Classic Lowrider Build

Novz

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 22, 2021
5
3
Hi All,
first post.
I purchased a 1960 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop 2 door. it came with a working factory stereo ( i did not check if it was a remake or not).
But, I purchased the following items TO BEGIN with.
Deck: Pioneer DEH-S622DBS : single din multimedia/cd head unit (i chose a single din because I can hide it in the tissue dispenser and will build my own brackets inside to house it.
Front Audio: Kicker: KSC8930 : 1 set of 6x9s @ 150 w RMS, 300 peak (the box didn't specify if that was individual or combined)
4-Channel amp for all components/coaxial: pioneer GM=DX874 1200 4chan
4 awg big three

to come:
2 additional 6x9s for the rear.
160+ alternator
1 10" Sundown Audio SA.2 (or something like that) sub
RF T-1500 cp amp

options i am toying with:
going to a component system vs a tri-axial/coaxial
swapping sub to a W7 (not sure if the price difference is worth it since I'll be in the car less than 30mi a week and only during spring/summer seasons)
creating a double-din house out of mdf/fiberglass and buying a touchscreen
buying a separate battery for the audio (again not sure if what i want to do requires that, plus there will be another 8 batteries in the trunk for hydraulics as it is...)
converting the backseat cover to house 4-6 6x9s instead of just two.

There is room in the dash for a 6x9 also. the car came with a power acoustik 6x9, havent checked to see if it works and in the back seat there is room for one maybe 5" speaker (haven't checked the actual size yet) the original speaker is still in there!

I'd like to inquire a few things. first off, I am not a pro.. I have done my own systems for 22 years but this is my first classic and I'm a bit worried about power consumption. I was debating a capacitor and if so, what would y'all recommend? furthermore, anyone that has any ideas, comments, or suggestions regarding this build, I'd be MORE THAN happy to hear them. I absolutely love music and it's going to be the inner focus of my build. I am not concerned with brands, only quality. What I have purchased was enough imo to get me cruising from one shop to another and will give me what i want during the build phase. as you can see, I plan on adding some depth to my system and possibly making this car's central point audio.
I wanted to add that I am not concerned with cost. This is my retirement project and if it takes years to get to where I need to, so be it, I just want an enjoyable sound that may turn a head or two but not shake the chrome off my neighbor. Again, any and all advice is welcome.
 

Dafaseles

CarAudio.com Well Known
Nov 12, 2020
357
178
A coworker of mine has a '60 impala. Beautiful car! This is what he did.
Custom kick panels in front of the front air vents to house a rockford component set (6.5" woofer, 1"tweeter)
Cut holes in the back dash to house 2 pioneer 3 way 6×9's (said his installer was trying to talk him into 4, but he's not super that into audio).
To power that, he's using a kicker key 4 channel amp. It was small enough to hide behind the panel on the passenger side behind the door (where, if it where a 4 door, the back door would be. I hope that made sense)
In the trunk he has a 12" rockford p3 that will be fiberglass molded into the side of the trunk with a kicker CXA amp. I can't remember exactly which one. Right now it's just in a prefab box. He's waiting to get all his batteries and pumps, so he only needs to go nuts on the trunk once.
He was going to go with the single din in the kleenex holder, but only decided against it because he didn't want to modify anything original in the car that much. So he went with a single din in the glove box and just controls everything from the phone.
All this is mounted using factory holes as well. No new holes where drilled at all.
Like I said though, he's no audiophile and isn't into super loud music. But it does get decently loud. It's perfect for him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Novz

hispls

CarAudio.com Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
12,866
1,255
8 batteries in the trunk for hydraulics
That's the spirit! God help you if you have any fewer than 16 switches when this is all finished.

That said, Why not throw an extra battery or two in the trunk for the audio? Seems to me you want the extra weight in the arse end to get the front up anyway and it'll put to rest any worries about how much power to use.

I think traditionally this sort of thing would have a rear deck full of 6x9s but that really doesn't sound good. I'm also for building up custom kickpanels for the front, you can keep the stock ones saved in case you ever need/want to go back and kickpanel is an excellent location to get good imaging. Components are almost always better quality than coaxials but there's nothing wrong with good quality coaxials, just spend up into the middle of the road or higher from a respectable brand.

Don't expect much bass out of a sedan/trunk period, and apart from looks the W7 doesn't have much to offer in that sort of build. If you have that kind of money to spend, consider DC LV5 or LV6, both of which do well in small-ish box and could take a lot of power. I reckon space will be a premium in the trunk what with all the hydraulics components + battery bank so think small box and a good bit of power to try to brute-force some low end output out of the trunk. Really you should start by determining how much volume you can sacrifice for this and plan sub(s) and cone area accordingly

Nothing wrong with Pioneer amps and the RF power is always solid (if a bit pricey). Haven't used poineer head unit myself in ages but they're still in running of reliable brands. Alpine, Sony, Kenwood/JVC are also good choices.

Definitely building a custom mount for a tablet would be great if this was meant to be a show car, better if you carry your music around on phone/tablet anyway.

My brother has an old El Dorado with some gold Daytons he has been wanting to do a proper low rider build in but there's nobody within 1000 miles that has any clue how to really do proper hydraulics. Definitely something I'd do as well if I had money to burn.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: Novz and Dafaseles

Bobbytwonames

Trigger Man!
5,000+ posts
Aug 28, 2018
11,762
-373
With a car like that do something that sounds good but doesn't cut the car up. 4 - 6-½"coaxials on a four channel amp and a pair of 12" subs on a 3K mono amp won't cut the car up but sound great. My opinion is anything that doesn't involve cutting metal.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Novz and 1aespinoza

audiobaun

CarAudio.com Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Jun 28, 2011
12,825
1,075
Might look at some Universal Door pods to keep from cutting the doors up even?Wrapp them /do a little custom covering is always a nice added touch. A false floor to do some secure mounting options for amp/amps and sub enclosure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Novz and 1aespinoza

1aespinoza

Junior Member
May 22, 2013
1,929
583
My opinion is anything that doesn't involve cutting metal.
x2 on keeping it original. Ever since I got into trucks, I have only used front stage. One set of 6.5s gets very loud, so I have not had use for rear fill. I keep them in baffles so there is no loss of good midbass. Then again, my systens are always under 1.5kw on sub duty.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Novz

Novz

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 22, 2021
5
3
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
That's the spirit! God help you if you have any fewer than 16 switches when this is all finished.

That said, Why not throw an extra battery or two in the trunk for the audio? Seems to me you want the extra weight in the arse end to get the front up anyway and it'll put to rest any worries about how much power to use.

I think traditionally this sort of thing would have a rear deck full of 6x9s but that really doesn't sound good. I'm also for building up custom kickpanels for the front, you can keep the stock ones saved in case you ever need/want to go back and kickpanel is an excellent location to get good imaging. Components are almost always better quality than coaxials but there's nothing wrong with good quality coaxials, just spend up into the middle of the road or higher from a respectable brand.

Don't expect much bass out of a sedan/trunk period, and apart from looks the W7 doesn't have much to offer in that sort of build. If you have that kind of money to spend, consider DC LV5 or LV6, both of which do well in small-ish box and could take a lot of power. I reckon space will be a premium in the trunk what with all the hydraulics components + battery bank so think small box and a good bit of power to try to brute-force some low end output out of the trunk. Really you should start by determining how much volume you can sacrifice for this and plan sub(s) and cone area accordingly

Nothing wrong with Pioneer amps and the RF power is always solid (if a bit pricey). Haven't used poineer head unit myself in ages but they're still in running of reliable brands. Alpine, Sony, Kenwood/JVC are also good choices.

Definitely building a custom mount for a tablet would be great if this was meant to be a show car, better if you carry your music around on phone/tablet anyway.

My brother has an old El Dorado with some gold Daytons he has been wanting to do a proper low rider build in but there's nobody within 1000 miles that has any clue how to really do proper hydraulics. Definitely something I'd do as well if I had money to burn.
what an awesome response! thank you.
I am going to be going for street/show quality, but more of a focus on the street. I am intent on doing a lot of my own work as it's MY car, not something to let others do. of course, if im over my head it'll make to a shop, but most of this stuff is easy peasy...
I''m in California; the lowrider capital of the world, so I don't have nearly as much to stress on when doing my build as others that are out of state.
Hydraulics definitely are something left to the pros so I can sympathize with your brother. I do plan on eventually getting a tablet style deal. Pioneer actually has a detachable face that converts to a tablet. it's not wireless, but still a cool idea to bring to the table of custom cars.
I'll have to make my own kickpanels, not a big deal. The car didn't come with them, but that's what happens with projects... here's a pic of where I am at right now. I purchased the car on 7/29/2022, it came "stock" but is in no way original or matching..
I chose to get a project so that I didn't inadvertently keep something from the first build out of laziness. it has wire wheels on it now, but I am at work and don't have those pictures on this computer, i can't load them from my phone, but i could tonight if you wanna see it with the wheels..
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: hispls and Deiimos

Deiimos

CarAudio.com Regular
Apr 27, 2021
184
90
Cool project, try to keep it updated if you can, would like to see how it goes.

Always loved lowriders. I almost bought an 84 Cadillac, already had 3 pumps, 8 batteries for $1200, could hop and 3 wheel, but the guy couldn't get it started and I didn't want a major project as it already needed a ton of work, and I needed transportation at the time. That said, I had the money and should have bought it anyway, I mean I went with cash, but he seemed busy and didn't want to mess with it, so I went home and decided to pass on it.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Novz

Novz

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 22, 2021
5
3
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Cool project, try to keep it updated if you can, would like to see how it goes.

Always loved lowriders. I almost bought an 84 Cadillac, already had 3 pumps, 8 batteries for $1200, could hop and 3 wheel, but the guy couldn't get it started and I didn't want a major project as it already needed a ton of work, and I needed transportation at the time. That said, I had the money and should have bought it anyway, I mean I went with cash, but he seemed busy and didn't want to mess with it, so I went home and decided to pass on it.
That's super unfortunate. This my 3rd, but I am in Cali and it's a rite of passage over here. haha! but realistically, if you don't just bite the bullet and buy one, you'll ALWAYS find a way to rationalize yourself out of it. My wife told me "just stop stressing, we're okay." once I heard those words, I WAS GONE and shopping!!!! hahaha.
I got very lucky with this one. 39k for it and everything (nearly) was there. and it Runs!
I will continue here also, but if you want a more in-depth following, I am making constant updates on an instagram page. This isn't intended for likes or to get more "visitors" it's simply a place to log my build. @sicxtee.

if you ever get one and need advice or help, I am here to help. Lowriders is a whole different world and we work on connections more than anything else. at the age of these cars, buddying up is the best way as in the lowriding world nearly everyone is down to help out with finding stuff or recommending where to get parts, services and shows/cruises.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deiimos

Novz

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 22, 2021
5
3
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
With a car like that do something that sounds good but doesn't cut the car up. 4 - 6-½"coaxials in a four channel amp and a pair of 12" subs on a 3K mono amp won't cut the car up but sound great. My opinion is anything that doesn't involve cutting metal.
I get that. unfortunately this car was cut up before I got it. it looks like it had hydraulics installed previously, the engine is a 70's 350, it has a th350 tranny, the interior has a NOS kit, but was just thrown in and the holes in the rear area behind the seat have been cut to fit 6x9s. My assumption is it was a previous lowrider and someone took what they wanted out of it to start their new project. something very common here. I wouldn't have to do any cutting with what I've designed.

That's super unfortunate. This my 3rd, but I am in Cali and it's a rite of passage over here. haha! but realistically, if you don't just bite the bullet and buy one, you'll ALWAYS find a way to rationalize yourself out of it. My wife told me "just stop stressing, we're okay." once I heard those words, I WAS GONE and shopping!!!! hahaha.
I got very lucky with this one. 39k for it and everything (nearly) was there. and it Runs!
I will continue here also, but if you want a more in-depth following, I am making constant updates on an instagram page. This isn't intended for likes or to get more "visitors" it's simply a place to log my build. @sicxtee.

if you ever get one and need advice or help, I am here to help. Lowriders is a whole different world and we work on connections more than anything else. at the age of these cars, buddying up is the best way as in the lowriding world nearly everyone is down to help out with finding stuff or recommending where to get parts, services and shows/cruises.
Might look at some Universal Door pods to keep from cutting the doors up even?Wrapp them /do a little custom covering is always a nice added touch. A false floor to do some secure mounting options for amp/amps and sub enclosure.
My sister and my brother-in-law do custom upholstery for hot rods, rat rods and vintage cars. they also do restaurants and other businesses. they're gonna help me build what I need. I have access to everything there from sewing machines all the way to fiberglass and acrylics. I wouldn't have had to cut the doors up as the kickpanel area oddly has a vent space that is convientently 6x9! it's pretty much THE location where most other 60's lowriders place their fronts. there's also a 6x9 speaker vent in the middle of the dash. I can (at this moment) place up to 3 6x9s and a 6.5 in the car without any modification to the metal.

but I do plan on cutting the car up. a lot.. it'll most likely be converted to a convertible and it'll have hydraulics.
 

hispls

CarAudio.com Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
12,866
1,255
That's a beauty for sure.

I would avoid putting speakers in the center of the dash, that'll sound awful. No reason a good quality set of 6.5" components in the kicks won't get plenty loud.

You're also fortunate to be into that style car as there's a LOT of off-the-shelf suspension upgrades and other things to do lowrider upgrades.
 

Novz

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 22, 2021
5
3
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
That's a beauty for sure.

I would avoid putting speakers in the center of the dash, that'll sound awful. No reason a good quality set of 6.5" components in the kicks won't get plenty loud.

You're also fortunate to be into that style car as there's a LOT of off-the-shelf suspension upgrades and other things to do lowrider upgrades.
Thank you, it was a hunt, I was looking for either a '61 or a '60. 61s are just too expensive, I didn't want to start off spending 75 grand for something I knew I was going to tear up. I also was intent on finding something that wasn't "original" ie... matching numbers, original paint, interior etc... I would have felt SOOOO guilty doing what I knew I am going to do to it. I had found a 62' that was owned by the dauhgter of the original owner, 64k original miles, they even had the original pink slip among many other things. it was in my price range, but my morals wouldn't allow me to.
I have questioned the oddity of the placement of the 6x9 in the dash, but it wasn't me, it was all Chevrolet!
The car's stock speaker areas are:
1. in the dash (6x9" stock) and
2. in the middle of the back seat (5.5" stock).

I may hook up the one that's there already but.. meh. don't know. it's not beyond me to try it! I mean... I'm from the bay, we put speakers in the grilles out here.. HAHA.
 

hispls

CarAudio.com Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
12,866
1,255
I have questioned the oddity of the placement of the 6x9 in the dash, but it wasn't me, it was all Chevrolet!
The car's stock speaker areas are:
1. in the dash (6x9" stock) and
2. in the middle of the back seat (5.5" stock).
It was also 1960 and the quality of sound you could get out of the loudspeakers of the day was going to be rather anemic even given optimum speaker locations. Consider FM radio was only just getting popular in the 1950s and 8-track only came out in 65.

IF you have a 5.5" hole in the rear you might could turn that into a port of a bandpass box that would get bass up into the cabin efficiently. If you turn this into a convertible/soft top you'll never get good bass, though you can sort of replicate the effect by using Bass Shakers mounted to the seats if you're a low frequency guy. Otherwise, a good modern 12" bandpassed through a hole in the middle of the rear seat could be impressive with good equipment and a well designed and solidly built box.

Definitely glad to hear you're not smoking an all original classic for this sort of thing, I'd imagine those are getting really hard to find these days after 30+ years of everybody who ever listened to NWA wanting to do pancake, front back, side to side, and all that shit.
 

Create an account or login to post

You must be a member in order to post a message

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Similar threads

Latest threads