ZPOST
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   ZPOST > BMW Z4 Technical Talk > Navigation, Audio, Bluetooth, Stereo, Electronics Talk
  TireRack

SUPPORT ZPOST BY DOING YOUR TIRERACK SHOPPING FROM THIS BANNER, THANKS!
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      04-04-2009, 10:28 PM   #1
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

Thumbs up My stealth Z4 aftermarket sub install, and DYI guide

Hey Guys, I embarked on what I thought would be a simple and straight forward install. I have the Carver/Business/Professional edition stereo in my roadster. The full range speakers sound fine, not excellent, but damn good, so I opted not to touch those. As doing so would upset the ohm & speaker sensitivity ratings that the amp is accustomed to. With that I'd need to change the amp, and thus most likely the head unit. All in all, I decided not to change any of that since that would make this already big project: huge.

It was the subs that drove me up the wall with their thick, muddy and horrendous bass. So those had to go, as I opted to upgrade to a much better set of 6.5" subwoofers. Unfortunately its not a simple & easy swap as the Carver ones are 12 ohms. No aftermarket 6.5" 's were higher then 8ohms. So I'd need to add a 4 ohm (very high wattage) resistor. Its extremely hard to find a resistor that can handle more then 10 watts... and the factory amp can dish out 90 watts RMS each into each sub.
Rather then use the factory amp to power the subs I opted to buy a power amp to deal with that, so as per a boxing day sale I picked up a Rockford Fosgate 325.1 amp. I paid $130 for it, and most used amps that put out 350 watts RMS sell used for that price, leave alone with a Remote gain knob.
I hate RF, they make crap quite honestly.... but for the price I couldn't resist. I wasn't until I took it home that I read the effeciency rating, a pidly 67%. 90% of the other amps out there are in the mid to high 90's.
Having a remote gain knob is REALLY important so you can control the amount of bass you have while in the cab. You can do so with the bass settings on the deck, but I wanted much more precise controls.
Anyways, for subs I went with these guys. They're the Digital Designs DD6.5's, here they are.
http://www.ddaudio.com/caraudio/09/DDW6_5.htm
^ Mine were last years model so no emblem on the dust cap. Exact same subs though.
They're 150 RMS each. I emailed the tech department and they suggested to work with the 9 liter volume (per sub) I'd need to buy this port from www.Partexpress.com and shave off 3/4". Doing so, here they were mounted to the OEM sub mounting plate.


They drop right into the Carver sub holes, abiet you have to drill new mounting holes since the OEM ones have an odd layout to them.

Next up was prepping the car for the stereo install. I wanted to tie into the subwoofer outputs from the amp, heading straight to the subs. From there I'd use whats known as a "Line converter" to take the full speaker power and bring that down to usable RCA line voltage. You can get one from Ebay for $20. I used a Pyle one, as even though Pyle, Pyramid & Legacy make awful stuff, its just as good as the highend stuff for such a part. I also bought this from www.partsexpress.com

The fabric panel that covers the divider between the cab and the trunk is removable by the two plastic clips on each side. From there, you remove the black hoister for the tray (which is in the center) and it comes bends up. I removed the tray, as it just snaps off and its quite neccessary for the install.
Here are the wires that lead to each sub. The grommet pops off, and you can pull out the wiring from each compartment.

After I was done with this I cut the wiring as close to the sub terminal as I could.

From there I needed to create a wooden panel to mount the amp, the line converter (and for my tastes the EQ... since I had one laying around anyway from a past install). So after some rough measurements I created this paneling to mount everything on.

I just screwed it directly to the metal divider. It looks awful now, but it will all be covered up entirely so it really doesn't matter at this point.
Keep in mind the wood paneling is right behind this fabric. I pre-mounted everything before hand to know the proper layout.
After I was done with this I cut the wiring as close to the sub terminal as I could and I fed it through the fabric panel to get this

So now I can mount the amp, the EQ and the line converter directly through the fabric, securely onto the paneling. Doing so, after all the wiring is done, here it is.

Obviously I reused the subwire grommets with my own wiring so I could wire the aftermarket subs to my new amp. This whole portion takes quite a while, so hang in there.
Use DECENT wiring and RCA's. Stinger makes great wiring kits at a great cost, so does streetwires. www.streetwires.com. I used my own wiring that I had laying around, no point in paying $100 to have more of what I already have. Make sure the amp is fused.. very important. Through using this chart you can see for SUCH a short distance heavy gauge amp wiring is not entirely needed for such a low wattage install.
http://www.streetwires.com/products/default.aspx?grp=20
^Its that red button for "interactive power wire display".
I used 8 gauge for this, since for 1.5 feet at 400 watts RMS, thats plenty.

Dont forget the remote bass knob. It needs to be fed into the cab of the car. I wanted to do as little damage to the actual car as humanly possible so I routed it through these holes in the divider, which go on the outside of each sub enclosure. (only I used the drivers side)

From there I needed a way to turn the amp (& equipment) on and off, as well as to mount the remote bass knob, so I built this to house both out of 0.080 Aluminum, I just cut it using a jig saw and formed it in a vise using cloths not to damage the metals appearance. It has a sharp bend that you cant see that pinches the plastic to hold onto.

The wiring is fed underneath the plastic, hidden away. Just be careful everything is where it should be before cutting any wires. in the space to the left of the drivers sub, I coiled the Remote bass knob cable since I didn't need all of it.
The amp is connected to the battery on its own, fused of course but everything else (including the remote turn on TO the amp) is connected to that switchable power cable that I used. I fused it with a 3 amp fuse and hoister since 3amps is plenty power the EQ, Line converter and amp's remote on. I tried to find an accessory "on" back there to do all this for me, so when the car is on, the equipment is on too, but I didn't find anything, as I didn't want to cut any of the OEM wiring, so I did this instead. Obviously everything is fed through that little tunnel beside the sub as shown.

So after everything was set and adjusted (yes that will take a LONG time, especially with the more equipment you have) I made this simple cover using a jigsaw, and some thin plyboard.

I just carpeted it and stapled the back of the carpet to the wood, make the wood cutout a bit bigger then whats needed to take into account the thickness of the carpet when placing the cover over everything, otherwise it'll be too tight. 1/8" is good all around. I drilled out holes through the cover and used long wood screws and plastic spacers to mount the cover where I wanted it. It screwed right into the base I built for the amps.
I wanted to be able to run a loose sub in the back and turn off the 6.5" 's if I ever wanted more thunderous bass, so I installed the switch in the intitial wiring to toggle between the 6.5" 's to be on, OR the external loose sub in he back, hense the wiring terminal too, which is connected to the amp obviously.


And done. Total cost? $300. Difference in sound quality? surreal.
I mainly use a small sub in the back to handle the bass duties, as the little 6.5"s dont pack the punch I was hoping for.

What I WOULD have done differently looking back would be:
-not used the 6.5" 's at all. Yes they do sound great but they dont pack the same whallop as did the carvers... to my surprise. They can't get quite as loud. Sound MUCH better but not as loud. Instead I would have gutted the OEM sub enclosures and ran a trunk mounted 8, 10 or even 12" sub in the trunk, and had the port cut THROUGH the metal divider and thus through the OEM sub enclosures and lastly into the cab. The wieght would have been slightly more and the difference in sound would have been huge. I would have then mounted the amps in the middle, or elsewhere in the trunk.

- Picked different subs. I had a fair bit of experience with Digital Designs so I thought I'd try them again, and even though they sound fantastic, they're not nearly loud enough for my liking.

Any questions or more detailed pics, ask me.
__________________

Last edited by Graham M; 03-08-2010 at 05:45 PM..
Appreciate 0
      06-17-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
prophetx2
Private
United_States
6
Rep
79
Posts

Drives: 2006 M Roadster
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA

iTrader: (0)

thanks for the write up! have you tried adding baffles by chance? I'm wondering if i should leave the "subs" stock..and go with a basslink or something instead..
Appreciate 0
      06-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

Sweet, after 346 views finally a reply LOL. I was wondering why nobody was asking or saying anything.

Define "baffle"? Sorry, I'm sure I know what you mean but peoples terminology sure differs when it comes to audio. Baffle can mean a bunch of things in the manner of audio.
If you have the stock subs, then by any means you shouldn't leave them stock. Even to JUST remove them while not even replacing them with anything makes a huge difference as the other (full range) speakers can produce a fair bit of bass on their own.

I'd try just pulling the subs and seeing what you think with the change. If you want more bass then explore more options. Let me know what you think.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      06-22-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
prophetx2
Private
United_States
6
Rep
79
Posts

Drives: 2006 M Roadster
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA

iTrader: (0)

lol..your post is perfect! i will attempt to od the subs after I replace the stock headunit and front speakers. I have some components going in the front and after that I can start disconnecting the rear "subs" etc. If it sounds good without it I think I might leave it off..else I might try the jl6w0s.
Appreciate 0
      06-23-2009, 11:36 PM   #5
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

^ Yeah the factory full range carver speakers can drop very low for "full range" speakers.. lower then a lot of factory sub set-ups I've found. Also the bass I get from them is very clear and accurate. They sure cant offer the same bump as would a decent after market install, but like I say I was just blown away by how useless those Carver 6" 's really are when you try this trick.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      07-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
ZStig
instagram 997turbotom
254
Rep
7,376
Posts

Drives: Interlagos Z4MR
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Delray Beach, FL

iTrader: (4)

actually, I was thinking about keeping the stock audio, and adding bass shakers to the bottom or back or the seats.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      07-18-2009, 10:27 PM   #7
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

^ You can do that using the same method as described in this thread. Just obviously use a smaller amp since most bass shakers are 20-50watts RMS.
If you want decent shakers, get them through these guys
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...TOKEN=23637735
^ try that. They offer a TON of different types and models. Some of them experiemental prototypes used by the US military for battlefield simulation training. Those are $400 a piece though . Sure seem cool. Get the (paper) catalog for the full selection. I don't have the time to dick around and try to find all the catalog items as links.



On another side note, when I was working on my car today I had the stereo cranked in the garage. I meant to take pics: but I found the enclosure port for the front factory 6.5's in the front kick panels. It actually faces the ground as it leaves the car through the floor! (quite close to the front wheel wells) I'll take a pic tomorrow. You can feel the air rushing in and out of the port, definitely interesting. Never seen that on a car before!
__________________
Appreciate 0
      01-08-2010, 04:44 PM   #8
James_E85M
New Member
1
Rep
27
Posts

Drives: 2008 Z4 M
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Orange, CA

iTrader: (-2)

Thanks for the writeup! Hope to do something similar this summer
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
M-Al
Enlisted Member
M-Al's Avatar
Canada
2
Rep
45
Posts

Drives: 08 e90 M3
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Canada

iTrader: (0)

Hey Graham,

just stumbled over your post after the holiday break. Good job!

Cheers,

Al
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
Hawkeye
Brigadier General
Hawkeye's Avatar
No_Country
2066
Rep
4,348
Posts

Drives: '07 Z4 Coupe, '21 X3, '16 GMC
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Iowa

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Great writeup! Sucks it did not give you quite the results you were looking for though. I was thinking of doing the same thing next winter when I hopefully have a little extra spare time (and maybe even a heated garage!)
__________________
2007 Z4 3.0si Coupe 6 MT Black Saphire Metallic PP SP
2016 GMC Sierra SLT Z71 Premium Plus 4x4
2017 Harley StreetGlide Denim Black V&H Tune
2021 BMW x30i Phytonic Blue Metallic Fully loaded
Appreciate 0
      02-16-2010, 11:20 PM   #11
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

Thanks for the compliments.


Well, a bit of an update. The best "mode of action" for this install would have been to have a 10 or 12" in the trunk, and had the port for the box coming THROUGH the rear wall, into the box/chamber of the factory sub. That way you'd still have wicked bass response, and your choices for subs are almost endless.

I have a subwoofer box modeling software program on my PC, so let me know what sub you're planning on using, and I'll figure out the best box volume & port length.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      05-05-2010, 06:53 PM   #12
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...69#post7264369

^ just wanted to include a DIY guide of removing the trunk tray on our roadsters, which is definitely best for our trunk mounted subwoofer installs
__________________
Appreciate 0
      01-26-2011, 01:20 AM   #13
Z_Ryder
New Member
0
Rep
5
Posts

Drives: Z4
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Las Vagas NV

iTrader: (0)

looking for a rear trunk seal just like in the pic above.
Pm me if anyone has one.
Appreciate 0
      03-21-2011, 11:50 PM   #14
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

Frick, I think I put mine in the recycling bin. I can check to see if I still have it and let you know.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      07-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #15
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

Bump for the newbies that haven't seen this, and want to do something similar.

IF anybody has any questions or anything of that sort, PM me or post it here. Its been a few years since I did this install, but I still remember it quite well.
I've also been into car audio for 16 years now, since I was 12.. (started my own company at 17) so I know how to help and steer you straight.
__________________

Last edited by Graham M; 07-26-2011 at 08:02 PM..
Appreciate 0
      06-18-2012, 10:43 PM   #16
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

summers here, thought I'd give this a bit of a bump
__________________
Appreciate 0
      09-19-2012, 01:01 PM   #17
TCZ4
Private First Class
10
Rep
178
Posts

Drives: 2015 428i Convertible
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bay Area

iTrader: (1)

So let me get this straight. If you "remove" the stock carver subs, the system ends up sounding "better"?
Appreciate 0
      09-26-2012, 07:42 PM   #18
Graham M
I love my Z. Pure sex on wheels.
Graham M's Avatar
Canada
43
Rep
397
Posts

Drives: Is sold, goodbye everyone!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Calgary

iTrader: (0)

^ Thats what I said. Try it! It cleans up that ultra muddy bass those subs emit. The signal going to them is quite clean, so its definitely not the amps. They're just very poorly designed subs.
__________________
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 PM.




zpost
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST