Branch Build Thread... (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 28, 2016
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51
Location
Oregon
So, I thought I may as well start my own build thread in case anyone finds anything I do useful. I don't think I have wisdom to contribute yet, all my wisdom has been pulled from other's on here much smarter than I. But maybe my specific configurations might help if anyone else wants something similar...
Ii'll add pictures later, but wanted to start with capturing thoughts. Also, completing things on my build wish list I'm sure will take years as I'm personally trying to make a career transition where income will get a LOT smaller, so I have to be careful what I spend cash on...

I've posted previously about the actual acquisition - a 2003 LC with under 120k miles which has no rust, mechanically very sound as checked out by a dealer, but was pretty rough on the inside, and a few blemishes on the outside. I've detailed most of the interior and installed weathertech mats so it's pretty clean now...

First "build" item was installation of 1" BORA spacers and 17" Tundra Rock Warrior wheels with KO tires (wheel/tire package deal used on Craigslist in really good shape!) - the BORA adapters/spacers let the caps and everything work great, gas mileage did go down a little, and it does rub on the plastic fender liner a tiny bit that so far in my driving only happens briefly during a sharp turn. I'll fix the rub, but because it's so slight it hasn't been a priority yet. Some questions/concerns that I'd seen in related threads that didn't have clear answers... I did NOT have to cut my existing studs down when installing the spacers/adapters. I DID want to keep the spacer fairly minimal as I knew I would already be pushing the wheels outward just by the difference in offset vs stock wheels. Happy with this setup. I went with BORA over Slee because of the 1" option rather than 1.25" and also because black spacers would blend in better on my grey rig and grey wheels vs the blue for the Slee spacers. Personal preference on size and color, but that was my thinking if anyone was curious.

Second "build" item is the installation of a brake controller. I don't expect to tow very often as I have an F350 Dually for that, but I do want the option to tow a small (rental?) travel trailer and/or maybe the two-horse trailer we are downgrading too. Installing the brake controller in the ashtray space (pic added as soon as I get the right controller, I ordered a P3 but the seller shipped a P2 by mistake). I have already run the wires, thanks to info already on this board :)

Third build item is to upgrade the stereo. This is where it start to get real interesting. The stock speakers rattle pretty bad and pulling door panels I verified the foam has split away. I made the mistake of listening to a variety of high end speakers and believed the car stereo sales place that I could make the really nice ones fit. I wish I wouldn't have done this, due to the extreme difficulty but I've started down the road, so I figure I might as well document the stupidity. And what the hell, it should sound AWESOME when I get it done. Next post will be on the stereo specifics...

Still on the list for someday (probably in this order though) are:
- Front bumper with winch and bull bar (would really like the new Dissent aluminum one!)
- DT Headers
- sliders
- storage solution for rear cargo area
 
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Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
51
Location
Oregon
Stereo Upgrade...
So, I bought some Focal ES KX2 speakers. If anyone else buys these, the mid/woofers are actually too deep to clear the glass in our front doors. So don't. But I could definitely hear the difference between them and the next model down, which would have fit. And they are damn expensive speakers that I got on a good sale. So, I've modified my door panels, AND created spacers so I can mount them. Also, and even worse, the tweeters are too big for the stock area as well. I could have just mounted them cutting holes for them in the now already cut up door panels. But I wanted them "on axis" so I'm modifying the stock tweeter mounts to accommodate. I'm still in the fab stage for this, I hope they turn out... will post pics when I'm done.

Speakers this nice need a good amp to drive them. I also want a head unit that supports BT and plays over USB so I can plug my iPhone in and use a decent DSP. So I bought an Alpine HD149BT, which is apparently one of the best SQ decks available with the features I care about, an 8 channel JL Audio XD800 amp, and JL Audio TwK88 DSP. (8 channels being front tweeters and mids on separate channels, two for rear doors and two for subs - rear doors and subs will come later though, I've already spent what I can for now).

As of this posting, besides hacking up speaker mounting areas, I've pulled the stock radio, installed the 68ohm resistor and verified all the HVAC controls, etc. still work on the MFD (multifunction display). I've bolted the Alpine in place (it fits!), and pulled the factory amp and nav unit since I will use that space for the JL Audio stuff.

Here's my first question that hasn't been answered that I've found yet... I know most (smarter!) folks don't tackle replacing the factory head unit with integrated HVAC, so there is less variety and experience on this topic... I would like to retain the factory power antennae functionality. The Alpine has a lead out for a power antennae, and the factory wiring harness lists a black/red wire as the antennae lead from the factory player. I'm hoping connecting these two will work. Has anyone tried it?
 
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