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GLENN STOKER'S AUDIO UPGRADE ADVENTURE

Day 1:
Toured local car audio installers, taking the Prowler. I knew that I could buy equipment cheaper from the web, so I was really shopping around for the most knowledgable capable installers. I showed them the car, and told them that I wanted to keep the audio controls and stock head unit / CD changer, but wanted very high quality sound at highway speed, possibly competition level.

First step was to decide on speaker locations..the stock locations for the side panels, and dash locations were just fine, but a new rear speaker enclosure was needed.

For the front dash / side panels: MB Quart Q series were chosen to g into the stock locations here's the link....

http://www.mbquart.com/mobil/q_series.htm

For the new rear enclosure box two Infinity Kappa's will provide midrange / tweeters.
(Will post link later)
The challenge was the subwoofer, where to put it. Typical locations for Prowlers are in the 'trunk', or under the passenger floorboard, but here's a different solution:

http://www.focal.tm.fr/audiomobile/anglais/gam2000/utopia/index.htm

These are great 5.25" subwoofers. That's right 5.25", so two of these can fit in the new enclosure. Check them out, they look great.

Now that the speakers have been chosen, choose the right amp to provide ample power. Th Prowler already has a good amplifier under the passenger seat, so typically just buying a better 2 channel amp for the subwoofers will really improve things, but I wanted to kick it up a notch all around. So the amp I chose was 6 channel 650W:

http://www.phoenixgold.com/reactor.html

This amp consumes some battery juice, so big FAT power cables from the battery are required, along with a 1 F cap for instant power demands. Not many people realize how important the power connection is to improving the sound quality.

Now that I have chosen the equipment, I can't wait for the installation process to begin. I have reserved to full days in the shop starting this Wednesday, so I will update this thread when that happens, and posting step by step install pics on my Oregon web site.
Hope this adventure is informative to others. If anyone has any questions, or comments, or advise please reply.
Glenn

Day 2: Designing the system...
I have been doing some addtional research on the Stock Prowler amplifier to determine whether I should take the outputs of this amp, or bypass it completely and replace it with the new amp. Here's what I found out about the stock system:

There are two connectors (1 black, 1 grey) on the back of the head unit (radio) that go to the stock amp under the pass. seat. These connectors have 4 channels (Frnt L/R & Rear L/R), plus a power on signal that turns on the amp when the radio is turned on. There are however eight 'channels' coming out of the amp to the speakers (Front Dash L/R,Front Doors L/R, rear deck L/R, and subwoofer L/R ). I have not been able to get any info on the stock amp, but what I think is going on is that this is an 8-channel (40W x 8) amp that has internal crossovers on the inputs that sends specfic freq range to each speaker. The 2 low freq sub channels are bridged in the rear speaker box.

Anyway, since I don't really know what the specs are on the stock amp, (crossovers/amplifier S/N ratio, etc), I have decided to just pull the two connectors off the rear of the head unit (radio), and bypass the stock amp with the new Pheonix Gold amp.

BTW - I found the link to the rear 3.5 Infinity Kappa's, (3.21CF) here it is:

http://www.infinitysystems.com/caraudio/products/category/product.asp?product_id=140&cat=loudspeakers&ser=kappa

Next step: designing the rear speaker box..

Whew! spent the entire day taking out the interior, door panels , seats, and rear trunk liner. Here are some pic's of the install so far:
This is the head unit with wiring to EQ .....

This is the EQ that is located under driver's seat.....

This is the new speaker box with Focus Utopia subwoofers in the middle, and Infinity Kappa's on top....

This is the Phoenix Gold Reactor amp.. It says '#300 of 500' on the top, and was told it glows with purple neon.....

I was concerned about battery life, so we upgraded to new gel battery (850 amps), and chrome terminals......

Days 3,4:
Wiring is complete, and started 'tuning up' the system. Several gizmos (o-scope, etc) were used by my installer to check things out for noise/voltage while playing a test tone CD. The sound is very crisp, and clear, I am loving it!!!!!! I swear these little subs move their cones in/out .75". Very happy with these subs.
Reassembled the interior, and spent the rest of the day on the custom cover for the speaker box. This is made from the same material as the stock door trim, formed over the rear speakerbox shown above, and embossed with the 'Prowler' logo above the subs...
Here are some pics of this....

This project is far from over, as I am now in the process of finishing off the rest of the trunk with black leather with yellow trim around the amplifier. Another day or so, and we should be finished!!

Here's what we've been working on today....
The trunk insert being sanded down (more like bodywork than audiowork):

Here's how it sits in the 'trunk'. Note the slots for the trunk props (these will 'disappear' through little slots):

Got to get back to work covering this piece with black / yellow.. more to come.

Here is the completed trunk liner. This is the same piece as above, with black and yellow trim (around the amp):

One more angle....

This is the conclusion of my audio adventure. It sure has been a wonderful experience for me to go through. I wish to express my sincere thanks, and give a shout out to my installer Chris Church, who worked tirelessly on this project with me (til 4:30 am one night). He is a true craftsman.

I hope this helps / inspires others to embark on what I feel is the true spirit of hot rodding, to personalize your Prowler, and make your own 'limited editions' I love to customize the Cat as much as I love cruising her. Right now, it's time for me to cruise into the Western sunset (with some cool tunes, of course).

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