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Guide To Complete Stereo Installation Focus Mk2

Aftermarked Head Unit 3-Way Active Crossover Sound Dampening Car Alarm

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#16 Mr_Spock

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

Very good guide Mr Spock , and fantastic pictures , i would imagine the sound quality inside your car have doubled.

 

Thanks, it's hard to describe the improvement in sound quality in words - but jaw dropping will do :)



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#17 Mr_Spock

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:15 PM

More sound dampening - out goes the seats:

 

IMG_8219web-1_zpsa7f8f274.jpg

 

The rubber mat at the front is difficult to remove - I just placed damping mats as far up under as I could:

 

IMG_8250web.jpg

 

IMG_8240web.jpg

 

Some other places got treatment too:

 

IMG_8247web.jpg

 

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Behind the windshield wipers:

 

IMG_8364web-1.jpg

 

The underside was treated (wheel houses especially) with about 20kg of combined anti corrosion and noise stopping coating:

 

IMG_8486web.jpg



#18 Mr_Spock

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:24 PM

I took the opportunity to give the floor mat a real wash using foam lance and high pressure washer:

 

IMG_8228web.jpg



#19 Mr_Spock

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:05 AM

Having all sound dampening done - it was time for dealing with cables and stereo compononents. At this time I had decided to use two amplifiers: one 4-channel feeding the 2 way component speakers in the front doors - and one mono amplifier to feed a subwoofer. Speakers in the rear doors will not be in use. Both amplifiers and subwoofer will be placed in the luggage compartment. With this in mind - I knew were all cables had to be placed. 

 

I did voltage drop calculations on the power cables feeding the amplifiers - to ensure maximum perfomance. To get through the bulkhead, I went through a big, roomy cable rubber grommit already in place, in my car (with the steering wheel on the wrong side :) )  it's behind the glove compartment. 

 

Here comes a useful tip - do not place cables on top of the sills (marked red) - do the ekstra job and take out the seats and carpet (takes about 30 minutes or less) and lay them the along with the original wiring (marked green). A little longer way, but no problem with space or conflicting with plastic panels etc. Putting power cables on one side - and rca/signal cables on the other - also minimize interference.

 

IMG_8249WEB_zpse4a56bd4.jpg



#20 Mr_Spock

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:57 PM

Grounding the amplifiers demands really good connection - using the seatbelt bolts are a good solution when placing the amplifiers in the back. I use one on each side, doing separate positive power cabling to each amplifier - I do the same for the negative power:

 

IMG_8236web_zps3e755b17.jpg

 

Sanding paper helps to get a clean metal surface, on bolts, seat belt and bodywork:

 

IMG_8211web.jpg

 

IMG_8212web.jpg

 

Finishing with a proper electrical/anti corrosive spray:

 

IMG_8216web.jpg



#21 Mr_Spock

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 12:16 PM

The amplifiers I bought are not too powerful, but will put a strain on the electrical system in the car. I decided to reinforce the main parts - the battery and the connections between battery, generator and the bodywork. Over dimensioning is always a good thing. The original generator gives 105A - wich is pretty good. 

 

IMG_7486ENGWEB_zpsb7e867b7.jpg

 

A Ford Motorcraft 52A Cadmium battery, fitted from the factory, was still in the car. When removing it, I discovered a removeable distance "thingy" , that when removed - would give place to a bigger battery:

 

IMG_8372web-1_zps0c392cfb.jpg

 

I measured the empty battery box and went to my local "cheap-but-good-quality-car-parts" shop and found the biggest battery that would fit, and have the correct layout to fit car terminals. I found a 75Ah Silver Cadmium (important to use with the Focus Smart Charge system) that fittet perfectly.

 

To make the system more robust to higher amps - I just found cables that were as thick - or thicker - as the originals - and connected them in parallel. These are found very cheap and already terminated in all sizes on Ebay:

 

IMG_8404engweb_zpsdd8992de.jpg

 

I also laid a well over-dimensioned + cable for the Head Unit. All + cables with proper fuse mounted close to the battery.

 

Cable collector:

 

IMG_8720web_zpsc08a688c.jpg



#22 Mr_Spock

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:16 PM

Finished with all cables and dampening - it's back to stereo components, starting with the subwoofer. Being very satisfied with the Infinity speakers in the front doors - I choose to use 2 of their 120.9W 12" subwoofers. Reading the specs, I found a sealed enclosure would fit me better than an ported - smaller and flatter frequency response (better sound quality). Found a pre-built sealed enclosure meeting the exact volume specs from Bassworx:

 

IMG_8091web.jpg

 

IMG_8090web.jpg

 

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The enclosure had Push post terminals pre-installed for easy disconnecting of the cables:

 

IMG_8459web.jpg

 

 

Installed carrying handles, on both sides, to make it easy to carry the box in and out of the luggage compatment:

 

IMG_8457web_zps8ab7c53c.jpg

 

IMG_8464web_zps1df84b5f.jpg



#23 Mr_Spock

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:26 AM

I had decided on a 2 amplifier configuration - one powerful mono amplifier for the subwoofer - and one 4 channel for the speakers in the front doors. With this configuration, I would have the opportunity to use 3-way active crossover setup. A dream come true - for a hifi interested fellow like me - but head units including this feature, are usually way to expensive for my wallet. Anyway - with this cable and amplifier configuration - I could choose all possible setups.

 

After a lot of measuring and browsing the net for suitable amplifiers - I found the Infinity Kappa series amplifiers being a good choice - mostly for their small size and shape. Being class D amplifier technology, they generate less heat and increased effiency, giving a compact design.

 

IMG_8107web.jpg

 

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I was happy to se that they fitted very well under the plastic panels on each side of the luggage compartment - cables already laid it was an easy job:

 

Here is the Infinity Kappa One for the subwoofer:

 

IMG_8326web_zps96b502c7.jpg

 

 

And the Infinity Kappa Four for the front door speakers:

 

IMG_8328web_zpsf4161790.jpg

 

To prevent short-ciruiting of the subwoofer speaker cables - when the the subwoofer is removed from the luggage compartment:

 

IMG_8505web-1_zpsacdca822.jpg

 

I installed an on/off switch for the subwoofer amplifier:

 

IMG_8514web.jpg

 

I am very happy with the result in the luggage compartment:

 

IMG_8608web.jpg



#24 Mr_Spock

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:59 AM

Now, there is only one thing missing - in this "Complete Stereo Installation" - the Head Unit! Halfway in to this project, Pioneer presented a new cd-player - the Pioneer DEH-80PRS, offering 3-way active network/crossover etc - to a price fitting my budget. I could'nt be more happy :)  It is an awesome sound quality unit. Having all the features I could wish for. Installing the unit in the dash was easy, bought a fascia with wiring loom on Ebay:

 

IMG_8446web.jpg

 

I hooked it up with the steering column control, wiring and components for Ebay:

 

IMG_8409web.jpg

 

Connecting in the rear of the head unit:

 

IMG_8412web.jpg

 

Works great - even if I prefer to use the head unit controls.

 

IMG_8411web.jpg

 

The unit have an Auto Setup funktion, were it adjusts sound parameters, using the included mic:

 

IMG_8429web.jpg

 

Start the setup, leave the car, close the doors and wait 5 minutes until the display indicate it is finished:

 

IMG_8443web.jpg

 

The result is fantastic, key fetures are setting the speaker distance perfectly - placing you in the sweetspot, adjusting to a pre set equalizer curve, autolevelling all amplifier channels - and setting up the 3-way active network for you. After the auto set-up you can manually adjust all parameters to your personal liking. I did some reading on the frequency range of all speakers and did some adjustments, easy performed on the unit:

 

IMG_8117web.jpg

 

There was quite a bit of adjustment going on -  the first couple of months - as I played music, where some songs were to "boomy" and some to "thin" - but I did find a setup that was satisfying. Now I haven't adjusted anything for months.

 

I havent explored any of the other features on the head unit, I believe it have Bluetooth and radio??  :D  I rip my favourite songs from my cd collection in 320kbps mp3, transfer them to a 32GB SD memory card (can hold about 5000 songs), put it in the memory slot hidden behind the display and choose random play. If I want to hear a special song or an album I easily navigate the librarys to find it.

 

The stereo installation have now been in use for almost a year and have worked 100%. In the beginning I drove the car some times for no reason other than to listen to music, well I still do  :D



#25 Mr_Spock

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:26 PM

And of course - i did install a Car Alarm:

 

IMG_8610web.jpg

 

With a nice blue flashing LED:

 

IMG_8677web-1.jpg

 

It connects with the cars can-bus circuit - so it turns on and off with the central locking - using the key fob.



#26 Hassen

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:35 PM

Very thorough guide for an audio install and given me lots of pointers and ideas. Thanks for putting it all up. Very tempted to get Dynamat for the car after seeing it in your car. It seems to be worth the effort.



#27 Mr_Spock

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:55 AM

Thanks :)

 

I believe I forgot to describe the degree of reduced road noise - after dampening the entire car - unfortunatly I did'nt measure the noise level before I started with the project. But it's a really big improvement. Maybe diesels and Ghias/Titaniums have more sound dampening - (I believe you could order your new car with extra sound dampening too? ) - but mine had almost none - as the pictures show.

 

Dynamat sure is a good supplier of damping mats, in my area it was more economic to choose the brand Silent Coat in Bulk packages.



#28 Hassen

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:08 PM

I had a look under the carpets today and there was barely any dampening, mostly exposed metal. I drive a diesel, which is fairly quiet but on motorways, the sound gets in the way of listening to my music and it's starting to annoy me. Also, trying to have a conversation with my wife in the passenger seat is not that easy. 

 

My future plans would be to save up to get the bulk pack of Dynamat Extreme, a roller kit and maybe a Haynes manual as well for good measure. Then, slowly on weekends and evenings do the panels slowly until it is all done as time is a big issue for me. That's my tentative plan so far. Any advice on how to get the Dynamat properly would be appreciated. 



#29 Mr_Spock

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

Thorough cleaning before attaching the damping sheets. First vacuum, next wash with soap and water - and wipe off with Methylated Spirits (or similar product). I believe summer temperatures would benefit both attachment and making the sheets more flexible to work with. Check for tips were you buy the damping sheets.

 

To get a more complete sound dampening, I believe they recommend that you lay multiple layers of different types of damping mats. As different types og mats dampens different types of sound.

 

I like your plan, take your time :)



#30 Hassen

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:28 AM

Thanks for the advice. Now just need to start saving up and then get the pieces. Should be good fun :)



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