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Old 02-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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A little sound upgrade

The factory Infinity sound system is probably one of the worst I have ever heard. I have owned other cars with premium factory systems that have sounded much better. Now to be fair, I understand that this vehicle is not the ideal design for sound quality but I expected a little better. The whole thing with the low volume from the sound bar and the muddy sub was unacceptable. So the first thing was to find a decent head unit. I was looking for something that wasn’t too flashy and would have certain features like iPod control & plenty of sound controls. After researching several radios I choose the Clarion CX501. It looks a little OEM and has a lot of features for the price. Also, the LCD color matches exactly to the factory color. Installation of a double Din in this vehicle requires some fiddling. The metal bracket behind the radio has to be removed. I don’t recommend cutting it, just take it out. Every bit of room is needed. Because of the design of the install kit, the radio can’t be crammed in really tight. If it is, the radio will not sit correctly once everything is put back together. Between the PAC adapter, wires, RCA cables and antenna cable it required several attempts to get this right. Also, the compass module will have to be relocated. I removed the module itself from the plastic box and wrapped it with some electrical tape to make it easier to relocate. I also had to manually recalibrate the compass. I was initially going to just upgrade the radio and then of course everything just snowballed into new speaker’s, amps, new sub, new sub box, battery & rewire. I left the PAC adapter in to avoid any potential problems with the CANbus.


The soundbar was removed and pumped with Greatstuff Gap filler to remedy the lame vibration problem. I also put foam tape behind it where it comes in contact with the frame. I modded the sound bar to accommodate a pair of Kicker DS65's. The factory speakers where "dremeled" and used as mounting brackets for the new speakers. They fit perfectly. I used good ol' Plasti Dip to cover/fill in the outside of the speaker. The screw holes where filled with plastic epoxy. The tabs on the remaining part of the factory speaker where cut so the final product was just a round "bracket" for the new speakers.
The front speakers where not as hard to install as I expected them to be. They did require some fiddling but nothing drastic. THE DRIVER SIDE IS NOT THAT BAD. Just remove as many screws as you can and pull/bend the damn panel out. The driver side was easier than the passenger. I would only do this in warm temperatures. I'm sure this is how the guys at the dealer would do it. Everything went back together perfect with no cracks or creases. Kicker DS65.2 with XTC speaker baffles are installed in the front. I also used Chrysler speaker connectors (72-6514) for front and back speakers. The tweeters fit perfectly in the factory location. Rockford Fosgate Punch 400-4 will power the Highs & a Punch 300-2 will push the sub. 4 gauge power & ground for both amps.
The hardest part of this install was the removal of the front seats. WTF... Even with a breaker bar I was stunned at how damn tight these where.
I went with a 10" Rockford Fosgate P1S4-10 to supply the low end. I built a box with the recommended specs and covered it with Plasti Dip. (I put that Shi* on everything). The box was mounted and is slightly raised so the cargo lid is (somewhat) easily removable. The wiring to the alternator, fuse box, ground was all upgraded with 4g & 0g and an Optima Yellowtop (d34/78-950) was installed. This was done to avoid "ghetto dim" of the headlights when listening to music at night.
This took about 3 months to complete. Allot of tweaking, replacing & upgrading was involved. The end result was more than impressive.
Jeep Wrangler pictures by kalldudley - Photobucket

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Old 02-04-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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Wow. I'm astounded by the amount of talent I see on these boards.

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Old 02-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Dang. Why didn't you stick with just kickers or just Rockford fosgates?
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:40 PM   #4
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Great work. I have a similar setup with the stock head unit and all JL Audio speakers and sub - two amps under the seats like you, too. The difference is that I paid a set of local professional installers to do mine. Your installation is cleaner than the one I paid for. Very well done.

If I may ask, how did you secure your amps under the seats? My installer seems to have tried to simply connect mine to the carpet. They sit fine, but they move back and forth a bit.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
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The amps are mounted directly to the floor. It probably took me an hour just to position them both in the perfect spot. Nylon spacers are used to offset the uneven floor to keep them level. The screws are coated with Plasti Dip on the other side to avoid corrosion. Every connection is soldered, covered with heat shrink or coated with Plasti Dip. I'm sure I went overboard but my goal was a decent installation.

I have always been a fan of both brands (Kicker & Rockford) so It just worked out that way. I probably could have gone with higher end speakers but this is still a Jeep and all of the components will be exposed to the elements so I tried not to invest too much into it.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:04 AM   #6
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It looks great, and I'm sure it sounds great, too. I bet your neighbors can hear you coming home, now!

I love you're phrase "ghetto dim", by the way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Damn dude your attention to detail is awesome. Great job dude.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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Ww
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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Awesome awesome job. Looks beyond professional.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
Bazinga!

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When I first saw thread title I was like, this dude is crazy my factory system is fine. Then while reading I was like, I could probably get a new set of wheels for what he put into this system. When I was done reading I was like, DAMN that's some serious ship.
Nice job!!!
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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Hey Ekall, as everyone is stating...You do some damn good work! I have a question on the head unit, i am digging it.

Will it crank out good power to speakers directly? I plan on something like this but minus amps. I have no sub, but will work with my 6 factory locations. I like the simplicity of that Clarion unit a lot. Did you give up steering controls?
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by New2012JEEP View Post
Hey Ekall, as everyone is stating...You do some damn good work! I have a question on the head unit, i am digging it.

Will it crank out good power to speakers directly? I plan on something like this but minus amps. I have no sub, but will work with my 6 factory locations. I like the simplicity of that Clarion unit a lot. Did you give up steering controls?
I actually just intended to replace the radio and keep the rest of the factory system (Infinity amp, speakers and sub). The new radio was a much needed improvement. I was going to get a fancy touch screen type but after reading reviews of the Clarion it seemed perfect. The sound bar was still low in volume and I believe this was due to the way the factory amp is tuned. The use of the PAC adapter makes the install between the Jeep and the radio easy and PAC claims you can retain the steering wheel controls although my Jeep did not come with them. I would have to say the best basic improvement is a new radio. I'm sure this radio (or any other of decent quality) would push the 6 factory speakers by itself. The problem is once more power is sent to those rear speakers it really brings out the infamous sound bar vibration problem. As a side note, after I pulled the sound bar, modded it and installed the new speakers I ran the Rockford amp in AP (all pass). The amount of bass response and overall sound quality was very impressive. I could have just stopped at that point but what's the fun in that?
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #13
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I figured i'd post some pics also of the fist sub. It sounded much better that the original sub but my mistake was upgrading the amp. The Punch P300-2 amp was a little too much for this sub in this enclosure . I wanted to use the amp to its full potential so I decided to just upgrade the sub & build my own box. This is a Kicker CVT8 which fit perfectly inside the factory box. I added a terminal and some polyfill.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #14
Really liking the Jeep...

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Indeed.
QC approved.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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Hey, Thanks for the compliments all! Especially after my wife is like "what was wrong with the other radio?" Anyway, I should add that this system is way, way more than what I needed but I was just having some fun with it. I'd like to clarify that I'm not that idiot that's at a red light next to you blasting his radio. I admit I like a little loud sometimes and this system can easily rattle my fillings out but sound quality at a normal level was my ultimate goal. Yes... Comfortably Numb sounds damn good on this radio.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ekall View Post
Hey, Thanks for the compliments all! Especially after my wife is like "what was wrong with the other radio?" Anyway, I should add that this system is way, way more than what I needed but I was just having some fun with it. I'd like to clarify that I'm not that idiot that's at a red light next to you blasting his radio. I admit I like a little loud sometimes and this system can easily rattle my fillings out but sound quality at a normal level was my ultimate goal. Yes... Comfortably Numb sounds damn good on this radio.
Respect the Floyd.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shacklyn

Respect the Floyd.
Love it. Going to see Roger in June!
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:04 AM   #18
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Love it. Going to see Roger in June!
We're way off topic now. Sorry. But, I have to say that I, too, have Waters tickets for June in Indianapolis. Can't wait.

Since we're off topic, let me say I will be driving the Jeep to the show!
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by shacklyn

We're way off topic now. Sorry. But, I have to say that I, too, have Waters tickets for June in Indianapolis. Can't wait.

Since we're off topic, let me say I will be driving the Jeep to the show!
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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What size speaker baffles are those and are they worth it for the front pods? What Kicker tweet is that, and how hard is the install? I like that it looks OE.

Last question, what is required to mount and power the CVT8 to the stock enclosure?

--Sean
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:35 PM   #21
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What size speaker baffles are those and are they worth it for the front pods? What Kicker tweet is that, and how hard is the install? I like that it looks OE.

Last question, what is required to mount and power the CVT8 to the stock enclosure?

--Sean

The baffles are XTC 6-3/4Ē (Ebay). As far as their worthiness Iím not sure because I didn't run the speakers without them so I have nothing to compare. I used them because Iíve read from others that vibration comes from the front when using higher powered speakers. I did it more as a precaution. I figured foam would be better than just the plastic housing. I can tell you I have no vibration and my front midís sound pretty damn good. The front speakers are Kicker DS65.2 components, nothing high end but good china made quality. The install of the front speakers was not difficult for me but I have read others have not enjoyed it.
The sub fits perfect in the stock enclosure, just use the included screws not the OEM ones and obviously remove the factory wiring and rewire. As for powering that sub the choice is yours. I would not use anything too powerful though. Thatís why I upgraded to a larger sub/box. The amp I used (Punch P300-2) was way too much for that setup.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:13 PM   #22
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A couple more questions:

What are the Kicker tweets in the pic? They look like a perfect fit. How do they sound over stock?

Is the factory wiring good enough to power the Kicker sub (is it even possible) in that small enclosure, or does it need its own?

--Sean
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:20 PM   #23
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Yes! I want to know more about the tweets. I had ran into problems with my first shot at installing Polk tweeters, so they were returned.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:46 PM   #24
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The front speakers (tweeter/mid-range) are Kicker DS65.2 Components (these are 6 3/4")
Kicker DS65.2 6-3/4" component speaker system at Crutchfield.com

The tweeters fit perfect with no modification needed. They come with a variety of attachments. Anything other than the factory speakers will sound better.

This system is not utilizing the factory wiring for the sub. Basically everything from the factory regarding the sound system is garbage. This is strictly my opinion though.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #25
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Got it, missed the part about them being component. Wonder if the tweets are sold separately.

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Old 03-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #26
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My 15Th.

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