April 2009 Car Post

A couple of days ago Justin and I finished the stereo wiring in the car! Ultimately I had great time and I learned a ton of fun stuff, but the stereo upgrade was a way bigger project than we had thought. Running all the cables and keeping them hidden was really tricky (we ended up pulling out tons of the body paneling). The mess of wires behind the head unit was intimidating but we got everything wired up a-ok. I will confess that it was a little frightening to see my car in so many pieces.

I got everything put back together earlier tonight and spent some time road testing it. For the most part I’m really happy with everything.  The two subs (JL Audio 8″) are fantastic. They give off nice tight base (which is what I wanted) but still sound very full. I replaced the stock speakers in the rear with some 5 1/4″ Kenwood Exelons (nothing fancy) which have a nice bright sound that complements the subs. I left the 10″ stock speakers in the doors- for now they get the job done just fine. Everything (subs and mids) run of the two Alpine amplifiers (both 250 watts).  As an aside, cramming everything into the trunk and still leaving room for the removable roof was difficult, but we pulled it off! Visually I think the set up is very appealing.

There’s a lot of tuning left to do, but I think the final result will exceed my expectations. Sadly I’ve got  humming noise that parallels the engine speed. I need to figure out where it’s coming from and what’s causing it. My initial hunch is that the ground wire is too long (the chassis of the car is fiberglass to we had to run the ground wire back to the battery- nearly 16 feet). It may also have to do with poorly shielded wires in the engine bay (i.e. spark plug wires). This, coupled with my Blu Ray sync issues, has made it a bad month for sound! Ah well- it makes me feel manly when I fix stuff.

Originally Posted April 18, 2009