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Thread: Kegobeer's 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis Build

  1. #51
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    It's been a while! I've been doing a lot of tweaking and experimenting with equipment locations, and I finally decided what will go where. I decided that only the amps will be mounted vertically. The entire assembly was just too crowded - the computer was hard to get to and remove, there wasn't much room for expansion, etc. That meant I had to find another place for the computer.

    I was lucky enough to find a trunk mounted computer shelf designed for the CVPI (Crown Victoria Police Interceptor) for $13, which took care of where the computer, USB DAC, and external wifi would be stored. I installed that 4 days ago, but I don't have any pictures of it right now. I'll make sure to take a few and upload them during my next update.

    After putting stuff on and taking stuff off the vertical rack, I quickly discovered wood screws will wear out the holes after a few on/off cycles. To prevent that, I bought some #8-32 hurricane nuts and machine screws - now I can install and remove the components over and over and not worry about ruining the mounting holes.

    Another thing I had to do was increase the rack size just a bit and increase the distance between it and the fuel tank, to allow for mounting my distribution blocks behind the rack instead of on top of it, giving me a bit more room to place my amps. I switched to a 2x2, which gives more more than enough room.

    Alright - after I measured and cut the plywood and mounted the 2x2s, I spent a few minutes deciding where the amps would go. Once that was done, I carefully marked the mounting holes of the amps and the cable access holes, then I drilled the 3/16" pilot holes for the hurricane nuts. I repeated that procedure for the distribution blocks and the JL Audio CL-RLC remote control.

    Hurricane nuts can sometimes be a pain in the butt to install correctly. To make sure I wouldn't have any problems, the pilot holes were drilled one size smaller than the recommended size, and a small amount of Gorilla Glue was applied to the nuts. Instead of hammering them in place, I pulled (pressed) them in place using a screw and washers installed from the opposite size of the rack. I let the rack sit for a few hours to give the glue time to set.

    I installed the equipment to make sure everything fit, and to my surprise everything did. I guess measuring 20 times and drilling once really does help. Tomorrow I'll install the rack in the trunk and take measurements for cable lengths. The real fun part is going to be wiring everything! I'm going to make some custom cables so that there will be a single cord running to the equipment instead of a tangle of individual wires.

    That's it for now. Thanks for reading.
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    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  2. #52
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I started on the amp rack wiring today. I installed some rubber grommets on the underside of the rack, then wired up the JL Audio volume controller. I had one 8GA wire long enough for the power connection on one of the amps, but I had to order more wire for the rest, so it will be about a week before I can finish the rack. I also ran the remote turn on wires.

    Previously I used a relay to power all of the remote turn on wires (amps, hubs, etc), but this time I decided to use a terminal strip. The 12V from my Opus's anti-thump is more than enough to send a wake up to my equipment, and this way if I have to add equipment I don't have to piggyback any wires - I just put another onto the terminal strip. Plus, it looks more professional (even though no one will ever see the back side of the rack).

    I also uploaded a few pics of the shelf I mounted in the trunk. You can see where I mounted my HD Radio as well. Since it's more or less staying with the car now, I decided to mount it close to the rear window antenna amp, which also gives me more room for amps and other hardware that may come out of the car in case of repair, selling it, etc.

    Once the wiring is complete, I'm probably going to make a proper wire loom so everything is neat and tidy. I could just use the split loom plastic stuff from Autozone, but if I can find affordable loom that looks like an OEM wiring harness I'm going to do it up right.

    Thanks for reading.
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    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  3. #53
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Those audio interconnect wires look like the Audio Research ones I bought from a discount place and used a few years ago. If they are the same brand be careful with the ends on them. I had 2 of the three sets I used ( F-R-S) get intermitent connection issues right at the place where the wire meets the plug.

    Looks like your doing a good job of keeping the wires as organized as possible, the grommets show your attecntion to detail as well. Looks great!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  4. #54
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilG View Post
    Those audio interconnect wires look like the Audio Research ones I bought from a discount place and used a few years ago. If they are the same brand be careful with the ends on them. I had 2 of the three sets I used ( F-R-S) get intermitent connection issues right at the place where the wire meets the plug.

    Looks like your doing a good job of keeping the wires as organized as possible, the grommets show your attecntion to detail as well. Looks great!
    Which interconnect wires are you talking about? The rack pictures show my JL Audio audio controller and power wires, and the pic of the shelf shows some mil-spec shielded RF cable used for my wifi antennas and my Streetwires speaker cable.

    As for the grommets - I have to find a different type. Those were rubber ones and they don't really stand up to wire installation. Cableorganizer.com has some good ones, but I have a hard time paying $7 to ship $4 worth of parts. Time to hit the hardware stores, Radio Shack, and Sears I guess!
    Last edited by kegobeer; 10-10-2011 at 10:31 AM.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  5. #55
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    That shelf is very cool! I like your planning, but I would just hammer the hurricane nuts with glue and a heavy hammer. I'm a patient guy, but you're truly careful!

    Are you going to cover the backside of your rear speakers? I did that last time I did that myself and it really made it sound more precise, tight. I would cover the rear backseats too for sound proofing. I am using terminal strips everywhere too, they're nice way to allow for expansion. The last one I did to provide a common ground for a lot of usb powered devices, the cameras and lately another one to power the rear tablets on the headrests.

    Good work!

  6. #56
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I hammered a couple in a piece of scrap wood - they would come right back out. A bunch of speaker box forums recommended pressing and gluing over hammering and gluing, so I figured I'd take that advice. Those suckers aren't coming out, let me tell you!

    My rear speakers are already covered. Plus, the rear deck has a thick soundproofing pad on top of it, which really helps reduce rattle. The exposed speaker is my free-air subwoofer, so there's no need to cover it up. I've thought about sealing the trunk, which is really easy once I take out the rear bench seat. I'm going to re-route my touchscreen power cable, which means the seat has to come out - I might do it then. It all depends on how much it would cost.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  7. #57
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    My bad, there are too many of them in your pic to be the amp interconnect cables. They are the blue/silver ones I am talking about. I once used them in a past install and they were not good. Heres a pic of them plugged into the infinity amp on the right. You can see the similarity of the look to the cables in your pic.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  8. #58
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I see what you mean, Phil. I have some nice quality Stinger RCA cables that I use to connect my carpc to the Alpine controller, and then from there to my amps (and from my 4 channel to my 2 channel amp).
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  9. #59
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Today was a dreary and rainy day, so I couldn't do as much as I wanted to the car today. But, I was able to get the computer, USB DAC, and wifi mounted to the shelf. I only had a little mod work to do to the shelf (drilling holes), so it was pretty painless. I was concerned about the wifi location and the shielded wires having problems connecting, but I found a few right angle cables in my collection, so it all worked out great. The cables don't move at all when the trunk opens and closes. And, I can slide the shelf out if necessary, if I have to remove the computer for some reason.

    I also started on the wiring harness for the carpc. I have all of the wires soldered and heat-shrunk (is that even a word?), with the exception of the ignition wire. I have to remove the rear seat and route the ignition wire and also the touchscreen power cable so they are closer to the pc, and with the rain I didn't feel like starting that today. I also have to source the loom I want, which will probably delay the completion of the harness a bit. I keep hoping I can find what I want locally, but I keep getting disappointed. I really want to support my local businesses, but they make it pretty hard sometimes.

    That it for now. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the kind words.
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    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  10. #60
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    My wires haven't arrived yet, so I took advantage of a little free time today to mount the amp rack in the trunk. Putting an amp rack vertically in the trunk, pressed against the fuel tank, presented a little challenge in how to mount it. I came up with a pretty good idea, which I'm going to be testing for a couple of days to see how it holds up. I bought a length of rigid steel strapping and cut it to length, then mounted it to where the spare trunk rests on top of the trunk and also to the top of the amp rack. Although tight, the left side still moved around a bit. So, I mounted that side to the computer shelf. Now, everything is pretty tight and moves around very little. I expect that small amount of movement will vanish once I wrap the rack in some trunk carpet.

    My wires, braiding, and grommets should be here tomorrow, so I will get to finish the wiring. I'm hoping I will be able to temp install everything and run it for a couple of days to make sure there's no interference/whine/etc.

    Thanks for reading.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

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