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ChappyEight 08-09-2010 08:27 AM

Audio Install/Enclosure Build
(If you've seen this post already, I also put it up on

So, I should start by saying I don't actually own a Jeep aside from my wife's Liberty, which isn't a Jeep in my opinion, it's a Chrysler. However, my father owns a '99 Wrangler and bought it new back then. He takes good care of the vehicle and has recently added some nice looking aftermarket wheels and tires. He bought a new head unit and I installed it for him this past weekend (JVC KD-HDR40). So, that got me thinking and for his upcoming birthday, I decided to upgrade him a bit.

I will install everything myself. I started by buying him a 1" body lift by Performance Accessories (he's not into the big lifts, but needed something that would make the TJ look less "squatty" with his new tires). I told him about the lift early under the guise that when I take the TJ back to my house to install the lift, I'll also install the new audio equipment without him knowing.


Below is the new audio equipment:

Rockford Fosgate T152 - 5 1/4" 2-way Full Range Speakers

Adapter plates to fit the 5 1/4" speakers in lieu of the stock 4"x6" speakers.

Polk Audio DB840 - 8" Subwoofer

Kenwood KAC-8405 - 600W Performance Series 4/3/2 Channel Power Amplifier


I won't be documenting the body lift install as there is already a tremendous write-up on that from 4x4Xplor for anyone who's curious. However, I will do my best to document the audio installation as well as I can because it seems like lots of people have questions about upgrading their sound systems.

The system I've put together for my Dad is intended to serve two main purposes. First, in the summer, he rarely has the top up (soft top). Since it's almost always down, I needed to make the components somewhat "stealthy" so as to not attract attention. (Note: the subwoofer is marine grade just in case he gets caught out in some rain with the top down.) The second main function of this system is obviously sound quality. My Dad despises the thumping bass type systems but is a huge audiophile at home. I'm hoping that the 8" sub will be small enough for him that it doesn't thump too hard while at the same time producing enough low-end beat that it sounds like a good quality system, similar to what he has at home.

He does not have a stock sound bar and I opted not to add one (or any new speakers for that matter) because often times winners of sound competitions only have three speakers. The point is simply that I think I can produce a good quality sound for him without the need for rear speakers... we'll see.

The final bit of work will involve building a subwoofer enclosure for the rear cargo area. Again, I need to make this stealthy and I think I've come up with a decent idea. I also have some brackets that I will use to bolt the box to the floor board to deter theft. In addition to housing the 8" sub, this box should provide at least a little bit of storage space as well.


Planned sub enclosure pics (down-firing sub position):
Exploded View


Hopefully you guys/girls enjoy following along and maybe can give me some advice or suggestions along the way. Also, if you're confused (like I was) and looking for some direction, maybe this will spark your imagination.

I'll be starting the box build middle of this week and hopefully installing audio either this weekend or next.

Thanks for taking the time to read such a long post.


Jma20a 08-09-2010 03:06 PM

looks like a nice small system to add for him, only thing i would change are the speakers, their sensitivity rating is fairly low, look for something around the 92dB range

ChappyEight 08-09-2010 06:19 PM

Thanks JMA, will do.

ChappyEight 08-09-2010 06:22 PM

Updated the box a bit. I moved the mounting face up to 2 1/2" clear from the floorboard just to make sure there's enough room for the speaker. In doing so, I just widened the speaker box area and I'm right around 0.36 ft³ for the box volume. Almost dead on for the rated 0.35 ft³.

An update:

Cons_Table 08-09-2010 06:27 PM

Looks like a decent setup. Everything is hidden, and he will still have some "trunk" space. Keep us updated

Inscore77 08-09-2010 07:23 PM

I might have missed it, but are you going to be running an amp? If not, you wont have to worry about the real thumping bass.

ky_ace 08-09-2010 11:22 PM

he does have a picture/link to a KW 800 so I'm assuming that's the sub power.


You mind getting some dims on the speaker pods for the front?? I'd like to build something for my 5.25's but I would like to use some scrap 316 stainless I've got at work.


ChappyEight 08-10-2010 05:58 AM


Originally Posted by ky_ace (Post 718349)

You mind getting some dims on the speaker pods for the front?? I'd like to build something for my 5.25's but I would like to use some scrap 316 stainless I've got at work.


Hey Ace, where exactly are you needing the measurements? Are you meaning behind the dash for the fronts? I'll have the TJ this weekend to put the body lift on and start the sound.

I'm happy to get some measurements, just not positive which one's you're looking for.

ky_ace 08-11-2010 09:12 PM

All I'm really interested in is the bolt pattern for mounting the plate, so center to center on the bolt holes Right->Left and Top->Bottom would do great. I'd kick out a little dwg to fill in but my computer bit the dust and I'm on the wife's mac and don't know how to do much on it...


ChappyEight 08-11-2010 09:36 PM

Gotcha. Plates should be in tomorrow or the next day. I'll get some measurements.

ChappyEight 08-12-2010 09:42 PM

Okay, so since I'm in a bit of a rush to get the box in for the complete install this weekend, I didn't take many good process pics. But, here is where I'm at right now. Just needs some sanding, paint, terminal cup, and subwoofer. Hoping to get most of that finished tomorrow after work.

Definitely not the best work I've ever done, but for rushing, it's not too bad.


ky_ace 08-17-2010 12:29 AM

Updates on the box and install??

ChappyEight 08-17-2010 05:59 AM

Well, I didn't get to take any good install pics because I was doing this as a surprise and had to race to finish before my dad wanted the Jeep back.

That said, I got everything in, and the stupid amp was broken. It would power up and receive the remote signal, but didn't output any power to the speakers. So, I had to pull everything (except wiring) back out and now I'm waiting on my exchanged amp to show up.

I'll take good pics when i reinstall the amp in a week or two (depending on shipping) of everything I did.

Always something...

Jma20a 08-17-2010 02:29 PM

was the amp properly grounded? if it isn't bare metal to metal there is going to be no ground at all.

ChappyEight 08-17-2010 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by Jma20a (Post 728619)
was the amp properly grounded? if it isn't bare metal to metal there is going to be no ground at all.

But wouldn't that basically prevent the amp from powering up at all?

I had power, but no voltage out from the terminals to the speakers.

Honest question, I don't know the answer.

Ibuildembig 08-18-2010 12:40 PM

It mighta not been the amp....did you turn the sub out on in the radio menu?

ChappyEight 08-18-2010 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by Ibuildembig (Post 730011)
It mighta not been the amp....did you turn the sub out on in the radio menu?

I wondered that but I didn't see anything in the menu settings to insinuate that would be the case.

I've since figured out how to turn off the built in head unit amp but, again, nothing suggesting turning on the preamp outputs.

Do you think that would've done the trick? Unfortunately the amp is already on its way back so I have to wait now either way.

tmclaugh 11-13-2010 10:21 PM

Thought I would resurrect this thread just because I wanted to see the finished installed product. Looks awesome so far!

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