Last month, when we left our 3g GT's audio/video installation in the able hands of Crutchfield's Warren Hawkins ("Big Audio Dynamite," p. 48), we'd completed the instal-lation of the front and rear soundstage speaker assemblies, as well as the required wiring and custom-made adapters. Due to deadlines, we had to travel back to Florida and leave the car at Crutchfield--so it was just Warren, some birch wood, vinyl, Plexiglas, and the wild ideas floating around in his head. Promising he would send us regular progress updates via e-mail, like a true mad scientist Warren teased us with only one or two pictures, making us wait until we flew back to Virginia to pick up the car and see his completed work. It was worth the wait.
Warren fitted our project car with a custom removable sub enclosure that allows us to still have access to the spare tire and jack (since the car is driven to all events), along with a beautifully detailed amp rack that shows off the Rockford Fosgate amps day or night (with the help of some blue neon lighting). The 1-farad capacitor, the XM tuner, the relays, the amp level controls, and other unsightly wiring are also hidden from view. To protect all these goodies, Warren grabbed a Crimeguard 745i3 alarm system off the Crutchfield shelf and wired it into the factory system for an extra level of protection, even though 98 percent of the system is hidden when everything is closed up.
Horse Sense: Building custom subwoofer enclosures is far from an exactscience. Just about all subs come with spec sheets listing their optimalenclosure dimensions and port type. Simply build to these specs and youshouldn't have a problem. There are excellent books and Internetinformation available on how to build speaker enclosures for yourproject, so don't be afraid, just dig in.
After a few hours of Crutchfield in-house photography for its catalog and Web site, and even a stint behind the camera for a Crutchfield retail-store TV commercial, Warren gave us the nickel tour on how everything worked, then he dropped the manuals in our laps. We then headed West for St. Louis and the World Ford Challenge 6. Needless to say, the 11-hour trip to WFC was much more enjoyable due to plenty of audio power and even "dinner and a movie" when it came time to stop and eat.
With the Alpine's motorized screen out and the parking brake set, youcan enjoy the sights
1. When we left Crutchfield last month, the Alpine head unit was beingwired and it had be
2. For the amplifier mounting base, Warren uses 1/2-inch birch with ayellow surface. The
3. For the face of the amplifier housing, more 1/2-inch birch is used tomake a display wi