You may be saying something like “why bother improving the sound system
in such a crappy car?” well, because I’m poor
, and I’ll be using this car for a couple years, that’s why. Now that that question is out the way I’ll get to the actual project. I don’t know about you, but I always thought this was insanely technical, but it’s actually incredibly easy. I can’t imagine paying money for some idiot at Hippo
’s to install my car stereo, it only took about two hours to install the entire first tier of my system, and it was actually kind of interesting. There were two basic things wrong with the system when I got the car, first, it only had a tape deck
and I only had cds
; second, it only had three very crappy speakers
and there was no real explanation for the missing right rear speaker. Well, I had already consulted my knowledgeable, car-wise at least, friends and they told me I could probably install a new head-unit
(the cd-player) and speakers and pointed me to Crutchfield
(http://www.crutchfield.com). I ordered a decent Kenwood
cd-player, and some decent Kenwood speakers
and waited for them to arrive.
Two days later a nice big box arrived full of my new equipment, and I set to work. I was lucky on one hand because the tape deck I had in there was also a Kenwood, so I didn’t have to re-do the wiring harness, or crimp anything, or solder. I just had to unplug the old one, and plug the new one in. It was nice, and then I had a cd-player! It really didn’t take much to access where the head-unit is attached, just four screws and unscrewing the shifter knob. Then you just have to pop the center console out and you’re in business. Now I had to correct the speaker deficiency. Crutchfield sends perhaps the best directions ever, and they’re specific to your car’s model and year so it’s pretty easy to follow, you don’t have to guess at all. Installing the speakers took a little longer, but using the directions I got from Crutchfield I finished the whole project in one afternoon. After switching from my old tape to portable cd-player setup to this fine in-dash system I was in heaven for about a week. That’s when I realized I had nowhere near enough bass. I mean, I could feel the low notes, if I put my hand over the speaker grill, but I was looking for some lung-destroying thump.
Time to install a subwoofer. I picked out a Kicker CompVR (The VR is for VERY RADICAL!) 10” DVC (Dual Voice Coil) model, which is way too much for a Subaru, but it works. Installing it was actually easier than I thought it would be, in fact the hardest part was getting the damn thing in its enclosure (my carpentry skills aren’t exactly exceptional). I also had to install an amp, to power this beast, really nothing difficult here. I picked out essentially the cheapest one I could find, JBL 150.1, which give 150 watts to one channel (my sub). Wiring all this was simple except for the fact that power had to go directly from the battery to the amp. Unfortunately there’s a little thing called the firewall (not the computer kind) that separates the area of the car one sits in from the area with gears and explosions and such. Luckily I was able to push a power cable next to my tach’s cable so that worked out just fine. There are basically two lines I had to run to the amp in my trunk, power, and signal. My head-unit had pre-amp outputs, so getting signal was easy, just plug in to those bad boys, and plug into the amp. Power was simple once I found the hole through the firewall. For a nice neat finish I ran the wires under the carpeting, and actually under the floor. It was pretty easy in the Subaru, you just pry up the door sills and shove the wires underneath. 1993 Subaru Impreza Wagon, with a kickin’ sound system. I honestly don’t understand how the ladies can resist.
I think a list of the improvements is necessary:
- Old crappy tape deck - Shiny new Kenwood cd-player.
- Three weak factory installed speakers – Four new Kenwood speakers (50$ a pair!)
- NO SUB/ AMP AT ALL – JBL 150.1 amp, with a KickerVR 10” DVC subwoofer. *thump *thump
This concludes this installment of “How to waste a lot of money on a crappy old car.” Join me next time when we examine ground effects for the Corvair