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240Z Audio System Install


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So after 22yrs of just listening to my engine / exhaust and occasionally the radio through my cassette deck and 4" door speakers, I decided to upgrade to a modern audio system. This winter I had removed my interior and installed sound deadening (B-Quiet) and new carpet underlay (and Honda S2000 seats), so things had already been quieted down. I had never installed an audio system before, so I did a lot of research and decided on the following components (all parts purchased through Amazon.com, specs can be seen at Crutchfield links below):

Pioneer DEH-80PRS for my head unit. My center stack had already been cut by previous owner to accommodate the cassette deck, so no further modification was required.



My car already had 4" speakers in the doors (panels already cut), so I slightly enlarged the holes and replaced them with JBL MS-52Cs (5 1/4" components with crossovers). The previous owner had drilled holes in the doors for wiring (no grommets) and had merely placed the door speaker wires under the weather stripping (severely bent and insulation worn). I drilled through the body (took me a few days to work up the courage) at the near edge of the kick panels, installed grommets and placed heat shrink over the door speaker wires. I got the speakers installed in the doors, stepped back and realized, "Doh!" that my window cranks now hit the speakers, so I picked up some shorter billet aluminum cranks (they're OK). I mounted the crossovers on the kick panels and for now I have the tweeters sitting in the corners of the dash. I'm considering cutting the metal panel between the windshield and dash and flush-mounting the tweeters there. Anybody mounted tweeters in that metal panel? Pictures?



I didn't want to take up a ton of space in the hatch, wanted tight not booming bass and did not want to pull the sound stage to the rear by installing 6x9s in a taillight panel, so I decided upon a pair of JL Audio 6W3V3-4 6.5" subwoofers. I designed wedge enclosures using Sketch Up (a great free 3D drawing tool) and built the enclosures out of 3/4" mdf to the recommended sealed enclosure volume (Note: The following site has great information for designing speaker enclosures - Speaker Enclosure Volume Calculator). As a bonus I convinced the wife I needed to buy a router to cut the holes in the enclosures :) (Porter-Cable 2-1/4 HP VS Router Kit, Model 895PK). I glued and screwed the enclosures together; siliconed the corners and carpeted them. The enclosures are mounted by two L-brackets: one to a tail light panel mounting hole in which I cut threads and one to a hole I drilled and threaded in the rear of the wheel arches. They are very securely mounted and don't take up too much space.



I installed an Alpine PDX-F6 mounted vertically behind the passenger seat. The amp is rated @ 150 Watts RMS x4 channels (mine was tested and certified @ 173 Watts RMS per channel).



I'm no audiophile but I am extremely pleased with the results. I'm still fiddling with the head unit and the crossover points / slopes but the sound quality is awesome, the bass is tight and I have no problem hearing my music when cruising at 65mph with the windows down (I have lots of power!).







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Looks really nice. I like your boxes!

I've got 6x9s with a ported box in the back of my Z. My tweeters are built into the dogleg panel/c pillar section. They're really discreet, and look stock. 8 Inch subs are cleanly installed on the interior front fender, between the door and firewall. Only problem is it gets in the way of that little footrest - but if you didn't know better, they look stock too.

Right now, my amp is underpowered, so it doesn't sound as good as it could. I'm just working with the Retrosound Model One's internal amp ( 20 watts x 4 RMS/ 40 watts peak x 4 channels). Pretty sad to top off a decent system with that kind of juice. But luckily, my friend is switching up his system and no longer needs his amp, so I should be able to get a (several hundred watts) beefier one in the near future. I agree on you about the subs though - I just want a thump. On a car that old, too much bass might disintegrate it.

I can take some pictures if you'd like, in case you're still deciding on the tweets.

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George - Thanks!

Alex - Thanks for the offer to take pics of your tweeter install; however, I wan to keep the sound stage up front so I'll be keeping the tweeters in the upper dash area.

I like the idea of flush mounting the tweeters in the metal panel at the base of the windshield but I'm hesitant to cut the panel. Anyone installed tweeters in this location? Anyone have a spare panel lying around?

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I have not installed tweeters in the dash embellisher (metal finishing plate below the windshield), but I do have a spare one for a 240z. I purchased this as a part of the resto on my late model 260z only to find it did not fit after I had completely refreshed the piece including new paint. It looks brand new. Apparently they changed the number and location of the mounting holes I believe around the time they introduced the 260.

Would be willing to let this go for what I paid for it. Let me know if you are interested.


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  • 9 months later...

Update: After much deliberation, I cut holes in my new dash cover and cut corresponding holes in the top of the dash for the tweeters to flush mount and a grove in the dash to the outboard sides for the speaker wires. I'm very happy with the results (my dash was in such poor shape that this was not too difficult a decision to make).



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Great work Sean! As others have already said, I love your boxes too. Putting the tweeters in the dash definitely give it a more finished and refined look. If the original was already in sad shape I would not feel bad one bit either. Thanks sharing all the info and pictures.

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  • 2 months later...
Awesome article & photos.
How did the speaker box fit on the pass side of the rear, under the plastic panel?
Pulling my dash this winter and will install my tweeters in the dash. Great idea
Keep on Z'in
Steve in Oregon

Steve - Thanks. Yes, the rear speaker on the passenger side just fits under the bump in the plastic panel. I sized it to fit in that space and notched the corner to allow it to fit closer to the panel.
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  • 1 year later...

Hey I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but I like your speaker box design a lot and am considering making a set for my Z to remount my 6x9, but wanna make sure they'll fit My Z. Could you snap a pic of the passenger side box? I'm wondering the panel is the same on your car since mine is an early 74.

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