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Old 10-02-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
Orion329
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 480
My Ride: MKV GTI
my 323i overhaul/install. pics.

Over the summer I did a complete revamp of the crappy stock system (non-HK) in my 323i. At first i was really hesitant to start in on a project as epically more complex than the speakers I've dropped into perfect fit openings and the amplified head units that I've installed without any complications. I've never had subs before either.

Here's what my final install used:

Amps:
-Infinity Kappa Four
-Infinity Kappa One

Speakers:
-Infinity Kappa 60.9cs (front and back)
-JL 8W3 (2x)

Audio Processors:
-LC6i
-6XS

I did the rear woofers first, since I figured that wouldn't be too bad for a warm-up, and I could use the speakers with the factory amp for a while.

If you want to get a glimpse of my rear deck install, check out the DIY I wrote up after I did it (when I was more motivated and dedicated to taking pics).

The following are a series of pics that document the majority of my install. I'm missing some pics of the final installed LC6i and 6XS, as well as my distribution block/fuse holder for all of it....they might come soon.

Hopefully this will help with other installs.

Trunk Preparation/Infinity Kappa Four Installed:

I separated the wiring after removing the stock amp. I was very meticulous about the labeling of the wires and used this handy guide for the majority of my info for getting ready to do the install. At first I had created a very nice hinged mount for the terminal blocks I was using to send wiring to the speakers in the car, but ultimately ripped it out in order to limit any extra unwanted signal from entering excessive wiring. I used a tap set to put threaded holes along the ledge of the left side of the trunk to mount the crossovers on 1/2" MDF. The mount for them was comprised of three pieces of wood to fit them in one at a time. I also used an 'L' bracket to mount the two vertical pieces to the base.

The amps are both mounted to the underside of the rear deck by using 3/8" plexiglas I had lying around. It was lighter and thinner than wood, and looks nicer. The amps are both mounted to the plexi, then the plexi is bolted to the deck with threaded holes I had to drill. I also made a series of threaded holes to use in conjunction with the brackets seen on the last pic that hold my wiring in place. I was very happy with the look of the mounting and wiring.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:44 AM   #2
Orion329
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Rear Tweeters:

I hadn't read a whole lot about the relative positioning of the tweeters at the time, so having them mounted in the stock midrange positions wasn't exactly the optimal choice, but it works for my needs and the imaging up front still sounds great to me, probably because I don't have my seats leaned back too far.

The original grill and threaded ring was nearly a perfect circle, I had to dremel down a small portion of it to squeeze my tweeter into the opening. It was fortunate that the tweeter fit snugly into the round opening, otherwise some other fabrication would have been necessary. (they were the tweeters that came with the Kappa 60.9cs component set)

I pried the original threaded 'nut' from the stock speaker and re-used it to hold the grill/speaker ring in place. Easy install.

In hindsight, I probably would have gone with the coaxial speaker in the rear deck if it was low enough to allow for the grill to be put on.

(my camera made the shiny grill on the tweeter seem very visible through the stock grill--it's nearly unnoticeable when there's not a bright light on it.)
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:47 AM   #3
E46Moonlight
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:52 AM   #4
Orion329
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Front Door:

The front door was definitely the most challenging aspect of the install. After reading around a bit, I decided to do the install right, I definitely had to mount the speakers to the door itself, not the panel. (This allows complete transfer of your amp's power to the speaker, rather than losing vibrations into the door panel.)

The best write-up of this process I found was here. The pics and DIY was for a coupe, but having a sedan made it a little easier.

My tweeter mounting solution isn't ideal, but since the physical movement of the tweeter is so minimal. After removing the stock tweeter (with it's mount attached) I simply removed a portion of the foam surround, wedged the tweeter in, and put Dynamat on the back to securely keep it in place.

The door cutting was a pain in the ass, but worth it. I tried doing the first door with just my dremel, and it took forever. The pics are from the second door install, and drilling holes made it much easier--but be careful, since sometimes the bit has a tendency to pull through the opening right after the metal is breeched. I lined the interior of the doors with some Dynamat, and cut MDF rings. (One 3/4" and one 1/2" for each door). I mounted them with threaded holes. The speakers were mounted to the rings after I neatly lined the interior of the openings with Dynamat and some non-hardening clay.

I did have to modify one of the door panel brackets to get them to fit back on, but it wasn't too difficult.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
Orion329
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Subs:

I didn't want a whole lot of thump in the trunk, so I went with something smaller, space-saving, and more accurate. The 8W3's aren't amazingly powerful, but they do a great job for the music I usually listen to.

I built a wedge-shaped enclosure similar to the ones found on Zenclosures' site. Mine was only about 8" deep, which allowed for access to the spare when it was installed. I mounted two 'T' shaped brackets (inverted) to the top of the box to give me something to secure it with. The carpeting was actually an ordered piece of stock fabric for my car, and I even cut a whole in the MDF enclosure to stick the plastic plug in place.

I've never built an enclosure before, but after working a shop for a bit I wasn't too intimidated. The front facade was spec'd out to match the trunk cross-section about 8" from the deepest part of the trunk. I then did some easy geometry calculations to get my box enclosure size, and made two partitions to separate the subs. Everything was sealed with silicon and then polyfil was stuffed into the chambers; i got the subs mounted--good to go!

I mounted the second amp in the same fashion as the first, this time the wiring was much easier, since the power and ground didn't have to go far and there weren't four channels worth of wires coming in and out.

I wanted to look as stock as possible and still have a kickin' system, and I think I achieved that.

Thanks for checking it out. I'll hopefully post some more pics of the 6XS and LC6i install, as well as the power wiring.

Cheers!
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:24 AM   #6
323hopes
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My Ride: e46 00'323coupe/auto
def need to go through this post again..that is a lot of work you did. congrats man.

waiting for the LOC installs
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:40 AM   #7
blue442
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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My Ride: 330ci
beautiful documentation. thank you very much...

you have inspired me to go 6.5" in the doors. it doesn't look as painfull as i thought.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:54 AM   #8
safe d
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 43
My Ride: 328ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion329 View Post
Over the summer I did a complete revamp of the crappy stock system (non-HK) in my 323i. At first i was really hesitant to start in on a project as epically more complex than the speakers I've dropped into perfect fit openings and the amplified head units that I've installed without any complications. I've never had subs before either.

Here's what my final install used:

Amps:
-Infinity Kappa Four
-Infinity Kappa One

Speakers:
-Infinity Kappa 60.9cs (front and back)
-JL 8W3 (2x)

Audio Processors:
-LC6i
-6XS

I did the rear woofers first, since I figured that wouldn't be too bad for a warm-up, and I could use the speakers with the factory amp for a while.

If you want to get a glimpse of my rear deck install, check out the DIY I wrote up after I did it (when I was more motivated and dedicated to taking pics).

The following are a series of pics that document the majority of my install. I'm missing some pics of the final installed LC6i and 6XS, as well as my distribution block/fuse holder for all of it....they might come soon.

Hopefully this will help with other installs.

Trunk Preparation/Infinity Kappa Four Installed:

I separated the wiring after removing the stock amp. I was very meticulous about the labeling of the wires and used this handy guide for the majority of my info for getting ready to do the install. At first I had created a very nice hinged mount for the terminal blocks I was using to send wiring to the speakers in the car, but ultimately ripped it out in order to limit any extra unwanted signal from entering excessive wiring. I used a tap set to put threaded holes along the ledge of the left side of the trunk to mount the crossovers on 1/2" MDF. The mount for them was comprised of three pieces of wood to fit them in one at a time. I also used an 'L' bracket to mount the two vertical pieces to the base.

The amps are both mounted to the underside of the rear deck by using 3/8" plexiglas I had lying around. It was lighter and thinner than wood, and looks nicer. The amps are both mounted to the plexi, then the plexi is bolted to the deck with threaded holes I had to drill. I also made a series of threaded holes to use in conjunction with the brackets seen on the last pic that hold my wiring in place. I was very happy with the look of the mounting and wiring.
It scares me how far behind I am. Class.

Where do you guys in the US get those terminal blocks from?

Are they available in the UK?
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:17 AM   #9
jbfrancis3
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 457
My Ride: 1999 323i
Nice Work!

However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news here - the MDF rings need to be painted. They are just a sponge for moisture and will grow mold in under a year. Ask me how I know...I may have had to redo all four of my doors..... (I put a set of components in each door). My $.02 would be to suck it up and pull apart the doors now to paint, instead of waiting, because if not you'll need to fab new rings which is more time in the end.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:03 AM   #10
Orion329
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thanks for all the feedback guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue442 View Post
you have inspired me to go 6.5" in the doors. it doesn't look as painfull as i thought.
good luck with it, i was a skeptical at first, but it was worth the effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by safe d View Post
Where do you guys in the US get those terminal blocks from?

Are they available in the UK?
they sell them at Radioshack here or hardware stores. not sure what an alternative would be across the pond, but i'm sure you could order them online at the very least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snox400 View Post
the MDF rings need to be painted. They are just a sponge for moisture and will grow mold in under a year. Ask me how I know...I may have had to redo all four of my doors..... (I put a set of components in each door). My $.02 would be to suck it up and pull apart the doors now to paint, instead of waiting, because if not you'll need to fab new rings which is more time in the end.
interesting, i hadn't read that before. do you think it depends more on the climate than the car? i'll look into painting when i get a chance....it would definitely look nicer.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:29 PM   #11
jbfrancis3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion329 View Post
interesting, i hadn't read that before. do you think it depends more on the climate than the car? i'll look into painting when i get a chance....it would definitely look nicer.
Yeah, well I figure its both climate and frequency of car washing. Any rainwater or carwash water gets into your door and while it might not come in contact with MDF, certainly the moisture gets absorbed. Making things worse is a high humidity climate and where I am in Philly, we get some humid summers.

I bet a lot of people have this issue but havent discovered it yet. I have MDF 'pods' for lack of a better word, which use more material than just rings. Since theyre close-fitting to the door panel, they got wet and expanded, popping my door panel off. It was pretty obvious there was something wrong after that!

But anyway some parts had expanded to twice the original size, a couple areas had split and there was this green/whiteish mold all over...a simple spray on polyurethane should be sufficient to seal the MDF. I used a Duplicolor primer and automotive paint to make sure I never had to do it again!
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:46 PM   #12
Orion329
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thanks for your insights Snox, i very carefully lined the interior rim of the MDF rings with Dynamat, which may seal them pretty well, but i'm sure it isn't perfect. i have some polyurethane around...now where's my ambition...
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:35 PM   #13
jbfrancis3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion329 View Post
thanks for your insights Snox, i very carefully lined the interior rim of the MDF rings with Dynamat, which may seal them pretty well, but i'm sure it isn't perfect. i have some polyurethane around...now where's my ambition...
Hahah I know...just have to suck it up and do it now...a lot better than redoing everything. Best of luck, sounds like youll take care of business...
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:12 PM   #14
msb046
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Orion - I was about to make the jump and do a setup almost exactly like yours (thankful I found your post). I was thinking Infinity four amp and kappa 609cs components either just up front (and HK components in back), or another set of kappas for the back. Already have the BSW sub in back, so was trying to find the ideal setup for not too much $$$.

Do you think the Infinity four amp and LC6i are ideal in terms of ability to tune, and should replace the 2 channel LOC I have from BSW for the sub, or should I try and find an amp that can do a balance input signal?

Also, I was listening to some Focal 165vb's in car toys in comparison to the 609's and they sound awesome (at almost twice the price as the 609's).
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #15
Smalls2405
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Great pics...you made it look so simple! How much did all the equip run you?
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #16
Orion329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msb046 View Post
Orion - I was about to make the jump and do a setup almost exactly like yours (thankful I found your post). I was thinking Infinity four amp and kappa 609cs components either just up front (and HK components in back), or another set of kappas for the back. Already have the BSW sub in back, so was trying to find the ideal setup for not too much $$$.

Do you think the Infinity four amp and LC6i are ideal in terms of ability to tune, and should replace the 2 channel LOC I have from BSW for the sub, or should I try and find an amp that can do a balance input signal?

Also, I was listening to some Focal 165vb's in car toys in comparison to the 609's and they sound awesome (at almost twice the price as the 609's).
fyi, the Infinity Kappa One, Four, and Five all take balanced inputs. i used the LC6i to feed the 6XS, which was what i used to create a bass signal and all in all, i really didn't need either of those AudioControl products. i could have just used the lowpass and highpass options of the Infinity Kappa Four and Infinity Kappa One to get nearly the same effect.

you'd be happy with just the Infinity Kappa Four and some 60.9cs speakers up front. they sound great, and if you can get them cheap, they're well worth it. keep in mind that if you power the stock HK rear speakers with that amp, you'll be losing your rear highs, unless you use the stock amp to power them still. i've been very happy with both my amps and they perform great. let me know if you have any more questions about them. i'd almost recommend selling the BSW box and using the second two channels of the Infinity Kappa Four to power a sub. might actually save you a boatload and would maybe get you more power too. just run the rear woofers and midranges off the stock amp.

i'm sure those Focals were quite tempting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smalls2405 View Post
Great pics...you made it look so simple! How much did all the equip run you?
thanks.

i bought everything off of sonicelectronix.com, except the mono amp off of ebay.

Infinity Kappa Four: $300
Infinity Kappa One: $290 (ebay)
Infinity Kappa 60.9cs (x2): $300 (sale price)
JL 8W3V3-4 (x2): $180 (sale price)
LC6i: $140
6XS: $220
Misc wires + parts: $150


so a grand total of around $1600, man it sounds more painful looking it it in total... of course i've dropped quite a bit more on putting in the carputer over last Christmas and ditched the LC6i and 6XS. see my sig for that install.
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