View Full Version : jooonnn's First Build! - 2005 Corolla CE - 3-way Active - Tips & Advice Appreciated!

04-06-2010, 11:39 AM
Alright guys after a long time of saving and realizing how much of a fire hazard the previous things done by the all star installers in my local home town were, I decided to do my first build! A 3-way at that! Ok so most of this work is inspired by Ryan Slade so check him out.

Toyota Corolla 2005 CE
Pioneer DEH-P01
Audison LRx 5.1k
Audison LRx 2.4
Audison Thesis 3-way
Streetwires 1/0 Gauge kit, 14 gauge wire
Audison RCA Cables
Various Techflex sizes
US Composites Fiberglass

Somewhat of a Two Seat sound stage if possible (I know it's hard)
Retain Dashboard visibility!
Keep Spare Tire
Keep Space in Trunk and hide wires
Use the Thesis Grills
Keep midbass's in doors, Tweets in Pillars
Not tear apart my car TOO bad ;)

The Drivers:

Finally Upgraded the 4 gauge to a 1/0 Gauge, surprisingly easy to route underneath the carpet without any trouble. Beware of that beastly fast stock engine and 6 year old stock battery!

Ok during spring break a few weeks ago before the Central NC meet, I decided t attempt to fiberglass for the first time, and.......as you can tell it looks just like a first attempt hahah. Here are the pics:

Used a router for the first time with that sweet Jasper Cutting jig, used a ping pong table as a work bench too. The first initial idea looked good but when placed in the car, it just faced almost the corner of the windshield and sound reflected everywhere.

Decided to go with almost a "parallel plane" approach to conserve visibility when driving. (I have more process pics wasn't sure everyone wanted to see that mess ;) )

Changed out the stock plastic cheapy rings for a birch one.

04-06-2010, 11:39 AM
Cut the door out to prep it for possibly allowed the grill to show through and maybe get finished with some sort of cloth or vinyl

The views of the molds in action:

What I learned from my first time fiberglassing:
- Knytex is awfully dificult and almost overkill to use for pillars.
- Corolla interiors are way small! oh wait I already knew that
- Small narrow interiors + Hard plastic Dashboards = Absurd reflections that even a dashmat (or towel) won't help
- Fiberglass stinks
- 3-ways are insanely hard to tune

The parallel plane thing kind of didn't really sound like i intended it to, reflections drove me nuts, but i guess "tone?" was there? Anyways, I decided to scrap it once i stole as much knowledge from Tim, Ryan, Ken,and all the great guys at the NC meet :)

Built new rings!

Working in an apartment complex pretty much ***** and shows the world what i'm doing :'(

I realized, the farther the driver is, the easier it is to get a more center image. Also, the more off axis the midrange is on the dash, the easier a center image is made, at the cost of width. Playing around with all kinds of positioning for about an hour so i just decided to scrap keeping the midrange up high. It just hurt my ears too much with all those nasty reflections even with a towel on the dash, so I came up with this layout. The tweeter distance is about 3 or 4 inches too short to be the same as the midrange but I don't see where else I would want/could put it in my tiny car.

04-06-2010, 11:40 AM
I decided to put the the center of the tweeters about 3 inches above the highest part of the dash, aimed at the opposite seat's middle of the window. It seemed like a great compromise between the on axis detail, stage width, and off axis centered feel. I aimed the midranges at the dome light, and beefed the 1/2 birch ring for the midbasses to a 1.5 inch triple superman ring haha.

I hot glued the 1/2 inch birch tweeter rings to the ripped apart a-pillars and wrapped them in the $3 Size XL Boy's Starter Jersey shirt from Wal-Mart. WORLDS nicer than the Hane's t-shirt I used for my first fiberglassing venture.


After more and more hot glu'ing and burning the crap out of my fingers pressing the cloth against the glue, i wrapped both the pillars and the kicks


Testing the midrange locations I decided to go with this. I understand it's critical to get a center image with the midranges but the midbass being in the door and the tweeter being slightly closer are all things I needed to work around. I tried to point them straight at the center dome light. From listening it seems the midranges also dictate a lot of the "stage width?" I also noticed with midranges in the kicks, the "deaf feeling" when you get when you listen to some pillar setups with midranges and tweets in them when you move your head to far to the side it feels like the sound is missing.

Initial pillar/panel wrapping. Man that jersey shirt and hot glue works wonders.

First coats with the US Composites B440, As suggested by the guys at the meet, I drilled some tiny holes around places for resin to seep through to hopefully bond through the plastic. I also used some instant glue and hot glue in places that would seem to assist a good hold between mold and the plastic.
Yes I know the kick panel first layer looks atrocious :(

04-06-2010, 11:40 AM
I wish I could use this knowledge to somehow figure out how to install the DEI 451M door lock actuator relay so i can put some actuators in my manual lock corolla :mad:

Filled in some chopped strand mat with resin behind each pillar/panel as suggested by Ryan and Tim. SOOO much better than working on the outside with Knytex my first go around doh!

Busted out the hot glue again to cover the pillars and panels with grill cloth. I actually got my girlfriend to help me even though she hates it when I look at anything audio related hee hee. I'm using grill cloth for the kicks temporarily til I can find an easier/better matching color to flush with the stock colors. Greys and silver are SO **** hard to match. Especially if ordering sight unseen. Hopefully then I can get some Rage gold practice in. Figured I'd give this grill cloth a good go before I decide to rework it with some body filler and maybe vinyl or paint.

04-06-2010, 11:41 AM
Snapped some pics before my 8am class. As you can see my priorities were slightly skewed this morning, but i still got there in time ;)

As stated earlier hopefully the grill cloth on the kicks will be temporary as I don't think that material is very useful in that location in the first place. It will probably get dirty fast and uncleanable. As for the pillars, the grill cloth grey is not exactly the same as the stock, but half the colors in my dash already don't match due to sun fading in the first place. Some of the grill cloth didn't stay as taught as I wanted it to after I kept trying to shove the panels back into their tiny places haha, so I'll have to tug and glue a little more once I whip the 100ft extension cord out again over my porch (I live on the 2nd floor). I intend to smooth out some of the pillar with Rage gold or something in the future once I get some practice with it first. If I truly mess it up that bad I can always just get Ryan to do it :), but I'd rather dedicate that funding to somehow working a trunk setup from him.

I definitely need a lot more experience with kick panel molding so I will greatly appreciate any help Tim whenever I start working on them again.

Thanks for the kind words guys! I'm just a regular car audio fan newby who is trying to learn by trial. I used grill cloth because I'm too scared to try Vinyl or let aloe paint for the time being! Gasps! It might show TOO many flaws haha.

I can only pray that someone isn't creeping on my gear. I'm leaving the university to go back home in a few weeks for the summer, and I will be living in a much nicer townhome next school year so hopefully those creepers don't follow me. Much of the theft occurs in the residential university lots where I'm from since those cars sit in pretty dark places for weeks without being touched. I have the benefit of doing most of my woodworking, fiberglassing, etc on my 2nd floor porch thing since the panels come right off. Everything else though is a free show in the parking lot.

More to come!

04-06-2010, 01:58 PM
looks nice for a first job have seen worse

Chris Z
04-06-2010, 10:58 PM
Working in an apartment complex pretty much ***** and shows the world what i'm doing :'(
http://fa1nt.net/silverbullet/2010build_2.jpgCouldn't agree with you more, I'm always paranoid when I am doing anything car audio-related in my parking lot.

04-07-2010, 01:31 AM
Very nice. This has serious potential. Beautiful equipment!