In this month’s tech series, we are going to show you how to maximize your trunk space when it comes time to add both audio and hydraulics. For our audio needs, we decided that we had to have the newest Rockford Fosgate audio components installed in our project. We wanted a clean set up that packed a punch but didn’t go over the top in terms of design and price. The mild sound system would consist of two 12-inch subwoofers and four 6½ component speakers, which would all be controlled by our Pioneer head unit stashed in the glove box. While we wanted some custom fiberglass designs for an enclosure, we also keep a wary eye out for rapidly changing fads in that arena. We also took into account the fact that full custom enclosures can often be delicate and less durable than more traditional install styles, so we decided to have a combination of paint, chrome, vinyl and carpet to get away from having a fully molded trunk.

With the designs complete for the audio portion of our install, it was time to work on the active suspension. We knew that our car was a classic, and that an old school build would look good, but we didn’t want all the disadvantages of an old style setup. We still wanted the setup to respond like a modern hydraulic system. We also knew that we would include Optima Batteries as a power source, so we had custom battery trays machined for the car. This would allow us to dress the batteries and leave them exposed, making it easy to charge and maintain the power system. Since we knew that we wanted to go a more modern route, we did some research and found this gravity feed pump.

You’ve often heard us say, “What was old is new.” Well, what about when we make something new look old? This was the case for the trunk of this ’60 Impala convertible, after we visited Empire Customs of Tucson, Arizona, who gave us a sneak peak at the new Empsco 520 series of hydraulic pumps. After seeing how this new pump was designed to look like a traditional Pesco pump, but machined with the reliability of a newer tailgate style hydraulic pump, we knew that this would be a perfect look for our Chevrolet Impala.

Once we had the pumps in our hands, we started figuring out what other necessities were needed for the trunk.

<strong>1</strong>. This trunk looks like it is huge, but once you start outfitting it with components, the trunk real estate will soon shrink and reality will set in making space management crucial.<strong>2</strong>. We started off by building the speaker box which will be a focal point of the trunk.<strong>3</strong>. We needed two cubic feet of air, so we are going to gain air space by giving the box character and adding an angle to its shape.<strong>4</strong>. Once the speaker box frame was built, we needed to figure out where the audio would be designed to bolt on.<strong>5</strong>. With a place in mind for the audio portion, we needed to figure out where we would place the Empire Hydraulics gravity fed pumps.<strong>6</strong>. The audio box was built and will be sent out for final paint, once everything is mocked in place.<strong>7</strong>. The side panels were to be wrapped in a Madrid vinyl to match the interior of the vehicle.<strong>8</strong>. After pre-fitting all of the panels into the trunk, they were wrapped and ready to be installed.<strong>9</strong>. In order to have components in the front of the vehicle, we had to custom build a set of kick panels.<strong>10</strong>. After fiber-glassing the kick panels, they were wrapped in vinyl.<strong>11</strong>. To ensure a good contact seal, the glue was also sprayed onto the back of the vinyl.<strong>12</strong>. With some flash time and patience, the wrinkles were all smoothed out on the panels.<strong>13</strong>. The custom panels blended into the car so they could be seen and not noticed.<strong>14</strong>. The Pioneer stereo was stashed in the glove box.<strong>15</strong>. The rear mid speakers had a custom box to get the best sound out of them.<strong>16</strong>. Since this car was going to be a show car, we decided that the hydraulic rack would bolt onto the frame. We wanted the holes to line up, so we started drilling a pilot hole from the bottom of the frame and drilled it forward.<strong>17</strong>. We used a hole saw to drill out the floor boards.<strong>18</strong>. The hydraulic system needed to be square as it serves as the foundation to the trunk.<strong>19</strong>. These custom pump plates are going to be used to mount the pump in place, as well as to accent the trunk.<strong>20</strong>. The Empire Customs gravity feed pump was bolted on.<strong>21</strong>. We wanted to make sure that we had no leaning, so we included a safety check valve, located directly off the machined pump head.<strong>22</strong>. We used hydraulic Loc Tite to make sure nothing would come loose from the vibration that the hydraulics would cause.<strong>23</strong>. All of the custom stainless steel hydraulic lines were installed.<strong>24</strong>. The new old school billet hydraulic pump started to take shape.<strong>25</strong>. After two months of designing, the hydraulic pumps all came together.<strong>26</strong>. Once we actually knew how much room we had, we decided to float the pumps and place them at an angle, so the detail involved could be noticed.<strong>27</strong>. The custom tandem Optima battery trays were bolted in.<strong>28</strong>. The pump trays and battery racks were the first things installed.<strong>29</strong>. With the pump trays in place, we were able to bolt up the pumps. The hydraulic system was also wired up.<strong>30</strong>. There are a couple of oils that you can use for your set up but we decided to use traditional motor oil.<strong>31</strong>. The setup and audio was ready for the street, but in this case, more for the shows!