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.
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 .
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!
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!
Client brought in her Ford Mustang after having a rough go with her newer mustang.....so she's slowly rebuilding with this one.
She's a nurse in Emmett and had an appointment setup with another stereo shop and the installer didn't even show up for work that day....when she had taken the day off to get this installation done!
What a shame.
So.....Trax Customs to the rescue, once again!
They wanted to sell her an entirely new system for WAY more money than she needed to spend.....when, after hearing her concerns, all she really needed was a new headunit with Bluetooth and plenty of power and a bit of bass in the boot!
She got a Pioneer Bluetooth headunit with plenty of audio controls to tweak her sound...and then my Digital Designs 500w bass package...which includes a 500w baby-tiny amplifier and a 10" ported subwoofer.
We went with a 10" because althought the trunk area seems bit, the openings are actually quite small....so a 12" box wouldn't fit.
I sunk in the amplifier under the passenger seat and you wouldn't even notice it's there......some might say 'factory-installed'....that's what we strive for!
All in all, he face lit up when that bass dropped and she could clearly hear her music again!
Gave her exactly what she wanted and even more than she expected for less than the other guys!
Had some new clients bring in their massive Camper/Truck for some upgrades right before their bomber-trip to go pick up their new boat they purchased 3/4s the way across the United States....and we only had a few days to bust it out for them.
They've owned this setup for over 6 years, and throughout that time, they have had some issues with the existing equipment that was wired into it.
Rear Add-A-Bag Air Suspension with Manual Tee Fill-up
OEM Satellite Radio (never got reception due to Camper)
Backup-Camera that Never worked
On-Board Air-Lift Heavy Duty Compressor with Automagical Fill
Pioneer Bluetooth Touchscreen Multi-Media Unit in-dash
Backup Camera wired on TOP of Rear camper for Boat Monitoring
Satellite Radio Antenna wired on TOP of Camper
So....as you can imagine, the backup camera and sat radio antenna had to be re-wired and lengthened due to the massiveness of this beast....so I had to extend each cable (which sucks because they are both sensitive cables to begin with) and then fought the battle fishing these wires from atop the Camper, through existing-ish channels inside the camper, then underneath the beast all the way to the front.
There were plenty of curse words used and plenty of blood drawn....but we finally got it wired up.
Customer had all his Auxiliary Switches un-used from factory, so I tapped into Switch #4, since it's the least amp output, so now he can turn on his rear camera whenever he wants....super convenient.
The Sat radio now has no issues connection because it's the highest thing on the vehicle with no obstructions.
The new Pioneer unit gives them multiple inputs, including Bluetooth, Auxiliary and USB....so their roadtrips will be full of music and books-on-tape.
The Air Lift compressor upgrade went smoothly as well....the old system was antiquated and was super inconvenient for the owner....now at the press of a button, he can raise or lower the rear whenever he wants. We installed the gauge and remote fill buttons in the center console/dash area.
This was a bomber install, as we only had a week to get parts and install before they left....but also, both Ryan and myself were leaving town a few days before these owners left as well....so we busted it out and everyone was happy!
This was a fun dual project for us here at Trax Customs.
A Local Military gentleman brought in his 2013 Dodge Ram pickup with product he previously purchased and needed help installing it.
He purchased a new Kenwood headunit, a Pioneer Amplifier and Dual Ported Kicker Subwoofers.
He also wanted his window tinted....so we both knocked out everything he needed and finished it just in time of him getting off duty at the end of the day.
We'll hopefully be doing more to this truck in the near future!
Had a pretty unique opportunity to work on a couples truck and RV.....normally this would be quite the hassle for a client.....they wanted to upgrade their old system in an older diesel truck as well as their camping RV......now most shops would have you bring them down to work on them....which is ok...but such a hassle sometimes.
Luckily for Trax Customs.....we are mobile.....so I picked up their truck for them....worked on it...brought it back and then worked on their RV AT their house......customer service baby!
Had an existing Pioneer Premier installed....so I replaced it with a Pioneer Fold-Out DVD player so he can use his new backup camera to help him hook up to his RV! Then I replaced all the speakers in the truck with Pioneer Front Speakers as well as Rear Speakers in Bedliner Boxes so they can take them out and listen to music when they camp.
Replaced the 4 ceiling speakers with Pioneer Marine speakers and then fabricated a custom faceplate to replace the old/massive FM headunit with a newer Pioneer unit.
Clients found us online and thought they'd give us a try because of our stellar online ranking.
They were relieved to see we stood up to what others have already known.
First project was a 98 Ford F250 Diesel truck.
Had an existing Pioneer Premier headunit installed but everything else just wasn't up to snuff....and the pioneer was showing it's age.
So I replaced it with a 7" Fold-out DVD player with BT, USB and Backup Camera for when he hooks up to his RV.
Then I replaced the front OEM speakers with Memphis Audio 5x7 Speakers and Rear JVC 6x9s in Custom Bedliner Boxes....with enough wire so they can be relocated outside of the truck if the couple wasn't to jam out to some tunes outside of the truck.
Next up after that was the RV aforementioned above.
It had a very dated AM/FM/Cassette receiver powering some old 6.5" ceiling mount speakers.
I replaced all the speakers with Pioneer Marine speakers and fabricated a new face plate to house the new Pioneer BT/Aux/USB headunit. Now they have plenty of inputs and power to have a party anytime/anywhere.
Client dropped off his 2009 Chevy Corvette for an audio overhaul as well as some visual upgrades that will play into some future exterior mods perfectly. On top of dropping off the car, he also dropped off a box of audio goodies he purchased himself...which included:
Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX Navigation, Bluetooth, DVD Player
Front and Rear Cameras
Alpine PDX 5 Channel Amplifier
Polk Audio Component Speakers (front)
Polk Audio Coaxial Speakers (rear)
Dynamat Bulk kit for Front and Rear Speakers
This was a fun install....was able to use gratuitous amounts of TESA tape to match the factory wiring/tape to blend things in as OEM as possible.
I also had some spare FASS speaker rings, so I used those on the front speakers to help direct more sound forward out of the door panels of the massive 10" OEM Openings.
On top of cramming all of this into the small Vette, I also Smoked his taillights (4 + 3rd Brake Light) to give it a much sleeker look that's buff-able as well.
We also brought in a graphics guy and had him wrap the Removable Top and 'Halo' hoop of the car Gloss Black.
This car will likely be back for some front end work once panels are purchased/painted.
Be on the lookout...this 800+ hp vette now looks and sounds as good as it....sounds? (....it's got a ton of horsepower and now I added some screamin' beats...so it sounds good interior-wise as it does exterior-wise......hard to put that into a catchy saying....ok....geeze)
I'm (Travis) so backed up nowadays that even the other side of Trax (Ryan) is having to do audio installs! I trust his mechanic hands with just about any electrical install I can do....since he does have more experience (years) than I do :-D
Here is what we installed on this guy:
5 inch rough country NTD lift kit
35x12.50x20 amp mt tires
20x9 fuel assault wheels
Pioneer NEX navigation system
Rosen drop down entertainment system
Back up camera
Remote start/keyless entry
A return customer brought in his newly aquired Volkswagen Jetta for a sound upgrade...here is what I installed:
Pioneer FH-X820BS DDIN CD Player with Bluetooth
Arc Audio XDi 6.5" Component Speakers Front and Rear
F.A.S.S. Foam Speaker Acoustical Baffles
Digital Designs M45 Monoblock Amplifier
Digital Designs LEM12 Ported Subwoofer System
This system was the perfect example of HUGE improvement on a budget.
We're not talking the $400 special...but when a customer understands that spending a Little more can go a LONG ways.
A Very patient client of mine (understanding that I was very busy) waited his turn to get his ride worked on.
He already had the JL Woofers and Amps...but needed speakers and a deck....oh and a place to PUT everything.
After a few revisions in our ideas, we settled on a fake rear seat setup...since it wasn't going to be used anyways.
I first made a custom fiberglass bottom to over the rear-dif area....then built the box up from there, giving me a flat surface to gauge how the amp rack was going to work.
Then I made an amp rack to cover the rear area and house the two JL amps; mono and 4 channel.
The rear speakers were easy and mounted to OEM locations. The fronts, however, were small 4x6 units and would not cut it...so I made an adapter plate and permanently made them 5.25" speakers....which I installed some Arc Audio XDI components up front which made a HUGE difference. The tweeters had to be custom modified as well...because the only spot they'd fit was on an irregular surface. So I drilled a hole, temp mounted the tweeter cup and then molded it into the door panel so it looked like it was made for the car.
The headunit was Pioneer's digital media deck which had plenty of features like Bluetooth and USB inputs and was perfect for the car and what the owner wanted.
I covered all the custom made panels in the rear with black carpet and made some small panels to make all the wires disappear.
This car BUMPED! Even for a convertible once the top was down.....overall a cool sounding autoX car :)
A client brought in his Nissan Frontier for an interior and exterior upgrade.
For the Interior, this is what was on-deck:
Arc Audio XDi 600 watt mono amplifier
Arc Audio XDi 6.5" component speakers
Arc Audio XDi 6.5' coaxial speakers
Pioneer TS Shallow Mount 10" Woofer
Custom Made subbox that fits under rear seat
I removed everything related to the crappy Rockford Fosgate system in there and replaced it with quality aftermarket audio components.....I placed the amp and crossovers exactly where the OEM Rockford amp was....so he lost zero room to components he'd never have to mess with.
For the exterior, he wanted the grill to resemble the Ford Raptor....at night.
So I added three super bright Amber LEDs......I think it got the job done!
A buddy brought in his friend for some audio and visual upgrades to his 2013 Hyundai Sonata.
We went with the Pioneer Avic-Z150BH for DVD, CD, MP3, Bluetooth, Backup Camera, Navigation, Steering Wheel controls and HD Radio.
Retained the OEM Steering wheel controls
Installed a backup camera
Then I added some Morimoto HIDs to his OEM Projector Headlights
Hope this one will come back for some custom headlights down the road :)
Had a repeat customer bring his RAV4 back in this weekend.
First round we did a Digital Media Deck with backup camera and new JL Components up front and coaxials in the rear.
The sound was....MEH.....and the deck was a pretty horrid attempt at a digital media player...but it worked....for a bit.
Round 2, customer wanted better sound, and fully amplified was the only way to go.
We nuked the deck and went with a basic deck that gave him front access to the USB and Aux inputs. This did away with the backup camera screen, so we added and over-head screen to see when in reverse.
We amplified the already good speakers with a Kenwood 4 channel amp and pumped up the bass with a JL Audio 500 watt mono amp powering a ported 8" JL woofer.
All in all, the customer was happy, the highs were high and the lows were low.....a good install on labor day weekend!
Added this nice little bass package to a buddies' wife's BMW 325i.
300 watt Rockford Fosgate mono amplifier on dual 10" Pioneer subwoofers in a ported box.
Wasn't too much of a pain since everything was in the trunk that I needed.
Return Client finally got his Japan-Special back-up camera from overseas....with little hope that it'd work (mainly because of how inexpensive it was), he needed it put in.
I liked the design of the camera; it replaced the OEM license plate light lens and added the drop-down camera. Installation of the actual camera was a TIGHT fit, but it worked very well once done. Only a little bit of the bumper shows since it's a very tight tolerance.
Image output is what I'd expect from a standard backup camera and made the 6.5" Pioneer screen look very good once placed in Reverse.
Customer was stoked that it actually worked.....i was stoked with the cari
Had a client bring in his daughter 2000 Toyota Corolla for an audio upgrade.
Here is what I put in:
Pioneer DEH-3400UB Headunit
Rockford Fosgate PRIME Series R250-4 4 channel Amplifier
Rockford Fosgate PRIME Series 6.5" Coaxial Speakers (Rear)
Rockford Fosgate PUNCH Series 6.5" Coaxial Speakers (Front)
Customer Purchased all the gear and I put everything in just in time for bed time :)
Install went good, speakers weren't too difficult to install (with the help of some spacers).
Overall, this upgrade was perfect for what the customer AND his daughter wanted.
With the amp under the passenger front seat, and the settings set just right, the driver can crank the music without worrying if they'll blow the speakers or not.
I foresee another amp and sub addition down the road though :) :)
Busted out this quick install for a customer from up in the Sun Valley area that came all the way down for some Trax Customs assistance.
Simple install; wire up his Kenwood Mono Block Amp and he'll hook up the woofer when the custom JL box and Pioneer Premier Woofer show up in the mail.
Mounted it in his hidden parcel shelf that the Dodge Magnums come with.
Stealthy, out of the way, perfect what a family wagon install.
Had a customer that needed a deck installed, as well as the steering wheel controls integrated into the new unit.
Simple little install...did it on-site at the customer house.
Well, shortly after the first system went in the 'dairy truck' last year, the truck took a crap on the owner (thanks to a mouse in the fuse box). So....now we have almost the same components but a different truck.
2009 GMC Sierra
Pioneer 3200 Deck with Steering Wheel Controls
Memphis Audio 500 watt Street Reference Mono Amp
12" JL Audio Subwoofer in an old body style GM sub box
Put the amp behind the seat (back carpet was already cut for an amp.....well, chewed up)
Bass Knob was put down low
Deck pushed the stock speakers better than the stock deck could
All in all....good sounding system
Pretty simple install......Subaru WRX STI with stock headunit gets a Pioneer P2300 dvd headunit install....customer will be back to add Navigation.
Bypassed the video lock-out feature with a relay so customer doesn't have to keep flicking a switch to bypass everytime.
Had a customer come in with a Crown Victoria and a Pioneer AVIC-903BT.
Solid little unit, and he plans to use it to it's full potential.
He has an iPod with a stash of music and videos....we the aux inputs will be on most of the time.
These cars aren't meant to have DDin units installed in them, but after a little Dremel action, she fit just fine.
Got the factory DVD viewing disabled, so he can watch his DVDs, iPod video and enter navigation changes while on the move. After some troubleshooting, we figured out that he would need the Pioneer suggested ipod cable so he can watch videos from his iPod....other than that, simple install.
Had a client come in with a gnarly Jeep CJ5 rock crawler…..he wants a system to go with the brute force this thing has
Memphis Audio just seemed to fit the bill.
He had an existing Panasonic deck with some rear wake board tower cannons and some
MTX speakers up front.
I pulled everything out and started fresh.
Front stage got some MemphisAudio Power Reference 5.25” Components speakers. The Mid Bass speakers went in a custom made pod behind the shifter and the tweeters when where the old MTX speakers had been cut out.
Rear stage was a bit more involved. Customer wanted some subs added as well as rear fill speakers that weren’t in the way when he’s driving/crawling. I custom built a rear box to house the two 10” Memphis Power Reference subwoofers, as well as the 6.5” Memphis Power Reference Component speakers. This was all molded for a seamless look, and then received a few layers of rhino lining to protect the box, make it water proof and make it overall solid. This was then bolted through the rear side walls so that it doesn’t move when this jeep is sideways.
To power all of this is Memphis Audio’s 5 channel Marine Audio amplifier. It’s putting out around 80 watts x 4 channels for the components speakers, as well as 350 watts for the subwoofers….just what the jeep needed.
A Pioneer 5300UB deck was placed in the existing cutout to provide UBS, iPod and
Auxiliary inputs…as well as MUCH improved and needed controls over how the music sounds.
All in all, this was a fun project. It’s different to build something strong enough and install everything KNOWING that this vehicle will be flexing in different directions than 99% of vehicles out there.
Till next time
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