: A subwoofer solution for the wagon

06-30-13, 08:08 PM
Here is my inexpensive "solution" to the less than stellar V audio system.

I like some bass in my music, and some quality sound as a whole. I find the V system to have NO bass, even with stock subwoofer, and the overall sound lacks depth, but that is just my opinion. An ideal audiophile solution would require expensive parts and ditching the bose amps. Too much for me. Here is my approach:

I dont crank the system like crazy, and I dont blast it down the street to scare everyone. And around town, I prefer to listen to the exhaust cutouts than the stereo. But on the 10 miles each way + back and forth to work on the highway, I like to listen to some tunes at the end of the day.

I made a panel of wood (particle board because it is easy to cut, and ideally 3/4" thick) to cover over the corner pocket in the rear of the wagon. It is an irregular shape - i made a template out of cardboard and then cut the wood to fit. I made a hole for a 10" driver, and I sealed it with gasketing at the edges of the panel, but it does not seal well. I secured it with 4 bolts, which are placed to catch washers and nuts behind the metal frame of the cargo net in the pocket. I would not trust the fixation if I had to hang from my life on it, but it is sufficient to hold the panel in place well.

At the top, the metal frame of the cargo net in the pocket has curves to it, just right to catch big washers and nuts. at the bottom, i took a strip of thin metal and ran it across the bottom, to fit behind the bottom of the metal frame for the net, running horizontally, and drilled 2 holes in it for the bolts. you can see the 4 silver bolt heads in the picture.

I had a 4 ohm 10" subwoofer left over from my days in the home stereo business. If I was picking one out from a new catalog, not sure if I would pick one designed for very small enclosure (one of the kickers and maybe one of the JL Audios might work - the volume of this enclosure is less than 0.5 cubic feet), or a free-air design, since the panel does not seal perfectly, and it leaks through the power port inside as well I think.

I ran the speaker wire through a hole that is present at the bottom of the storage pocket (by the bottom of the net - feel for it), under the panel, to the spare tire well. I used "banana" plugs to make quick-disconnects for the speaker to the amp.

For an amp, I picked a small, but high powered amp, because I am not sure how much volume I would need to get some sound from the stock system. I used the Alpine mrp m500 (I think that is the number - 300 watts at 4ohms supposedly), on "special" now at crutchfield. I mounted it on top of my spare tire solution, with thick board. I am not sure how I will secure the board yet.

I used the stock subwoofer harness and plug - orange wire is trigger, blue and white is input positive, and green and black is input negative. I ran a heavy ground to the battery ground in the battery compartment. I ran the positive directly off the battery post with an inline fuse close to the battery. I ran the power and ground through the stock subwoofer plug, but because those wires are so thin, i added much thicker wires to those plugs. Now I can disconnect the amp as needed easily if I ever have to remove the spare tire.

It sounds a LOT better than stock system. It gives the sound some depth, and will probably suit my purposes/meet my goals. Cost me $200 total (i already had the speaker) and a couple hours of my own labor. I ended up turning the input on the amp way down, since it was too loud, so maybe this amp is overkill power-wise, but hard to find a cheaper amp anyway.

06-30-13, 08:10 PM
obviously, I used some fuzzy black material I had at home from another project to cover the particle board panel. matches the stock charcoal gray fuzzy interior panels well enough.
my other goal was to keep everything out of the way. A separate sub enclosure box in the cargo area, plus a separate mounting there for the amp might be more glamorous, but now my wagon remains fully functional

06-30-13, 11:35 PM
I'd like to add a sub and amp that I already have to my coupe. How much work was running the new wires?

07-01-13, 06:14 AM
i tapped into the stock subwoofer harness for input and trigger, which is right there on the wagon. running the speaker line under the panel too 5 minutes, and I ran the power and ground to the battery box, which is also right in the rear on the wagon. couldn't have been much easier.

07-01-13, 09:52 AM
Nice job.

07-19-13, 02:54 PM
I just wanted to bump this for excellence. You've done pretty much exactly like what I was wanting to do - and I now have a much better gameplan for getting it right the first time.


07-19-13, 08:05 PM
thanks for the kind words. 3 week follow-up -- the sub adds a lot to the system. The amp is a good inexpensive choice here - very satisfied with its performance. with windows up, sounds pretty darn good. Nice bass thump without rattling everything. with windows down on the highway, the stock head unit just does not have enough power. The alpine amp can go as loud as I want, but if I keep its levels appropriate to the stock amp/head unit, it just isnt that much. No bass thumping at speed with the windows down.
It's not that the bass isnt good enough, it's just that the stock head unit/amp just doesnt have that much power. I am afraid to turn the volume past 50% on the screen, since on most radios, halfway is pretty much 100% before the stock amp begins distorting. anyway, the sub system was inexpensive and a nice improvement.

07-22-13, 04:01 PM
nice, looks very clean.

07-22-13, 07:31 PM
Nice, now sell me the kit :)

07-22-13, 07:53 PM
too simple to make a kit! :) one piece of wood, with a saw or dremel tool. definitely some manual labor making the big hole, and some messing around getting bolts and washers that will hold it in place. I dont think I'll be making a kit, but I dont mind if someone else wanted to. i doubt anyone is getting rich off of this!...

07-22-13, 08:51 PM
kit?! pfft come install it for me. I'll pay you in chinchillas :D

07-22-13, 10:42 PM
Awesome job! Need something like this in my Sedan...any other pics?? Thanks for the post too.

07-23-13, 12:53 PM
too simple to make a kit! :) one piece of wood, with a saw or dremel tool. definitely some manual labor making the big hole, and some messing around getting bolts and washers that will hold it in place. I dont think I'll be making a kit, but I dont mind if someone else wanted to. i doubt anyone is getting rich off of this!...

Yeah basically I'm lazy ;)

I agree, come install it, I'll give you kittens!

07-23-13, 07:42 PM
sorry I didnt take any other pics. I can provide more info or measurements if anyone is really interested. I did buy a $10 speaker grill from crutchfield and screwed that over the woofer to protect it from cargo.