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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,
I decided to post my build log.
It was written some time ago and since then, I had to relocate and sell the car so meaning, remove everything and pack it. I actually finished the install kind of “on the rush” because I actually wanted to hear it a couple of times before selling the car (that is why some pictures show unfinished parts).
Anyway, I’ll post the thread as it was intended to to share it with you. Hope it helps somehow.
Cheers…
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Finally here. Last pieces of gear have just past the door and I can take a family picture of everybody and start a build log.
This is going to be my first true install (I have plugged a couple of amps in the past but the idea never was to actually “build” something but to make noise…).
Whatever is gonna come out of this I owe it to each and every one of you. I spent nights reading thousands of posts to choose my equipments and maybe even more reading how to install them. Had to learn everything from your mistakes and successes and for this THANK YOU!!!
I live on a rock, lost in the middle of the ocean (Mauritius for the ones who know, tiny island East of Madagascar) and pretty much everything is impossible to find here.
Must be the only guy who paid more in shipping fees and taxes than in equipment per se… ☺
Means also that I had to use a lot of stuffs that were not meant to end up in a car audio install but who eventually did.
Means also that by the time all the gear arrived here, I had to start working on the project without a clear view of it (Note for next time: If you want bad ass midbass, check your doors before you order them…).
Plenty of pictures will surely be missing but I try my best to update.
Hope you enjoy the work.
So here we go:

The equipments

Idea is to fit :
Head Unit: Alpine IDA-X100 + iPod 60Gig AAC
JBL MS-8
Sinfoni 150.2
Sinfoni 50.4
Sinfoni 90.2
Dynaudio MW170
Dynaudio MD 140/2
Vifa XT25SC90
JBL C608 Gti
Peerless XLS10

In a VW Golf 4.
Project is a 3 way active front + 2 rear fills and Sub
Here are all the connections:
Self-made RCA with Naka plugs
Rockford Fused Positive and Ground Terminals
Etc etc

Sound deadening
First things first, sound deadening.
Forget about Dynamaat here, weight makes it too costy to import.
I wandered around and found those:
Bitumen for roofs waterproofing and a bitumen elastomere paint that is quite handy (stinks like a dead horse though but still).







I did the trunk, the doors and all the plastic garments that were likely to rattle. Wish I had done the floor but I don’t have a garage and tear the interior off my daily rider was quite complicated for me. Plus here, you go from bright blue sky to soaked and pissed in less time you need to write it so…




Since I was at it, I refurbished the door cards that were a bit beaten up. Had to borrow a sewing machine and remember what mom used to do with that stuff!!! Funny.

I removed the door panels, maated both side of them, and also the interior of the door.





For the part behind the speakers, I used this. Bought anti-slippery mats, they are made of sticky foam, glued them by three, and stuck them on the door panel. The threaded texture of the foam should do the work. And it is cheap as Hell.




 

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Discussion Starter #3
Now that deadening is behind, time to work on the speakers:
Here are the pieces to fit in the car:



Midbass baffles
Time to work on the baffles.
I read somewhere that you could fit a 8” in those doors. I used to run a pair of JBL C608 which is a 165 mm without any trouble. Found a nice used pair of Dyn MW170 and bought them, saying to myself that from 165 to 170, you know, not a big deal…
Might have skipped the part where you actually read the specs of stuffs before you get them. Had them delivered to my folks’ place in France (am French btw…) and then shipped them to me here. Even when my dad told me he had received Biiig speakers I didn’t get it…
When I opened the box and saw those, I kinda went greenish. They are mtf Huuuuge.



After 10 sec I knew that no ready made baffle was gonna do the trick since the cradle is so wide you have to cut the door panels. So I took out the Dremel and rip them off.

Before:


After:




I have to say that so far, these baffles are what wasted the more of my time.
Had to test it a zillion times to make sure the door card was not getting in the way. Had to glue little wooden parts here and there to have them sat properly. In the end, they look like crap but do the job. I have a primary ring with T-nuts that are glued/screwed on a secondary one. I tried to use as many screw holes from the door panels I could to ensure solidity. A bit of resin and fiber to rigidify the puzzle and here we go.
I started with clay but it is way too hot here and it was close to liquid in the heat.
So I used an acrylic sealant for bathroom. It dries nicely and always keeps a gooey touch that seemed adequate as far as vibration control is concerned.
Both sides were done and I could start the tweeter pods.



Tweeter pods
Since those Vifa are not exactly Lightweight neither, I couldn’t fit them in the original place so I had to work them out.
I have to say there is a lot of ways I didn’t go because I wanted stealth install and also because I tried to always keep in mind the “I need to sell the car one day” idea.
I built two wooden baffles for the tweeters and started the positioning.





 

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Discussion Starter #4
Found a post about speaker orientation on DIYMA (thanks to the author btw) using marks on the windows and a laser pointer. I did exactly that. I used a string/nut and scotch tape to have my ear position, went out and marked them on the windows.





Then it is glue gun time.
When this was done, I wrapped both pods with cloth (can’t believe I threw away a bunch of socks with holes the week before, and I so couldn’t wait for the next day to buy cloth so I ripped a perfectly decent pair of socks to do that…).
Resin, resin plus fiber, bondo, sand paper, bondo, sand paper and Voilaaaaa.





Here is one wrapped with vinyl. Went first for black suede, which is a major pain in the ass to wrap to finally realize it was cool but would never match as nicely as vinyl. So I took it out and did it again. Shape of the pods made it impossible to wrap it with a single piece so I had to take the sewing machine out again.







Since the XT25 come without a grill, I had to make a pair. Not that it is very needed but they feature a very sweet lil’ dome that kids surely love to use as a joystick…
I put my hand on a couple of old speaker grills that I shaped (almost) as wanted.
Then I cut a ring of aluminum for the bottom and a ring of PVC for the top (I use a plumbing PVC tube that I sliced and sanded up to 1000). Glued all that together with epoxy and painted the pvc. Since the Vifa has a niiiice lil’ dome (again?), and since I am a donkey, the grill was too low so I ended up making this little alu ring in the middle. Actually like it more with it.
Red paint never came out the way I wanted and after three sanding I gave up and left it like this.



 

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For the Mids I decided to go for the Kicks.
I worked on the OEM kicks of the Mk 4 the same way I did for the tweeters. Alignment with the laser, wooden baffle and fiber.
Only this time I wanted something more resistant than the vinyl and which would blend in a bit better.
Since texture sprays are impossible to find here, I used Pickup bed liner paint.
I ain’t exactly matching but it is rock solid.
After sanding the resin, applying bondo and sanding again, I applied two layers of primer then the bedliner.








The kick on the right side has to integrate the hood popping command.
I had to shorten it a little in order to keep a doable baffle position.
All in all it works just fine
 

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Here are the finished ones:










The rear door speakers where the C608 Gti were supposed to go was left aside for the reasons mentioned earlier.
Time to work on the sub...
 

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I actually was excited because I was about to make my first Fiberglass sub enclosure.
I hesitated between the spare tire well and the left wing of the car and finally decided to keep the spare wheel.
I stripped the garment from the wing and placed two bolts in the wing that will be part of the fixation of the sub later on. Rest of it will be by using the two bolts that hold the net hooks.
I left a small tunnel on the left side that allow me to put an extracting fan that will pump air from the amp rack directly to the flaps that are located in the wing, behind the sub.
I covered everything with masking tape, sprayed a little bit of WD40 and went for it.





Well, actually, I didn’t go far cause I kinda slipped a bit with the catalyst and my bowl of resin went rock hard before I had time to dirt myself…lesson one learnt.
After that it went well and I managed to do that:





I removed the fiber enclosure, trimmed it, sanded it, cut a hole for the terminal plate and cleaned the holes for the bolts that I reinforced by sticking a couple of rings in between the layers of fiber. I maated the inside of the enclosure, applied two layer of my magic paint and let it dry.



Baffle is a piece of 18 mm MDF, and I did something that looks a bit like the X-bars that Martin puts under the tables of their guitars. I drilled the holes for the sub bolts and placed T-nuts in them.
Then I placed the baffle on the enclosure and applied fiber and resin.
I smoothed the edges with bondo, sanded and I put the beauty plate over it.
 

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Baffle is a piece of 18 mm MDF, and I did something that looks a bit like the X-bars that Martin puts under the tables of their guitars. I drilled the holes for the sub bolts and placed T-nuts in them.

View from inside the enclosure: You can see the brown wood bars which are the X-bars of the tables



Then I placed the baffle on the enclosure and applied fiber and resin.
I smoothed the edges with bondo, sanded and I put the beauty plate over it.
I used the same acrylic sealant as before to stick it.
I applied several layers of gloss pain in order to have a perfect surface for the cloth to stick.
A little try-out in the car to see if it fits nice:





I covered it with anthracite color grill cloth (with auto adhesive which is nice), screwed and glued the main baffle (made out of Sapele, an extremely hard tropical wood) and put the enclosure in its nest.
 

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Hi there,
am back

Time to work on the sub grill.
Bought a couple of chrome kitchen drawers handles and got my hand on leftovers of alu plate.









I soldered pieces of rusted perforated metal on the handles (which turned out to be copper made so forget the ARC welding. I had to go for the torch. Ended up messing with the chrome and not getting exactly what I had in mind but that will work).
I cut and trimmed the alu to make two fenders to hold the handles.
Sanded up to 1000 grit and then polished. The Peerless can now get into place, connection done through the terminals.


 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Amp Rack
Now that the sub is in place, I can work on the connections and the amp rack.
First, the battery cables. I was looking for some 0 gauge here and it seemed impossible to find.
Only decent cable I found was a 500 Amp welding copper cable… at least a 00 gauge.
My luck is that the bastard is quite flexible, because pulling it was no walk in the park.
At least, I am on the safe side now.
Speaker cables were pulled, RCA for signal from HU to Ms8 as well and I ran the cable for the remote screen from the trunk to the front also.
Amp rack
My idea was to keep the spare tire and also to keep the full utility of my trunk. Had to be able to throw the groceries or a couple of golf bags in it without breaking everything.
I first cut a primary plate that will hold the frame for the rack.
It is attached on the right and left side to the net hooks nuts and I added one hook at the back of the trunk. Should hold enough.
Next step is the upper frame which bears also the cooling system and the hinges for the main rack.
Am not planning to open it every 5 minutes but it has to have enough mobility to allow the removal of the spare wheel.
All cables will come from the back of the rack and will be hidden under a fake floor.
For the cooling system, I used 6 small fans and two big ones.
6 smaller ones are attached on the upper frame and shoot through vents placed on the sides of the main rack, while two bigger are placed at the beginning and the end of the circuit, next to the flaps in the wing. All of them are connected to the fan remote of the 150.2.
Cover has its own set of hinges which allows to eventually accessing the amps and connectors.
It has a handle and a lock.

The white U-frame is the primary rack, screwed to the car.



Third fixation point:



The amp rack plate:





The sides of the rack where the small fans will go:





Starting building the two air-boxes on each side of the rack:


 

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Fiber is applied:


The box is trimmed and sanded:


Then holes for the air are drilled:


They will match same diameter holes on the sides of the amp rack:


Here it is located in its place on the primary frame:


Other side is built exactly the same way

The hinges are a bit tricky.
Since I wanted to have a moving AND opening rack, I need two sets of hinges almost at the same spot.
Here is the set between primary plate and amp rack:




I can now work on the cover of the rack.
I used a 8mm wood plate which I had to reinforce with fiber.




A couple of layers on each side will do. After trimming and sanding it gives me this:

It is thin and extremely resistant so exactly what I needed (height was a critical criteria because I wanted to keep a reasonable volume of trunk).
 

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It is time to work on the two big fans that are supposed to push and extract air from the rack.
Both are situated in the wings of the car, one under the sub, the other behind the garnement of the trunk.

I used an alu duct and a PVC one.
I had to make a square frame that ends in a cylinder 9reminded me of that scene in Apolo 13...).

First, make a frame of 5 mm mdf:




Then fiber it to the pvc duct:






Then plug the alu duct in.


When the sub is in place, it looks like this:



Then goes the side air box:



Coming next:
plugs, wiring and amplifiers beauty plate
 

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The whole idea of the beauty plate was...well...to be beautiful.
I wanted all cables to be invisible (which turned out to be the worst idea in the history of bad ideas because the work it demands is huuuge). Would definitely go a different way if I had to do it again.

All RCA were self-made. I found great quality cable and found a set of Nakamichi plugs on eBay. Added nylon sleeve and thermo duct and here we go:





I drew the position of the amps on a plywood, as well as the position of ALL connections, then drilled the holes.



Then I realized the MS-8 was too high and almost touching the cover so I had to give it a way (a nice way to loose 3 hours of work...).



Then I could prepare the amplifiers stands: bars of mdf with T-bolts



They are glued on the back of the beauty plate, allowing a good fixation as well the circulation of the wires under the plate.





Then the plate is covered with black suede:



 

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Using a soldering iron, I clean-burn all the holes of the plate.





Then the finish, 5mm and 1cm diameter alu tubes that fit in every hole

 

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Discussion Starter #19
That is officially the coolest subwoofer grill I've ever seen.
Wow...thanks a lot for the compliment Man!!!
And thank you all for the support. Really appreciate it...
 

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I take a little time to talk about the equipments.
Initial install was a sole Focal FP 4.75 with the JBL Gti and a pair of Boston rx97. Felt I wanted a bit more bass so I looked for an other amp to run an old Bose accoustimass sub I had.
Discovered DIYMA and started to tag along…
Ended up stacking Sinfonis and speakers at home because I am everything but a reasonable person.
Bought a DLS A3 and an Alpine PXE-H650 but then decided to go for a three way active and the h650 couldn’t do it. So I went for the MS-8 and got the three Sinfoni second hand on ebay Italy.
Sent them to Roberto at Sinfoni for a complete check-up and refurbishing, asked him to stick the new logo plate on them (which I liked very much) and here we are.





Amp rack is almost finished.
I covered the outer box with the same suede as I used for the beauty plate and covered also the inside.







The cover is covered with the same grill cloth that I used for the sub and which matches the cloth of the VW trunk.

Now I need to built stops for the cover.
I used an alu L-shaped bar covered with black suede.
It is screwed on the rack using three golden bolts for each





 

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