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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm looking to install a stealth box subwoofer and jl amp to a 2019 dodge challenger RT. It isn't the alpine system but does come with a factory amp already installed. I was quoted $750 at car toys in the Dallas, Texas area for installation and that just seem kind of high . Anyone know a good spot in the DFW area that can handle new car installations ? Or is car toys the way to go ? Keep in mind due to my vehicle having an amp they are charging $250 for an adapter to connect to the factory amp .
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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The JL StealthBoxes I have seen meant to go in a Challenger are $700 by themselves. If CarToys is offering to install one for $750, that sounds like a good deal.

You still need an amp to push it though, and you’ll need a pretty good one for the JL Audio 12s they put in StealthBoxes. I can’t imagine that $750 includes an amp too, and if it does, it probably won’t be adequate to power the StealthBox.

If you do have to come up with an amp to push it, hit up member @NiteFlyer. I know he has an 800w Kicker amp still in the box that would work very well for this scenario.

Also, that PAC device is necessary to integrate the aftermarket hardware with the car’s factory audio system. That $250 price doesn’t sound out of line either, seems like they were definitely $200+ last time I looked.
 
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Sorry I should have clarified. $750 is just for installation including the adapter . Stealth box and amp are not factored into the $750 and purchased separately. I have a jl audio JD500 mono amp . I will reach out if that amp is better though. Wondering if I should have just bought everything from a store with installation...
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Sorry I should have clarified. $750 is just for installation including the adapter . Stealth box and amp are not factored into the $750 and purchased separately. I have a jl audio JD500 mono amp . I will reach out if that amp is better though. Wondering if I should have just bought everything from a store with installation...
So basically, they are saying they’ll sell you the PAC integration device and install it, plus install whatever sub and amp you bring them, all for $750, correct?

If so, I don’t think that’s a bad deal, assuming they are providing the recommended #4 power/ground wires, 50A in-line fuse, etc. to hook up the sub amp (and will be dialing it in to make sure it’s playing well with everything else).
 

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I dont know exactly what wires they will be using but the rep advised with wiring and the adapter it will be $750 if I bring in sub and amp. I guess i will have to follow up and check for the type of wiring for this one. Dont want to go cheap and get a terrible installation since um already dealing with that but I also don't want to fork out an arm and a leg for the same experience .
 

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$750 doesn't sound off if they are using "REAL" 4g wire and a clean install. I would ask to see some of their work though. Any real car audio guy will have a boat load of pics. Make them be clear on what they are going to do and provide before you sign. What level of install are you going to get? Make sure they use the PAC unit and also make sure they install the sub gain knob of the PAC up front so you can easily get to it. Mine is to the right of the shifter in a custom plate. I removed the pocket and made a plate. Super easy to make one. You will thank me later. You should be fine with the JL amp as that is a 500w amp at 2ohm and the stealthbox is wired for 2 ohm. I will say, better to have overhead when it comes to amps. Especially sub amps. A good rule of thumb is %25 of clean RMS power above rating of speaker. Your JL amp will be fine though.

Honestly, I would save the $750 and get to it. It isn't hard to do this install. If you are somewhat handy, you shouldn't have any problems and you will walk away with the satisfaction of doing it yourself. I'll help you through it if you want to give it a go. The stealthbox basically drops in. Full step by step from JL. The PAC unit is plug and play also with step by step instructions. You will need a 18g wire the same length as the RCA from the PAC to the trunk for amp turn on and signal. The battery is right there in the back. Grab power and ground ( fused) and that's it. I'll help you with setting the gains correctly.

You will need:
PAC AP4-CH41 (R.2) $279.99 at Crutchfield
T-Spec V10-AK4 $89.99 at Crutchfield (real copper OFC not CCA)
some short 14g speaker wire for the sub
a drill
couple hand tools.
I built a wood plate in the lower trunk area where the factory HK subs were for my amp and whatnot in mine.
I would also Dynamat as much as you can back there.
 

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Appreciate the response. What amp would you recommend? I was offered the kicker 800 mono amp . No im not handy at all so I have to pay the cost and have some other issues that I need to resolve first. I also have to replace the door and dash speakers as they are busted at the moment. I just went with the jl audio 500 ampcbecause thats what crutch field advertised if not i go higher but its what i did in my previous system I installed back in 2007 ! Didn't know if to follow the same routine or trust "experts".
 

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agreed with story, make it as your side project. attached pic of my setup. i went home early from work one afternoon to attend my daughter's science fair and hit traffic. i cant hear the car rumble while at idle on traffic so i this idea came up in case i get stuck on traffic again:). i ended up building 2 12" subs since im getting dirty anyways and replaced/add more speakers with Kappas with independent mids and highs. i have to trim the door to fits those massive 6x9 kappas. these 2 12" punch subs are dual coil so i have to parallel/series or the opposite for the mono amp. these kappas are crystal clear, the louder it gets the better they sound and the extra crisps coming from the highs.

12-subs.jpg
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Appreciate the response. What amp would you recommend? I was offered the kicker 800 mono amp . No im not handy at all so I have to pay the cost and have some other issues that I need to resolve first. I also have to replace the door and dash speakers as they are busted at the moment. I just went with the jl audio 500 ampcbecause thats what crutch field advertised if not i go higher but its what i did in my previous system I installed back in 2007 ! Didn't know if to follow the same routine or trust "experts".
The StealthBox for the Challenger has a 12” sub that spec’s 50-600w RMS @2 ohm, so a 500w RMS amp would work (assuming it does 500w at 2 ohm), but there is some room for more wattage if max output is desired. An 800w amp would be able to max the sub’s capabilities, but in reality you probably wouldn’t be able to hear much difference between the two.

If one has more amenities than the other (Bluetooth connection, remote volume knob, etc), that would be a good reason to go with one amp over the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey nuke

Finally got my stealth box in and ready to go install but I want to have an idea whats best and what to go with so I can avoid getting hosed by these places and have a comfortable set up. My question is do I go with 2 amps( mono & 4channel) or a 5 channel amp like the jl audio rd900?

any advise from anyone is greatly appreciated Nuke has alot of knowledge and on point so no offense to anybody else
 

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That 5 channel is a good amp, and having 1 vs 2 makes things less complicated and nearer to deal with.

I would probably do the 5 channel personally, but if you want more than the 500w it offers for the sub, you’ll need to go with 2 separate amps.
 

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I run the JL 900/5 HD on a single 8W7 and it is more than enough. Typically, you want some overhead with an amp just so there is clean power as you can do more damage to a speaker under powering than over as well as keep the amp running a little cooler not at its peak. The prebuilt stealth box is setup for 2ohm and 500w is more than enough. Keep in mind the sub is in the trunk and would hinder you from noticing that you were over driving the sub. JL is pretty good at helping you setup the input gains with some fixed test tones and a volt meter. JL is also more realistic with their ratings so the 5 ch would be perfect for that setup. Just make sure the gains are set correctly and you should be good to go. Also, the input gains on the amp are not volume controls. They are for matching the output from the source unit. Setup with the volume of the head unit around 80% and never go past that. I will assume you are going to use the PAC unit which I would recommend. If you want more output, the stealth box is not the correct setup. There are other types of enclosures and subs and amps with differences in performance as well as cost. The stealth box is a good all around sub that drops right in and is out of the way. Adding 800w vs the 500w will net you hardly anything. You would gain more output putting the same sub in a ported enclosure with the 500w than adding 800w to the stealth box sealed enclosure. There are pros and cons to everything so it totally depends on the goal but the 900/5 and the stealth is a great bang for the buck way to go. It's like going with a supercharger. Great bang for the buck performance as long as you stay within the limits. If you want more, you are going to have to go the custom route which can get very costly!
 

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Hey Fellas,

I'm trying to verify where my amp is or if I have one based off what I have been told by 1 audio shop and 2 dealerships . I have RT with premium but not the alpine system. 1 audio shop swore i had an extra amp over the pedals section but I don't see anything in there . Keep in mind all did was look with my cell phone and its pretty empty in that section. 1 dealership advised my amp is in the radio unit. I have the 7in radio unit . Im going to call another dealership with my vin and get specifics on what I got. I don't want to be charged for parts I don't need at cartoys or audio shop i use for stealth box. CT is charging $600 just in labor for the install of a jl audio rd900 5 channel amp. Once you add the wiring shop fees and accessories for the oem unit its way over $1400 so making sure this decision makes sense or find another shop . Im fine with paying but just seems kind of crazy to pay that much ? They are installing the stealth box as well for me

Just to clarify im fine with paying a large amount for things when I'm receiving quality work or items . However I understand pricing doesn't always mean quality
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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You can pull your car’s build sheet with this link, just paste your VIN onto the end of it, then copy the whole thing and paste into a browser address bar


Look for audio group on the listing of things on the car. Base audio means no amp (in the head-unit). Anything other than base means one amp above the pedals next to the parking brake release.

No audio packages come with more than one amp.

Also, if they are selling and installing the adapter for your factory integration, the price should not depend upon what audio package you have. The same adapter works for amp, no amp, etc., and it installs the same as well.

There might be an extra harness needed for steering wheel controls, but that’s less than a $100 IIRC, probably less than $50 actually.
 

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I have been in electronics for 30 years and own a AV company. I can tell you that you get what you pay for with equipment. Install/labor is a different topic. I was a custom car installer for most of the 90's. My best advice of picking a shop is look at their work. Ask who will be doing the install and ask to have a chat with them. I would also ask to see some photos of their work. Any good car audio guy will have more pics than you can look at as that is his resume. I would ask in full detail what you are getting for the $600 install. Amp location, how will it be mounted, will it be tuned using any tools of the trade outside of ear leveling and so on. Are they running wire to each speaker or cheating and running to the back of the radio and using factory wiring from there. Stop in a few times to build a relationship. If you get the brush off quickly, try a different shop.Generally, you get what you pay for but that doesn't always mean you are getting the better installer on staff. Car audio isn't really that hard. Just time consuming. As I mentioned above, I know you say you are not handy but I think you could handle this job in the challenger as it is one of the easier cars to install. Use the PAC unit, run a 6 ch RCA to the back, install amp in back next to battery and run 16/2 wire to each of the speakers with a 14/2 to the sub. Install the sub in the back corner and done. Follow the manuals JL supplies to the "T" and you will be a happy camper. Can use the money you save upgrading the door and dash speakers for a kick ass setup. I would also advise as you are in the doors to fully Dynamat the hell out of each door. Inside the door itself especially right behind the 6x9 and the entire area right behind the door panel. Remove and discard the plastic vapor guard. This will made a HUGE difference in mid bass response up front. Only way one learns is to give it a go. Take your time and ask questions.

If you really don't want to give it a go, just make sure you know what you are getting for your money. You may want to pay more depending on your expectations. Time is money and most want to be paid the most money for the least amount of time. I will do my best to answer any questions you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
6 speakers is all it states in the link . I see 2 amos 136 and 730 battery something to that affect
 

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Here are two different views of the factory amp location. They both show the same amp, but the one gives a little better idea where it's located (you can see the black e-brake "arm" behind it, etc - just to help show it's location). Hope this helps.




Credit: Crutchfield
 

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Ok i will double check here shortly but did have 1 more peace of advise . The 3.5 I have are the kicker ks . They are loud and surprisingly have bass you can feel . The only concern is at higher volumes the cleanliness depending what song I listen to on tidal i hear a little crack but some songs they sound and feel amazing. What 3.5s would anyone recommend ? This are supposed to be wired to my head unit while the rest will be wired to amp . They recommended Focal for doors but idk how those will sound with less rms? They recommend jl audios C2 but my kickers 6x9 as well thump real nice and like them at this time . I imagine they will sound better once amp is added ?

Model:47KSC3504 kicker 3.5

Just realized I am rambling on like a woman at shoe store on labor day Weekend special...i apologize. But I just want some good audio in my vehicle. I don't need award winning just good
 

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On a budget, the Kenwood KFC-XP6903C speaker set is hard to beat (6x9 midbass and 3.5" coaxial set). I also like their KFC-X174 6.5" coaxials for the rear deck.

That being said, every "budget" 3.5" coaxial I tried in my 2018 had some really bad "harshness" at higher volumes. I would have to cut huge valleys in the 2khz - 4khz region to reduce that harshness. When I stepped up to a much "higher end" coaxial (the Illusion Audio C3CX), I no longer had to cut that huge valley in the 2khz - 4khz region. I'm guessing that it is some sort of distortion at higher volumes causing that "harshness" with the lower-level speakers. The Kenwood 3.5" speakers were better than the Infinity Reference that I tried first though (and the Kenwood 6x9 is awesome as well).

If you are willing to spend a little more, CDT Audio makes some great slim, carbon-fiber 6x9's that drop right in to these Challengers. They are great speakers. You can get the CL-69S version for like $100 when they are on sale (they are on-sale for $110 right now). I've measured them compared to the AudioFrog GS690 (much more expensive) and the CDT Audio 6x9 actually measured better in my car (in terms of un-EQ's frequency response).

I was so impressed with the CDT 6x9, that I tried their "Unity 8.0" speaker for my dash speakers. The "Unity 8.0" speakers are a 2.5" aluminum-cone wideband speaker with a frequency response spec of 200hz - 33khz! All from a single-cone speaker (no tweeter!). I love these little gems. They are so "smooth" sounding. I've found that I simple do NOT need dedicated tweeters in this car. Since the dash speakers fire directly up into the windshield, the sound is reflected directly toward you, giving you "on-axis"-like performance from an off-axis dash speaker. So the Unity 8.0's give plenty of highs in the factory speaker location even without a tweeter. Since you only have a single speaker, there are no complexities related to crossovers - you get a huge frequency range (8 octaves, hence the "Unity 8.0" name) from a single driver.

However, I can't say how well they would work without a DSP to fully tune them properly. With only the Bass/Mid/Treble controls of the OEM headunit, I'm not sure how well they would sound.

Personally, I feel that a good DSP is tied with speakers for being the most important component in a modern system. These modern DSP's give you TONS of flexibility that allow you "tune" your system to your exact preferences. You get individual speaker level controls, crossover controls, time alignment, up to 31-bands-per-channel parametric EQ (so 248 bands of EQ compared to 3 with the OEM headunit), etc. A DSP can even make factory speakers sound so much better.

However, once you start adding OEM integration devices (PAC AmpPro 4), aftermarket amps, aftermarket speakers, a nice DSP, sound-deadening, etc - you quickly fall down the car-audio rabbit hole and things get real expensive, real fast (ask me how I know!). :) But, it is so worth it if you love great-sounding audio. It's funny, I thought that the basic upgraded system in my old car (aftermarket speakers, small 50x4 amp, aftermarket head-unit and underseat sub) sounded so good - until I setup the system in my Challenger, complete with a Helix DSP.3. Puts the system in my old car to shame - BIG time.

Wow - I really rambled there - sorry for the super-long post. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Appreciate the responses. I am learning that the rabbit hole can get pretty deep but I am also learning alot from everyone that has posted . I discovered I actually don't even have the harness for the factory amp per the pictures previously posted unless the morons at the questionable audio shop i went to forgot to place it back since i see some cables there. I felt around and nothing . At this point I'm sticking with updated kickers ks series speakers and stealth box w/ jl rd900. CT was so busy I have to wait a few days to get it all installed so If anything comes up I will ask or will give me results once everything is installed. Its been a been pleasure to have people to speak since I dont have friends or a family member to run to for this . If anything after this experience I think im the go to guy now .....unfortunately....thanks again for sharing
 
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