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You Put A System In THAT??!

Why, yes I did. 

I have been a car audio fanatic for more than ten years.  When I traded from my VW GTI to the Sammi because of the fun factor I was ready to do without a quality stereo.  That lasted about six months.  With the OEM, AM only, push button radio and one speaker I was not happy.  I could not hear it while the truck was moving and did not like what I heard while it was still.

The first generation upgrade consisted of a very inexpensive Clarion CD player, a pair of 6.5" coaxial speakers and a set of 8" woofers in a small  slot loaded box in the back.   They were all driven by a Rockford Fosgate 4oox4, 50x4 channel amplifier that was mounted to the driver side rear wheel well.     One too many good mud holes later and it was time to upgrade again!  The CD player, the amp and the 8s were all wet and dead...it did not sound all that great anyway.


Realizing that the elements were going to be a challenge I started doing some serious research on quality sound in a 4WD vehicle.  It did not take long to find that nobody I could find had a stereo like I wanted.  There were a lot of Sammi drivers that said no stereo was fine.  There were almost as many that said a set of 6x9 speakers in the back was good enough.  And a couple that were set up to seriously pound but either did not address their front stage or did not drive off road.  That did not work either.

I consider myself a "tweaker" and want my sound loud, clear and balanced.  A strong, focused image is as important as the boom of bass.  So I started with the front and worked to the back.  For the front I went with a pair of Rockford 6.5 audiophile mid bass speakers left over from the GTI.  At one time Car Stereo Review called these speakers the best 6.5 midrange at any price.  Works for me!  Next for the upper range I went back to the closet of old equipment and dug out a pair of Image Dynamics  Horn Loaded Compression Drivers.  These are basically gianttweeters that mount under the dashboard.  They can sound very good and are extremely weather proof.  For the sub I used a JL Audio 10W0 in a Deathbox.  All being driven by another Rockford Fosgate 400x4 amp, mounted in a much more weather proof location.  The head unit I chose this time was also from a previous install, a Clarion HX-D10.  A decent head unit with a fold down face.  I hope that will help keep dust out of the laser mechanism for the CD.    


Here are a couple of pictures of the front end:


As you can see I also moved the head unit to the top of the center dash and enclosed it in a marine radio cover.  The cover works well and both it and the head unit fit in that location.  Even on the dustiest or muddiest days the CD player is protected.  I used gutter mesh to protect the horns and make a storage pocket where the radio used to be.   


The sub box and amp rack were my favorite part of this install.  After the death of the 8 inch subs and the amp I decided that something much more element proof was needed.  While looking for a solution I found the DECWare site and their Deathbox.  This is a small (14x14x20) single reflex band pass box.  That means that it is a small box with only a small port that  the bass comes out of.  This box is completely adjustable so that it works in any vehicle with almost any sub.  The DECWare site claims that their box with a single 10" sub will out hit a pair of 12" subs in a generic store bought box.  I don't know about that, but it is a GREAT small, element proof box that ROCKS!                                                                                                                                                     

A couple more pics: 


I combined the sub box with the amp rack so that the amp would be protected both from elements and from thieves.  It is bolted to the floor using the factory rear seat bolt holes.  It is very solid.  The amp is approximately 10 inches off the floor for protection from the water and mud that ends up in the truck.  The port on top of the box for the sub is 14 inches above the floor.  If the water gets that high in the truck I will have bigger problems than the stereo!

I have other pictures and further information if you are interested.  Let me know and I will share.