There are few greater things for car people than getting to pull your ride out of the garage on a perfect day and taking it for a drive and listening to your favorite cruising music. The only way to fully enjoy this auditory experience is to install a high-quality stereo system in your lowrider, which brings us to this chapter of Project Helldorado. In order to fill our high-fidelity needs, we turned to car audio industry staple Kicker. The company has been around since 1973 offering concert-like audio quality coupled with their world-renown bass that has kept them a heavy hitter in the audio world.
For this particular project we wanted to get the most sound quality, but with the least amount of equipment. With the quality that Kicker’s wide array of audio components has to offer, this was an easy task to fulfill. We also wanted to hide as much of the equipment as possible, yet still retain the killer Kicker sound. After going over our requirements with the experts from Kicker, we decided to utilize two sets of their top-notch speakers – one for the front, one for the rear, and also use a pair of their 8-inch subwoofers. To power the whole system we utilized their 800-watt five-channel amplifier. This amplifier is more than powerful enough to drive all of the midrange speakers along with the low-end bass from the subwoofers.
Since the main focal point of Project Helldorado’s interior is its design, we didn’t want to have a head unit visible at all to throw off the aesthetics, but we still wanted it to be easy to use while cruising. So for the source unit we utilized Kicker’s amplified controller unit, which is nothing more than a small box you can mount almost anywhere with a wired keypad containing only a few buttons. This controller unit really is the perfect setup for hiding, and it utilizes Bluetooth technology to sync up with your mobile device just like modern vehicles.
1. We started off by making a panel out of MDF that would mount underneath the dashboard on the driver side so we could mount any auxiliary switches up and out of the way. It also provided a great spot to hide the Kicker 6.7-inch component speaker.
2. Due to space constraints for the rear midrange speakers, we decided to mount the rear 6.5-inch Kicker component speakers on MDF. They were inset so the interior panel with upholstery would be able to cover them up, and so we could use cloth or perforated leather to allow the sound to come through.
3. Since the rear bulkhead panel behind the seat was all sealed off, we decided to install the 8-inch Kicker subwoofers up front in the kick panels. This bass speaker location is actually utilized by many cars in the luxury market. It allows an audio experience much like being at a concert with most of the sound coming from in front of you.
4. As you can see things are fairly tight, but everything fit well and the Kicker sound quality will be second to none. On the top side of the panel with the midrange speaker we used foam baffles as enclosures to maximize the sound performance.
5. Here you can see the tweeter mounted in the middle of the midrange speaker. Kicker’s component speaker design allows you to install the tweeter remotely or screw it into the center of the midrange like we did on our application. By doing so we saved space without having to sacrifice sound quality.
6. When we mounted the 8-inch Kicker subs we utilized MDF as a rigid mounting surface, and we also used Dynamat’s Dynaliner foam sound deadener in order to seal up the panel against the sheetmetal. This cavity in the kick panel was blocked off inside to give the subwoofer the necessary air space for optimal bass response.
7. As you can see here on the driver side rear things got pretty tight since one of the wiring system’s control modules had to be mounted there as well, but we still managed to fit the Kicker component speaker.
8. After all was said and done we wrapped all of the MDF panels in cloth for a nice tidy look even though they’ll be all covered up by the upholstered interior panels. You can see here we mounted the tweeters in the middle of the midrange speakers to save space in the rear of the car as well. All that’s left is to mount the Kicker crossovers and wire it all up.
9. The Kicker amplified controller with Bluetooth allows users to enjoy cruising to their favorite tunes without a head unit and without annoying wires connecting your phone to your car stereo. All that’s left is to turn on your favorite music and enjoy cruising in your own lowrider.
E3 Spark Plugs Tech Tip of the Month
Replace the “Spark” in Your Engine for Improved Response & Fuel Efficiency
Some competitive spark plugs feature problematic designs like the traditional J-wire where the ground electrode can actually get in the way of the flame kernel as it travels away from the plug’s gap. This can sometimes interfere with the combustion of the compressed air-fuel mixture in your engine. To ensure more complete combustion, E3 Spark Plug’s technology ensures that the flame front must reach the compressed gases as quickly as possible. That is why the E3 DiamondFIRE design (also shown below in comparison) is open at the end. Other spark plug manufacturers’ flame kernels can travel directly toward the remaining air-fuel mix, but the E3 DiamondFIRE design with its multiple exposed edges still outperforms fine-wire plugs by maximizing the spark presentation in the combustion chamber. E3 Spark Plugs’ significant research discovery came from understanding that having two sharp edges firing to each other is an improvement over an edge-to-flat electrode design (J-wire). Sharp edge-to-edge designs force the electrons to form a stronger plasma channel faster. That lets E3’s DiamondFIRE spark plugs reduce ignition delay and offers a measurable improvement in the electrical-to-chemical energy transfer. If you’re looking for a faster flame, more complete combustion, improved engine response, and higher fuel efficiency, remember E3 Spark Plugs are “born to burn.”