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Old 02-05-2005, 05:05 PM   #1
raamaudio
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Default STI sound deadening, new tutorial

OK, I have deadened to great successfull levels all kinds of vehicles including a 500 sq ft install(will add 125 more when the custome dash, doors, etc, are done) wild show rig being built right now.

Edit: This should be pretty much the same for WRX's as well as RS's and mostly for other cars as well, sedans that is. Some differences for wagons, I will see what I can learn to help them out as well for their specific concerns.

The STI was the most difficult to acheive the desired results in and we are going to make a few more adjustments to the rear deck area. Tire noise seems to be the worst offender(unless you have a massive exhaust with a high db resonance at cruising speed). The tire noise issue maybe more associated with the stiff suspension bushings as the noise is deffinately resonated in the body sturcture, most of problem is in the rear of the vehicle.

I have three levels of sound deadening I will recommend from now on, this may be for the RS as well as I have seen it posted they are quite noisy as well. And, any other sedan with really loud road noise, especially from the rear of the car.

1) Basic deadening, effective to a fairly high degree, lower weight and cost as well as labor.

-Front doors, doors with speakers, remove door panel and plastic moisture barrier, toss it in the trash.
-One layer of mat on 2/3 of the outer door skin, overlap the seems, add two more smaller layers, about 10" sq, behind the speakers. Then the same size piece of close cell foam on top of those layers(ensulite foam is best.
-Check for loose wires, cables, etc, inside the door, secure with foam tape, tie wraps, etc. build up the speaker mounting location by making a solid baffel that you can screw to the door then the speakers to it, MDF works great and easy to work with. Use a gasket between it and the door metal and screw it down snugly.
-Seal up the door access holes with a piece of tin, I use perforated aluminum, this gives the next layer of mat something to stick to and tightens up the midbass response.
-Install one layer of mat over the inner door metal, seal all air passages possible, cut the mat back around 1" from edge of door panel. Mat right up to and onto the sides of the new speaker baffel, this stiffens the whole area alot more, helps midbass response.
-Add a layer of 1/8" close cell foam, ensulite again is best but hard to find, to the top of the mat, cut around all mounting points, same for the mat, to make sure the door panel will fit back on ok, cut back around 1/2" from edge of panel. Go right over the speaker baffel then cut out the speaker hole area, the foam absorbs or breaks up unwanted accoustical energy inside the door panel area and makes a great gasket.
-Tap on the back of the door panel, being plastic it will have resonate areas. Add patches of mat to those areas until it sounds deadened, usually about 1/4 of the surface is enough, install the panel and test the the door, slam it a few times and listen for rattles, etc.

-Rear doors, I advise to ditch the speakers then seal up the doors like the front but no mat needed on the outer door skin, it is mainly for improving midbass response, no speakers, no midbass, no baffles needed either so skip those steps and patch over the stock speaker hole. The low mounted speakers are in a horrible location anyway. Saves weight and money, 99.9% of the best comp cars in the world do not use rear speakers, I never do. But, it you must have them, do the rear doors exactly like the fronts.

-Lower A pillars, in front of the doors, remove the kick panel trim, lift the factory deadening pad, mat over the big holes there then a layer of foam, wrap over the wiring the best you can to seal them up well, any holes you can reach above that, do the same.

-Wheel wells, one layer of mat on the whole rear wheel wells then a layer of ensolite over that.

-Behind rear seat, one layer of mat over the factory black plastic covering the trunk access whole, seal up all around the edges and all other holes into the trunk possible. Overlap the two verticle steel sq tubes that brace the rear deck. One layer of Ensolite over the whole area and the floor under the rear seat.

-Rear deck, EXTREMELY CRITICAL, the most important area in an STI. Seal up all the holes you can, hard to mount metal there so use a layer of mat over the wholes then a second layer of mat over the whole area. Then go under the deck and add patches of mat to the holes, etc, it will stick really well to the exposed sticky side of the mat you installed on the top of the deck. Then foam over the whole area.
-Problem, you need to have at least a access for the ventilation system to push air through. I think a sound absorbing tunnel, simply bent aluminum with an ensolite liner, may be the ticket, will try to make one when I do some touchup deadening on the STI we just worked on.

This install level would take around 60 sq ft of whatever mat brand you choose and 3 yards of 1/8" close cell foam, Ensolite being far superior to anything else I know of. Total weight gain for this level of deadening will be around 26-27 lbs.

Notes:
-For a bit more improvement, low cost, etc, you can use whatever scraps left over on the floor of the car, tap around, put it only on the resonate areas. Then a layer of ensolite over the whole floor. Two more yards will be enough if you have some left from the above steps.

2)Upper mid level deadening all the above and or below.

-All doors as #1

-Wheel wells, add a second layer of mat over the larger sections, then the foam.

-Behind rear seat, add a second layer of mat over the first layer, just in the middle is fine, about 4 sq ft. There are two small plates on the vertical supports, bolt the area you just matted to the braces through those. (Not a bad idea for #1 as well)

-Rear Deck, as #1, I have not worked out the accoutical trap tunnel for the vent system but a basic one would do wonders. Just bend some thin aluminum, line it with ensolite and attach to the underside of the rear deck. We left the 1" or so holes open that are nearest to the rear vents on the top of the deck. They are a bit small but help reduce noise intrusion being that size, they may need to be opened up a bit. It will be hard for me to further develop an exacting solution unless I have another vehicle to work on or the one we just did, we are going to drive down to install the sub box once I get teh molds finalized off the prototype unit and I will do a bit more work in that area as well as a test of the basic accoustical trap.

-Interior floor, mat the whole floor(does not need every sq inch done but at least 80% minimum, hardened, rounded over, strong areas can be left unmatted. As a second patch here and there over the more resonate areas(thump it with your fist, sounds boomy, add a patch of mat. Then a full layer of ensolite.

-Under dash, line all areas you can with Ensolite(or any inferior substitute, only saying this because I have found nothing manf anywhere near as good, easy to use, fits where needed, cheap, etc) Leave at least some open areas as it is needed for the ventilation system circulation to work.

-Trunk, without subs. Line the floor with mat, 74-80% is fine, the primary concern is resonate areas, full coverage does not add much to the effectiveness. Line the whole trunk with ensolite. Rear panels are fairly stiff and do not seem to need matted. Mat, foam, etc, your water sprayer container, it is terribly noise. Use tie wraps, foam, silicone, go over every wire, cable etc and make sure they do not resonate.

-Trunk with subs, Line the side walls, rear wall, and trunk lid with mat. On the trunk lid cut patches of mat the size of the holes in the frame, just a tad larger, install them and tuck the excess under the frame edges. Then cut another patch the same but a big larger and work it down onto the first but over the frame to bond the skin and frame together. (Before matting the lid check for any rattles from wiring, etc, and foam, silicone, tie wrap, etc, to make it solid) Done well this is usually enough mat on a trunk lid, if you have a massive sub system you may want to add a third layer of mat and cover more of the frame but not needed to cover it fully, just near the holes.
-At least on the STI the trunk lide has access holes on the rear of it, I would cut aluminum, etc, like the door sections above, cover them, mat over it and then line the whole trunk lid with ensolite, carefully applied it can look fairly nice. If you want it trimed out even more then install nonbacked carpet to it or buy a liner from the dealer but test fit as you do the deadening.

I think that is about it and would do all you need for most high end installs, added weight will be around 52-54 lbs. Approx 100+ sq ft of mat, 5 yards of Ensolite.


3) Allmost totally all out, there is no real end to this madness, 300 hours went into my truck deadening, 100k miles, still solid as a rock

-All the above steps with a few adjustments, additions, etc.

-Passenger compartment floor, one layer of mat every where, second layer on the resonate parts, one layer of ensolite everywhere, second layer of mat over all the major areas, at least 70% of the floor, one more layer of ensolite over just those areas or theh whole floor.

-Roof, one layer of mat over the whole thing, can skip the supports and just do the outer skin. One layer of ensolite over it all. Weight gain will be around 4.5 lbs. I do not like to add weight up high but this is not a huge amount, would not do this on my own car most likely I would just use the ensolite.

-Remove dash and all other interior parts, line under dasy with mat patches, then ensolite, check everything, silicone, tie wraps, foam, etc, etc, the whole car, all cables, wires, etc.

-All pillars, roof supports, rocker panels, etc, fill with expanding foam. Not the Home Depot crap, very costly and messy but the only one I would use is from Germany, my cost in large wholesale amounts is near $30 for a small can, used 5 on my truck, would take 10 at least on an STI. There are some others I have heard of that could be more cost effective. The one I use does not over expand, uses any moisture in the area to help cure the foam, leaves no air pockets to hold condensation and cause rust, etc. Mask the heck out of everything, this stuff will not come off if you make a mess, I know for a fact

-Trunk, Line the sides with mat, ensolite every sq inch, full floor matted, second layer of mat on any resonate areas.

MAJOR Problem, if you deaden well enough to keep out the massive trunk road noise and have a sub back there, you will need even more of a bass system to hear it up front. No offense meant but this is a true performance car and should not have a massive audio system in the first place. It is the primary reason why I am working so hard to produce a good up front SQ but decently loud true bass system.
At the very most I would only have an amp or two back there, flat, up agains the rear wall(almost touching), if and only if I wanted a really powerfull system but just not needed if done right.
BUT, we just stuffed two amps, 50x4 and 100x2(400 bridged for the sub) under the drivers seat, very tight fit but made it work. This is plenty of power for an audiophile system and with a deck with at least 5 bands of parametric EQ and good crossovers can be very low in weight and sound fantastic.

Of course if your primary goal of the car is to get attention at shows, etc, then build whatever you wish, at least make it easily removable

It truely saddens me to see such a wonderfull maching hamstrung but a ton of excess weight and gadgets all over it, I guess I am more of a purist at heart


Any of the above steps can be adjusted to suite your individual desires and use whatever brand of products you chose of course, there is always room for adjustments and improvements. Anyone have more to add here please do so!!!

My brain is now tired, I will edit for errors later, lol

Rick
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Last edited by raamaudio; 02-05-2005 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:36 PM   #2
typhoon663
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This should be a sticky...
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the write up.
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:27 PM   #4
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great info, 50 pounds is not that much at all, heck i save that by just not being fat
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
raamaudio
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hahahaha, I need to lose at least 20 myself, lol!

You guys are most welcome, glad I can help and believe it or not, this is not just some way to promote what I do, I love to help and consider myself a fellow enthusiast far before a businessman

Rick
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:55 PM   #6
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wow sweet info, for wrx's as well as sti's! thanks
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Old 02-06-2005, 12:25 AM   #7
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Great info rick, thanks. Another vote for a sticky here.

I only wish that I lived somewhere near you so that I could learn how to do this right from the master. I'll probably give most of your 'stage 1' recommendations soon, but I've never attempted any sound deadening before so I know I'll probably screw it all up and waste a lot of good materials in the process. Ahh, learning is fun at least.
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Old 02-06-2005, 03:32 AM   #8
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does anyone know if the STi is louder than the wrx? I rode in an STi recently and it didn't seem louder (on the freeway) than my wrx. The wrx is a very loud car on the freeway, for road noise that is...
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:00 AM   #9
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could be the tires. stock WRX tires blow.
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:11 AM   #10
raamaudio
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I am willing to help anyone in my area, not many near me so online is the best I can usually do

Not sure if the STI is louder or not, the tires on the car we worked have been changed but they just howl on any kind of rough pavement so will look into them more. I am wondering if the bushings are so stiff they transmit alot of that into the body structure. The body is stiff but that low freq energy is the hardest to deal with and it is exceptionally strong in this particular car.

We are going to work on it more, I have a few more tricks up my sleave and we have improved it a great deal, just did not know there was so much noise from the rear of the car. Not going to do this until the end of the week, will post the results and the game plan is already part of the guide above. We are going to look at the shock towers and rear deck alot more critically as they are the only places really left to go after. Some work was done but it seems not quite enough. I may even test some thick acoustical foam under the rear deck if need be.


Anyway, we have done a great deal of good, the rest is just figuring out a few details and going after it, very interesting challenge, I like that


My son and I made my buddies F350 dual cab 6x6 turbo deisel with really noisy tires much quiter than this, sure we can do alot more with the STI

Rick

Last edited by raamaudio; 02-06-2005 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borti
does anyone know if the STi is louder than the wrx? I rode in an STi recently and it didn't seem louder (on the freeway) than my wrx. The wrx is a very loud car on the freeway, for road noise that is...
It is exponentially louder than the WRX. I had a 2002 wrx from late 2001 till I traded it for my STi last year. Its an AMAZING difference how much louder EVERYTHING is.

~v6
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:47 AM   #12
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Well, I've come to think that with the STI it'll always be a tradeoff between my need for good sound (sound deadening) and the weight that goes with it and performance enhancements. Want to deaden your doors? Lose your spare tire. Floors and trunk? K&N Typhoon. Aftermarket exhaust will sometimes increase noise, more deadening needed. Use of more matting will not add much to weight. Use of some liquids appears to not add weight either (see quietcar.com). I agree with Rick, it's too bad you can't have the ideal combination coming out of the factory, but I'd rather start with a bare car like it is and make improvements
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:52 PM   #13
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This has been a challenging adventure, how to make a great car more comfortable to live with yet keep the dynamics of the car intact.

The reason I wrote the new guide is to specifically address these issues, go after the main problem areas first, once you get to a point within your noise tolerance level then stop. Many have different levels they are willing to give up and what they need to gain so you have options to help address this.

As for liquid deadeners, I have tried quite a few and have looking into having my own but nothing has impressed me that well yet. Liquids seem a great way to go but you also have alot more prep to prevent messes that are hard to clean up, many require alot of coats to build up a thick enough layer to be effective, lack the aluminum layer that helps stiffen the panels(much more so than it may seem they would when using multiple layers), etc. There are other issues as well with this method, the only real gain I have found is nice to be able to get it into some areas hard to reach by hand for a mat type product. Then again, spray on is best for that and I have tried alot of them, so far simply not cost effective. I will keep looking into this though, just may come up with something good.

Rick
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:01 PM   #14
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Rick, any experience with Durafoam? They claim it is comparable to ensolite. http://www.monmouthrubber.com

Also, what is a good adhesive for securing the foam to the door?
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:43 PM   #15
raamaudio
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Thanks for the link! I search awhile and cannot find a distributor so I can look up sizes, etc. I would want to call them and get some more info. If I can find a better solution, i.e. more affordable then Ensolite that is as good it would be great. As it is Ensolite is very cost effective as I get it from the highest level source possible but always looking to do even better for my fellow enthusiast customers

I have tried every brand of spray can glue manf that I can find. Only one is what I really prefer to use, V&S 1081, backordered right now from the only source possible to get it in quantity

Alternates are 3M 90, much harder to work with but handles heat well, the other 3M ones just do not hold up and the 90 is not as good as 1081 V&S.

The very best solution is to use an air paint gun and commercial contact cement but the right stuff only comes in 5 gallon buckets that I know of. I bought a gun for it but not going to buy 5 gallons of glue and only use a quart or two a year, lol!

Rick
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Old 02-06-2005, 06:32 PM   #16
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Thanks Rick. I just realized I remembered your handle from somewhere! Sent you an email.
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Old 02-06-2005, 06:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V6TurboTA
It is exponentially louder than the WRX. I had a 2002 wrx from late 2001 till I traded it for my STi last year. Its an AMAZING difference how much louder EVERYTHING is.

~v6
agreed, much louder than even my mildly modified/raamatted WRX. Almost embarrassingly so when I explain that the new car is actually better than the old one.
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Old 02-06-2005, 08:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raamaudio
Not sure if the STI is louder or not, the tires on the car we worked have been changed but they just howl on any kind of rough pavement so will look into them more. I am wondering if the bushings are so stiff they transmit alot of that into the body structure. The body is stiff but that low freq energy is the hardest to deal with and it is exceptionally strong in this particular car.
Would thickening-up the undercoating in the wheel well and/or dampening the inner side of fender liners possibly help with tire-road noise?
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:19 PM   #19
raamaudio
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I am not to sure that will help much and at least one member said it did not. I do suspect the bushings in the supension are transmitting alot of energy into the body which in turns causes the very powerfull hence hard to deal with rumble. Tire selection seems to be quite critical as across smooth pavement that type of noise almost completley disapeared.

A two edged approach is needed, do all you can with deadening then look for the quietest tires you can live with. I really liked my Kumho V700's, dead quite, sticky as all get out(not so great in the cold but suprisingly good in the rain even when no tread left) smooth riding, not to great in the mileage rating though I did get a whole season of autocrossing, driving to events, alot of burnouts, many many autocross runs spinning madly out of the truns(better once I got the LSD to work but with 250 WHP in a FWD, going to spin them a bit here and there Nearly 9k miles is not bad at all when at least half of that was wheel spin, lol!

Rick
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Old 02-07-2005, 03:12 AM   #20
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Thanks for the writeup Rick, very helpful. Any good sources for the perforated aluminum sheets for backing behind holes in the doors?
[edit: fixed Rick's name it's not Rich, sorry!]

Last edited by drees; 02-07-2005 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:51 AM   #21
raamaudio
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Thanks, glad to help when I can

I used to buy my perf aluminum in San Diego at Industrial Metal Supply, they always had cut offs from some big job or another. The sheets were fairly large and only $.75 per pound!!!! I finally ran out and have had no luck in my new location finding it, but did find a source for full sheets, cost more to ship than the metal itself, will have my buddy bring me some from San Diego next time he drives up!

Rick
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:09 PM   #22
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Thanks Rick, I'll give them a shot!
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:58 PM   #23
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Great! The perf aluminum is usually stored in the verticle bins at the end of the showroom, middle of the floor, towards the entrance to the warehouse, wait until you see how bit the warehouse is!!!!

My buddy is not coming back here for a few months I just learned. I would be willing to pay you to ship me some sheets but I do understand this is alot to ask so no worries if you cannot do it. It would take a bit of time and effort, I can get by without having it for now

Rick
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:59 AM   #24
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Rick,
I have seen this quote several times and i still don't understand the concept.

"build up the speaker mounting location by making a solid baffel that you can screw to the door then the speakers to it, MDF works great and easy to work with. Use a gasket between it and the door metal and screw it down snugly."

What type of materal is used for the solid baffel?
What does MDF mean?
What does this baffel look like? Is it like a 5 sided box behind the speaker?
Do you have a picture?

Just received my mat and Ensolite today. Figure i better understand this before i get rolling on the install !!
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:28 AM   #25
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Ok, let's see if I can make this clear

Baffle= basically anything a speaker is mounted to, take a piece of plywood, a whole sheet, one half sheet, one quarter sheet, etc, cut a hole in it and mount the speaker to it, it is then a baffle. A speaker box is made up of sides, top and bottom and a front and a rear baffle or some consider the rear just a back and not a baffle.

The door mounting location is another form of baffle only this time in steel and in some cases the speaker is molded onto a plastic frame that is bolted to the door, the frame then would be the baffle.

Take your plywood above, substitute MDF.

MDF= Medium Density Fiberboard, made up of glued and pressed saw dust basically, very dense, very stable, easy to work with, used extensively in speaker building due to non resonate properties, low cost, etc, etc.

The STI we just worked on, as an example, needed new baffles to space the speakers out a bit further from the door metal so the magnets(motor structure) could clear the windows when they are down.

I removed the stock speakers and the plastic, sq face pop in mounting tabs the stock screws mounted in to hold the speakers in the doors. I just need them out of the way.

Then I took a piece of paper and made a paper rubbing of the area that was flat and transfered this to a piece of 3/4" MDF, marked it out, cut out the center for the speaker hole, cut out the shape I did the rubbing of, sanded it down a bit and test fit it to the door and made sure the windows would go up and down fully. (acutally I skipped that part because I had taken carefull measurements before and knew I needed 5/8" spacers so 3/4" were going to be fine.)

I reveresed the design for the other side and made one more then painted them black to seal up the wood and make them hide better when installed.

Basically we just substitute the stock plastic mounts molding around the stock speakers for a piece of wood, MDF, that now is the mounting baffle for the new speakers

FYI, Even though we seal up the doors the best we can, they would still be considered Infinate Baffle speaker systems because of the air leaks they will always have, car speakers are build for this.

I hope this answers your questions, I search and do not seem to have any good baffle pics at the moment.

Rick
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