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Reload Thread: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

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    1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    I've been working on this project on and off for a few weeks now, and I finally have enough pictures to justify starting a thread. I'll start off with my preliminary goals for this system:

    1) I wanted my sound stage to be directly in the center of my dashboard.
    2) I wanted utmost clarity and low distortion from my components.
    3) I wanted them to get nice and loud... Cleanly.
    4) I wanted a good-sounding substage that will get loud and reach down to the mid-twenties to satisfy my occasional need for ridiculously overemphasized low-end.
    5) I wanted to retain seating for 4 people. Three up front (bench seat) and one in the back.
    6) I wanted to do as little modification to my car as possible.

    So on to the pics. First thing I did was install my new head unit. I picked up an Eclipse 8445 in a trade that I used for a while, but that has been replaced with an 8455 that I literally got for FREE



    Then I deadened my rear deck using three layers of fatmat that I had left over from two years ago.



    Then I began to deaden my doors. I ordered a fresh batch of RAAMmat BXT for these. I deadened the rear doors as well, but forgot to take pics. But who cares about those. There’s nothing going in there.








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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Then I ran most of my wiring.







    Then, the first amp rack was created. For the front stage amps, I’ll be running:
    - JBL GTO75.4II (90 wRMS x4 @ 4 ohms)
    - JBL PX 600.2 (180 wRMS x2 @ 4 ohms)
    - Originally a Coustic XM-7, then that unit turned out to be a dud, so I replaced it with a Memphis 16-CX35. Then I got my Eclipse 8455, so I got rid of the external crossovers altogether and used a combination of the amp crossovers and the HU crossovers to split the signal three ways.






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    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Then, on to installing the mid-basses. Midbass will be handled by a pair of Peerless SLS6.5’s.

    First, I tried using wooden baffles… but unfortunately the speakers hit the grilles.



    That obviously sounded like junk, so I cut the doors a bit so I could mount the SLS’s directly to the doors. They no longer hit the grilles and sound great. I was really taken by surprise when these things CLEANLY reproduced a 30hz tone!






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    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Then… on to the fiberglass! Like I said before, one of my main goals was excellent imaging and a dashboard sound stage. What easier way to fulfill this goal than to mount my mids and tweeters on-axis on my dashboard? So I had to learn to fiberglass. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, so I made sure to cover my cabin. Thank god I did this.



    Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pics of this process. But the bases came out successfully and while they dried, I created the baffles for the speakers. The speakers I am using are a pair of Dayton RS-1004’s and a pair of Seas Prestige 22TAF/G large-format tweeters.



    Then hot glue…



    I was pretty pleased that I had gotten this far on my first try…



    Wrapped.



    And resin over it.



    Unfortunately, they dried and I did a test fit only to find out that the mids didn’t quite fit! So I cut away as much of the original baffles as possible and made new ones to mount directly over them. Resin over that, and they fit nicely. My mids and tweets now have a 1.5” MDF baffle!

    I don’t have time to make these look really really nice, so I did some minimal sanding and just wrapped them in carpet, gave them a black vinyl face, and stuffed them with a ton of polyfill. Looks decent for now, but my next project will be finished properly with dash-matching vinyl.



    Thank goodness that part is over... I've never been so uncomfortable in my life!



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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Initial impressions

    Anyway, I had a chance to do some careful listening tonight and I am really, really happy with how these sound without any detailed tuning. All I did was time-align them, select what I thought to be good crossover points, and level-match by ear. Most setups that I hear sound like complete junk without a sub, but this three-way front stage can handle itself quite well without one. I will cross the midbasses over at 80hz with a 24 per octave slope, but if there is no sub, I won't necessarily miss it! I turned the crossover off and rock and electronic music sounds exceptional without any kind of bass reinforcement. I derive just as much pleasure listening to these as I do listening to my Athena AS-F2 tower speakers in my living room, which I didn't think I would. The Athena's definitely have an edge on the low-end, though, since they can play loudly down to about 45hz and use a pair of 8" woofers. The SLS's cut off sharply at 60 or so.

    Listening to Pink Floyd’s “Time” was really fun. During the part where the clocks go off, not only could I differentiate between bells to the left and to the right, but I could also differentiate between up and down and deep and near. The vocals were smooth and extremely clean, and the instruments sounded full of depth and warmth. Songs from artists such as “The Hives” were also filled with loud guitar goodness.

    I’m not sure if any of you listen to Junkie XL, but I then put on “Cities in Dust” featuring Lauren Rocket. Junkie XL creates bigbeat and breakbeat electronic music. It’s really fun to drive to and is designed to be played LOUDLY. The beat is fast and aggressive. So I cranked it up to full volume – my ears were ringing by the end of the song and not once did I hear a trace of distortion – granted, I turned it down once I did hear it – these components get loud, but they do have their limits. Lauren Rocket’s unique voice pierce the soundstage, and the synthesized guitars scream alongside them. What I really liked was that the vocals were clearly in the center of my dashboard, but the guitars sounded ambient, as if though they were around her – something you experience at a concert. The SLS’s really shined here. They just pounded through the entire song and really kicked at my chest and shook the hell out of my rearview mirror. My friend thought that I had put a small sub in the back, which certainly made me happy! A remixed dance club version of Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" was equally amazing without any kind of subwoofer. The SLS's shook my mirrors more than most people's substages do!

    Two songs that really put a smile on my face were Armin Van Buuren’s “Golddigger” and “Wall of Sound” off his album, “Shivers.” Both are slow trance and really take you out of this world. The voices are airy and ghost-like, and the background music makes strong use of the stereo effect to surround you with effects and give you a sense of motion. These have a lot of sharp high-frequency effects, and they really gave the Seas' a workout. Although they can sound a bit harsh on some music, their detail was really brought out in these songs.

    Yet another electronic piece that was stunning was Infected Mushroom’s “Small Moves.” Another excellent use of the stereo effect, this song uses effects that make it sound as if though you are literally flying through a time warp or something. I was really impressed when I felt like I was rushed through a tunnel at a high rate of speed – you could hear it approaching, then you felt the rush through it, and then heard it behind you as you exited. It also has effects that sound like you've just passed a car head on with the horn blaring. I almost had to look behind me to make sure there wasn't a drunk driver in my driveway!

    Lastly, I put on some Young Jeezy. Rap certainly leaves something to be desired, since subbass isn’t exactly strong. But then again they weren’t designed for that. However, the speakers cleanly reproduced all four notes during “Put on” – they were clearly felt and heard, especially the last one around 30hz or so. I found it a bit strange that the deepest note was also the second loudest.

    Then, I threw in a Type R in a 1.6 cubic foot box tuned to 35hz and listened to it again. With the added depth and rumble, the music came even more to life. I can't wait until I RTA these and play with phase shifts.



    Cliffs: Without any real tuning or a subwoofer, these sound stupid nice.
    Last edited by SSS 18734; 08-13-2009 at 02:39 AM.



    Bought From:
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    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    So the front stage is more or less complete, minus the fine-tuning. I probably won't be able to get the subwoofer, whatever it may be, chosen and installed before school starts, so my goals for the next week are to finish mounting the amplifiers, install the new batteries, and get a temporary sub in.

    My original plan was to mount the JBL's under the seat, with the sub box over it. The subwoofer amplifiers would just be mounted on the box itself. But the more I tried to figure it out how to mount the C&D and the two amps on top of the seat, the more I realized it wasn't feasible. So I re-did the amp rack to fit all four amps underneath the seat. The C&D will also be mounted underneath the seat that can actually still be used!

    However, in order to do this, I will need to raise the seat about two inches. A kit costs about $140. Forget that! So now I am trying my hand at lifting my seat on my own... it's a pain in the ***!
    If anyone has any good, cheap solutions on how to do this, please let me know! As of right now I'm planning on using MDF brackets reinforced with washers, along with thick bolts mounted in the seating supports.

    My new C&D, courtesy of basscourt2009. Super-fast shipping.



    The new amp rack - Painted for now. You won't really be able to see it anyway, so all I may really do is do some finishing touches on the edges that are visible. I had to take off the mounting feet on the JBL's and make my own to get them to fit. And don't worry, this install will actually look clean at some point!



    Where's the second bass amp? Oh, there it is! The amps are a pair of American Bass XD2000's, by the way.
    Last edited by SSS 18734; 08-12-2009 at 04:00 AM.



    Bought From:
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    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Next, I picked up an Optima D31T locally for only $70. It didn't fit in the tray, so I had to do a few modifications. Essentially all I did was angle it using a block of wood, then wrap hose clamps around the battery tray, and then around the battery. I also changed out the terminals for a better fit.


    Taking pictures at night really accentuates the dirt... LOL




    I wrapped some vinyl around the hose clamps and a tube that was somewhat near the positive terminal to be safe. I will probably heat-shrink and wire loom these soon.



    Stock battery vs Optima vs C&D
    (The C&D won't go in for a while, but I had it tested and it is resting at 12.9 volts and is fully charged)

    Last edited by SSS 18734; 08-18-2009 at 12:42 AM.



    Bought From:
    Absolutnockout, zachzchw, Untouchable11, j3bus2k3 (x2), 92c1v1c, jeeper07, acubsfan, bkjt05, Goldenknob, Goindef154, Basscourt2009, TeamSouthrnBass, oldschoolboomer, 99grandprixGT
    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    rd audio




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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Quote Originally Posted by obrien202 View Post
    rd audio


    Great first post in my thread.



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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    looks good nice fiberglassing




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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    good job so far



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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    looks nice man



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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    going good man cool install..... u have any plans on mounting a little fan on the 2000 that is covered? also what does your sub stage consist of?




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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    Quote Originally Posted by d_man1 View Post
    going good man cool install..... u have any plans on mounting a little fan on the 2000 that is covered? also what does your sub stage consist of?
    As of now, I don't have any plans to put a fan in them. There is a good inch of clearance over it. The amps are very efficient, so they shouldn't get too hot. I have a Type R hooked up to the top one at 2 ohms right now and it barely gets lukewarm, even after a good hour of use in the hot KC summer. I doubt I will ever drive these into protect through overheating... most of the time I am not a basshead.

    As for the substage, that is still up in the air. It won't be done for a few months. I'd like to start with a single 18 and then add a second one via a partial wall as time goes on. Possibly a pair of Nightshades. Although I don't really have enough power for a pair. Maybe some AQ HDC3 18's... pair of BL 18's? Maybe four 12" T3 TSS's? Who knows.



    Bought From:
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    Sold to:
    Gearguy2001 (American Bass SQ780)
    Tw1st3d13 (2 Fi BL 15's)

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    Re: 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Build Log... My attempt at something decent!

    good job on the FG...especially for your first time!



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