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Creative unobtrusive amp placements for frequent cargo carrying with no sub box?

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Creative unobtrusive amp placements for frequent cargo carrying with no sub box?

  #1  
Old 04-12-2015, 12:42 AM
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Default Creative unobtrusive amp placements for frequent cargo carrying with no sub box?

DISCLAIMER: I already spent about three hours scouring this forum for info before posting.

Hi there, I am a drummer and artist, and sometimes do handyman work. I frequently haul a LOT of musical equipment, tools, art and supplies, and can use all the space I can get. My last '83 Blazer was stolen and stripped, (getting it out of impound and back into running condition would have cost me more than buying a replacement vehicle) I am pretty sure because I had a visible sub box in the back and nice D-class amp in the passenger front floorboard. That one was a 2-door with an interior spare, and had less carrying capacity than my current one. It also had more room under the seats though.

I've currently got a '95 4 door 4.3 Blazer, with the spare underneath the body, accessible from below. Wheel wells are also pretty minimal on the interior on this one. I bought a sub box and amp from a friend for 50 bucks a long time ago, but am probably going to sell the box and keep the amp. I had some awesome two-way dash tweeters in the old blazer that the thieves failed to spot, and kept those. This current vehicle has a 5-ish inch enclosure in each door, with the front door speakers on the same circuit as the crappy factory dash tweeters.

What I was planning on doing, is using (I already bought the stuff a while back, just haven't installed it all yet) replacement 3-ways in the rear doors and running those off the aftermarket head unit's (4x35w) rear channel, small kicker door subs in the front doors and running that off the amp, and dedicating the head unit front channel to the spiffy new dash speakers I added. Don't need it to rattle the neighbors' windows, just want it to sound nice and clean/loudish inside the car. (Though I do listen to a lot of bassy music.) Already bought spacer rings and dremeled the hell out of them to make them fit. Still nervous that now they'll hit the front of the enclosures, but those things are pretty roomy up front, and I can always cut holes and add grills if I absolutely have to.

That being said, I'm having trouble deciding where to locate the amp. (2ch Sony XM-752eqx) It's too wide to mount on to the jack compartment without sticking out at a weird angle, also won't fit in the center console, or under any seat (though I haven't tried taking off any of the seats, which might make a difference.) I fold the seats up and down all the time, so I can't put it in that nifty hole behind the rear seats where I store tools when hauling cargo. The seat flappy things are definitely not going to work, as I slide cargo over them on a weekly basis.

So, what I'm left with all seem like bad options, or at least a huge pain in the butt:

1- On the front passenger floorboard- tried this before, and passengers would step on the wires and mess things up, it wasn't a great solution

2- Inside the tailgate- there's plenty of room inside the tailgate, though I wonder about that many wires being flexed and pulled around all the time, plus running super long cables all the way back. I'd also have to do it in a way that I could slide cargo over it without smashing or dislodging the amp.

3- On the ceiling? I'd be open to mounting it to the ceiling, but have no idea how I'd actually get it to stay up there without completely making a custom headliner panel (I am on practically a zero budget) I drive with the windows open most of the time, so I don't think airflow would be a big deal there. I would also be willing to give up the sunglasses/CD/garage opener compartments in the top console, but have no idea how I'd make that look clean, and still keep the dome/reading lights/electronic display.

4- Back of the front passenger seat? It would look like crap here, and would get the wires flexed and pulled every time the seat gets moved or laid back, but seems like a feasible-ish place. I have also been considering installing front seat covers in this vehicle, as the original leather is cracked.

5- *inside* one of the seats? I did notice that there might be some empty space behind the springs in some of the seats- though I gather heat might be an issue here. I saw one forum post about this being done in a Camaro, though I didn't like how the install wasn't flush, and required screws to get to. Again, the cable pulling issue, as every single seat cushion moves, and the driver seat is too full of power stuff to have room. Front Passenger is prolly the one that moves the least though. Also, my rear seat has that split panel thing.

6- Here's a weird one- I was working under the hood today when I noticed that on top of the radiator overflow bottle, which is right behind the battery, there's a huge flat spot with factory standard mounting holes already in it. I wonder what normally goes here- a tool box or something? Seems like there would be plenty of room for this amp, and it would also make the battery and ground cables a breeze- though I'm guessing heat would be an issue here, and possibly moisture? I wonder if I were to fabricate some kind of raised bracket, so air would flow both over and under the thing, or somehow insulate it, if this would be feasible? I am ok with shortening the life of this amp a little bit, as long as it won't die in like three months or something. I'm probably also not going to be driving it super hard, as I'm not trying to win any SPL contests or anything. Is this a terrible idea?

Thanks!

MR7
 
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:33 AM
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My amp went under the passenger seat but I had to remove the seat adjuster mechanism the other amp went under the drivers seat with just a little persuasion to the floor. The pre wires from the head unit to the amps go right down the center over the trans and the speaker wires go under the door threshold plates to the crossovers behind the kick panels. Then its only about two feet to the door mids and the dash tweeters. The sub amp is only about three feet from the sub enclosure which occupies the left rear passenger seat area. The right rear seat is always folded down & the left one is missing.
 
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:52 AM
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There's no great answer. The manufacturers don't care about the audio from the factory, they REALLY don't care about what we want to do with it aftermarket. They make it harder and harder to do aftermarket audio, least of which is where the hell to stick a big 'ol aftermarket amp.

So, the best information I can offer is some advise on doing what you've done or thought about doing a little better. Now, if you have the budget, skills, and time to do things like fiberglass then it shouldn't matter where you want to put it a custom option can be built. I assume by your post that this isn't the case so let's start with what you know.

Just sticking the amp on the passenger floor board isn't the best idea but that doesn't mean the option has to be forgotten all together. By building a false floor over the amp you can have it in that location and protect the amp and it's wiring at the same time. That's how I'm installing roughly $1500 worth of DSP and amps in my wife's Traverse and we have four kids and their mess & mayhem to contend with too. Nothing is free though and this option brings forward it's own challenges such as having to worry about cooling and the #1 threat, water. Keeping the amp cool can be dealt with alone easily enough but keeping water out of electronics when snow, rain, spilled drinks, etc. become a threat is a real problem. It's doable, it's just that those considerations and more have to be taken into the equation.

Just screwing the amps to the back of a seat or anything similar is the high school sophomore way of doing it. Unless there is absolutely no other option, don't even consider it.

The tailgate isn't a horrible option, if you would want to do the same work as you would for the false floor. The cables bending each time the gate opens and closes wouldn't even begin to be an issue.

In the rear with that cover for the jack storage isn't the best spot due to the nature of how that thing works, however the opposite wall offers a fair solution. There's a recessed space between the rear of the truck and the rear wheel well. A person could bolt a board to the floor that has another board attached that goes up the side of the rear below the window. That gets the amp out of the way, a solid place for the amp to mount, and has the potential to be the most aesthetically pleasing location as well.

Keep in mind that unsightly open spaces between the panels you make to mount equipment and the interior panels in the truck can be filled in with foam board, like the insulation you can get cheap at the hardware store. It can be glued, easily shaped (cut, sanded, etc.) and then covered with whatever finish you're using (carpet, paint, etc.) to make it look as though it was made to fit right. It's a useful way to fill in spaces whether it's a false floor, an amp mounting panel, or any other custom panel a person might install in their vehicle.

My vote, is that rear passenger side panel for your amp, if that wasn't obvious. I used the same location for my amps, though with the second battery and the three amps there wasn't enough room on that panel for all that mess so I had to build a different animal. Though if I had only one amp to mount, that is where and how I would do it.
 
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:11 AM
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Behind the glove box. You can attach it to the back part of it or in the space behind the glove box.
 
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jkyle187 View Post
Behind the glove box. You can attach it to the back part of it or in the space behind the glove box.
Unless that amp is SUPER tiny I doubt this would be a real option. I currently have a Soundstream Harmony DSP mounted in that exact location and it measures 7-7/8" x 5-1/8" x 1-3/8". There was barely room to mount it and the glove box closes tight against it. Not that it's a bad location, but in these trucks there just isn't enough room for almost any amp that I can think of.



 
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:19 AM
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Hey thanks for the info, folks. My glove box is an ENTIRELY different setup than this- it is much larger, is located higher on the dash, and has a door that folds down flat with two cupholders on it, and then a solid plastic box. It has two very small access panels that I actually cut a hole in to install an ipod/usb cable, but there is ZERO space behind that box, and it requires taking off the entire dash to get to it. Also, my amp is much larger than the one depicted here.

@alton- I've got two art degrees, though have never used fiberglass, and have almost a zero budget, no garage and limited tools. The foam idea, however sounds super useful. I am confused on what you mean about the recessed space in the passenger side in the back. Mine is a '95 with under-deck spare tire storage, so the rear deck is higher than in the older blazers, and there are almost no rear wheel wells at all. The sides also don't curve in nearly as much at the back as my '83 did. Think there might be enough space INSIDE that trim panel? Definitely not enough space inside the jack well area, I checked.
 
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:22 AM
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In the image there, that's a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and not an amplifier. It controls the signal and has inside of it EQ's, crossovers, time alignment, phase control, and a few other bells and whistles that far exceed the signal controls on all but a handful of head units. There's almost no amplifiers that are as small as this device, as previously mentioned.

I re-read your original post and noticed you have a '95 which is kinda like the odd duck of the blazers. They had a lot of new features over the first gen models such as an upgraded fuel injection system. There's several of those features that didn't carry on to the rest of the blazers in the second generation for whatever reason so the rear of your truck may not be like mine. However here's a picture of the area I'm talking about, it's in the rear passenger side corner of the cargo area, specifically where you see the small rectangular hole in the board and to the right of it in the picture.








That area where the leg of that board with the rectangular hole in it which goes between the wheel well and the rear of the truck is the place I was talking about bolting a board down to. Then have a board attached to the one that bolts down which goes up, at 90 degree angle, the side between the floor and the window. There's enough space there for a fair size amp and with a little creativity it and the wires could be pretty well hidden from any outside view.


It's about the best location I can think of that's not going to require a false floor or just screwing it to the back of a seat.
 
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