As this is a budget-minded "stealth" install, it probably won't be as exciting to look at as some of the more over-the-top mobile entertainment/concert-house-on-wheels featured in some of the other build logs. That aside, I think there are a lot of us out there that have tight budgets and even tighter spaces to work with. My goal with this vehicle was to create an enjoyable high quality (think SQ) sound system that;
1. Did not compromise any stock functionality
2. Did not sacrifice any seating and
3. Did not draw any extra (unwanted) attention
4. Most importantly, fit the budget
The vehicle: 2009 Ford Ranger XLT Super Cab 2-door. This is my daily driver purchased in late 2011, and after promising myself for 3 previous vehicles, I was finally going to install a decent sound system. Space was extremely tight. Anyone that’s ever owned or even sat in one of these things can easily understand this. It took a lot of careful measuring, comparing, and research but eventually I had a plan....
The Plan: I decided to go with an aftermarket deck to add some extra functionality. From there I chose a 5-channel amp to power the two pairs of 5x7 speakers and the sub, all in a compact size. I used the stock speaker size and locations to preserve with the stealth/unmodified theme. The subs had to be small enough to hide under the rear side-facing jump seats; I chose a pair of 8" subs to get the job done.
---------- Post added at 08:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:18 PM ----------
The Source Unit: I got a fantastic Black Friday deal on this deck, Clarion CZ-501 and its pretty much loaded with all the features that I wanted: 4v pre-outs all around, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, iPod/USB input, front Aux, XM, HD radio etc. It also looks good, in my opinion, a classic overall feel to it. Also, see the absolutely tiny USB thumb drive on the far right side? That’s a neat 16GB unit loaded with music!
Bass knob: Below the deck and A/C controls I mounted the Alpine RUX-KNOB to quickly control the sub level. I love bass knobs!
4 gauge power cable. I spent a few extra minutes and made sure all the wiring looked as stock as possible.
I mounted the Alpine MRX-V60 amp behind the driver's side rear jump seat. It fits so well the seat can still fold up 100%. I normally leave the seat down to ensure the amp stays plenty cool. Which it usually does, it’s a very efficient amp.
You'll notice I had to trim the plastic up a little above the amp to fit it properly. This area is almost never seen, which is how I like it.
For the front stage I selected the JL Audio C2-570x, these fit perfectly into the stock location. I used some sound deadening close to the speakers and covered most of the large holes. (Also not pictured is the fact that I used the sound deadening material and constructed a weather shield above the speaker so any water drops will run down and around the speakers rather than dripping onto the speakers themselves) Then I re-attached the plastic moisture barrier for good measure.
The C2-570x noticeable behind the grill. These speakers have a pretty good offset on the silk dome tweeters, really helps the overall imaging without modifying the door panels.