Part 1: Sound Deadening & Wiring (Completed!)
Part 2: Head Unit, Amplifier & Custom Front Door Speakers (Completed!)
Part 3: Subwoofer Box (Completed!)
Part 4: Rear Door Speakers & Custom ABS Grills
Part 5: Second Amplifier for Rear Speakers
The following text will cover the installation of Sound Deadening, Wiring, Head Unit, 9-speakers, 5ch Amplifier and Subwoofer box. This thread will presume that you have a modest level of experience and confidence as it will not be a fully fleshed out tutorial but rather an overview.
This system is not for show but rather the opposite. It is designed to output clean, accurate audio with substantial volume, while overcoming all road and engine noise with ease. It's also designed to be very stealthy without compromising the factory look of the interior and without visibly cutting door panels, etc. In fact only about 4 holes need to be drilled for mounting the amp and sub box. Everything else will fit in factory locations. The back doors will not be done at this time but may be added later as my rear door panels do not have cutouts which means some additional custom work.
Equipment: All Alpine Components.
(1) Alpine UTE-52BT Head Unit | No-CD Bluetooth
(1) Alpine PDR-V75 5-Channel Amplifier | 550W@4ohms
(2) Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Separates
(1) Alpine SWR-10D2 10" Subwoofer
Part 1: Sound Deadening & Wiring
I used 80mil Rattletrap Pro Sound Deadening Material, Super Sticky type. It took two people approx 12-hours to complete, including removing and replacing the interior. We used about 1-1/3 rolls of material 18"x36'. (pics to come)
I also left the door panels off so that I could install the speakers the next day, and the rear cover off so that I could install the Luxury Mat Pro the following week as it did not arrive in time.
While the interior was removed, I took the opportunity to run all of the cables so that I could route them cleanly and in their ideal locations. Perform this step AFTER installing the mat. I used Lightning Audio 4ga for the amp's power/ground, 14ga for speakers, and Monster Cable shielded RCAs for the signal.
Removed front/rear seats, center console, door panels, cargo/jack box, side pillars and rear wall cover. Most of the noise comes from the back area so I paid close attention to that. I opted not to mat the roof/headliner as minimal noise comes from this area. Everything else is matted.
Things you DON'T Mat: Computers or under them. Computers need to stay cool and matting is like a blanket.
Things you should't mat: bolts or wire harnesses
Things which will make life EASIER later: For removable panels, shrouds or plates, cut a separate mat so it can be removed; mat through holes in metal.
You will need a cloth, Windex (or equiv) scissors, a box knife, roller and some patience. Going slowly and paying attention to bolt locations and wire harnesses we carefully cut, applied and burnished down the mat. First, wipe the area with a cloth sprayed with no residue cleaner (I used Windex). The mat is as sticky as fly paper so it will stick extremely well and without any heating. I won't go into great detail but basically cut logically sized strips of material to fit the space, apply, and burnish down. Pay special attention to brackets that can vibrate and do not mat over bolts or wiring as it will make servicing the truck very difficult later. DO NOT mat ANY of the computers! Also, for void areas, cut a "+" and an "x" (pizza cut) info the mat once it's applied then push the material through and stick to the back side of the surface. This prevents debris from clinging to it later and improves the product's effectiveness. I also applied matting to the inside of the door panels and a few of the large interior panels. Here is the finished product.
+12V: We ran the power cable through the main wire harness grommet and mounted the main fuse block to the driver's side of the engine compartment. This is the best place to go through the firewall as no drilling is required. It also positions the power wire perfectly so that it can be run down the driver's side along with the truck's factory wiring. The amp is being mounted under the driver's seat.
- Ground: I used a large factory ground location under the driver's seat, which is less than a foot from the amp.
RCAs & Turn-On: I routed these down the left side of the center console and basically followed the factory wires that lead to the driver's seat. The cables were routed through the large hole in between the two seat mounts. Because the cables are well shielded, noise will not be an issue. Do not use cheap, unshielded cables. You don't need Monster Cables but I used them as they were removed from my previous vehicle and were the proper length. I also ran the amp's turn-on wire along this route with the RCAs.
Speakers: For the drivers door speakers I ran two pairs with the factory wires down the drivers side and another pair over the center console, under the passenger seat and along the front mount, then up the side into the kick panel. I then routed them through the factory boot into the doors. (Why 2-pairs you might ask? I'm going to attempt to mount 2-pairs of 6.5" separates in the doors. 2 6.5's and a tweeter in the lower area and another tweeter in the upper factory location.) For the sub I again followed the center console, then under the plastic pocket near the rear wall cover.
Replace Interior; well most of it...
Once we were happy with the results we replaced the carpet kit, center console, and front seats. We left the kick panels, pillars, side covers, door panels and rear cover off for component installation.
Part 2: Head Unit, Amplifier & Custom Front Door Speakers
Head Unit: Alpine UTE-52BT
This is a no CD unit with Bluetooth. Since I use an iPhone as my primary source this was a solid choice. I also set the unit to "defeat", bypassing the unit's built in amplifier.
For the dash kit I went with Scosche. The kit was very easy to install but I modded it a bit so that it felt solid and would not rattle about in the dash. (I thought I took a pic of the mount but I guess not. I'll pull the deck and post pics soon.)
Basically I lined the inside face and pocket with Mat material; which had an added effect removing the hollow feeling of the pocket. I then made a padded spacer and secured it between the pocket and the deck. This firmly supported the deck without using a rear support bracket. I also hot-glued the mounting bracket to the bottom of the tray; and the DIN can around the inside of the bezel so that everything was rock solid. The hardest part was removing the Hazard / Air Bag instrument cluster (That was actually a bitch as it did not want to be come out. It took about 20min and a lot of cursing.) Once completed the deck popped right in no problem.
Amplifier: Alpine PDR-V75 (75x4@4ohms + 1x250@4ohms)
I started with pulling the seat out and measuring the space. I didn't want to mount the amp directly to the floor as it needed protection, as well as a fan for cooling, so I built a simple but effective amp rack which fit under the seat. I cut a piece of plywood to size for the base, then a back plate and fan mount. I glued and screwed it together then used a hole saw to bore a hole for the fan's induction. I then painted the inside surfaces black and carpeted to match the truck (not an exact match as I was unable to find one, but close enough.) Once dry I mounted the fan and secured it to the floor with two light bolts.
During the prewiring phase I made sure to leave plenty of slack for all of the wiring; about 14-16". This allowed me to play with amp placement without being locked into a single configuration. Once mounted I cut the wires to length, still leaving about 8" of slack, then loomed and zip tied everything together. The fan is wired to the amp's ground and tun-on wire so it switches on with the deck. I also placed 3/16" spacers below the amp to aid circulation and improve cooling. (Note: the amp's gains/x-overs are located on the top so I had to mount the amp so that moving the seat fully forward allowed access to the controls.) Quick system test then I remounted the seat and finished buttoning up the interior. (more pics to come)
Custom Front Door Speakers: (2) Pairs of Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Separates
First off, this is not for the faint of heart. You must have some woodworking experience, be very precise when measuring, and have a lot of patience. If you attempt this it will take at least 6 hours, if everything goes smoothly and you have all the right materials/tools on hand.
Materials: I used 7/16" Grade A plywood to reduce voids. I could have used 1/2" MDF but, because of some very tight tolerances, I felt that I needed the added strength as opposed to density. 3/4" is too deep for this application. I also used 3/16 masonite for the spacer rings; an assortment of screws; wood glue; 3M window adhesive to aid mounting and reduce vibration; and non-hardening modeling clay (great idea I found in a thread on this forum, though I'm unable to remember which...) to pack around the fabricated mount to add density and to bond the mount to the door as it does not lay perfectly flush with the door near its edges.
Tools: Jigsaw, dremel, drill & bits, hole saw (optional), files, tape measure, pencil/sharpie, clamps, saw horses, eye protection...
First I made a cardboard template to get a rough shape then refined it until it fit the factory mounts and could accommodate 2-6.5" drivers plus a tweeter while still fitting within the door panel's provided space. This is harder than it sounds. Once the paper template was made I made a masonite copy of it. This allowed me to fine tune the shape and provide a rigid surface to test mount the drivers, figure out the spacers, and drill mounting holes. Once happy with the template I transferred it to the final mount in 7/16 plywood. I then test fit the speakers and created 2-3/16 spacers for the upper driver (Since they overlap, one must be elevated approx 3/8".) I then glued the spacers together with wood glue and clamped to cure. Once cured I drilled the mounting holes and painted the mounts black. Finished mounts (I could have used a router and made them perfect but they will never be seen so I opted to save time):
I then test mounted the speakers; I had to shape one edge of the elevated driver's mounting ring so that the second driver's surround wouldn't collide with it. Like I said, it's very tight and I needed every millimeter. I also applied 3M window adhesive to the back then fastened the mounts to the door. They had to be bolted on first as one of the mounts was behind the elevated speaker's mounting ring. I then wired and mounted the 6.5's and tweeters, again using a thin ring of 3M on the back to create a perfect seal. Once that was done I packed modeling clay all around the sides of the mount and tweeter, which made it as if it were part of the door itself. Unfortunately, a very small amount of metal cutting was unavoidable, even with the Alpine's small neodymium magnet. It was only a tiny amount, so little that the factory speakers covered it up. Finished mount:
With the hard part over I built some tweeter mounts. Using the factory tweeter as a template I stenciled the shape onto masonite then used a hole saw to cut the opening, jigsawed out the template, and drilled mounting holes. I then painted them black and mounted the tweets... a snap by comparison. Finished mounts:
Before reinstalling the door panels I used a dremel to remove the factory flange around the speaker opening. I also finished securing the crossovers by mounting them behind the tweeter mount with some 3M and some foam. These Alpine x-overs are tiny and both fit perfectly. Here are the finished doors:
Part 3: Subwoofer Box
The last part of the system and the most complex....
Objective: Create a sealed enclosure to house (1) Alpine R Series 10" Sub with .8cuft volume which protects the speaker; has a factory style appearance; allows long items to still be stored across the floor; doesn't interfere with the back seats, seat belts or under seat compartments; acts as an proper height armrest; and covers up the cup holder that was removed. Whew, that's a tall order.
Alpine specs .5-.85cuft but I have found that larger is usually better, as long as you don't go over. I listen to a wide variety of music so the box is designed with that in mind.
Materials: 7/16 Ply, 3/4" MDF, 2" wood screws, wood glue, spray glue, cardboard, Mat, backless carpet and neoprene. NOTE: always use backless carpet as clean seams and tight turns will be impossible if the carpet is backed. You also want to use a very good spray glue, at least 3M 77 but don't waste your time with 90.
Tools: Jigsaw, circular saw, impact and std drill, straight edge, pencil, utility knife, scissors, saw horses.
First I took overall measurements of the area and applied the goals from above. I decided to mount the enclosure between the rear seats but the space was only 11-3/4. Since the sub was 10-3/4 I had no choice but to use 7/16 for the outside. I could have used fiberglass but it's much more expensive and time consuming plus it is not very strong when laid straight/flat. 1/2 MDF is very hard to find where I live so I used the 7/16 ply that I used for the door mounts. The box is actually quite small so it didn't present a problem.
Once happy with the general measurements I made a template out of cardboard, refined it a few times for fit/finish, then transferred it to the plywood which created my exterior shape. I left some room between the box and the seats to vent the base as well as leave room to store long items like a fishing pole, mailing tube, etc... So that the enclosure would better blend with the interior, I decided to round the face of the box approx 75 degrees to match the slope of the center console. As for the armrest I settled on 16", which is comfortable for an average height person. A bit of fit/finish again with the plywood then I made an identical copy of it.
For the inside panels I used the MDF. It's super dense and provides a solid surface for mounting the sub. I cut the pieces to length then kerfed the outside panel to make the radius. If you do not know how to kerf it's actually pretty easy. I can send you a link if you are interested.
For the assembly phase I started with the kerfed panel. I filled all of the kerfs with glue then glued, clamped and screwed the panel to the left side and let cure. While curing I cut the holes for the sub and banana plugs. Once cured I glued and screwed the other panels into place, minus the second side panel. I took this opportunity to add some reinforcement to the kerf and to make sure that all of my joints were sealed with glue. I used mat to reinforce the kerf as well as the plywood sides to add density. I then attached the side using the same method and painted the bottom face black.
I test fitted the box one last time then applied the carpet, neoprene and wired the banana plug jack. I also added some silicone around the jack, inside the box, for a perfect seal. Next I added some poly-fill to the inside of the box then mounted the speaker. Once the sub and grill were securely fastened I took a moment to stand back and admire my work before installing it into the truck.
A quick adjustment to the crossover and gains and the system is a rockin'!
To be continued... and updated with more pics and info.