2005 Ford Focus ZX4. Started the front doors 8" midbass and two 5" midrange 11/26

thescottishbear

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Its always a learning project no matter the time delayed in or out of Car Audio. You always are learning different techniques to get things done. LOL. Ive had to rip stuff back out just because I didnt like the looks of it.. even though it may have been covered back up..LOL OCD I guess
Yeah, but you know it's there and thats enough. I always think, well if you pull it out and fix you can do this which will make that better... I have missed fabricating. The smell of the resin popped a memory cap for me of my brother and myself blazing and drinking smirnoff in the garage building stuff. Good times
 
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audiobaun

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I remember before we went to Brazil we had a few fbi agents give us a safety briefing. One of them was pretty hot too. People are like you went to Brazil? I say yeah I got an escort to an airplane hangar where I worked for 14 hrs a day. How glamorous right. hahaha
Those are best thoughts to keep to ones self. I can say that bunkers are hell on the ears gong down, LOL
 

audiobaun

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Yeah, but you know it's there and thats enough. I always think, well if you pull it out and fix you can do this which will make that better... I have missed fabricating. The smell of the resin popped a memory cap for me of my brother and myself blazing and drinking smirnoff in the garage building stuff. Good times
My uncle was very good at glassing. Guy was very talented. Miss those days, even learning about building and working on Race cars. Good times.I may give glassing another go later on.
 

thescottishbear

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My uncle was very good at glassing. Guy was very talented. Miss those days, even learning about building and working on Race cars. Good times.I may give glassing another go later on.
I have some overly ambitious home projects that I would like to try. Audio variety. I love to over-reach. But with the traveling for work it's best just to focus on the car for now.
 
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audiobaun

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Looks good man.. Never rush.. always take the time.. even if you have to step back a day or two and get back at it. At least you will be happy you made those decisions carefully and took the time to do so.
 
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thescottishbear

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I have a few more pics to share detailing the build on the rear door panels. One thing I had forgotten is how many layers it takes to build a surface up. It's all good though since you can see small changes over time. Some of the photos I needed to reverse 180 degrees so they looked as they are facing me. It's hard as hell to take photos when it is so bright out. So I apologize if the orientation looks bizzare.That being said; let's get after it.

This first shot was taken right after I pulled the pods off the door cards and after the drivers side had been sanded. The second shot is the reverse. You can see that at this point the rear had not been reinforced yet. Incidentally; I had to use my glue gun again as some of the smaller pieces didn't have enough glue and were a bit loose.
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Here is a couple shots of the second layer build up. A quick note that after sanding I vacuumed the dust then hit them with a little isopropyl to prep them for the next coat.
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These are of the second coat having been sanded both front and back. You can see from my sharpie marks that there are a couple things that I need to address. The symmetry of both pieces is getting pretty close. We're not at the, "pat's self on back stage" but close.
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The last few photos are of me laying them back onto the door cards to see where we are out. I believe the door cards were under some tension which could explain the little gaps. The other is most likely from the building up of the back of the pods. I have a good bit more sanding to do before we move forward but we are getting close. I know when I screw them back into the panel some of that gap will disappear so there's that.
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I'll make another post directly after this one for more fitment photos minus my long ass commentary..hahaha
 

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thescottishbear

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So I've done a little more work on the car but I am runnin' out of the dough(for the moment) so we are going to be focusing on a series of smaller projects. I have done a lot of sanding on the rear door panels to get them to seat properly and the photos below outline my progress.
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Yeah, you can see that I have started glassing the IB.. . baffle as well. More on that later..
I had to get a new intereference pad for my orbital sander. Once I installed it I used a 40 grit sanding pad to knock the back out (giggity) of the panels. The following photos are of the fiberglass panel attached to the door card with the spax screws. The drivers and passengers side respectively.
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There's still some work to be done. More fillin' and sandin'. The fabric will fill some of this space as it is thick but I would like to get them as close as I can. There is also the matter of the area where the factory grill is still showing so I am going to build the panels out a bit more so they match the contours of the door. But wait; we forgot about the baffle didn't we so don't leave yet...
 

thescottishbear

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This is going to be interesting. I really didn't want to use a ton of kitty hair on this so I filled as much as I could with my logjam(glue N sticks)method. "patent pending" This is a large panel and it is taking a lot of material to build it up.
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Good thing painters tape is relatively cheap. So, after a few hours I was able to extend the surface out so I could use less of the reinforced filler. Here is a picture of the first coat. The next photo is of the fresh filler. Just opened. There was a good bit of stirring to get this back to before seperation.
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You can see I haven't redrilled the holes yet but I will tomorrow. Then the subs will be symmetrical and I can relax. It's been bugging me for a hot minute. Givin' me that Forest Whittaker eye. Anywho... This is the first coat. I waited about an hour in between coats. I didnt want to have any curing issues. It was cool since I had other things I could do.
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And here is the second coat. It will look completely different in the next photos I show. All of this progress is keeping me amped up which I need since their is so much that needs to be done.
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More this weekend. I hope to get the kickpanel speakers done and a good bit on the "A" pillars They are shaping up nicely so stay tuned..
 

thescottishbear

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The "A" pillars. . .
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The bane of my life for the last few months. No joke. I have been racking my brain on how I have wanted to build these. The speakers I am using are not small, heavy for size, and will be on axis just below the eye line on the corners of the dash.
I am going to put up some photos that you may have seen if you are following the build but it's to give more coherence of the gear I am using and to dig a little deeper. Drivers first. I chose these drivers for a open baffle home setup that I had planned on building but have desperately wanted to try using these in the car. I'm sure some of you have seen AMT's, ribbons and planars in builds before. Usually in a higher level install. (SQ)
1. Dayton AMTPRO-4
Dayton Audio AMTPRO-4 Air Motion Transformer Tweeter 4 Ohm (parts-express.com)
I'm using this as a wideband midrange. Bandpassed 1.5k -10khz
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2. Dayton Audio PT2C-8
Dayton Audio PT2C-8 Planar Tweeter (parts-express.com)
10khz high pass
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I'll be playing with the crossover slopes but for now let's say 24 db/octave for both. If you haven't heard speakers like this they are accurate, have fast transients, and reproduce instruments incredibly well.
So my first prototypes were based on a stack fab design where i used baltic birch, purple heartwood, and colored popsicle sticks. The way they came out left me unhappy to be honest.
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There is also the matter of the weight that had me concerned as well. These drivers together weigh over 5lbs. That weight plus the housings needs to be suspended from the "A" pillar and had to withstand daily use. So using the hinged brackets which you see above I came up with another idea which includes multiple attach points directly to the pillar itself.
So my new design has foregone the asthetics (somewhat) over a stronger design that should reduce fabrication weight. This time I have built the frames out of hardwood dowels assembled with glue.
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(Picture taken at my eyeline with my head on the headrest.)
It's only the first step; however. Tomorrow I will be reinforcing them further with short strand fiberglass filler both inside and outside similar to what I have used in both the door panels and the IB frame. This should make them incredibly rigid and still be light while only being 3/8"ish thick. At the hardware attachment points I will be adding gussets of the purple heartwood to reinforce the mounting surface.
When I connect the two pieces, the tweeter(Planar) will set a little higher than the AMT's. This will be accomplished by a pair of 90 degree steel brackets bent to the desired listening position. I still have to drill into the pillars and place the rivnuts inside. Then I can fab the mounting tabs that will attach directly to the pillar trim panels. The whole thing will then be sanded smooth and covered with the suede I am using for everything else.
There is a shitload of fab yet to do and I have a shipment of supplies coming on Tues that will get us moving.
When it's done I will permanently mount the caps in-between the two drivers to showcase them. I purchased the caps since the drivers need protection from turn on pops and the AMT's are a dead short to the amp. For as big and heavy as they are they are also delicate. It also acts as a buffer in case the amps dsp fails for whatever reason.
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Notice the uneven cuts. haha Just wait until I glass and sand them. They'll look gangster.
I'll post more when I can but weather is going to be 90's and raining until Tues so I'll get done what I can on the porch and put up a couple more pictures tomorrow providing the Jim Beam and Lem-O-nade doesn't shut me down first.
I can't wait for you guys to see them when done. It's really going to be something.
 
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thescottishbear

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The weather was fantastic today so I spent about 8 hours outside working on the car. I got alot of glassing and sanding done. Not too mention sunburned. Still I won't be stopped
Onto the pics. We'll start with the baffle first. I believe this is where we left off in the last update. After removing all the tape I started the process of sanding and shaping the baffle. I know, I know, I still havent redrilled the holes but I will. haha
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Here's how it looks after the first sanding. The gap that I left for the roof brace was bothering me so when I flipped over the baffle to reinforce it a bit I went ahead and filled this gap in.
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After adding a few more dowel rods and glue I added a good amount of reinforced filler. The middle section was filled more when it was back in the car which you will see in the upcoming pics.
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My intention was to fortify the rear of the trim so it wouldn't have the tendency to chip. Will I fill it in so it is completely smooth? Most likely not. It's incredibly strong now and the fiberglass is spendy. You have to pick your battles. Besides, it will not be visible from any angle in the car.
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As i've mentioned before when I am working between coats I like to use a little isopropyl and prep the surface. Just as an extra safegaurd. You can see my trusty file as well. Whenever I am fiberglassing I use it. When the glass or filler starts to set you can use it to take the peaks and extra spillover off. I have ruined an interference pad on my orbital and a ton of sanding pads because they catch on the orbital. Lesson learned.
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Here is a shot of new layer of tape as the first is almost always destroyed after you remove the piece from what it is attached to.
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Next post will have around 10+ more photos of the baffle, rear doors, and the midbass array. We're going to have midbass for days boys.
 

thescottishbear

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Cont. . .
On the left side looking towards the rear of the car you can see that it needs more material to be added so both sides are more symmetrical. The gaps present are with the baffle clamped to the car which can be seen in the first photo. We're working on the first level of finishing so I needed the baffle to be under tension as if it were bolted in. As you can see I haven't drilled any holes but this is due to their needing some fabrication on the rear trunk area.
The bracket in the second photo is going to be retained and will be used as a further mechanical connection to the car. It has a companion on the right side as well. 1/2" bolts, washers, lockwashers, and nuts will be used throughout.

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Keep in mind that this is two of four subs that are going in the car. The other two will be mounted under the rear deck which will take a significant amount of modification, but that will be down the road a bit. I will have the sytem running before I start that project.
Here is add'l pics of the baffle with the proposed location of the midbass array. I really want to be beatin' those guts. And... we are using 4 18" though on low power (40 watts each) they have a very high sensitivity and we will need sufficient midbass to keep pace. The rear doors and the array will all use the same drivers and will operate in the same freq. range. 65-350 hz is the ballpark but this will be dictated by the tune and any nulls in the cars interior.
The baffles have been rough cut and have not been sanded so please bear with me. The plan is to drill holes between the drivers as they are in common chambers. I will fiberglass a base and vent them in to the frame. Fortunately Ford has blessed us with some sizeable holes we can use for the endeavour. Not sure what I will do with the area between them but I am certain I will think of something.

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More on the rear doors in the next post...
 
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thescottishbear

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The rear doors have been taking the lion's share of my time. I have learned a bunch so I am sure the front doors will go much faster. Oh yeah, did I mention I am going to put a shallow 10" sub in the front doors. 35-350hz. Kenwood excelon probably. More on that next week. The final shape that came out wasn't ideal due to the door pulls and I wanted it to match the shape a little better so it was back to the glue and dowels to create a better profile.
I still have a few layers of reinforced filler and sanding before it gets to where I want it but you guys get the idea.

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You can begin to see that gives a much better presentation even unsanded.
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This where I ran out of filler...of course. The delivery got pushed back so hopefully it gets here tomorrow since I don't want to lose my head of steam. In any case their is tons more to do so I will have a bunch more photos over the next couple days.

LULZ. I deadened the liscence plate too.
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Neoprene layer.
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I placed a layer of mlv in there as well but it is held in place by the screws.

More tomorrow...
 
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thescottishbear

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So I'm back like a vertabrae. I have a few more photos of the progress I have been making on the door panels. I have finished filling and sanding them. I took them out to "320" sandpaper and they are very smooth. It's a good feeling. I could continue working on them but we're entering the area of diminishing returns as far as that goes. If I were to paint them I would keep going but any of the smaller blemishes wont be seen under the suede.

The first couple photos of the baffle and the door panels. The baffle needs much more work as you can see but it's all good in the hood. We were further along on the door panels. I still haven't redrilled those damn holes but I wanted to focus on the doors first.

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So the sanding and filling pics I have posted are legion so let's move onto something a little more interesting. I had no intention on letting the midbass drivers just fire into the door card and then the door cavity itself. The output needs to be directed. Towards that purpose I have started fab on a wood baffle that the speakers will fire directly into.
To start, I built a simple template out of cardboard to get the general layout. Once I was happy with the initial tracing I cut it out of 1/2" plywood. I cut the bottom a little more than I should which is why I didnt mirror the passenge side. We will do that one a little better. Then I used some self-tappers to attach it to the sheetmetal. Washers will be used under the head of the screws to spread the torque out a little. This plywood is pretty soft.
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I still have a few more holes to predrill for the fasteners. There will be around 10 in total.
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I traced out the holes which looks goofy AF but you get the idea. I realized I didn't need to take all the material out as the speakers aren't that deep and I only need the hole to be a fraction of the drivers Sd to work.

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Next step was cutting holes. A middle inner sharpie line was made from the magnets which I traced around. We ended up meeting in the middle not removing too much material saving most strength of the baffle.

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So the last two photos are of me prepping the baffle for some reinforced filler. I want it to be as airtight as possible. More wood dowels and hot glue were used. It's really becoming one of my favorite methods of fabrication.

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So after I shape these with some filler I will use some chop matte and resin so seal them. Once that is complete I will wrap the panels and screw them to the door card. Then I will cover them with a layer of deadener, 1/8" neoprene, then use popsicle sticks to create a direct "tunnel" if you will.
This is as far as I got today. The weather should be nice-ish tomorrow so more work can be done.
 
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audiobaun

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A Lot of Hard work going on there in this Build. Looks Great man!
 

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