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Discussion Starter #1
This is my current build in progress… Ive got an 09 dodge challenger r/t and I've been modding it over time slowly but an audio system has been long over due. It's factory equipped with the "high end" boston acoustic 7-speaker amplified system which will be replaced at the end of the build.

Heres my plan for the car:

Pioneer AVH-X4500BT
-XS Power D3400 battery
-(2) Sundown Audio SA-8 V2s
-CT Sounds AT1400.1D
-1/0 awg Audiotechnix wiring/ Audiotechnix RCAs (possibly temporary)/ Audiotechnix speakerwires
-40 sq. feet of 60 mil Audiotechnix deadener for the trunk
-Another 40 sq ft for the cabin

The mids/highs setup is yet to be determined, but It will be some sort of combo of components and 3.5"s and maybe an additional pair of 6.5" or 5.25"s for the rear deck.
Highs amp hasn't been determined either yet

My goal is to have a quality system that gets low with a tune around 33-35 hertz. (specific tuning is still up in the air). Im going to stay around the manufacturer specs around .75 cubic feet per sub. Preliminary box design puts it at these dimensions: 32”width x 13”height x12" depth. That might change. I want to retain as much room as possible in the trunk.

I'm considering walling it off to maximize the output and have the amp reverse mounted on the box so you can see the backside.

Heres the car :)



Now if you don't know the Sundown SA-8 V2s are some serious little 8" subs and pack a serious punch… they are very very underrated at 500 rms but can handle much more. I was motivated to do an 8" system after hearing a setup that made me think it was 4 15's in the trunk before I found out what was really in the trunk. The SA-8 v2s will also allow for great low frequency bass in a small enclosure. CT Sounds is relatively new to the audio scene, rebranded after formerly being known as Audio Technix. The AT1400.1 mono block amp is very impressive as well and also a great looking amp. It also comes with this badass bass knob that has a voltage meter plus a clipping warning light. I decided to go with Audio Technix wiring as well and their deadener to do the trunk.







 

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Discussion Starter #2
The project really started after my factory battery kicked the bucket and instead of shelling out like 150 for a replacement I decided to step it up with something that had substantial more juice, the XS Power D3400, still waiting for it in the mail though so no power for now haha (I'm having withdrawals from not being able to drive my car)

Anways! Hopefully this thread will be helpful for others planning an install.

Removing the battery was a tad annoying after the battery strap would not release due to an unusual build up of lead sulfate on the release button that was as hard as cement…


With a repeated soaking of baking soda + water it was eventually dissolved and freed up. (FYI for anyone who didn't know this is an easy way to get rid of battery corrosion on the terminals… or on the battery strap?)



Tear down of the trunk commenced…




This is pretty basic… just removing plastic clips.

Shortly after receiving my first order of sound deadening I began the application. First you want to clean the surface, acetone works fine to ensure a good adhesion.

With sound deadening its not about full 100% coverage. It's actually just overkill in some instances, and there is a point of diminished returns. To be honest its very difficult to achieve 100% coverage especially with all the curves and corners. You'll need a roller to firmly apply the deadener, this stuff is sticky though.


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out, but you just have to be diligent in applying it and be conscience of trim piece clip holes.

Heres some early "Acoustic" testing lol






I ended up with about 80% coverage I'd estimate. Surprisingly thats what you get with 40 square feet of deadener solely in the trunk of a challenger.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
holy over sized power cable!!
yeahh lol making sure i have an adequate supply of power, unfortunately without a power wire upgrade from the alternator it won't see its full potential
 

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Off to a good start! Keep those pics rolling in.

And FYI for anyone else out there, deadener's job is not to block noise, so 100% coverage is unnecessary. It's job is to kill resonance on large, flat, and thin sheet metal where acoustic energy is converted/wasted on panel motion. It gets rid of buzzes and vibrations. For noise blocking you want to use a mass loader like MLV. It's big, thick, heavy, and most importantly dense which is the best way to confine noise in lieu of a vacuum. Floating it on an acoustic foam (closed cell foam in cars) decouples it even better from the panel, but from a strictly bass SPL perspective might be detrimental as movement is wasted energy. It's more effective with less energy dense signals, which means higher frequency, but it's not MLV's fault that bass is so energy dense. 1 lb/ft^2 material is good enough, but 2 lb/ft^2 will net you an extra 3-5 dB of isolation from the outside, which means more acoustic energy inside. For bass heads that's a big plus.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tearing down the interior for the headunit install plus the wires to run to the trunk. Running the wires down the door sill was for the most part out of the question. Luckily it isn't that difficulty to remove the center console and i did it before when installing the hurst shifter so nothing to hard. With the radio/a/c bezel/shifter handle and bezel gone, easy access to the rest of the bolts and screws holding the console in



with the console removed you can see the two sides you can run wires down. this time i just installed the mono block rcas, remote wire, as well as bass knob wire, and a mic for the BT controls.

The wires snake across from the rear of the console to the back seats over that about foot long stretch of carpet, which to be honest, is a *****. It has a decent seal of rubber on the carpet closest to the seat so I suggest running wires from the direction of front to back in this area. Can be very frustrating but can be done. Here you can see what I mean:


Gotta also remove the bottoms of the rear seats. Actually very easy to do. Work to pull the back corners up as they aren't really held in place by anything more than the top part of the seat overlapping them. Then the front part of the seat is just locked in place with two metal clips.

How bout that crap? What ass hat spilled a drink in the seat and didn't bother telling me? People these days lol

As you can see here the front part of the console is not divided from the radio/A/C area so running wires is convenient. I demonstrated here how you can snake the wire up in the back area to the head unit location.


Using whatever harness you chose to make the aftermarket head unit work with the CANbus follow the instructions provided or advice of others (thanks Ceri) to splice the harness together with the head unit harness. Its important to wire it up temporarily
before making any more permanent connections as you need to test it out once (or several times in my case) to make sure all the functions work. I used the PAC RP4-CH11 harness.
Heres some of my splicing/ testing


Everything worked properly after hooking it up


When it comes to aftermarket head units, you almost always need an aftermarket bracket as well to mount it. With my Pioneer double din it was a little more difficult than just hooking it up and screwing it in place, not sure if this is the case for all aftermarket head units in the challenger but i had to do some modifying to the interior radio surround to make it work.

There are four protruding pieces of plastic that made a simple swap impossible. After about 2 hours of grinding with a dremel you have the problem solved.


Heres the after pic (theres two more ridges that need to be shaven down that was hidden under that rag):


Boom. Headunit mounted up and the trim piece in place as well as part of the console.



Since I'm not a smoker and no one will be smoking in my car, I decided to utilize the cut out area of the ash tray to mount that bad ass bass knob/volt meter that came with the amp.



First impressions of the head unit……
holy s#%t… blew me away. The boston acoustic system sounds 10 times better. The volume it can be turned up without distortion is at least 3 times higher, the mid bass produced was substantially greater and the system was way more clean sounding even before touching the graphic equalizer on the HU. After hearing how much the Pioneer opened up the speakers I feel happy (for the time being with the stock front stage system) (well at least to hold me over until I can fund new speakers and amp) with the stock front stage. Just wow. I think the major boost in performance has a lot to do with going with a HU with a 4 volt preamp output versus the 2 volt preamp that was in the original head unit I had chosen, once again thanks to Ceri for swaying my decision to spending a bit more.

Pumped about the outcome of this system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Two things…

Im getting some bad white noise coming from the speakers when the volume is up and a song is paused. I think it could be related to the ground of the head unit but I'm open to suggestions as to what it could be.

The radio trim piece is a pretty tight fit around the head unit. Maybe remounting it would alleviate the problem, but at the moment the trim is preventing the screen from moving to allow for CD insertion. Not that I listen to CDs but this will bother me if i can't fix it. The head unit is also sitting a little more to the left than centered so I'm going to see how I can address that issue.
 

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On the noise, you can try regrounding the head unit elsewhere (other than the factory harness ground) near the deck. Find a bolt going through solid metal. Not sheet metal. There's probably something behind the deck going into the firewall with a decent thickness to it or down low. You can also try running a temporary ground all the way back to the battery. Lastly you can put a cap in parallel between the power and ground wires to act as a high pass filter, but that's drastic and somewhat unpredictable since I don't know what sort of resistance you'd be dealing with on the line. I'm not even 100% certain it's the ground, but the ground is the most likely culprit for noise. You can also ground the RCAs to the case of the deck if you're still getting noise. That would rule them out. I don't know why we don't use balanced RCAs in automotive. It would sure cut down on these noise problems, especially since newer cars are full of noisy modules.

On the tabs, it looks like you got it working, but I made quick work of them with a small pipe saw I picked up at Walmart for $5. It cut through plastic like butter. The first tab took me 30 minutes with a hacksaw since it's tight working in there, but the last 3 took less than 5 minutes with the proper tool.

My pioneer is a snug fit too and if I used the CD player much I might bother addressing it. With the USB drive routed to the middle arm rest I don't ever use it. I just load up a 32 GB stick and put it on shuffle. Highly recommended. The factory USB slot in the arm rest is mini USB type B and you'll need a male end to make it connect up. It's possible to separate it near the shifter area in the front driver's side of the console where you were snaking wires and it's easy to miss as they tucked it up against the top. In fact in order to remove the console you probably would have already had to unhook it once. That's assuming all Challengers have this. I might be making a bad assumption.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to pull the head unit probably tomorrow hopefully upon the arrival of my Xs power battery and try that direct ground wire to the battery. All my ground is is the ground wire from the pioneer harness spliced with the ground wire of the PAC harness. I assumed that the PAC connected to a real ground from its connection with the factory harness but maybe I'm mistaken. It can't be the rcas though bc at the moment I have nothing running off rcas.

My pioneer came with a USB extension cord that plugs in the back of the unit which I snaked down through the console where I connected to an ipod cord and drilled a hole in the lower part of the console storage where the other auxiliary factory plugs are. My 09 has a connection for ipods for the stock HU which can't be used I don't believe with aftermarket HUs. That mini USB port must be a new thing in recent year models.

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I'm going to pull the head unit probably tomorrow hopefully upon the arrival of my Xs power battery and try that direct ground wire to the battery. All my ground is is the ground wire from the pioneer harness spliced with the ground wire of the PAC harness. I assumed that the PAC connected to a real ground from its connection with the factory harness but maybe I'm mistaken. It can't be the rcas though bc at the moment I have nothing running off rcas.

My pioneer came with a USB extension cord that plugs in the back of the unit which I snaked down through the console where I connected to an ipod cord and drilled a hole in the lower part of the console storage where the other auxiliary factory plugs are. My 09 has a connection for ipods for the stock HU which can't be used I don't believe with aftermarket HUs. That mini USB port must be a new thing in recent year models.

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On the USB I'm talking about the plug in the center console. It's usable, but you have to "splice into" the wire. I put that in quotes because there's a place it disconnects, but it's inside the center console, inaccessible unless you dismantle the console a little bit. Here's some pictures of what I'm talking about:




Here's what you'd be replacing:


And this is what you have to plug into with the new one:


That allows you to reuse the factory USB plug in the center console. No big deal though if you've got the Pioneer one working. I just wanted to keep it looking factory.

But on the noise, since we can effectively rule out the RCAs in your case, you definitely will want to play around with the ground. Your assumption is correct that it's going from deck->PAC->vehicle harness, but the vehicle harness ground is usually not very good to begin with, and adding a bunch of extra things to the path adds resistance, which is bad for a ground. Thicker wire going straight to the point of least resistance is what you want.
 

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double posted
 

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Subscribed. Interested in seeing the end result. I am in the process of adding a RF 1000.1bd and 3 P3 shallow 10's. Going to mat about 50% of the trunk and lid as well.:bigthumb:
 

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Subscribed. Interested in seeing the end result. I am in the process of adding a RF 1000.1bd and 3 P3 shallow 10's. Going to mat about 50% of the trunk and lid as well.:bigthumb:
Should sound pretty good. I saw in signature you have some viper 22s… hows the weight of those wheels affect performance? is it noticeable?
 

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Honestly I just picked this car up a few weeks ago. I ordered the wheels about 2 days later. I drove the car maybe 3 times. Is there a difference? For sure. Is it worth it? definately. Here is how my simple mind looks at it. If you want to add big ole wheels to a fat pig of a car and not lose performance then make it up. I figure the supercharger and Eibach system should level the playing field again for me. HAHAHAHA
 

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I absolutely love those wheels but they only look right in 22s in my opinion and I'm not one to throw bigger rims on a car... My truck howrver had 24s. I'm limited on performance upgrades so I suppose I'll have to keep searching for some wheels. I do like the original srt8 wheels in 20s though.

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your doing everything right so far. Check out my build log for a trunk wall with 2 10s, I considered doing a 4th order ported up through the stock 8" location. That would be something to consider for you
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've been considering the possibility of a 4th order or a 6th order bandpass lately. depends how much room i would need for tuning properly. This would definitely be a viable option if i wanted to move up to 4 8s. But I think even with 2 8s in a 4th order I could maximize their potential output. Im going to build a couple boxes to experiment with it before sealing the trunk off. I might even upgrade to sundown x8s once they decide to release the production model and sell the sa-8v2s. And if I decide to move up to 4 8's ill probably get another CT 1400.1 and strap the two amps together.
 

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Made some progress on the build…

Got a new tool, gets the job done




Mounting the riser/brace for the false floor. Using it to make the floor level and provide a surface to attach the floor


Secured it with lag bolts


This ***** aint goin anywhere lol




Doin some prep work for expanding foam. The foam will provide additional support under the false floor as well as seal the cracks around the edges of the surround to ensure a true sealed trunk. Tape isn't necessary to apply but I figured since I'm surely going to change this system up eventually it would be wise to take the necessary steps to make for an easy clean up of the foam when it might be needed to removed




The battery needed a new home and a tray to mount it. So I cut this thing out for placement in the spare tire wheel well


Got the dimensions of the battery and made a tray


Test fit the battery


I made sure to leave plenty of room for an additional battery when I get another one soon.
I also sprayed it black. It won't be visible once everything is built but I couldn't leave it bare. Once the other battery or 2 find their home on the battery rack I'll probably glass it in and have it painted correctly but for now this will do


So now I have the false floor cut out




Bent the sheet metal out to make it a little more flat


Cut out the surround pieces


Found the true purpose of the stock 8" boston acoustic speaker… holding my light for me at night lol



Drilled out the holes in the sheet metal and the holes on the wood. Then ran the bolts thru for test fitment



As you can see there are still quite a few gaps around the edges of the surround pieces. This was as close to the shape of the sheet metal as I could achieve even after making cardboard cut outs as templates. Im planning on using the expanding foam and pre calk to seal these holes.

And from behind



As you can see in this last pic… I have marked the lines that run down the edge of the false floor. This will be where a sheet of wood will run about 3/4 of the way down the floor piece. It will meet up with the front surround pieces. The width of the gap between these two pieces is measured to be 31.5" which is exactly the width of the sub enclosure so the box will slide between these two pieces. Now you can kind of visualize what I'm doing here. The front baffle of the box will be 8" deep from the front edge of the false floor. There is 2 reasons for this: the subs will be inverted meaning the motor and basket will be exposed from the front instead of the cone of the woofers - the height from mounting surface to the bottom of the magnet is 7", 8" accounts for the slope of the seats. secondly the further back the box is the louder it will be. The box I'm going with now is just a ported box but will almost definitely be replaced by a 4th order bandpass enclosure.

More to come soon. :cheers:
 
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