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mikes2017gt

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This is a "Work In Progress Thread" vs. a "It's all done and here's my build thread" thread. It will keep me motivated to keep going!

Back in 2017 I said I was happy enough with the stock 9-speaker Shaker + Stealthbox install. It was good enough, and I wasn't going to deal with the misery of a full install ever again. But you know, things change. :crackup: I wanted more midbass punch, more bass, more SPL overall and more tuning ability than the bass/mid/treble controls on the HU. But I wasn't going to give up my trunk. Been there many times and not going back.

This used to be "the system." The sub isn't going anywhere, but the spare tire well is going to see some big changes.
IMG_20170319_132048025_HDR.jpg


In short: I made the decision to go full active 3-ways in the front doors, sound treat the heck out of the doors and the rear deck, lose the rear speakers to allow bass into the cabin, lose the dash center driver, keep the Stealthbox (and my trunk space) and use a DSP for all the crossover/EQ/time alignment duties.

Here's a list of everything I'm doing, equipment, settings, etc. Some of this is done already as of 15 Sep...most of it isn't. I have already purchased everything I need, down to the fuses, connectors, etc.

Head Unit/Signal Processing:

Stock 400A HU, using just the front channel outputs via soldered-on RCAs from the (color) plug that goes into the amp. Forscan tweak to remove all signal processing.
JL Audio TWK-88 (Crossover/EQ/time-alignment)

Amps:

Midbass/Tweeters: JL Audio XD600/6v2 (75W x 6 @ 4 ohms or 150W x 3 bridged @ 4 ohms) Running 4 channels bridged for L/R midbasses, 2 channels L/R for tweets.
Mids: JL Audio XD200/2v2 (75W x 2 @ 4 ohms)
Sub: JL Audio XD600/1v2 (600w @ 2 ohms)

Speakers:

Fronts - Morel Maxmimo Ultra 603 3-way component set
Sub - JL Audio Stealthbox SB-F-MUSCPE/12TW3 (dual 4-ohm driver, wired for 2 ohms). Moderately stuffed with Polyfil--comes empty from the factory
Rears/Center Channel - Disconnected, like they should be. Rear Speakers removed to facilitate bass transfer into cabin

Wiring/other:

iDatalink HRN-AR-FO3 9 harness (just using the 3 Molex plugs and the wires I need; cut off everything else)
14-gauge speaker wire from amps up to drivers' kick panel--output to door speakers via Molex plugs/vehicle wiring--tweets have dedicated 14-ga runs
Double-Shielded RCAs all around
0-gauge OFC main power/ground, 150-amp ANL fuse under hood, 4ga OFC power/ground (amps), mini-ANL fuse block in trunk
0-gauge battery ground to body ground upgrade
Power wire ran down passenger side, signal/TO/speaker wires down drivers' side
PAC TR-4 turn on module using 6V audio enable (turn on) signal from HU to switch +12V for TO signal
1A fuse on 6V turn on wire from HU, 1A fuse on switched 12V
Ferrules on all power and speaker wires
Tessa tape and/or flex loom on all cables and wires
Dynamat Xtreme on trunk/spare tire area/wheel tubs/rear deck/trunk lid
Dynamat Xtreme on front doors, mostly behind and around the midbass driver on outer door skin
Fast Rings on midbasses and mids
Metra 82-5605 adapter rings and 72-5602 Wiring Harness for midbass drivers
T-taps for mids (no cut harnesses)
Custom acrylic adapter rings for Morel midrange drivers
A-pillars modified to fit Morel tweeters
Speaker gasket tape on all speaker/bracket mounting surfaces


Settings for active crossover (baseline). NOTE: The values listed below are directly from Morel tech support, via Crutchfield's tech support. The passive xovers/instructions that come with the set don't list what frequencies/slopes it uses. I attempted to contact Morel tech support twice and received no response, which is a real bummer. But Crutchfield was very helpful and contacted Morel for me and got the info. Highly recommend buying from Crutchfield. You might pay a little more, but you know you're buying from an authorized dealer and can get support if you need it. They were very helpful.

Tweeter
Highpass - 4500Hz @ 24dB (range 3200Hz - 5000Hz)

Midrange
Lowpass -4500Hz @ 24dB (range 3200Hz - 5000Hz)
Highpass -450Hz @ 24dB (range 350Hz - 700Hz)

Midbass
Lowpass -450Hz @ 24dB (range 350Hz - 700Hz)
Highpass - 90Hz @ 24dB (range 70Hz - 120Hz)

Sub
Lowpass -90Hz @ 24db
Highpass - 35Hz @24db

Easy stuff first. I deadened the trunk lid.

Before
IMG_20200904_131911067 (Large).jpg


After (I used the scrap cutoffs inside the upper cavity, near the backup cam)
IMG_20200904_140715115 (Large).jpg


Next, I figured I'd build the amp rack. Board is 3/4" MDF, 24" from top to bottom and roughly 26" at it's widest point. I cut out my shape and laid out the components. There's a very good reason they are laid out this way. The amps all have their power inputs on the left side--the distro block is on the left side. The amps all have signal input in the middle--RCAs run up the middle (under the board). Speaker outs will run straight down the middle, under the board. I've never had an issue having speaker outputs cross over RCA inputs, but have definitely had issues when RCA inputs come anywhere near power inputs. Except for the speaker outputs crossing the RCAs at right angles, all power/signal/output wires will be separated as far from each other as possible.
IMG_20200908_171316633~2 (Large).jpg


Traced around all the components and marked for drilling holes. That countersunk center hole is where the board mounts to the spare tire mount. Take the time to do this step right. Note I double-marked the component mounting holes with a black marker for emphasis. Mark all your drill points clearly...write little notes if you have to, it'll all be covered later. Nothing is worse than getting to this point and screwing it up by drilling the wrong size holes or off-center holes.
IMG_20200909_203823601 (Large).jpg


Drilled the holes for wiring, including countersunk holes for threaded inserts and rounded over the wiring holes with a 1/4" roundover bit.
IMG_20200910_114832977 (Large).jpg


A bit out of order here, but the amp rack has feet. It sits flat on the spare well floor, about a 1/4" above the spare mounting bracket. Feet are 1-1/8" dowel rod from Home Depot. All feet are exactly 2" long.
IMG_20200909_160552051 (Large).jpg


IMG_20200910_114850990 (Large).jpg
IMG_20200910_110616268 (Large).jpg


Next up was painting the board. 8 or 9 coats of Krylon Gloss White and two coats of Rustoleum Gloss Clearcoat later. The threaded inserts are also installed here.
IMG_20200911_174430743 (Large).jpg

IMG_20200911_174406459 (Large).jpg


Mounted all the components and wired up the DSP to Amps signal wires. Everything but the distro block is sitting on 1/4" spacers I sprayed black (in the little box here).
IMG_20200911_204928851 (Large).jpg

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Space under amps and TWK-88 for cooling.
IMG_20200911_210710204 (Large).jpg

IMG_20200911_210840129 (Large).jpg


Underside. At the top center, you'll see the RCAs go into Y-splitters. That's b/c I'm bridging two channels on the 600/6 for the midbasses. JL tech support told me that when bridging, you need to supply input to both the L/R inputs of each channel. So here I created "two lefts and two rights" with 2 Y-splitters. Signal (except for the input from HU) is done, and Power will be done before installing the rack into the trunk.
IMG_20200912_215045753 (Large).jpg


Using peel and stick zip tie bases with a screw driven in. Been using this cable management method for years and never had one move.
IMG_20200912_211347768 (Large).jpg


0-gauge body ground upgrade. Not exactly a "Big 3" but sure is an upgrade to the 6-gauge-looking factory ground underneath the shock tower terminal! In the last pic, you can see I sanded off the paint to ensure a better ground. I have since coated the exposed metal with clear nail polish. My wife will never know she contributed to this build...
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So that's where we are right now. Still a lot of work to do. Thanks for joining me on this adventure!




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mikes2017gt

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Got the power for the amp rack all wired up today. Might not look like much of an update, but this literally took me most of the day. You know how it goes....you get halfway there and then figure out a better way, so you start over, etc. Next step is to build the speaker output and HU to amp rack input harnesses...that will involve soldering up the Molex plugs. Not looking forward to that part.

The finished product. Looks clean up top...underneath, not so much.
IMG_20200917_214129676 (Large).jpg
IMG_20200917_214225783 (Large).jpg


And the underside. I was very careful to keep power and turn on wires away from RCA input cables. The power and TO wires for the TWK-88 take a looong run all the way around. But the details are what make or break an install. Also note the open area in the middle of board, where it'll bolt to the spare tire hold down. I originally routed RCAs right over this area.:facepalm: so I had to move them out of the way. Turned out well, I think. That mess on the right-hand side is all the power wires; +/-/turn-on are all here and go nowhere near any RCAs.
IMG_20200917_205929600 (Large).jpg


Close-up of the power wire area. I prefer to use barrier strips for the remote turn ons vs. just crimping them into one big butt connector. That fuse holder has a 1A fuse and is on the switched +12v line from the PAC-4 turn on module, which you can see zip tied to the lower-most ground cable. The green wire hanging loose is the trigger wire for the PAC-4 module. It triggers at .8v minimum, so I'm thinking the 6.0v turn on from the HU should work just fine.
IMG_20200917_205849713 (Large).jpg


I crimped the Constant 12v and ground for the PAC-4 with the +12v and ground for the TWK-88. The larger wires in this pic are 14-ga speaker wire, which I'm using for +/- for the TWK-88.
IMG_20200917_161419163 (Large).jpg


Remote wires for the amps with ferrules.
IMG_20200917_170530909 (Large).jpg


Here's the 4-ga I used for the amps. It's OFC cable for sure.
IMG_20200917_145630453 (Large).jpg


One of the amp ground cables with ferrules and heatshrink.
IMG_20200917_154929589 (Large).jpg


And a shot of the power distro. All wires have ferrules and heatshrik. It's not perfect, but it's better than anything I've done in the past.
IMG_20200917_214157641 (Large).jpg


Thought it would be a good idea to label the fuse block, so if there's ever a problem I know which device is the culprit. And yeah, I put two labels on there in case one comes off. Why not, right? Can't really see it here, but I redid the techflex and heat shrink for the TWK/TO positive wire. Looks much better now.
IMG_20200921_154929972 (Large).jpg


I have to give a big shout out to Dean at FiveStar Car Audio (YT). He gave me the idea to wire as much of the amp rack as possible when it's still outside the car. In my 30 years of doing this, it never occured to me to do it this way. SO much easier than trying to strip wire and use a heat gun, etc while bent over sideways in the trunk!

The speaker output harness will be challenging b/c I want to wrap the whole thing in Tecflex, while trying to keep the wires at a reasonable length in order to minimize excess wire that will wind up in the trash.

I'm planning on taking the seats out in order to make running all the wires that much easier. I originally planned to run the speaker output wires together with the RCA outs from the HU, but now I'm thinking that would be a bad idea. Probably going to run the RCA outs from HU up the middle of car/under the console and keep the speaker outputs on the driver's side. Power will be run on the passenger's side. I'll probably do the power wire and fuse holder tomorrow. Don't need to gut the interior for that, but we'll see.
 
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mikes2017gt

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Got the speaker wiring harnesses built, but still need to solder on the molex plugs. I need to do a final polarity check to be sure I know which HU output wires are +/-. I'm pretty sure the wires WITH the stripe are negative, but I want to be positive.

*EDIT* Guess what? On the black, female Molex plug you connect to the factory harness at the amp, the white/stripe and gray/stripe wires are the front POSITIVE outputs from the HU. I verified this with an old door speaker I connected to those wires and used a polarity checker and accompanying tones. https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Speak...words=polarity+checker&qid=1600749914&sr=8-24

Continuing on:

Initially, I had all six pieces of 14-gauge stuffed inside one piece of techflex. It was impressive-looking, but I realized it was about 1.00" in diameter...it wasn't a wire loom, it was a tow rope. :crazy: Having never run wires down the driver's side before, I didn't want to assume I'd have room for that big of a bundle, so I broke it down into two bundles that I can run in different paths if need be.

Wires for the midbasses and mids in this loom.. Kept them together since they're both going to the same place (Molex plug at driver's kickpanel). There's about 12 feet of techflex on this bundle; I only had 25 feet and needed some for the tweeter wire loom. Most of the unwrapped wire will be extra and will get cut off anyway. All the wire running under trim panels etc is wrapped.
IMG_20200921_164144080 (Large).jpg


Labeled both ends so I know what's what.
IMG_20200921_164241030 (Large).jpg


And the tweeter wire bundle. This is ridiculously long...like 25 feet. Wanted to be darn sure I had enough wire! Again, there will be a lot of excess that will wind up cut off. I'll be using clamping disconnect-style plugs to connect the tweets to the wires, so that the A pillars can be removed to service the air bags if need be.
IMG_20200921_164346767 (Large).jpg


The turn on wire. This looks like a picture of some psycho rollercoaster taken from space. Just an 18-gauge wire inside a 1/4" piece of Techflex. I opted to run this wire separately, so I can more easily route it to the "Power distro area" of the amp rack. And also because I totally forgot about it while building the speaker wire harnesses. As the old saying goes "It's not a mistake if you catch it before someone sees it!" I'll probably zip tie this to one of the speaker harnesses as I run them all. We'll see how they "lay down" where I run them. Won't zip tie it if I don't have to.
IMG_20200921_211104414 (Large).jpg


22 Sep edit - chipping away all the tasks one by one. Got the RCA output harness done. Wound up being longer than I'd like but I'm so paranoid about cutting wires short and then something goes wrong, leaving me no slack to work with. All connections are soldered and heat shrinked with another layer of heat shrink over the assembly, which was then wrapped in Tessa tape. This harness isn't real flexible, but it's electrically and physically solid.
IMG_20200922_134408555 (Large).jpg


BTW, if you regularly do any electronic/wire soldering I highly recommend this set of "third hands." It's from a company called FStop Labs (find them on Amazon). All the clamping arms articulate and the thing under the black hood is a lighted magnifier. Very "handy" item for this type of work.
IMG_20200922_131643254 (Large).jpg


I decided I didn't want the TO wire permanently attached to the amp rack. In case I ever have to pull the rack out, I don't want to have to cut any wires, I want everything easily (key word) removable/disconnectable.

I had these male/female barrel connectors leftover from another project.
IMG_20200922_125351277 (Large).jpg


Snipped off the black wires and now we have our TO wire disconnect.
IMG_20200922_125415231 (Large).jpg


Mounted it under the amp rack near the TO terminal block.
IMG_20200922_143119464 (Large).jpg


Soldered the other end to the TO wire running up to the kick panel and the brown connector. After I took this pic I wrapped the wire with about 6" of Tessa tape. Trying to make the actual install as (literally) plug and play as possible.

For those who might not know, the TO wire is the left-most wire on the brown plug (below), the single greenish wire with the yellow stripe. That is a 6V output from the HU, so you need to use that 6V output to trigger a relay, like PAC TR-4 and switch a +12v source for your turn ons. https://www.amazon.com/PAC-TR-4-Rem...ild=1&keywords=PAC+TR-4&qid=1600812004&sr=8-2

IMG_20200922_143939965 (Large).jpg


The final step in creating all the wiring looms is to solder the speaker harnesses to the Molex plugs. But first I need to verify which wires on the Molex are the positive wires for the midbasses and mids. I do this with the "battery pop test" with an AA battery, but I need to be able to see the cones move, so the door panels have to come off. For clarification: The wire colors on three Molex plugs you need to use to connect to the factory Molexes in the kick panel do not match up, and trying to see which 22-gauge wire goes to which pin is really difficult. Much easier to just pull the door panel and do the battery pop test.
 
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mikes2017gt

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SOUND DEADENING NOTES:

Just wanted to add some clarification on what I've done/am doing for sound deadening. The entire trunk and spare tire area was thoroughly covered with Dynamat Xtreme when I did the Stealthbox install 3 years ago. This took half a day and was a real PITA but absolutely worth it. Cut road noise, tire whine and exhaust noise all in one shot. Now, the Borla Touring catback I have has seriously mellowed out since then (it was brand new when I did the matting), but the matting still helps tremendously even now.

The trunk area of the S550 is one big tin can and is very live. Just knock on the bottom of the spare tire well and hear the resonance yourself. Years ago I had a huge system in an Isuzu Trooper and that thing was heavy-gauge sheet metal all around. You knocked on the floor of the cargo area and you'd hurt your hand. The Mustang not so much. Wish I had the time and money to Dynmat the entire interior, but this isn't an IASCA-competing system and my car can't be torn apart for that long.

IMG_20170317_202208957 (Large).jpg
IMG_20170317_202232398 (Large).jpg
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I laid down Dynamat anywhere I could reach without covering up any factory wiring or grommets. There's even some on the panel behind the tail lights, but I don't have a pic of that.

During this v2.0 install I deadened the trunk lid (done) and will be doing the top of the rear deck too. As I'll be removing the rear speakers completely, that's the perfect time to put down some mat. Removing the rear deck speakers will probably increase the road noise getting into the cabin, but I'm also adding a 600-watt RMS front stage, so I think I can mitigate that. :muscle:

When I do the door speakers I'll be matting the outer door skin, installing Fast Rings and getting some mat around the midbass mounting ring as well. Of course there will be pics, so stay tuned. :)
 
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mikes2017gt

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Today was a long, but productive day. Got the driver's door Dynamatted, Fast Ring installed, midbass installed and I made both adapter rings for the mids. Doesn't sound like a lot, but making the adapter rings took several hours. Never routed acrylic before and really took my time routing, drilling holes, measuring etc.

Starting point for the driver's door. Was careful to cut the black goop on the lower splashshield with a razor, so I could easily adhere it back on. Note the strip of silver tape right above the diagonal crash bar. It's sound deadening of some kind. Definitely a tar-based product, like Dynamat. It's only about 6 inches wide though.

IMG_20200923_134555251_HDR (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_134448897 (Large).jpg


For those wondering "How far does the window come down?" Here's your answer. Doesn't come anywhere near where the midbasses' magnet would be.
IMG_20200923_132845053 (Large).jpg


I did two layers of Dynamat Xtreme behind the driver and in the lower door. There's a nice, satisfying "thud" when you knock on the outer door skin behind the driver.
IMG_20200923_143829387_HDR (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_144455916 (Large).jpg


Fast Ring backer piece installed. I could not use the larger ring that would adhere to the inside of the door and go around the driver b/c the wiring harness is clipped right around the perimeter of the driver, inside the door.
IMG_20200923_145327703 (Large).jpg


This was taken inside the door. I had to slice the Fast Ring to fit around the crash beam. It's on there good and strong.
IMG_20200923_145437060 (Large).jpg


Morel 6.5" installed. Used Metra 82-5605 adapter rings and 72-5602 Wiring Harness. Note the factory harness zip tied up and keeping the connector out of the way. Around the driver is a piece of SoundSkins foam. It's not quite closed cell foam and not open cell foam...it's in-between but closer to closed-cell. The piece comes 1" thick but I cut it in half so I could match the overall depth of the factory driver and it's foam.

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SoundSkin foam before cutting in half.
IMG_20200923_153532007 (Large).jpg


Another installed pic.
IMG_20200923_153935586 (Large).jpg


I drilled a hole in the Metra ring to run the wires through, then siliconed the hole for good measure.
IMG_20200923_152711982 (Large).jpg
 
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mikes2017gt

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I was getting ready to pull the passenger's door panel and do the matting/midbass install, but then I started looking at the midrange and remembered that I had a whole lot of work to do to make adapter plates. So that's what I did. The passenger door will get tackled tomorrow and should take me all of 90 minutes to do.

Factory mid removed from it's adapter housing and template-taped to a piece of 1/4" MDF that I will make the template from. This was not holding it securely, so I wound up driving two short screws through the mounting ears (not in the pics) and that held it well.

IMG_20200923_162117249 (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_162327056 (Large).jpg


Routed the shape using a 1/2" top-bearing flush trim bit. Look at that pile of dust! And that's just what's on the table, not on the floor on me, etc. I freaking hate MDF.
IMG_20200923_163822994 (Large).jpg


End result.
IMG_20200923_163912003 (Large).jpg


I then used the MDF template to route out two adapter plates out of 1/4" acrylic. I also used the mounting ear holes in the template to drill out the mounting holes in the acrylic plates.
IMG_20200923_172945529 (Large).jpg


OK, so far so good. But I still need to cut the hole for the driver. This got me worried. It was a lot of work just getting to this point and I hadn't chipped or cracked the acrylic; didn't want to screw them up now. I remembered that Morel includes mounting plates/rings and grills for the drivers. LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!!

Template-taped the mounting ring to the acrylic and drilled a 1/2" hole in the center so I could get the flush trim bit in there. Just drilling that hole was a 4-step process using progressively larger bits b/c I didn't want to crack the thing.
IMG_20200923_181327898 (Large).jpg

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And the end result.
IMG_20200923_185207955 (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_185217462 (Large).jpg


The Morel mid sitting in the adapter plate, sitting on the larger ring-thing that bolts to the door. In the two pics immediately below, note that I'm keeping the factory connector. It's just too convenient not to. I'll have to extend the factory wires a bit, but that's easy stuff. Plug and play!
IMG_20200923_184819784 (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_184807994 (Large).jpg


Couple other shots.
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Conveniently, the height of the stock mid's basket is 1/4" before taking the foam ring into account. My adapter plate + driver is 1/4" high. Couldn't have planned that if I tried. Spacer next to the stock driver. Crappy pic but you get the idea.
IMG_20200923_185644681 (Large).jpg


And that's where I stopped for today. With the adapter plates done, both doors will be done lickety-split tomorrow.

I'll probably tackle the tweeters next. Taking off the A-pillars has me very nervous but it's got to get done. The Morel tweets are small, but I have no idea how much surgery I'll need to perform on the A-pillars to get them in there. I want to get the front stage/doors completely done before I tear the interior out to run wires. Still need to run the 0-gauge power wire as well. But hey, the amp rack is done at least.
 
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For the tweeters just drill out the rivets for the factory bracket and since you can make your own brackets do what you did for the mid range for the tweeters and put some small screws in the stock location. That mid range sounds really good for being so small, and then you're running them active so that should be even better.
 

mikes2017gt

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Thanks, @Qu8Storm I really don't know what I'm in for with the tweets yet. The only videos I've been able to find on tweet swaps are using the Focal 165 set and that tweet is literally a press-fit in the factory location.

If I have to make a bracket, 1/8" material (ABS/HDPE) would probably be best, but I don't have any. Could always buy a cheap cutting board at Walmart and use that. LOL! But I've got all the tools I need and even have a glue gun as a last resort. Should be straightforward, once I get the A-pillars off.

I'm hoping for really good results from this setup. I've never RTA'd a car before but it'll be a necessity this time around as I'm not using the passive crossovers that come with the Morels. I'll be using REW and a calibrated MIC. I'm studying up on that part now. I.E. one speaker at at a time, smooth each one's response, then blend the drivers together. I may need some help with that part, but first things first.
 
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mikes2017gt

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"That darn door panel! How the heck do I remove the friggin' door handle cable?" I'll admit, I needed to Google this one. This video tells you everything you need to know. Skip to 14:30 for the answer to what you couldn't figure out. I couldn't either.

 

StangTime

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Today was a long, but productive day. Got the driver's door Dynamatted, Fast Ring installed, midbass installed and I made both adapter rings for the mids. Doesn't sound like a lot, but making the adapter rings took several hours. Never routed acrylic before and really took my time routing, drilling holes, measuring etc.

Starting point for the driver's door. Was careful to cut the black goop on the lower splashshield with a razor, so I could easily adhere it back on. Note the strip of silver tape right above the diagonal crash bar. It's sound deadening of some kind. Definitely a tar-based product, like Dynamat. It's only about 6 inches wide though.

IMG_20200923_134555251_HDR (Large).jpg

IMG_20200923_134448897 (Large).jpg


For those wondering "How far does the window come down?" Here's your answer. Doesn't come anywhere near where the midbasses' magnet would be.
IMG_20200923_132845053 (Large).jpg


I did two layers of Dynamat Xtreme behind the driver and in the lower door. There's a nice, satisfying "thud" when you knock on the outer door skin behind the driver.
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Fast Ring backer piece installed. I could not use the larger ring that would adhere to the inside of the door and go around the driver b/c the wiring harness is clipped right around the perimeter of the driver, inside the door.
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This was taken inside the door. I had to slice the Fast Ring to fit around the crash beam. It's on there good and strong.
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Morel 6.5" installed. Used Metra 82-5605 adapter rings and 72-5602 Wiring Harness. Note the factory harness zip tied up and keeping the connector out of the way. Around the driver is a piece of SoundSkins foam. It's not quite closed cell foam and not open cell foam...it's in-between but closer to closed-cell. The piece comes 1" thick but I cut it in half so I could match the overall depth of the factory driver and it's foam.

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SoundSkin foam before cutting in half.
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Another installed pic.
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I drilled a hole in the Metra ring to run the wires through, then siliconed the hole for good measure.
IMG_20200923_152711982 (Large).jpg
So your Mustang is a 2017? They were adding sound deadening to the doors back then I guess. My doors (2019) had nothing inside except a 5" square patch by the door handles. Gotta take cheap to a whole new level huh Ford?
These doors resonate like empty steel cans. Adding deadener to 80% of the outer door skin and 50% to the metal on the door panel side was immediately an improvement. Even closing the doors sounds good now.

Great work on your build. I love seeing people take time to plan it, use all the right hardware, and make it look nice in the process. :clap:
 

Elp_jc

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How the heck do I remove the friggin' door handle cable?
Hey guys, can somebody take a close-up pic of the 'hole' where the door pull cable latches in place? I think turning that thing 90-deg should help, but want to look at the hole, to see if it's ovoid, or perfectly round.

I had to remove the hood cable to lube it, and it has a similar (if not identical) cable base, and when I turned it 90-deg, I was able to get it out much easier. And I had almost no space there, so the door one should be easier to remove. I wouldn't use pliers myself, but yeah, that's the easiest way. I used a 90-deg pic, pushed one tab in, then the other. Zero marks or damage to the plastic that way. Hope I don't have to remove those damn door panels, but I'm sure the rattles will become constant soon, and won't have a choice :).
 

mikes2017gt

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@Elp_jc I can tell you that the hole in the door handle where the cable threads in is definitely round. I had to pull my driver's panel off twice after putting it back on today. :angry:

Now that I've removed that cable a few times, it's so easy. The only real difficult part is pinching both tabs on the plastic barrel in order to push it out of its hole.

Before I watched the video I linked to above, I had spent a good 15 minutes trying to get that stupid cable out. Now it's easy. LOL!
 

mikes2017gt

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Tell me: What install goes from start to finish with no issues? None of them, that's how many. :surprised:

Today I got the doors finished. I think. More on the "I think" in a sec. First some cool pics.

Needed to get wires attached to the midranges. I elected to solder the wires directly on. Tinfoil is there in case any solder dripped. None did, but of course if I didn't have the foil...
IMG_20200924_115010974 (Large).jpg


With the wiring done and had to get the midranges attached to the adapter plates. This was a fiddly operation. I know you can tap acrylic, but the mounting holes are very close to the driver cutout and I had visions of the acrylic splitting on me. So I decided to drill holes straight through the adapter plates and use nuts and bolts. Little-teeny-tiny nuts and bolts. #4 machine screws with nylon lock nuts to be exact. I have #6 and #8 machine screws but they were too big for the little mounting ears. This was really fiddly to do.

IMG_20200924_123826773 (Large).jpg


You will note there are some extra mounting holes...let's just say my first attempt at marking the locations...sucked. The mid isn't in a sealed cavity anyway, so those little holes won't matter.

IMG_20200924_123818558 (Large).jpg


Here's what it looks like with the wiring complete.
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Got the mid mounted in the driver's door. As the adapter plate is clear, you can see the foam tape b/t the adapter plate the factory piece that bolts to the door.
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Got the foam on it.
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And then this is where things went south. First I ran a polarity check and the mid was backwards. I triple-checked the polarity at the kick panel and triple checked how I wired the mid to the factory connector. I didn't make a mistake. But the polarity checker doesn't lie. Something must be switched in the factory harness. OK fine. Some quick resoldering fixed that. The midbass was in polarity, no problems.

Then things continued to go south. Wonderful. Decided to see what it sounded like with the door panel on. Put that on, all the screws, etc. Cranked it up and I heard it. The unmistakable sound of cone slap. The midbass was hitting something, but how?

This pic sucks but it's the best I can do. I am using the correct Metra adapters for the midbasses, but somehow the driver is off-center. It is skewed up and backwards, towards the rear of the car. Everything looks fine without the door panel, but looking through the grill it's obvious. It is mounted 100% correctly. The driver is flat on the adapter, the adapter is flat on the door. and all 3 factory screw mounting locations line up perfectly. I am totally clueless on this one and that really ticks me off.
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I pulled the door panel and surmised it was hitting somewhere here, where I circled in red. This is the passenger door panel...I didn't take pics of the driver's...was too pissed to think about it.
InkedIMG_20200924_174944665 (Large)_LI.jpg


Took a look at the mid and it had four very faint indentations on the surround. I probably should've used 1/8" vs. 1/4" material for the adapter plate. It was hitting here somewhere.
InkedIMG_20200924_174937121_LI (Large).jpg


Broke out the Dremel with a sanding drum and it's not pretty but it fixed the problem. I got rid of that entire "X" on the midrange grill and the area where I thought the midbass was hitting. You can't see anything different from the outside looking in.
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Keep in mind I'm still running off the stock amp, so I won't really be able to tell if it's fixed for sure until the install is done. The surround of the mid is probably 1/8" from the grill at this point...hard to tell peering through the door panel. The mid will probably be OK. The midbass, we'll have to wait and see. Ironically the mounting depth (magnet) of this Morel driver is about 3/4" less than the stock driver. You can't win sometimes.

Having these door panel interference issues in mind made the passenger's door go fairly quickly.

Two layers of Dynamat Xtreme on the lower half of the door and Fast Ring done.
IMG_20200924_183528866 (Large).jpg


I didn't take a pic of the midbass but it's there and has a foam ring on it. :) Here's the passenger mid.
IMG_20200924_183545834 (Large).jpg


With both door panels on I don't hear any cone-slapping or anything else odd. Of course, it also sounds like crap b/c I have a different midbass and mid on the factory system (yes, processing is turned off in Forescan) . Hopefully I've solved the cone-slap problem. These Morel midbasses are pretty normally-sized compared to the monster drivers some folks are putting into S550s...I'm surprised no one else has had this problem. If I wind up still having cone slap, I'll make some adapter rings out of 1/2" ABS or something similar, which would fix the problem for sure. I have an easy 1" , probably a little more, of space to play with b/t the magnet and the window.

Tomorrow is the A-pillars and tweets and if that goes quickly I'll get the power cable installed. As there's currently a piece of 4-gauge installed I MIGHT be able to use the 4-gauge as a pull string and pull the 0-gauge through. Probably not b/c that would be too easy, but we'll see how it goes.
 
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Cathul

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Dean from 5StarCarStereo addressed this several times lately after lots of people asked about the "best" 3-way set for a S550 Mustang.
He said all prefab adapters are too thick for the midbass and with Metra or other adapters the Midbass will touch the door panel.
So either you make new thinner adapters for your midbass or you pry out the original grill and refab a new one with enough clearance for the midbass drivers.
Same is true for the midrange according to him, but apparently you solved that already.
 

mikes2017gt

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@Cathul I've yet to determine if I fixed the midbass problem or not. My experience tells me that I've probably got a 75% chance against me and I really don't want to risk cutting the surround or damaging the driver once the install is done and I crank the snot out of it.

After the "Dremel Fix" they're not hitting the door panel anymore, but they're also only getting maybe 15W each from the factory amp and I'll be feeding them literally 10X that (theoretically...that's what the amp is rated at, though they'll never actually see that much...you get the idea).

Me being the pessimist that I am, I'm going to order a piece of 1/2" PVC on Amazon and start fabbing. Wish I had a CNC but i've got a router table and that's really all you need. I'm going to steal this ring design here and make it my own.

https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/upgrade-9-speaker-system.148312/post-3030397

I like Crutchfield...used them for years and have trusted their "what fits?" specs. Real shame they tout the Metra 82-5605 adapter rings as "fits". Well, I guess technically the DO FIT but they are basically not usable.

As for the mids, I most probably solved the problem, but I'm not positive. The surrounds appear to be 1/16" to 1/8" away from the grills at rest. Mids don't move a lot but they do move. My "Dremel Fix" certainly helped a lot, but I'm not sure it 100% fixed the issue. These Morel mids are really tiny and need an adapter plate. Making it out of 1/8" acrylic would fix the spacing issue, but might introduce a lack of stiffness issue.

I thought about making new adapter plates, again out of 1/4" acrylic, but underhanging the drivers. That would 100% for sure fix the issue, but I would need a circle template of the right size in order to route the correct sized mounting hole. These are really small drivers so there isn't a lot of wiggle room for "design tolerances." I have more than enough depth clearance behind the driver; easily 1" so underhanging isn't an issue there.

But if you look carefully at this pic and imagine trying to underhang this driver, you can see there's not a whole lot of room for error. The space b/the surround and the frame is maybe 1/8". The mounting hole would have to be spot-on.
IMG_20200924_125000512 (Large).jpg


It's a shame that I did so much planning and researching and these simple roadblocks happened, but I'll get past it.
 
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