What do you do when you have the family “truckster” and can’t sacrifice the room to give your car the boom? Take it to the guys at Directed Electronics’ “Snake Pit” to give you the best of both worlds. The guys at Directed took a 2005 Ford Focus station wagon and transformed this little grocery getter into a hard-hitting bass machine.
Well, with an accommodating budget, Snake Pit instructors John Wilson and Rene Ortiz took the task in hand. Before transforming the vehicle, the layout of the car was set and the design created. The first task was to eliminate any type of vibration and rattle that can be produced by an amplified system.
Removing the interior door panels of the car allows open access to lay sound dampening material on the inner and outer metal skin of the door, which eliminates any unwanted resonance. John and Rene applied the dampening material to allow the speaker to perform more effectively without causing vibration of the sheet metal.
While John replaces the OEM speaker with a higher-powered Scosche EFX 5×7 coaxial speaker to provide better sound separation and performance, Rene is displaying the EFX in-line 4-gauge fuse holder under the hood and running the power wire through the firewall to the rear of the vehicle under the carpet for a stealth appearance.
Considering that this is a new vehicle and John and Rene are working within a set budget, instead of adding an aftermarket head unit to the vehicle, the guys at the Pit decided to integrate the OEM head unit with RCA high-to-low signal converters to provide a proper signal path for the amplifiers in the rear of the vehicle.
Now that the speakers are in place, sound deadening material laid, and RCA signal and power wire run to the rear of the vehicle, it’s time to create a design that’s not only hard hitting, but also functional. Utilizing the trunk area, John and Rene decide to build an enclosure that will utilize the spare tire well recessed into the floor.
Taking the existing trunk pad and using it as a template allows John to create a support board that will be mounted above the sub enclosure to protect the speaker from anything being placed on top. Creating an opening around the speakers in the panel allows for the speakers to perform effectively. John adds a metallic grille over the panel opening to give it more cosmetic appeal and protect the speaker from being damaged.
The box now in place and the panel cover completed, Rene jumps into action by designing an amp rack to house the four-channel and mono amplifiers for the system. By measuring out the area behind the back seat as closely as possible, Rene spaces out the amplifiers and fused distribution for killer visual appeal.
Recessing the amplifiers and only displaying the faces allows the guys to protect the amplifiers and all of the wires running to them. To give a little extra pizzazz to the “grocery getter,” John and Rene decided to add some LED illumination to the distribution block allowing the face to glow in a blue shimmering light with the amp cover in place.
When all is said and done, the guys from the Snake Pit have created a system for a daily driver that didn’t hurt the car nor the pocket book. Created to be eye catching for a mother to go and get the goodies, this sound system also allows her to be heard before she’s seen!