Ok, we are almost done with the install. Let’s summarize what’s left:
1. Steering wheel controls
2. False Floor
3. Sub Woofer enclosure
4. Painting of the false floor and custom mat.
Of those, 1 and 2 are done. 3 is halfway done, one box is made the other we are still working on. 4. will be done when 3 is completed for reasons you’ll see in a minute.
So, let’s start with the Floor. I needed a false floor for the back. Two reasons, to hide all this stuff as we all know there are those out there that would like to steal this stuff because they are lazy scumbag POS. The second reason is I need a floor to allow me to put stuff in the back…stuff like golf clubs and other recreational goodies. Part of the whole reason I undertook this monster project was I wanted to not lose all my cargo space in the back.
So, I boiled it down to two choices….Wood or Metal. I choose to go the metal route for a couple reasons. One it’s lighter. Now, I see you guys back there rolling your eyes…NOW I decide weight is an issue. Well yes, mostly because it’s easier to get the floor out to work on the stuff underneath when the floor is lighter. Second reason is the metal will provide a bit of a heat sink for the components in the back.
So after much debate with my fellow builder that helped me with this part and the sub woofer enclosures (thanks Earl) we decided on 0.064 inch aluminum sheet. To mount the sheet in the back, I picked up some 0.125 inch C-Channel aluminum that was about 24 inches long. I think cut those into about 1 inch sections for the outside standoffs. The ones down the middle that would span the two pieces of floor were about 3-4 inches in width. I was either damn lucky or damn good as I had exactly enough C-Channel to do the job.
The standoffs were placed on either side of center line at roughly the same spots from each other in a mirror image with the center line down the car as a reference point. From there I removed the dampening material and scuffed up the floor. We used the same Aircraft grade epoxy to set the standoffs in place I used before when mounting the amp standoffs. This is epoxy used in fighter aircraft and is stronger than the floor it’s being mounted to.
Here’s a few pictures of the process and final result:
We cut the pieces on the band saw and then mounted nut plates to the top side
.The following pictures show the mounting of the standoffs and their locations:
We then used poster board to make a template for the metal sheet. It was cut slightly bigger than we needed, the metal was cut and then final trimming to the correct shape was done by refitting, marking and cutting. This was done multiple multiple times to get the fit we wanted. We used the straight edges from the factory cut as our forward and middle edges as these were important to get perfectly straight.
We then fit the floor in place and clamped it down. We then used a hole finder to mark the locations of the holes on the floor we needed to drill for the fasteners. Now, a hole finder is a pretty slick way of finding a blind spot underneath a sheet. We made our own out of two pieces of flat metal stock epoxied together at one end. At the other end we drilled a hole perfectly through both pieces of flat stock. On the under side of one we popped a rivet in place with the head on the underside and the protruding end point up toward the other piece of flat stock. From here you slide the rivet side under the sheet and the side with the hole on top of the sheet. You used the rivet body to find the nutplate hole on the mount. You then lay the top piece flat making sure there are no offsets in the flat piece or binding. You hold this in place and use the hole to mark the spot to drill the floor. Worked like a top, perfect hole placement.
Finally the floor in place:
Once the last sub/fan box is done, I will have the floor painted and a custom mat made. The passenger side floor has been cut to its final shape and sound dampening material applied to the underside. I’m not sure if I will apply any sound deadening material as the thickness of that might inhibit air flow over the amps. I’ll have to play with that some.
The floor is secured in place using a custom fastener made out of an unusal material not often found in cars. For security reasons, I won’t discuss the nature of this, but suffice it to say it would take a thief a long time to get them out…and no, you can’t drill them out…I tried. One thinks you could just get your fingers underneath the floor and pull…go ahead and try to do this…it won’t come up. You are not breaking that epoxy bond…you will need the floor it’s epoxied to separate first. You could cut or torch the floor I suppose but you’ll end up damaging the stuff you’re trying to steal. Not to say that it's impenetrable as we all now someone that wants it bad enough will get it...I just made it a royal PITA to try.
Next, we’ll look at the sub enclosure. Quite a task to make these suckers.