Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
1988 Ford Mustang GT Project Hypersilver - Sound System
Livin' Loud - Kicker and Soundwaves of Tampa install a killer sound system in Hypersilver.
We've been talking about it since the inception of this project, and it's finally here—our sound system install. Sure, it's not something that we usually do as part of a project car or on its own. It's just not our style. But when we outlined the build plan for Hypersilver, we couldn't ignore the fact that a high-end street Stang, especially one that would debut at SEMA, should have a banging system.
We like listening to music as much as the next guy, but sound systems are heavy. We have done countless stories swapping stock components for lighter, stronger replacements in an effort to lower e.t.'s. We've ditched passenger seats, sway bars, wheels, sheetmetal, and just about anything you could think of in the name of lightening our projects. A sound system just goes against all that. A regular stereo is one thing, but a big speaker box, amplifier, and subwoofers?
This project is different, though. We realize that we're not going to break any records—on the open track or dragstrip—but that's not our goal anyway. We wanted a super-nice Fox street car with the capabilities to attend a car show, drag race, or road course, and do each with absolutely no shame. And we're well on our way to just that. Even with the heavy sound system, we expect Hypersilver to weigh about 3,200 pounds.
So how do we incorporate a full sound system into a Mustang that is going to see both open track and dragstrip duties? Well, that's where Kicker comes in. Kicker is one of the most recognizable names in personal, car, and home audio. What started as a two-man operation in a one-car garage in 1973 has grown into a multi-faceted audio company that specializes in products that push the limits of technology and performance. It's current home in Stillwater, Oklahoma, features a 280,000-square-foot facility.
Though only 200 highly skilled workers are employed at the facility, it has a far-reaching dealer network to support its products. Kicker has about 1,200 authorized dealers in the U.S. alone, and another 2,000-plus dealers worldwide. It offers products for car audio, home audio, personal audio, marine audio, and even power sports audio. With such a comprehensive line of products, we knew it had to have something that would fit our build.
Indeed it did. After exchanging a few emails with John Myers, Kicker's global trainer and product specialist, he knew exactly what we needed. Kicker's CompRT subwoofers are low-profile subs that work in tight spaces like a small (light) box. They run $169.95 each, so we snagged two. To power them, Myers suggested the IX1000.5 five-channel amplifier. This amp ($649.99) offers enough oomphto power our entire system, which is ideal for us, since we're not well-versed in audio.
With the bass handled, we needed something to offset it with mid- and high-range sound. The solution came in a pair of Kicker QS65.2 component speakers ($499.99). “The speaker system features the top of the line Kicker QS652 components, set up front with a pair of 30mm tweeters with a sealed chamber like a sealed subwoofer enclosure would use for the smoothest high-frequency response and the Trilaminate midranges that use a carbon-fiber cone and Kevlar backing sandwiched with a foam core for the absolute best frequency response,” said Myers.
01. Kicker hooked us up with a huge assortment of subwoofers, mids, and highs, as well as an amp and all the necessary wiring and accessories.
02. For subwoofers, we went with Kicker’s CompRT 10-inch, low-profile pieces. These are made specifically for low-profile mounts like our Fox.
03. Soundwaves of Tampa handled the install. Box guru Scott Nelson started by assembling a sealed box that would double as our rear-seat delete.
04. He’s already made the holes where our subs will reside.
05. Nelson then installed the box and fastened it to the floor. He left room on either side for components like our Optima battery. He also made sure to keep the box low enough to match up with the rest of the floor.
06. Chris Ott began his job of mounting the iPad mini, which turned out to be the most difficult part of the install. Here he’s sizing up the hole in our center stack.
07. Using plastic, he formed a pocket that will hold the iPad.
08. Then he whittled away at it until it fit.
09. He does a final fitment with every piece wrapped in masking tape.
10. Next, he filled in all the gaps with resin. Later, he added texture with flocking and painted everything to match our interior.
11. Ott then moved onto the kick panels. He used the part of the original kick panel that contains the mounting points and cut the rest off. He glued a piece of pressboard to the remaining piece of kick panel.
12. He cut a hole in each panel for the speaker and dressed it up by using templates to cut out matching patterns.