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Old 03-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Malvern, PA
Posts: 1,116
My Ride: 05 M3, 01 M5, M3iT
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Talking My highly unusual (weight/practically focused) stereo project

Unlike most stereo projects, the focus of mine was not particularly to improve sound quality (though that should be a nice perk of it). My goals were as follows:
1) Increase trunk space
2) Reduce the total weight of the car
3) lower the COG
4) recover some 50/50 weight distribution

To do this, I did a number of things...
-I cut the total number of speakers in the car from 12 to 7 (removed all rear speakers and HK subs)
-I used lighter speakers than stock in each application (used polk speakers, which use rare earth magnets for the same pull strength at less weight)
-I relocated all of the heavier electronics to the far back of the trunk floor
-I switched to the non nav/cd changer trunk liner
-I switched from the dual HK subs to a single 8" free air sub in a stealth box
-I added an Alpine PXA-H100 sound processor, which the intravee tricks the nav into thinking is an OEM DSP sound processor for full control through the factory MKIV UI
-light weight amps (2.7 lbs each)

Hard to explain with words. Here's some pics. Starting with the cliff notes,
Before (sadly I forgot to take a pic before I pulled the trunk liner or of the HK subs in the center middle of the trunk:

After (note that while the stealthbox is larger than the OE HK box, it's in a useless spot above the shock tower instead of dead center in the most useful spot in the trunk):

Ignore the shock adjustment hole

And now for some pics of the process along the way...

Parts in a pile waiting to go in:

Stock electronics in the nav/cd changer harness:

And in the new, smaller bracket:

All the trunk mounted modules:

Intravee breakout box on top of Alpine HD radio on top of OEM bluetooth:

Intravee on top, with the serial port left open for future firmware updates

Bluetooth antenna on the friendly side of the metal wall :roll:

Trimmed down the door to fit the new, deeper, 6.5" Polk speaker and padded the borders to keep rattles at bay and make a nice seal:

Polk speaker in boom mat, being trimmed to fit:


And bolted down:

Stock HK out:

Wiring up the new tweeters:

Heat shrink:


Foamed up:

Added a plug to make the doors easy to install/remove in the future:

Floor modules in their final location:

Whipping up a wiring harness to extend the nav plugs so they can be mounted under the trunk floor:

Heat shrunk:

Had to dremel the top and bottom of the plastic off the DVD drive to make it fit under the trunk floor:

Was amused to notice that the MKIV display is made by alpine. All alpine system

While the car away apart, took out the center console buttons and mailed them to terra to have the seat heater temps turned up. Always annoyed that they weren't warmer, like non M e46s

Used to have fairly heavy speakers mounted on the center of the headliner for the CB and scanner. Now using light weight speakers behind the rear door cards instead. Reduced weight, lowered COG, and better back seat head room

Levitating photoelectric license plate cover :roll:

Crossovers with wires bundled in factory fabric tape:

Wiring ugliness mid project:

Cleaned up and bundled:

Noticed the right side of my brake pedal is wearing out. Too much heel toe :raspberry:

OEM DSP interface running:


Current Cars: 2005 IR/IR M3, 2001 LMB/blk M5, Wife's 6mt NA RWD e91, 04 M3 wagon
Past cars: 04 M3, 96 M3, S50B32 e36 M3 CM race car

"People do not see good design." -- Claus Luthe, BMW chief designer e30-e39
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