Hello. I'm new here. I was referred to here by Sheniferous
Yesterday my car stereo installer and I started the install for on my Element. Here is the system we are installing:
Before I go any further you need to know something. I own a stereo store. I have for 20 years. We sell and install home stereos, car stereos and custom home installation products. I met Sheniferous
on another board, that one heavily moderated. If you tried to sell something there, you'd get stopped in a moment's notice. I like that rule. While I have sold stereo equipment to friends I have met over the Internet in the past, I would strongly recommend you buy from your local independent retailer. They could use your business. It's a very tough market today with the big box (Best Buy, Circuit City et al) and Internet sellers out there. Plus you could benefit from your local independent shop's service and knowledge. Don't worry about price. I can almost guarantee you that they will be competitive with the best price you can find out there from a legitimate, authorized dealer. We retailers have to be. I matched a Crutchfield price on some Polk home speakers yesterday, giving a guy a $200 refund. Buy your stuff from your local independent, not me.
I also have to admit I consciously gave up knowing everything I could know about car stereos a half dozen years ago. My jobs for my store are specifically the home installation, advertising and ownership duties. A man who I have known for 10 years is doing most of the installation work. I am actively participating in the system design although he is doing a lot there, too, on a minute by minute basis.
I will ask him if he wants to get involved here. No promises.
It is my intention here to take you through the installation process in this thread. I will be describing the install and showing you what we are doing with pictures. I am conscious of those with dial-up connections so while I'll post a picture or two here, you'll see most of my pictures through links to a image hosting site.
the install will take a week. I am not optimistic. These things never
take just a week.
Back to the system. The centerpiece is the Eclipse AVN5435
. It is has navigation built in and will play DVDs, CDs and supports Sirius satellite radio. As I am already an XM subscriber, we will be installing a Delphi XM Roady2
instead. Of course the Eclipse head unit will play video - with the parking brake on
(that's the only way we install them). It is a touchscreen. The navigation is all on one DVD disc, and as it has both a DVD and CD slots, I can listen to music while the nav is working. I like a CD changer, too, so we will be installing an Eclipse CH3083
. Not shown on the system diagram is an Eclipse BEC104 back up camera
that will cause a picture to immediately appear on the deck's display when the car is put into reverse.
I didn't want to lose the car's aux input, so we will be installing a Peripheral SS2P RCS switcher (bottom of the page)
that will automatically switch from the XM to what's coming in through the aux input jack when there is signal.
The rest is Kicker. I went with two of Kicker's KX series of amplifiers because of their sound and size. They will fit perfectly mounted to the underside of the rear seats. We will leave the umbilical of cables connecting each amp long enough for the seats to swing up to the sides. Short of disconnecting the amps - not that tough a job - I will lose the ablility to take the rear seats out. That's no big deal to me. I did it once to prove I could do it. I like keeping them in. I should be able to still tuck in the seat's foot when they are up. The amp's thickness is not much more than that so I won't really lose any cargo capacity.
I am leaving the car's factory amp location empty for now. It is saved in case I decide to put a 15" driver in the spare tire well and I need to add another amp. :grin:
The amps are a Kicker KX350.4
amp powering the mains and a Kicker KX600.1
amp driving the single 8" sub. This is too much power for the sub but it will be nice to have the headroom and it would be perfect for the 15. :grin:
(I have linked to online retailer sites here as Kicker's own site won't allow me to hot-link to specific pages.)
The fronts will be Kicker's best components, their SS series, the 6.5" 04SS652
. The rear speakers will be their RS components, with the tweeter mounted coaxially, the 05RS652
We are getting most creative with the sub enclosure. The installer is mounting a single Kicker L5 8" square woofer, their 05S8L5
, dual 4 ohm with the voice coils in parallel for a two ohm load, in the factory location. I know, I know. An 8" woofer won't fit in there. It will after we get done with it. We are creating a fiberglass build out - finished in painted surfaces, factory plastic and vinyl - in that location. We are using a Kicker L5 woofer instead of their better L7 as the L5 needs a smaller box and space is a premium. Our build out will obviously be bigger than the factory location and we are talking about continuing it into the center floor mounted console. That would solve a multitude of problems. One, it would give us a bigger box. Two, on the very top of the box, just below the shift lever, we will mount the XM Roady2. It will be both handy and visible there. Three, I can move the cup holders forward. They are useless with the optional center armrest/storage compartment installed in the car. You have to reach backwards
to grab your drink with that compartment flipped down for use. Four, we could extend this build out back to the parking break area to give us a mount for the CD changer, sticking up between the seats.
The cables will be IXOS. We'll install an Optima battery and a one farad cap. A ton of Dynamat will be applied to the vehicle. Already in my E is a Python (DEI) alarm and remote car starter, the Python 1600 XP
. As I am the guy who drives around with the windows cracked a couple of inches, and who inevitably turns off the engine with them still down, we will be hooking up window roll-up modules to the alarm's aux button so I can roll them up after I get out.
I also have to say I've found a bunch of tricks on this site by searching the archives. I would strongly recommend you do that, too, if you are interested in tricking out you Element. There is at least one great Dynamat thread
that has caused me to want to Dynamat places I wasn't thinking about covering. I love all the little tricks I've found, like how to make the rear 12 volt DC outlet live
. The knowledge I discovered cataloged by eMass
will be invaluable. I clearly will benefit from a lot of folks earlier work and I thank you in advance if you are one of them.
I will add a trick of my own: a mod that will allow you to both power up an aftermarket car stereo without the key in the ignition or to have the system go on and off like normal. It involves a $5 Radio Shack switch and I've been doing it in my cars for over 20 years.
We stripped the vehicle yesterday. It is a shell with no inner panels, seats or floor. Half of the dash missing. I will be taking pictures today or tomorrow of the car in this shape and will post a few here shortly.
I hope you enjoy following along with this install. I'm looking forward to it a lot myself, almost as much as playing with the completed system.