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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I purchased this car in April 2012. I replaced the head unit the day I bought it with an Alpine ida-x305sBT and ran the usb cable into the glove box where it reads from a 32GB iPod touch.

The door speakers will be replaced with a set of Focal K2 Power 165KRX2 components and an ARC Audio 10" sub will go into a custom fiberglassed enclosure in the rear cubby area. Powering these will be an ARC Audio KS 900.6 amplifier. Run at full power, it might strain the reserve capacity of the converter, but I only listen at loud volume levels once in a while. I might install an additional 12v battery to give it more reserve.

The amp needs a direct source of 12v power, the DC-DC converter. It makes no sense to tap the battery under the hood and run a power cable to the back as one would do in a conventional vehicle. The mission today was to locate the DC-DC converter 12v output and figure out a mounting location for the amplifier. Next will be to make a rack to mount the amp and crossover. It will be a few days until I make any more progress.

Your comments and questions are welcome.



 

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Started applying sound dampening material to the driver's door last night:

 

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I just got my Insight this past weekend and upgraded the head unit and speakers as well. I actually removed all the interior parts except for the dashboard and doors and padded all areas with Frost King. Today, I finally finished up doing the doors and it was worth every hour I spent applying this stuff. Can't wait to see your finished project!
 

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Wow you're going to have a nice setup:)


Some personal experience if it helps:

@1 year no issues- running 120 watts to each of the 2 front speakers, 300w to the subwoofer (4ohms for all). I can't recall the fuse I used, but it was the suggested max amperage I found through searching this site.

No problems with anything, fuses/lights dimming/etc. (even though the fuse I used was lower amperage than the one suggested for the amp)

There's enough room to tuck the crossovers behind the carpet on the passenger side (as long as your passengers don't stomp their feet towards the front of the car), and on the left wall of the drivers side footwell (doesn't affect my clutch)

Couldn't tell any difference in the cars performance, charging, discharging, etc., but I hadn't owned it very long prior to the install.

Sprayed sound dampener on undercarriage, used MLV & CCF under carpeting. Probably wouldn't pull the seats and carpet if I hadn't been running wires for the amp (under passenger seat). Would do it all again except for pulling the carpet [(the added thickness makes it a nuisance to reinstall, plus the carpet must have been installed before the dash in the factory because I couldn't find a way to remove it (easily) without making a cut in front of the shift column (which can't be seen once reinstalled)]. That being said, if you're going to pull the carpet anyway I'd consider using OCF &/or MLV. Definitely not a luxury ride afterwards, but noises are lower pitched, and it doesn't sound as much like a tin can.

Can't tell a difference in SQ/SPL with the sub in the wheel well vs in the hatch area. It's not a SQ sub though and I'm not that picky. I leave it in the well out of sight.


Enjoy your build, happy listening.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow you're going to have a nice setup:)


Some personal experience if it helps:

@1 year no issues- running 120 watts to each of the 2 front speakers, 300w to the subwoofer (4ohms for all). I can't recall the fuse I used, but it was the suggested max amperage I found through searching this site.

No problems with anything, fuses/lights dimming/etc. (even though the fuse I used was lower amperage than the one suggested for the amp)

There's enough room to tuck the crossovers behind the carpet on the passenger side (as long as your passengers don't stomp their feet towards the front of the car), and on the left wall of the drivers side footwell (doesn't affect my clutch)

Couldn't tell any difference in the cars performance, charging, discharging, etc., but I hadn't owned it very long prior to the install.
I appreciate your inputs. Glad to hear there are no power issues with your setup. I intend to install both an amperage and voltage gauge so I can monitor "watts" going on. For now, I'm applying sound deadening to the doors, the wall just behind the seats, and spare tire well. It's slow going since I'm working long hours. Hopefully, I can get a bunch done this weekend. I will apply some deadening to the floor and perhaps under the headliner/roof later on when time and $$ allow. I'm getting a good deal on AlphaDamp though a sale thread I found over at DIYMA. I've been driving around since last weekend with only one speaker playing and no door panel on the driver's side for a week and it's getting old already.

The factory speaker mounts don't work well for my new speakers, which are just slightly larger in diameter (6 3/4" vs 6.5") than the originals. I plan on making a thick spacer so I can mount them directly to the inner door panel, but the stock grill will remain intact for an oem appearance.

My fiberglass resin/fabric order from US Composites should arrive next week so I can get started with the sub enclosure soon after. I'm toying with the idea of mounting the amp under the battery/converter rack and the crossover and fuse block in the cubby area on the right, where the "shoebox sub" would normally go.

I wish I could just take a whole week off and knock this out, but oh well. Gadget lust is not a cheap affliction...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Made some progress on the driver's door today.

Finished laying down AlphaDamp deadener, ran speaker wire through the door jam, got the standoff measurement and bolt-hole pattern sorted for speaker mounting, and made connections to the speaker. Only took 7 hours...







 

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Looks fantastic and hopefully it will sound just as good.

I do have a question about that Alpha Damp deadener that you installed, have you noticed a drastic reduction in road noise?

How difficult was it to install and you have any suggestions for some spray on sound deadening for the inside of the doors or rest of the car?

I recently installed some dynamat extreme (not dynamat but looks exactly like it) like substance in my doors and i did notice it helped with the exterior road noise. I didn't get the full door kit and I am wondering if I should have...
 

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Would a ring of MDF be better to stiffen the door inner skin and spread the load rather than those localised points of each screw?
 

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Be aware that if you cut the door panels for the speakers you are going to have puddles in your carpet each time it rians. This is a common issue with our Insights :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looks fantastic and hopefully it will sound just as good.

I do have a question about that Alpha Damp deadener that you installed, have you noticed a drastic reduction in road noise?

How difficult was it to install and you have any suggestions for some spray on sound deadening for the inside of the doors or rest of the car?

I recently installed some dynamat extreme (not dynamat but looks exactly like it) like substance in my doors and i did notice it helped with the exterior road noise. I didn't get the full door kit and I am wondering if I should have...
I'm really looking forward to getting this done and fired up. I installed a similar setup in my '99 Corvette coupe last year with phenomenal results. The Insight has a very similar hatchback layout and should work very well with sub aimed up at the rear glass.

I can't really say if I've noticed less road noise yet, but the door is much more solid and does not nearly resonate as much as it used to. All of the interior trim and foam pieces in the rear hatch area are on shelves in my garage right now, so the car is extra noisy. I'm guessing the floor is a much bigger source of road noise vs the doors though. I will apply deadening to the floor later on when the budget allows and do some before and after data gathering for some objectivity.

Installing AlphaDamp wasn't terribly difficult, at least not any more so than the better-known competitor, Dynamat. My technique is to cut a template from cardboard to test-fit and trace it to the deadener. Then I test-fit the cut sheet and make any refinements before peeling off the paper. Once positioned where I want it, I apply pressure from the center and work my way towards the corners to eliminate air pockets. Wear gloves. Lots of sharp edges in the door and the deadener sheets add more of them.

Would a ring of MDF be better to stiffen the door inner skin and spread the load rather than those localised points of each screw?
Yes. I plan on cutting some MDF rings in the next few days to do just this, and then coat them with fiberglass resin so they don't soak up moisture. I installed it this way temporarily to establish the minimum thickness for the rings since there will be minimal clearance to the grill.

Some people have cut part of the plastic cup behind the door speakers to fit better speakers only to have water leak in where they cut it. The purpose of the cup is to keep the water out.
The tip is appreciated, but the speaker cup had already been cut out before I got to it. I would have cut it out anyways though. Such a small airspace is far less than the minimum air volume requirement for this or most any other midbass driver and would severely limit bass output. I have driven in torrential rains and not seen any evidence of water leakage. A common technique is to basically install a "roof" over the driver to direct water away from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Making progress... slowly but surely.

MDF rings cut and shaped to fit the door frame and keep the speaker centered in the opening. Quite a bit of plastic cut from the door panel for clearance, but the OEM grill is retained and will still appear unmodified. The rings are cut from a 3/4" sheet. I cut them down about 1/4" each with a rabbeting bit, but on opposite sides (inside of one, outside of the other) so they interlock.

Tweeters are mounted to the A-pillars with velcro to make it easy for positioning experimentation.

Next up: install dampening material to passenger side door and woofer.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here's the inside-out view of the speaker mounting rings:

 

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Made some progress on the driver's door today...ran speaker wire through the door jam,
WOW! that is some serious work you're doing there. Very nice!

I was looking at upgrading the door speakers wires on my 2000, but figured Honda ran the wires through the fenders not just the side wall of the footwell.
Is that right? How did you get them through?
Thanks :)
 

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WOW! that is some serious work you're doing there. Very nice!

I was looking at upgrading the door speakers wires on my 2000, but figured Honda ran the wires through the fenders not just the side wall of the footwell.
Is that right? How did you get them through?
Thanks :)
Serious work is right.... but I'm what you might call an "enthusiast" and I have certain quality standards, like soldering all splices with shrink-tube insulation and braided sleeving for the bundles, etc. I'm not concerned about the extra grams and the resulting 0.02 mpg loss these details add, nor the extra time it requires vs. faster/sloppier methods that can become problematic down the road.

The first 2 pics in Post #8 are cropped to show where the wire harness goes through the footwell area into the fender. Here's the uncropped pic to give you a better overview:



Put the front end on jacks, remove the wheel, and then just enough of the fasteners that secure the fender liner (pull the center pin of the plastic inserts and then the rest of it) to remove the back half of it. You could remove the entire thing, but I prefer to only disassemble as much as I need to get the job done.

Anyways- cut the vinyl tape from the harness and then feed a fishtape or coat hanger wire through. If you do the hanger wire, bend the end of it over to make a tight loop so it doesn't get caught on anything. Once through, tape your wire to it and pull it through. Separately, there is the door-jam boot. The same procedure applies.

If you are only upgrading the speakers and nothing else, running new speaker wire might be overkill but it certainly wouldn't hurt. But if you are running an external amplifier, you need to do this as the oem wiring is totally inadequate.

Hopefully I can knock some more of this out this weekend.
 

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...Here's the uncropped pic to give you a better overview...if you are running an external amplifier, you need to do this as the oem wiring is totally inadequate.
Thank you very much Gadget01 that pic and your last post helps a lot.
I have upgraded to an ext. amp setup.
I'll need to remove the wheels soon switching to winter tires, I'll run the new wires then.
Good luck with the rest of your project :thumbup:
 

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Is there only 1 wiring harness that passes thru the driver's door into the cabin? Or are there 2 separate sets of wiring? I ask because I plan on swapping drivers doors and the door I have sitting in my living room only has the gray harness with 15 wires taped up going into it.

Also where do you place jack stands up front? I always though the factory jack points were the only good spot for jack stands.

Thanks for all the info! I am in the middle of installing a 5 channel amp, fiberglass sshoebox sub enclosure made by Expertfabricator along with a Kicker S8L5. I am just tying to pick out a deck. Truthfully, I don't want to mess with installing speaker wires to the doors, but may.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is there only 1 wiring harness that passes thru the driver's door into the cabin?
Yes- it's very easy to trace.

Also where do you place jack stands up front? I always though the factory jack points were the only good spot for jack stands.
I used a block of wood between the jack and the frame. If I remember correctly, it was near the A-arm/frame joint. I need to make something similar to what is used to lift/jack a Corvette to make it easy to do properly... so many similarities between these two cars.... well, aside from the 0-60 mph acceleration performance anyways.

Thanks for all the info! I am in the middle of installing a 5 channel amp, fiberglass shoebox sub enclosure made by Expertfabricator along with a Kicker S8L5. I am just trying to pick out a deck. Truthfully, I don't want to mess with installing speaker wires to the doors, but may.
Head units are very easy. I soldered up the adapter harness the night before I bought my car and had the new unit installed in about 30 minutes after making the purchase official... in the seller's driveway, using his tools.

I just found Expertfabricator's thread on his sub enclosures. I totally agree with using fiberglass instead of all wood with so many complexities to the space. I would hazard a guess that it will save a significant amount of weight as well.

Removing the wheel and getting the fender liner out of the way to run new speaker wire is probably easier than it looks. It's tempting to leave it alone because of how easy it is to just snap off the grill to access the speaker. It also requires door panel removal, but this is also pretty straightforward. If any of you would like some video, I'll shoot some while I remove my passenger side door panel, which I have yet to start on- perhaps this weekend.

I wouldn't trust the oem speaker wire with more than about 20 watts rms. Most any external amp worth installing will far exceed that. It would be a shame to have nice upgraded components but still sound weak because of inadequate wiring. It's an afternoon's worth of extra work for year's worth of better sounding tunes. In my case, several afternoons.
 
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