Return client brought in his hunting truck for a backup camera upgrade.....but after hearing options and weighing the needs/wants category, we replaced his OEM stereo for a newer Pioneer unit that'll give him better audio inputs as well as a nice big 6.5" screen to see what he's backing up into via his new license plate camera.
Customer brought in his 2011 Chevy Tahoe for some much needed lighting upgrades.
He had purchased some aftermarket eBay speaker projector headlights in hopes that they would be better than his factory lighting....but after a long discussion about how 99% of aftermarket pre-built lights are actually WORSE than your factory lights, we decided what needed to happen:
So....instead of trashing his aftermarket headlights, I informed him he's got multiple options and directions he can go...but the best bang for his buck is to retro his new lights with aftermarket HIDs....which we went with Hylux 35w HIDs in the low beam projectors.....after shimming up the projectors internally, they aligned perfectly with plenty of adjustment (usually an issue with aftermarket lights) and some trimming/cutting on the vehicle itself, these lights fit good and provide PLENTY of light output.
He'll be back to re-wire the Halos and LEDs a bit differently as well as upgrade the factory Turn Signals and DRL bulbs...and I'll post those pics later.
Customer brought in his new Nissan Altima for some more lights.
He had the base package, so he didn't get the foglights...just some fake vent covers.
He had ordered a plug-n-play package online and brought everything to me to install.
As per usual, a few things weren't plug-n-play and had to be custom fitted to the vehicle....but other than that this install went very quick.
Unless you follow me on snapchat....or facebook...then you'd see my Spider Chronicles on this build.....let's just say a family of Black Widows took up residence in the engine bay!
Hooked a buddy of mine up with two identical headunits in both of his cars.
First car was easy peasy....2006 Ford Focus...had an existing Alpine radio in there, single din....removed it, installed this new Pioneer AVH-X490BS Bluetooth Multimedia Headunit in it's place and retained the factory steering wheel controls.
Next up was his 2006 Lincoln MKZ Zephyr.
This was a challenge.
It had the OEM THX 11 Speaker Navigation system installed and that's one they don't make a bypass for....or anything for that matter.
So I had to custom build a dash kit to fit the unit and then bypass the THREE oem amplifiers in the rear.
We lost the rear doors and front/rear center channel speakers...but retained the front components and rear 6x9 woofers...so this system still sounded pretty good .
We've got another good collaboration with a local dealership.
Client with a 2015 Ford F150 needed a ton of work done and we were about to get it done for them.
Here is what we ended up doing with this truck:
3" Lift Kit
33" Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires
18x9 Fuel Recoil Wheels
FabFour Performance Bumper
Warn 12k lb Winch
T-Rex Grill with Curved LED Light Bar
Rear Air Bags and On-Board Compressor
Front-Mount Air Tank for Remote Filling on-site
This was a great build....as the customer wanted to be able to pull just about anything out that may be stuck and help service downed vehicles.
So now he can do all of those things and more if needed.
The Lift/Wheel/Tire combo will give him much more ground clearance so he can go off-roading to rescue whomever may need the assistance.
The Bumper hides the massive 12,000lb recovery winch while protecting the truck from just about anything that may present an issue.
The grill/light-bars will allow more airflow to the engine as well as provide plenty of light to see what needs to be seen.
Client brought in his sleek Mustang for some much needed lighting upgrades.
He already purchased smoked aftermarket projector housings for the headlights and got some smoked fog lights to go with them....all of which had LED halos installed....but they weren't bright enough.....as you can see from the first few pics. He also couldn't see anything at night, since the aftermarket projectors and halogen combination was worse than his factory lights......so we opened them up and went to work. During the initial photoshoot, you can see where some of the halos went out on me just trying to take pictures..... #ThankseBay
First thing's first....we upgraded the internal projector to an HID version and properly aligned them to give him maximum adjustability as needed.
We then got rid of ALL of the existing poorly lit LED Halos and added Switchback versions with MUUUUCH more light output.
I also added dual linear LED strips to the side of the projectors to accent the internal structure that the aftermarket headlights provided.
On top of all of this I also upgraded his lower turn signal bulb to and LED amber version to jive with the rest of the build.
This Mustang is now super bright when he flicks on his Running Lights...and you won't be wondering which way he's turning either....as he's not got 5 separate LED sections that light up Amber as well.
The last few pics are of just the amount of light output from the halos and turn signals...it's impressive!
Owner brought in his beautiful Subaru BRZ for a gauge install.
This car has some extensive work done to it. Here is just a taste:
HKS Hipermax SP coilovers with Voodoo13 Billet control arms.
Subaru STI front lip for the BRZ.
HKS v3 GT Supercharger kit
AP Racing 6 pot front and 4 pot rear big brake kit with AP pads and rotors
Gram Light 57CR made by Rays in Japan including Rays center caps and Kics Caliber Blue lug nuts
Falken FK453 tires
Valenti tail lights, 4th brake light and smoked front corner markers
With all that power comes great responsibility, so he needed a boost gauge to determine what exactly his Supercharger was doing.
So he got the multi-color boost gauges and a nice air-vent insert piece to go along with it.
Install was pretty simple....the air vent piece needed to be slightly modified in order to look good and stay put while he flies through the corners.
Here we have a 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500 a client brought in with some parts he purchased from another parts store and needed them installed.
Here is what we installed:
2.5 King Coilovers with Reservoirs
Upper Control Arms
KMC Robby Gordon Wheels
Removed Rear Blocks
Here are just a few of the reasons someone would want to do a setup like this:
1. Lightweight hard anodized 6063 aluminum alloy reservoirs dissipate heat quickly and will not rust due to gas charging contamination.
2. High quality fittings are mated to Aeroquip high pressure hoses which resist abrasion and kinking.
3. Internally threaded top cap design threads over the shock body to enable maximum piston travel inside the shock body.
4. 2.5" Shock cylinders are precision bored to within +/- .001, then honed after cadmium plating to remove buildup for a tight piston seal and optimum valving function.
5. Coilover shocks are machined with our own truncated thread design for ultimate strength and trouble free spring preload and height adjustments.
6. Pinch bolt coil adjuster nut offers superior clamping force to retain your coil preload adjustments without crushing the threads like set screw style collars do.
7. The heat treated 6061 aluminum alloy piston has our highly developed port configurations that contribute to the unique damping performance and famous King ride quality.
8. Wear bands are made from a Rulon composite that offers incredible wear resistance, low deformation under load and high compressive strength. Overlapping end design enhances sealing.
9. Large 3/4" or 7/8" diameter shafts have a minimum tensile strength of 100,000 pounds per square inch. They are hard chromed and micro-polished to a 6 RA finish for extended seal life.
10. High strength rod end designed for proper clearance on your application. Steel Teflon lined spherical bearings for smooth articulation and long life with no metal to metal contact.
11. Aluminum components and vehicle specific mounts are machined from aircraft quality billet. Front and rear kits all include all necessary vehicle specific mounting brackets and hardware along with detailed installation instructions. Technical support, if needed, is only a phone call or email away.
Here we have a brand new 2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition in for some cosmetic upgrades.....definitely a case were even the smallest mods can change the look of a truck completely.
First we tinted the windows all around...this not only gives the truck a more blacked out look; but blocks out harmful sun rays and keeps the interior Cold/Hot depending on the time of year.
Next we removed as much chrome stuff as possible on the truck.....Bumpers, Mirror Covers, handles and more......shipped those off for paint and they returned with that OEM-Matched paint quality our clients have come to love....they look like they came that way from the factory and makes this truck look stealthy as all get-up.
Next....the bigger, non-factory looking mod.....Nice and beefy Rigid Industries Grill with a single 20" LED light bar and 2 accompanying LED Cube pods.
Again....all black to match the theme...but now the owner has more lighting to help see at night and off-road if necessary.
After all of that we had our buddies over at Tough Liner shoot some fresh bedliner to help protect the bed and make everything look stealthy!
Next up will hopefully be some custom headlight for this...because those chrome uglies need to go now!
Don't forget, if you can think of something you want done but just not sure where to go....just hit us up.....we can do just about anything for you and your vehicles!!
Return client brought in his 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500 for some long-road driving upgrades.
He'd previously had a lesser quality lift kit installed with some big American Force Wheels and tires....but not of that promoted for good highway driving and wore down pretty quick......so we did the opposite of what we normally do.
We lowered it and put on some more road worthy wheels/tires.
We Removed the massive lift and installed a smaller lift.
Then we installed some 20x10 Fuel Triton Wheels with 33/12.50/20 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires.
Truck still looks killer and will hold up much better on his Cali-runs!
This is something I've wanted to do for quite some time....but never had the opportunity.
I knew there was a void in actual product that could do this and a massive misconception in what is 'cool' and what salesmen are actually selling as 'cool'.
Client from WAY out of state called me a few months ago to inform me he'd be in Idaho for a month or more and has always wanted full underbody LED lighting....yet no-one was able to find the correct solution.....which was, FULL Underbody Multi-Color Lighting.
Now most RV places would just sell you a standard 16' LED strip and a controller...but here is where the problem is.....this is a 50' Coach....with wheel wells and what not.....a 16' strip won't even begin to cover the sides and wheel wells.....and is too long to do the front and rear section...on...and by the time you're done adding 6+ strips, how are you planning on properly powering them up? Because most controllers can only adequately power 2 MAYBE 3 strips before they need boosted and that brings a whole new issue into the mix.
My solution....well...it's in my business name.....Custom.
We make a custom, fit-to-RV LED kit.
Basically I used about 150 LED pods (compromised of 4 RGB LED chips) spaced at roughly 6" O.C. and wired them up to 4 separate controls zones (Front, Back and Side to Side)
The Rear kit takes care of the rear and side sections up until the wheel wells.
The Sides are the rear 2 wheel wells and entire middle section.
The Front is the immediate front bumper, small side section and front wheel well.
The biggest gap in lighting is around the wheel wells, which only have 3 LED pods per wheel...but that was based on the fact that there isn't much room to work in there and an ALL black tire will soak up all the lighting anyways...so something is better than nothing.
I wired up the Rear and both Side controllers near the rear battery compartment and the Front controller is behind the front retractable clip.
The owner is using an app that allows full customization of EACH Zone separate or Joined Together.
He can simply change colors, or he can make them strobe, breath or transition through all the colors automagically. He can also make them change colors to the beat of whatever song he may want; as well as schedule when each zone turns ON or OFF based on a preset scheduling software.
This was an interesting install.....I performed most of the fabrication of the LED kit in my shop with tight measurements to adhere to....and then implementation of the kit was done on-site at the Meridian KOA.....flat-back style. The coach can be raise to about 12" off the ground...so that's what I had to work with....it was interesting securing the kit with over 300 screws, zip-ties and tape with such little area to work with.
The main issues we ran into on this build is that the app and controllers Do Not Sync with one another after the initial command is sent...so after a while, the sequencing of the transitions become out-of-sync.....
Another issue we ran into was Range....these are Bluetooth controllers and since they are installed at separate ends of the Coach and surrounded by metal, it lowers the connectivity range....but after a few trail and error revisions to the system, we got the range of connectivity up to about 50-ish feet...which is pretty good for Bluetooth Control.
We're still hoping that something can be done via software for the controllers to sync better...but other than that, this is one Bad-Ass Bright RV......owner said "I've seen a ton of lit up coaches.....none can even touch this one"......my work here is done!!
Client brought in his 2017 Chevy Colorado for some tech updates.
The ZR2 Package doesn't have any convenience features that he desperately needed....so Trax Customs was there to help out.
First things first...he couldn't see at night....so we upgraded the OEM Halogen lights to 5000k 35 watt HID lighting from Morimoto.
These pair perfectly with the OEM Projectors and provide plenty of light output for much safer nighttime driving.
Next was the fact that the customer was worried about backing out of spots and not being able to see obstructions that weren't in his factory backup camera.....so we added ultra-sonic reverse sensors into his bumper.
These weren't too difficult to make look factory, the matte black sensors paired up perfectly with the matte black bumper.
Then I installed an audible/visual display up on his dash so that he can get within 12" of an obstacle and know exactly, down to the inch, where he is at.
He'll be back for more in the near future!
As many of you may or may not know....I was burned last year by the SEMA headlight build I did for a local dealership.....which, has made me rethink future sponsorships locally and globally.
I really wasn't sure I wasn't to do another SEMA build, especially after last year....but this one was special.....it wasn't for the same dealership....so I said yes.
My only stipulation was that I wanted to only to builds that were TRULY unique.
Something that might change the game a bit.
The plan with this build was to do something that has never been done before on the platform that was presented.....a 2016 Dodge Ram Megacab.
I wanted to get JW Speaker to send me some Motorcycle LED Headlight pods and I was going to retrofit them into the housings to give them maximum performance and maximum show-style that I've never seen on a Dodge headlight........well...since I was approached in the end of September to do this, we missed the deadline to get the JW sponsorship by a matter of weeks....they are still sending us the products and want to see the project completed...because after hearing my plans, the owner of JW Speaker wanted his Dodge headlights done the exact same way.....funny how truly unique builds can sell themselves once their full potential is met.
The owner of this truck had already picked up a few sponsors for the build to just do a basic retrofit....Diode Dynamics sent Switchback LED Halos and Strips specific to the Dodge headlight, as well as RGBWA Switchback LED DRL Boards and RGBW Demon Eyes. Then we got Klearz manufacturing to send us some Frosted DRL Lenses with Frosted Side Marker Lenses as well.
So, Plan B was to implement all of these products into the build at the VERY last minute if the JW products didn't show up....which they didn't.
I had the local badass Ryan Lewin paint the interior parts factory White and Cobalt Candy Blue.
I assembled all the internal LEDs and wired everything up to make install on the truck (that was still being assembled in another shop a few days before shipping off to Vegas) a snap.
I had a few extra RGB LEDs so I wired up up behind the Frosted Side Market lens to add even more Multi-Color lighting to the mix to make them stand out.
Once everything was sealed up and ready to go, I had them installed on the truck in under an hour to help relieve some stress on the owner/builder.
The amount of light these put off in the White and Amber switchback mode is unreal.....then when you kick on the RGBW accent lighting, these really pop!
This will be in the SOTA wheel booth in the Upper South hall at the SEMA Convention in Las Vegas October 30th through November 3rd; if you happen to be down there.
As for the intended Mega-Build....once I receive the JW Speaker parts, I will be rebuilding his other headlights and making some ripples in the truck market!
The Homie brought back in his Caddy for some much needed Bump-Fix.
He was rockin' an old school setup that just wasn't good enough...and actually didn't work 1/2 the time.
Few things were needed with this Phase of the build:
Fix Bad LED Halo (single RGB LED Burnt Out)
Remove Interior LED Indicator for headlights
Add Interior LED Indicators on complete under-feet areas
Custom Subwoofer Box with as much usable space as possible
Custom Multi-Color LED Lighting separate of front system, for the trunk
After Fixing the headlight issue, I added under feet lighting in both the front areas and under each seat to illuminate the rear feet area. This is very helpful in letting the driver know that his multi-color headlights are ON and what they are doing exactly...this is also very cool looking, because...well...the feet wells are completely lit up and provides a cool ambiance inside.
Next was to install the amplifiers.....we did this is 2 separate phases, because, well...it was needed and found out after the subwoofer install was done. Basically I put the 1000 watt mono amp under the front passenger seat and the 400 watt 4 channel amp under the front driver seat...plenty of clearance and room to adjust settings...and it keeps everything out of the way of prying eyes.
Part two of this dual phase was to replace the speakers as well as amplify them.
Went with the Hertz Uno series...because I wanted to try them out....and it was a good upgrade....they tweeters provide a much clearer image than the stock ones and the 5.25" mids handle their respective areas quite well.
Next up was the trunk.
I wanted to try something a bit different...so I went with a false floor spare tire box.
Started with an MDF base with Fiberglass mixed in...then kerfed the entire side wall with a single piece of MDF to wrap around the profile. Then capped off the top with a 4 layer false floor and enclosure cover/grill piece.
This one took WAYYYYY longer than it should...but I learned some new techniques in the process...so that's all that matters to me.
I covered the main box with Carbon Fiber Vinyl I had.
Then fabricated a hidden LED Shelf for the multi-color LEDs.
Then the mid section was wrapped in Light Grey Suede as well as the port bezel.
Then the top section was covered in Grey Carpet to match the side carpet material.
I fabricated a pressure-fit top grill section that has an acoustical pass-through cover on it to allow the port and sub to play through the grill when it it down and in use. I also made some hinges to mount the grill piece up and out of the way for when he wants to show off the system design/layout.
This all provides a nice, usable trunk area that's fully show ready...but also very much work-ready when needed to load up that caddy trunk!
The bass is nice and deep and carries very well for a smaller ported box.
Client brought in his new 2017 Camaro SS for some performance upgrades.
Under certain conditions, some GM high-performance cars with manual transmissions force a 1st to 4th shift. Everybody but Nancy Pelosi and the EPA hate it. Here's step-by-step instruction on how to defeat it for $7
It's called "Computer Aided Gear Selection" or CAGS — and it's a system which works by using a solenoid in the transmission to force the driver to shift from first to fourth when you're driving in a leisurely fashion in 1989-and-on GM vehicles using certain 6-speed transmissions. It's purpose is to improve gas mileage and avoid the "gas-guzzler" new car tax.
CAGS comes into play under the following conditions:
* you're in 1st gear (of course)
* you're at 35% throttle or less
* you're between 15 and 21 mph
* engine coolant temperature is greater than 171 F (77 C)
We've noticed this annoying but necessary evil which allows cars with monster power to avoid the dreaded gas-guzzler tax by squeaking out a few extra miles per gallon in late-model Corvettes, but also, most recently, in the Pontiac G8 GXP. Which is what got us thinking about how to get around this little bugger of a dilemma. Luckily, it's pretty easy to defeat.
So.....we wired up the bypass and now the customer doesn't have to worry about it :-D
Next up, it need a better stance, so we lowered it with Eibach's 1.1" Pro Kit.
Eibach Pro-Kit is the perfect answer for most frequently-driven street cars. It's our legendary spring system that dramatically improves both a vehicle's performance and appearance.
Pro-Kit lowers the Chevy's center of gravity, reducing squat during acceleration, body roll in corners and excessive nose-dive under braking. When combined with Plus-1 or Plus-2 wheels and tires, the Eibach Pro-Kit is the finishing touch to a winning recipe for performance. Pro-Kit also reduces excessive fender-well clearance, making your car look just as hot as it performs.
Every Eibach Pro-Kit is designed and tested by our suspension engineers and performance driving professionals, to deliver aggressive good looks and high performance handling, without ever compromising safety or ride quality. By using our proprietary, progressive spring design, Pro-Kit provides the ultimate balance to take your passion for driving to a whole new level
Client brought me his truck up from Twin Falls for the RGB-WTF Rainbow Unicorn Lighting upgrade.
Well....that's not what he called it...but that's what I'm labeling it as!
Here is what I did:
Internal Black-Out Paint Everything
Dual Smoked DRL Lenses (Infused Smoked Plastic.....not paint)
D2S Bi-Xenon HID Projector Upgrade
D2S Morimoto 5000k 35w HID Lighting Upgrade
Switchback LED DRL Boards (Diode Dynamics)
Switchback LED Turn Signal Upgrade (Acme)
Unicorn Rainbow RGBwtf Triple Demon Accent Lighting
This was based around the same project I did for Project Murshmello....so the specs are identical....minus the Black Paint and Smoked Lenses....but you get the point.
These lights look sharp and made the truck look much more aggressive to match the styling he had going on with the lift/wheels/tires he had.
This one will be back for some more lighting upgrades in the future!
Another Return Instagram Client from California sent me his new RV's new headlights to get the Trax touch....blacked out and LED upgrades.
Nothing too complicated on this build...here is what we did:
Upgraded the Main Driving Lights to HID (Morimoto 35w 5000k HID)
Upgraded ALL Filament Bulbs to LED (Black bases) (Acme Switchback Turn Signals Profile Side Marker)
Internal Black-Out where possible
Biggest pain on this one was the wiring. Client doesn't want to mess with ANYTHING once he received these....so I had the joy of custom wiring these up to the massive 10' harness that came with them.....because, RV.......and had to make sure that they would plug right in with no integration needed on his end.....easier said than done when you don't have the actual RV in your shop.
After a few curse words and an hour of soldering all sorts of extensions and modules in place, we were ready to ship!
Will update once he gets them installed.....he's a busy dude
Return Client brought in her Dodge Dart for a stereo upgrade
The dash is very much original and nothing can ruin that more than hacking in a newer updated radio.
So, we go the new-school-old-school route and fit a Retro-One Digital headunit in there.
It's factory matched bits n pieces make it look like it was there from the factory until you turn it on and see all the options available.....perfect for most vehicles 1988 and older!
Then, we needed to address the sound issue....or lack thereof.
After I wrestled the old speaker out of the center dash area, I replaced it with a 4x10" Dual Channel Speaker....it sounded MUCH better even though it wasn't direct fitment/replacement.
With dash speakers, it's hit or miss with what was actually installed...and this one looked like a thin long cutout...but it was actually blocking about 1/3 of the sound, from the factory....so more sound will now be produced with this accurate replacement.
Until the next time, jam on!
Return Instagram Client needed to add even more lighting to his already badass GMC Sierra SLE Truck....so he wanted to upgrade his OEM mirrors.
Easier said than done.
First...he needed Trax's help in creating some switchback LED mirrors with smoked lenses to match the theme he's got.
Next....which turned out to be the difficult part, was to get them installed on his truck.
Since this client lives in Texas, All I could do was make sure these were as Plug-n-Play as possible for a normal truck with LED Mirrors already.
Knowing that his truck wouldn't have the correct wiring for these to simply plug in and function as they should, there was a ton of back-n-forth on coordinating how these were to be wired.
Basically, they needed to run a Parking Light and Turn Signal circuit up into each door....which sucks....but not too horrible of a job for what the outcome of the lighting/product is.
All in all, this was a much needed upgrade on his truck...now he's got fully functional tow mirrors with bright AF switchbacks to match his headlights!
Good buddy of ours needs some new shoes for his 2016 Polaris RZR 4-Seater turbo.....as you can tell, these old ones were toast and a little low on air.
So we hooked him up with some 32" EFX Motoclaw Tires and wrapped them around some 16"x7" MSA M21 Beadlok Wheels.
The M21 Lok is beauty, function and performance all engineered to push your machine to the next level. What makes this beadlock UTV wheel different from the rest is because of a couple unique MSA attributes. The finish we used on this wheel we are calling “gunmetal” which is actually a dark tinted clear-coat that is overlaid on top of the micro-machined wheel face adding depth, charcoal highlights and a completely new industry option. The Gunmetal finish is accented with gloss black automotive grade paint, only offered by MSA Wheels and currently only offered on the M21 Lok in this combination. The unique Lok wheel design sheds weight, dirt, mud and debri fast making clean up a snap.
There is no comparison to an EFX Tire. We took decades of manufacturing experience and trail knowledge and created a brand new, industry changing tire. The MotoClaw is like nothing else out there from its distinctive sidewall styling, unique non-directional tread pattern, incredibly strong rubber compound and a rugged, Radial carcass. The MotoClaw comes standard with incredibly strong lugs, spaced precisely right to provide a smooth ride under the most intense terrain. This ATV tire will climb rocks, grab roots, latch on to side ruts and perform in light mud. Get ready for a whole new level of ATV Tire or UTV Tire performance.
AVH-This may look oddly familiar to you.
You may be saying "Hey, wait a second...didn't you just do a Subaru Crosstrek with very similar products?"
Why yes, Mr/Mrs Bloggidy Post Reader, I did.
Technically, this system has been in the works for over 3 whole years! Yup, you read that right!
This was for a former employer of mine and very good friend.
I've done some work on a few vehicles for him in the past and he needed a little extra boost in the audio-realm on his 2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV.
A few short weeks ago, I finished up that complex Crosstrek build that featured (among MANY other things) the exact same Arc Audio Stage 1 upgrade that we were planning for his build....so I invited him over and gave him a demo....he was sold instantly.
For his build, here is what we did:
Pioneer AVH-2300NEX Bluetooth Touchscreen MultiMedia Stereo
Arc Audio 1100.5 5 Channel Amplifier
Arc Audio XDi 6.2 Component Front Speakers
Arc Audio XDi 502 Coaxial Rear Speakers
Arc Audio Arc10D4 10" Subwoofer
Plenty of Fiberglass Wizardry for the Custom Box
Metra's Ballistic Hollow Point Noise Reduction Sound Deadening Material
Metra's Raptor Series Wiring and RCA cables
A ton of other miscellaneous wiring and parts
First things first.....start on the Oregon-Shaped subwoofer box....not by design, but that's just how the rear of these cars appear to me.
After 6 layers of fiberglass, I was able to pop the bold and start fabricating the front face of the subwoofer box.
During all of this, I was also doing a massive noise reduction to the front 4 doors. First removing the factory panels and waterproofing, then cleaning everything, then applying 3 layers of Ballistic Hollow Point material. I also sealed off all the factory service sections to create a mid-bass box out of the doors....this allows for those deep mid-bass notes to be reproduced as ideally as possible.....and cuts out even more road noise due to the fact that it simply can't get through 3 layers of sealed steel/butyl.
After everything was deadened, I fabricated some spacer rings to adapt the speakers to the OEM openings without cutting anything (because there is a good chance we'll be converting this back to stock in a year or so).
I also had to fabricate some brackets to adapt the OEM dash speakers to the XDi Tweeters, this was easily created out of ABS plastic.
After the speakers were all installed, I moved back onto finishing the subwoofer box. The customer has always been interesting in my 'weird-shaped design thingies' hanging on my wall when you get to my shop......which are my router templates.....so to improve my skills and show him exactly what they are for, i wanted to make this plain box look a little more complex. I first created the overall shape of the accent piece out of 3 different templates, then I placed that piece over the flat mounting surface of the new subwoofer box. I made a 1/2" chamfer edge with body filler and sanded smooth and popped the template piece out.Then I did some router wizardry and covered it with the best matching material I could find in the valley.....which was suede.....from Jo-Anne's Fabric.....which I waited in line for 45 minutes to get 1-whole-yard cut.......me and the 74 other grandma's that were there on a Thursday Morning at 10am.
While I was designing and fabricating the box, I was also doing the amplifier install....which I placed under the front passenger seat....neatly tucked out of the way and so inconspicuous you don't even know it's there until the owner points it out...then you have to be a German contortionist to even find it.
All of the wires run up and into the dash where the real magic happened.
This is a 2014 Crosstrek, so first year/version-ish of their system....which means there aren't a lot of retention harnesses and modules to make everything work. So I basically had to custom wire in everything to retain certain features.
OEM USB retention......CHECK....that was easy
OEM AUX retention......CHECK....that was a bit more complex, but not bad
OEM Steering Wheel Controls.....CHECK....not bad at all
OEM Backup Camera........CHECK.....holy mother of gawd this was difficult, but managed to figure it out!
ALL said and done, this system sounded VERY good....a little bright at times, but that was easily modified with the 13-band EQ built into the new Pioneer unit.
I demoed this for a few clients and they all had the same reaction...."WOW" *jaw slowly opens wide and hangs there*
This is my go-to system for clients looking for a full upgrade but not wanting to spend a small fortune...it's one you truly have to hear to appreciate and I just added another satisfied customer that will swing it by for a demo whenever is needed!
This was a fun one.
We literally went over to a good buddies place of employment and stole his truck.
Good thing he's fairly predictable, because we knew EXACTLY where he parked and that he leaves his keys in the truck (it's locked with key-code access only).
So after we hocked that beast from a public parking lot, we took it over to our shop and lifted it 2" for a surprise birthday present from his wife.
Afterwards, we neatly placed it back into the same spot....made sure the radio station was set to his favorite Mexican channel (Oley!) and left before anyone suspected anything!
Guess he was on the phone when he got into his truck an didn't notice anything...until the Mexican music started playing (which we suspect he started dancing and singing because it's his favorite music).....he then noticed a few other things....like some balloons that had magically appeared in his truck.....then he got out and noticed the truck was sitting JUUUUST a touch higher than normal!
Happy Birthday MMFB!!!
Customer brought in his 2011 Chevy Duramax with some issues that spelled out a ton of work...but nothing we couldn't handle.
There was some prior work done to the truck and another shop said it'd be fine....well because there was too much boost on the motor, the truck started blowing coolant out of the reservoir under heavy load.
So we did just a little bit of work and PULLED THE ENTIRE CAB OFF and took the motor apart!
We replaced the head gaskets and added the ARP Stage 2 Head Studs while we were in there.
Reason for that is clear....here is a snippet from their site showing the quality you can expect from ARP:
ARP manufactures fasteners from a wide assortment of materials ranging from popular stainless steel and 8740 chrome moly to exotic alloys that have been developed to handle space travel.
You should also know that there are grades within specific alloys. For example, 8740 is available in four grades:
Stainless Steel: Ideally suited for many automotive and marine applications because stainless is tolerant of heat and virtually impervious to rust and corrosion. ARP “Stainless 300” is specially alloyed for extra durability. It’s polished using a proprietary process to produce a beautiful finish. Tensile strength is typically rated at 170,000 psi.
8740 Chrome Moly: Until the development of today’s modern alloys, chrome moly was popularly considered a high strength material. Now viewed as only moderate strength, 8740 chrome moly is seen as a good tough steel, with adequate fatigue properties for most racing applications, but only if the threads are rolled after heat-treatment, as is the standard ARP production practice. Typically, chrome moly is classified as a quench and temper steel, that can be heat-treated to deliver tensile strengths between 180,000 and 210,000 psi.
ARP2000®: ARP2000 is an alloy steel that can be safely heat treated to a higher level, producing a greater strength material than 8740. While 8740 and ARP2000 share similar characteristics – ARP2000 is capable of achieving a clamp load at 220,000 psi. ARP2000 is used widely in short track and drag racing as an up-grade from 8740 chrome moly in both steel and aluminum rods. Stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement are typically not a problem, providing care is taken during installation.
L19: This is a premium steel that is processed to deliver superior strength and fatigue properties. L19 is a very high strength material compared to 8740 and ARP2000 and is capable of delivering a clamp load at 260,000 psi. It is primarily used in short track and drag racing applications where inertia loads exceed the clamping capability of ARP2000. Like most high strength, quench and temper steels – L19 requires special care during manufacturing to avoid hydrogen embrittlement. This material is easily contaminated and subject to stress corrosion. It must be kept well-oiled and not exposed to moisture.
Aermet®: With a typical tensile strength of 290,000-310,000 psi, Aermet is a new martensitic super-alloy that is stronger and less expensive than the super-alloy austenitic materials that follow. Because it is capable of achieving incredibly high clamping loads, it is ideal for short but extreme environments like top fuel, funny car and some short track applications. Although Aermet is a maraging steel that is far superior to other high strength steels in its resistance to stress corrosion, it must be kept well-oiled and not exposed to moisture.
Inconel 718: A nickel based material that is in the high temperature, super-alloy class, it is found to be equally suitable in lower temperature applications. This material delivers tensile strengths in the 210,000-230,000 psi range and exhibits improved fatigue properties. Best of all, Inconel 718 is completely immune to hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion.
ARP3.5® (AMS5844): While similar to Inconel 718, these super-alloys are found in many jet engine and aerospace applications where heat and stress attack the life of critical components. The high cobalt content of this alloy, while expensive, delivers a material with superior fatigue characteristics and typically tensile strength in the 260,000-280,000 psi range. The immunity to hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion of these materials is a significant design consideration. These materials are primarily used in connecting rods where extremely high loads, high RPM and endurance are important factors – Formula 1, NASCAR and IRL applications.
Custom Age 625 Plus®: This newly formulated super-alloy demonstrates superior fatigue cycle life, tensile strength and toughness – with complete resistance to atmospheric corrosion and oxidation. ARP is the first to develop manufacturing and testing processes for fasteners with Custom Age 625+. Best of all it is less expensive and expected to soon replace MP-35 as the material of choice in the high strength, super-alloy field. Typical tensile strength is 260,000-280,000 psi.
Titanium: ARP now offers special order fasteners made of an alloy (Ti6Al-4V) that is specially heat-treated (a process developed by ARP's own Russ Sherman) and provides superior strength to other titanium alloys employed in racing and aerospace. The material has a nominal tensile strength of 180,000 psi, and is very corrosion resistant. The main advantage of titanium, of course, is its weight – which is about 40% lighter than a comparable fastener made of steel. Head studs and accessory bolts are ideal applications for this lightweight material
Customer brought in his 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 for an exterior overhaul.
We put on a 7-1/2" Rough Country Lift Kit with 2.5" Wheel Spacers.....as well as some Amp Research Automagical Drop-Down Steps.
What better way to deck out that brand new GM 1500 than with the aggressive stance and jaw-dropping ride height of Rough Country's brand-new 7-inch Suspension Lift for 2014-up Chevy / GMC 1500 Pickups? This massive lift is designed to retain the stock track width! This affords the truck the ability to run up to an impressive 35-inch tire on factory 20-inch wheels, and gives you a nearly limitless choice in aftermarket wheels and tires that other kits just can't fit.
This kit comes with Stout upper strut spacers, a beefy front and rear skid plate, Heavy Duty Front and Rear Crossmembers, and a set of differential and sway-bar drop brackets - all designed by their in-house Research and Development team with 100% laser-cut materials for the best possible fit on your vehicle. This whopping 7-inch Lift also comes with a set of rear 6-inch fabricated anti-wrap lift blocks that offer a huge boost while helping combat dreaded axle wrap issues on inferior big lifts.
Also included are a set of our Nitrogen charged N2 Shocks! Offering the best in balanced performance for on and off-road use, these shocks feature a 10-stage velocity sensitive valving custom tuned for this specific application. That means these shocks are specifically valved for use with this vehicle and lift combo, giving you unparalleled performance for any driving situation.
Had a customer swing in his Toyota Sequoia for a quick speaker install with a new headunit.
Little bit easier said than done....he didn't mention that he had the Factory Installed JBL System....which is a decent system to start with....but he wanted to get rid of a noticeable hiss in the passenger side....which was from the factory mid-bass woofer.
So, after some router wizardry, I made a perfect ABS adapter to mount the new JBL component woofer into the factory bracket and fitted the new tweeter in the factory spot as well.
Then I moved my attention to the new bluetooth headunit we got and had this thing bumpin!
Wifey was happy, so dude was happy!
We're your one stop shop for all your car audio stereo, iPod, Bluetooth, Navigation sales and installation needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Eagle, Garden City, Mt Home, Caldwell, Emmett, Kuna and the surrounding areas. Diesel and Gas performance and suspension and custom fabrication all in one location. Boat audio and visual as well as home theater sales and installation. We've got the