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Discussion Starter #1
This past week end, I had the fortune of meeting Outpost4 (Greg), and his crew at Sound World.:grin: They installed an Eclipse CD8445 h/u, Kicker RS65.2 component speakers, and my ancient 4 channel ADS PQ10 amplifier. According to his installation crew, they found a crank handle on the amp to power it up:shock: :-o , and that Outpost4 and I invented mono sound....:roll: :confused:

Anyway, before the installation began, we discussed how to power all of the the speakers. We decided to drive the rear speakers with the head unit, the main speakers with the front channel of the PQ10, and the sub with rear channel of the PQ10 to give it some real amplification. (The PQ10 is conservatively rated at 35wrms/channel).

The difference in output from the factory sub was phenomenal. Powering the factory sub with a "real" amplifier really brought it to life. The bass reinforcement is much better and more noticeable now. Don't get me wrong, it is not a replacement for a true sub-woofer, but it is a viable, cheaper, alternative until you can afford the $1000+ for a sub, sub-amp, install.

Greg called it the Mike(1mrdad) mod, but in reality, we both thought of the same idea.

His crew did a top shelf job with the install. It sounds great, and it looks stock. Greg was a very cordial and gracious host.

My thanks to Outpost4 and his crew.
 

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Mike, it was a good idea whose time had come. :) I just think that Mike's Mod sounds too cool. :cool:

It was also a great pleasure to meet Mike. He's a really good guy. :) I'm also going to steal a few Element ideas from him.

This is the real deal, folks. An easy to do, cheap upgrade that dramatically improves the sound of a factory EX stereo system. The weakness of the sub isn't the driver, it's the amp. The size of a paperback book, it's not surprising it's a paper tiger. It was amazing how much better the factory woofer sounded after replacing the amp. We're talking many orders of magnitude here.

What's great is you car stereo junkies out there probably have an amp lying around that will do the job. A very basic stereo amp is all you need. (I am assuming the sub crossover is in the factory deck.) I mentioned in another thread the factory sub is a dual 4 ohm piece, so you just hook up a channel to each voice coil. Don't bridge the amp. The factory sub played with great authority using Mike's PQ10, which is only 20 watts RMS per channel. If you don't have an amp gathering dust in a closet, most any company's bottom of the line stereo amp will do the job well. We're talking $100-150 for the amp here.

I'll post install instructions along the way for Mike's Mod.
 

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AND WHAT? THE BATTERY DIED IN YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA? COME ON GUYS!

:)

Come to think of it I do have some equipment lying around. A Carver 4 x 60 watt amp, a pair of Boston Acoustics 5.0 pro components, a JL 10W-4, a pair of Kicker C10 (they are ROUND). I also have a Soundstream cassette HU that has an aux input (MP3 ready). The Carver Amp needs to be serviced, I figured it would be cheaper to just buy new, so I did. I replaced it with 2 Carver amps a 2X50 to power the BA components that I fabbed fiberglass kickpanel pods for and a 2X90 Carver that was bridged to 180W powering 3 JL 10W6's mounted in a sealed fiberglass enclosure that sat in the spare tire well of my old civic hatchback. Damn, that sounded tight. Some bastard busted open the hatch one night and stole the subs and amps. I can't believe they were able to lift that sucker out of there. :x I had an alpine HU that I left in the car when I sold it. After that randoim act of vandalism I can't bring myself to but any more expensive audio equipment for the car. I started building speakers for the house instead. The new Alpine HU with the built in ipod connection is tempting I must say. As is the JL stealthbox. I installed a killer system in my dad's subaru that might fit the E. He's 75 and might not miss it. LOL Polk coaxials front and rear, dual 10" Impact subs and the real gem is the Blaupunkt 5 channel amp, 50X4, + 200X1. That was THE mulichannel amp that year. That systems gotta be 10 years old. I just haven't been into music that much anymore. Since the era of hip hop. Now I prefer talk radio but I can't pick between XM (air america) or Sirius (howard stern). All I get locally is neocon propaganda. Typing my stream of conciousness again, ooops. :shock:
 

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gibroni said:
AND WHAT? THE BATTERY DIED IN YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA? COME ON GUYS!
We both took this wonderful picture but somehow we went brain dead while the install was taking place. Hey, cut us some slack. We are both old. I can't speak for Mike but I was having a blonde day. :rolleyes:



Humm...I guess install needs a new coat of paint this spring...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
gibroni said:
AND WHAT? THE BATTERY DIED IN YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA? COME ON GUYS!
OK. It is time for some rebuttal. Because I am using an amplifier with a wind-up handle did you stop to think that maybe I am still in the Film Age? And, unlike Greg I did not have a "Blonde moment" I did think about taking pictures of the actual install. Number one I am bald, so blond hair is not an issue. Secondly, and more importantly, I did not want to disturb the doctors with picture taking and hovering while they were performing surgery on the Element. Lastly, Greg did such a good job of being the host and tour guide, we were not there for most of the install.

All kidding aside, because it is a basic system and because the install team did such excellent work, there is nothing remarkable to see.

All that said, here are the post surgery pics.


Eclipse CD8445


Kicker RS65.2


RS65.2 crossovers under passenger seat


PQ10 under the driver seat


Amp and crossovers


Under the hood. Looks stock to me.

I forgot to mention that I was able to see and hear Greg's install first hand. The sound is awesome. The custom sub enclosure looks stock, and he has high mounted cup holders(I'm jealous). The GPS with the back up camera is way too cool. His future plans are unbelievable; I am looking forward to seeing them at St. Louis.

After 600 miles and a 21 hour day I ended up with an excellent basic system, a quality install, and as a bonus, I was able to meet Greg.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The last picture caption is correct. It should be Grandad Bluff. My memeory loss is directly related to hair loss, and as Greg can atest, I'm pretty bald.
 

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Um.... yeah.... there's no way I could do that myself :|





outpost4 said:
I'll post install instructions along the way for Mike's Mod.

The sooner the better.... I'm gonna have to study this one for a while before I get the courage to actually do it :D


(and pics would be nice ;-) )
 

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Mike got it backwards. The best thing on the day was my meeting him. He's a funny, caring guy. He even helped me collect $10,000 a customer owed my store. Mike put on his best Chicago Muscle face and there was no question the customer was going to give me his credit card number.

Mike even picked up the check for breakfast. :)

Thanks again, Mike. Be assured we'll say in contact.

Here are the install instructions for Mike's Mod:

I'm assuming we are doing this on a factory deck. With an aftermarket deck, the install would be even easier. I'm also assuming we're installing the amp under the driver's seat. The wire runs would be the shortest. Add an extra 5' onto the power wire runs if it is going under the passenger's seat.

Parts needed:

basic stereo amp, 20-30 watts RMS per channel
10' - 8 gauge wire, red
10' - 8 gauge wire, black
10' - stereo RCA cable
10' - primary wire (22 gauge single conductor wire)
20' - speaker wire
female inline RCA jack, solder type
Y connector, 1 male to 2 female RCAs
2 - ring terminals to hook up power and ground to the battery
inline fuse holder and fuse, 5 amps bigger than the one in your new sub amp
misc. wire ties and split loom to dress wires
solder, soldering iron, wire cutters, black tape, crimp caps, other basic tools
six pack of beer (or iced tea - Mike doesn't drink :) )

Before you start, make sure you have the radio code for your factory radio. We are going to disconnect it from power in the next step. It would be a shame to do this whole install and not be able to turn your radio back on.

Disconnect the positive wire from the battery.

Remove the head unit from the dash.
Remove the subwoofer cover and the factory sub (four screws)
Remove the driver's seat. You may also want to remove part of the floor. For Mike's car, we just snaked the wires under the floor and didn't remove it.

Have a beer or iced tea. You've earned it.

Run your RCA cable and primary wire from the deck to the space under the driver's seat where the amp will go.

The subwoofer output on the factory deck is on its own 8 pin plug. There are three wires, two signal and one shield. We aren't hooking up the shield but the wire will be shielded from the amp end so that's OK. The wires you want are red with a blue stripe (sub positive) and red with a white stripe (sub negative). Cut all three wires that connect to this plug, leaving as long a pigtail as you can. You'll need the wire. Solder the female RCA connector onto the red/blue and red/white wires. Plug the female RCA connector into the Y adapter. Plug the other end of the Y adapter into the RCA cable that runs to the amp. Use some black tape to tape these plugs together so they won't jiggle lose.

The primary wire needs to hook up into the yellow wire with a green stripe that comes out of the deck. This wire is located on the deck's main plug with all the speaker connections. Splice the primary wire into this yellow wire with green stripe. You need this for amp turn on. Either crimp or solder your three wires together (the yellow/green that goes to the plug, the yellow/green that goes to the car and the primary wire).

Plug everything back into the deck and put the head unit back into the dash. Don't screw anything down until we make sure it works.

From the battery, run the 8 gauge red and black wires through the firewall to under the driver's seat. Mount your in-line fuse holder somewhere close to the battery. This is your line of last defense if everything frells up. Hook the fuse holder up to the red wire so that the power passes through it. Using ring terminals, hook up the red and black wires to the positive and negative battery connectors. DO NOT RE-HOOK UP THE BATTERY YET.

Run two lengths of speaker wire from the driver's seat to behind the subwoofer. Cut off the plug that goes into the factory sub, again leaving a long pigtail. Hook the pigtail wires to your two speaker wire runs using crimp caps or solder. Here's your color code:

brown: subwoofer voice coil 1 positive
red: subwoofer voice coil 1 negative
blue: subwoofer voice coil 2 positive
grey/black: subwoofer voice coil 2 negative

Put the sub back into the car.

OK - you should have all of your wires run. The power wire and ground are coming from the battery. The RCA and turn-on wires are coming from the deck. The speaker wires are run to the sub. It's time to hook up the amp.

So, what are you waiting for? Hook up the amplifier. Leave some slack on your wires and don't mount down the amp unless you are absolutely sure you are perfect in every way. Even then, don't mount down the amp.

Make sure the switches on the amp are correct. You want it in stereo, not bridged mono. This way each channel of the amp will see a 4 ohm load and will run happily all day long, staying nice and cool. As Mike reminded me, heat kills amplifiers. If the amp has a sub crossover, you probably want it off, but this could vary. I am assuming here that the sub crossover in the factory system is built into the deck. Using a second one on the amp will give you ugly phase shifts and is just asking for trouble. If when this mod is completed, you here voices coming from the subwoofer, turn on the crossover on the amp. You don't want voices coming from your sub. The gain pots on the amp should be at maximum at this point.

Put the seat back into the car, remembering to re-hook up the airbag if you have one. Note: do not put the key in the ignition without the seat in the car and the airbag hooked up. Othewise you will have to re-set the airbag indicator.

Attach the positive battery wire to the battery.

Start the car. Turn on the car stereo. Everything works, right? Of course it does. If not, troubleshoot. Do you have power coming to the amp? Are the gain pots turned up on the amp and all switches on it in the correct position? Is the turn-on wire hooked up correctly? This old amp that's been sitting in a closet for the past dozen years does work, right? :rolleyes: RIGHT? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Assuming you have bass, adjust the gain pot(s) on the amp to get the subwoofer balanced with the mains. The sub setting on the deck should be at zero when you do this.

Using a CD, sit back and enjoy your bass for a song or two. Have a beer. :)

You have one more thing to do, either today or sometime later. You have to check phase on the subwoofer. After adding an amp, you have a 50/50 chance of the sub being in phase with the mains. You don't know. Get a CD that has good mid-bass: bass guitar, drums or pipe organ. Play it on your system. Turn off the stereo. Unless you are lucky and your amp has a phase switch, you'll neet to flip the speaker wires. Swap the positive and negative speaker wires for both speakers so that the two positive wires now go into the amp's negative jacks and the two negative wires are hooked up to the positive terminals. You want the sub hooked up backwards from the way it was before. If the amp's connectors are color coded, the positive speaker wires now go to the black terminals, with the negative wires to the red ones.

Listen to the system again. Changing nothing else, if the system has more bass now, the wiring is correct. If it has less, change the wires back to the way they were initially. Whichever way has the most bass is the correct way. Leave it wired up this way.

This may be easier to hear down the road, a week or two later after you've been listening to the system, getting used to your new, powerful bass. If after becoming acclimated to the sound, you swap these wires, you'll hear the difference within a couple of songs. Again, the way with the most bass is the correct way. When you have it hooked up right, the subwoofer and your door speakers are working in together instead of against each other. Bass cancels when the phase is incorrect. It reinforces when it's right.

Mount down the amp. You may have to take the seat back out to do this. If you do, remember to un-hook the battery again.

Put your car back together. Check your driver's window up/down function. Have one more beer. You've just completed Mike's Mod. :)
 

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gilmour25 said:
Um.... yeah.... there's no way I could do that myself :|

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
This is why God made stereo installers. Any good shop should be able to do this easily. Maybe take in the URL of the instructions so that they can follow the links if they have trouble taking something out. My instructions will also give them wiring color codes. They'll need those.
 

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spdrcr5 said:
Very nice indepth instructions Gregg.
Thank you, Larry. Your opinion means a lot to me. :)

Only problem I see is you have 3 important things left over based on your instructions... :shock:

Can you figure out what you have left over if you follow your instructions? :grin:
Let's see. I might have some wire left over but that can't be it. I'll have extra crimp caps but those come in bags of 500 so who cares. Black tape, no. Y adapter, no. Ring terminals, no.

I'm baffled. :confused:

I think I'll have one of these remaining beers and try and figure this puzzle out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
outpost4 said:
This is why God made stereo installers.
I could not agree more. IMHO, a good installer is worth his/her weight in gold. You end up with an installation that works, looks good, and most importantly peace of mind that a good job was done. That's why I feel fortunate to have found Greg's shop and his crew. I checked out all of my local authorized Eclipse dealers, and I did not like what I saw. I also have the electromechanical skills to install it myself. But, I don't do this for a living, so I don't have most of the inside knowledge or experience to guarantee a good looking quality install. To me, the 600 mile round trip and the labor cost was a cheap investment for the peace of mind knowing that a good job was done.
 

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outpost4 said:
Thank you, Larry. Your opinion means a lot to me. :)


Let's see. I might have some wire left over but that can't be it. I'll have extra crimp caps but those come in bags of 500 so who cares. Black tape, no. Y adapter, no. Ring terminals, no.

I'm baffled. :confused:

I think I'll have one of these remaining beers and try and figure this puzzle out.
:) You can have 3 of the remaining beers while you figure out the puzzle. :-D



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

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outpost4 said:
This is why God made stereo installers. Any good shop should be able to do this easily. Maybe take in the URL of the instructions so that they can follow the links if they have trouble taking something out. My instructions will also give them wiring color codes. They'll need those.

What would you say would be a "fair" price (ie average price) I should expect to be quoted if I wanted someone to do this job for me? (parts and labor)


I know this is a pretty generic question... but just give me a ballpark figure.
 

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I like to see pics of stereo installs in elements almost as much a I like to see my girlfriend nude. Should I post pics?
 

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:D

Let's see, we've had pictures of nude Elements posted. And we've had pics of girlfriends. It's only a short step...

gilmour25 said:
What would you say would be a "fair" price (ie average price) I should expect to be quoted if I wanted someone to do this job for me? (parts and labor)
In my shop, it would be around $125. Now that is a small town price.
 

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$125 isn't too bad.


Do you think a shop would be pissed if I brought my own amp in to be installed?



(BTW, thanks for all the answers)
 
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