I had a big day last night and today. I bought a bulk pack of Dynamat Xtreme. It was 32 sqft. 9 sheets of 18x32. I thought this would wrap the whole car. Nope! I have more on order to finish the whole car. I was able to wrap the hood, front fenders, rear fenders, trunk and under the passenger seat. I still have to wrap the rear gate, roof and floors.
So, I was excited for this project because it meant that I could rip up the car and figure out how some of the panels come off as well as check out that HK subwoofer. So, let's get on with it. I am using Dynamat Xtreme for the dampening material.
1. I removed the factory hood liner and wanted to install the Dynamat underneath so it would be stealth. Mat is trimmed in two pieces and lying on top of factory liner.
2. Dynamat in place and now the liner can go back on top.
3. Wahla, stealth. It add great dampening to the hood, but when tapping the outer edges, you can here higher pitched sounds and vibrations. So, I will likely remove the factory liner and place Dynaliner over the Xtreme mat and cover edge to edge. Not sure yet, but something like this will come soon.
4. The easiest way to access the fenders is to remove this plastic cover and the brace beneath it. It is tight, but doable to get a good amount of Dynamat in place.
5. 6 bolts to remove the brace.
6. Lots of access here.
7. Mat in place.
8. Brace back in place. The fenders are solid. Nice thud sound when tapping on the panels. The plastic bumper covers could probably use some Dynamat too, but I did not have enough.
9. Now moving on to the rear cargo area. Removed the foam trays and spare tire.
10. Once the trays are out the side panels come out in two pieces. The lower black trim and the upper white trim. On the black trim remove two bolts used to secure the two tie downs on each side. Then the panel comes out by pulling from the bottom. There are about 6 panel fasteners. Then remove it. The top white panel comes out by pulling. No bolts, just some pop fasteners.
11. Now on to the panel with the fiberglass subwoofer. The subwoofer fits into the panel and is held in place by 3 screws on the back side. So, if I remove the panel like the other side, then the sub comes out with the panel.
12. This is a view of the inside of the passenger side panel with the HK sub.
13. Here is that subwoofer. Way cooler than I thought it would be. The enclosure looks like it has about 0.75cu ft. It is held in place by 4 bolts. The orange lever activates the gas door lock.
14.2 A view of the driver's side. Lots of places for matting.
14.4 Sub is out. I think I may sell it. No reason to put it back into place.
15. The sub is in a sealed ABS enclosure. The enclosure is light. Paper cone sub.
17. Back side of sub enclosure
18. Speaker wire connector
19. I thought this was an 8" sub, but measures 9" across. It may be difficult to find an exact drop in replacement. But, I am not sure.
20. Another place that mat is needed. The under seat comes out pretty easy. Right where you see the carpet start there are two white clips. All you need to do is reach under the seat, pinch the clips and pull towards the front of the car. The seat hook will release. Once both sides are released you have to lift the seat and push it back and down to pop the rear hook out of the latch. A little tricky but doable.
21. A look at the custom sub and panel.
22. On the back side of this panel, there are three screws that hold the subwoofer into place in the plastic panel. Unscrew and out goes the subwoofer.
23. Here is the intact panel minus a couple screw holes and some discoloration from the fiberglass compound. One thing the shop did that I do not like is that they did not seal the sub in this panel very well. When we first tested it, it vibrated. The shop used that super sticky butyl to wedge into the cracks to remove the vibration. It worked but looked crappy to me. So, I am going to fix this.
24. The shop was supposed to pull this out and carpet the back to further reduce vibration. It was not done, so I took it up a notch and wrapped it in Dynamat. All the vibration is totally gone. The sub pounds even harder than before and I can pound it more now too. Before I would have to back it off because of the awful rattling. If you look close you can see that I added a soft rubber weather-strip around the edge. This works perfectly. It takes out that gap in some areas and prevents all vibrations from the edges.
25. Close up look at the weather-stripping.
26. Dynamat in place. It is also inside the rear quarter panels and all these panels are solid now. I could use more back here, but I ran out.
27. You can see how much better the sub looks now without those gaps and that putty filler in place. Much cleaner look. No noise either.
28. The sub sits above the floor. This is a look into this panel where some of the wiring is tucked.
29. Now the trim is going back in and the spare tire. No changes to the area. I forgot to take a close-up of the HK sub, but I left the sub out and to prevent looking into that empty space I taped a piece of black fabric on the backside of the grill so it looks like there is a speaker in there.
RTA Tune - Not sure if this file will attach.
The car is a bit quieter, but I still have more to do. I also had a problem with the U3 speakers today, so I took them back to the shop for replacement. A little disappointed about this. I did drop in some Critical Mass RS3 speakers and wow! Got these dialed in on the RTA. I had these in the 09 Forester as a center channel, but I thought the tweeters would hit the grills so I did not use them in this car. Well, they do not hit the grills and fit perfectly. I just may keep them. A little brighter on the higher end and very focused vocals. The center staging and voice projection is even better than the U3s and the noise level is much much lower. I think the U3s had a problem from the very beginning and it just got worse over the past two weeks. Hopefully the shop and HAT can hook me up on replacements an upgrade to a higher level or a refund. We shall see.