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Old 09-11-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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waterproofing head unit and speakers

So I went out and started the Jeep after a storm, no problems except for the head unit wouldn't turn on. I've tried getting into the wiring but it's not making a difference. I've got water leaks around the windshield and i'm guessing it got down into the dash and on the reciever. I'm thinking about replacing it with a marine unit but don't want it to happen again. I also thought about making some sort of cover for the reciever out of fiberglass but don't have a clue where to start for that.
I'm also building a speaker box since they guy i picked it up from tore the speakers out and built this horribly unthought-out pos speaker bar. I'll give him props for presentation but that's about it. Is there a way to waterproof those also? I'm in upper New York and it rains a lot so I'm thinking of just buying marine grade equipment but not if there's an easier way to keep water from ruining everything.

and to shorten the thread: 1987 Jeep Wrangler, well rusted and leaking. soft top is still intact though.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Freind of mine uses that rubber unndercoating on everything to waterproof it. He did a set of pioneer speakers with the stuff and it still sounded OK. IDK how long or well it will last though.


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Old 09-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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Have you looked at marine stereo enclosures?

POLY-PLANAR Bracket at West Marine

I've seen cheaper versions as well but I don't recall where.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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i was looking at the marine units on Crutchfield. haven't really gotten too far with it since i'm in the field alot right now. thanks for the link, i was thinking i'd have to build something to cover the top of it just to be safe, didn't know that they made those. is there any real difference between a marine unit and a standard unit besides the circuit coating?
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:15 PM   #5
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Give it time to dry out and it'll probably be fine...most marine-grade stuff apparently isn't anything special. Basically the boards are coated with something that prevents the salt from salt-water corroding the components...but that's not going to help with your electronics being rained on.

I've considered using the i-vault from Quadratec for rain protection...it's not as secure as they claim to be so don't trust it to keep your headunit from being stolen, but I bet it'd work good for rain protection.

Quadratec Exclusive 13104.51 - Quadratec® iVault® Stereo Mount for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited - Quadratec

Oh and most quality speakers no longer use paper cones...so most aftermarket speakers are perfectly fine for using in applications where they may get wet.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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Actually... I lived on a boat for a year, and the first rule is "don't keep anything on the boat you wouldn't throw in the ocean"... so liveaboards either get the cheapest deck on the planet at a flea market, or buy a high end marine unit. There isn't any difference other than the circuit coating, but on higher end models, especially pioneer, the coating is completely waterproof for years, to include saltwater, mud, etc. I actually laid my boat a full 90 degrees over and swamped my cab, so the radio was underwater in saltwater and still playing... the speakers blew themselves to bit almost immediately and sounded horrible, but the radio kept right on going until I shut it off, and worked fine after I got plastic cone marine speakers. waterproofing by sealing the outside using a case is usually bad news, the holes all over the head unit are for air flow...

either go cheap and disposable or look for marine head units that get good reviews on boating pages/forums. Trust me, them guys know
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:56 AM   #7
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Did you come up w/ any ideas for a waterproof housing/enclosure? I too am very interested in this idea.

I have thought about fabricating something simple to put over the radio to stop the rain coming in from the dash above. I got this idea from a Crutchfield rep. who said he used to know a guy that would fabricate a cover at his auto shop by cutting and shaping a rubber trash can with heat... after all, you really just need an umbrella not an enclosure (unless you're taking your Jeep swimming).

Then covering the front with a marine cover (making it fit somehow) or the IVault (despite it's many short comings).

IDEALLY... I would like a total waterproof enclosure like they have for marine stereos, but it doesn't look like any of the models I've seen would fit in the dash.

I'm surprised no one on here seems to have made, or found, a waterproof housing for the dash. Also, I can't find anything online that talks about it for any auto., only short references to it on posts on here.

I don't want marine audio, I just want a housing and some polk waterproof speakers.... grrr...


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Old 01-31-2012, 06:43 AM   #8

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My wave of handling it is to get waterproof (marine) speakers and put my head unit in my center console where it's sealed from the elements (as well as it can be, I guess).

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