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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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:15 PM
More sound dampening - out goes the seats:
The rubber mat at the front is difficult to remove - I just placed damping mats as far up under as I could:
Some other places got treatment too:
Behind the windshield wipers:
The underside was treated (wheel houses especially) with about 20kg of combined anti corrosion and noise stopping coating:
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.
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:
Sanding paper helps to get a clean metal surface, on bolts, seat belt and bodywork:
Finishing with a proper electrical/anti corrosive spray:
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.
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:
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:
I also laid a well over-dimensioned + cable for the Head Unit. All + cables with proper fuse mounted close to the battery.
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:
The enclosure had Push post terminals pre-installed for easy disconnecting of the cables:
Installed carrying handles, on both sides, to make it easy to carry the box in and out of the luggage compatment:
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.
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:
And the Infinity Kappa Four for the front door speakers:
To prevent short-ciruiting of the subwoofer speaker cables - when the the subwoofer is removed from the luggage compartment:
I installed an on/off switch for the subwoofer amplifier:
I am very happy with the result in the luggage compartment:
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:
I hooked it up with the steering column control, wiring and components for Ebay:
Connecting in the rear of the head unit:
Works great - even if I prefer to use the head unit controls.
The unit have an Auto Setup funktion, were it adjusts sound parameters, using the included mic:
Start the setup, leave the car, close the doors and wait 5 minutes until the display indicate it is finished:
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:
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?? 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
Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:55 AM
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.
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.
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
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