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Old 03-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
56k
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Lightbulb 2012 Impreza Audio Install



I started the audio install in my 2012 Impreza 2.0i limited today.

My plan for this car will be to add some sound damping/absorption material into the doors and install new 6.5" components.

For this install I purchased:
37.5sq ft of RAAMmat BXT II
4 yards of Ensolite IUO (peel and stick)
JL audio C5-650 components
5.5" ID x 0.75" thick HDPE spacers from AudioIntegrations

The goal of this will be to document the process and provide as much information as I can!

DISCLAIMER: I am providing this detail (without responsibility) about my project to aid those who want to upgrade their car audio. Please use common sense and safety when working in and around your vehicle! If in doubt, ask questions or advice from other members before attempting any upgrades..

First of all, I took some baseline SPL readings with SigScopePro for iphone4 (I know it's not quite the most accurate method.. but better than nothing!):


Next was removing the door cards without breaking anything..
This seems to be the easiest car I have ever taken apart, since there are only 2 screws which attach this to the inner door skin:


With these screws removed, the door card can be pulled off with a moderate amount of force.. I started from this point:


Moving around the door and pulling will free the door card.
Next to separate this from the wiring harness, there are 3 plug-type connectors that need to be removed. Push the little tab in (a small flat-head works well for this) and pull the connector (not the wires)!


The tabs are easier to see here:


The back of the door card, if you are interested in where the clips are:


I removed the vapour barrier with a knife, carefully of course to avoid hacking it to pieces. I found it easy to pull at the edge of the plastic to stretch the butyl and then slice it bit by bit.
After the barrier was removed, I wiped the inside down with a cloth and paint thinner, just to remove excess grease and grime. Since the car is pretty new, there wasn't much there.

Last edited by 56k; 03-17-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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Very interesting... checking this out for sure since I have a set of C3-650 to install along with some sound deadener.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:05 PM   #3
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Here you can see where the butyl has stretched, easily cut with a sharp knife:

I was surprised by the butyl rope used to separate the door brace/safety-bar from the outer door skin.. nice! This saves me from buying the butyl rope..


After the vapour barrier and speaker (only 3 screws hold it in place) have been removed and everything wiped clean with paint thinner (for best adherence of the damping mat). I cut and applied the RAAMmat to about 75% of the outer door skin. I added an additional layer of mat (about 8"x8" square) behind the speaker driver location. I lightly tapped on the door and other bracing, listening for ringing or anything that would have rattled (using odds and end pieces of the RAAMmat here):
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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The last challenge of the night was to run some wire, from the door, through the boot and into the cabin. This seemed to be a lot easier said than done.. since the Subaru engineers have been busy to ensure water stays away from the wiring harness. Hopefully I can explain this and give some justice to the poor guy who designed this part..

I first removed the screw which attaches the door hinge limit (someone help me out with the proper name of this part..), to free up some more space to work (turns out to be about 1/4"):



A few interior trim pieces were removed to gain access to the lower A-pillar/wheel-well area (under the dash, pics to come). This is where the wiring harness conduit starts between the cabin and the door.

To give a little more space, I removed the electrical tape that was wrapped numerously around the seam between the upper and lower 90 degree boot pieces.

Meanwhile.. squeezing the 90 degree boot on the door side, separates it from the door (to allow more flexibility for the wire to pass through). The above photo also shows the end of the boot, which actually runs all the way from inside the cabin, to completely inside the door. It seems that the top 90 degree boot is just for strain relief, since it just jackets an inner sheath (which is the part running continuously from door to cabin..).

Anyways, I pinched this "inner sheath" to slice a thin hole to stuff the overkill-sized wire into. Being extremely careful of course when handling a knife near the wiring harness. The hole cut, I greased the wire and began to push.. flexing the boot allowed the wire eventually to work its way down towards the cabin:



Well, all in all.. great success!

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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More to come....
Especially need to have some pics of the 90 degree boot, since my explanation needs work!

I will take some more SPL readings through the rest of the install so we can hopefully see some improvements in road noise.

Also, I've been looking into mass loaded vinyl to use as a sound barrier on the doors/foot-well.. All in time I guess.

For those who have unplugged the door card (thus the window switches), you need to initialize the auto-up/down drivers window:

Initialize the power window using the
following procedure to reactivate these
functions.

1. Close the driver’s door.
2. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON”
position.
3. Open the driver’s side window halfway
by pushing down the power window
switch.
4. Pull up the power window switch and
close the window completely. Continue
pulling up the switch for approximately 1
second after the window is closed completely.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 56k View Post
The last challenge of the night was to run some wire, from the door, through the boot and into the cabin. This seemed to be a lot easier said than done.. since the Subaru engineers have been busy to ensure water stays away from the wiring harness. Hopefully I can explain this and give some justice to the poor guy who designed this part..

I first removed the screw which attaches the door hinge limit (someone help me out with the proper name of this part..), to free up some more space to work (turns out to be about 1/4"):
Door Hinge Limit = Check Strap
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:52 PM   #7
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Nice man. Do you have the newer revamped C5's that replaced the XR's?

I personally didn't remove the door hinge limit for my build. I just pulled out both sides of the Boot. The side that connects to the cab is kinda 2 part. It has an inner plastic ring that pops off. This Makes putting the boot back onto it a breeze. When your'e done it will snap right back into place no problem. Unfortunately I'm kinda lazy and didn't take as in depth pics like you have lol.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lateralis View Post
Nice man. Do you have the newer revamped C5's that replaced the XR's?

I personally didn't remove the door hinge limit for my build. I just pulled out both sides of the Boot. The side that connects to the cab is kinda 2 part. It has an inner plastic ring that pops off. This Makes putting the boot back onto it a breeze. When your'e done it will snap right back into place no problem. Unfortunately I'm kinda lazy and didn't take as in depth pics like you have lol.
Yeah, those are the ones. They look pretty solid, cast basket with poly cones. I figure that the poly material will last longer than the paper-based cones..

Especially important since there was a bead of water hanging from the woofer magnet when I first opened the door up..
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:20 PM   #9
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From what I hear they are supposed to be as good, if not better than the XR line. If they are I'm sure you will like them. I have 3 pairs of xr's and I really enjoyed these. Huge improvement over the Alpine Type R's they replaced. What are you using to power these? Should be looking to get about 100w's to each.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:28 AM   #10
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I've used the C5-650 set before. Very impressive midbass response. Paired with a 10W6, it was definitely a great setup.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:57 AM   #11
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Very nice install. Good equipment and good writeup.

I shot you a PM about some of your install information.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:50 AM   #12
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I used good ol tie wire but havnt gotten any speakers yet just Gettin the wiring out of the way. But just a question were should I mount the xover I ran 2 wires into the door!!
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:08 AM   #13
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Under the front seats, under the dash, small one's go behind some kicks, in the front part of a console. Avoid the door.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:27 AM   #14
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how to remove the lower trim pieces?
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb3asv141 View Post
how to remove the lower trim pieces?
The plastic trim that runs along the door sill lifts straight up. I pried the rear first, since it seems to hinge at the front. The foot-well piece has three clips, you can see them when you remove the door sill trim.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #16
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haha, im in the middle of doing something similar to this. Ive been sound dampening the entire car to get rid of rattling. Since i have a Kicker L7, the back deck lid and the door panels are rattling. So i sound dampened the rear deck lid and im about to polyfill the doors. I want my car to be as quiet as my sister-in-law's 750IL by the time im through.

BTW: I used the factory speaker wire at the radio harness rather than running new speaker wire. The factory wiring is 18ga by the looks of it. It prevents me from having to hack or run wires through the boot.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:38 AM   #17
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back deck lid ------>>



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Old 03-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #18
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i've sound deadened my entire rear deck top and bottom. still getting rattles. used to have a 15" re sx with the old school motors in there that take more power than the new ones do. i ran it at 2 ohm at 1500 watts rms and took it like a champ. i just sold the sub and my buddy is having a guy build me some custom woofers that are louder n cleaner. going to get two 12s instead in a custom box.

let me know how well your deadening works for u. mine stopped most of it but there are still some that are annoying the crap out of me. lol
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:02 PM   #19
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Just a quick update, for those who are interested.
My first goal was to see if I could use the existing HU (pioneer AVH-3300BT) to power the front components.. while it does play well at a reasonable volume, it clips pretty badly at moderate volume. I really need to amplify the front stage to get the most out of the speakers (I know, I know..).
At this time, I have one side complete (temporarily mounted the cross-overs in the doors to help with wiring), mounted the 6.5" woofer to the 0.75" HDPE spacers, fabricated a bracket and mounted the tweeter in the stock location (about 35 degrees off-axis in the dash).
Having one side installed, I can already appreciate what the final results will be!
So moving forward, I will continue the write-up covering the progress of the passenger door.
As for an amp, I want to keep the passive crossovers for now and get a 4-channel which I can bridge if necessary.
I was looking at the Alpine MRX-F30, anyone have opinions about class D? I have no experience with type of amp configuration, but I want something linear and efficient.
So it looks like I will be breaking out the oscilloscope again, after all.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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After completing the sound-deadening on the drivers door, I took some SPL readings in both the driver and passenger side foot-wells:


In the above, new data sets are in purple(passenger side) and green (drivers side). I was pleased to see that the passenger-side data (purple) aligns with the baseline (red) set taken before any work began.
Comparing the deadened door with the stock door, there is a -4dB drop from 5k-15kHz and about -8dB drop from 15k-40kHz!
Remember that this data may not be a perfect representation of all road surfaces, wind/weather conditions etc, not to mention the use of an iphone of this test! Regardless, I'm happy with the result so far and will continue the work.
As I had previously mentioned, I will continue the write-up for the passenger door as soon as it stops raining..
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:40 AM   #21
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Did I miss the CLD tiles?
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Did I miss the CLD tiles?
I used RAAMmat to dampen the panels, coverage was about 50-75% of the surface.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:22 PM   #23
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http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi

Gotchya! -Looking good! If you havn't read ^ -it's good
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #24
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Back again, with results!

So here is the passenger door, with the door card, vapour barrier and stock speaker removed:


So the first thing that I did (to get it out of the way), was to push speaker wire from the door, through the 90 degree boots (see picture below for reference) and into the cabin. This seemed much easier the second time for some reason. Anyways, I used waterproof grease (by Phil Wood, made originally for wheel bearings) but wire-pulling lube would probably work well too. All I had to do was carefully cut a slit in the wire sheath (same as pictured earlier), grease the wire and push it through!



Here are pictures that I promised earlier to remove the door sill/kick plate and foot-well trim:



I then applyed RAAMmat BXT to dampen the outer door panel. I use more than is needed (75% surface area) plus a second layer (about 12"x8") directly behind the driver. As .17HMR had asked about the CLD Tiles that are showcased on sounddeadenershowdown.com, although I really enjoyed the explanations on the site as well as the gauge of aluminum used on the tiles, I really wanted peel and stick closed-cell foam (CCF). Since shipping to Canada is expensive I went for the RAAMaudio to get these items together.
Regardless, I achieved my goal of damping the door panels to reduce resonance:



After covering the outer door skin, I focused on trying my best to seal the door cavity and also stiffen the structure. For this I went to the local sheet metal supply (called Metal Supermarkets in Toronto) and bought a 48"x36" sheet of aluminum at 0.040" thick. This was rigid and yet flexible enough to bend and cut by hand (metal sheers of course). Here is the first piece that I cut:


It was held in place with Tuck Tape or the like, this stuff has a nice adhesive.. I also used it to patch some other holes in the sheet metal. Not really sure what use these other holes had..?
Here is the second piece cut and bent to conform around the cup holder in the door card:



Again, I opted for tape to hold the aluminum instead of using sheet metal screws.. self-tapping screws would have been really nice, but I didn't want to deal with exposed steel inside the door. With the magic of television, here is the CLD applied!


Notice that I covered over the speaker hole, there is a method to my madness (at times):
Thanks to Patrick (phenryiv1) for the idea


Last edited by 56k; 03-21-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #25
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Then folding those pieces in, will provide some additional damping.

Next was the Ensolite (CCF) to absorb some road noise. This was applied in a 12"x8" patch on the outer door skin (behind the woofer driver), as well as the entire inner door skin. I found that using smaller pieces of CCF worked best.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to seal the door as best as possible, so I folded the CCF over the top edge of the inner door skin, so that the door card will now push a little harder against the window.
I really hoped that some of this effort provided beneficial results, but will I ever really know for sure? ()



By now I believe the rain had started again, but I wanted/needed to get the project done.. I marked (with a center punch) locations on the 0.75" HDPE door spacers, drilled pilot holes (blind holes) and mounted the woofer driver. Here is the mounted driver and foam speaker baffle that is hopefully going to keep the moisture off:



I cut the bottom half of the baffle to allow some air movement:


Then attached the spade clips to the driver, covered the contacts with heat shrink and screwed the assembly into the inner door skin.


The lighting was not great, apologies for the image quality..
Last step was to mount and attach the cross-overs (I only chose the door as a temporary location, they will be moved under the passenger seat):


I think the zip-ties finish the deal, they keep it neat and tidy..
not to mention, that wire cant get into any of the mechanisms inside the door..
Here is my severely half-assed tweeter bracket, the top hole is nearly triangular.. but it holds the tweeter, so I was happy. Again, this is made from the left over sheet metal:


Before putting the door card back in place, I applied CLD and CCF to the back-side to try and cut down any rattles.. plus I have lots of this stuff left over anyways:
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