place where we cut out the factory recovery point and another piece that had to go.
305375


Remember those cabin vents that made noise? We cut some filler pieces on the plasma. This piece of scrap was tacked to the filler panel to serve as a handle while we tacked the filler panel in place.
305377



With this handle I could hold the piece in place while Sumo tacked a few spots around the perimeter to lock it in place.
305378
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Here you can see the filler panel for the passenger rear welded in place. The copper color is SEM's Copperweld - a weld-through primer. I wanted to prime all of the parts that I was installing to keep any possibility of rust at bay.
305379


Driver's side cabin vent block-off plate installed.
305380


Between my inability to focus and my OCD, I decided that something had to be done with the exhaust tips on this thing.
305381


305382


The new Director housing was prepped for flocking then flocked.
End result. The top was treated with SEM's texture coat then SEM satin black prior to applying the flocking.

305384


Got to this point and decided that it needed to be redone. Didn't like the finish at the transition between the flock and the rest of the surface. Little things that bug me. Can also see the USB connection for the Director here.
305383
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Stupid Sonic Barrier. Never, ever use this stuff. It melts. It stuck to my jeans when I sat in the cargo area of the car.

WD-40, a putty knife, and a nylon mesh pad removed it.
305385


Start of internal construction of the spare tire well. There's 3/4" square tube around the spare tire well at eight locations that span the distance between the upper 3/16" baffle and lower 3/16" ring/flange where the protective material for the sub will be installed. These 3/4" square tubes create an I or H beam structure that reinforces everything and will eliminate flex in the baffle.

Ram board was used to make templates between each of the square tube supports then transferred to steel. Had the metal shop roll the steel for us. I gave them a diameter for the top, a diameter for the bottom, and a height and they rolled a tapered cylinder to fit the car. As a whole unit the cylinder didn't fit, but once we cut pieces from it that were sized to our templates, they all fit perfect.

Notice the nuts on the bottom were welded to that 3/16" steel ring. Again if, by any chance, an issue comes up where a nut has to be replaced, the nuts are on the inside of the wall we're building and easily accessible. Can be cut out and new ones welded in.
305386


305387





This shot shows where we blocked off an area to install a SMD terminal cup. This was blocked off to keep foam out and give us an area to run cable from the cabin area to the back of the terminal cup.
305388



At this point we could do the big foam pour.

We filled the void between the wall we created and the walls of the factory spare tire well with a 2-part urethane expanding foam from US Composites with a density of 16lbs per cubic foot.

Since we were working blind during the foam pour and couldn't see exactly where the foam was traveling, I broke out the thermal imager so I could see progress as the foam expanded in the void.
305389


The holes that were drilled in the baffle for the foam pour were then plug welded shut. Also notice the 3/16" plate welded in for the SMD terminal cup. Still have some final touch-up welding and smoothing to do in that spare tire well in this image. You can also see heat-affected areas (discoloration in the Copperweld) where the inner wall was welded to the baffle. Good penetration, good, solid welds.
305390
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,738 Posts
My gosh who would ever have thought Ian’s old car would be at this level audio wise. I love the fact that it’s been allowed to keep going on, as opposed to just sitting in a corner of a shop somewhere.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Obviously very impressive - the workshop space as well!

I'd be concerned about sealing those vents though. You will end up with very little, to no, airflow through the cabin. I guess you will have to crack open a window to have any AC/heat through the vents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Obviously very impressive - the workshop space as well!

I'd be concerned about sealing those vents though. You will end up with very little, to no, airflow through the cabin. I guess you will have to crack open a window to have any AC/heat through the vents.
That's one of those things that I've heard reactions go both ways. Some say "It's going to be an issue when you close the doors. They're going to be harder to close."

Saw another person say that they knew someone that blocked the vents and the pressure busted a window when they closed the door. Probably knew someone that blew out their windshield with Kicker 10s, too. 😂

Have had people say the same as you - that it's detrimental to the HVAC system due to not having an exit.

Have had others say that they blocked their vents and the HVAC system functions just fine.

Before we welded these shut I asked Nick if he wanted to remove the flaps or block them off and we discussed all of the things that could happen.

We decided to block them off because of front wave/back wave isolation.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
As big as the Audi cabin is, I doubt there would be much of an issue closing the door. I had a Nissan Hardbody standard cab that I fiberglassed over the vent holes...one summer, I slammed the door and it shattered the back glass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I think shutting the doors will be fine. That enormous sub cone will move enough anyway to accommodate the pressure hit on closing the door!

The airflow issue will be very much dependant on how well the car is sealed - and worst case, you will have to crack the windows to get good airflow. The other thing that could be an issue is differential pressure across the sub. Under the floor at the rear will be a relatively low pressure area, in fast moving air and near the back. Without the vents, the cabin will be pressurised from the high pressure air coming in at the front. This will push the sub down, and the force may be quite significant given the vast surface area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,943 Posts
My gosh who would ever have thought Ian’s old car would be at this level audio wise. I love the fact that it’s been allowed to keep going on, as opposed to just sitting in a corner of a shop somewhere.
Yup, one of the reasons I was so happy Nick bought it. From talking to him many times I knew he'd take care of it, the install it's getting is icing on the cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
My gosh who would ever have thought Ian’s old car would be at this level audio wise. I love the fact that it’s been allowed to keep going on, as opposed to just sitting in a corner of a shop somewhere.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Have a link for Ian's old build thread here? Would be interesting to look at.


So in the time the car has been here there's be a lot of "When's it going to be ready?" discussion.

That has come from both Nick as well as those that know the car is here and are excited to see it completed. Heck I'm anxious/excited to see it completed.

The trick is that the build of this car has led to development of some new items in the Stereo Integrity lineup and the plan for the car has changed several times along the way. First it was a full stealth build. We were going to do the SQL-15 sealed in the spare tire well with his tweets in the factory door location and the M3s in the kicks. Then Nick was like "Let's put the tweets and mids in the A-pillars". I despise the current A-pillar monstrosity trend. I absolutely did not want to go that route so I stayed away from working on the front of the car and focused my attention on the major fab work in the rear.

When we first started the build with the full intent of a stealth install, one of the first issues I found when planning/designing the build was the fact that Nick's original tweeters were too deep to be mounted behind the factory tweeter grilles. They simply wouldn't fit.

I gave Nick my honest opinion of his tweets. They sound great, but the pyramid/cone shaped surround with three recessed screws wasn't really a good looking design. (Hybrid is guilty of the same thing with their Unity U1SE and Legatia L1V2s) They were also too deep. Unnecessarily so. I disassembled one of the old tweets and found there's an air gap in the old tweets that doesn't serve a purpose. Just makes the tweeter deeper.

I told him that if I'm having an issue putting his tweets in his car there are plenty of other folks that are having/will have the same issue. And for every person that looks at the depth of the tweet and realizes they won't fit in their car - that's a lost sale. Doesn't matter how good they look or sound if they won't physically fit the location.

So I told him to make new tweeters. Make them sound as good or better than the old ones, make them shallower than the old ones, and make them look good visually.

This is the result. The new M25 Tweeter. Nick knocked it out of the park. Love these things. The ones in the image are prototypes that have Stereo Integrity laser engraved where my thumb is, but the production units won't have that. They'll just have the Stereo Integrity S logo in the center as pictured here.

305391


Back side of the tweeter with push terminals.
305392


And I know you guys have seen these. If not, these are Class AB amplifiers from Stereo Integrity.


For some-odd reason when I posted images of the prototype units there was a group that wanted to find out who was building them, thought they could get them cheaper, and so on. Derek (Big D Wiz) tested both the inferior product as well as the Stereo Integrity 200.4 on the amp dyno. As Big D's video shows, the SIQ amps are overachievers as far as output. When it comes to more technical specs, there's some info from Audio Precision tests on the amplifier page on Stereo Integrity website. I've been bugging Nick to get more info up on the website, but he's a small operation and spends a large part of the day jockeying between building subs and handling phone calls/email. BUT I do believe more info for the amps will be coming to the website when he has time.

You can get'm in 75Wx4, 125Wx4, 200Wx2, and 200Wx4 models. The three I was initially sent were the 75.4 to power mids and tweets, a 125.4 that I was going to bridge to two channels to power the midbasses (that has since changed and we're just going to run the 200.2), and the 200.4 that will get bridged down to two and send 845 Watts to each coil of the IB-24.



So the smaller, more compact Class D Sundown SALT multichannel amp idea was nixed and the larger, sexier Stereo Integrity Class AB amps are going in.

This amp change presented two new issues:

1. Packaging. The SIQs have a much larger footprint than the Sundown SALT multi-channel amps. I was going to have to figure out where I could physically place these amps, have them easily accessible, and still keep with the whole idea of a stealth install.

2. Subwoofer Connection. With the SALT multi-channel amps we were initially going to use I only needed a single wire pair for subwoofer connection. At the point that the SIQ amps came about and it was decided we were going to run the SIQ 200.4 bridged to two channels for the sub, I now needed connections for two wire pair...


But the Audi had already been built to house the round SMD terminal cup that has a single wire pair.
305393

😂

Initially I contacted (more accurately tried to contact) Steve Meade and explain what I needed. When I didn't get a response I got on the computer and designed a terminal cup for a DVC setup.

This image is from when I was laying it out and looking at tool paths for the whole thing. I labeled coil 1, coil 2, and tossed in the Batdog Garage logo.

305394


Then I got my first experience with 2-sided CNC machining. Decided to start with some scrap MDF and go through the learning process with it instead of plastic that I'll use on the final unit.

Back side machined. This is just rough machining without a chamfer. No need for it here. My main goal was to get things sorted out so I could quickly and accurately perform 2-sided machining without issue.
305395



The front side machined.
305396



The test run of the DVC terminal cup next to the SMD cup without chamfers cut.
305397


Since I didn't have my laser yet a buddy of mine cut the label insert for me.
305398



Now with hardware installed.
305399


So that's the rough build-up of the new terminal cup.

I have much more to add, but I have to work on the car as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
As big as the Audi cabin is, I doubt there would be much of an issue closing the door. I had a Nissan Hardbody standard cab that I fiberglassed over the vent holes...one summer, I slammed the door and it shattered the back glass.

So the busted glass thing CAN happen. Interesting. I seriously equated it to the old "Yeah man, blew my windshield out with them there Kickers." 😂

I think shutting the doors will be fine. That enormous sub cone will move enough anyway to accommodate the pressure hit on closing the door!

The airflow issue will be very much dependant on how well the car is sealed - and worst case, you will have to crack the windows to get good airflow. The other thing that could be an issue is differential pressure across the sub. Under the floor at the rear will be a relatively low pressure area, in fast moving air and near the back. Without the vents, the cabin will be pressurised from the high pressure air coming in at the front. This will push the sub down, and the force may be quite significant given the vast surface area.
The Audi will slightly lower the window glass when opening/closing the doors. Once the door is closed the window slides back up and seals.

Ultimately the decision came down to speaker performance and getting front wave/back wave isolation by sealing off those vent locations made the decision for us.

Yup, one of the reasons I was so happy Nick bought it. From talking to him many times I knew he'd take care of it, the install it's getting is icing on the cake.
Ian, I'm sure you've seen the videos on YouTube. I'm pointing out some things that I've found (wiring, use of Sonic Barrier that melts) during my time with the car. Please don't take any of the things I point out personally.

Running cable between the factory connector and sheet metal happens a lot. I pointed out that it was done in this car, problems that it can cause, and how the average guy at home can run extra wire pairs through the connector in a factory manner.

Nick DID say you warned about him about the door wiring. 😂 I didn't get that warning, but more of a choose-your-own-adventure storyline as I went through them. 😂

So I'm not trying to talk down on the previous work at all, just using it as an educational moment to show people that there's a better way. Kind of like the responses that I've been getting on the sound treatment videos where everyone wishes they had seen my videos before they treated their doors.
 
1 - 20 of 195 Posts
Top