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Old 11-14-2018, 02:31 PM   #1
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9-5 Stereo Upgrade

Just thought about a new project. 9-5 audio system upgrade

I picked up a 99 9-5 Sedan in need of repairs. Replaced Clutch with an Aero version. Replaced the ABS module. As well as installed a TD04.

I drove it most of this summer and enjoyed it.

I also purchased a 03 Wagon. It had a nice touch screen head unit. I have always been happy with my factory audio systems. That was until I had one with handsfree calling ect.

So, that got me going on upgrading my sedan
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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So this upgrade started simple enough. I would just replace the head unit. I followed some guides found online and they helped a ton.

I purchased a Kenwood DDX6905S. It has everything except Nav, but it does have Carplay, so I will just use my Iphone.

The head unit also has two video inputs, for F&R cameras. That will come later. Now was time to enjoy the new tunes.

I finished install and all was good. I added the two USB plugs. One in factory cig light spot, the other inside center console.

I should have been happy, but noooooo.

On to next upgrades.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:42 PM   #3
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I started out researching components and shopping around. A local shop has been a huge help in this. I also bought a bunch of Audio Control gear. Enough amps for two systems. One setup with DSP and two very large amps, and the other with a DSP and to micro amps.

Game on! Now to start gathering up more gear.

For front speakers I settled on a set of Focal 6.5 components. Not crazy, but mid level. I also bought a set of 6.5 in coaxials for rear doors(mistake, but worked through it)

The amp for this build is huge, so finding a 4 inch speaker that could take it as near impossible.

I ordered a RF wiring kit with 1/0 cable, fuse and distribution blocks, RCAs ect.

Now for the fun(I mean work)
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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I started mocking up an amp rack in trunk. I made a template out of cardboard, then made a temp one out of scrap particle board.

Then on to speakers.

The fronts were pretty easy. I could not make them work with either version from a 9-5. So I used ones from OG 9-3. A bit of trimming and they fit well. The tweeters were a toss up. Mod the grill and run pods, cut out the door trim, or make custom mounts in dash. I chose to mount them in the dash. I used factory 3 inch as a template and a sheet if thin ABS. Worked great. May need to revisit this to correct some imaging issues bouncing sound off windshield.


On to the rear doors
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:53 PM   #5
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The rear doors were a giant pain. I an not a fan of cutting metal, so I needed adapter rings. Local shop wanted $150 a pair, decided to do it myself, with some help.

I had a fab shop make me some 1/2 thick rings out of ABS. Then on to modding and mounting. Thought I had a great setup, Until I went to mount door panels, not even close. Lesson learned.

More trimming and fitting, and I was able to make them work. Next system will either get 4 inch replacements, of 6x9s in rear shelf.

Speakers done, now for POWER!
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:00 PM   #6
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With mu amp rack mocked up, it was time to feed them.

Finding a way to get power through firewall proved tough.

I thought about sending power cable through firewall with ECU wiring, but decided that idea was rubbish. There had to be a better way.

With wipers, bulkhead cover, glove box and lower panels removed, I examined the firewall, there had to be a way.

Well, I found it. My car had a small hole with plug on left side, right next to hood cable. I removed plug, it was foam insulation. I used a long probe to poke through the insulation and went under dash to check clearance. Perfect! Lots of room. I used a step bit to slightly enlarge the hole to fit a snap in plastic grommet. Then used a 3/4 hole saw to cut a nice hole in insulation. Ran the wire on left side in factory wiring protectors. Got it all the way to the trunk, when I realized it was too short. Bummer, will correct this later.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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I was super bummed about the power wire, but I had been working on it so much, I had to give it a test run.

I ran RCAs and two speed wires from trunk, up right side to dash and foot well.
I soldered speed wires to factory amp connections. I connected RCAs and amp turn on lead. Tedious, but I like solder rather than butt connectors.

I then installed ground wire setup. One 1/0 cable connected to right inner sheet metal. Then distribution block with 4awg and 1/0 cables to amps.

For the positive, I installed a temp distribution block and 2 temp 4 awg cables.

Installed the fuse. We have power!

Now, for some quick tweaks using laptop before I connect the speakers(cross over setting to prevent blowing anything)

Connecting was quick and easy. Decided on good starting cross over settings. All good, now for level setting. I set subwoofer amp checking for input clipping, then set gains using output clip detection. Then backed it off some(way too powerful)

Now I used pink noise to check and set inputs to mids and highs. When all checked out, it was time for a test run.

WOW! Most setting were great, mids and highs were very clear and clean. I reduced rear speaker power to about 20%. I then got the specs for my fronts from Focal. I then made some cross over adjustments relating to these specs. Now it was getting good. One full power test run and I called it a night. More work ahead.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
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I was really into car stereos in the early 90s. Even did some competitions. My ears payed the price. One system had 6 12s, ouch.

Not being a kid anymore, I wasn't looking for crazy bass. I checked out a bunch of subs and decided on a JL audio single 12" in a factory HO Wedge box. Plenty for me and as a bonus, it fits well and I still have access to spare tire.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:00 PM   #9
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How about some pictures?

What made you go with the Kenwood?
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
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I decided on the Kenwood because of feature vs price. They are a great value and had some features other units do not have. F&R camera inputs are one cool feature. Backup camera is a nice idea, especially for a wagon. And I'm playing with the front camera. I found a camera with IR illumination for cheap, or could point it down for curb/parking.

I am working on pics, any suggestions for hosting as all my PB stuff got deleted?
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:09 AM   #11
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Sounds like a nice build, I would love to see some pics of some of this stuff. I host my pictures on imgur, it's free.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:57 AM   #12
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:29 AM   #13
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:30 AM   #14
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First step

Battery and power cable

Getting through firewall
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:02 AM   #15
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Tweeter mount for stock dash location. Will be doing something different, have not decided on what just yet.

Front door speakers using modded 9-3 rings. Lots of sound deadening.

Single JL in factory box. Good enough for me.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:36 AM   #16
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Progress as of now.

Replaced JL W3 sub with a W7. That required a big power upgrade. Replaced 800w amp with a 1500w Audio Control.

Very happy with performance, now on to finalize the install. Been working out amp rack installation designs. Stay tuned for more photos

Also installing a budget system in a 9-5 wagon(my DD)

And a refresh of an old 9000 Aero build.

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Old 03-19-2019, 05:21 AM   #17
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Can you elaborate on how you installed the sub in the factory location? I want to do this on my wagon, but not sure of the proper way to install it. Is this one an 8 inch? I think my stock one is 6.5 if I recall. I was thinking about dremelling out whatever I needed to to make an aftermarket one fit in the enclosure.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:21 PM   #18
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Yes, Kicker 6.5 in factory sub box in my wagon.

I did not cut box at all. I did drill new mounting holes. I used used speaker gasket to seal against raised edge in box. Fit and seals well.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:37 PM   #19
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Here is the budget wagon sub
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:50 PM   #20
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Found a great little spot in my wagon for a pair of Audio Control Micro amps.
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