A while ago I went and visited Jarrad and the good guys at PDX Tuning, they got my subie to stage 2, and after seeing his old audio system in his white Legacy we convinced him it was time to do a bit of a "face lift" of sorts.
He was happy with his current audio setup as far as sound quality goes, but since it would be going to SEMA and other shows to represent PDX Tuning he knew it needed some work to be on par with the rest of the car.
This is the kind of work we love! Using his current audio gear our plan was to build a clean install that would stand out at the shows, but still leave the Legacy useful as a daily driver.
We thought some of you would like to see some of the steps and processes in the build, so we've put plenty of pics in this one. Since time was a factor in the build there's some steps we didn't get pictures of, but we'll try to tell you what we did in between.
Feel free to ask or question what or why we did something, hopefully there will be some info you can use in your own install.
A quick pic of the car.
The first thing we had to do was remove to old setup. His "fiberglass box" was made totally out of kitty hair, which is far from fiberglass. In fact you can't find a heavier substance to use. Kitty hair is basically bondo with some fiberglass strands mixed in. It has it's purposes but weighs a ton and shouldn't be used as the sole material in a enclosure. There was probably 2 -3 gallon cans of it used to form the box!!
The old enclosure weighed almost 40 lbs. The new one that was 3/4 inch mdf with fiberglass bottom and sides weighed about 16 lbs.
After it was all removed we masked the area that was going to be fiberglassed and built a mdf frame to start off. This give us a nice solid and flat panel to attach the baffle.
After it had fully cured we pulled it out and ground down any sharp edges, made a baffle and cut the speaker hole.
This is the start of the trim panels. All said and done there will be a painted flush panel that sits over the enclosure and has the mounts for the amp and some plexi logos. On top of the painted panel there will be a carpet panel that is trimmed out to the trunk, and inside of it there will be a vinyl/plexi grill that sits over the painted panel and adds some protection.
This pic shows the trim panel along with the panel that flushes in the sub. After some serious shaping with bondo we'll shoot it with primer and get it ready to paint. Lot's of work goes into getting a panel ready for paint.
All the corners were filled and sanded down so the entire panel flows nicely. You can barely see, but we molded in some pvc pipe on the sides. We'll have some aluminum tubing running through the pvc, the amp will mount to the tubing and float over the painted panel. We'll have some blue lighting under the amp, the logo's will light up blue as well.
To get peoples attention at the shows we came up with a pretty cool way to display PDX Tuning's name on the trunk lid. Trying to follow the same ideas we're using in the rest of the install the idea was to etch their logo on some plexi, then float it over some blue lighting. Using the same idea as below the plexi will mount to some custom aluminum brackets, that in turn will be held by two aluminum rods that will mount on the sides.
Like I said earlier, we didn't get a ton of pics during the build so here's the quick steps in between.
We first masked and fiberglass the trunk lid where the logo's going to be, then when cured we rough trimmed it to the shape we're looking for.
Since the trunk lid is not flat, we needed a flat base to build off of. The lighting will be in this piece and the alumiunm rods that hold everything else will mount on the sides.
With the flat mounting done we foamed the entire thing and then carved/sanded down the foam till the desired shape was achieved.
The wood pill shape will be replaced with some transparent/white plexi that will allow the light to pass through.
After the foam was sanded we laid fiberglass mat on top to strengthen it, then smoothed it out with filler. Once all that was perfectly shaped and sanded we shot it with primer, wet sanded, more primer and then more sanding.
This pic shows the primer, aluminum rods, and white plexi in place with it all bolted to the trunk lid.
To bolt it to the trunk lid we riveted threaded inserts into the channels under the carpet panel. Their deep enough we can run a bolt/washer combo into them without hitting the actual trunk lid.
Here's a closer view of the insert. Since this piece is mainly fiberglass and foam it doesn't weigh too much. The three inserts will hold it with no problems.
If you remember a previous thread about needing an cnc router, you'll rememeber this part.
A dash of satin white pearl
Close up of the plexiglass with the logo and the mounting bracket, notice the set screws for securing the aluminum tubes
Mounting tubes secured to the bracket
Mounted and lit up
Back to the trunk floor:
Plexi and paint work complete, and logo panel added
Closeup of Logo panel (complete with spec of dirt we had to take all apart
to get out)
More random pics