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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
The speaker installation was a very lengthy project. It took about 12 hours in total. I do work slow and I will share some steps with you that will certainly save you some time.

Here is a list of supplies you will need for the project:
1. Speakers – 4
2. Baffles – 4 (or use dynaxorb or more material on the outer door panel)
3. Foam weatherstrip ½” thick x3/4” wide x 10 feet
4. 4 MDF 6.5” speaker rings (be sure to choose inner diameter that will fit your speakers)
5. Velcro 2” wide
6. FatMat Mega (or similar) sound deadening material ( I will add this next week when it arrives)

Before starting with the photos, I wanted to describe the installation and some of the challenges.
First, the tweeter pod modification did not work. The tweeter I had were way too large. I tried to fit them in anyways, but there is no room once installed on the door. You will see in the pics that the magnet stuck to the metal pillar and I was not able to angle the speakers correctly. I experimented with sound quality between tweeters mounted in the pods and as a coaxial on the speaker. I could not appreciate the difference. So, I scrapped the tweeter pod project and used coaxial mounts in all four speakers. I do want to emphasize that the MB Quart PVI-216 speakers feature WideSphere technology which produces 90% off-axis response. I think this is the reason why the tweeters sounds so good when mounted as coaxial in the factory location. I doubt you will have the same effect with other brands.

Second, you must use mounting rings with the most speakers. The Quarts have a very shallow mounting depth of about 2.5” or so. However, when installed in the front location the window hit the speaker, just slightly. You won’t have a window problem in the back, however the door panel is not flat like the front, there is an odd shape that will not allow for a flush mount. Another problem I encountered with the Quarts, is that they are just slightly too large to fit perfectly in the stock speaker hole. You may be okay with a different set of speakers, but not sure. For all of these reasons, I chose to build speaker rings.
I actually tried to buy some from a local shop, but none were in stock (plastic junkers for $20/pair). Another shop quoted me $80 to cut some for me. I laughed. He said it was about an hours worth of labor. Then the tech came out and said he would do it for “$50 cash under the table.” I politely said I had one more shop to check and never went back. You can buy these on ebay for about $10/pair and I would certainly recommend that. I did not have time to wait, so I decided to build my own. The shop also pissed me off, with the outrageous cost.
I actually have a jigsaw, but it is not very good. I received some cordless power tools for Christmas this year, so I had been looking for an excuse to buy the cordless jigsaw. It just happened to be on sale at Sears for $50! The same price that shop wanted to build a set of rings in ONE HOUR! Needless to say, mine were not pretty, but I had four rings cut in 20 minutes. I’m sure the pros really need an hour! Yeah right. . . Jerks. So I spent the same amount of money and have a quality tool that will last a long time.
I built these rings out of ½” MDF and they were just right. I should also point out that even with spacers and the coaxial mount, the speaker do not hit the door panel. So, you have lots of room in that panel for mounting.

Third, mounting the crossovers was a PITA. They were big, so I chose to mount them inside the doors. I Velcroed them to the outer door panel. So, when the window rolls down, the crossovers will be behind the glass. You must be careful when routing the wires so the window does not pull them. In the front, I added one screw for security. In the rear, there was no way to screw them down, so Velcro is holding them to the door.
Here are detailed photos and captions of the installation:

I am going to start off by describing the failed tweeter pod installation and modifications. Again, I scrapped this because it did not work. Plus, the sound of these tweeters mounted as coaxial sounded just as good as when it was mounted in the tweeter pods.
Here is the stock pod with OEM tweeter


You can see that the 1.5” MB Quart tweeter is huge


I really felt like I could hack up the pod with a dremel and mount this tweeter. I was able to get it in there okay. I was going to use hot glue to fix it in place, but before doing that I checked the fit in the door location. This is where the problem lies. The tweeter (I think even a 1” dome tweeter will have this problem too) is thick for this location. The magnet sticks to the metal door frame and points straight. Even if I used hot glue to get the proper angle, the tweeter is too thick and it would not mount properly. I had to scrap this part of the project and mount tweeters as coaxial. Another reason I was happy to own the dual mount MB Quarts.


I routed out most of this internal plastic to fit the tweeter.


It did not matter because the tweeter is too thick and the magnet sticks to the metal door frame. Prject scrapped. I did play these tweeter in this location and I could not appreciate the difference between this location and the tweeter mounted as a coaxial.



Now on with the rest of the installation. All speakers are PVI-216 Premium series MB Quart 6.5” woofers with coaxial mounted 1.5” Widesphere tweeters. MB Quart crossovers were used. The crossovers were connected to the factory Navi Head Unit speaker wires. The front crossovers had tweeter and woofer input wires, so these were directly connected to the crossovers. The rear woofers were connected to the tweeter inputs in reverse polarity (as described in the manual) and bridge wires were connected to the woofer terminals in a bi-amping configuration.


Baffles


All the door panels feature 4 screws. 2 screws are located behind the plugs, which are easy to see. The other two screws are located underneath the window switch. You must pry this off and disconnected the harness before removing those two screws. Once the 4 screws are removed, the panel will pop off.


Pry tab to lift the switch panel up. Once it lifts, use fingers to snap it up and off.


Here are the inner screws. Every door panel is the same.


Here you can see that one panel fastner stayed in the door. Right tool for the job makes life easy.




Here is the inside of the drivers door panel. You can see that it is well insulated. I do not plan to remove this insulation and replace with FatMat. You can do it, but I am not.


Here is the white box which is known to rattle like hell. I plan to put a couple FatMat squares under the corners to stop the chatter.


Here you can see the speaker grill area. That plastic trim meets with the OEM speaker to create a seal, so that the sounds is directed into the cabin. This is why I chose to add the foam wetherstrip to the Quart speakers, to emulate this effect.


View of the naked drivers door panel with plastic still in place. I removed all plastic liners, as the Fatmat will be taking its place. The most effective method to remove the liner is to tug quickly at it in sections. This will yank the sticky rubber adhesive off the door. If you pull slowly, the adhesive stays on the doors and is messy.


OEM Speaker. Better quality than I imaged.


Here you can see the angle of the OEM speaker. It meets with the angles door panel.


The speaker depth is 4”. I looked up specs somewhere and found 4” listed too. However, when the window is down it will hit some speaker baskets, like it did on the Quarts. Another issue is that the Quarts did not fit the factory hole, they were a little too large. So, spacer rings were used to overcome both barriers.


Glass is only 1.75” away and may not hit all speakers. It hit these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #122 · (Edited)
Baffle in place. Look closely and you can see where the window is pressing down on the baffle


Baffle in place with window in up position


My solution for the $50 rings that the shop wanted to build for me. Read full details at the intro to this project. I cut my own rings and bought a cordless jigsaw for $50.


MBQuart 6.5” midrange woofers with cone in place.


Cone unscrews to reveal inner hole to pass the tweeter wires.


Tweeter with wires passed through woofer center hole.


Tweeter locked into position.


Four ½” MDF spacer rings were made in about 20 minutes. Stupid shop!


Both of the front doors have a raised section in the door metal. I used a grinder to make quick work of this groove. You will need to do this for 2 rings.


Ring fitted into position with groove over the metal door hump.


I used three holes in triangle placement for mounting the rings to the door. For the fronts, I used metal screw fasteners for the best fit and security. For the rear doors, the holes are placed too far away from the edges to use the fasteners. I drilled smaller holes on the rear doors, for a good fit, but this will not give a long lasting result.


You must counter sink the screws so the speakers fit flush on the rings. I used a dremel tool for this.


The baffle is in place over the ring. A small slit is cut into the back of the baffle to allow speaker wires to pass. These baffles help produce better bass and keep the door rattles to a minimum.


Speaker is mounted. This thing sticks way out there. But it does not touch the door panel when snapped in place. You may even be able to get away with ¾” MDF rings, but I did not try those.


Here is a top view of the distance these speakers and rings come away from the door. Then again, recall those OEM speakers and the added plastic to those speakers in order to reach the door panel with foam surround to create a seal.


Here you can see that the crossover is mounted on the outer door metal. There is a brace there, which permitted one screw to secure it in place. Velcro was also used to prevent rattles and further secure the fit.


½” thick x ¾” wide foam tape was cut in half down the middle to be about 3/8” wide. This is adhered to the speaker to get a seal on the door panel speaker grills. It worked pretty good but there is still a gap on some sections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
These photos and details pertain to the speakers mounted into the rear doors.

Again, four screws secure the panel. Remove those then pop off the panel.


Inner section of the rear doors are well insulated too. You can see another one of those rattle boxes. Although the rear doors do not have the waffle plate like the front panels. Nonetheless, it rattles and I plan to put a couple FatMat squares under the corners of the box to stop the chatter.


Rear door with plastic in place. I removed it in the same fashion as the front door with great success.


Here you can see the OEM speaker does not have a angle to it. However, the plastic housing reaches out even further than the front speakers. So, this gave me confidence that the rings I already cut should fit perfectly. They did, with some mods to be addressed in a moment.


The rear door panel has some raised sections that make a flush fit impossible. I chose the three holes to be place on the raised sections. Also, there is no way to get fasteners here, so I had to drill in to the metal with a smaller hole and the screw goes directly into the metal. Counter sink is necessary here too. I plan to add FatMat in a few days. Then I will add some foam tape to the back of the rings to fill in those gaps so air does not leak outwards.


The rear doors have steel round bars for added crush protection. I mounted the crossovers just above the bars with Velcro. No way to put a screw into this panel, as it would penetrate to the world. That would look really bad! Bi-amping was required for the back door speakers. See instructions on doing this at the top of the project posting.


Speakers mounted with baffles in place.


Foam in place


This completes the tutorial. The passenger side installation was the same as this side with regard to a few mods needed in the front and back doors, as well as the speaker connections at the crossovers.

As for sound quality, I am impressed. The depth of field is much improved. Adding tweeter to the rear doors makes a big difference. I do admit that the Navi HU does not produce a lot of power. I listen to music on the Ipod Touch with the volume at 30-35. The max setting is 40. When the volume is less than 20, it is very soft. A level of 15-20 would allow you to have background music while having a conversation with someone. This system would certainly benefit from an amp. Stay tuned, that is coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
So I have another update. I completed the FatMat Mega installation. It makes a huge difference. I purchased the 50 sqft roll. I applied this stuff on the four doors, rear cargo wheel-wells, Spare tire well, Rear gate, front passenger wheel well, and hood. I got just a couple pieces in the drivers side front wheel well, but need to remove the battery to apply one more piece in there.
Here are a few general comments before I get started with the photos.
First, when applying FatMat to the doors, you can see that as I proceeded with the project, I got better and sealed all the holes that were cut open for wire passage. I later went back and added patches to cover all the holes so the doors are completely sealed.
Second, this was a learning experience. When I cut the speaker hole, I tossed the first piece. Later, I realized this was wasteful, and I started keeping the extra pieces. They make great patches. And the bigger pieces I stuck on the outer door panel (the panel that is painted on the exterior side. I tappe3d on the door, after apply a few pieces and it made a HUGE difference. I ended up extending this technique to every compartment that I went into. Some spits are really tough to reach, so I cut smaller pieces and took my time with placement. I have lots of cuts and sores from reaching in all the panels, but it is worth it.
Third, after placement of all this material, I still have about 6 feet x 18” remaining on the roll. So, if you are planning a project for the doors, you will likely only need 25 sq ft.
Fourth, I was using a modified intake with the stock snorkel box. I bought an Outerwear cover for the aftermarket filter and reinstalled it today. When I was in the engine compartment, I tapped on the hood and it sounded loud and rattlely. I could not resist, so I added more Fatmat to the hood, and wheel wells. I went for a spin after this and it made a huge difference with quieting the car, especially at high speed accelerations. This stuff is worth putting everywhere.
Fifth, the crossover in the drivers door, came out of position and the window would not roll down. I added zip ties to all the crossovers and secured them to a nearby bracing bar. This worked great. Now they are there to stay. No rattles either.
Here are the pictures and tutorial

Front Drivers side door with speaker in place.


Wiring harness and speaker removed. Door prepped with alcohol and ready for Fatmat. The wiring harness was tucked inside the door during Fatmat application.


Here is the roll of FatMat. I cut a 29” piece for the front doors.


FatMat taped in position and scissors were used to cut the appropriate corners


FatMat cut to fit. Next, I tore a small 4” strip of backing from the top. Then, I applied it to the door, then I tore the remaining backing off and pressed the material to the door working downward. The roller is a joke. I used my hand and fingers to contour the material into all the crevices and contours on these doors. I also used a razor to cut slits in order to release air and press the FatMat to the panel. This technique worked well. No heat gun required.


I used a gasket hole cutter to cut out small holes for the door fasteners and wire harness fasteners to fit back into the metal panel.


Hole is cut


Pull out material and you have a nice clean hole for the fastener.


Drivers door is done. You can see large holes cut to pass the wires. Later you will see where I perfected this and used patches from the scraps to reseal these holes. That keeps all the dirt and moisture in that panel, just like the plastic sheet is designed to do.


All the holes cut for fasteners and wire harness back in place.


Starting on the rear drivers door.


Done, here you can see the big holes I cut out. I experiments and put the scrap from the hole on the exterior panel. It made a huge difference when you close the door and tap on that exterior panel. So, I ended up adding patches of FatMat to all those exterior panels, including the gas cap compartment. It makes a HUGE difference. Also, later I went back with a patch and sealed up these holes.


Here you can see FatMat on the exterior panel. You cannot use one big sheet, so I used small pieces, mostly from scraps and strategically placed them.


Zip tie used to secure crossover to a brace. Keeps it still and away from the window.


This is the passenger front door. I went back and patched the large holes so that the whole panel was sealed from dirt and moisture escaping. It looks great too. Now the wire harness is sealed and pressed against the sticky side of the FatMat, so it does not come loose and hit the window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Close-up of the strips of scrap used to seal the hole cut into this piece to pass the wires.


Added foam pieces to the rings used on the back doors, because the door contours left gaps. This worked great and keeps the sound in the baffle area.


Completed rear passenger door with sires in placed and sealed.


Tire well with Styrofoam surrounds in place.


Empty and prepped for Fatmat


Several pieces added. This made a huge difference when tapping these panels.


Here is another view. I added a piece against back of car too.


License plate rattles. So I added Fatmat to the car side and the plate side.




Here you can only see the material added to the lift gate panel. However, I also added about 8 small pieces to the exterior panel. This was a PITA. I had to squeeze my hand in through the limited hole space and stick the material to the exterior panel. Lots of cuts when doing this.


Rear drivers cargo area was stripped. Again, I added some valuable pieces to the exterior metal panels too. This softens the vibrations and twanging sounds when tapping on that panel.


Small pieces added.


Close-up of the small pieces added to the exterior panels.


FatMat added to hood. This is all that was needed to quiet the whole hood when tapping anywhere on it from the outside.


Intake with Outerwears waterproof material added. I love the beefy performance sound that this adds.


I added FatMat to the exterior panels in the wheel wells area. You cant see them. Another challenging application, where small pieces were used and I got cuts from squeezing my hand in through the narrow panels. Totally worth it! You can see the piece of Fatmat added to the fender brace. It was very loud when tapping on it.


Well, that is it for now. The next couple projects will be adding an amplifier and a couple for Carbon Fiber trim pieces. Then, I will add the font and maybe rear underspoilers.

The sound system is much improved with the FatMat application. Night and day difference. Totally worth it.
Cheers
 

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nice write up

one question...

how did you remove rear cargo panels?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
Love, it is pretty easy.
1. Remove all the components in the spare tire area.
2. Remove trim on bottom lift gate area, just snapped in with fasteners.
3. Remove upper facia. 4 screws then fastners pop out.
4. Remove ABS cap on rear seat pillar area. There is a 10mm bolt here. The whole upper facia should come off now. I just move it out of the way, I do not release the seatbelt from panels, but you can.
5. Remove lover facia. I think there are 1-2 screws and 2 10mm bolts. These are located under the bottom hooks. Use a screwdrive and pry open the cover to reveal the bolt. Once the screws/bolts are out, just pop off the panel, fasteners are holding it in place.

Cheers
 

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Use my iphone for music

Hi Cerreta -

I want to play music from my iPhone through the audio system in our 2010 Forester. Charging isn't necessary, but if possible would be nice.

We have the XT Limited with Navigation.

It seems you have already worked this out.

Questions:

- Can you tell me the part numbers/names of the components I will need to complete the installation?

- Can you give me an overview of the installation process?

- Will the use of my iPhone for music connected to the cars audio system affect phone use through Bluetooth?


We just picked our car this past Monday. I was under the impression that it had an MP3 input. I realize now that I saw the MP3 input in the Forester 2.5X that we test drove.

Our XT Limited w/Nav has A/V inputs instead of the MP3 input. How would the A/V inputs be used? Playstation? External DVD? VCR? :)

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Hi Cerreta -

I want to play music from my iPhone through the audio system in our 2010 Forester. Charging isn't necessary, but if possible would be nice.

We have the XT Limited with Navigation.
I'm jealous. Our local dealer has a new ownership open hous on Friday. I'm going to test drive the turbo
It seems you have already worked this out.

Questions:
I answered most of these in PM, but it is good for others to see, so I post here too

- Can you tell me the part numbers/names of the components I will need to complete the installation?
IPOD kit H621SSC200. You may also need the adapter cable if your version of IPOD does not charge. Older ones are fine, newest version needs the 5volt conversion cable H621SXA300

- Can you give me an overview of the installation process?
Best to just review the manual. Here is a great Q&A about the interface, plus you can download the manual pdf and see if you are up for the chore.
Subaru Engineering


- Will the use of my iPhone for music connected to the cars audio system affect phone use through Bluetooth?
I do not think so. Whwn you place a call or recieve a call, the music will pause, sound will mute, and the priority is given to teh phone call. When you hang up, playback begins. This is what happens with my iTouch, but I believe the iPhone behaves the same way.

We just picked our car this past Monday. I was under the impression that it had an MP3 input. I realize now that I saw the MP3 input in the Forester 2.5X that we test drove.
Yup that is correct. The MP3 plug is lame. Go with the menu control and the ipod kit. Controls on the Navi are way better than the non-Nav HU

Our XT Limited w/Nav has A/V inputs instead of the MP3 input. How would the A/V inputs be used? Playstation? External DVD? VCR? :)
Yes all those and even a camcorder in playback mode. Hey, can you watch DVDs while driving??? I'm curious how the factory Nav behaves. I rigged mine to play DVD while driving and I think I am all :banana: but it may be that way with the OEM Nav I'm not sure.
Thanks!
dfgfdg
 

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Cerreta -

Hope I didn't come across as to anxious for this information. :icon_redface:

I really appreciate your guidance. It's obvious to me that you know what you are doing, so you became the "go-to" guy.

I will test a DVD today and get back to you. Our Forester is so new, and there's so much to learn that I haven't even tried the DVD yet.

And thanks for the link to the installation manual!
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Thanks Halo.

Serenity, no worries, happy to help. You will find tons of great info on this sight and on the Internet to improve your ride.

That was another plus about Subaru. I have not owned a car in quite some time, where there was so many upgrades availabble whether OEM or aftermarket.
Cheers,
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
Sound System Update:

First off I want to give a big THANK YOU and Kudos to David Carter, SVXdc for all the laborious work he has committed to reporting his findings with Subaru stereo wiring diagrams. Every time I am in need of specs regarding the stereo, I end up finding a page that David created or he has placed useful comments and added links to enhance the thread. So again, thanks; you make these projects easier and fun.

I have made a decision and began ordering parts to complete the sound system overhaul. I am a fan of stealth systems and stock Hus, so I will keep the OEM Navi HU for this project. I have already replaced the speakers with MB Quart Coaxials and placed them in the doors. I am happy with the purchase, but can honestly say, that it lacks power, notably with the highs. I occasionally have to check the tweeters to make sure they are working. They sound dull. I think it is just a lack of power. For example (this occurred with stock speakers too) when watching a DVD movie while on the freeway cruising at 75mph (very safe, I assure you. . . not) I crank the volume to 40 and still struggle to hear softer conversations in the movie.

So, I am adding a 2010 (just released) JL XD 600/6 digital class D amplifer, a 10” JL audio Stealthbox, and Streetwires amp kit with MonsterCable innerconnects and speaker wire.
The amp is very small and will be located under the drivers seat. The innerconnect is a 6 channel RCA cable. Love the multichannel cables. They keep the install very tidy, which makes me happy. The sub enclosure is a bit risky, but so am I. Seems like a natural fit to me.
As stated, I am adding a JL audio stealthbox. Yes, I realize JL (no company for that matter) makes an enclosure specifically for the Forester. However, I spent countless hours on the JL website, looking at every stealthbox they make for every application. I found a few that may be reasonable fits. A coupe fit in the spare tire well area, but I felt that was tooooo risky, even for me. I did find a potential match. This stealthbox is equipped with a single 10” JL 10W1v2 4 ohm driver in a small underseat sealed enclosure built for the Scion XB 2004-2006. Here is the model number SB-SC-XBG1/10W1v2. Cost is $475 and product page:
Scion xB Stealthbox by JL Audio

So, by looking at the fit and installation manual, I compared with the Forester and it has a very similar underseat footprint. So, I began measuring the underseat area and emailed Ward at JL to get the physical footprint of this stealthbox.

Here is a sketch of the underseat dimensions and footprint specs on the Scion enclosure


This scan was made before getting the final measurement from Ward. The left-right ??? dimension is 14.25, so that fits. The front-back ??? was 10”. This revealed a problem area, since I measured the Forester at 9”. However, after remeasuring, the 10” is doable, but it requires some pressing on the wire harness and two black vent looking objects under the seat. The other potential issue is the floor on the Scion looks totally flat, whereas the floor on the Forester near the rear right seat mount has a slightly raised section. The other concern is the height. At 7.5” that may require a little bending of the brackets under the seat, and it may make it tricky to freely move that seat forward and back.
Bottom-Line, it’s a risk I am willing to take! The price of this sub is right, and it will retain a stealth appearance in the car while adding mush needed deep, but not overpowering bass. If this works out, I’m guessing that many thread watchers will be rushing out to buy one.  Maybe I can get Jon to bite so he can get some cargo space back.


On to the project. Step one was adding RCA output cables to the Navi HU. Orginally, I spoke with David to build me a new harness with the RCAs built in, but I reconsidered and the task did not appear to be all that difficult. Plus, I have the tools to do it, so why not try.
I want to mention here that I own a 2009 Forester 2.5x non-Navi car with OEM Navi HU. This required a transplant harness that David (SVXdc) built for me. The car harness has a 20pin connector. The Navi HU has a 24pin connector and a 14pin connector as the main ports (but many others are there for iPod connection, Bluetooth, Reve Camera, GPS antenna, etc).

So, now I had to go back and splice two female RCAs cables into the Front and Rear output channels to connect to the amplifier. This required a 20 minutes search for the wiring diagrams. Guess who posted them, yup, David did it. SO, for reference I am posting those links here:

This link describes the Navi HU and provides a basis for reading. Lots of links on this page to direct you where you need to go depending on your needs. Also provides diagram for Navi 24pin-out (aux stuff, CAN, SWC, and sub-outputs are here)
NASIOC - View Single Post - Stock head unit information -- pin-outs, aux inputs, and more

Here is the pin-out for the Forester non-Navi 20pin car harness connector (speaker and power wires are here)
Subaru 20-pin radio harness pin-out

After, getting all this information I was ready to locate the wires and splice. After removing the transplant harness, I realized that David builds these transplant harnesses with wires that are all individually labeled. I was stunned!!! Again, he amazes me. The chore was very quick.

So, enough of the blah, blah, that none of you probably even read. On with the picture tutorial:

Here is the transplant harness that David built for the Forester non-Navi car to OEM Navi HU. You can see on the left are three RCAs. Yellow is the Video input. The Red/White is the balanced Subwoofer Output. This will connect to the amp. David, I will provide a full report on how this works, in terms of what gives the best sound, as you mentioned in email that this may be tricky.


Here is a view of the 20pin and 14pin connectors on the transplant harness. 20pin connects to Forester stock non-navi harness, and the 14pin connector connects to the OEM Navi HU. These connectors carry the power and speaker information.


Here is a close-up of the wires that you may be able to see are all pre-labeled. I actually did not need to spend 20 minutes finding those diagrams. Cool!


Here is an old ADS 8pin Din to RCA outs that I had laying around from the old-school days. I loved those a/d/s amps. They were awesome. Cool, things here is that they are labled Front and Rear, with colors of Red and Black to easily ID when connecting to the amp.


I pulled out the soldering iron and began cutting the wires and joining in the RCA cables. This splice allows me to pass signals to the car speaker wires, so I can listen to the radio for the next few days until I install the amp. Then, I can just disconnect and protect those wires and run the RCAs to the amp. I always use heat shrink on bare wires, then a larger heat shrink covers all the wires. Here is a pic of 3 wires done and last one ready for soldering.


Done. 4 RCAs have been wired in. The amp is a 6 channel x 75 watt amp XD600/6. I will run the innerconnects to the amp for each channel this will preserve balance and fader controls on the HU. Channel 5-6 will be bridged for 200watts to power the single ten inch sub at 4ohms. Should sound very good and clean.



Next up is installation of amplifier in 4 channel mode with the MB Quarts in factory door locations. After that will be install of the JL Stealthbox. That will be in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
This is the longest page 9 ever! I hope it splits to page ten before I post the next picture loaded post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
A flash to the past. . .
1991 Isuzu pickup with stealth Show Audio system. Sadly, I never did compete with this truck. This project took over 5 years to build, as I was very young and money was well, like, a 20 year old has any money. Whatever I managed to save was dumped into the project truck.

Subio reminds me of Blue Diamonds as the tales are somewhat similar. The truck was a base model pickup. To maintain the stealth appearance, I used all OEM Isuzu parts whenever possible. Almost everything in the cab was an add-on including: bucket seats, door panels, power windows with OEM switch, alloy Mag wheels, etc. For the pieces that required custom fabrication, I used OEM fabrics and vinyl to maintain the stock appearance. Subio is taking on a similar beginning. It is a base model 2.5x, that has undergone many changes, using OEM parts whenever possible. Except the carbon fiber thing. That is a trickle over from all my road bikes. I love CF!!!

The idea for this system started as a dream. . . I do have quite an imagination. Years later it became a reality. The design idea was based on a stealth system, where sound quality and never-seen before tricks prevailed. The name of the truck originates from several meanings: Blue, is the color. I used blue neon in the sub enclosure and under the truck to amplify this color. Blue also had a dual meaning as in I blew a wad of cash on this project. Over $18,000. Diamonds signifies the large dollars spent on the project. It also refers to the them of using diamond plating on the toolbox, and also the inside of the sub enclosure. MDF was actually built around the diamond-plated internals and dynamat was in between the two layers. The box had virtually no flex at all!
I did a blow-thru design, not original. However, I purchased an ordinary truck diamond plated tool box and fabricated it to meet my needs. Then the tool box was fitted with two linear actuators, so the lid could open and close at the touch of a remote. In, fact, the Viper alarm started the car, turned on the neon, opened and closed the tool box, and much more.
The other unique install feature was cutting the floorboards out of the truck. 7” woofers were mounted directly under feet and aimed straight at the seated passenger. The kick panels featured 3” soft dome midranges and 1” tweeters. Imaging was out of this world.
All components were hidden, even the low-profile Alpine head unit, which was only a controller. No internal CD player, so it was only 3” deep. The stock Isuzu head unit and 4” dash speakers were retained and either sound system could be used independent of one another. Therefore, if I had a stranger in the car, we could turn on the regular sound system and no one think I ever had a killer system lurking under cloak.

Component List: (I do not remember all the model numbers, so I won’t even pretend to remember)
Head Unit: Alpine with Alpine 6disc changer and hi-tech digital crossover/ sound processor
EQ: 3 Alesis 31 band stereo home EQs modified for 12 volt system
Amps: PPI 2 black Art series amps. Competed in less than 500watt category
Electrical: StreetWires with Critical Mass capacitors
Speakers: Dynaudio 7” woofers, 3” soft dome midrange, 1.5” tweeters
Subwoofers: JL Audio 10W6 3ohm DVC subs connected for 4ohm total load
Sound Processors: Clark Audio noise gate

Pictures:
Custom airbrush front license plate framed in custom cut diamond plating


Standard cab Isuzu pickup with OEM mag wheels and beefy tires. The paint is custom, with a very subtle pearl color added to the OEM blue color.


Here a fiberglass mold is being made in the floor boards. This was very tricky. There was no room to build a suitable enclosure directly under the pedals because of the frame. So, to get proper air space in the enclosure, we had to cut a very large hole and build a large narrow box.


Multiple layers of fiberglass was used. Then, the box was treated with resins and spray-on truck bed liner material to be suitable for standing on, plus touch enough to resist road wear as this box is exposed on the under-side.


Carpet back in place and the grills are off to reveal the Dynaudio speaker set.


Custom grills in place maintain a stealth appearance.


Here you can see that ordinary tool box had a bottom section welded on. This section was sprayed with black truck bed liner to make it appear as if it were the bed wall and not an add-on. You can see the diamond plate hiding behind the material.


Here the tool box lifts automatically with its two linear actuators. Inside are the amps, Alpine processor, EQs, and capacitors on display. The subwoofer sits inside the add-on section underneath all this equipment.


Here is the sub enclosure with neon turned on and the cover is off. You can see how the shiny diamond plating makes a mirror image so you can see the back of the subs. Also notice how the subs fit inside the add-on section of the tool box, which is below the amps and all the processors.


Here the main cover is in place, but the speaker grill has been removed. Again, using all factory cloth. The checker piece located in the bottom left corner of the picture is a cover for the CD changer.


Here is a better shot of the custom built center console wrapped in OPEM vinyl. The upper portion is OEM and the lid lifts up and so does the bigger section to reveal some processors inside.


Here is the grill cover in place. Wrapped in factory cloth. Sound penetrated this material with no problem.



I sure do miss this truck. It was a fun project. Too bad I never did enter competitions. I never felt like it was good enough to win. Despite how great it looks, there were some minor things that bothered me. I was probably the only one that noticed.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #137 ·
Project Update on JL Audio XD600/6 Installation

Wow!!! What a difference that clean power makes for these speakers. I am very pleased with the results. Sound quality is superb. Imaging is good, but not competition quality. The install was another long process, but very doable.

First some notes on the installation. The amp, sub level controller, and RCA cables all arrived on Friday. The StreetWires amp hook-up kit did not. I had a business trip scheduled for Saturday, so I really wanted to have the amp installed for the 250 mile (one-way) road trip. I ran out to the store to buy a cheapo fuse holder and 4 guage wire. I will switch this out for the StreetWires kit at a later time.

Here is the pictorial tutorial on the installation.

First task was to wire the amp kit to the battery and snake the power wire to the drivers seat location where the amp will be installed.

I chose to run power wire in through the grommet marked LH. It is large and convenient.


Grommet is out, the hole is very large.


On the bench, the fuse has been wired to stinger 4 guage scrap wire that the local shop sold me for 5 bucks. I did not think to measure it, but it was probably about 9 feet and I used all but 6 inches of it.


Here the wiring is in place. The fuse holder was temporarily mounted with wire ties to a brace.


Next task was to remove the OEM powered subwoofer and remove all the wiring. This required removal of drivers seat and the center console.


A nice convienent location for the HD-RLC subwoofer level controller was in the center console. I have the nice carbon fiber trim here so it looks really nice in this location.


A 3/8” hole was drilled to accommodate the level controller. There is plenty of room on the underside for the switch.


Controller in place with knob on. It was a perfect fit.


Next task was to connect the RCA cables and the amp turn-on wire and route them from the HU to the amp location. I love these 6 channel RCAs. They are 3 meters (9.5ft) so they are about 2 feet too long. I coiled the extra cable in the console area. You can even see that the RCA connections are all labeled as LF, RF, (channel 1,2) LR, RR,(channel 3,4) and SL, SR (channel 5,6). And this corresponds to the amplifier inputs and speaker outputs as channel 1 through 6.


Shrink wrap protects the RCA connections from touching any metal parts which will add interference. Great trick I learned that makes a huge difference.


Heat shrink in place.


Next task is to install the amplifier under the drivers seat.

JL Audio XD 600/6 6channel amplifier. Right now I am hooking it up in 4 channel mode running the MB Quart component speakers (coaxial mounted tweeters) mounted in the stock door locations. I think the amp is running in 2 ohms for these 4 channels, but I did not check it. I will check at a later date. I did connect the speakers at the passive crossovers in parallel. I should note that this tiny little amp is very heavy. Feels like it weighs about 8 pounds or so.


Amp panel is off to reveal the speaker connection screws and crossover settings.


Here the amp is bolted down to the car. The screws do penetrate the underside. I used a dremel to cutoff the exposed screw and sealed the screw with silicone.
.


Here you can see the crossover settings. I have the door speakers set in HP (high pass) >120hz. The subwoofer is set as LP (low pass) at 60hz. I prefer clean deep bass in moderate to low volumes. I much prefer quality punch over loud distorted volume in subs. You can also see the input selector is vertical, this is about half power. I did not have time to adjust the inputs as required by using a sine wave CD and voltmeter. Simply no time. So, when testing with half power, the speakers were hissing even when the radio was off. I freaked a bit. Then, I remembers the inputs and turned them down. I currently have the screws set horitzontal (slit is in 3 to 9 o’clock position. I get a tiny hiss when placing my ear on the speakers. I was afraid that the volume would be too low, but nope.


Here the power wires and RCAs are connected to the amp.


Next task is to route the speaker wires to the amplifer. I did not take many photos of this chore. It was the most time consuming. Here are some tips. First, go buy a cable snake. It is totally worth the $15 and will save you hours! I start inside the door with the speaker wire. Then I use the snake to pull the wiring through the grommets to the interior of the car. Once inside, I use cable ties to secure the speaker wire and rout it to the amp. I also use very long cable lengths and cut it down later. Another tip, before snaking under the carpet I connect everything to the amp and test the system first. Luckily everything worked perfectly at test. Be sure to test all fader and balance controls. The mail reason I chose a 6 channel amp was to retain the stock OEM controls on the Navi. All balance and fader controls work, plus the sub controls on the Navi will work too when I add the amplifer. However, I plan to leave it at zero and use the JL HD-RLC controller to adjust the bass level. I can do this much faster.

Once the amp passes the testing, all speaker wires are snaked under the carpet. I cut a slit in the carpet and removed a small 5” by ¼” groove to allow speaker wires to pass. Again the snake is invaluable here. I was able to pass all the wires under the carpet without removing the passenger seat or the carpeting. It was a breeze. Speaker wires were labeled as channel 1-6 and the ends were soldered to prevent fraying. I do this at the crossovers too. Makes connections solid.


Here you can see where the power wire and speaker wires pass through the drivers side door area. I used zip ties to keep things tidy. I also tried my best to keep the power cable away from the speaker wire.


Here you can see the slit in the carpet for the wires to pass. Later, I will build a cover to go over the amp to hide it from view and to keep people from kicking it when sitting in the back seat. Depending on how hot the amp gets, I may install a fan down here in that cover.


All wired for sound



Sound quality is amazing. Before, I would have to play DVDs at full volume of 40 and I still had difficulty understanding dialogs when on freeway at 70+ mph. Now, I have the volume around 20-25 and it is plenty loud. The loudest I have had the volume up to while listening to iPod is about 33. It sounds loud and clean. No detectable distortion at all.

I am very pleased with these components. I have another road trip tomorrow, so I am looking forward to the trip. I have Avatar for this ride! Sweet!

Next up on the list is to rewire using the StreetWires amp kit and to purchase and install the Scion XB underseat JL Audio stealthbox.
 

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Registered
2010 Forester
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619 Posts
I suggest a no cost mod............loose those two dealer advertisements on the rear end. Pet peeve of mine!!

Perhaps you already have....
 

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Registered
2009 Premium X AT
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863 Posts
I suggest a no cost mod............loose those two dealer advertisements on the rear end. Pet peeve of mine!!

Perhaps you already have....
Agreed. Removing those will enhance the performance sound of Subio :biggrin:

Anyways, The amp mods look really good! Love the integrated switch on the center console! Nice work Scott
 

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Registered
2009 Forester
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #140 ·
I suggest a no cost mod............loose those two dealer advertisements on the rear end. Pet peeve of mine!!
What are you guys talking about??? If it is the Ernhardt stickers, yes those were gone in the first week.
 
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