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This is a discussion on Rambo Goes Down Under within the Builds forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Finally received all my audio parts! They'll serve as garage decor until finals are over next week. Here's everything I ...

  1. #31
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Finally received all my audio parts! They'll serve as garage decor until finals are over next week.

    Here's everything I ended up with, after much budget shuffling and research:

    Processor: AudioControl LC7i for cleaning up the muddy factory audio and adding a dedicated sub channel.

    Amplifier: Rockford Fosgate R600X5 5-channel amp with 50Wx4 and 200W sub channel.

    Front components: JBL GTO638 3-way components

    Subwoofer: Pioneer TS-W260D4 I chose this sub so I could run the dual voice coils in parallel, gaining a bit of efficiency. The box volume recommendations fall in line with the general dimensions of my custom sub box, see next item.

    Sub Box: This will be my own custom design, but styled after the JL Stealthbox. I plan to integrate it as neatly as possible into the rear hatch area, minimizing intrusion into the cargo area. I have a couple enhancements I might design in as well, such as a cargo light and a storage cubby for my first aid kit.

    Misc: I got a 4-gauge power wiring kit for the amplifier, RCA patch cables for the processor to amp, and 16-gauge speaker wire. I got male and female Subaru stereo harnesses from Subaru radio and radio wiring harness information and will be soldering a custom plug-and play harness, just as I did for my WRX. The harness will intercept the factory audio outputs, process and amplify them, then feed them back into the factory wiring. I'll have quite the wire bundle to feed through, but at least I won't have to run new wire through the doors. I also got Legacy-specific component adaptors for installing the front components.

    Here's the rough layout for the processor and amplifier. Both fit neatly in the factory storage box above the spare tire. Subaru conveniently built natural cooling ducts through this space as well. How thoughtful. I even have space left over for my tow cable, jump cables, tie downs, and other emergency supplies.

    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

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  3. #32
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Stage 1 complete:

    Installed the JBL components today. Removed the crappy stock woofers and replaced them. Found some nice Subaru speaker adaptors on Ebay that made it pretty easy.



    The stock speakers have built-in connectors. Not wanting to cut the stock door harness, I used my dremel tool to cut out the connectors, and then soldered in my own speaker wire from the JBLs into that. I ended up with a "plug and play" harness for the new components.



    After re-installing the door panels, there was a slight clearance issue. The door clips would just barely clip in, then pop out again. I tried trimming down some of the door card material around the speaker, but the problem remained. I ended up using a few self-tapping stainless steel screws to cinch the door panel against the steel frame. It works great: no rattles, and the screws are out of sight unless you're at eye level with the speaker. I did note that the coaxial tweeters aren't causing the clearance issue, I believe one edge of the steel speaker frame is just barely wider than the stock speaker.



    As for the sound, well, there still isn't much bass yet (wasn't expecting any), but the sound is much more crisp and clean. I played the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack for testing due to its wide melodic range, and it sounds great in the mids and highs, which is exactly what I was going for.

    Next up will be the amp wiring, which I'm not really looking forward to. Running 4GA wire through the entire car is going to take some work, but that's an exciting project for another day.
    Last edited by Rambo; 03-08-2014 at 05:40 PM.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

  4. #33
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    On a bit of an impulse buy, I got this GROM audio Bluetooth kit: Subaru 06-09 Bluetooth Hands Free Car Adapter Kit

    This replaces the Subaru iPod kit I bought earlier in this thread, which never really worked all that well with my iPhone (wouldn't charge, sporadic connection issues, etc). The GROM kit also adds BT audio streaming, calling, and Siri control to the mix, which is great.

    Install was identical to the Subaru iPod kit, and totally plug-and-play with the included Subaru wiring harness. This just replaces the Subaru expansion box I had earlier. It came with it's own iPod cable (which supports charging!)

    I installed the mic on the steering column, just behind the parking light switch. The 32pin iPod was routed along the same path as the old one up into the armrest cubby. An Apple 32pin to Lightning adaptor enables full compatibility with my iPhone 5S.

    Now I can connect my phone via BT and start playing. Once I've manually hit "play" for a playlist on my phone, the steering wheel and dash buttons can skip tracks, the LCD display shows song/artist titles and information, etc. Alternatively, I can plug it in, and I get full navigation in and out of different playlists, etc. The wired and bluetooth connections sound and function pretty much the same, but the wired connection adds a little bit of extra control.

    I tried out Bluetooth calling, and that worked great as well. My brother had no problems hearing me (other than it was obvious to him I was using a speakerphone), and the call came through clearly on my stereo. Pressing the up arrow on the steering wheel will accept an incoming call, and pressing down will end it. Obviously, you'll still need to manually dial on the phone, or use Siri to initiate an outgoing call.

    All-in-all, it's a pretty solid piece of kit, adding modern functionality to a head unit that was largely obsolete before it was even released.

    Now I need to buckle down on my sub and amp install. I've been putting off the massive wiring harness I need to run, but I'll enlist my brother this summer to split up some of the soldering work.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

  5. #34
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    On another note, I also got a trailer mount!



    I have a Class II, 1-1/4" receiver with a tow rating of 3500 lbs (500 more than Outback's rated capacity). I got 1-7/8" and 2" trailer balls (giggity). I also got a $15 plug-and-play trailer wiring kit. Fun fact: this generation Outback (as well as the Forester and Tribeca, but not the Legacy) is pre-wired for trailer lights. There is an un-used red Molex connector on a short pigtail that's taped behind the left rear brake light. I just plugged in an adapter with a 6' electrical lead to the trailer, and I'm done.

    Here's a sample image of what the pig-tail looks like:
    '

    Extra bonus: Subaru has an unused feed-through grommet (located below the 12V power socket in the pic above) in the side cubby that lets me spool up and store the trailer cable out of sight behind the interior trim. I'm sure this was intended for the factory trailer wiring kit, but I'll save my $100 and use this aftermarket kit instead.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

  6. #35
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    New toy!

    For my birthday this year, I got a Harbor Freight tilting utility trailer.

    I've wanted a trailer for some time, as the Outback has a decent towing capacity for the small projects I need (3000lbs), and I'm sick of borrowing pickups from friends/family when I need to get a yard of barkdust, move furniture, etc.

    The trailer took me two afternoons to finish. It's a bolt-together affair, and while probably not as strong as a true welded frame, the vast majority of reviews online indicate it is a sturdy, long-lasting, and mod-friendly trailer. It came in two 150lb boxes that easily fit in the back of my Outback.

    Laying out the parts:


    Two of these 4'x4' box frames comprise the complete chassis:


    Finishing the frame and installing the springs/axle. This was my first experience with bearing packing, but the grease packer and grease gun I bought made the task easy.


    De-Lux laid frame, dawg:


    Completed trailer showing tilt function. Two hitch pins in the A-frame lock the chassis flat for travel. This will make dumping materials easier, and also make loading an ATV easy, should I buy one in the future.


    Trailer after a first test drive. It tows straight and true, which is great. It's slightly narrower than the Outback, so I don't need to worry about clearance on the sides, but it has the side effect of totally disappearing from the drivers view, especially without any sidewalls installed yet.


    I'll be painting a sheet of 3/4" plywood with truck bed liner and installing that as the base platform. From there, I'll be building low, removable sidewalls for all four sides. The only issues I had during assembly was some very bad clearance on some of the bolts (PITA to get a wrench/socket in for a few of them. Racheting spanners are highly recommended!) Also, one of the brake light bulbs came burned out right from the box. I'm getting 12V across it when the brakes are applied, though, so at least I know my wiring is good.

    Should prove very useful in the coming months!
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

  7. #36
    Registered User tirerob's Avatar
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    Cool! I could use a trailer like this! Probably tow with the suburban....but none the less. I dig the tilt. You don't see any problems down the road of wearing issues at the tilt point from normal use do you?
    when my friends come up, i hear, "you sold the camarrrroooh.....HOLY BLEEP A WRX!"
    Ya has that effect on me too.
    Rob

    Where did he go?? http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/builds...ll-thread.html

  8. #37
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tirerob View Post
    Cool! I could use a trailer like this! Probably tow with the suburban....but none the less. I dig the tilt. You don't see any problems down the road of wearing issues at the tilt point from normal use do you?
    The tilt pivot is simply an M14 bolt at each point, so if one breaks during tilting, it's an easy fix. I may upgrade those to Grade 8 bolts, or weld a load-bearing pivoting hinge on each side, but for now, the stuff I'm hauling is very light (just some lumber and misc home stuff) that's just barely too large for the Outback's rear hatch. I probably won't even need the tilt mechanism that often, and proper load balancing over the axle will prevent the trailer bed from slamming up or down during tilt.

    I don't really like the fact that each of those pins are in single shear, but I think I'll be fine if I stay well within the 1700lb load capacity (which I will be). If I really wanted a heavy duty trailer, I would have saved more and bought a fully welded trailer with clevis pin tilt pivots in double shear.
    Last edited by Rambo; 07-07-2014 at 01:25 PM.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    The pursuit of knowledge is hopeless and eternal... Hooray!!! - Professor Farnsworth

  9. #38
    Registered User Ampliified's Avatar
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    Dat trailer wheel gap tho
    2012 DGM WRX - Stage Two 93 - Stink Eye Mob #908
    The Epic Life of Emily the WRX

  10. #39
    Registered User SubaruWRXJosh's Avatar
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    This is looking great! Nice to see some Subie love besides the regular WRX build threads (such as mine )

    Quote Originally Posted by Ampliified View Post
    Dat trailer wheel gap tho
    2013 Subaru WRX Premium

    Torqued Performance Stage 2, Invidia Catless Divorced Wastegate Downpipe, Perrin Heat Shield, Cobb Knob, Kartboy Short Shifter, Kartboy Front & Rear Shifter Bushings, STRi 52mm Amber Boost Gauge, SMY ClusterMaker Pod, Subaru OEM Black WRX Ornaments

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