Added a sub/amp to the Shaker 500 (mounting methods) - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010 Thread Starter
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Added a sub/amp to the Shaker 500 (mounting methods)

I was very unimpressed with the Shaker 500 system in my 2011 GT, but wanted to keep the head unit for a few reasons (sync, a/c controls, stealth look, cost, etc).

The first thing I did was upgrade the door and rear deck 6x8's to Polk db 6x8's. This made a huge difference in the quality of the sound, introducing highs and overall quality that wasn't there with the factory speakers. I laughed out loud when I removed the factory speakers - they were paper and weighed about 4 ounces each - threw them straight in the trash. This upgrade alone totally changed the system, but there was still no low end.

So next I started researching the addition of a dedicated sub/amp. Luckily I pulled the sub and amp out of my old Mustang before I sold it, so I already had those items on hand. I ordered a 4 ga wiring kit and a Scosche line output converter from Crutchfield and installed everything, tapping the LOC into the rear speaker wires. I ran the power wire through the fender well on the passenger side as has been posted before.

I already knew what this sub/amp sounded like when hooked to the high end Alpine I had in my old car. After installing in my 2011, I was not happy with the response from the sub at all. I found out that the factory head unit turns the bass down as you turn the volume up to protect the cheap factory speakers. This was unsat. It was boomy at low volume and sounded like garbage.

Some more research led me to the MTX reQ. This device works as a line output converter, but also adds bass as the volume increases, overriding the factory EQ settings. I bought the reQ from sonicelectronix.com (used the make an offer button and got it for $69 instead of the $129 crutchfield wanted). Once I installed the reQ, the difference was amazing. The bass had a lot more power and was much tighter, it sounded just like it used to on my old Alpine head unit with dedicated 5v sub pre-amp outputs.

Anyway, here are some details on how I tackled some of the mounting problems:

The box I already had (Bass Slammer sealed 10" with Infinity sub) seems like it was made for my car. It is the perfect height to wedge into the spot at the front of the trunk where the floor is raised. It fits in tightly, and because it sits only on the raised portion of the floor, I can still lift the trunk floor without any obstruction to access the spare. It also still allows use of the full opening on the other half of the fold down seat. As much as I love my music, I didn't want to give up most of the functionality of my trunk, and this box wound up perfect. For reference, the dimensions of this box are 15-1/8"W x 12-3/16"H x 12-5/16"D.




To secure it, I screwed 2 eyebolts into the top of the box and ran some zip ties through the bar at the top of the trunk. This box is very secure and won't be going anywhere. I saw a post somewhere where a guy had c-clamps and wood pieces rigged up, which I was going to do initially, but I thought this was much simpler and just as effective. The zip ties are rated to hold 75 lbs, and I used two layers just to be safe.



Here is a picture of the reQ mounted on the back of the box. I picked this location so it was out of the way, and I can make adjustments to the settings by lowering the rear seat.



Since I was using a Rockford Fosgate Punch mono amp, I used the RF Punch EQ knob for easy bass adjustments. I found what I think is the best place for a bass knob, on the side of the console here. It does not interfere with the e-brake operation, and is in a very natural position for adjustment while driving.



I took 12v power for the amp turn on from the fuse box using one of these add a circuit things. Fuse # 35 provides power only when the key is on, which is what I want so the amp turns off when the car is off. It is listed in the manual as "auxillary body module". I have no idea what that means, but it works. You can also use fuse #29, labeled for the backup camera, but I was already using this slot to power my Garmin GPS. (On a side note to prevent somebody from an expensive mistake, if you want to hardwire your GPS, do not tap directly into 12V. It will fry your GPS because they run on 5V! What I do is wire a cigarette lighter to the fusebox and plug the Garmin power cord into that - the power cord has a voltage regulator that reduces the power to 5V.) The only drawback to the add a circuit is it's kind of bulky and I couldn't put the fuse box cover back on, but that doesn't concern me for now.



I ran the 12v turn on line into the console so I could add this inline cutoff switch. This allows me to disable the amp for whatever reason (getting the car serviced, etc). The little plastic panel the switch is mounted in just pops out, it is a great place if you ever need to add a switch for anything.



I decided that the 8" subs in the door might not be necessary, so I disconnected them from the factory amps on the kick panel. But after listening, I decided that it sounds better with them running, they definitely add some decent mid-bass. Surprisingly, I think that these speakers are decent enough and I don't know if an upgrade would be worth the cost.

I am not any kind of audiophile, but I am very happy with the sound from my system now. The highs are there, it is very clear, and there is enough punch from the sub to vibrate your nose hairs. I have no desire to upgrade the head unit or anything else, it sounds that good. I hope these ideas help someone else looking to upgrade the Shaker system.


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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010
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looks nice great detail. Yeah cant go wrong with polks


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010
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Polks are great! BTW... he is still alive and kicking and making some badass product. Back in college he signed one of my cross-over plates on our big 1.2TL's back in the late 80's. That was back when "bigger was better" ruled the days and the speakers were taller than we were!

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010
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I still have my 12" cerwin vega sub and kenwood dclass mono amp.

Nice write up. My biggest problem with wanting to do this is the sub control. I use to adjust it all the time, some kinds of music demand more/less bass.

So changing out the speakers makes a big difference you think? Has anyone else done it yet?

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11GT4ME View Post
I was very unimpressed with the Shaker 500 system in my 2011 GT, but wanted to keep the head unit for a few reasons (sync, a/c controls, stealth look, cost, etc).

I ordered a 4 ga wiring kit and a Scosche line output converter from Crutchfield and installed everything, tapping the LOC into the rear speaker wires. I ran the power wire through the fender well on the passenger side as has been posted before.

Some more research led me to the MTX reQ. This device works as a line output converter, but also adds bass as the volume increases, overriding the factory EQ settings.

So, if you had just bought the reQ first, you wouldn't have needed the Scosche LOC?? Sorry if that's a "no-brainer" question, but I know almost NOTHING about car audio.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davids81 View Post
So, if you had just bought the reQ first, you wouldn't have needed the Scosche LOC?? Sorry if that's a "no-brainer" question, but I know almost NOTHING about car audio.
That is correct. The reQ does the job of the Scosche LOC, but does it MUCH better for this application.

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3.55 | 6MT | Factory 19's | Security Package
Mods: Borla S-type axlebacks, sound, tint, louvers, Epco shift knob, Airaid CAI, BAMA 93 Race tune, Batron shifter and 2 post bracket

The few, the Proud, the 5.0's.....
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010
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Sorry to bump this a bit, but it seems on point. Warning I'm a newbie at Mustangs so this is probably going to be a dumb question.

I want to start by swapping out the rear speakers with Polks, but it seems you have to dang near take the car apart to get to the top mounted stock speakers. Assuming I get to that point and get the stock speakers out can I mount the Polks from the bottom and re-tap etc. as necessary? would seem like a much better long term plan.

For that matter since the stock speakers aren't worth keeping can I just cut the things out from below and mount the Polks w.out having to do so much disassembly to get at the top mounts? Sure seems easier but if it were I'd have probably found a reference to it somewhere in my searching.

Told you it was a dumb question.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenbbn View Post
Sorry to bump this a bit, but it seems on point. Warning I'm a newbie at Mustangs so this is probably going to be a dumb question.

I want to start by swapping out the rear speakers with Polks, but it seems you have to dang near take the car apart to get to the top mounted stock speakers. Assuming I get to that point and get the stock speakers out can I mount the Polks from the bottom and re-tap etc. as necessary? would seem like a much better long term plan.

For that matter since the stock speakers aren't worth keeping can I just cut the things out from below and mount the Polks w.out having to do so much disassembly to get at the top mounts? Sure seems easier but if it were I'd have probably found a reference to it somewhere in my searching.

Told you it was a dumb question.
The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask. Nobody was born knowing this stuff...that's why we have these discussions.

Yes, you have to remove a bit of the interior to get the rear speakers out. Some guys that know their stuff as far as audio don't even run the rears, they are just for "fill", so if you don't want to get into it don't worry about it. Focus on the quality of your front speakers, they are the ones you actually hear the most and will give the most bang for your buck.

To answer your questions, I don't know if you could cut the rears out from the bottom without tearing up the shelf. I have a bad nightmare in my head involving a reciprocating saw with a long blade, and it's not pretty. It's not hard to get the rears out, just time consuming, but in my scenario I will have this car for 10+ years so I thought it was worth the extra hour of my time. While I had everything out, I took the time to dynamat the entire rear shelf, I think it was beneficial. The only reason I did that was crutchfield was selling a dynamat kit for $5 with the purchase of a speaker system, so I said why not and bought two kits.

Once you have the rears out, I don't see why you couldn't devise a system to mount from the bottom, but realistically, if you put a decent speaker in there they should last many years if you don't beat the hell out of them.

If you want to minimize labor and expense - start by swapping the fronts - you can get the door panel off in under 10 minutes - and see how you like the sound before you dig into the rear. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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Mods: Borla S-type axlebacks, sound, tint, louvers, Epco shift knob, Airaid CAI, BAMA 93 Race tune, Batron shifter and 2 post bracket

The few, the Proud, the 5.0's.....
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010
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Great advice, thanks.

I actually have to do the rears or just turn them off b/c small pieces of tempered glass seem to have gotten down into them. I didn't go into details (I'm still traumatized) but I had a brick put through my rear windshield and bits of the tempered glass have worked into the speakers, so now they sound like a blender.

I had planned on upgrading anyway, and since they now need to be dealt with I figured I'd put in the Polks, and based on your advice I'll plan on doing the fronts at the same time. The idea of bottom mounting is purely b/c of my fear this could happen again and the idea that bottom mounting makes it easier to fix. I imagine in the end I'll just go back with the top mounts.

FWIW I am very handy with a reciprocating saw but I wouldn't let it in the same garage with this car. I'm within a hair of making people take off their shoes when they get in it.

P.S. Is there a good reference you'd recommend on the procedures for removing the panels and doing this kind of work? I've found some great stuff on threads here but didn't know if there was a good basic reference people liked.

Thanks for the help. It's much appreciated.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010 Thread Starter
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I used this video as a guide. YouTube - 2005-2009 Ford Mustang Speaker Replacement How-To Guide

It is for 05-09, but ours are basically the same. It leaves a few small things out, but is a good enough guide to remove the door panels and rear deck or at least show you if its something you want to get in to.

They also recently posted the entire service manual up at the top of the 2011+ GT page, which has details on removing the interior pieces.

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Another option mimics the factory sub woofer installation in the wife's Porsche Cayenne turbo.

They put it in the floor, in the spare tire well.

Hers doesn't have the optional spare tire, so the sub woofer fills the entire well.

Those w/ the spare have a smaller sub woofer that is then straddled by the spare tire / wheel.

The sound from this location is great as is the utility from this location.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010 Thread Starter
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I am NOT an expert, but I've had some emails asking for some more details on various things, so I'm going to post one of my replies to help others that want to do this. Some is redundant, but I'm trying to make this thread a one stop shop for non-audio people like me to add a sub and upgrade the speakers on the Shaker 500:

The site I sent you http://savkomedia.com/kevin/Index.asp
is not a 2011 Mustang, but has great instructions for running power to the amp through the passenger fender well that works on the 2011 also.


**Put your windows down before disconnecting the battery, otherwise you can't open/close the door with the windows up because of the way they go down a little to clear the trim**

As far as power for the LOC, you will be taking constant power from your amp by attaching the reQ power wire to your amps positive terminal. Turn on power for the amp will come from the remote turn lead you will run to the fuse box. The add a circuit thing is the way to go when tapping the fuse box. I get them on ebay, just search for add a circuit from seller tsisecuritycorp, they are only a couple bucks. In the past I have tapped in by removing a fuse, putting the bare wire in the terminal, and putting the fuse back in, but that is not the best way to do it, plus if you use the add a circuit your turn on lead will be fuse protected. If you use the fuse locations I posted it will work, especially because the add a circuit directions say not to use anything over 10 amps.

There is a hole in the strut tower right in front of the battery that I used to run the power wire down into the fender well. I put some wire loom over it all the way from the battery until it got into the car to protect it, especially needed where it passes down through the strut tower. This is important because it the metal wears through the wire covering it can cause a short that could potentially cause a fire!

When you run your power wire to the trunk, just tuck it under the door sill. You don't have to pull it off, just pop it up a little on the inside edge. I was able to fit a thick 4 gauge wire under there with no problem.

The video I posted on the speaker install is 99% accurate for the 2011. The rear is a pain, you have to remove basically the entire rear interior, but it is not hard - just time consuming.

YouTube - 2005-2009 Ford Mustang Speaker Replacement How-To Guide

I did have an issue with the reQ regarding the turn on line - mine didn't work when I ran the turn on line directly to it, so I just used my turn on line for the amp as I orignially had it and let the reQ turn on by sensing the speaker input, which is a nice feature of the reQ. Maybe something was wrong with mine, but it works fine this way so I just left it.

Did you get the speakers from crutchfield? If so they will send you adapters so you don't have to cut the factory speaker plugs off. When you go to tap the rears for signal to the reQ, I cut the crutchfield adapter, NOT the factory wiring. I just cut the adapter wire and used butt connectors to add the reQ wires.

The only other issue is your ground. If you pull the carpet off the drivers side of the trunk (there is one screw and a plastic pin holding it on), there is a metal support with a nice flat surface. I drilled a hole in it, sanded the paint off (very important for a good ground) and used a regular nut/lock washer/bolt to attach the ground wire. You have to attach the reQ ground to the same ground location as the amp, or you will create a "ground loop" and introduce noise to the system. I don't understand all that on a scientific level, but I know if you use the same ground bolt for both grounds you won't have an issue.

The head unit is so integrated into the car it would be silly in my opinion to replace it. You are lucky to have the factory nav, and with these upgrades I think you will be impressed with the sound. I am amazed by the sound of my system now. It is way better than anything I've had before, including high end head units. Do you have the premium package? I hope so because the 8" woofers in the doors do make a big difference as I posted in my thread. Definitely leave them hooked up despite anything you may read about same frequency bass waves cancelling each other out. I lost a lot of midrange sound when I disconnected them.

Also, I played around pointing the sub into the car, but it sounds much better pointed towards the trunk. This seems to be the consensus on audio forums as well, something about bass waves bouncing off the rear makes it sound better.

Are you going to use the Rockford bass knob? I love mine, I can't imagine not having it. I have downloaded a lot of music of varying qualities over the years, so it's nice to have an easy way to make quick adjustments to the bass level.

As far as the cutoff switch I added, it's not really necessary, but I did it for a few reasons. Manily, my wife doesn't like the bass, so she can turn off the amp if she wants. Also, if I take a big vacation or need the trunk room, I can pull the box out of the trunk and not have a live wire flopping around back there, that could cause big problems!

You can definitely do this yourself with all the information that is out there. Plan on it taking the better part of a day if you're slow like I am. But then again, I didn't have a lot to go on so I had to come up with some solutions on my own like I posted. If I can help on anything, or you need a picture of anything in particular let me know. Just take your time, and keep that battery disconnected until you're done.

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Mods: Borla S-type axlebacks, sound, tint, louvers, Epco shift knob, Airaid CAI, BAMA 93 Race tune, Batron shifter and 2 post bracket

The few, the Proud, the 5.0's.....
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Also, I just got the parts from monoprice.com to use the usb port above the glove box. It only cost $4.50 shipped, works perfect and now my ipod is hidden behind the glove box. I like this because it's an extra ipod I have, so it just stays in there and is hidden from potential theft, and frees up some room in the center console. All I have to do to get at it for adding music or whatever is lower the glove box. I'll add links to the parts i used later.

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3.55 | 6MT | Factory 19's | Security Package
Mods: Borla S-type axlebacks, sound, tint, louvers, Epco shift knob, Airaid CAI, BAMA 93 Race tune, Batron shifter and 2 post bracket

The few, the Proud, the 5.0's.....
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Wow 11GT4ME - You get big time props for this thread. :fantastic:

You get my 5 star vote. Your detailed posts and technical content is great and you bring to light several important points. I will also add your choice in car color, gear ratio and transmission is superb as well!

Thanks for sharing.

Oh, One dumb question - I assume you were still able to retain your factory grills (covers) on the door speakers? I've seen others that have changed but for some reason (wrong size), they lost the factory covers (which I like). Maybe you could share the speaker model you picked with us?
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It was a great thread to read. TY. I was planing on adding a Rockford Fosgate amp for the speaker's and a capacitor. When I talk to people at best buy they said they will have to rewire the car and I wont be able to use the the tweeter's any more. I have no clue on how to do this so I was planing on let them do it. If I can do this by myself I would save alot of many any details? And should I do it?


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