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Figured I would post a thread on my audio build to maybe inspire others to upgrade their system and help anyone who may need some pointers. Be forewarned, I am not done with this build simply because I think I have found a new hobby for me and of course nothing is ever good enough when it becomes a hobby.

A little background, I am a somewhat "educated amateur" when it comes to stereos and installations. I installed a stereo in my 2004 Ford Lightning a few years ago and really since then I always feel that a good stereo is worth having…something about being either at a party or cruising down the road with some good beats makes things so much better. I have two Alpine 10” subs behind the seats with a set of Infinity Reference 6x8s in the doors and rears. The 500 watt Alpine mono and 300 watt Alpine 4 channel do a pretty good job at jamming to all sorts of music and I didn’t have to cut a single wire for anything. By the way, Speed Wire is pretty bad *** when it comes to doing things like this. I used some cheap Scosche lineout converters for this and I think it may be a bit of a hindrance on the sound quality. I’ll eventually replace this with what I used on this build for my F250….an AudioControl LC2i active LOC.

Before starting my build on my F250, I did plenty of research, starting with BIGDZL’s THREAD. I basically copied everything from his build except I first started with just the sub and did not change out the door speakers. More on that in a bit…

First I took out the entire rear and Dynamatted the whole rear of the cab. I went all the way up towards the front as far as I could without taking the carpet completely out or removing the front seats. Warning…this stuff is sharp when you cut it and I had plenty of cuts on my fingers from it.





Next part was to tap into the speakers to give the LC2i speaker level inputs so I could give the JL JX500/1 amp some good RCA inputs. With the help of BIGDZL’s thread, I went ahead and tapped into the front speakers since they are pretty much full range and do not have nearly the sound processing and bass roll off as the other speakers (including the rears and the sub output). I had the mentality that I did NOT want to cut any of the factory wires so I could easily go back to stock if I wanted. I used the push taps to tap into the speaker wires without cutting. Does it work? Sure, but I definitely would not do it again.



I ran the same 4 gauge wire kit from the battery and through the grommet in the firewall. I just cut a small slit in the rubber and pushed the wire through. This is a pain in the butt to get it through the grommet but I think it is a very good seal and you shouldn’t have any problems with water coming into the cab.

After looking at BIGDZL’s thread, I sort of copied his layout for the amp rack. Fits pretty nicely and still maintains the jack’s position. Overall, this is a very nice and clean way to support the stock Sony amp and JL JX500/1 mono amp. Even though I really would never see the amps again, I like knowing that everything is neat and orderly behind the seats.



After getting things tuned up a bit, I was pretty happy with my new sub. The JL 13TW5v2-2 sub definitely hits pretty decently for a shallow mount and the Supercrew Sound enclosure seems to be enough for the sub. Remember, this shallow mount sub only needs like 0.8 cubic foot of volume. The hip hop and top 40 music hits hard enough to shake the mirrors and most country songs I listen to have enough bass to satisfy most people.

The stock door speakers definitely left a lot to be desired. They had enough power to compliment the 500 watt sub/amp combo but the sound quality just wasn’t there. After some research, I settled on some Polk Audio dB6501 component speakers. I knew I would probably amp the speakers eventually so that is why I settled on the 6.5” speakers instead of 5.25” speakers. The 6x8” to 6.5” Scosche adapter plates work pretty well and I did not have to cut anything for them to fit in the door. Just like with the rear of the cab, I Dynamatted about half of the door to help with reducing any rattles with the soon to be jamming speakers.





I used Metra door speaker harnesses for the drivers that plug into the stock wiring harness but be warned they are not the same harness for the tweeters. I ended up just cutting the wire harness off the stock tweeter wire and soldering and heat shrinking it to the new Polk tweeters. I didn’t want to but I wanted to get this done in the 1 day I had available not wait on harness adapters. I used metal strips to hold the Polk tweeter in the stock location. I had to use my Dremel to clearance out the opening because the stock hole was not big enough.



In order to conceal the Polk drivers in the door, I hot glued some black lycra material to the back of the door panel. Overall it looks very clean and hides the speakers from view. I also mounted the tweeter crossover in the cubby hole in the door panel using some left over Dynamat folded on itself...sort of like double sided tape. Fits perfectly there and keeps it away from any potential moisture if you mount them inside the door.







With the stock head unit, the Polks were definitely and upgrade over the stock speakers. The sound quality and loudness is above and beyond my expectations. They would be worth doing if you just want to upgrade the speakers and not hassle with the sub.
Some tuning tips for the LC2i and the JL amp….go ahead and turn the head unit up to ¾ or even full volume and adjust the gains on the LC2i until the maximized yellow light just starts to blink. Back off just a tad and you’re set to go. Do this with several songs from several different genres to be sure you don’t clip the LOC. For the AccuBass, I left the gain on the middle detent and the threshold turned all the way down. I don’t feel that the stock system has any bass roll off when using the front speaker taps. If you use the rears or the sub for the inputs, you might need it as I bet the bass rolls off as you turn the volume up. I turned up the amp gain until I started to hear distortion and backed it off just a bit.

I was satisfied with this setup for a while but I decided I wanted more. I decided the door speakers needed to be amped. The Polk speakers when running through the crossovers are rated at 100 watts RMS each (Polk said the drivers are good for about 100 watts each and the tweeters around 50 watts or so). The JL 13TW5v2.2 is rated at a hefty 600 watts RMS and the JL JX500/1 amp is rated for 500 watts but this is at 14.4 volts. They are pretty well paired but after some more research I decided to settle on the JL XD1000/5v2 5 channel amp. This small package, while a bit pricy, is rated at again a hefty 100 x 4 watts for the satellite speakers and a generous 600 watts for the sub channel. Perfect match if you ask me. I also installed a bass knob like BIGDZL did for adjusting the bass level. Note to self…the JX and XD amps use different knobs so the one I had for the JX amp won’t work with the XD.

I pulled out the old amp rack and started with a cardboard template to cut the MDF for the new amp rack. After I was satisfied with the fitment around the jack and the amps, I cut the rack out of the board I had and covered it in black felt. The black felt looks exactly like the rear cab carpet…almost looks like the rack should be there stock!











In an effort to again keep from cutting the stock harnesses, I located a new WPT-1145 Ford harness that plugs into the Sony amp. This particular harness is for the speaker outputs. I pulled out all the pin connectors except for the 2 pairs for the front door speaker wires. These will be wired directly to the LC2i. Unfortunately after hours and hours of scrounging the internet and Molex catalogs for the mating harness that would plug into the stock WPT-1145 harness, I gave up and just cut the stock wire harness. The intent was to plug the new WPT-1145 harness into the Sony amp, run those 4 speaker level output wires into the LC2i…which would give the amp RCA outputs…then I would wire the amp speaker wires into another pigtail harness that would plug into the stock speaker harness. Hope that made sense…but I failed to find this stupid male harness. I made sure to solder and heat shrink the wires to ensure a high integrity joint.



Since the JL XD1000/5v2 has not only a low pass filter for the sub channel, there is a high pass with a 10x multiplier for channels 1 and 2...perfect for tweeters and a band-pass for channels 3 and 4...perfect for the mid-range drivers. I went ahead and removed the crossover from the door and used just the amp crossover set at 80 Hz for the sub, 100 Hz for the door speakers and 4000 Hz for the tweeters.

Overall I’m fairly satisfied with the sound. The door speakers sound fantastic and the amp has a little bit more hit with the extra wattage. Of course I don’t think it is enough bass for some songs and quite a bit for others so I’m going to research what I want to do next. Those two 10s I have in my Lightning hit much harder with less power. I know it is a single cab vs full cab with them mounted right behind the seats but still…I want my bass.

Right now, the rear speakers are disconnected as well as the center. I think I will go back and connect them and run them off stock power just because. I really can't tell they're not running with the extra power on the front door speakers.

The saga will continue…
 

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looks real good. Only thing i discourage that you might have problems from in the future is the Splice connectors. I really recommend you cut those and hook/loop solder them.

Other thank that looks clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree 100% with you. That is why I ditched them and soldered the wires instead like in the last picture.
 

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I agree 100% with you. That is why I ditched them and soldered the wires instead like in the last picture.
I'm not trying to be mean or put you down or anything, just this is my ally.
I'm saying this because its hard to tell ones intent reading it on a forum.

if you were close to Arkansas i would give you a hand. Your solder looks OK,Iron looked a little cold. or poor quality rosin/flux core. I personally like Kester solder.
future tip. Suck the solder into the wires (tinning) then solder together.

On a splice you can take stranded wire and make a channel in center then take the connection wire and pass through center and back to its self and wrap in parallel then solder. On those i use Liquid tape to wrap it instead of heat shrink.

I need to make some HOW-TO on YouTube.

I've been soldering for 15 years. 10 of those professional. I'm an Electronics Engineer(contract) and a Electronic security systems manager (DOD CIV)
Before that i was a Fire alarm,CCTV,access control ex installer. before that i installed car stereos for best buy.
 

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o, and after all that. I can say your work still looks better than most car install shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not trying to be mean or put you down or anything, just this is my ally.
I'm saying this because its hard to tell ones intent reading it on a forum.

if you were close to Arkansas i would give you a hand. Your solder looks OK,Iron looked a little cold. or poor quality rosin/flux core. I personally like Kester solder.
future tip. Suck the solder into the wires (tinning) then solder together.

On a splice you can take stranded wire and make a channel in center then take the connection wire and pass through center and back to its self and wrap in parallel then solder. On those i use Liquid tape to wrap it instead of heat shrink.

I need to make some HOW-TO on YouTube.

I've been soldering for 15 years. 10 of those professional. I'm an Electronics Engineer(contract) and a Electronic security systems manager (DOD CIV)
Before that i was a Fire alarm,CCTV,access control ex installer. before that i installed car stereos for best buy.
No offense or anything taken. Good points on the solder technique and hopefully someone can benefit from the pointers. At least one thing I'm sure we can agree on....my crappy solder job is better than those stupid splice connectors. I won't use those ever again unless absolutely necessary. I need to invest in a better soldering iron as the little 25 watt one I have just doesn't get hot enough to effectively heat my work to get it to flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So word to the wise....do NOT stuff your box if you run this sub. The box I used from Supercrew Sound is stated to be 0.8 cubic foot, which is exactly what this sub is recommended to be run with. I guess the stuffing ended up choking the sub and was seriously hindering the performance. I pulled it all out this morning and what a complete night and day difference!! I was always wondering how people were happy with the sound of this sub but damn now I see why it has such great reviews.
 
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HyOctane23 - Thanks for all the pics and great info! Im researching everything for my next audio overhaul on my new 16 platinum and between you and BIGDZL you have a couple good threads with lots of info and pics so thanks for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're welcome! If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer. What are you thinking about doing with your setup?

There is another thread on Ford Trucks forum by smoky_diesel that has a lot of good information regarding the frequency responses of the various channels. This is why I ended up tapping into the front channels and not the rear or sub channel like a lot of people do.

And take it from me..do NOT use those splice connectors...go ahead and splice and solder it!
 
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Do you regret getting the Polk DB over JL c2? I've been a fan of the Polk DB line for several years now. I just wish i had a place to compare them side by side.
 

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I have no complaints with the Polk at all. I can't comment on the JL series but I don't think you would be disappointed with either series. I can definitely crank up the volume and the Polk's never miss a beat.
 

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this might be a stupid question but what did you do with the factory sub? Will the sound system still work correctly with it disconnected? Reason why I ask is b/c the local pro audio shop said that the Sony system would stop working completely if you unplug the sub.
 

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this might be a stupid question but what did you do with the factory sub? Will the sound system still work correctly with it disconnected? Reason why I ask is b/c the local pro audio shop said that the Sony system would stop working completely if you unplug the sub.
I have the stock sub completely disconnected and it all works perfectly. They are correct; well only partially. If you disconnect the Sony amplifier...the silver one that is bolted to the sub enclosure....the system will not work. This is why we must resort to line out converters to add subs and additional amps to power the door speakers.
 

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How did you run your wire to your rear door tweeters? Did you use the factory wiring or did you figure out how to get the speaker wire through the molex connector?
 

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Currently I am still running the stock rear speakers. I am of the impression that they really do nothing for me in the front.
 

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This is a really nice setup man. In my 2002 F-350 CC I had a JL XD700/5 which is 4 x 75W with 300W for the sub channel with Infinity Kappa 5x7s and a JL 8" Microsub. I took the amp and sub box out of that truck when I traded it for a 2015 F-350. I really appreciate your write up on how to tune the Audiocontrol processor. Right now I ran the wires that went to the factory sub in my KR to my LC2i. I am thinking about getting the LC6i in case I ever want to install rears and use the fade function on my factory head unit.

I know it has been a while since you did this but do you remember how you wired the front components? I have a wiring diagram that shows that the RF and LF speakers only have 2 wires ea from the amp, and then from the woofer the wires run to the tweeter in the column above. It is a diagram I download from a forum so I don't know if I can trust it. It does not make sense.

I am attaching that PDF so if you have a second look at it let me know if you remember how you ran speaker wires from your amp to the component Polks.
 

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This is a really nice setup man. In my 2002 F-350 CC I had a JL XD700/5 which is 4 x 75W with 300W for the sub channel with Infinity Kappa 5x7s and a JL 8" Microsub. I took the amp and sub box out of that truck when I traded it for a 2015 F-350. I really appreciate your write up on how to tune the Audiocontrol processor. Right now I ran the wires that went to the factory sub in my KR to my LC2i. I am thinking about getting the LC6i in case I ever want to install rears and use the fade function on my factory head unit.

I know it has been a while since you did this but do you remember how you wired the front components? I have a wiring diagram that shows that the RF and LF speakers only have 2 wires ea from the amp, and then from the woofer the wires run to the tweeter in the column above. It is a diagram I download from a forum so I don't know if I can trust it. It does not make sense.

I am attaching that PDF so if you have a second look at it let me know if you remember how you ran speaker wires from your amp to the component Polks.
Hey, sorry for the delay...I didn't see you posted this.

My amp has 4 channels plus a sub channel so I used channels 1 and 2 for the tweeters and channels 3 and 4 for the door speakers. Since the amp has a built in crossover made for tweeters on channels 1 and 2, I was able to adjust accordingly. Your setup will vary.
 
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