“When it comes to car stereos that’s exactly, exactly what I wanted!”
Ty Brown, Owner of DJ by Design
Here we have your modest minivan that most everyone has seen or knows someone that owns one. Typically, minivans are used for hauling around the family, chilling out in soccer field parking lots, or used by rent-a-car places. However, this 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan is used to haul DJ equipment. When we learned the Grand Caravan is primarily used as a utility vehicle rather than a commuter, we knew that it was going to provide an interesting take on how we went about the audio installation.
– Signal Processing – Audio Control LC6i
– Amplifier – Massive Audio EX5 Five Channel Amplifier
– Front Speakers – Massive Audio FZ6 Component Set
– Rear Speakers- Massive Audio FX6x9
– Subwoofer – Massive Audio TKO104 (10inch Dual 4 ohm)
– Sound Treatment- Hushmat Sound Deadening Ultra (Black)
– Wiring – Stinger 4000 Series 4 gauge Power/Ground Kit +Stinger 4000 Series RCA cables
The very first part of the build we tackled focused around wire kit. As always at LIS Audio, we choose to run OFC Copper power and ground. We wanted to make sure that this amplifier would receive every bit of current within it’s limitation. In the case, this amp required 4 gauge wire in it’s power and ground terminal. We carefully integrated the new 4 gauge wiring kit in with the vehicle’s already present wiring.
As for our signal wires we opted to go with a the one and a half foot RCA cable option due to the close proximity of the amplifier and signal processor.
One of the first moves we make when beginning an audio build is planning the application of sound treatment in the vehicle. For this build we chose to optimize the locations where the new components are located and the sliding rear doors.
First, we started upfront, removing the front interior door panel to expose the inner door skin. Exposing the inner skin allows us to observe what areas of the door that needs to be addressed. In this case we focused our attention around the mid woofer location. We also made our way inside of the inner skin and applied enough material to tighten up the outer door skin.
Moving to the rear passenger area we also tackled the sliding doors. We applied deadening material to the inner and outer of these doors to help bring down panel resonance. The sliding doors were equipment with some light sound treatment material which we reapplied after installation our sound treatment.
In the rear cargo area of the vehicle we focused our attention on the areas around the new rear speakers and subwoofer. At the 6×9 locations we covered the mounting surface and surface area directly behind the speaker. We covered several larger sections of metal in the passenger hip area for the purpose of the sub woofer.
This 2008 Grand Caravan factory audio system featured a six speaker arrangement. This was comprised of a 3.5 inch speaker in the dash and 6×9’s in the front doors. The rear passenger area also featured 6×9’s on each side vehicle of the vehicle just above the wheel wells.
In choosing a new component set we decided to go with a set that featured a 6.75 inch midwoofer and a 28mm tweeter. When installing the 6.75 inch, we used an ABS mounting adapter to size the speaker correctly to the 6×9 location. Once the ABS mounting adapter was installed we covered the entire surface with our sound deadening material to add rigidity and seal up any possible air leaks.
Moving up to the dash location, we removed the factory speaker and used it as a template to create an ABS mounting adapter for the new 28mm tweeter.
In the rear passenger area of the vehicle we kept the speaker size true to factory sizing
Amplifier & Signal Processing
Since our focus in this installation was to keep everything stealth as possible, we utilized products that would help us obtain that goal. We examined the entire cargo area and found that there was no way we could install the product without being an obstruction to day to day use. Our focus then changed to hiding product completely out of site.
Part one of our stealth plan included the Audio Control signal processor. This allowed us to retrieve signal from the factory speaker leads and convert it into a signal that the amplifier would accept. This eliminated the need for an aftermarket head unit.
Part two of the stealth achievement includes the five channel amplifier. The amplifier having five channels allowed us to wire up all speakers and sub to one source rather than having 2 or more amps to get the job done. We wanted to keep the amplifier and signal processing unit as close together as possible for ease of access at a later date.
We noticed that there was a bit of room around the sub woofer enclosure location that proved to be a viable spot for the amplifier and signal processor. The amplifier and signal processor both received mounting location custom fabricated to their specific needs.
The amplifier was mounted just to the right of the woofer enclosure. We utilized factory mounting studs of a factory module to secure the mounting surface to the vehicle. The factory module that gave up its location for the amplifier is now tucked away under the woofer enclosure. The signal processor found it’s new home close to the amplifier, we fabricated a mounting location and secured it behind the woofer enclosure.
Sub Woofer Enclosure
During our initial consultation with our client, we spent a bit of time discussing the best location for the woofer to reside. Our client uses this vehicle to provide transportation for his Djing business and as a general hauling vehicle for larger equipment. So having the ability to have easy access and not have any obstructions was priority. We started to pull some rear cargo panels to see what kind of space we had available to utilize and this is what we came up with. Check out this featured video of Chimpo fabricating the custom single 10 enclosure.