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I built a sub box for my '06 DC -- check it >>>

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by BenWA, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Mar 24, 2009 at 8:18 PM
    #1
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to upgrade my factory JBL sub with something that sounds a bit better and hits a little harder. Didn't want to change any other part of my JBL system, so I tried to be as un-invasive as possible.

    My budget for this upgrade was about $300. That would have to do for the sub driver, amp, box materials, and wiring.

    I decided to go with the Pioneer 10" TSSW2541D shallow mount sub with a Profile AP400 amp rated at 200W RMS in bridged mode. I designed and built the box (with influence from Marv's designs) with fit into the cramped space in mind, and the ability to rack the Profile amp and the factory JBL amp on either side.

    Here's what I came up with. Keep in mind, I only had a handheld circular saw (with a clamp saw guide), a sawzall, and a drill at my disposal (and a six'r of Dos Equis) -- so don't knock my sloppy craftsmanship! :p

    [​IMG]


    The finished box:

    [​IMG]

    The top and bottom pieces with the front beveled edges were a b1tch to cut with a circular saw that only tilts one way! I had to use some *advanced* techniques to make some of the cuts (don't try this at home!)

    [​IMG]


    I sealed all the seams with silicone caulk on the inside to ensure that it is airtight. I also packed quite a lot of polyfill into the box, completely filling both of the side chambers, and partially filling the center chamber.


    Test fit:

    [​IMG]


    Compared to some of the builds I've seen on here, this is pretty ghetto. ;)


    I plan on carpeting the box, and I also want to carpet the back wall of the truck above the box. Any tips on how to affix carpet to the top of the truck's back wall (below the window) and underneath the metal cross bar behind the sub box??


    Also, I haven't thought of a more permanent way to secure the box to the cab. Any ideas? You can see in the pic that I have two drywall screws thru the child seat loops for the time being.


    Unfortunately, I botched my initial sizing measurements so I didn't leave enough space to put the plastic seatback back on (it would pinch against the sub with the seat angled forward).... I had to cut the bottom part of the plastic seatbeack where it bulges out so that it won't pinch agains the sub. Duhhh. Oh well.

    After all the work (and it WAS a lot of work), it was definitely worth the upgrade. That little shallow mount puts out a LOT of sound! And I just barely exceeded my $300 target.


    EDIT:

    Got'r all carpeted and ready to pound! :D

    [​IMG]


    Note that the driver's side storage bin is still in place and unaffected by the installation:

    [​IMG]

    Now that I've had it a while, I have it tuned and tweaked to perfection and I can't believe how much resonant bass this little guy puts out. I used to have a 12" Kicker in a Volvo wagon and this is louder and cleaner.

    Not that I'm particularly into cruising and drawing attention to myself, but a couple times with windows rolled down and a track with good bass cranked up people have told me that they could hear this setup coming from a mile away :D and I'm also pretty sure I've rattled the dentures of a couple crabby geezers in front of me at the stoplight ;)


    NEW! NEW! NEW!

    I added a couple of pics of the wiring that is needed to connect the aftermarket subwoofer amp to the factory amp, for those who are interested in doing the same. It's super easy with a line out converter (LOC), which my Profile amp happened to come with. I'm holding the LOC in my hand in the pic below... the input speaker level wires are to the left of my hand in the pic (a pair of green and a pair of white) and the RCA output wires go from the LOC to my aftermarket amp to the right of my hand (aftermarket amp not pictured).

    [​IMG]

    To splice in to the appropriate wires, use the wire harness that you unplugged from the factory subwoofer that has 4 wires going to it: brown, green, dark blue, and light blue. You will splice into these wires. The R/L sides and +/- polarities correspond to the wires as follows:

    L + Brown
    L - Green
    R + Light blue
    R - Dark blue


    Your LOC should have 4 wires that you will splice to the above mentioned wires with. I actually soldered mine and put crimp connectors over the solder joints, and then zip tied the bundle together to keep everything tidy. The wire harness is no longer needed since the factory sub that it plugged into has been removed, but I wanted to keep the harness in tact in case I ever want to put the factory sub back in. It just dangles free for now without needing to be plugged in to anything. Alternatively, you could cut the female plug off of your factory sub and utilize that as your splice-in point.

    [​IMG]

    Detail photo of RCA cables which run from LOC output leads to the aftermarket amp's RCA inputs. I had to use male-to-male adapters (not that there's anything wrong with that :) ) which are the black connectors between the plugs. Everything is zip tied together to keep it tidy.

    [​IMG]

    For juice to the new amp, I ran a 10 AWG positive power lead from the battery routed thru the firewall straight to the amp with a 20A in line fuse near the battery terminal. I ran a short 10 AWG negative power lead from the amp to a hole that I drilled in the floor of the cab behind the rear seat and secured the lead to the floor with a self-tapping screw.

    Since the factory JBL head unit uses a data signal to turn on the factory amp rather than a 12V turn on lead, I had to run a new 12V turn on lead to my aftermarket amp from the fuse box under the steering column. I used a mini fuse add-a-circut (available at Schuck's/O'Reilly auto parts) and plugged into the ACC slot. Seamless and easy.

    Add-a-circuit for 12V amp turn on lead:

    [​IMG]

    Plugs right into the ACC fuse slot:

    [​IMG]

    Fished the positive power lead (red wire) and amp turn on lead (green wire) under all my door threshold trim straight to the back wall of the cab:

    [​IMG]




    UPDATED!!

    CRUDE DRAWING WITH BOX DIMENSIONS (CLICK TO VIEW FULL SIZE)


    IMPORTANT NOTE: I cannot guarantee that a box with these dimensions will fit in your truck. A box with the dimensions shown in the sketch below WILL DEFINITELY NOT FIT behind the rear seat in a way that allows the seatback to fold forward through it's full range of motion, without first either removing the plastic seatback cover or trimming off part of the seatback cover where it bulges out at the bottom. If you want the box to fit without removing or trimming the seatback cover, you will have to reduce the bottom dimension from 7-5/8" to something closer to 7" (or maybe even less?). Keep in mind that reducing the box size in any dimension will reduce overall internal box volume and may affect sound quality, depending on the sub you choose and the sub manufacturer's recommended enclosure volume. If you reduce the bottom dimension you may want to increase the top dimension to maintain the box volume. In my truck, there is plenty of space between the seatback and the top front of the sub box, so a box could definitely be built deeper in that top depth dimension.


    ALSO, this box was designed around the Pioneer shallow mount 10" sub which has a 2-7/8" mounting depth. It may not be deep enough for other subs!! Measure twice and cut once.

    [​IMG]


    This box was pretty complicated to build due to it's weird geometry... I would advise against a beginner carpenter/cabinetmaker attempting to build this on their own. If you aren't comfortable with this kind of DIY box building, check out some of the official sub box vendors on this site. They can put something together for you for a more than fair price.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions about anything I did!
     
  2. Mar 24, 2009 at 8:52 PM
    #2
    dunkhi

    dunkhi CSULB socal

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    looks good man
     
  3. Mar 24, 2009 at 8:57 PM
    #3
    thebigk

    thebigk 6 Double 5 3 2 1

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    Ain't nuthin wrong with that! Some carpet on that box & it'll look great.

    Awesome DIY work!
     
  4. Mar 24, 2009 at 9:10 PM
    #4
    TEX357

    TEX357 TX

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    nice box man! wish i could do this kinda shit on my own:( unfortunately i always gotta pay that crazy install price they charge everywhere:(
     
  5. Mar 24, 2009 at 9:32 PM
    #5
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Do you mean just spray the 3M on the metal, and on the backside of the carpet and stick it on there? Will that hold it securely?? Or, conversely, will it hold it TOO much (i.e., would I be able to rip the carpet out at a later time and remove the adhesive residue from the metal to restore the truck to stock form, in the event that I ever want to sell it?)?

    As for the L brackets, would I drill into the metal floor next to the box and tap the holes to secure the brackets to the floor??
     
  6. Mar 24, 2009 at 10:08 PM
    #6
    senor taco

    senor taco ROLLIN ON RUST

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    Looks good how's it sound
     
  7. Mar 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM
    #7
    G-Sak

    G-Sak Well-Known Member

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    Looks good BenWA! Unless you are planning on entering a competition, who cares how it looks as long as it works and sounds good, right? As long as you are happy, thats what matters.:) Looks like you were able to save the storage bin behind the rear seat on the driver's side too! All the better:D
     
  8. Mar 24, 2009 at 11:30 PM
    #8
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think I might look into your velcro idea...thanks for the suggestion!


    Sounds good enough for my needs! I wasn't looking to turn heads or disturb the peace of the neighborhood, I just wanted it to sound better than the stock sub. Mission accomplished! It sounds WAY cleaner, a bit louder (I have the gain on the amp turned quite a ways down -- could turn it up a lot if I wanted), and much flatter/more consistent freq response, and gives a nice back massage even all the way up in the front seats when you crank it. :)

    With the stock sub, I could only turn the volume up to about 39 or 40 before it sounded like absolute crap. Now I can easily turn it up to 45+ with absolutely no hint of distortion, and the bass is much more resonant than the stock sub.


    Thanks! Yeah I'm happy with it. Yup, I was able to keep the storage bin on the driver's side.

    I think once I get the box and the back wall carpeted, it will look good enough!
     
  9. Mar 25, 2009 at 3:29 AM
    #9
    craigFLA

    craigFLA Well-Known Member

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    Great job...especially given the tools at your disposal. Once you get some carpet on it, it'll look much better!

    As far as mounting, looking at the pic it appears that you should be able to use "L" brackets at the bottom (screw into box after carpet/info floor) and either "L" or flat brackets into the frame channel at the top of the enclosure. You may have to remove the back seat to properly install the lower brackets, but its worth it. Can be done with a cordless, and keep in mind that if you ever remove the box, the screw holes would be covered by the plastic insert you removed...

    Securing the box is important! And more then likely will actually improve its performance! I wouldnt use velcro...but just my opinion.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. Mar 25, 2009 at 8:57 AM
    #10
    senor taco

    senor taco ROLLIN ON RUST

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    [​IMG]

    i was able to cut the larger plastic compartment to fit my sub and mounted the amp to a pice of wood i painted black
     
  11. Mar 25, 2009 at 9:49 AM
    #11
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looks good, I thought about doing something along those lines but I didn't want to hack up the plastic liner, in case I ever want to put it all back together again as stock.

    How does that prefab Rockford box sound??
     
  12. Mar 25, 2009 at 11:54 AM
    #12
    senor taco

    senor taco ROLLIN ON RUST

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    It sounds prety good inside the truck u can't hear it from a mile away though
     
  13. Mar 25, 2009 at 12:05 PM
    #13
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention...

    I have my amp turn-on lead jerry-rigged to one of my 12V outlets, but I want to hardwire the lead to the ACC fuse in my fusebox under the steering wheel.

    I'm not particularly skilled at automotive electrics -- can someone tell me how exactly I would tie my lead into that circuit? There's a 7.5A fuse in the slot right now. I could probably just solder the lead to the underside of that particular fuse slot, but how do I know which side is pos and which is neg (i.e., which side of the slot is distal to the battery, so that if the 7.5A fuse blows, the amp circuit will also break)?

    Also, should I include a separate in-line fuse in my turn-on lead (like a 1A or so fuse) somewhere near the fuse box?

    Any tips here would be appreciated.
     
  14. Mar 25, 2009 at 8:19 PM
    #14
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
     
  15. Mar 26, 2009 at 3:43 AM
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    craigFLA

    craigFLA Well-Known Member

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    You could use an "add-a fuse" set up, as found in the "FOG LIGHT MOD" in the DIY section. This would also allow you to put everything to stock with very little effort...

    The add-a-fuse provides 2 fuses, one for whatever was in that slot before you got there, and 1 for the new circuit.

    The Just be 100% sure its truly an ACC hot, just to avoid any future issues with possible battery drain etc...

    No need for any other fuses on the amp turn on, just route the wire carefully.

    Good Luck!
     
  16. Mar 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM
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    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info craig!
     
  17. Mar 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM
    #17
    808trdsport

    808trdsport Well-Known Member

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    looks good man! screw the carpet, just spray paint that bad boy. lol
     
  18. Mar 29, 2009 at 10:05 AM
    #18
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    Nice!!! :) :)
     
  19. Mar 30, 2009 at 8:41 PM
    #19
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks fellas!

    Finally got around to carpeting my box and the back wall of my cab. Wasn't nearly as difficult as I was expecting it to be. For the box, it was just spray the wood and backside of carpet with 3M adhesive, let it get tacky for a minute, and stick the carpet on there, roller it smooth, and then trim carefully with a good pair of sharp scissors.

    For the back wall of the truck, I just cut the carpet piece to size/shape, put a strip of velcro across the top and another under the bottom side of the cross brace, and voila! Piece of cake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Stoked!

    :)
     
  20. Mar 30, 2009 at 8:43 PM
    #20
    thebigk

    thebigk 6 Double 5 3 2 1

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    Damn dude!!!! NICE work

    +1 for quality DIY job! :thumbsup:
     
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